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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 12

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Secession of Israel. 1Rehoboam went to Shechem,* where all Israel had come to proclaim him king. t 2 Chr 10, 1 . 3They said to Rehoboam: 4“Your father put on us a heavy yoke. If you now lighten the harsh service and the heavy yoke your father imposed on us, we will serve you.” 5“Come back to me in three days,” he answered them. When the people had departed, 6King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had been in his fathervs service while he was alive, and asked, “What answer do you advise me to give this people?” 7They replied, “If today you will be the servant of this people and submit to them, giving them a favorable answer, they will be your servants forever.” 8But he ignored the advice the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were in his service. 9He said to them, “What answer do you advise me to give this people, who have asked me to lighten the yoke my father imposed on them?” 10The young men who had grown up with him replied, “This is what you must say to this people who have asked you to lighten the yoke your father put on them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my fathervs body. 11Whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will make it heavier. My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions.’ ”

12On the third day all Israel came back to King Rehoboam, as he had instructed them to do. 13Ignoring the advice the elders had given him, the king gave the people a harsh answer. 14He said to them, as the young men had advised: “My father put on you a heavy yoke, but I will make it heavier. My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions.” 15The king did not listen to the people, for the LORD brought this about to fulfill the prophecy he had uttered to Jeroboam, son of Nebat, through Ahijah the Shilonite. u 1 Kgs 11, 12. 31 .

16When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king:

What share have we in David?* We have no heritage in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Now look to your own house, David.”

So Israel went off to their tents, 17but Rehoboam reigned over the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah. 18King Rehoboam then sent out Adoram, superintendent of the forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. Rehoboam managed to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem, 19and Israel went into rebellion against David's house to this day. 2Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon, returned from Egypt as soon as he learned this. 20When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they summoned him to an assembly and made him king over all Israel. None remained loyal to David's house except the tribe of Judah alone.

21On his arrival in Jerusalem, Rehoboam gathered together all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—one hundred eighty thousand seasoned warriors—to fight against the house of Israel, to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam, son of Solomon. 22 v 22–24; 2 Chr 11, 2ff . However, the LORD spoke to Shemaiah, a man of God: 23“Say to Rehoboam, son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to the house of Judah and to Benjamin, and to the rest of the people: 24‘Thus says the LORD: You must not march out to fight against your brother Israelites. Let every man return home, for I have brought this about.’ ” They accepted this message of the LORD and gave up the expedition accordingly.

25Jeroboam built up Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. Then he left it and built up Penuel.

Religious Rebellion. * 26Jeroboam thought to himself: “The kingdom will return to David's house. 27If now this people go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem, the hearts of this people will return to their master, Rehoboam, king of Judah, and they will kill me.” 28After taking counsel, the king made two calves of gold and said to the people: “You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough. Here is your God, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” w Tb 1, 5; Ex 32, 8 . 29And he put one in Bethel, the other in Dan.* 30This led to sin, because the people frequented these calves in Bethel and in Dan. 31He also built temples on the high places and made priests from among the people who were not Levites. x 2 Chr 11, 15 . 32Jeroboam established a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month to duplicate in Bethel the pilgrimage feast of Judah, with sacrifices to the calves he had made; and he stationed in Bethel priests of the high places he had built.

Message of the Prophet from Judah. 33Jeroboam ascended the altar he built in Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, the month in which he arbitrarily chose to establish a feast for the Israelites; he was going to offer sacrifice.

Notes:

t: 2 Chr 10, 1 .

u: 1 Kgs 11, 12. 31 .

v: 22–24; 2 Chr 11, 2ff .

w: Tb 1, 5; Ex 32, 8 .

x: 2 Chr 11, 15 .

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