Rehoboam was the son of King Solomon of Israel. He came to power when his father died. Shortly after he became ruler, the Israelites revolted against his authority. He is found on the Amazing Bible Timeline with World History at the end of Solomon’s reign 990 BC.
King Solomon’s Troubles
King Solomon was the son of King David and is considered by God to be the wisest man that has ever lived on the Earth. Most of Solomon’s reign was good and the people generally prospered under his rule. The king’s problems came toward the end of his time in power. King Solomon began to marry hundreds of foreign women, and they turned his heart from God toward pagan deities. The monarch’s tolerance for false gods soon spread among the people of Israel, and many of them started to worship false gods. God became angry with Solomon and decided to split the kingdom of Israel into two parts. God wanted to carry out this judgment after Solomon had died because of the promises that he made to David. God told David that there would always be a member of his royal line sitting on the throne.
Rehoboam becomes King of Judah
When Rehoboam became king, the people wanted him to treat them less harshly than his father. King Solomon was respected and loved, but the people thought his demands were hard. Keep in mind that King Solomon had to use thousands upon thousands of laborers for his great works and his taxes were heavy as well. The people also told Rehoboam that if he made things easier for them they would honor and serve him as king.
Rehoboam went to Solomon’s advisors for advice, and they told him to lighten the load. He then sought advice from his personal group of advisors who were young and experienced. They told him to make things harder on the people, and Rehoboam listened to their wisdom. He then told the people that he would make things miserable under his rule and when the people realized what he had said they turned away from him. They soon made their spokesman and leader, a man named Jeroboam, their king.
The Battle of Kings
King Jeroboam became ruler of the ten tribes of Israel that split from Judah. Rehoboam ruled the southern kingdom of Judah. Throughout the years that both of these rulers were in power, they fought against each other. Sometimes Rehoboam would be victorious and at other times Jeroboam would win.
Rehoboam Final Days
During Rehoboam’s rule, he set up altars and shrines to false gods, and he allowed male prostitutes to run freely through the land. The people engaged in practices that made God extremely unhappy. The people God had forced out of Canaan before the arrival of the Israelites engaged in these practices. In God’s eyes, many of the people in Israel who did these things were no different than the pagan people who lived there before them. The Israelites became subject to Shishak and the Egyptian forces as a part of God’s punishment. This lasted for a short period during Rehoboam’s reign. Rehoboam’s rule ultimately didn’t prove to be successful, and he was in charge for 17 years before his time came to an end.
- 2 Chronicles 9: 29 King Solomon dies.
- 2 Chronicles 10 Rehoboam becomes king and Israel rebels against his rule.
- 1 Kings 14: 21 – 29 Rehoboam leads the people in false worship, and he has to fight against King Shishak of Egypt.
- 2 Chronicles 12 God isn’t completely unhappy with Rehoboam’s rule.