Differences and Similarities between Rehoboam and Jeroboam
The first kings of the divided kingdom; Israel and Judah, were Rehoboam and Jeroboam. During the reign of king Solomon, the Lord promised that he would tear the kingdom away from him and give it to one of his subordinates (1 Kings 11:11). However, because of the relationship God had with Solomon’s father, he chose to institute this change upon the demise of King Solomon. One distinctive factor about Rehoboam and Jeroboam is that at some point in their lives, they both lived under the instruction or mentorship of King Solomon. Jeroboam was a servant of the King whereas Rehoboam was the son of the King thus their differences and similarities mainly emanates from their different familial backgrounds and the example offered by their mentor respectively.
From their common point of departure as psychics to King Solomon, Jeroboam and Rehoboam shared many things in common. They had both witnessed the lifestyle of King Solomon, especially with respect to the worship of idols. They had seen the extent to which King Solomon had shown utter contempt to the commands and statutes of the Lord his God. Therefore, when they became kings, they continued with this way of life. When Rehoboam was king, he set up high places and altars for foreign gods and in the course of this worship of idols, the people engaged in all kinds of detestable deeds therein (1 Kings 14:22-24). This was in keeping with the same religious traditions that were introduced by his mother to King Solomon. Similarly, when Jeroboam became king in the southern Kingdom, he feared that the kingdom was likely to be reverted to the house of David if the people will go all the way to Jerusalem to worship so he made golden calves and set them up in Bethel and Dan and he told the people that these gods brought them out of Egypt (1 Kings 12: 26-28).
They also saw the extensive power wielded by King Solomon and they both desired to be powerful. They were both insecure about losing their kingdoms. They, therefore, ensured that they had the backing of powerful armies. There was continuous warfare between the two kings in the entire course of their reign. This was despite the fact that God had specifically instructed them not to engage in warfare (1 Kings 12:24). In many ways, they were both disobedient to the instructions that had been given by God.
There are also many differences that were exhibited by Rehoboam and Jeroboam. The first point of divergence emanates from their familial background. Whereas Rehoboam belonged to the royal family and had inherited his seat from his father, Jeroboam was an official who had been appointed by King Solomon. Another difference is that whereas Jeroboam sought to endear himself to the people, Rehoboam, due to his entitlement, saw no need for that. When the people tried to negotiate with him with respect to the issue of taxation, he blatantly told them that he would impose even greater taxes than his father ever did (1 Kings 12:10).
In conclusion, Rehoboam and Jeroboam share a myriad of similarities and differences. Their similarities mainly emanate from the fact that they continued with the culture and way of life that had been introduced by King Solomon their mentor. Their point of divergence mainly stems from their different familial backgrounds.