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2 Chronicles 10


(LXX versing)
Rehoboam's Reign of Folly The Revolt Against Rehoboam The division of the Kingdom The Northern Tribes Revolt The Schism
10:1-5 10:1-5 10:1-5 10:1-4 10:1-5
10:6-11 10:6-11 10:6-11 10:6 10:6-16a
10:12-15 10:12-15 10:12-15 10:12-15

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.


  1. This begins the Chronicler's account of the "Divided Monarchy" (cf. 2 Chr. 10:1-36:23).

  2. He almost completely ignores the northern kingdom (i.e., Israel). He views it as a rebellious house that rejected the Davidic covenant (cf. 2 Chr. 10:19). He focuses on Judah, the temple, and the Davidic seed.

  3. Much of this material is unique and not covered by Kings. The Chronicler used many sources for his historical record.

  4. The Chronicler adopts the history of the Davidic Monarchy to encourage and strengthen the post-exilic faith community in restored Judah.



1Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2When Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3So they sent and summoned him. When Jeroboam and all Israel came, they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4"Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you." 5He said to them, "Return to me again in three days." So the people departed.

10:1 "Rehoboam" This is Solomon's oldest son. The summary of his reign is in 2 Chr. 12:13-16. His name (BDB 932) is a word play on the verb "to grow wide" or "grow large" (BDB 931).

"Shechem" This is the name of the ridge between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim. This was the site where Joshua placed the stones from the Jordan (cf. Deut. 27:4). It was the site of a covenant renewal ceremony just after Israel entered Canaan. It is similar to the curses and blessings of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. The Levites divided and went up on the two mountains. One pronounced the covenant blessing for obedience and the other group the curses for disobedience (cf. Deut. 11:29; 27:13; Josh 8:30-35).

The parallel of this event is in 1 Kgs. 12:1-20.

10:2 Jereboam, the exiled Ephraimitic labor, heard of Rehoboam's inauguration and returned from Egypt to organize a revolt (cf. 1 Kgs. 11:26-40). The problems were the royal

  1. taxation burden (cf. 2 Chr. 9:14)
  2. forced labor quotas (cf. 1 Kgs. 5:13; 11:28)
  3. support for the royal table (cf. 2 Chr. 9:4)

See NIDOTTE, vol. 4, p. 733, #1.

10:4 Israel collectively expresses her problems with Solomon's reign (i.e., "hard yoke," see above).

  1. reduce the forced labor quotas
  2. reduce the taxation

10:5 Rehoboam asked for three days to review their requests.

2 Chronicles 10:6-11 describes the advice he received from

  1. the counselors of Solomon (2 Chr. 10:6-7)
  2. his peers at court (2 Chr. 10:8-10)

6Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, "How do you counsel me to answer this people?" 7They spoke to him, saying, "If you will be kind to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever." 8But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him. 9So he said to them, "What counsel do you give that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, 'Lighten the yoke which your father put on us'?" 10The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, "Thus you shall say to the people who spoke to you, saying, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us.' Thus you shall say to them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's loins! 11Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.'"

10:7-8 Here is the advice of Solomon's counselors.

  1. be kind to them
  2. please them
  3. speak good to them
  4. if #1-3, then they will be faithful to you

10:10 This is the advice of his royal peers and courtiers his own age.

  1. do not give in to their requests
  2. make your demands even stronger
    1. thigh/loins vs. little finger
    2. whips vs. scorpions
  3. i.e., "show them who is boss!"

"My little finger" This is the MT noun "little" (BDB 882, cf. 1 Kgs. 12:10). "Finger" is just speculation.

10:11 "scorpion" This (BDB 785) may refer to a type of whip. The term is used

  1. literally in Deut. 18:15
  2. symbolically in Ezek. 2:6 (i.e., enemies)
  3. for a whip in 1 Kgs. 12:11,14

Josephus, Antiq. 8.8.2., says that it refers to

  1. a shrub with thorns
  2. a kind of whip

12So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying, "Return to me on the third day." 13The king answered them harshly, and King Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the elders. 14He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions." 15So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of events from God that the Lord might establish His word, which He spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

10:15 The king's hardened position was from the Lord. The splitting of the kingdom was a direct result of Solomon's idolatry in his old age (cf. 1 Kgs. 11:26-40).

It is obvious that several bad choices were made

  1. by Solomon
  2. by Rehoboam
  3. by Jeroboam I

but behind them all was the will of God (cf. 1 Kgs. 12:15; 2 Chr. 11:4). History is in His hand but humans are still responsible for their choices and the consequences!


16When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them the people answered the king, saying, "What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
 Every man to your tents, O Israel;
 Now look after your own house, David."
So all Israel departed to their tents. 17But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the forced labor, and the sons of Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

10:16 This was a formal repudiation of

  1. Rehoboam
  2. Solomon
  3. David

This was a symbolic rejection of YHWH's promises to David, cf. 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17. 2 Chronicles 10:19 expresses this terrible reality.

"to your tents" This is a Hebraic idiom for returning to one's home. Here, it denotes "leaving" the Davidic seed for the Ephraimitic seed (i.e., Jeroboam I).

This same phrase was used in the rejection of David in 2 Sam. 20:1-2.

10:17 The tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Simeon, and most of Levi remained with Rehoboam and the temple.

The Levites who lived in the north relocated to the southern kingdom (cf. 2 Chr. 11:13-17). After Rehoboam became disobedient, the priests rejected him (cf. 2 Chr. 11:17).

10:18 The tribes' anger can be seen in their stoning Hadoram, who was over the forced labor of Rehoboam. In 1 Kings he is called "Adoniram" (cf. 1 Kgs. 4:6; 5:14) or "Adoram" (1 Kgs. 12:18). A man by the same name was appointed by David to the same post (cf. 2 Sam. 20:24). This may be a family name.

"stoned him" See Special Topics:


10:19 "to this day" See note at 2 Chr. 5:9.


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

  1. Why did Rehoboam go to Shechem when he had already been inaugurated king in Judah?
  2. Who is Jeroboam?
  3. Why were the northern tribes mad at Solomon?
  4. What is the significant theological point of 2 Chr. 10:15?
  5. How is 2 Chr. 10:16 related to 2 Sam. 20:1-2?
  6. What is the theological significance of 2 Chr. 10:19? (also 10:16)

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