1. Rehoboam then went to Shechem, all Israel having come to Shechem to proclaim him king.
2. As soon as Jeroboam son of Nebat heard the news -- he was in Egypt, where he had taken refuge from King Solomon -- he returned from Egypt.
3. They now sent for him, so Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke as follows to Rehoboam,
4. 'Your father laid a cruel yoke on us; if you will lighten your father's cruel slavery, that heavy yoke which he imposed on us, we are willing to serve you.'
5. He said to them, 'Come back to me in three days' time.' And the people went away.
6. King Rehoboam then consulted the elders, who had been in attendance on his father Solomon while he was alive, and said, 'How do you advise me to answer this people?'
7. They replied, 'If you are fair to these people, pleasant to them and give them a fair reply, they will remain your servants for ever.'
8. But he rejected the advice given him by the elders and consulted the young men in attendance on him, who had grown up with him.
9. He said, 'How do you advise us to answer these people who have been saying, "Lighten the yoke which your father imposed on us"?'
10. The young men who had grown up with him replied, 'This is the way to answer the people who have been saying, "Your father made our yoke heavy, you must lighten it for us!" This is the right thing to say to them, "My little finger is thicker than my father's loins!
11. Although my father laid a heavy yoke on you, I shall make it heavier still! My father controlled you with the whip, but I shall apply a spiked lash!" '
12. On the third day, Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam in obedience to the king's instructions, 'Come back to me in three days' time.'
13. And the king gave them a harsh answer. King Rehoboam, rejecting the advice of the elders,
14. spoke to them as the young men had recommended, 'My father made your yoke heavy, but I shall add to it. My father controlled you with the whip, but I shall apply a spiked lash.'
15. Thus the king refused to listen to the people, and this was brought about by God, so that Yahweh might fulfil the promise which he had made through Ahijah of Shiloh to Jeroboam son of Nebat.
16. When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, the people answered the king thus: What share have we in David? -no heritage in the son of Jesse! Each of you, to your tents, Israel! Now look to your own house, David! So Israel went home again.
17. Rehoboam, however, reigned over those Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.
18. When King Rehoboam sent Adoram who was in charge of forced labour, the Israelites stoned him to death, while King Rehoboam managed to mount his chariot and escape to Jerusalem.
19. And Israel has remained in rebellion against the House of David from that day to this.