Hebrew History Part 15


We continue our studies this week as we study "The Division of the Kingdom"



In our last study, we saw God give Israel a new King in Solomon, David’s son. We saw how that as long as Solomon sought God’s Will and did things God’s way, that he was richly blessed and had the desires of his heart fulfilled. But in his latter life, he married many strange women that led him away from God and in the end, he worshipped false gods. We need to remember that we need to not only start strong like Solomon did, but we need to finish strong. We need to trust in God, not in man or the ways of men.

Psa 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

This week, we will be covering the division of the Kingdom.


  1. The DIVISION of the KINGDOM

    1 Ki 11:9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,

    1 Ki 11:10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.

    1 Ki 11:11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.

    1 Ki 11:12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.

    1 Ki 11:13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.

    We see that one of the causes the kingdom was divided was because the King turned away his heart from God. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam who became king after Solomon, could have sought wise counsel, but he rather chose to place heavier taxes on the people, to force labor, and to limit freedom. These decisions along with Solomon’s choice to serve false gods all contributed to the nation of Israel becoming divided. Note in verse 13 that "because of David my Servant’s sake, I will not rend away all the kingdom. When you serve God, your life affects not only you, but the people you know, and the generations in your family that follow you. What an awesome responsibility to walk Godly in this life.

    We see the division happening after the death of Solomon.

    1 Ki 12:1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.

    1 Ki 12:2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;)

    1 Ki 12:3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying,

    1 Ki 12:4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.

    We see the people asking for Rehoboam to lighten their load, but he hearkens not to the people.

    1 Ki 12:5 And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed.

    1 Ki 12:6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?

    1 Ki 12:7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.

    1 Ki 12:8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:

    1 Ki 12:9 And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?

    1 Ki 12:10 And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins.

    1 Ki 12:11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

    We see that the older men gave the young King good counsel, but rather than choose good counsel, Rehoboam follows the counsel of the young men. We should learn from this that the counsel of older, Godly men, is of great value to young men and women. You may have the best friends in the world, but they may not have been around the block as many times as the older ones have. A growing vibrant church needs and has both young and old. The young to give vitality, future and strength, and the older to give stability and long-term guidance in making decisions.

    Psa 33:10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.

    Psa 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

    Psa 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

    Prov 8:14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

    Prov 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

    We see that after three days the people come to Rehoboam for his answer about lightening their load.

    1 Ki 12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day.

    1 Ki 12:13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him;

    1 Ki 12:14 And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

    1 Ki 12:15 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

    1 Ki 12:16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.

    We see that Jeroboam was present when the people came to here the answer of Rehoboam in verse 12. Jeroboam had been in Egypt after he had fled from Solomon. But now, after Solomon’s death, he returns. After Rehoboam gives his ill-fated decision, he sends the people to their tents. We saw in verse 11 how Rehoboam said that the yoke his father had placed on the people was heavy, but the one he would place would be much harder. I’m thankful that our King, the Lord Jesus Christ, never puts a burden or yoke on us that we can not handle.

    Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

    Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    We see after this announcement from Rehoboam, that the northern kingdom withdraws and Jeroboam becomes their king.

    1 Ki 12:17 But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.

    1 Ki 12:18 Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.

    1 Ki 12:19 So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.

    1 Ki 12:20 And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.

    If it had not been for David, most likely the whole nation would have went after Jeroboam. But because of the promises made to David, the tribe of Judah did not depart. Judah and Benjamin were the tribes remaining in the southern kingdom. All others went to the Northern Kingdom.


    We see that the two kingdoms were truly brothers and sisters. However, even close allies sometimes can become your enemy almost overnight. We see that the first 80 years after the division of the kingdom, that the two sides were at war with one another. Then for the second 80 years, they had peace. Then for 50 years, there was intermittent war.

    Judah, the southern kingdom, endured longer that Israel, the northern kingdom. Judah lasted until 587 BC where Israel only lasted until 722 BC.

    Although Judah was smaller and had less land, they always had a stable dynasty and always a descendant of David on the throne. We know that Judah was the tribe from which Jesus’ ancestry was traced back to, showing how he was called the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

    Deu 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

    Deu 7:7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

    Deu 7:8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

    The northern kingdom had many changes in dynasty. In our recent study of the kings of Israel, we found that not a single king that ruled in the northern kingdom was pleasing to God and sought after the ways of the Lord. And there were only a few in the southern kingdom that were not evil.

    In Judah, there was a stable capital in Jerusalem. It was the place where Abraham had followed the commandment of God and had went to offer his son Isaac as an offering. (God interceded and provided a ram in the bush for Isaac). Jerusalem was the place where Solomon built the temple, and it was a place that was well fortified.

    I think that we need to know that we may never be the biggest church in town, but that does not make us small in God’s eyes. The southern kingdom was much smaller than the northern, but they were the ones that sought after the ways of God. We just need to keep serving God God’s Way, and He will reward in due time.

    The Northern Kingdom was know to have more idolatry. Israel, the northern Kingdom, got its first big start when Jeroboam became the King. We see that he immediately started doing things his way versus God’s way when he told the people that they did not need to go all the way down to Jerusalem to worship, so he set up places in the Northern kingdom for them to go. Not one word from God directed him to do this.


We see that Jeroboam was not concerned about history and religious following of commandments. His intentions were to show who was King, and it was him, not God. We need to all be wary of anyone that suggests that we should follow after him. Once Paul told people to follow after him, but he immediately said "To follow me as I follow Christ." All false cult leaders take away from God leading the people to that man or woman leading the people.



Israel had 19 kings in all after the division of the kingdom. All 19 "Did that which was evil in the sight of God." Their first king as we have mentioned was Jeroboam. He lead a rebellion to take the kingdom from Solomon’s son, Rehoboam.

1 Ki 11:26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king.

He chose Shechem as the Capital for the Northern Kingdom.

1 Ki 12:25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.

1 Ki 12:26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:

We see that he established two worship shrines in the Northern Kingdom so the people would not have to go down to Jerusalem each year for the Passover.

1 Ki 12:27 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.

1 Ki 12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

1 Ki 12:29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.

1 Ki 12:30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.


We see that the aid to the worship began to be worshipped itself. When we worship God, we must worship him in spirit and truth. It is not our location or the building that is as near as important as it is a right heart before God. God knows our heart, and we need to come with a pure and perfect heart to worship. Only be seeking forgiveness through Christ can we come a worthy vessels to worship. Because of the false worship, the end of Israel is predicted. We see that Jeroboam’s main thrust as king was to unite the 10 tribes into the northern kingdom.


Israel’s second king was "Nadab". We see that he was the son of Jeroboam.

1 Ki 14:19 And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred, and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

1 Ki 14:20 And the days which Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead.

Nadab had a short reign of only 2 years.

1 Ki 15:25 And Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel two years.

1 Ki 15:26 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.

We see in verse 27 that Nadab is killed by Baasha who kills all of Jeroboam’s family.

1 Ki 15:27 And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon.

1 Ki 15:28 Even in the third year of Asa king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and reigned in his stead.

1 Ki 15:29 And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite:

In our recent study of the Kings of Israel, we found many times that Brothers would kill other brothers to keep them from taking the throne from them. We see Baasha going much further and even putting all of Nadab’s family to death. Of course with these deaths, this put an end to the dynasty of Jeroboam.


Baasha reigned after this as the third King of Israel. This began a new dynasty. He fought Judah for 24 years while he was on the throne.


1 Ki 15:32 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

1 Ki 15:33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four years.

1 Ki 15:34 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.

We see that he moved the capital to Tirzah. In the Northern Kingdom, they had no stable consistent capital like Jerusalem in the Southern Kingdom.


The fourth king of Israel was Elah. He reigned only 2 years and was killed by Zimri

1 Ki 16:8 In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son of Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two years.

1 Ki 16:9 And his servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him, as he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza steward of his house in Tirzah.

1 Ki 16:10 And Zimri went in and smote him, and killed him, in the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead.

We see that Zimri was a short reign as king indeed. Only 7 days.

1 Ki 16:15 In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. And the people were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines.

One thing we can learn from Zimri is that this life is short and fleeting. None of us has a promise of tomorrow, so we should live every day as if it were our last.

James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

James 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.


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