…Psalm 82: Division between Israel and Judah

   “What share have we in David?  We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse…

     Every man to your own tents, O Israel  Look after your own house, O David!”


ISRAEL [northern Kingdom]
JUDAH [southern kingdom]

This is one of the great “turning points” in the history of Israel.  From this point on, the southern kingdom will be known as Judah, with Jerusalem as its capital–and there will always be a descendant of David as their king. The northern kingdom, composed of the other ten tribes, will be known as Israel.

As Solomon experienced a rise to unprecedented heights of personal prosperity and security, he fell as victim to moral weakness and political conflict.  The kingdom is now under his son Rehoboam’s reign, and is following in his father’s footsteps and heading toward disaster.  He tries to set even greater burdens than his father Solomon had already put on the people of Israel, and this will cause rebellion among the people. The two kingdoms divide and the northern ten tribes will appoint a new king—Jeroboam.

In the north, Jeroboam quickly leads Israel into idolatry.  Over the next 25 years Israel will prove to be so wicked that it will produce self-proclaimed prophets.   The Levites would continue to remain faithful to God and others who remained righteous in God’s sight fled to Judah to join with them.  Because of their idolatry and wickedness, when the fall of the northern kingdom takes place it will be so great it will never recover.  There will be civil conflict between the northern and southern kingdoms as well as wars with foreign enemies.

Only two tribes of the southern kingdom, Judah and Benjamin will remain with Rehoboam.   Overtime however, Judah will also turn its face to idolatry.

1 Kings 12:1-5

1  Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king.  2  Now when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, he was living in Egypt (for he was yet in Egypt, where he  had fled from the presence of King Solomon).  3  Then they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying,  4  “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.”  5  Then he said to them, “Depart for three days, then return to me. I will give you my answer.” So the people departed.

1 Kings 12:16-19  Rehoboam determines to put even harder demands than His father Solomon on all of Israel

16  When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying,  “What portion do we have in David now? We now have no inheritance in the son of Jesse— To your tents, O Israel!   Now look after your own house, David!”  So Israel departed to their tents.

All but Judah Rebel    17  But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.  18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, to who was over the forced laborin Israel, and all Israel stoned him to death.  And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee back to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel [northern kingdom] has been in rebellion against the house of David [Judah] to this day.

PSALM 82   
1     God stands in the congregation of the mighty;
     He judges among the gods.
2     How long will you judge unjustly,
     And show partiality to the wicked?      Selah 
3     Defend the poor and fatherless,
     Do justice to the afflicted and the needy.
4     Deliver the poor and needy, free them from the hand of the wicked.
5     They do not know, nor do they understand;
     They walk about in darkness, all the foundations of the earth are unstable.
6     I said, “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.
7     But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”
8     Arise, O God, judge the earth–
     For You shall inherit all nations