Yerovam's Rebellion

Introduction

This topic has not yet undergone editorial review

Rebel Without a Cause?

Melakhim I Chapter 11 details both Shelomo's sins and the various adversaries that Hashem sent to oppose him.  The last of these is Yerovam who is described as having "raised his hand against the king."  While the context of the verses suggests that Yerovam's revolt was a Divine punishment for Shelomo's taking of foreign wives, the text does not appear to relate to the earthly reasons for the rebellion.  Considering that Shelomo's reign was marked by peace and prosperity, what provoked Yerovam to oppose his king?  Was he, like Hashem, bothered by Shelomo's marriages or did he have more mundane issues with Shelomo's reign?

A Seemingly Irrelevant Tangent

The chapter introduces Yerovam's rebellion in verse 27:

EN/HEע/E
(כז) וְזֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר הֵרִים יָד בַּמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה בָּנָה אֶת הַמִּלּוֹא סָגַר אֶת פֶּרֶץ עִיר דָּוִד אָבִיו. (כח) וְהָאִישׁ יָרׇבְעָם גִּבּוֹר חָיִל וַיַּרְא שְׁלֹמֹה אֶת הַנַּעַר כִּי עֹשֵׂה מְלָאכָה הוּא וַיַּפְקֵד אֹתוֹ לְכׇל סֵבֶל בֵּית יוֹסֵף.
(27) And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breach of the city of David his father. (28) And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour; and Solomon saw the young man that he was industrious, and he gave him charge over all the labour of the house of Joseph.

The passage is perplexing. The opening words "וְזֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר הֵרִים יָד בַּמֶּלֶךְ" suggest that they are about to introduce the details of the revolt, yet the verses continue with two seemingly unrelated topics: Shelomo's building projects and Yerovam's promotion to the position of tax supervisor.  Of what relevance are these facts to the rebellion?  Did they occur before, during, or after it? Do they constitute the grievances or circumstances which led to the rebellion, describe the revolt itself, relate its consequences, or, are they a totally unrelated tangent?

Additional Questions

The verses raise several other questions which might shed light on the above:
×