REHOBOAM, rî"h-bô'am: Son and successor of Solomon, first king of Judah after the division, his own imprudence being in large measure the cause of that division. His dates according to the old chronology were 975-957; according to Kittel 937-920. Sources are I Kings xi. 43-xii. 24, xiv. 21-31; II Chron. ix. 31-xii. The Book of Kings relates that after the death of Solomon, the Israelites went to Shechem to make Reboboam king. Naturally, this does not signify election, since Israel was not strictly an elective monarchy; nevertheless, the people seem to have retained the right to impose conditions under which it would recognize succession. At Shechem, the leaders of the northern tribes demanded a lessening of the burdens imposed upon the people. Rehoboam, at first inclined to consent, was induced to listen to the advice of his younger counselors, and harshly refused; whereupon he was rejected and his rival Jeroboam was chosen in his stead. Although the ostensible reason was the heavy burden laid upon Israel because of Solomon's great outlay for buildings and for luxury of all kinds, the real reason must rather be sought in the inborn opposition between the north and the south. The two sections had acted independently until David (q.v.), by his victories, succeeded in uniting all the tribes, though the Ephraimitic jealousy was ever ready to develop into open revolt. Religious considerations were also operative. The building of the Temple was a severe blow for the various sanctuaries scattered through the land, and the priests of the high places must have supported the revolt. Josephus (Ant., VIII., viii. 3) makes the rebels exclaim: "We leave to Rehoboam the Temple his father built."
Rehoboam's reign was uneventful, and he opposed but a feeble resistance to the revolt of the north. The only event of importance was the campaign of Shishak of Egypt, which occurred in Rehoboam's fifth year and revealed the weakness of divided Israel. The notice in II Chron. xi. 6 sqq., that Rehoboam built fifteen fortified cities, indicates that the attack was not unexpected. Nevertheless, in spite of its strong position, Jerusalem appears to have offered no serious defense, and the treasures collected by Solomon became the booty of the Egyptians. The cities mentioned in Shishak's inscription at Karnak indicate that his campaign extended beyond Judah, and it seems that Jeroboam was not spared, since the Megiddo of the inscription must be the well-known city of the northern kingdom. Possibly this may signify that Jeroboam, although the instigator of Shishak's invasion, had placed himself under the protectorate of Egypt, and that his cities were regarded by Shishak as his own. W. Spiegelberg regards the Egyptian account as untrustworthy and thinks the accounts of the Old Testament alone reliable (Aegyptologische Randglossen zum A. T., Strasburg,