4 “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke which your father laid on us, and we will serve you.”
ד אָבִיךָ הִקְשָׁה אֶת־עֻלֵּנוּ וְאַתָּה עַתָּה הָקֵל מֵעֲבֹדַת אָבִיךָ הַקָּשָׁה וּמֵעֻלּוֹ הַכָּבֵד אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן עָלֵינוּ וְנַעַבְדֶךָּ׃
5 He answered them, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.
ה וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם לְכוּ עֹד שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים וְשׁוּבוּ אֵלָי וַיֵּלְכוּ הָעָם׃
7 They answered him, “If you will be a servant to those people today and serve them, and if you respond to them with kind words, they will be your servants always.”
ז וידבר [וַיְדַבְּרוּ] אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר אִם־הַיּוֹם תִּהְיֶה־עֶבֶד לָעָם הַזֶּה וַעֲבַדְתָּם וַעֲנִיתָם וְדִבַּרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם דְּבָרִים טוֹבִים וְהָיוּ לְךָ עֲבָדִים כָּל־הַיָּמִים׃
8 But he ignored the advice that the elders gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.
ח וַיַּעֲזֹב אֶת־עֲצַת הַזְּקֵנִים אֲשֶׁר יְעָצֻהוּ וַיִּוָּעַץ אֶת־הַיְלָדִים אֲשֶׁר גָּדְלוּ אִתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר הָעֹמְדִים לְפָנָיו׃
9 “What,” he asked, “do you advise that we reply to the people who said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father placed upon us’?”
ט וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם מָה אַתֶּם נוֹעָצִים וְנָשִׁיב דָּבָר אֶת־הָעָם הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר דִּבְּרוּ אֵלַי לֵאמֹר הָקֵל מִן־הָעֹל אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן אָבִיךָ עָלֵינוּ׃
10 And the young men who had grown up with him answered, “Speak thus to the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us.’ Say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins.
י וַיְדַבְּרוּ אֵלָיו הַיְלָדִים אֲשֶׁר גָּדְלוּ אִתּוֹ לֵאמֹר כֹּה־תֹאמַר לָעָם הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר דִּבְּרוּ אֵלֶיךָ לֵאמֹר אָבִיךָ הִכְבִּיד אֶת־עֻלֵּנוּ וְאַתָּה הָקֵל מֵעָלֵינוּ כֹּה תְּדַבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם קָטָנִּי עָבָה מִמָּתְנֵי אָבִי׃
11 My father imposed a heavy yoke on you, and I will add to your yoke; my father flogged you with whips, but I will flog you with scorpions.’”
יא וְעַתָּה אָבִי הֶעְמִיס עֲלֵיכֶם עֹל כָּבֵד וַאֲנִי אוֹסִיף עַל־עֻלְּכֶם אָבִי יִסַּר אֶתְכֶם בַּשּׁוֹטִים וַאֲנִי אֲיַסֵּר אֶתְכֶם בָּעַקְרַבִּים׃
13 The king answered the people harshly, ignoring the advice that the elders had given him.
יג וַיַּעַן הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־הָעָם קָשָׁה וַיַּעֲזֹב אֶת־עֲצַת הַזְּקֵנִים אֲשֶׁר יְעָצֻהוּ׃
14 He spoke to them in accordance with the advice of the young men, and said, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father flogged you with whips, but I will flog you with scorpions.”
יד וַיְדַבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם כַּעֲצַת הַיְלָדִים לֵאמֹר אָבִי הִכְבִּיד אֶת־עֻלְּכֶם וַאֲנִי אֹסִיף עַל־עֻלְּכֶם אָבִי יִסַּר אֶתְכֶם בַּשּׁוֹטִים וַאֲנִי אֲיַסֵּר אֶתְכֶם בָּעַקְרַבִּים׃
15 (The king did not listen to the people; for Hashem had brought it about in order to fulfill the promise that Hashem had made through Achiya the Shilonite to Yerovam son of Nebat.)
16 When all Yisrael saw that the king had not listened to them, the people answered the king: “We have no portion in David, No share in Yishai’s son! To your tents, O Yisrael! Now look to your own House, O David.” So the Israelites returned to their homes.
17 But Rechovam continued to reign over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Yehuda.
20 When all Yisrael heard that Yerovam had returned, they sent messengers and summoned him to the assembly and made him king over all Yisrael. Only the tribe of Yehuda remained loyal to the House of David.
21 On his return to Yerushalayim, Rechovam mustered all the House of Yehuda and the tribe of Binyamin, 180,000 picked warriors, to fight against the House of Yisrael, in order to restore the kingship to Rechovam son of Shlomo.
22 But the word of Hashem came to Shemaya, the man of Hashem:
כב וַיְהִי דְּבַר הָאֱלֹהִים אֶל־שְׁמַעְיָה אִישׁ־הָאֱלֹהִים לֵאמֹר׃
24 Thus said Hashem: You shall not set out to make war on your kinsmen the Israelites. Let every man return to his home, for this thing has been brought about by Me.” They heeded the word of Hashem and turned back, in accordance with the word of Hashem.
כד כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה לֹא־תַעֲלוּ וְלֹא־תִלָּחֲמוּן עִם־אֲחֵיכֶם בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל שׁוּבוּ אִישׁ לְבֵיתוֹ כִּי מֵאִתִּי נִהְיָה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶת־דְּבַר יְהוָה וַיָּשֻׁבוּ לָלֶכֶת כִּדְבַר יְהוָה׃
27 If these people still go up to offer sacrifices at the House of Hashem in Yerushalayim, the heart of these people will turn back to their master, King Rechovam of Yehuda; they will kill me and go back to King Rechovam of Yehuda.”
28 So the king took counsel and made two golden calves. He said to the people, “You have been going up to Yerushalayim long enough. This is your god, O Yisrael, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”
va-yi-va-ATZ ha-ME-lekh va-YA-as sh’-NAY eg-LAY za-HAV va-YO-mer a-lay-HEM rav la-KHEM may-a-LOT y’-ru-sha-LA-im hi-NAY e-lo-HE-kha yis-ra-AYL a-SHER he-e-LU-kha may-E-retz mizt-RA-yim
12:28 You have been going up to Yerushalayim long enough
The division of the people of Israel into two kingdoms – Yisrael in the north and Yehuda in the south – is a tragedy. Yerovam, the king of Israel, wants to prevent the people under his control from making pilgrimages to the Beit Hamikdash in Yerushalayim, which is located in the rival kingdom of Yehuda. Yerovam is afraid that his people will kill him if they decide that the king of Judah, Rechovam, son of King Shlomo, is the true king. Therefore, Yerovam tells his subjects not to travel to Yerushalayim. He erects idolatrous golden calves, and establishes his own festivals within the northern kingdom. This leads the people to idolatry and hastens the end of his kingdom. It is easy to see that severing the connection to Yerushalayim is both spiritually and physically dangerous. It results both in distance from Hashem and lack of unity among the people, ultimately leading to destruction and exile.Comment
כט וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת־הָאֶחָד בְּבֵית־אֵל וְאֶת־הָאֶחָד נָתַן בְּדָן׃
ל וַיְהִי הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה לְחַטָּאת וַיֵּלְכוּ הָעָם לִפְנֵי הָאֶחָד עַד־דָּן׃
31 He also made cult places and appointed Kohanim from the ranks of the people who were not of Levite descent.
לא וַיַּעַשׂ אֶת־בֵּית בָּמוֹת וַיַּעַשׂ כֹּהֲנִים מִקְצוֹת הָעָם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־הָיוּ מִבְּנֵי לֵוִי׃
32 He stationed at Beit El the Kohanim of the shrines that he had appointed to sacrifice to the calves that he had made. And Yerovam established a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month; in imitation of the festival in Yehuda, he established one at Beit El, and he ascended the altar [there].
33 On the fifteenth day of the eighth month—the month in which he had contrived of his own mind to establish a festival for the Israelites—Yerovam ascended the mizbayach that he had made in Beit El. As he ascended the altar to present an offering,