"To Your Tents, O Israel"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 183

Context: After the death of King Solomon, his son Rehoboam is crowned king of Israel at Schechem. In the meantime, the people notify Jeroboam, who had fled to Egypt when Solomon discovered that the prophet Ahijah had disclosed to Jeroboam that he should govern ten of the tribes of Israel and that Solomon's son should reign over only one tribe. Jeroboam heads a large delegation of Israelites in petitioning Rehoboam to improve their condition and in pledging that they, in return, will support him as king. Solomon's sages advise Rehoboam to promise to be the servant of the people, but he, choosing to follow the advice of his young friends, replies to the delegation that he will be much more oppressive than Solomon was. At these words the division of Israel commences:

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So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed to their tents.

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