Day 162: Rehobo′am Seeks Counsel

Introduction to DIVIDED KINGDOM (with Jeff Cavins)

1 Kings 12:1-19 After the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam was anointed king. Jeroboam, who had been in charge of forced labor under Solomon, fled the country in fear. Against the advice of his elder counselors, Rehoboam abused his laborers by unreasonably increasing his demands on them. This cruel oppression of the workers was a grievous violation of moral law; God would use the consequences of this injustice-and the discontent it caused-to bring about the fulfillment of his will. The northern tribes formally broke away from Judah and Israel was again divided. (CCC 2425)

1 Kings 12:20-33 The severance of the Northern Kingdom from Judah was much more serious than a mere political divide since it involved a division in religious faith and practice. These religious deviations became a form of apostasy, not unlike the cult of the golden calf that developed in the desert in Moses’ absence. Apostasy against the Catholic Faith is a grave sin. (CCC 817, 2089, 2577)

2 Chronicles 10-28 These chapters contain stories of the various kings of Judah who came after Solomon. Whereas the two Books of Kings relate the history of BOTH Judah and Israel, 2 Chronicles focuses primarily  on Judah with little attention given to the kings of Israel. The separation between the two kingdoms is downplayed to convey a greater sense of an unbroken DAVIDIC DYNASTY. More concerned with the history of the Temple and the worship of Israel than with its military record, 2 Chronicles evaluates each king primarily according to his fidelity to the prescribed liturgical directives that were inspired by God himself. 

Ch 10:1-19 Rehoboam’s decision to increase the burden imposed on the people immediately caused a rift between Judah and the Northern Kingdom. Nevertheless, this division fell into line with God’s plan for Israel. 

Ch 11:1-23 This book conveys the idea that the people in the Kingdom of Judah were the authentic Israel rather than those of the Northern Kingdom. The contrasts between the two kingdoms are specifically exhibited in their respective worship. For example, when Jeroboam made himself King of Israel and established his own priesthood and his own form of worship, the Levites in the north fled to Judah to continue the correct worship of the Lord. For his fidelity, Rehoboam was rewarded with progeny and prosperity in the cities he built and fortified. 

The Song of Solomon




Song of Solomon 1-8 This book-sometimes called the Song of Songs, or the Canticle of Canticles-is unique among the books of Scripture: it is a poem of human love that makes no explicit mention of God. Nevertheless, it has long been understood in Jewish and Christian tradition as an allegory about the love of God for his people. This book was one of the biblical texts read in Jewish communities on the evening of Passover, which commemorates God’s liberation of his people from the Egyptians. (CCC 1334, 1363, 2057)

Ch 1:1-4 Throughout this book references are made to the “lover” and “beloved.” At the outset the speaker is the woman who pursues her future spouse. Although her desire for him is great, she cannot approach him unless he beckons, or “draws,” her toward himself. The “lover” thus prefigures Christ who said later, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me” (Jn 14:6) (TYPOLOGY!!!). (CCC 459)

Ch 1:5-17 The imagery implies that the beloved has committed some fault or sin, which is why she pursues her lover so as not to lose him over her misdeed. This is readily seen as Israel’s periodic penitence and reconciliation with God, but it also suggests the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance, which forgive our sins and restore us in grace. Likewise, it points to the Church herself, who is burdened often by the sins of her members and yet made beautiful again through God’s freely given grace. (CCC 825)

Ch 1:7 The Catechism quotes this verse to describe CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER. St. Teresa of Avila described contemplative prayer as “nothing else than a close sharing between friends...taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us” (The Book of Her Life); it also means seeking the one “whom my soul loves” (Sg 1:7). (CCC 2709)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Key Event 41: The Kingdom Divides (1 Kings 12:16-20)

David and Solomon reign over all twelve tribes of Israel and even the surrounding nations.  After Solomon, the kingdom divides when Jeroboam leads the ten northern tribes in revolt, resulting in two separate kingdoms: Israel in the north and Judah in the south.

Divided Kingdom


Return to Egypt?

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. We thank you for all these three books, for Kings, for Chronicles, and now for this first turn into the book of the Song of Solomon. We ask that you please open our hearts to be able to praise your name. Open our minds to be able to just grasp the reality of what happened with the Divided Kingdom of Israel and how that can happen in our own lives as well. Because without you, we are divided. Without you, we are always prone to fail. And so be with us this moment and every moment. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”

Dustin's Insights 

1 Kgs. 12:

My Study Color Code

Suffering, Martyrdom Places The Church, Sacraments, Divinity Horticultural Imagery People Messianic Kingship Sin, Death, Decay