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Commentary » I Kings 14:21-I Kings 14:31 »

Rehoboam’s evil reign in Judah

Charles Swindoll in his book on Grace puts it this way, “You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here’s how - guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak aro … More


Jeroboam’s reign in the northern kingdom of Israel actually covered the same period of time as the reigns of Rehoboam, Abijam and the beginning of Asa’s rule in the southern kingdom of Judah.  each ruler of Judah is introduced by reference to his age at accession, the number of years he reigned, and any family information.

This scripture covers the reign of Rehoboam who inherited a mighty kingdom from his father David. On the surface one would believe that Rehoboam would be a good and Godly leader for the nation of Israel. He was the grandson of King David and son of Solomon the two greatest kings to ever sit on the throne in Jerusalem. Having begun his reign at the age of forty-one, Rehoboam ruled for seventeen years.  He turned from the Lord after he had become established on the throne (2 Chr. v. 2:l). Wealth, idol worship, and immorality, had become more important than God.

Two important events occurred in Rehoboam’s reign. The first was the developing apostasy and immorality of his people (vv. 22-24). They actually returned to the practices of the Canaanites before them. The second event was the invasion by Shilshak, king of Egypt (vv. 25-28). This invasion was very costly to Judah. Rehoboam bought Shilshak off by giving him the vast treasury of gold that had been accumulated by Solomon. Part of this was the 200 shields of beaten gold that were replaced with shields of cheaper bronze. Shilshak’s army was not able to destroy Judah but weakened it so much that it was never the same again. The death of Rehoboam is recorded and his successor named.


Rehoboam’s public life was vastly different that his private life and the problems that this can cause. It is very easy to become so wrapped up in the gold and silver of this world, like Rehoboam did, that I stop spending time with the Lord and make things more important that God.

I Kings 14:21-31 (English Standard Version)

Now Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty- one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city that the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. His mother's name was Naamah the Ammonite. And Judah did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins that they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. For they also built for themselves high places and pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, and there were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations that the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king's house. He took away everything. He also took away all the shields of gold that Solomon had made, and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. And as often as the king went into the house of the LORD, the guard carried them and brought them back to the guardroom. Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. His mother's name was Naamah the Ammonite. And Abijam his son reigned in his place.

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