2 Chronicles 10 – “The Schism”

hand_stone_2Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Rehoboam is anointed as the next king. When Jeroboam and the people ask king Rehoboam for a mitigation of labor, he spurns their request. The people then rebel and kill one of his emissaries.

II. Photo
The people rebel: “King Rehoboam sent out Hadoram, who was in charge of the forced labor, but the Israelites pelted him to death with stones…” (v. 18)

III. Important Verses
vv. 1-4: Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to acclaim him king. Jeroboam son of Nebat learned of it while he was in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon, and Jeroboam returned from Egypt. They sent for him; and Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam as follows:  “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke that your father laid on us, and we will serve you.”
vv. 13-14: The king answered them harshly; thus King Rehoboam ignored the elders’ counsel. He spoke to them in accordance with the counsel of the young men, and said, “I will make your yoke heavy, and I will add to it; my father flogged you with whips, but I [will do so] with scorpions.”
v. 16: When all Israel [saw] that the king had not listened to them, the people answered the king: “We have no portion in David, No share in Jesse’s son! To your tents, O Israel! Now look to your own house, O David.” So all Israel returned to their homes.
vv. 18-19: King Rehoboam sent out Hadoram, who was in charge of the forced labor, but the Israelites pelted him to death with stones. Thereupon, King Rehoboam hurriedly mounted his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. Israel has been in revolt against the house of David to this day.

IV. Outline
1. Rehoboam is anointed king
2-4. Jeroboam and the people demand a mitigation of labor
6-11. Rehoboam consults his advisers
12-17. The people reject Rehoboam’s harsh reply
18. Violence
19. Conclusion

V. Comment
Chapter 10 recounts how the Jeroboam and the Israelites rebel against king Rehoboam, and it is based on 1 Kgs 12:1–19. De Vries notes that this chapter is the turning point in the book of Chronicles. He writes: “This is the anticlimactic section of [the Chronicler’s] history… The section on ‘Solomon in his glory,’ following the account of his building and dedication of the temple, was the climax. Thematically speaking, that section defined, once and for all, how things ought to be in the perfect new Israel that [the Chronicler] hoped to see restored. But first the story of the Judahite kings, with their many failures and ultimate ruin of nation and temple, must be told. Its interest is less to inform than to exhort, so that the history of failure be not repeated.” (274)

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
De Vries, Simon J. “1 and 2 Chronicles,” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 11 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989).
Dillard, Raymond B. “2 Chronicles” (Waco Texas: Word Books, 1988).
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