So we’re done with Solomon. He was a Mary Sue who made Israel great again, right up until the point where he started to worship other gods, then God got mad at him and decided to break up Israel into two kingdoms, which He handed one of them off to another guy who would go and worship other gods. You really think God would have seen that coming.
So Solomon’s son Rehoboam is going to be made king. The people gather together and they’ve sent for Jeroboam. Then they all come together and say, “Hey, dude, your father worked us like dogs and the taxes are too damn high. Could you do something about that?”
Rehoboam said, “Hmm… can you give me some time to think it over?”
So they give him some time. Rehoboam turns to his dad’s old counselors and they tell him, “Look, give them lower taxes, speak nicely to them and win their loyalty.”
But that sounds like sissy-talk, so Rehoboam turns to his frat buddies, who say, “Nah, Dude. You tell those peasants that your pinky finger is bigger than your dad’s dick! You’re going to make those jerks work harder and beat them with scorpions if they don’t comply!” Beating someone with a scorpion does sound pretty metal, if a bit nonsensical. But Rehoboam’s a dumbass, so it sounds reasonable to him.
So Rehoboam tells the people about his giant dick and how he’s going to work them into the ground, and surprisingly, the angry mob does not take it well. They tell the king they’re not going to follow him and leave him standing there looking really awkward.
So Rehoboam gathers his army, and the Israelites gather their army and as they’re going to face off, a prophet of Yahweh stands up and says, “No war today, guys. God says this turn of events is His doing.” So once again, everyone kind of stands around awkwardly and the armies go home.
So Jeroboam became king over Israel and Rehoboam reigned as king over Judah.
Now, Jeroboam, realizes that the temple of Yahweh is still in Jerusalem, and if his people start crossing into Judah to worship Yahweh, he worries that they’ll turn on him and want to go back and serve Rehoboam. So Jeroboam makes two gold cow gods and tells the people, “Hey, guys, Jerusalem’s too far. Come and worship the cow gods instead!” Everyone thought that sounded like a great idea despite supposedly having the book of Exodus when worshipping the cow god turned out to be a very bad idea. So Jeroboam sets up the cult of the cow gods and appoints non-Levitical priests and builds a bunch of high places and sets up his own feast day where he kills animals for the cow gods.
Which again… God really should have seen this coming.
So a prophet is walking through Israel, and he walks up to Jeroboam and his entourage while they’re killing animals for the cow god.
Prophet: God says that a man named Josiah will be born king of Judah and he’ll sacrifice humans and human bones on that altar, and as a sign, that altar will split in half and pour out the ashes everywhere.
Jeroboam: Seize him!
But Jeroboam’s hand miraculously withers and seriously, God… why not do this back when Jeroboam was considering making up his own religion?
So Jeroboam begs the prophet to ask God to heal him. And the prophet prays and God heals Jeroboam.
Jeroboam: Okay, why don’t you come home with me and have some dinner and rest?
Prophet: I can’t. God told me not to eat or drink until I was out of this sinful land and to take a different route home.
So the prophet leaves Jeroboam and goes on his way.
But there was another prophet in the land, and he hears about what happened from his kids, so he saddles up his donkey and rides after the first prophet. When he catches him, the older prophet invites the first prophet to dinner.
First Prophet: I can’t. God told me not to eat or drink until I was out of this sinful land and to take a different route home.
Older Prophet: Oh, but you can eat and drink! Because God told me that it was all good now! So come home with me.
But the older prophet lied to the first prophet, so that when they were together in the older prophet’s home, and the first prophet ate and drank, that God spoke through the older prophet and said, “Dude! You ate and drank! You’re going to die!”
Which must have made the rest of the dinner conversations awkward. And seriously… you’d think God might be a bit upset at the older prophet for lying… but no. Not a word. But the first prophet leaves and gets mauled by a lion. The older prophet buries him in his own tomb.
I think the valuable lesson here, children, is to never believe someone who says that God spoke to him.
Then Abijah, Jeroboam’s son became sick, so Jeroboam asks his wife to go to one of the local prophets of Yahweh and inquire of the boy. But she is to go incognito.
So she does so, and while she’s on the way, God speaks to Ahijah the prophet and says, “The queen’s on her way to see you. Give her my message.”
Ahijah: Hey, Queen… Here’s God’s message for the king. “I made you king and you turned out to be crap… which I REALLY should’ve seen coming, but oh well… I’m going to kill everyone in your house and appoint another king over Israel… who will be even worse than you… but then I’ll punish him and replace him with another king… who will be even crappier than the guy who takes your place… if none of this makes any sense… “Mysterious ways and all that…” Also, when your feet cross into your city, I’m going to kill your son because he was kind of a good kid… which again makes no sense, but I’m going to do it.
Queen: AHA! So if I don’t go back to the palace, my son will live!
God: AH! Thwarted again!
Okay, that last part didn’t happen. The queen goes home, her son dies, everyone is sad.
And the author would like you to know that if you’d like to learn more about Jeroboam, to go read Chronicles. So Jeroboam dies, and his son Nadab takes the throne.
Meanwhile, in Judah…
Rehoboam continues to worship other gods and allows for male cultic prostitutes to set up shop. Then Egypt invade Israel and steals their stuff, but Rehoboam replaces it with less valuable stuff and he fights a lot of wars with Israel despite being told not to two chapters ago, and he dies and you can read more about him in Chronicles. His son Naamah replaces him.