The Berean Expositor
Volume 30 - Page 70 of 179
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"So when all Israel saw that the King hearkened not unto them, the people answered
the King, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son
of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed
unto their tents" (I Kings 12: 16).
We must next consider the testimony of Scripture with regard to the fate of this
divided kingdom, and particularly what is said of the ten-tribed Kingdom of Israel.
Before passing on to this, however, we would draw attention to the statement made in the
next verse, namely, I Kings 12: 17:
"But as for the children of ISRAEL, which dwelt in the cities of JUDAH, Rehoboam
reigned over THEM."
It is therefore a Scriptural fact that there was a remnant of Israel associated with the
House of David. With the flight of years, this remnant, left behind with Rehoboam,
would multiply, and so ensure the presence of representatives of all twelve tribes, even
though but "one tribe", intact and undivided, had sided with Rehoboam.
Again, further on in the same chapter, we read:
"Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, King of Judah, and unto all the house of
JUDAH and BENJAMIN, and to the REMNANT of the people" (I Kings 12: 23).
Even after this, when Jeroboam had been made King over the ten tribes, he felt uneasy
about the attraction that the Temple services at Jerusalem would still exert over all the
tribes of Israel.
"And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
if this people go up to sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart
of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam King of Judah, and they
shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam King of Judah" (I Kings 12: 26, 27).
To counteract this great attraction, Jeroboam deliberately introduced idolatry into his
"The King . . . . . made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you
to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee out of the land of
Egypt" (I Kings 12: 28).
This sinful action stemmed the tide, and saved the kingdom as a whole from drifting
back to Judah, but we must not assume that it prevented hundreds of those who were
faithful to God from leaving Samaria and returning to Judah to join the little remnant of
Israel that remained. The Scriptures definitely confirm that this was so.
In the First Book of Chronicles we have the genealogies of those who returned from
the Babylonian captivity, and we find therein this entry:
"And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin,
and of the children of EPHRAIM, and MANASSEH" (I Chron. 9: 3).