The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Paralipomena
This Roboam betook himself to Sichem; at Sichem the whole of Israel had assembled to crown him king.
But meanwhile Jeroboam, son of Nabat, who had fled to Egypt to be out of king Solomon’s reach, had come back on hearing the news of his death;
and he, too, was summoned to meet them. He, and all Israel, came to make a request of Roboam;
Thy father, they said, made us bear a bitter yoke. Less thou must ask of us than those cruel exactions, those stern commands, if we are ever to be servants of thine.
Give me three days, he said, and then come back to hear my answer. So, when the people had left him,
he asked advice first of the older men that had been courtiers in the life-time of his father; what answer should he make to the people?
Why, they told him, if thou wilt but court their favour, and win them with gracious words, they will never cease giving thee loyal service.
But he left their advice unheeded, and began to take counsel instead of the younger men who had grown up with him, and were of his following;
How think you? he asked. What answer shall I make to the people’s request that I would lighten the yoke my father laid on them?
And these, men that had been brought up with him in luxurious ways, gave him advice in their turn. Do they complain that thy father laid a heavy yoke on them, and ask for relief? Then tell them there is more strength in thy little finger than in all the breadth of thy father’s back;
if his yoke fell heavy on them, thine shall be heavier still, if thy father’s weapon was the lash, thine shall be the scorpion.
So the third day came, and Jeroboam, with all the people at his back, kept their tryst with him.
And the king, instead of heeding the advice which the older men had given him, spoke to the people harshly,
with such words as the younger men would have him use, If my father’s yoke fell heavy on you, mine shall be heavier still, if his weapon was the lash, mine shall be the scorpion.
Thus the king refused to fall in with the people’s request; the Lord’s will was to give effect to the promise he had made, through Ahias the Silonite, to Jeroboam son of Nabat.
The people, thus churlishly answered, cried out, David is none of ours, not for us the son of Jesse; go back, men of Israel, to your homes! David’s rule for David’s tribe! And with that, Israel dispersed to their homes,
leaving Roboam to reign over such Israelites as lived in the cities of Juda.
And now, when Aduram, who had charge of the levy, came to them in the king’s name, the Israelites stoned him to death; whereupon Roboam mounted his chariot and betook himself, with all speed, to Jerusalem.
From that day to this, the men of Israel have refused allegiance to the dynasty of David.✻
The Holy Bible