The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah

1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10

After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam succeeded him as king, and he traveled to Shechem for the coronation ceremony before all the tribes. Jeroboam, who had been an enemy of Solomon and fled to Egypt, came to Shechem as well. Before the ceremony, Jeroboam and many other Israelites demanded that Rehoboam lighten the heavy taxation burdern Solomon had placed on them, but Rehoboam rejected their request and threatened to inflict even heavier burdens on them. So the ten northern tribes rejected Rehoboam’s rule and set up Jeroboam as king. Only the tribes of Benjamin and Judah remained loyal to Rehoboam and the Davidic dynasty. Tirzah served as the first capital of the northern kingdom of Israel, while Jerusalem remained the capital of the southern kingdom of Judah. To keep Israelites from traveling to Jerusalem to worship the Lord, Jeroboam set up calf idols in the towns of Dan and Bethel and encouraged the people to worship them. The nation of Moab remained subject to the northern kingdom for many years, and the nation of Edom remained subject to the southern kingdom, but eventually both nations reasserted their independence from them (2 Kings 3; 8:20-22).

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