REHOBOAM


REHOBOAM
REHOBOAM (Heb. רְחַבְעָם; "the (divine) kinsman has been generous" or "the people has expanded"), king of Judah for 17 years (c. 928–911 B.C.E.); son of Solomon by Naamah the Ammonitess (I Kings 14:21; II Chron. 12:13). Rehoboam's name is connected with one of the most important events in the early history of Israel, namely, the division of David's united monarchy into two separate kingdoms (see israel ; jeroboam son of Nebat). On Solomon's death, Rehoboam went to Shechem, "for all Israel had come to Shechem to acclaim him as king" (I Kings 12:1; II Chron. 10:1). The words "all Israel" here evidently refer to only the northern tribes, since Rehoboam seems to have been accepted by Judah as a matter of course (I Kings 11:43; II Chron. 9:31). As a precondition for accepting him as king, the representatives of Israel made the following demand of Rehoboam: "Lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke upon us, and we will serve you" (I Kings 12:4; II Chron. 10:4; see solomon ). Rehoboam asked the people to wait three days for his reply, and first consulted "the old men, who had served his father Solomon while he was alive" (I Kings 12:6). They advised him to accede to the people's request, thereby ensuring himself their loyalty "for ever" (12:7). But the king rejected the elders' counsel, preferring to be guided by the "young men who had grown up with him" (12:8); who counseled a hard line. He is reported to have used the words: "Whereas my father laid upon you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions" (12:8–14). He also was swayed by the vulgarism of his advisers, who told him to tell the people, "My little one (i.e., my penis) is thicker than my father's loins." The people replied: "What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel\! Look now to your own house, David" (12:16). The Israelites chose as their king Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had previously returned from Egypt (12:3, 20). Naturally, Rehoboam did not recognize the legality of the split and provocatively sent adoram "who was taskmaster over the corvee " in order to assert his rule, but the people stoned Adoram to death (I Kings 12:18). Rehoboam was forced to flee to Jerusalem and then to wage a prolonged war against Jeroboam, in a vain effort to reunite Israel with Judah (I Kings 12:21; 15:6; I Chron. 11:1; 12:15). The split in the kingdom and the prolonged fighting between Rehoboam and Jeroboam weakened the Israelites, and at the same time encouraged their neighbors not only to throw off Israelite rule and proclaim their absolute independence (see aram , ammon , moab , edom , and philistines ), but even to attempt to enlarge their own territories at the expense of Israel and Judah. As a defensive measure, Rehoboam ringed his kingdom with a system of forts (II Chron. 11:5–12). On the west he fortified Aijalon, Zorah, Azekah, Soco, Gath, Mareshah, and Lachish; on the south, Lachish, Adoraim, and Ziph; and on the east, Ziph, Hebron, Beth-Zur, Tekoa, Etam, and Beth-Lehem. Possibly Rehoboam refrained from fortifying his border with the kingdom of Israel as an expression of his refusal to accept the split. Although the list of the fortified cities built by Rehoboam appears in the Bible before the account of Pharaoh shishak 's invasion of Palestine, most scholars are of the opinion that Rehoboam carried out the work of fortification only after the Egyptian campaign. According to the two versions found in the Bible, the campaign took place in the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign (I Kings 14:25; II Chron. 12:2). The Egyptian king advanced into Judah with a large army, took the fortified cities "and came as far as Jerusalem" (II Chron. 12:3–4). Shishak carried off the Temple treasures, including the gold shields, and the treasures of the king's house. From the Egyptian list of places and cities captured by Shishak, it is clear that the campaign was not only directed against Judah but also, and mainly, against the kingdom of Israel (see jeroboam son of Nebat). Jerusalem is not mentioned in the list (at least, not in the extant sections of it), from which it may be deduced that Shishak did not conquer the city, but only passed threateningly close to it (cf. 12:7–8). Rehoboam went out to the north of Jerusalem to meet Shishak and paid tribute to him, thereby saving the city from conquest. Shishak's campaign led to the destruction of many of the cities of Judah, particularly those in the Negev, including Ezion-Geber on the coast of the Red Sea. Fortunately for Judah and Israel and the other little states of the region, however, Egypt lacked the unity and strength to maintain a permanent suzerainty over them. See abijah . (Bustanay Oded) -In the Aggadah David praised God for having permitted Ammonite and Moabite women in marriage, since this allowed him (a descendant of Ruth, a Moabite woman) and Rehoboam (the son of Naamah, an Ammonite woman) to enter into the assembly of Israel (Yev. 77a). The treasures which the Jews removed from Egypt (Ex. 12:36) were retained, until Shishak, the king of Egypt, took them away from Rehoboam (Pes. 119a). All the curses with which David cursed Joab (II Sam. 3:29) were fulfilled in David's own descendants, Rehoboam being afflicted with a gonorrheal flux (Sanh. 48b). The rabbis, emphasizing the message to be derived from Rehoboam's failure, declared that the king is the servant of the people and not their ruler (Hor. 10a–b). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Bright, Hist, 209–14; Malamat, in: JNES, 22 (1963), 247–53; Evans, in: JNES, 25 (1966), 273–9; Tadmor, in: Journal of World History, 9 (1968), 12–17. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Evans, in: ABD, 5:661–64; N. Na'aman, in: L. Handy (ed.), The Age of Solomon (1997), 57–61; M. Cogan, I Kings (AB; 2001), 345–56; A. Rainey and R. Notley, The Sacred Bridge (2006), 185–89. IN THE AGGADAH: Ginzberg, Legends, S.V. index.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rehoboam — (Hebrew:רחבעם Rehav am) was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Judah, succeeding his father Solomon. His grandfather was David. He was the third king of the House of David and the first of the Kingdom of Judah. His mother was Naamah the Ammonitess …   Wikipedia

  • réhoboam — [ reɔbɔam ] n. m. • déb. XXe ; angl. Rehoboam, n. d un fils de Salomon → jéroboam ♦ Grosse bouteille de champagne d une contenance de six bouteilles ordinaires. ● réhoboam nom masculin Grosse bouteille de champagne, d une contenance de six… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Rehoboam — Réhoboam Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Théologie Réhoboam est une des transcriptions du nom de Roboam Ier, roi de Juda et fils du roi Salomon selon la Bible. Œnologie Le réhoboam est… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rehoboam — [rē΄hə bō′əm] n. [Heb rechavam, lit., prob., enlarger of the people] 1. Bible the first king of Judah: 2 Chron. 9:31 12:16 2. [usually r ] Winemaking a wine bottle, esp. one for champagne, holding about 4.5 liters, about three times as much as a… …   English World dictionary

  • Rehoboam —    He enlarges the people, the successor of Solomon on the throne, and apparently his only son. He was the son of Naamah the Ammonitess, some well known Ammonitish princess (1 Kings 14:21; 2 Chr. 12:13). He was forty one years old when he… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Réhoboam — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Théologie Réhoboam est une des transcriptions du nom de Roboam, roi de Juda et fils du roi Salomon selon la Bible. Œnologie Le réhoboam est une bouteille… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rehoboam — (fl. 10th cent, BCE)    King of Judah (930 908 BCE). He was the son of Solomon by his wife Naamah. When he refused to moderate his policy of taxation, the country split into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; only the tribes of Judah, Simeon and… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Rehoboam — Son of Solomon. He succeeded to the throne but of Judah only because the northern tribes rejected Rehoboam s proposed tax increases and accepted Jeroboam as king. He reigned probably from 926 to 910 BCE, and in 920 failed to repel an Egyptian… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • rehoboam — noun a wine bottle of about six times the standard size. Origin C19: from Rehoboam, a king of ancient Israel …   English new terms dictionary

  • rehoboam — /riəˈboʊəm/ (say reeuh bohuhm) noun a large wine bottle with a capacity equal to six 750 ml bottles, i.e. 4.5 litres. {named after Rehoboam, reigned ? 922–? 915 BC, first king of Judah; term used in parallel with jeroboam} …   Australian English dictionary


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