Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, is made king at Shechem. Jeroboam comes from Egypt and petitions Rehoboam to ease the heavy yoke of his father. Rehoboam’s elder servants urge a conciliatory approach, his younger servants an aggressive one. Israel splits from Judah, and makes Jeroboam king. Rehoboam’s revenue collector, Adoram, is stoned to death. Shemiah the prophet warns against a planned battle between Judah and David and the rest of Israel, and so the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel is formed. Shechem is the new capital of the northern kingdom. Jeroboam sets up golden calves for worship at Bethel and Dan. He also makes high places, and creates non-Levitic priests.
A nameless ‘man of God’ prophesies the destruction of the altar at Bethel by Josiah. As a sign that man of God’s words are true, the altar splits in two and spews ash. When Jeroboam stretches out his hand to say, ‘Arrest him!’ his hand withers. The man of God prays for Jeroboam, and his hand is restored. An invitation to eat with Jeroboam is declined, because God had commanded to return without eating anything. An old prophet persuades the man of God to eat with him, then prophesies that he shall not come to the tomb of his fathers on account of his disobedience. A lion kills the man of God on his way back. The man of God is buried in Bethel, and the old prophet asks to be buried alongside him. High places proliferate.
Jeroboam’s son, Abijah, becomes sick, so Jeroboam’s wife disguises herself and visits Ahijah the prophet, who, with God’s help, is not fooled by her disguise, and speaks against Jeroboam. In the short term, his son would die, and in the long term, his whole house would be destroyed, and the northern kingdom would be scattered. Jeroboam dies, and is replaced as king by his son Nadab. Judah sins with high places and false worship. Egypt takes Judah’s wealth, including Solomon’s golden shields, which are replaced by bronze ones. Rehoboam dies, and is replaced as king by Abijam.
Abijam reigns for three years in Judah, and walks in the sins of his father. The Lord tolerates him on account of David. Abijam goes to war against Jeroboam. Asa is the next king of Judah; he does what is right in the eyes of the Lord, and reigns 41 years. He destroys idols, although the high places are left. Asa buys the favour of king Ben-Hadad of Syria to prevent Baasha king of Israel blocking the main route from Israel into Judah at Ramah. Nadab rules over Israel for two years, and does evil. Baasha rises up against Nadab, and kills all the house of Jeroboam, as Ahijah prophesied. Baasha reigns twenty years and does evil.
Baasha dies, and God says his house will be destroyed. Elah, his son, rules over Israel. Jehu prophesies against Elah. After he has reigned for two years, Zimri kills Elah and the entire house of Baasha, rules for seven days, and is overthrown by Omri, the commander of the army. Omri wins a civil war against Tibni, rules for twelve years during the reign of Asa, does evil, dies. Ahab his son rules Israel afterwards, and does evil, marrying Jezebel the Sidonian, and building a temple to Baal at Samaria. Hiel of Bethel rebuilds Jericho, challenging the curse in Joshua 6:26.