2 Chronicles 10:10
Tough but fair, Solomon (son of Dave) was the King of Israel at its peak. When he dies, his son Rehoboam has big shoes to fill.
And there’s a problem. His subjects are discontent.
“Your father made our yoke difficult,” the people say. “Mate, just lighten our load a bit and we’ll serve you.”
Rehoboam, still new to this whole responsibility thing, doesn’t know exactly what to do. Thankfully, he seeks the advice of the wisest elders in the land.
“You’d better do what they say, son,” advise the advisors.
But before the he effects any changes, the new king, knowing the value of a second opinion, decides to ask his old school friends what they think he should say to the people.
“Here’s what you should tell them,” they reply: “‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! My father burdened you with a heavy yoke? I’ll add to your yoke! My father disciplined you with whips? I’ll discipline you with scorpions!’”
If the meaning of the finger/loins comparison is not clear to you, let’s just say that Rehoboam would be claiming to be the bigger man. If you’re still confused, I’ll let this article by a guy named John explain further.
The bad news: Rehoboam decides his friends’ suggestion is the better one.
The good news: When he gives the speech his friends suggested, he does actually leave out the bit about the loins. He leaves the scorpions in, though.
The really bad news: After hearing the king’s response to their request, ten out of the twelve tribes of Israel secede and appoint their own King of Israel, a guy named Jeroboam. The kingdom is divided and at war for hundreds of years until eventually both halves are conquered by foreign empires and all their citizens exiled.
Nice one, Rehoboam.