1 Kings 12: A Divided Kingdom

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 107–108

In 1 Kings 11 we read that the prophet Ahijah told a man named Jeroboam, of the tribe of Ephraim, who worked closely with Solomon, that Jeroboam would be king over ten of the tribes of Israel. Solomon knew of Jeroboam’s rebellion and sought to take his life, but Jeroboam fled.When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam was made king. At the time Solomon died, many people in Israel were unhappy about the many taxes Solomon had put on them. They were waiting to support Rehoboam until he told them what he would do about the taxes. This is when the events in 1 Kings 12 took place.In 1 Kings 12, Rehoboam sought advice from different groups of people concerning what he should do. Who are the different people in your life who give you guidance? Whose counsel do you listen to, and why? As you read, try to imagine you were in Rehoboam’s place. Whose advice would you have chosen, and why? To whom may we turn for guidance and inspiration in our daily lives?
torn map of Israel and Judah

Understanding the Scriptures

1 Kings 12

Yoke (vv. 4, 9–11, 14)Burden 
Grievous (v. 4)Difficult 
Consulted (vv. 6, 9)Asked advice 
Forsook (v. 8)Rejected 
Loins (v. 10)Waist 
Chastised (vv. 11, 14)Disciplined 
Remnant (v. 23)Others, the remaining part 
Devised (v. 33)Made up 

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study 1 Kings 12.

Activity A iconWhat Should He Do?

  1. 1.

    Make a chart like the one shown here and fill it in so that it tells the story found in 1 Kings 12:1–20.

The problem (see vv. 1–5)

Advice from the “old men” (see vv. 6–7)

Advice from the “young men” (see vv. 9–11)

What Rehoboam did (see vv. 8, 12–15)

  1. 2.

    Why do you think Rehoboam decided to take the young men’s advice?

  2. 3.

    What groups of people try to influence your decisions? How do you choose which counsel to follow? Why is prayer essential in the decision-making process? (see D&C 30:1–2).

Activity B iconWhat Would You Do?

  1. 1.

    In the story in 1 Kings 12:25–33, what was Jeroboam worried about?

  2. 2.

    If you were living in Israel at the time, what would be the right thing to do, and why?