Divided Kingdom

English Language Study for Russian Orthodox Learners

Divided Kingdom

The united kingdom of Israel existed for 120 years.  Three kings ruled the country: Saul, David and Solomon.  Each was on the throne for forty years.  When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became king.

The people of Israel gathered and asked the new king to make their lives easier.  Solomon had put a heavy yoke on them, and they hoped Rehoboam’s rule would be different.

Rehoboam told them he would make his decision in three days.

First, he asked for advice from the old wise men who advised his father.  And they said to him, “If you will be kind to this people and please them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants for ever.”(12:7)  Rehoboam did not listen to the wise men but took counsel (посоветовался) with the young people, who gave him bad advice.

After three days, Rehoboam spoke to Israel and repeated what the young people had told him.  “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.” (12:11)

The Israelites did not like this, and they did not want to serve the new king.  Soon, ten houses* of Israel rose up (восстали) against Rehobaom.  They formed their own kingdom, called Israel, and chose a different king.

Only the house of Judah and part of the house of Benjamin remained with Rehoboam.  They called their kingdom Judah.  Judah was smaller than Israel.

The kingdom of Israel existed until 721 B.C. when the Assyrians destroyed it.  The kingdom of Judah existed until 586 B.C. when it was conquered by Babylon.

divided kingdom after the reign of Solomon

Карта разделённого Израильского государства
после царя Соломона


* Слово house в Библии на английском языке употребляется в значении «род», «колено».