Rehoboam in Chronicles and Kings

A Synopsis by Ralph W. Klein

© by Ralph W. Klein 2006-2007

Extensive use has been made of Zipora Talshir, The Alternative Story of the Division of the Kingdom:  3 Kingdoms 12:24a-z.  Jerusalem:  Simor Ltd., 1993.

2 Chronicles

1 Reigns 12:24 a-z Greek

1 Kings

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These verses were originally composed in Hebrew

Note:  The order of verses has been changed to match up with the canonical texts.  To understand the significance of the Alternate Story, one should read the verses in their regular order.  Click here for a translation of these verses.

24b Jeroboam from Mt. Ephraim (cf. Sheba in 2 Sam 20:21) was the son of a prostitute named Sareisa (Zeruah; father's name not given in this account). Solomon made him head of the levy of the house of Joseph, and he built Zererah for Solomon in Mount Ephraim. Jeroboam had 300 horse-drawn chariots (private militia), and he built the Millo with the levies of Ephraim. Jeroboam closed in the city of David and exalted himself over the kingdom (just like Adonijah in 1 Kings 1:5).

24o The word of Yahweh had come to  Shemaiah the Nehelamite (a false prophet in Jer 29:24-32) Shemaiah took a garment, tore it in pieces, and gave ten of twelve pieces to Jeroboam. "Take ten pieces to dress yourself." [=1 Kgs 11:29-39 where Ahijah performs this act].  Note that this oracle is preceded by doom on Jeroboam's house in 24m and does not designate Jeroboam as "king." (In 24 y Shemaiah prevents Rehoboam from reversing the division of the kingdom).  Shemaiah's oracle in 24o is not linked to the sins of Solomon as in 1 Kings 11.

24c Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, and Jeroboam fled to Shishak.  He stayed there until Solomon died


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1 Kgs 11:26-28

Jeroboam son of Nebat, from Zeredah (MR 159161; LXX Zererah), whose mother's name was Zeruah (= leprous), a widow, rebelled. Solomon built the Millo and closed up the gap in the wall of the city of David. Solomon put Jeroboam in charge of the forced labor of Joseph.



Ahijah from Shiloh tore his garment into twelve pieces and gave Jeroboam 10 pieces. One tribe will remain Solomon's. Solomon has worshiped other gods. Solomon spared because of David who "kept my commandments." David will also have a lamp (fiefdom) before me in Jerusalem. If you, Jeroboam, listen and walk in my ways, I will build you an enduring house (cf. 2 Sam 7:8-17).

11:40 Solomon sought to kill Jeroboam, but he fled to King Shishak in Egypt. He remained there until the death of Solomon.

2 Chr 9:29-31

Source reference:  Words of Nathan the prophet, the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and the vision of Iddo the seer. Solomon reigned 40 years.
Solomon slept with his fathers.


24aa Solomon slept with his fathers.

11:41-42 Source reference:  Book of the Acts of Solomon. Solomon reigned 40 years. Solomon slept with his fathers. Solomon buried in city of his father David. Rehoboam succeeded him.

LXX 11:43b = MT 12:2 (cf. 12:24d-f). Solomon's death prompts Jeroboam to return to Zererah.

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10:1-19 Rehoboam met all Israel at Shechem (MR 176179). (2 Chr 13:7 certain worthless scoundrels gathered around Jeroboam).  Jeroboam requested that Rehoboam lighten the burden he had placed on the people (vv. 1-5).

 Elders advised Rehoboam to ease the burden on the people. Younger men urged him to act tougher than his father. Harsh message communicated on third day. God brought this about to fulfill word of Ahijah (this word is only mentioned in 1 Kgs 11:29-39, which is not contained in Chronicles; vv. 6-15).


"What share do we have in David?  Look now to your own house, O David." All Israel departed to their tents. Rehoboam reigned over "the people of Israel who were living in the cities of Judah." The People of Israel [who were in the Northern Kingdom] stoned Hadoram, who was the official in charge of forced labor. Rehoboam hurriedly mounted his chariot and fled (vv. 16-18); and Israel remains in rebellion to this day (v. 19).

24d When Solomon died, Jeroboam asked Shishak to send him home.

24e Shishak had given him Ano (rhymes with the Hebrew word for mourning?) as his wife; she was the older sister of Tahpenes, Shishak's wife and the mother of Jeroboam's son Abijah. (1 Kgs 14:1; cf. 1 Kgs 11:19-22 = Hadad's marriage, which is the basis for Jeroboam's marriage to Pharaoh's sister-in-law.  Hadad's son was called Genubath 1 Kgs 11:20)  The birth of Abijah in Egypt provides a plausible background for the incident of the sick child in 12:24 g-n

24f Shishak sent Jeroboam away. Jeroboam left Egypt and went to the land of Zererah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim (cf. 1 Kgs 11:43b LXX). All the tribe of Ephraim gathered.  Jeroboam built a fortification there = mutiny since this was not a building ordered by the king in Jerusalem as in 24 b.

24nb Jeroboam went to Shechem in Ephraim and gathered the tribes of Israel. Rehoboam also went up there to confront him.

24p People (no mention of Jeroboam in these negotiations; cf. Kings LXX!): Lighten the yoke and we will serve you.  Rehoboam promises an answer in three days.

24q Elders of the people advised Rehoboam to listen to the people.

24r Advice of the elders was not pleasing to him. Those who had grown up with him urged him to be tougher than his father.

24s This saying pleased Rehoboam, and he answered the people accordingly.

24t All the people: To your tents, O Israel. This man should not be leader or ruler.  Rehoboam culpable as well.

24u People dispersed from Shechem.  Rehoboam took hold of himself [same word is translated "hurriedly" in 2 Chr 10: NRSV] and went to Jerusalem (now the capital of Judah and Benjamin only). All the tribe of Benjamin and all the tribe of Judah rallied to his support.














12:1-19 Similar to Chronicles. All Israel here = Northern tribes.

v. 2 Jeroboam returns home (note alternate position in LXX at 11:43b). V. 2 repeats 11:40

v. 3a secondary (Not in LXX ). Hence Jeroboam does not participate in Shechem assembly.  v 3a is reproduced in v. 20.

v. 6 The older men who had attended his father

"Jeroboam" in v. 12 secondary.


v. 17 Whole verse secondary from Chronicles?  Absent from LXX and 12:24a-z (but vv. 18a, 19-20a also omitted there).  Rehoboam ruled over Israelites in towns of Judah.

v. 18 All Israel stoned Adoram, who was over forced labor

Not included in Chronicles

Not in 12:24 a-z.  Interested in Jeroboam as agent of division of kingdom, but not as king of Israel.

12:20 When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned from Egypt, they called him to the assembly and made him king. Only Judah [and Benjamin LXX; cf. 12:21, 23] followed house of David.

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11:1-4 180,000 troops of Judah and Benjamin get ready to fight against Israel. Shemaiah the man of God addressed all Israel in Judah and Benjamin: Donít fight against your kindred. Division comes from God (v. 4).

24x A year later (not appropriate since Rehoboam wanted to make an attack before Jeroboam had consolidated his forces)  Rehoboam gathered Judah and Benjamin to fight Jeroboam at Shechem.

24y Shemaiah the man of God: Do not fight against your brothers. Each of you, return to his house. The schism is from Yahweh.

24z They obeyed the word of the Lord and did not go up.

12:21-24 similar.

LXX 120,000

Shemaiah the man of God  addresses all the house of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people.


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11:5-17 Rehoboam built defense cities in Judah. Rehoboam built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth-zur (no archaeological evidence), Soco, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron.

He made the fortresses and the cities strong (vv. 11-12)

Levites rallied to Rehoboam in Jerusalem because Jeroboam and his sons had prevented them from serving as priests. Those who sought Yahweh came after them from all the tribes of Israel. They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon (vv. 13-17).

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11:18-23 Rehoboam married Mahalath his second cousin (her father was a son of David and her mother was a niece of David).  He also married his second cousin Maacah, the daughter of Absalom (was this David's rebellious son?).  See also 2 Chr 15:16, where Maacah is also identified as the mother of Asa [Rehoboam's  grandson]. 

Rehoboam loved Maacah above all his wives and designated her son Abijah as his successor (in 2 Chr 13:2 Abijah's mother is Micaiah daughter of Uriel).  Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines and had 28 sons and 60 daughters.  

Rehoboam distributed sons throughout Judah and Benjamin and found many wives for them.

Comments on the defense cities in Chronicles.

Date :
In anticipation of Shishak:  Orlinksy, Noth
In response to Shishak:  Aharoni, Mazar, Rudolph
Begun before, completed after Williamson
Gath too far west for time of Rehoboam
No northern defenses
Hobbs:  cities of restraint, for internal control
A list rather than a comprehensive list

Na'aman:  Hezekiah
Fritz, Junge, Alt:  Josiah

12:25 Jeroboam built Shechem (MR 176179) and Penuel (MR 215176).

12:26-33 Jeroboam made two calves of gold. Here are your gods, O Israel. One was placed in Bethel (MR 172148) and one in Dan (MR 211294). Jeroboam appointed priests who were not Levites (cf. 1 Kgs 13:33). Festival on 8-15 (Tabernacles = 7-15). Jeroboam offered incense on altar at Bethel.



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13:1-34. "Man of God" from Judah predicted the rise of Josiah, who would kill priests of high places. Jeroboamís hand withered when he stretched it out against the Man of God and altar torn down. The hand of Jeroboam was restored when the man of God prayed. The Man of God refused gift from Jeroboam.
Prophet from Bethel deceptively ("an angel spoke to me") invited the Man of God to dinner. Prophet put the Man of God under a curse via oracle of Yahweh. The Man of God killed by a lion and buried by the prophet, who asserted that the Man of Godís judgment against Bethel and the cities of Samaria would come true. Jeroboam made priests for the high places from among all the people. This matter became sin to the house of Jeroboam.

Note:  Those LXX manuscripts of Kings that have the Alternate Story in 12:24 a-z do not contain a translation of the story of the sick child in 1 Kgs 14:1-18.  When 14:1-18 is added to manuscript Alexandrinus of LXX, there is indication of some dependence also on the Alternate Story.





1 Kgs 14:19-20 also do not appear in the LXX--anywhere.  Omitted by accident when 14:1-18 was deleted and 12:24 a-z was inserted.


24g Jeroboamís wife Ano sent by Jeroboam to inquire of God about the fate of their sick son Abijah.

24h-i Ahijah is introduced since according to the Alternate Story this is his first and only encounter with the family of Jeroboam.  Ano took foodstuffs for Ahijah at Shiloh [and is not disguised since Shemaiah, and not Ahijah, had designated her husband as king]. Ahijah is 60 years old (Lev 27:7) and blind, but the word of Yahweh was with him.  Jeroboam refers to him as the man of God.

24k Ano went up from Zererah (Kings locates it at Tirzah).  Ahijah tells his servant to invite Ano the wife of Jeroboam in.  Warns her of harsh judgment that is coming.

24l Message to her: When you come to the gate of Zererah, your maidservants will say, "Your child has died."

24m In addition:  Jeroboamís people who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, those in the country by birds. They will cry, "Alas, Master, for he seemed to have Yahweh's favor."   Apparent reason for this punishment:  he had plotted against Solomon (b) and Rehoboam (f).  Ahijah is against Jeroboam from the outset.

24na When she came to Zererah, the child had died and she was meant by wailing (not by the maidservants as in 24 l).

The story of the sick child does not bring Jeroboam's history to an end, but follows immediately after Jeroboam's return from Egypt.  It precedes the Shechem assembly in  12:24n b and 24 p-u and the division of the kingdom and before Shemaiahís royal oracle in 24o, which  did not prompt Jeroboam to rebel against Solomon, but happened just before the Shechem assembly itself.  Ahijah's oracle and the Shechem assembly in Kings LXX appear at the same position as in Kings MT. 

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14:1-20 Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill. Jeroboam sent his wife in disguise to the prophet Ahijah at Shiloh (MR 177162). Yahweh told Ahijah, who is blind, that Ms. Jeroboam has come. Ahijah accused Jeroboam of idolatry and announced the violent end of his dynasty and threatened exile. When Jeroboamís wife came back to Tirzah (MR 182188), her son died.

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vv. 19-20

Jeroboamís acts are in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel.

 Jeroboam reigned 22 years and was succeeded by Nadab for two years. This pericope (vv. 1-20) is not in the best mss. of the LXX.

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12:13-14 Rehoboam established himself; became king at age 41 (Cf. 2 Chr 13:7:  Rehoboam was young [na`ar] and irresolute; 2 Chr 34:1, 3 Josiah was a na`ar at 16) and reigned for seven years. His motherís name was Naamah the Ammonite. He did evil and did not seek Yahweh. (cf. 1 Kgs 12:24a LXX; 1 Chr 10:13-14).  Note that these two verses come at the end of the chapter.

24ab Rehoboam was 16 years old when he became king (hence he listened to young advisers) and ruled 12 years in Jerusalem (the capital of Solomon's glorious kingdom). His motherís name was Naamah, daughter of Hanun, son of Nahash, king of Ammon (2 Samuel 10). He did evil and did not walk in way of David his father.  His sins are the cause of Jeroboam's rise to power and the division of the kingdom.  In distinction to 1 Kings, the division is not attributed to the sins of Solomon.

14:21-22 Similar.  Rehoboam became king at age 41.   Judah (LXX: Rehoboam) did evil in the sight of Yahweh. They (LXX  he) provoked Yahweh to jealousy more than their (LXX A  his; LXX B their) ancestors had done.



14:23-24 They built high places, pillars, and sacred poles. Male temple prostitutes (?) were in the land. They committed the abominations of pre Israelite inhabitants of the land.

12:1 Rehoboam grew strong and he and all Israel abandoned Torah of Yahweh.



12:2 Shishak attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of Rehoboam because they had been unfaithful to Yahweh (cf. 1 Chr 10:13 the judgment on Saul).


14:25 Shishak attacked Jerusalem in Rehoboam's fifth year.

12:3-9a Shishak had 1200 chariots and 60,000 cavalry and countless infantry. Libyans, Sukiim, and Cushites came with him.  V. 4 Shishak captured fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem (the fortresses of 2 Chr 11:5-10 did Rehoboam no good).

Shemaiah: You abandoned Yahweh and Yahweh has abandoned you to Shishak.

When the officers and the king humbled themselves, God decided not to destroy them though they would become servants of Shishak. Shishak attacked Jerusalem.


12:9b-11 Shishak raided the temple and the palace in Jerusalem, including shields of gold (2 Chr 9:16) which Solomon had made; these were replaced by Rehoboam with shields of bronze and kept in the guard room.


14:26-28 Similar.

12:12 Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the wrath of Yahweh turned from him. Conditions were good in Judah.

For vv. 13-14 see above.



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12:15-16 Acts of Rehoboam are written in records of the prophet Shemaiah and the seer Iddo. Continual wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. Rehoboam was buried in the city of David (Par + with his ancestors). Abijah succeeded him.


14:29-31 Acts of Rehoboam written in book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. Constant warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. Rehoboam buried in the city of David with his ancestors. Abijam succeeded him.

13:3  War between Jeroboam II and Abijah

13:7-8 Abijah's sermon to the North: Worthless scoundrels defied Rehoboam when he was a youth and fainthearted and could not withstand them. The kingdom of Yahweh is in the hands of the sons of David.