The first king of Israel, an Ephraimite, the son of Nebat. During the latter part of Solomon’s reign, and while an officer under him, he plotted against him, and was obliged to flee into Egypt. On the death of Solomon, he was summoned by the ten tribes to return and present their demands to Rehoboam; and when these were refused, he was chosen king of the revolted tribes, B. C. 975. He reigned twentytwo years. The only notable act of his reign marked him with infamy, as the man "who made Israel to sin." It was the idolatrous establishment of golden calves at Bethel and Dan that the people might worship there and not at Jerusalem. He also superseded the sons of Aaron by priests chosen from "the lowest of the people." This unprincipled but effective measure, in which he was followed by all the kings of Israel, was a confession of weakness as well as of depravity. Neither miracles nor warnings, nor the premature death of Abijah his son could dissuade him. He was at war with Judah all his days, and with the brief reign of Nadab his son the doomed family became extinct, 1 Kings 12:1-14:20 2 Chronicles 10:1-19 13:1-22.
JEROBOAM SECOND, the thirteenth king of Israel, son and successor of Joash, B. C. 825 reigned forty-one years. He followed up his father’s successes over the Syrians, took Hamath and Damascus, and all the region east f the Jordan down to the Dead Sea, and advanced to its highest point the prosperity of that kingdom. Yet his long reign added heavily to the guilt of Israel, by increased luxury, oppression, and vice. After him, the kingdom rapidly declined, and his own dynasty perished within a year, 2 Kings 14:23-29 15:8-12. See also the contemporary prophets, particularly Amos and Hosea.