Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 12

Jeroboam becomes the king of northern and central Israel

1 Kings 12:19-20

The people from central and northern Israel seem to have gathered three times in 1 Kings 12:1-20. On the first occasion, they told Rehoboam their demands. Three days later, they gathered for the second time to hear his reply. At this meeting, they declared that they would not be loyal to the kings from David’s family. However, they did not appoint their own king yet. Perhaps they thought that it might still be possible to make a suitable agreement with Rehoboam. Of course, they may have expected their local leaders to form the new government. However, it seems likely that they simply had no plan for this situation.

So, it seems that they met for the third time to kill Adoniram. At this meeting, the people also decided that they needed their own king. That was probably because they expected Rehoboam to start a war against them. One of the most important duties of Israel’s kings was to lead the nation in war (1 Samuel 8:19-20). So, they needed to find a person with an especially strong and bold character.

They chose Jeroboam. Previously, he had led Solomon’s workmen from the important tribes (family groups) of Ephraim and Manasseh. Jeroboam was a man with strong ambitions. He had not been afraid to oppose Solomon (11:26); and he had spoken boldly to Rehoboam about the people’s demands (12:3-4).

So, they made Jeroboam king over northern and central Israel. This was what God had promised to him by a message from the prophet (holy man) Ahijah (11:29-40).

Next part: Rehoboam wants to start war, but obeys God (1 Kings 12:21-24)


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