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.
day the latter met the prophet Ahijah in a
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."
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!"
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
troublesome time once more came to the children of Israel.