Rehoboam, 1st king of Judah, is discussed.


Rehoboam is the son of Solomon and Naamah. He becomes king of Israel upon Solomon's death. 1 Kings 14 tells us that he took the throne when he was 41 years old and reigned for 17 years. Most sources site the begin of his rule to be 931bc, which would mean he lived from 972-914bc and was king from 931-914bc. Some scholars date the split of the kingdom to 922bc.[1] This would place Rehoboam's reign from 922-905bc, and his birth in 963bc. The bulk of Rehoboam's reign is given in 1 Kings 12, 1 Kings 14:21-31, and 2 Chronicles 10-12.

Relationship with God

Kings were to lead by example, and whether the king followed God's law or not directly effected the state of the nation. Thus each kings' relationship with God is clearly defined. Rehoboam's relationship with God appears to be pretty bad. Rehoboam causes the kingdom to split by not listening to the elders. God sends word to Rehoboam through a prophet named Shemaiah to cease fighting with the northern tribes, however, Rehoboam fights with them for his entire reign (1 Kings 12:22-24 and 1 Kings 14:30). This tells us Rehoboam didn't listen to God. In 2 Chronicles 11:16-17, we learn that under Rehoboam, Israel followed the ways of God for 3 years. Considering the fact that he reigned for 17 years, this isn't a lengthy period of faithfulness. 2 Chronicles 12 confirms that while Rehoboam had brief moments where he submitted to God, his was known for his ungodly behavior.

Family History

As the son of Solomon, Rehoboam was also the grandson of David and Bathsheba. He is thus descended from the tribe of Judah, which makes him a descendant of Boaz and Ruth.

Given the timeline, Rehoboam would have been about 2 years old when David died. One of my grandfathers died when I was 2 (about to turn 3) years old and I have no memory of him; however I still managed to pick up some of his habits. Likely, Rehoboam wouldn't have retained any memories of David, but it would have been possible for him to pick up some of David's mannerisms, quirks, and habits if he was around him long enough.

Rehoboam's mother is named Naamah. Naamah was not an Israelite, despite God specifically commanding kings to marry Israelite women. Her ties to Ammon and paganism likely influenced both Solomon and Rehoboam.[2]

Rehoboam marries many women, like his father. The details of his marriages are listed in 2 Chronicles 11. Many of these women are quiet closely related to him, though not close enough to be defined as incest biblically. Maachah, the daughter (or granddaughter) of Absalom (Rehoboam's uncle who tried to steal the throne), becomes Rehoboam's favorite wife. Although Rehoboam has 28 sons and even more daughters, it is Maachah's son who succeeds him on the throne. Maachah's son is called Abijah, Abijam, and Abia throughout the text.

Battles and Wars


In the fifth year of his reign, the city of Jerusalem is attacked by Shishak, the king of Egypt (1 Kings 14:25). Shishak, which is also written Shishaq, is generally identified as Egyptian pharaoh Shoshenq I. Interestingly, Shisak is the first pharaoh mentioned by name in the Bible. The account of Shishak launching an attack on Jerusalem is listed in the history texts of Egypt, as well.[3][4]

Shishak brings a considerable army for his attack and is able to raid the Temple of all of its treasures. Although it is not mentioned, I have to wonder if this includes the Ark of the Covenant; after all the ark is not mentioned again after it is placed in the Temple under Solomon's rule. The Israelites were likely devastated by such a defeat, and were not able to replace the expensive treasures from before. Instead, Rehoboam replaces everything with brass replicas.

Note that some sources do not identify Shoshenq I as Shishak, instead they suggest Shishak should be identified as Thutmose III.[5] This would require a significant change in the timeline as Thutmose III was pharaoh of Egypt from 1479–1426bc.[6] On the other hand, Shoshenq I was pharaoh of Egypt from 945–924bc. Using the generally agreed upon date that Rehoboam began his reign in 931bc, his 5th year would have been 926bc, 2 years before the end of Shoshenq I's reign.[4]

Cases have also been made for Rameses II to be the pharaoh called Shishak. Reading the different hypothesis is quite interesting.If you are interested in Biblical timelines and/or matching Biblical events to secular events, you should look up the information on which of these kings actually his Shishank.


It isn't surprising that Rehoboam would have been furious when the northern kingdom split from him. I can't think of a single point in history where part of a country decided to form it's own sovereign nation and the original king (or president) didn't fight to retain the territory. Some of this is about pride, but many times, it's also about wealth and power. The northern kingdoms consisted of 10 whole tribes as opposed to Judah's 2 tribes. The loss of these 10 tribes robbed Judah of both wealth and man power, something no nation wants to lose. Rehoboam did just as one would expect and went to war with Jeroboam.
Liberty taken with the depiction of Rehoboam
the Bible does not give a description of Rehoboam.


Related Posts


  1. Holman Bible Publishers. Holman KJV Study Bible, pg. 605. 2014
  2. Elizabeth Fletcher. "Naamah, wife of Solomon". Women in the Bible. 2006
  3. Associates for Biblical Research. "What evidence has been found of the Egyptian king, Shishak?". Christian Answers. 1999
  4. The Editors of Encyclop√¶dia Britannica. "Sheshonk I". Encyclopædia Brittanica. July 2, 2010
  5. Elizabeth Mitchell, PhD. "Will the Real Shishak Please Stand Up?". Answers in Genesis. March 2, 2012
  6. Peter F. Dorman and Margaret Stefana Drower. "Thutmose III". Encyclopædia Brittanica. July 1, 2010

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