| KINGDOM DIVIDED |

Death of Solomon

Let’s recap. Saul was the first king of Israel. He reigned after the time of the judges in Israel. Saul was anointed by Samuel, the last judge. Saul disobeyed the Lord and had the kingdom torn away from him. David was the next king of Israel. He was not the son of Saul. God promised David that he would never cease to have a son on the throne in Jerusalem. David’s son, Solomon, followed David as king. Solomon was gifted with wisdom and built the temple in Jerusalem.

Our reading today begins with the death of Solomon. All of the days of Solomon’s reign were peaceful. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam succeeded him as king.

Solomon’s Foolish Son

Where Solomon asked for wisdom to lead the people because they were God’s people, Rehoboam believed that the people existed for him. We see in that Rehoboam rejects the advice of the elders of Israel and follows the lead of his fellow youths.

The situation is that there is a rival leader in the land, Jeroboam. Jeroboam is from one of the northern tribes. Remember, Jacob’s 12 sons? The descendants of those 12 sons became the 12 tribes of Israel. Jeroboam offered peace if Rehoboam would lessen the burdens of the people. Rehoboam rejects this offer and ends up driving all the northern tribes into rebellion.

Kingdom Divided

God warned Solomon that this would be the case. From this point on the people of Israel are split into two kingdoms. The northern tribes, with about half the land, are called Israel, or the Northern Kingdom. Judah is the only tribe that sided with Rehoboam, since Rehoboam was himself, like his father and grandfather, a part of the tribe of Judah.

What is important to note is that the city of Jerusalem was in the land of the tribe of Judah. That means that the temple, the only authorized place of sacrifice and worship remains in possession of Judah. This will become very important in our reading tomorrow.

If we read all of the book of Kings we would meet may other kings in both Israel (North) and Judah (South). For now, I encourage you to remember Saul, David, Solomon, and then the divided kingdoms of Rehoboam and Jeroboam.

Questions?

Are you beginning to understand the history of the people of Israel and Judah? Do you have any questions? Please share below anything that you have learned or anything you have a specific question about.