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Rehoboam (Hebrew:רחבעם Rehav'am) was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Judah, succeeding his father Solomon. His mother was Naamah "the Ammonitess." His name means he who enlarges the people.


[edit] Early reign

Rehoboam's reign has been dated to 922 BC-915 BC by William F. Albright and 931 BC-913 BC by E. R. Thiele.

He was forty-one years old when he ascended the throne, and he reigned seventeen years. Almost at once after the death of Solomon, the people recognized Rehoboam as his successor and assembled at Shechem to crown him. However, many people felt that the burden of taxation to which they had been subjected during Solomon's reign was heavy, so a group led by Jeroboam demanded from that the new King lower their taxes in exchange for their loyalty. The elder counselors formerly of Solomon's kingship advised that he lower taxes to gain favor among the people, while the younger counselors exhorted that he raise taxes to express his authority. According to 1 Kings, Rehoboam sided with the young counselors and said to the people, "my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." <ref>1 Kings 12:1-14</ref>

[edit] The two kingdoms

Under his taxation, the people revolted and the kingdom of Israel was split into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. The Tribe of Judah, Rehoboam's own tribe, alone remained faithful to him. Benjamin was included with Judah, and these two tribes formed the southern kingdom, with Jerusalem as its capital; while the northern ten tribes formed themselves into a separate kingdom with Samaria as its capital, choosing Jeroboam as their king. Rehoboam tried to win back the revolted ten tribes by making war against them, but he was prevented by the prophet Shemaiah.

In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign, Shishak, one of the kings of Egypt, probably at the encouragement of Jeroboam his son-in-law, made war against him. According to 2 Chronicles, Shishak was supported by "the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians." Jerusalem fell to the invader, who plundered the Temple and virtually reduced the kingdom to the position of a vassal of Egypt <ref>1 Kings 14:25, 26; 2 Chronicles 12:5-9</ref>. In conquering Jerusalem, they took with them many of the riches of the temple and palace, including Solomon's gold shields. A remarkable memorial of this invasion has been discovered at Karnak, in Upper Egypt, in certain sculptures on the walls of a small temple there. These sculptures represent the king, Shishak, holding in his hand a train of prisoners and other figures, with the names of the captured towns of Judah, the towns which Rehoboam had fortified <ref>2 Chronicles 11:5-12</ref>.

[edit] End of his reign

The kingdom of Judah, under Rehoboam, sank more and more in moral and spiritual decay. Constant battles between Rehoboam and Jeroboam occurred throughout the 17 years of his reign. Rehoboam died at age 58 <ref>1 Kings 14:31</ref>. He was succeeded by his son Abijam/Abijah.

Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines, who together gave him 28 sons and 60 daughters. Many of his children fought over the throne until Abijam eventually emerged victorious

[edit] References

<references /> Some information from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897

House of David
Cadet Branch of the Tribe of Judah
Preceded by:
King of Judah
Albright: 922 BC – 915 BC
Thiele: c.931 BC – 913 BC
Galil: c.931 BC – 914 BC
Succeeded by:

es:Roboam he:רחבעם nl:Rechabeam no:Rehabeam pl:Roboam pt:Roboão ru:Ровоам fi:Rehabeam sv:Rehabeam yi:רחבעם


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