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1 Raja-raja 12:1-11

Rehoboam Loses His Kingdom

12:1 Rehoboam traveled to Shechem, for all Israel had gathered in 1  Shechem to make Rehoboam 2  king. 12:2 3  When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard the news, he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon and had been living ever since. 4  12:3 They sent for him, 5  and Jeroboam and the whole Israelite assembly came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 12:4 “Your father made us work too hard. 6  Now if you lighten the demands he made and don’t make us work as hard, we will serve you.” 7  12:5 He said to them, “Go away for three days, then return to me.” So the people went away.

12:6 King Rehoboam consulted with the older advisers who had served 8  his father Solomon when he had been alive. He asked them, 9  “How do you advise me to answer these people?” 12:7 They said to him, “Today if you show a willingness to help these people and grant their request, they will be your servants from this time forward.” 10  12:8 But Rehoboam rejected their advice and consulted the young advisers who served him, with whom he had grown up. 11  12:9 He asked them, “How do you advise me 12  to respond to these people who said to me, ‘Lessen the demands your father placed on us’?” 13  12:10 The young advisers with whom Rehoboam 14  had grown up said to him, “Say this to these people who have said to you, ‘Your father made us work hard, but now lighten our burden.’ 15  Say this to them: ‘I am a lot harsher than my father! 16  12:11 My father imposed heavy demands on you; I will make them even heavier. 17  My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.’” 18 

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[12:1]  1 tn Heb “come [to].”

[12:1]  2 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Rehoboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[12:2]  3 tc Verse 2 is not included in the Old Greek translation. See the note on 11:43.

[12:2]  4 tn Heb “and Jeroboam lived in Egypt.” The parallel text in 2 Chr 10:2 reads, “and Jeroboam returned from Egypt.” In a purely consonantal text the forms “and he lived” and “and he returned” are identical (וישׁב).

[12:3]  5 tn Heb “They sent and called for him.”

[12:4]  6 tn Heb “made our yoke burdensome.”

[12:4]  7 tn Heb “but you, now, lighten the burdensome work of your father and the heavy yoke which he placed on us, and we will serve you.” In the Hebrew text the prefixed verbal form with vav (וְנַעַבְדֶךָ, [vÿnaavdekha] “and we will serve you”) following the imperative (הָקֵל [haqel], “lighten”) indicates purpose (or result). The conditional sentence used in the translation above is an attempt to bring out the logical relationship between these forms.

[12:6]  8 tn Heb “stood before.”

[12:6]  9 tn Heb “saying.”

[12:7]  10 tn Heb “If today you are a servant to these people and you serve them and answer them and speak to them good words, they will be your servants all the days.”

[12:8]  11 tn Heb “He rejected the advice of the elders which they advised and he consulted the young men with whom he had grown up, who stood before him.” The referent (Rehoboam) of the initial pronoun (“he”) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[12:9]  12 tn In the Hebrew text the verb “we will respond” is plural, although it can be understood as an editorial “we.” The ancient versions have the singular here.

[12:9]  13 tn Heb “Lighten the yoke which your father placed on us.”

[12:10]  14 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Rehoboam) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[12:10]  15 tn Heb “Your father made our yoke heavy, but make it lighter upon us.”

[12:10]  16 tn Heb “My little one is thicker than my father’s hips.” The referent of “my little one” is not clear. The traditional view is that it refers to the little finger. As the following statement makes clear, Rehoboam’s point is that he is more harsh and demanding than his father.

[12:11]  17 tn Heb “and now my father placed upon you a heavy yoke, but I will add to your yoke.”

[12:11]  18 tn Heb “My father punished you with whips, but I will punish you with scorpions.” “Scorpions” might allude to some type of torture using poisonous insects, but more likely it refers to a type of whip that inflicts an especially biting, painful wound. Cf. CEV “whips with pieces of sharp metal.”

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