Golden Legend – History of Rehoboam

After Solomon, reigned his son Rehoboam.

He came to Sichem and thither came all the people for to ordain him king. Jeroboam and all the multitude of Israel spake to Rehoboam, and said: Thy father set on us an hard yoke and great impositions, now thou hast not so much need, therefore less it and minish it, and ease us of the great and hard burden and we shall serve thee.

Rehoboam answered and said: Go ye and come again the third day and ye shall have an answer.

When the people was departed, Rehoboam made a counsel of the seniors and old men that had assisted his father Solomon whiles he lived, and said to them: What say ye? and counsel me that I may answer to the people, which said to Rehoboam: If thou wilt obey and agree to this people, and agree to their petition, and speak fair and friendly to them, they shall serve thee always.

But Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men, and called the young men that were of his age, and asked of them counsel. And the young men that had been nourished with him bade him say to the people in this wise: Is not my finger greater than the back of my father? If my father hath laid on you a heavy burden, I shall add and put more to your burden; my father beat you with scourges, and I shall beat you with scorpions.

The third day after, Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam to have their answer, and Rehoboam left the counsel of the old men, and said to them like as the young men had counselled him. And anon the people of Israel forsook Rehoboam, and of twelve tribes, there abode with him no more but the tribe of Judah and Benjamin. And the other ten tribes departed and made Jeroboam their king, and never returned unto the house of David after unto this day. And thus for sin of Solomon, and because Rehoboam would not do after the counsel of the old men, but was counselled by young men, the ten tribes of Israel forsook him, and departed from Jerusalem, and served Jeroboam, and ordained him king upon Israel. Anon after this, Jeroboam fell to idolatry and great division was ever after between the kings of Judah and the kings of Israel. And so reigned divers kings each after other in Jerusalem after Rehoboam, and in Israel after Jeroboam. And here I leave all the history and make an end of the book of Kings for this time etc. For ye that list to know how every king reigned after other, ye may find it in the first chapter of Saint Matthew which is read on Christmas day in the morning tofore Te Deum, which is the genealogy of our Lady.