This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in 1 Kings 12:1-24, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.
Once upon a time, a man named Rehoboam became the king of Israel. All the people of Israel came to make him their king. But there was another man named Jeroboam who had run away to Egypt. When Jeroboam heard that Rehoboam was the king, he came back to Israel. He and the people of Israel went to Rehoboam and said, “Your father made us work very hard. Please make it easier for us, and we will serve you.” Rehoboam asked them to come back in three days.
Rehoboam asked some old men how he should answer the people. The old men said, “If you are kind to the people, they will be kind to you.” But Rehoboam didn’t like that advice, so he asked his young friends instead. They told him to say, “My father was tough, but I will be even tougher. You will work even harder now!” When the people came back three days later, Rehoboam said those mean words to them. The people didn’t like what he said and decided to leave. They said, “We don’t want to follow David’s family anymore. We will go our own way.”
Rehoboam thought that being tough would make the people respect him more, but he was wrong. He was too hard on the people, and they didn’t want to follow him anymore. Rehoboam’s pride caused him to make a mistake, and he lost many of his followers because of it.
The kingdom split into two parts because of this. The northern part followed Jeroboam, and the southern part followed Rehoboam. This split caused a lot of problems for the people of Israel, and they would fight each other for many years to come.
When Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was the taskmaster to make the people work harder, they became very angry. They didn’t like being forced to work so hard, and they blamed Adoram for it. The people picked up stones and threw them at Adoram until he died.
Rehoboam was afraid, so he got in his chariot and ran away to Jerusalem. He wanted to gather an army to fight against the people who followed Jeroboam. He gathered 180,000 chosen warriors from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and they went to fight against the people who followed Jeroboam.
But a man of God named Shemaiah came to Rehoboam and told him not to fight. Shemaiah said that this was all part of God’s plan, and Rehoboam should not go against it. So Rehoboam listened to Shemaiah and did not fight. He went back home to Judah, and the kingdom remained split into two parts.
- It’s important to listen to the advice of older and wiser people.
- Pride can cause us to make mistakes and lose the respect of others.
- Being kind and fair is important for leaders.
- We should trust in God’s plan and not always try to force our own will.