«
»
0 My little finger will be thicker than my father's loins (1 Kings 12)

Episode 136: My little finger will be thicker than my father's loins

1 Kings 12

The people of Israel rebel against Rehoboam

12 1 After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam went to Shechem. And all the people of Israel went there to meet him to make him king.

2 When Jeroboam heard about it, he came back to Israel from Egypt (where he had fled to avoid being killed by Solomon).

3 Jeroboam and all the people of Israel said to Rehoboam,

4 Your father Solomon was hard on us.

You need to treat us better.

5 Rehoboam said to them, "Go away and come back in three days."

6 Rehoboam asked the older men who served as his advisers, "How should I respond to these people?"

7 The old men said to him,

If you're going to be king, you need to speak kindly to them.

If you do, they'll serve you forever.

8 But he ignored the advice of the old men and asked the young men what to do.

10 The young men said that he should say the following words to the people:

My little finger will be thicker than my father's loins.

12 My father laid a heavy burden on you. I will add to your burden.

He punished you with whips; I'll punish you with scorpions.

12 On the third day Jeroboam and all the people of Israel returned to hear what king would say. And here's what he said to them:

My father laid a heavy burden on you. I will add to your burden.

He punished you with whips; I'll punish you with scorpions.

16 When everyone in Israel heard Rehoboam's words, they said to him,

We want nothing to do with David. We're going home.

17 But Rehoboam ruled over the people of Judah. 18 He sent his taskmaster Adoram to the people of Israel. But everyone in Israel stoned him to death. So Rehoboam got in his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. 19 And Israel has rebelled against David's kingdom to this very day.

20 The people of Israel made Jeroboam king of Israel. And so only the tribe of Judah still followed the house of David.

God tells everyone to go home

21 Rehoboam assembled 180,000 soldiers from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to fight against Israel and restore the kingdom in Israel.

22 But then the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God saying,

23-24 Say this to Rehoboam and all the people of Judah: "Don't fight against Israel. Go home."

So they didn't fight against Israel and everyone went home.

Jeroboam's golden calves

26 But Jeroboam was worried. He said to himself:

When the people sacrifice in God's house, they will make Rehoboam their king and kill me.

28 So Jeroboam made two golden calves and said to the people,

Here are your gods! The ones who brought you out of Egypt.

29 Jeroboam put one of the gods in Bethel, and the other in Dan.

30 And this thing became a sin.

31 Jeroboam made houses on the high places and made the lowest people priests. None of them were Levites.

32 Animals were sacrificed at Jeroboam's high places at the same times sacrifices were made in God's house in Jerusalem.

A few more words about this episode

My little finger will be thicker than my father's loins. (12:10)
"My little finger" is a biblical euphemism for penis, and so is "loins". So what Rehoboam's young friends are telling him to say is this: My penis is bigger than my dad's penis." (For more on this see Translating assertive language in 1 Kings 12:10-11)
Only the tribe of Judah still followed the house of David. (12:20)
The united kingdom of David and Solomon divided into two, with ten tribes forming the northern kingdom of Israel, and only the tribe of Judah in the southern kingdom. (There is some confusion about the tribes in the southern kingdom - was it just one, as verse 20 says, or Benjamin and Judah as in verse 21?)
No comments yet

Copyright © 1999-2023
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible

Send comments to Steve Wells
at swwells(at)gmail.com