1 Kings 12:1-33 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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What Share Do We Have in David?
Comments for Study 10

1 Kings 12:1-33
Memory Verse: 27

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I. I Will Make the Yoke Heavier (12:1-11)

>1. What had Shechem been historically to Israel that Rehoboam wanted to be made king there? (Gen. 12:6-7, 33:18-19; Josh. 8:30-35, 24:1-17, 32)

* 1 Kings 12:1 "Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all the Israelites had gone there to make him king."

* "Shechem" - Shechem is a personal and place name meaning, shoulder, back. It was a district and city in the hill country of Ephraim in north central Palestine. The first capital of the northern kingdom of Israel, the city was built mainly on the slope, or shoulder, of Mount Ebal. Situated where main highways and ancient trade routes converged, Shechem was an important city long before the Israelites occupied Canaan.

The city makes its earliest appearance in biblical history in connection with Abram's arrival in the land (Gen. 12:6-7). When Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, he settled down at Shechem and purchased land from the sons of Hamor (33:18-19). In Genesis 33-34, Shechem was the name of the city and also of the prince of the city. While Jacob was at Shechem, the unfortunate incident of Dinah occurred. Simeon and Levi, her full brothers, destroyed the city (Gen. 34). Later, the brothers of Joseph were herding Jacob's flock at Shechem when Joseph was sent to check on their welfare. Joseph was buried in the plot of ground that his father Jacob had purchased here (Josh. 24:32).

As the Israelites conquered Canaan, they turned unexpectedly to Shechem. Joshua built an altar on Mount Ebal and led the people in its building, renewing their commitment to the law of Moses (Josh. 8:30-35; compare Deut. 27:12-13). Shechem lay in the tribal territory of Ephraim near their border with Manasseh (Josh. 17:7). It was a city of refuge (Josh. 20:7) and a Levitical city (21:21). Joshua led Israel to renew its covenant with God there (Josh. 24:1-17). Gideon's son Abimelech fought the leaders of Shechem (Judg. 8:31-9:49).

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>2. What did Jeroboam believe enough to return to Israel? (2, 11:34-37)

* 1 Kings 12:2 "When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt."

* 1 Kings 11:34-37 "'But I will not take the whole kingdom out of Solomon's hand; I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of David my servant, whom I chose and who observed my commands and statutes. I will take the kingdom from his son's hands and give you ten tribes. I will give one tribe to his son so that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to put my Name. However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel."

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>Why would Israel send for him? (3-4)

* 1 Kings 12:3-4 "So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: "Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you."

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>What opportunity did Rehoboam miss from the beginning? (5; Matt. 5:9)

* 1 Kings 12:5 "Rehoboam answered, "Go away for three days and then come back to me." So the people went away."

* Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."

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>3. Who did Rehoboam consult with first? (6)

* 1 Kings 12:6 "Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. "How would you advise me to answer these people?" he asked."

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>What obvious answer did they give? (7)

* 1 Kings 12:7 "They replied, "If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants."

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>4. Why might he seek a different opinion? (8-9)

* 1 Kings 12:8-9 "But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, "What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, 'Lighten the yoke your father put on us'?"

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>Why would the young men give the answer they gave? (10-11)

* 1 Kings 12:10-11 "The young men who had grown up with him replied, "Tell these people who have said to you, 'Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter'--tell them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's waist. My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.'"

* Matthew 23:25-26 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean."

* Luke 12:15 "Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

* Colossians 3:5-6 "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming."

* 1 Thessalonians 2:5 "You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed--God is our witness."

* 2 Peter 2:3 "In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping."

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>II. Israel Rebels Against the House of David (12:12-24)

>5. What kind of man would give the answer Jeroboam gave? (12-14)

* 1 Kings 12:12-14 "Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, "Come back to me in three days." The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, he followed the advice of the young men and said, "My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions."

* Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"

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* Israel did not calculated a king's ascension and reign as other nations. After Israel and Judah split Judah kept calculating to "old way" and Israel switched and started calculating the way other nations did around them. Read The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings by Edwin Richard Thiele for more understanding on how Israel and Judah calculated the dates of their king's ascension and reign.

>Who was behind this? (15)

* 1 Kings 12:15 "So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the LORD, to fulfill the word the LORD had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite."

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>What can be learned about the Lord? (Rom. 11:33-36)

* Romans 11:33-36 "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."

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>6. How did Israel respond to the king? (16)

* 1 Kings 12:16 "When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: "What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse's son? To your tents, O Israel! Look after your own house, O David!" So the Israelites went home."

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>Where all tribes involved in the rebellion? (17)

* 1 Kings 12:17 "But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them."

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>7. Why would Rehoboam send his labor under-lord? (18-19)

* 1 Kings 12:18-19 "King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day."

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>Why would Israel want Jeroboam their king? (20)

* 1 Kings 12:20 "When all the Israelites heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David."

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>8. How did Rehoboam's response further define his character? (21)

* 1 Kings 12:21 "When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered the whole house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin--a hundred and eighty thousand fighting men--to make war against the house of Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam son of Solomon."

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>What kind of faith must have Shemaiah have to deliver this message? (22-23)

* 1 Kings 12:22-23 "But this word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God: "Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, to the whole house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people,"

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>What did the Lord reveal to Judah and Benjamin? (24)

* 1 Kings 12:24 "'This is what the LORD says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.'" So they obeyed the word of the LORD and went home again, as the LORD had ordered."

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III. Israel's Sins of High Places and Idols (12:25-33)

>9. What did Jeroboam do first? (25)

* 1 Kings 12:25 "Then Jeroboam fortified Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built up Peniel."

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>What did he fear? (26-27)

* 1 Kings 12:26-27 "Jeroboam thought to himself, "The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam."

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>Why did he not need to? (11:38)

* 1 Kings 11:38 "If you do whatever I command you and walk in my ways and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you."

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>10. How did he make himself sound? (28)

* 1 Kings 12:28 "After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt."

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>Where did he set up the idols? (29)

* 1 Kings 12:29 "One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan."

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>What had he led Israel to do? (30)

* 1 Kings 12:30 "And this thing became a sin; the people went even as far as Dan to worship the one there."

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>What can be learned about sinful man's nature?

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>11. What did Jeroboam add this his sin? (31)

* 1 Kings 12:31 "Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites."

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>What did he do to the feasts the that Lord instituted? (32-33)

* 1 Kings 12:32-33 "He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made. On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings."

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>My does mankind institute holy days that are not of the Lord?

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