Old Testament Story List

Rival Kingdoms

In his old age, King Solomon turned away from God and worshiped other gods. And because of his tyranny, the land of Israel became torn by dissension and rebellion. The arch-plotter against the rule of the aged monarch was Solomon's chief governor, Jeroboam.

One day the latter met the prophet Ahijah in a

field outside Jerusalem. Seizing the new garment with which he was clad, the prophet rent it into twelve pieces. "Because of Solomon's sins, thus shall Jehovah rend Israel out of the hands of Solomon," he cried. "Only one tribe for David's sake shall remain under the rule of Solomon's son, while you shall be made king over the rest of the tribes."

After Solomon's death, his son Rehoboam ascended the throne. Jeroboam asked of the new ruler whether he would lighten the people's burdens. But the headstrong Rehoboam, scorning the advice of the old men of his council, replied: "My father chastised you with whips, but I shall chastise you with scorpions!"

When the Israelites received this answer, they no longer hesitated. All but the tribe of Judah rebelled against Rehoboam and the House of David, and they stoned his tax-gatherers to death. Rhoboam fled in his chariot to Jerusalem, and Jeroboam ruled over the rest of Israel.

And so troublesome time once more came to the children of Israel.

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