DIVISION OF THE KINGDOM (1 Kings 12-1 ff)
The kingdom disintegrated due to immediate and under lying causes. There was tension during Rehoboam`s term of office which finally led to the division of the Kingdom.
Rehoboam was Solomon`s son he succeeded his father as King but it was necessary for him to win support from the people. Jeroboam became King of the Northern Kingdom with approval of prophet Ahijah.
King Rehoboam sent Abloniram who was in charge of forced labour and they stoned him to death. In this way he is believed of threatening God`s people.
The people of Israel invited Jehoboam and made him King of Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to David.
- Rehoboam refused to listen to advice from the elders.
- Rehoboam took on advice from the young men who were less experienced.
- Rehoboam`s insistence that he would increase the burden.
- Rehoboam tried to use force to bring back the people.
- Rehoboam was insensitive and did not weigh the impact of the answer
- Rehoboam failed to utilize the time he gave himself
LONG TERM CAUSES
- The first cause stems from David`s term of office. David ruled Judah for 7yrs before he could be accepted by the Northerners. This portrayed that the northerners did not accept him. They even hated his son and grandson.
- Solomon also contributed to the disintegration in the following ways;
- He was responsible for forced labour and extravagant of the royal court his administration aimed at obtaining supplies and taxes from each district.
- The people also had anger over the unfair distribution of resources between the people and the King`s court. Also between the southern and northern region hence many people rejected Rehoboam.
- Solomon used a lot of wealth in making Jerusalem a great capital city and neglected other areas. The members of the royal court, officials and other important men around the King lived in luxury while the ordinary people lived under increasing oppression and in justice.
- There was open syncretism in worship and even constructed temples for other gods in David`s city. This was the very reason why God sent prophet Alijah to perform a dramatic sign.
- Shemaiah`s prophecy 1 King 12:21-24
- God`s will through prophet Alijah.
EFFECTS OF THE DISINTERGRATION
In the North, Jeroboam was determined to stop people from going to Jerusalem because he thought that they would transfer their support (allegiance) to King Rehoboam. He established his capital city at Tirzah but it was later replaced by Somalia.
Jeroboam took on a bad step of making golden bulls to act as symbols of power of Israel`s God. In this way, he led his people into open idolatry. He used to go to Bethel and Dan to worship golden bulls.
He constructed places of worship on hill tops.
He selected priests from ordinary families. He ordained as priests anyone who wanted to be.
He used to offer sacrifices to the golden bull. In the South people built places of worship for false gods and also put up stone pillars and symbols of Asherah to worship on hill tops.
Men and women served as prostitutes at pagan places of worship.
The 2 Kingdoms weakened military and they became more vulnerable to outside attacks.
The 2 nations became enemies to one another. They were at times at war with eachother.
There was introduction of foreign alliance. The 2 nations were trying to get foreign support so as to weaken the other.
Amidst all, God looked at the 2 nations in the same way i.e. he would send them messengers to help him bring back his people i.e. Prophet Amos was from Judah but was sent to prophecy in Israel.