Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 11

Jeroboam, who became king of northern Israel

1 Kings 11:26-28

Solomon’s third enemy was Jeroboam, who later became the king of northern Israel.

Jeroboam belonged to the tribe (family group) of Ephraim, who was one of Joseph’s sons. As a young man, Jeroboam had many of the same good qualities that Joseph had.

For example, Joseph was extremely responsible in his work, even when his job brought no honour to him (Genesis chapter 39). In the same way, Jeroboam was simply carrying out the hard work to build a wall for King Solomon.

Solomon was making Jerusalem larger, so he had to extend the walls of the city. It was necessary to bring vast quantities of huge stones for the construction of the new wall. That was the task that Jeroboam had, together with several thousand other men from his tribe.

However, like Joseph again, it quickly became clear that Jeroboam had the skills to be a great leader. Solomon always gave careful attention to how his workmen were working on his construction work. Solomon saw Jeroboam’s qualities and he gave a position of authority to Jeroboam. He put Jeroboam in charge of all his workmen from Joseph’s family. That included all the workmen from Jeroboam’s own tribe, Ephraim. However, it also included responsibility for all the workmen from the tribe of Manasseh. Manasseh and Ephraim were the sons of Joseph; and Manasseh’s tribe was even larger than the tribe of Ephraim. So, even as a young man, Jeroboam became extremely important as a leader in Israel.

Next part: Jeroboam meets Ahijah, the prophet from Shiloh (1 Kings 11:29)


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