Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 12

Israel’s people kill Adoniram

1 Kings 12:18

By his foolish and cruel words, King Rehoboam lost control over much of his nation. However, the people in central and northern Israel had not yet organised a government or appointed a king. They simply said that they would not obey him; and then they went home.

So, Rehoboam thought that he had an opportunity to regain control over them. He had told them that they would work hard under his rule; he had promised to punish them severely if they did not obey (12:14). So now he tried to carry out that promise.

Rehoboam sent Adoniram to them. In fact, to emphasise the importance of this matter, Rehoboam actually went with Adoniram.

Adoniram had been one of the most important officials in Solomon’s government (4:6). His responsibility was to arrange the work that Israel’s people had to do for their king (5:14). For about 40 years, he had directed them successfully in the tasks that were necessary for Solomon’s construction work. Rehoboam seemed certain that Israel’s people would be too afraid not to obey Adoniram. It seems clear that Adoniram was a very strict and powerful man.

However, Israel’s people were not afraid of Adoniram now. They managed to catch him, then they all gathered together to kill him. Each of them threw a stone at him. In the end, probably a huge heap of stones covered his dead body. They would have killed Rehoboam in the same way if he had not managed to escape.

Next part: Jeroboam becomes the king of northern and central Israel (1 Kings 12:19-20)


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