Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
("whose people is many".) "Rehoboam," ("enlarger of the people"), is much the same. Both names appear first in Solomon's time, when Israel's numbers were vastly increased.
1. Founder of the northern kingdom of Israel. Son of Nebat and Zeruah of Zereda or Zarthan in the Jordan valley ( 1 Kings 7:46); of Ephraim (so "Ephrathite" means, 1 Kings 11:26; 1 Samuel 1:1). His mother is called a "widow woman." When Solomon was building Millo, and was closing the gap (not "the breaches," for no hostile attack had been made since David had fortified the city, 2 Samuel 5:9), long afterwards called Tyropreon, separating Zion from Moriah and Ophel, so as to bring the temple mount within the city wall, and so complete the fortification of the city of David, he found Jeroboam able and energetic in "doing the work" (margin, 1 Kings 11:28), so he made him overseer over all "the hoary work" of the house of Joseph. In this post Jereboam attempted a rebellion, the Ephraimites being impatient because of the heavy taxes and works imposed, and so having their old jealousy of Judah awakened afresh.
Events moved on, in God's providence, steadily toward the appointed end: Jeroboam of Ephraim over an army of Ephraimite work. men, employed for 20 years in works for the glory of Judah, and for palaces and idol temples (besides Jehovah's temple transferred from Shiloh in northern Israel to Judah's capital), all for a prince no longer of their own line. Naturally, Jeroboam became their king, and they wreaked their vengeance on Adoniram the collector in chief of taxes for those hated works. Solomon suppressed the rebellion, and Jeroboam fled to Egypt. Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh had previously met Jeroboam by the way, and drawn him aside into the field, and in Jehovah's name intimated that Jeroboam should have ten tribes, and the house of David one, for the apostasy of Solomon and the people, vividly symbolizing the fact as already accomplished in God's counsel by tearing His new (answering to the youthful vigour of the kingdom) four grainered garment into twelve pieces, and giving him ten.
As two, not merely one, remained, the numbers are symbolical not arithmetical, ten expressing completeness and totality ( 1 Kings 12:20), "they made Jeroboam king over all Israel." (See Israel .) Ahijah's words, "thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth," imply Jeroboam already in heart aspired to the throne before his overt rebellion. God gave no promise of permanence to Jeroboam as He did to the house of David, simply "if thou wilt walk in My ways I will build thee a sure house." Jeroboam fulfilled not the condition, and so his house was extirpated at his son's death ( 1 Kings 15:25-31). David's seed was to be afflicted, but "not for ever." The tribes shall be united again in Messiah the Son of David ( Ezekiel 37:16-22). Ahijah's prophecy did not justify Jeroboam's attempt. Samuel anointed David in Saul's reign; yet David, even when God had put Saul his deadly foe in his power, would not lay violent hands on the Lord's anointed, but waited patiently God's way and time for raising him to the throne.
God had expressly said, "I will make Solomon prince all the days of his life"; so that Jeroboam had no pretext from Ahijah for rebellion, and Solomon would have justly slain him had he not escaped to Shishak or Sheshonk of Egypt. Sheshonk having dethroned the Pharaoh whose daughter Solomon had married, had naturally espoused Jeroboam's cause. At Solomon's death the Israelites called Jeroboam out of Egypt, for they had been longing for a less theocratic and more worldly kingdom, impatient already of submission to the royal house appointed by Jehovah (2 Samuel 20). Israel, having the right of making king whomsoever God chose ( 2 Samuel 2:4; 2 Samuel 5:3; 1 Chronicles 29:22), assembled to Shechem ( Nablus now) for that purpose, the ancient place of national assembly in Ephraim ( Joshua 24:1), and more suited than Jerusalem to their design of transferring the government to Jeroboam. Jeroboam, having formerly superintended Ephraim in the works of Solomon at Jerusalem in building Mille and repairing the city of David ( 1 Kings 11:27), could readily suggest calumnies from his own professed experience.
Jeroboam as their spokesman, begged of Rehoboam a reduction of their tribute and heavy service, due no doubt to Solomon's maintaining such splendour and erecting magnificent buildings. They forgot the blessings of his reign, the peace, wealth, and trade which they enjoyed. Rehoboam, following the young men's counsel rather than the old and experienced counselors of his father ( Proverbs 27:10), answered harshly ( 1 Kings 15:1): "My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins .... my father chastised you with whips, but I ... with scorpions," i.e. scourges with barbed points like a scorpion's sting. Had he "served them," they would have been "his servants for ever." By acting the tyrant he precipitated the secession. Adopting the watchword of Sheba's rebellion they cried "what portion have we in David? to your tents, O Israel; now see to thine own house (to Judah, of which David's representative was head), David."
Then they "made Jeroboam king over all Israel." His first care was to fortify (so "build" means, for the two cities existed long before) Shechem his first residence (Tirzah was his subsequent abode, 1 Kings 14:17). (It was to Shechem Rehoboam had hastened to meet Israel, to secure Ephraim's allegiance, as he knew he was sure of Judah's allegiance; Shechem had been burnt down by Abimelech). Also Penuel, to secure Gilead against enemies from the E. and N.E. Next, adopting carnal policy instead of God's will, which assured him the kingdom on condition of obedience, and which designs ultimately to reunite Israel to Judah after Judah's temporary chastisement for sin, he set up two golden calves, one at Dan the other at Bethel, to obviate the apprehended return of Israel to Rehoboam through going up to the great feasts at Jerusalem. (See Calf Worship He thus violated God's command that there should be only one altar, namely, that at Jerusalem; still worse, he violated the second commandment by worshipping Jehovah, who is a spirit, under the form of images somewhat like the two cherubim.
Rome compared the Protestant reformation to Jeroboam's secession; but it is she who breaks the unity of the faith by representing the one God underimages, in violation of the second commandment; paving the way to violating the first, as Jeroboam's sin prepared the way for Baal worship. Borrowing Aaron's words concerning his calf, Jeroboam insinuated that his calf worship was no new religion, but a revival of their fathers' primitive one in the desert, sanctioned by the first high priest: "Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of Egypt" ( Exodus 32:4; Exodus 32:8). The places were hallowed by ancient tradition: Bethel on the S. of his kingdom, the scene of Jehovah's revelation to the patriarch Jacob ( Genesis 28:11; Genesis 28:19; Genesis 35:7); and Dan, at the sources of the Jordan (now Tell el Kadi) in the far N., consecrated by the Danites' image worship, at which Moses' descendant (See Jonathan officiated; so that no part of his kingdom was beyond easy reach of one or other of the two sanctuaries.
(But Condor presents various reasons for supposing, with the older writers except Josephus, that Dan and Bethel were two heights W. and S. of Shechem: Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, Jan. 1878. (See Shechem .)) He made priests of the people indiscriminately, not of Levi; any who "came to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams" ( 2 Chronicles 13:9). Thus one sin entailed many others, and brought its own punishment; for the Levites, refusing to be priests of the calves, and the godly were alienated from him, and most emigrated to Judah ( 2 Chronicles 11:13-14; 2 Chronicles 11:16), strengthening Rehoboam. Jeroboam transferred the feast of tabernacles from the legal seventh to the eighth month ("the month which he had devised of his own heart," 1 Kings 11:33; see Colossians 2:23, "will worship"), his pretext being the later ripening of the vintage in the N. than in the S., but his real reason being to separate Israel from Judah religiously, the legal 15th day being still retained.
While Jeroboam stood in person to burn incense, or rather to burn the sacrificial portions of the flesh, upon the altar of Bethel, usurping the priest's office, a man of God out of Judah, impelled by ( 1 Kings 13:2; Hebrew in; Haggai 1:13) the word of Jehovah, Iddo according to Josephus (Ant. 8:8, section 5), cried against the altar: "behold, a child born unto the house of David, Josiah, upon thee shall offer the priests of the high places that burn incense (burn sacrifices) upon thee (retribution in kind), and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee," to defile thee. He gave also a sign of the future fulfillment of his prophecy; "the altar shall be rent, and the ashes ... poured out" (implying the altar's destruction and the desecration of the sacrificial service). Josiah's name, as Cyrus', in Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1, is specified as a concrete description of what God would do by him ("he whom Jehovah will support"), to execute His judgment on Bethel and its priests: fulfilled 2 Kings 23:15-20. Jeroboam attempting to seize the prophet had his hand dried up, and was only restored upon the prophet's intercession.
Failing by violence, Jeroboam tried to win the prophet by favors; asking him home to refresh himself with food and offering him a present. This only elicited a stronger rejection of him on the part of God. Not for half his house would the prophet go in with him, or eat or drink in the place, or return by the way he came. God would have His people to hold no communion with the apostates of Bethel, or to have any renewed communication with any on the way, which might ensue from meeting the same persons on the same road again. Contrast Balaam's tempting God (through desire of reward) by asking again, as if God would change His once for all declared will (Numbers 22-24; 1 Peter 5:2). An old prophet at Bethel, where, Lot like, he dwelt, risking the corrupting influences of bad association ( 1 Corinthians 15:33; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18), jealous that any should be faithful where he himself was not, and desiring to drag down the man of God to his own low level ( Psalms 62:4), overtook him, and by a lie, saying "an angel of God spoke unto me, Bring him back that he may eat," overcame his constancy. He ought to have remembered God cannot contradict Himself ( Numbers 23:19; Galatians 1:8-9).
The prophet, the instrument of his sin (according to God's righteous law: Proverbs 1:31; Jeremiah 2:19), became the instrument of his punishment; his tempter became his accuser: "forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of Jehovah ... thy carcass shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers." So a lion slew him, yet ate not his body, nor tore the ass, but stood passively, an emblem of mercy amidst judgment; also to mark it was no mere chance, but the visitation of Jehovah, a warning to Bethel; "if judgment begin (thus immediately) at the house of God, what shall the end be of them that obey not ... God; and if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?" ( 1 Peter 4:17-18). God chastises His children immediately, so that they may not be condemned with the world; He is slower in punishing the worldly, that His longsuffering may lead them to repentance ( 1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 Corinthians 11:32; Romans 2:4).
The worldly prophet showed much sentimentality at his death, laying his carcass in his own grave, and exclaiming "Alas! my brother." Balaam like ( Numbers 23:10), desiring at death to lie with the man of God, he utters no self reproach, though having caused his death. Jeroboam unwarned by his visitation "returned not from his evil way," "ordaining whosoever would ( 1 Kings 13:33-34; 2 Chronicles 11:15) priests, for the high places, the devils, and the calves" (the gods worshipped in these houses in the high places being called "demons" or devils (literally, goats, from the Egyptian goat-shaped god Mendes or Pan) from their nature, and calves from their form; Leviticus 17:7, "evil spirits of the desert" (Speaker's Commentary, Seiriym ; 1 Corinthians 10:20-21). So it "became sin unto his house, to cut it off." (See Abijah ; AHIJAH, on the death of the former, Jeroboam's son, and the prophecy of the latter against Jeroboam).
Rehoboam's son Abijah defeated Jeroboam, and gained for a time Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephraim. "Because the children of Judah relied upon the Lord God of their fathers," "God delivered (2 Chronicles 13) the Israelites into their hand." Jeroboam never recovered strength again; and the Lord struck him (by a special visitation, 1 Samuel 25:38), and he died after a 22 years' reign, and "slept with his fathers," i.e. was buried in his ancestral tomb. Nadab, or Nebat from his grandfather's name, succeeded. Jeroboam's master stroke of policy recoiled on himself. The brand rests eternally on him that he "sinned and made Israel to sin." Rejecting Jehovah's will, he was no longer king by the will of God, but a successful usurper, whose example others followed. The son whose throne Jeroboam was at such pains to secure permanently fell with all Jeroboam's house before Baasha.
2. Jeroboam II, Joash's son, fourth of Jehu's dynasty. In Jehoahaz' reign Jehovah gave Israel promise of a "saviour" from Syria who "had made Israel like the dust by threshing" ( 2 Kings 13:4-5).(See Jehoahaz .) Jeroboam was that saviour, fulfilling the further prophecy of Jonah that Jeroboam should "restore the coast of Israel from the entering in of Hamath unto the sea of the plain" ( 2 Kings 14:23-29). (See Jonah .) Jeroboam took Syria's capital, Damascus ( Amos 1:3-5; Amos 6:14; where Amos warns Israel not to exult in having just taken Hamath, for that shall be the foe's starting point to afflict you: contrast 1 Kings 8:65), and Hamath, and restored the tribes E. of Jordan ( 1 Chronicles 5:17-22; 2 Kings 13:5). Assyria's depression from 800 to 750 B.C., according to their inscriptions, harmonizes with Scripture that then Jeroboam II. in Israel, and Uzziah in Judah, were able to enlarge their borders. The long period of prosperity thus given was a respite which should have led Israel to repentance.
When they repented not, speedy and final judgment followed. The calf worship, as an engine of state policy, still remained at Bethel. The priest there, Amaziah, alleged before Jeroboam ( Amos 7:9-13), "Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel," exaggerating Amos' prophecy, "I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword," as if he had said, "Jeroboam shall die by the sword." (See Amaziah .) Jeroboam seems not to have heeded Amaziah through awe of Jehovah's prophet. In all ages the ungodly have accused witnesses against the national sin as guilty of treason: as Elijah and Jeremiah 1 Kings 18:17; Jeremiah 37:13-14; John 19:12 the Antitype, John 11:48-50 political expediency being the plea for persecution; Acts 17:6-7; Acts 24:5, Paul. After reigning 41 years he was buried in state and entombed with the kings of Israel. Amaziah's expression, "the land is not able to bear all Amos' words," implies a critical state of the country, which eventuated in actual anarchy for some time after Jeroboam's death.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
the son of Nebat and Zeruah, was born at Zereda, in the tribe of Ephraim, 1 Kings 11:26 . He is the subject of frequent mention in Scripture, as having been the cause of the ten tribes revolting from the dominion of Rehoboam, and also of his having "made Israel to sin," by instituting the idolatrous worship of the golden calves at Dan and Bethel, 1 Kings 12:26-33 . He seems to have been a bold, unprincipled, and enterprising man, with much of the address of a deep politician about him; qualities which probably pointed him out to King Solomon as a proper person to be entrusted with the obnoxious commission of levying certain taxes throughout the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. On a certain day, as Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem into the country, having a new cloak wrapped about his shoulders, the Prophet Ahijah met him in a field where they were alone, and seizing the cloak of Jeroboam, he cut it into twelve pieces, and then addressing him, said, "Take ten of them to thyself; for thus saith the Lord, I will divide and rend the kingdom of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee. If, therefore, thou obeyest my word and walkest in my ways as David my servant has done, I will be with thee, and will establish thy house for ever, and put thee in possession of the kingdom of Israel," 1 Kings 11:14-39 . Whether it were that the promises thus made by Ahijah prompted Jeroboam to aim at taking their accomplishment into his own hands, and, with a view to that, began to solicit the subjects of Solomon to revolt; or whether the bare information of what had passed between the prophet and Jeroboam, excited his fear and jealousy, it appears evident that the aged monarch took the alarm, and attempted to apprehend Jeroboam, who, getting notice of what was intended him, made a precipitate retreat into Egypt, where he remained till the death of Solomon. He then returned, and found that Rehoboam, who had succeeded his father Solomon in the throne of David, had already excited the disgust of ten of the tribes by some arbitrary proceedings, in consequence of which they had withdrawn their allegiance from the new monarch. These tribes no sooner heard of his return than they invited him to appear among them in a general assembly, in which they elected him to be king over Israel. Jeroboam fixed his residence at Shechem, and there fortified himself; he also rebuilt Penuel, a city beyond Jordan, putting it into a state of defence, in order to keep the tribes quiet which were on that side Jordan, 1 Kings 12:1-25 .
But Jeroboam soon forgot the duty which he owed to God, who had given him the kingdom; and thought of nothing but how to maintain himself in the possession of it, though he discarded the worship of the true God. The first suggestion of his unbelieving heart was, that if the tribes over whom he reigned were to go up to Jerusalem to sacrifice and keep the annual festivals, they would be under continual temptations to return to the house of David. To counteract this, he caused two golden calves to be made as objects of religious worship, one of which he placed at Dan, and the other at Bethel, the two extremities of his dominions; and caused a proclamation to be made throughout all his territories, that in future none of his subjects should go up to Jerusalem to worship; and, directing them to the two calves which had been recently erected, he cried out, "Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of Egypt!" He also caused idolatrous temples to be built, and priests to be ordained of the lowest of the people, who were neither of the family of Aaron nor of the tribe of Levi. 1 Kings 12:26-33 . Having appointed a solemn public festival to be observed on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in order to dedicate his new altar, and consecrate his golden calves, he assembled the people at Bethel, and himself went up to the altar for the purpose of offering incense and sacrifices. At that instant a prophet, who had come, divinely directed, from Judah to Bethel, accosted Jeroboam and said, "O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord, A child shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he sacrifice the priests of the high places who now burn incense upon thee: he shall burn men's bones upon thee." To confirm the truth of this threatening, the prophet also added a sign, namely, that the altar should immediately be rent asunder, and the ashes and every thing upon it poured upon the earth. Jeroboam, incensed at this interference of the prophet, stretched out his hand and commanded him to be seized; but the hand which he had stretched out was instantly paralyzed, and he was unable to draw it back again. The altar, too, was broken, and the ashes upon it fell to the ground according to the prediction of the prophet. Jeroboam now solicited his prayers that his hand might be restored to him.
The man of God interposed his supplication to Heaven, and the king's hand was restored to him sound as before. Jeroboam then entreated him that he would accompany him to his own house, and accept a reward; but he answered, "Though thou shouldst give me the half of thine house, I would not go with thee, nor will I taste any thing in this place, for the Lord hath expressly forbidden me to do so," 1 Kings 13:1-10 . But notwithstanding this manifest indication of the displeasure of Heaven, it failed of recovering Jeroboam from his impious procedure. He continued to encourage his subjects in idolatry, by appointing priests of the high places, and engaging them in such worship as was contrary to the divine law. This was the sin of Jeroboam's family, and it was the cause of its utter extirpation. Some time after his accession to the throne of Israel, his favourite son Abijah fell sick, and, to relieve his parental solicitude, Jeroboam instructed his wife to disguise herself, and in that state to go and consult the Prophet Ahijah concerning his recovery. This was the same prophet who had foretold to Jeroboam that he should be king of Israel. He was now blind through old age; but the prophet was warned of her approach, and, before she entered his threshold, he called her by name, told her that her son should die, and then, in appalling terms, denounced the impending ruin of Jeroboam's whole family, which shortly after came to pass. After a reign of two-and-twenty years, Jeroboam died, and Nadab, his son, succeeded to the crown, 1 Kings 13:33-34; 1 Kings 14:1-20 .
2. JEROBOAM, the second of that name, was the son of Jehoash, king of Israel. He succeeded to his father's royal dignity, A.M. 3179, and reigned forty-one years. Though much addicted to the idolatrous practices of the son of Nebat, yet the Lord was pleased so far to prosper his reign, that by his means, according to the predictions of the Prophet Jonah, the kingdom of the ten tribes was restored from a state of great decay, into which it had fallen, and was even raised to a pitch of extraordinary splendour. The Prophets Amos and Hosea, as well as Jonah, lived during this reign.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary 
Two kings of Israel had the name Jeroboam. Both of them ruled over the northern part of the divided kingdom, but they were separated in time by more than a hundred years and they belonged to different dynasties.
Jeroboam the son of Nebat
The books of Kings consistently condemn Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the man who led the northern tribes to break away from the Davidic rule. But the chief reason they condemn him is religious rather than political; for Jeroboam established his own religion in the north in opposition to the Levitical system that was based on the Jerusalem temple ( 1 Kings 15:34; 1 Kings 16:19; 1 Kings 22:52; 2 Kings 10:31; 2 Kings 14:24; 2 Kings 23:15). This false religion, set up by Jeroboam and followed by other kings, was the reason God destroyed the northern kingdom and sent the people into captivity ( 2 Kings 17:21-23).
From his youth Jeroboam was capable and hard-working. Solomon was so impressed with the young man that he put him in charge of the Ephraim-Manasseh workforce ( 1 Kings 11:28). The ambitious Jeroboam cleverly used his position to gain a following among his fellow northerners, in opposition to the southerner Solomon, whose policies he found oppressive. From the prophet Ahijah, Jeroboam learnt that God would punish Solomon by splitting his kingdom and giving ten tribes to Jeroboam. When Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, Jeroboam escaped to Egypt, where he remained till the end of Solomon’s reign ( 1 Kings 11:29-40).
As soon as Solomon was dead, Jeroboam returned from Egypt and led a rebellion (930 BC). The northern tribes readily crowned Jeroboam their king, in opposition to Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. Rehoboam still reigned in Jerusalem, but only over Judah and its neighbouring tribe, Benjamin ( 1 Kings 12:1-20).
Jeroboam made his capital in Shechem, but later shifted it a few kilometres north to Tirzah ( 1 Kings 12:25; 1 Kings 14:17; cf. 1 Kings 15:21; cf. 1 Kings 15:33). He was wary of the attraction that Jerusalem still held, fearing that if his people went there for religious ceremonies they might transfer their allegiance to Rehoboam. He therefore decided to set up his own independent religion. He built shrines at the towns of Bethel (near his southern border) and Dan (near his northern border), complete with his own order of priests, sacrifices and feasts. His religion attempted to combine the worship of Yahweh with Canaanite religion ( 1 Kings 12:26-33). A bold announcement of judgment by a prophet from Judah showed plainly that God would not accept this new religion ( 1 Kings 13:1-10). Ahijah repeated the announcement of judgment ( 1 Kings 14:1-18).
During his twenty-two years reign Jeroboam fought against the Judean kings, Rehoboam and Abijam ( 1 Kings 15:6-7). His costly loss to Abijam was a final demonstration to him that God would not help one who had broken away from the Davidic dynasty and the Levitical priesthood ( 2 Chronicles 13:2-20).
Jeroboam the son of Joash
This Jeroboam is usually referred to as Jeroboam II, to distinguish him from the person who established the breakaway northern kingdom. Jeroboam II was one of Israel’s most powerful and prosperous kings, but religiously he was no better than the first Jeroboam. He ruled from 793 to 752 BC ( 2 Kings 13:13; 2 Kings 14:23-24).
At that time Syria had declined in power and Assyria was concerned with struggles far removed from Palestine. Jeroboam II was therefore able to strengthen his kingdom without interference from hostile neighbours. He brought territorial expansion and economic growth on a scale not seen in Israel since the days of David and Solomon ( 2 Kings 14:25-28). The prosperity, however, brought with it greed, injustice and exploitation that the prophets Amos and Hosea condemned fearlessly ( Amos 1:1; Amos 2:6-8; Amos 3:15; Amos 4:1; Amos 5:10-12; Amos 6:4-6; Hosea 1:1; Hosea 4:1-2; Hosea 4:17-18; Hosea 6:8-9; Hosea 12:7-8; see Amos ; Hosea ).
Just as one prophet earlier had forecast the expansion of Israel’s territory, so another now forecast God’s judgment throughout that territory ( 2 Kings 14:25; Amos 6:14). Jeroboam would be killed and eventually Israel would go into captivity ( Amos 7:9-11).
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Jerobo'am. (Whose People Are Many).
1. Jeroboam I. The first king of the divided kingdom of Israel, B.C. 975-954, was the son of an Ephraimite of the name of Nebat. He was raised by Solomon to the rank of superintendent, over the taxes and labors exacted from the tribe of Ephraim. 1 Kings 11:28. He made the most of his position, and at last, was perceived by Solomon to be aiming at the monarchy. He was leaving Jerusalem, when he was met by Ahijah, the prophet, who gave him the assurance that, on condition of obedience to his laws, God would establish for him a kingdom and dynasty equal to that of David. 1 Kings 11:29-40. The attempts of Solomon to cut short Jeroboam's designs occasioned his flight into Egypt. There he remained until Solomon's death.
After a year's longer stay in Egypt, during which Jeroboam married Ano, the elder sister of the Egyptian queen, Tahpenes, he returned to Shechem, where took place the conference with Rehoboam, See Rehoboam , and the final revolt which ended in the elevation of Jeroboam to the throne of the northern kingdom. Now occurred the fatal error of his policy. Fearing that the yearly pilgrimages to Jerusalem would undo all the work which he effected, he took the bold step of rending the religious unity of the nation, which was as yet unimpaired, asunder. He caused two golden figures of Mnevis, the sacred calf, to be made and set up at the two extremities of his kingdom, one at Dan and the other at Bethel.
It was while dedicating the altar at Bethel that a prophet from Judah suddenly appeared, who denounced the altar, and foretold its desecration by Josiah, and violent overthrow. The king, stretching out his hand to arrest the prophet, felt it withered and paralyzed, and only at the prophet's prayer, saw it restored, and acknowledged his divine mission. Jeroboam was at constant war with the house of Judah, but the only act distinctly recorded is a battle with Abijah, son of Rehoboam, in which he was defeated. The calamity was severely felt; he never recovered from the blow, and soon after died, in the 22nd year of his reign, 2 Chronicles 13:20, and was buried in his ancestral sepulchre. 1 Kings 14:20.
2. Jeroboam II. The son of Joash, the fourth of the dynasty of Jehu. (B.C. 825-784). The most prosperous of the kings of Israel. He repelled the Syrian invaders, took their capital city Damascus, 2 Kings 14:28, and recovered the whole of the ancient dominion from Hamah to the Dead Sea. 2 Kings 14:25. Ammon and Moab were reconquered, and the TransJordanic tribes were restored to their territory, 2 Kings 13:5; 1 Chronicles 5:17-22, but it was merely an outward restoration.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Jeroboam ( Jĕr'O-Bô'Am ), Whose People Are Many. There were two kings of this name: 1. The first king of the divided kingdom of Israel, b.c. 975-954, was the son of Nebat. He was made by Solomon the superintendent of the taxes exacted from the tribe of Ephraim. 1 Kings 11:28. He made the most of his position, and at last was perceived by Solomon to be aiming at the monarchy. He was leaving Jerusalem, when he was met by Ahijah the prophet, who gave him the assurance that, on condition of obedience to his laws, God would establish for him a kingdom and dynasty equal to that of David. 1 Kings 11:29-40. Solomon attempting to arrest Jeroboam, caused his night into Egypt. There he remained until Solomon's death. Jeroboam married Ano, the elder sister of the Egyptian queen Tahpenes, and returned to Shechem, where took place the conference with Rehoboam, and the final revolt which ended in the elevation of Jeroboam to the throne of the northern kingdom. Fearing that the yearly pilgrimages to Jerusalem would undo all the work which he effected, he boldly decided to rend the religious unity of the nation, which was as yet unimpaired. He caused two golden calves to be made and set up at the two extremities of his kingdom, one at Dan and the other at Bethel. It was while dedicating the altar at Bethel that a prophet from Judah suddenly appeared, who denounced the altar, and foretold its desecration by Josiah. The king, stretching out his hand to arrest the prophet, felt it withered and paralyzed, and only at the prophet's prayer saw it restored. Jeroboam was at constant war with the house of Judah, and in a battle with Abijah was defeated, and soon after died in the 22d year of his reign, 2 Chronicles 13:20, and was buried in his ancestral sepulchre. 1 Kings 14:20. 2. Jeroboam II., the son of Joash, the fourth king of the dynasty of Jehu, b.c. 825-784 He was one of the most prosperous of the kings of Israel. He repelled the Syrian invaders, took their capital city Damascus, 2 Kings 14:28, and recovered the whole of the ancient dominion from Hamath to the Dead sea. 2 Kings 14:25. Ammon and Moab were reconquered, and the trans-Jordanic tribes were restored to their territory, 2 Kings 13:5; 1 Chronicles 5:17-22; but it was merely an outward restoration.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
His name occurs in Scripture only in 2 Kings 13:13; 14:16,23,27,28,29; 15:1,8; 1 Chronicles 5:17; Hosea 1:1; Amos 1:1; 7:9,10,11 . In all other passages it is Jeroboam the son of Nebat that is meant.
Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Jeroboam'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/j/jeroboam.html. 1897.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
JEROBOAM is the name of two kings of Israel.
1. Jeroboam I . was the first king of the northern tribes after the division. His first appearance in history is as head of the forced labourers levied by Solomon. This was perhaps because he was hereditary chief in Ephraim, but we must also suppose that he attracted the attention of Solomon by his ability and energy. At the same time he resented the tyranny of the prince whom he served, and plotted to overthrow it. The design came to the knowledge of Solomon, and Jeroboam fled to Egypt. On the king’s death he returned, and although he did not appear on the scene when the northern tribes made their demand of Rehoboam, he was probably actively enlisted in the movement. When the refusal of Rehoboam threw the tribes into revolt, Jeroboam appeared as leader, and was made king ( 1 Kings 11:26 ff., 1 Kings 12:1 to 1 Kings 14:20 ). Jeroboam was a warlike prince, and hostilities with Judah continued throughout his reign. His country was plundered by the Egyptians at the time of their invasion of Judah. It is not clearly made out whether his fortification of Shechem and Penuei was suggested by the experiences of this campaign or not. His religious measures have received the reprobation of the Biblical writers, but they were intended by Jeroboam to please the God of Israel. He embellished the ancestral sanctuaries of Bethel and Dan with golden bulls, in continuance of early Israelite custom. It is fair to assume also that he had precedent for celebrating the autumn festival in the eighth instead of the seventh month.
2. Jeroboam II . was the grandson of Jehu. In his time Israel was able to assert its ancient vigour against its hereditary enemy Syria, and recover its lost territory. This was due to the attacks of the Assyrians upon the northern border of Damascus ( 2 Kings 14:23-29 ). The temporary prosperity of Israel was accompanied by social and moral degeneracy, as is set forth distinctly by Amos and Hosea.
H. P. Smith.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
The first king of Israel, an Ephraimite, the son of Nebat. During the latter part of Solomon's reign, and while an officer under him, he plotted against him, and was obliged to flee into Egypt. On the death of Solomon, he was summoned by the ten tribes to return and present their demands to Rehoboam; and when these were refused, he was chosen king of the revolted tribes, B. C. 975. He reigned twentytwo years. The only notable act of his reign marked him with infamy, as the man "who made Israel to sin." It was the idolatrous establishment of golden calves at Bethel and Dan that the people might worship there and not at Jerusalem. He also superseded the sons of Aaron by priests chosen from "the lowest of the people." This unprincipled but effective measure, in which he was followed by all the kings of Israel, was a confession of weakness as well as of depravity. Neither miracles nor warnings, nor the premature death of Abijah his son could dissuade him. He was at war with Judah all his days, and with the brief reign of Nadab his son the doomed family became extinct, 1 Kings 12:1-14:20 2 Chronicles 10:1-19 13:1-22 .
Jeroboam Second the thirteenth king of Israel, son and successor of Joash, B. C. 825 reigned forty-one years. He followed up his father's successes over the Syrians, took Hamath and Damascus, and all the region east f the Jordan down to the Dead Sea, and advanced to its highest point the prosperity of that kingdom. Yet his long reign added heavily to the guilt of Israel, by increased luxury, oppression, and vice. After him, the kingdom rapidly declined, and his own dynasty perished within a year, 2 Kings 14:23-29 15:8-12 . See also the contemporary prophets, particularly Amos and Hosea.
Holman Bible Dictionary 
1 Kings 11:28 1 Kings 11:29-39
The inspired biblical writers did not consider Jeroboam a good king. Rather he became the example of evil kings in Israel because he built temples in Dan and Bethel with golden calves representing God's presence. What appeared to be good politics diverted people from worshiping at Jerusalem, God's chosen place. All the following northern kings suffered the biblical writers' condemnation because they walked in the ways of Jeroboam, encouraging worship at Dan and Bethel (see for example 1Kings 15:26, 1 Kings 15:34; 1Kings 16:19, 1 Kings 16:31 ). Jeroboam also instituted new worship practices at his temples ( 1 Kings 12:25-33 ), intentionally making Israelite worship different from that in Jerusalem, though claiming to worship the same God with the same worship traditions. Prophetic warnings failed to move Jeroboam ( 1 Kings 13:1-14:20 ).
2. Powerful king of Israel in the dynasty of Jehu about 793-753 B.C. ( 2 Kings 14:23-29 ). He managed to restore prosperity and territory to a weak nation but continued the religious practices of Jeroboam I and thus met condemnation from the biblical writers. Jonah, Amos, and Hosea prophesied during his reign. Jeroboam basically restored the boundaries of David's empire, reaching even into Syria.
M. Stephen Davis
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
This man's name is proverbial.â€”Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. Such is the awful account given of him by God the Holy Ghost. His name seems to be in some measure characteristic of the manâ€”he that rejectsâ€”from Jarah to reject; and his history awfully proves, how he rejected the counsel of God against his own soul. His history we have in 1 Kings 11:28 - 1 Kings 14:20. There was another Jeroboam, the son of Jehoash. (See 2 Kings 14:23) During this man's reign, the prophets Hosea, Amos and, Jonah exercised their ministry.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
jer - ō̇ - bō´am ( ירבעם , yārobh‛ām ; Septuagint Ἱεροβοάμ , Hieroboám , usually assumed to have been derived from ריב and עם , and signifying "the people contend," or, "he pleads the people's cause"): The name was borne by two kings of Israel.
I. Jeroboam I
(1) Jeroboam I , son of Nebat, an Ephraimite, and of Zeruah, a widow ( 1 Kings 11:26-40; 12 through 14:20). He was the first king of Israel after the disruption of the kingdom, and he reigned 22 years (937-915 bc).
The history of Jeroboam is contained in 1 Kings 11:26-40; 12:1 through 14:20; 2 Ch 10:1 through 11:4; 2 Chronicles 11:14-16; 2 Chronicles 12:15; 13:3-20, and in an insertion in the Septuagint after 1 Kings 12:24 ( a-z ). This insertion covers about the same ground as the Massoretic Text, and the Septuagint elsewhere, with some additions and variations. The fact that it calls Jeroboam's mother a pórnē (harlot), and his wife the Egyptian princess Ano (compare 1 Ki 11); that Jeroboam is punished by the death of his son before he has done any wrong; that the episode with the prophet's mantle does not occur until the meeting at Shechem; that Jeroboam is not proclaimed king at all - all this proves the passage inferior to the Massoretic Text. No doubt it is a fragment of some historical work, which, after the manner of the later Midrash, has combined history and tradition, making rather free use of the historical kernel.
Jeroboam, as a highly gifted and valorous young Ephraimite, comes to the notice of Solomon early in his reign ( 1 Kings 11:28; compare 1 Kings 9:15 , 1 Kings 9:24 ). Having noticed his ability, the king made him overseer of the fortifications and public work at Jerusalem, and placed him over the levy from the house of Joseph. The fact that the latter term may stand for the whole of the ten tribes (compare Amos 5:6; Amos 6:6; Obadiah 1:18 ) indicates the importance of the position, which, however, he used to plot against the king. No doubt he had the support of the people in his designs. Prejudices of long standing ( 2 Samuel 19:40 f; 20 f) were augmented when Israelite interests were made subservient to Judah and to the king, while enforced labor and burdensome taxation filled the people's hearts h bitterness and jealousy. Jeroboam, the son of a widow, would be the first to feel the gall of oppression and to give voice to the suffering of the people. In addition, he had the approval of the prophet Ahijah of the old sanctuary of Shiloh, who, by tearing his new mantle into twelve pieces and giving ten of them to Jeroboam, informed him that he was to become king of the ten tribes. Josephus says ( Ant. , VIII, vii, 8) that Jeroboam was elevated by the words of the prophet, "and being a young man of warm temper, and ambitious of greatness, he could not be quiet," but tried to get the government into his hands at once. For the time, the plot failed, and Jeroboam fled to Egypt where he was received and kindly treated by Shishak, the successor to the father-in-law of Solomon.
3. The Revolt of the Ten Tribes
The genial and imposing personality of Solomon had been able to stem the tide of discontent excited by his oppressive régime, which at his death burst all restraints. Nevertheless, the northern tribes, at a popular assembly held at Shechem, solemnly promised to serve Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, who had already been proclaimed king at Jerusalem, on condition that he would lighten the burdens that so unjustly rested upon them. Instead of receiving the magna charta which they expected, the king, in a spirit of despotism, gave them a rough answer, and Josephus says "the people were struck by his words, as it were, by an iron hammer" ( Ant. , VIII, viii, 3). But despotism lost the day. The rough answer of the king was met by the Marseillaise of the people:
"What portion have we in David?
Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse:
To your tents. O I srael:
Now see to thine own house, David" ( 1 Kings 12:16 ).
Seeing the turn affairs had taken, but still unwilling to make any concessions, Rehoboam sent Adoram, who had been over the levy for many years ( 1 Kings 5:14; 1 Kings 12:18 ), and who no doubt had quelled dissatisfaction before, to force the people to submission, possibly by the very methods he had threatened to employ ( 1 Kings 12:14 ). However, the attempt failed. The aged Adoram was stoned to death, while Rehoboam was obliged to flee ignominiously back to Jerusalem, king only of Judah ( 1 Kings 12:20 ). Thus, the great work of David for a united kingdom was shattered by inferiors, who put personal ambitions above great ideals.
4. The Election
As soon as Jeroboam heard that Solomon was dead, he returned from his forced exile in Egypt and took up his residence in his native town, Zeredah, in the hill country of Ephraim Septuagint 1 Kings 12:20 ). The northern tribes, having rejected the house of David, now turned to the leader, and perhaps instigator of the revolution. Jeroboam was sent for and raised to the throne by the choice and approval of the popular assembly. Divinely set apart for his task, and having the approval of the people, Jeroboam nevertheless failed to rise to the greatness of his opportunities, and his kingdom degenerated into a mere military monarchy, never stronger than the ruler who chanced to occupy the throne. In trying to avoid the Scylla that threatened its freedom and faith ( 1 Kings 11:33 ), the nation steered into the Charybdis of revolution and anarchy in which it finally perished.
5. Political Events
Immediately upon his accession, Jeroboam fortified Shechem, the largest city in Central Israel, and made it his capital. Later he fortified Penuel in the East Jordan country. According to 1 Kings 14:17 , Tirzah was the capital during the latter part of his reign. About Jeroboam's external relations very little is known beyond the fact that there was war between him and Rehoboam constantly ( 1 Kings 14:30 ). In 2 Ch 13:2-20 we read of an inglorious war with Abijah of Judah. When Shishak invaded Judah ( 1 Kings 14:25 f), he did not spare Israel, as appears from his inscription on the temple at Karnak, where a list of the towns captured by him is given. These belong to Northern Israel as well as to Judah, showing that Shishak exacted tribute there, even if he used violence only in Judah. The fact that Jeroboam successfully managed a revolution but failed to establish a dynasty shows that his strength lay in the power of his personality more than in the soundness of his principles.
Despite the success of the revolution politically, Jeroboam descried in the halo surrounding the temple and its ritual a danger which threatened the permanency of his kingdom. He justifiably dreaded a reaction in favor of the house of David, should the people make repeated religious pilgrimages to Jerusalem after the first passion of the rebellion had spent itself. He therefore resolved to establish national sanctuaries in Israel. Accordingly, he fixed on Bethel, which from time immemorial was one of the chief sanctuaries of the land ( Genesis 28:19; Genesis 35:1; Hosea 12:4 ), and Dan, also a holy place since the conquest, as the chief centers of worship for Israel. Jeroboam now made "two calves of gold" as symbols of the strength and creative power of Yahweh, and set them up in the sanctuaries at Bethel and Dan, where altars and other sacred objects already existed. It appears that many of the priests still in the land were opposed to his image-worship ( 2 Chronicles 11:13 ). Accordingly, he found it necessary to institute a new, non-Levitical priesthood ( 1 Kings 13:33 ). A new and popular festival on the model of the feasts at Jerusalem was also established. Jeroboam's policy might have been considered as a clever political move, had it not contained the dangerous ppeal to the lower instincts of the masses, that led them into the immoralities of heathenism and hastened the destruction of the nation. Jeroboam sacrificed the higher interests of religion to politics. This was the "sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, wherewith he made Israel to sin" ( 1 Kings 12:30; 1 Kings 16:26 ).
7. Hostility of the Prophets
It may be that many of the prophets sanctioned Jeroboam's religious policy. Whatever the attitude of the majority may have been, there was no doubt a party who strenuously opposed the image-worship.
(1) The Anonymous Prophet
On the very day on which Jeroboam inaugurated the worship at the sanctuary at Bethel "a man of God out of Judah" appeared at Bethel and publicly denounced the service. The import of his message was that the royal altar should some day be desecrated by a ruler from the house of David. The prophet was saved from the wrath of the king only by a miracle. "The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar." This narrative of 1 Kings 13 is usually assumed to belong to a later time, but whatever the date of compilation, the general historicity of the account is little affected by it.
(2) The Prophet Ahijah
At a later date, when Jeroboam had realized his ambition, but not the ideal which the prophet had set before him, Ahijah predicted the consequences of his evil policy. Jeroboam's eldest son had fallen sick. He thought of Ahijah, now old and blind, and sent the queen in disguise to learn the issue of the sickness. The prophet bade her to announce to Jeroboam that the house of Jeroboam should be extirpated root and branch; that the people whom he had seduced to idolatry should be uprooted from the land and transported beyond the river; and, severest of all, that her son should die.
8. His Death
Jeroboam died, in the 22nd year of his reign, having "bequeathed to posterity the reputation of an apostate and a succession of endless revolutions."
II. Jeroboam 2
(2) Jeroboam 2 ( 2 Kings 14:23-29 ), son of Joash and 13th king of Israel; 4th sovereign of the dynasty of Jehu. He reigned 41 years. His accession may be placed circa 798 bc (some date lower).
1. His Warlike Policy
Jeroboam came into power on the crest of the wave of prosperity that followed the crushing of the supremacy of Damascus by his father. By his great victory at Aphek, followed by others, Joash had regained the territory lost to Israel in the reigns of Jehu and Jehoahaz ( 2 Kings 13:17 , 2 Kings 13:25 ). This satisfied Joash, or his death prevented further hostilities. Jeroboam, however, then a young man, resolved on a war of retaliation against Damascus, and on further conquests. The condition of the eastern world favored his projects, for Assyria was at the time engaged, under Shalmaneser Iii and Assurdan III, in a life-and-death struggle with Armenia. Syria being weakened, Jeroboam determined on a bold attempt to conquer and annex the whole kingdom of which Damascus was the capital. The steps of the campaign by which this was accomplished are unknown to us. The result only is recorded, that not only the intermediate territory fell into Jeroboam's hands, but that Damascus itself was captured ( 2 Kings 14:28 ). Hamath was taken, and thus were restored the eastern boundaries of the kingdom, as they were in the time of David ( 1 Chronicles 13:5 ). From the time of Joshua "the entrance of Hamath" ( Joshua 13:5 ), a narrow pass leading into the valley of the Lebanons, had been the accepted northern boundary of the promised land. This involved the subjection of Moab and Ammon, probably already tributaries of Damascus.
2. New Social Conditions
Jeroboam's long reign of over 40 years gave time for the collected tribute of this greatly increased territory to flow into the coffers of Samaria, and the exactions would be ruthlessly enforced. The prophet Amos, a contemporary of Jeroboam in his later years, dwells on the cruelties inflicted on the trans-Jordanic tribes by Hazael, who "threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron" ( Amos 1:3 ). All this would be remembered now, and wealth to which the Northern Kingdom had been unaccustomed flowed in to its treasuries. The hovels of unburned brick in which the citizens had lived were replaced by "houses of hewn stone" ( Amos 5:11 ). The ivory house which Ahab built in Samaria ( 1 Kings 22:39; decorations only are meant) was imitated, and there were many "great houses" ( Amos 3:15 ). The sovereign had both a winter and a summer palace. The description of a banqueting scene within one of these palatial abodes is lifelike in its portraiture. The guests stretched themselves upon the silken cushions of the couches, eating the flesh of lambs and stall-fed calves, drinking wine from huge bowls, singing idle songs to the sound of viols, themselves perfumed and anointed with oil ( Amos 6:4-6 ). Meanwhile, they were not grieved for the affliction of Joseph, and cared nothing for the wrongdoing of which the country was full. Side by side with this luxury, the poor of the land were in the utmost distress. A case in which a man was sold into slavery for the price of a pair of shoes seems to have come to the prophet's knowledge, and is twice referred to by him ( Amos 2:6; Amos 8:6 ).
3. Growth of Ceremonial Worship
With all this, and as part of the social organization, religion of a kind flourished. Ritual took the place of righteousness; and in a memorable passage, Amos denounces the substitution of the one for the other ( Amos 5:21 ). The worship took place in the sanctuaries of the golden calves, where the votaries prostrated themselves before the altar clothed in garments taken in cruel pledge, and drank sacrificial wine bought with the money of those who were fined for non-attendance there ( Amos 2:8 ). There we are subsidiary temples and altars at Gilgal and Beersheba ( Amos 4:4; Amos 5:5; Amos 8:14 ). Both of these places had associations with the early history of the nation, and would be attended by worshippers from Judah as well as from Israel.
4. Mission to Amos
Toward the close of his reign, it would appear that Jeroboam had determined upon adding greater splendor and dignity to the central shrine, in correspondence with the increased wealth of the nation. Amos, about the same time, received a commission to go to Bethel and testify against the whole proceedings there. He was to pronounce that these sanctuaries should be laid waste, and that Yahweh would raise the sword against the house of Jeroboam. ( Amos 7:9 ). On hearing his denunciation, made probably as he stood beside the altar, Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent a messenger to the king at Samaria, to tell him of the "conspiracy" of Amos, and that the land was not able to bear all his words. The messenger bore the report that Amos had declared "Jeroboam shall die by the sword," which Amos had not done. When the messenger had gone, priest and prophet had a heated controversy, and new threatenings were uttered ( Amos 7:10-17 ).
5. Prophecy of Jonah
The large extension of territory acquired for Israel by Jeroboam is declared to have been the realization of a prophecy uttered earlier by Jonah, the son of Amittai ( 2 Kings 14:25 ) - the same whose mission to Nineveh forms the subject of the Book of Jonah ( Jonah 1:1 ). It is also indicated that the relief which had now come was the only alternative to the utter extinction of Israel. But Yahweh sent Israel a "saviour" ( 2 Kings 13:5 ), associated by some with the Assyrian king Ramman-nirari III, who crushed Damascus, an left Syria an easy prey, first to Jehoash, then to Jeroboam. (see Jehoash ), but whom the historian seems to connect with Jeroboam himself ( 2 Kings 14:26 , 2 Kings 14:27 ).
Jeroboam was succeeded on his death by his weak son Zechariah ( 2 Kings 14:29 ).
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(Heb. Yarobam', י רָבְעָם , Increase Of the People; Sept. Ι᾿Εροβοάμ , Josephus ῾Ιεροβόαμος ), the name of two of the kings of the separate kingdom of Israel.
1. The son of Nebat (by which title he is usually distinguished in the record of his infamy) by a woman named Zeruah, of the tribe of Ephraim ( 1 Kings 11:26). He was the founder of the schismatical northern kingdom, consisting of the ten tribes, over which he reigned twenty-two (current) years, B.C. 973-951. At the time he first appears in the sacred history his mother was a widow and he had already been noticed by Solomon as a clever and active young man and appointed one of the superintendents of the works which that magnificent king was carrying on at Jerusalem, having special charge of the services required of the leading tribe of Ephraim ( 1 Kings 11:26-28; comp. Josephus, Ant. 8, 7, 7). B.C. 1010- 998. This appointment, the reward of his merits, might have satisfied his ambition had not the declaration of the prophet Ahijah given him higher hopes. When informed that, by the divine appointment, he was to become king over the ten tribes about to be rent from the house of David, he was not content to wait patiently for the death of Solomon, but began to form plots and conspiracies, the discovery of which constrained him to flee to Egypt to escape condign punishment, B.C. cir. 980. The king of that country was but too ready to encourage one whose success must necessarily weaken the kingdom which had become great and formidable under David and Solomon, and which had already pushed its frontier to the Red Sea ( 1 Kings 11:29-40).
When Solomon died, the ten tribes sent to call Jeroboam from Egypt; and he appears to have headed the deputation that came before the son of Solomon with a demand of new securities for the rights which the measures of the late king had compromised. It may somewhat excuse the harsh answer of Rehoboam that the demand was urged by a body of men headed by one whose pretensions were so well known and so odious to the house of David. It cannot be denied that, in making their applications thus offensively, they struck the first blow, although it is possible that they, in the first instance, intended to use the presence of Jeroboam for no other purpose than to frighten the king into compliance. The imprudent answer of Rehoboam rendered a revolution inevitable, and Jeroboam was then called to reign over the ten tribes by the style of "King of Israel" ( 1 Kings 12:1-20). Autumn, B.C. 973. (See Rehoboam).
(For the general course of his conduct on the throne, (See Kingdom Of Israel).)
The leading object of his policy was to widen the breach between the two kingdoms, and to rend asunder those common interests among all the descendants of Jacob, which it was one great object of the law to combine and interlace. To this end he scrupled not to sacrifice the most sacred and inviolable interests and obligations of the covenant people by forbidding his subjects to resort to the one temple and altar of Jehovah at Jerusalem and by establishing shrines at Dan and Beth-el — the extremities of his kingdom — where "golden calves" were set up as the symbols of Jehovah, to which the people were enjoined to resort and bring their offerings. (See Golden Calf).
The pontificate of the new establishment he united to his crown, in imitation of the Egyptian kings ( 1 Kings 12:26-33). He was officiating in that capacity at Bethel, offering incense, when a prophet (Josephus, Ant . 8, 8, 5, calls him Jadon, i.e. probably Iddo; compare Ant. 8, 15, 4; Jerome, Quoest. Hebr. on 2 Chronicles 10:4) appeared, and in the name of the Lord announced a coming time, as yet far off, in which a king of the house of David, Josiah by name, should burn upon that unholy altar the bones of its ministers. He was then preparing to verify, by a commissioned prodigy, the truth of the oracle he had delivered, when the king attempted to arrest him, but was smitten with palsy in the arm he stretched forth. At the same time the threatened prodigy took place — the altar was rent asunder, and the ashes strewed far around. Awestruck at this twofold miracle, the king begged the prophet to intercede with God for the restoration of his hand, which was accordingly healed ( 1 Kings 13:1-6). B.C. 973. This measure had, however, no abiding effect. The policy on which he acted lay too deep in what he deemed the vital interests of his separate kingdom to be even thus abandoned; and the force of the considerations which determined his conduct may in part be appreciated from the fact that no subsequent king of Israel, however well disposed in other respects even ventured to lay a finger on this schismatical establishment ( 1 Kings 13:33-34). Hence "the sin of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, wherewith he sinned and made Israel to sin," became a standing phrase in describing that iniquity from which no king of Israel departed. (See Idolatry).
The contumacy of Jeroboam eventually brought upon him the doom which he probably dreaded beyond all others — the speedy extinction of the dynasty which he had taken so much pains and incurred so much guilt to establish on firm foundations. His son Abijah being sick, he sent his wife, disguised, to consult the prophet Ahijah, who had predicted that he should be king of Israel. The prophet, although he had become blind with age, knew the queen, and saluted her with, "Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam, for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings." These were not merely that the son should die for that was intended in mercy to one who alone, of all the house of Jeroboam, had remained faithful to his God, and was the only one who should obtain an honored grave but that his race should be violently and utterly extinguished: "I will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone" ( 1 Kings 14:1-18). The son died as soon as the mother crossed the threshold on her return; and, as the death of Jeroboam himself is the next event recorded, it would seem that he did not long survive his son ( 1 Kings 14:20). B.C. early in 951. (See Kitto's Daily Bible Illustrations , ad loc.)
"Jeroboam was at constant war with the house of Judah, but the only act distinctly recorded is a battle with Abijah, son of Rehoboam, in which, in spite of a skilful ambush made by Jeroboam, and of much superior force, he was defeated and for the time lost three important cities Beth-el. Jeshanah, and Ephraim. The Targum on Ruth 4:20 mentions Jeroboam having stationed guards on the roads which guards had been slain by the people of Netophah; but what is here alluded to, or when it took place, we have at present no clue to." The Sept. has a long addition to the Biblical account (at 1 Kings 12:24), evidently taken from some apocryphal source. Josephus simply follows the Hebrew text. (See Cassel, King Jeroboam , Erfurt, 1857.)
2. The son and successor of Jehoash, and the fourteenth king of Israel for a period of forty-one years, B.C. 823-782 ( 2 Kings 14:23). He followed the example of the first Jeroboam in keeping up the idolatry of the golden calves ( 2 Kings 14:24). Nevertheless, the Lord had pity upon Israel ( 2 Kings 14:26), the time of its ruin had not yet come, and this reign was long and flourishing, being contemporary with those of Amaziah ( 2 Kings 14:23) and Uzziah ( 2 Kings 15:1) over Judah. Jeroboam brought to a successful result the wars which his father had undertaken, and was always victorious over the Syrians (comp. 2 Kings 13:4; 2 Kings 14:26-27). He even took their chief cities of Damascus ( 2 Kings 14:28; Amos 1:3-5) and Hamnath, which had formerly been subject to the sceptre of David, and restored to the realm of Israel the ancient eastern limits from Lebanon to the Dead Sea ( 2 Kings 14:25; Amos 6:14). Ammon and Moab were reconquered ( Amos 1:13; Amos 2:1-3); the Transjordanic tribes were restored to their territory ( 2 Kings 13:5; 1 Chronicles 5:17-22). But it was merely an outward restoration. The sanctuary at Beth-el was kept up in royal state ( Amos 7:13), while drunkenness, licentiousness, and oppression prevailed in the country ( Amos 2:6-8; Amos 4:1; Amos 6:6; Hosea 4:12-14; Hosea 1:2), and idolatry was united with the worship of Jehovah ( Hosea 4:13; Hosea 13:6). During this reign lived the prophets Hosea ( Hosea 1:1), Joel (comp. Joel 3:16 with Amos 1:12), Amos ( Amos 1:1), and Jonah ( 2 Kings 14:25). In Amos 7:11, Amaziah, the high priest of Bethel, in reporting what he called the conspiracy of Amos against Jeroboam, represents the prophet as declaring that Jeroboam should die by the sword; and some would regard this as a prophecy that had failed of its fulfilment, as there is no evidence that his death was other than natural, for he was buried with his ancestors in state ( 2 Kings 14:29), although the interregnum of eleven years which intervened before the accession of his son Zechariah ( 2 Kings 14:23, comp. with 15:8) argues some political disorder at the time of his death (see the Studien Und Kritiken , 1847, 3, 648). But the probability rather is that the high priest, who displayed the true spirit of a persecutor, gave an unduly specific and offensive turn to the words of Amos, in order to inflame Jeroboam the more against him. The only passages of Scripture where his name occurs are 2 Kings 13:13; 2 Kings 14:16; 2 Kings 14:23; 2 Kings 14:27-29; 2 Kings 15:1; 2 Kings 15:8; 1 Chronicles 5:17; Hosea 1:1; Amos 1:1; Amos 7:9-11; in all others the former Jeroboam is intended. (See Kingdom Of Israel).
1. (Sept. ῾Ιερεμεήλ , ῾Ιεροβοάμ , ῾Ιερεάμ .) The son of Elihu (Eliab, Eliel), and father of Elkanah, Samuel's father ( 1 Samuel 1:1; 1 Chronicles 6:27; 1 Chronicles 6:34). B.C. ante 1142.
3. (Sept. Ι᾿Ωράμ v.r. Ι᾿Ρωάβ ) The father of Azareel, which latter was "captain" of the tribe of Dan under David and Solomon ( 1 Chronicles 27:22). B.C. ante 1017.
4. (Sept. Ι᾿Ωράμ .) Father of Azariah, which latter is the first mentioned of the two of that name among the "captains of hundreds" with whom Jehoiada planned the restoration of prince Jehoash to the throne ( 2 Chronicles 23:1). B.C. ante 876.
5. (Sept. Ι᾿Εροάμ v.r. Ι᾿Ροάμ .) The father of several Benjamite chiefs resident at Jerusalem ( 1 Chronicles 7:27). B.C. appar. ante 588. See No. 6; (See Jeremoth), 4.
6. (Sept. Ι᾿Εροάμ V.R. Ι᾿Εροβοάμ ) The father of Ibneiah, which latter was one of the Benjamite chiefs resident at Jerusalem ( 1 Chronicles 9:8). B.C. apparently ante 536. Possibly identical with the preceding.
7. (Sept. Ι᾿Εραάμ v.r. Ι᾿Ραάμ ) The son of Pashur, and father of Adaiah, which last was one of the chief priests resident at Jerusalem ( 1 Chronicles 9:12). B.C. apparently ante 536.
8. (Sept. ῾Ιεροάμ ) The son of Pelaliah, and father of Adaiah, which last was one of the chief priests resident at Jerusalem after the Exile ( Nehemiah 11:12). B.C. ante 440. Perhaps, however, this Jeroham was the same with No. 7.
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Jerobo´am, son of Nebat, and first king of Israel, who became king B.C. 975, and reigned 22 years.
He was of the tribe of Ephraim, the son of a widow named Zeruiah, when he was noticed by Solomon as a clever and active young man, and was appointed one of the superintendents of the works which that magnificent king was carrying on at Jerusalem. This appointment, the reward of his merits, might have satisfied his ambition had not the declaration of the prophet Ahijah given him higher hopes. When informed that, by the divine appointment, he was to become king over the ten tribes about to be rent from the house of David, he was not content to wait patiently for the death of Solomon, but began to form plots and conspiracies, the discovery of which constrained him to flee to Egypt to escape condign punishment. The king of that country was but too ready to encourage one whose success must necessarily weaken the kingdom which had become great and formidable under David and Solomon, and which had already pushed its frontier to the Red Sea .
When Solomon died, the ten tribes sent to call Jeroboam from Egypt; and he appears to have headed the deputation which came before the son of Solomon with a demand of new securities for the rights which the measures of the late king had compromised. It may somewhat excuse the harsh answer of Rehoboam, that the demand was urged by a body of men headed by one whose pretensions were so well known and so odious to the house of David. The imprudent answer of Rehoboam rendered a revolution inevitable, and Jeroboam was then called to reign over the ten tribes, by the style of 'king of Israel' .
The general course of his conduct on the throne has already been indicated in the article Israel, and need not be repeated in this place. The leading object of his policy was to widen the breach between the two kingdoms, and to rend asunder those common interests among all the descendants of Jacob, which it was one great object of the law to combine and interlace. To this end he scrupled not to sacrifice the most sacred and inviolable interests and obligations of the covenant people, by forbidding his subjects to resort to the one temple and altar of Jehovah at Jerusalem, and by establishing shrines at Dan and Bethel—the extremities of his kingdom—where 'golden calves' were set up as the symbols of Jehovah, to which the people were enjoined to resort and bring their offerings. The pontificate of the new establishment he united to his crown, in imitation of the Egyptian kings. He was officiating in that capacity at Bethel, offering incense, when a prophet appeared, and in the name of the Lord announced a coming time, as yet far off, in which a king of the house of David, Josiah by name, should burn upon that unholy altar the bones of its ministers. He was then preparing to verify, by a commissioned prodigy, the truth of the oracle he had delivered, when the king attempted to arrest him, but was smitten with palsy in the arm he stretched forth. At the same moment the threatened prodigy took place the altar was rent asunder, and the ashes strewed far around. This measure had, however, no abiding effect. The policy on which he acted lay too deep in what he deemed the vital interests of his separate kingdom, to be even thus abandoned: and the force of the considerations which determined his conduct may in part be appreciated from the fact that no subsequent king of Israel, however well disposed in other respects, ever ventured to lay a finger on this schismatical establishment. Hence 'the sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, wherewith he sinned and made Israel to sin,' became a standing phrase in describing that iniquity from which no king of Israel departed (; 1 Kings 13).
The contumacy of Jeroboam eventually brought upon him the doom which he probably dreaded beyond all others—the speedy extinction of the dynasty which he had taken so much pains and incurred so much guilt to establish on firm foundations. His son Abijah being sick, he sent his wife disguised to consult the prophet Ahijah, who had predicted that he should be king of Israel. The prophet, although he had become blind with age, knew the queen, and saluted her with—'Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam, for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings.' These were not merely that the son should die—for that was intended in mercy to one who alone, of all the house of Jeroboam, had remained faithful to his God, and was the only one who should obtain an honored grave—but that his race should be violently and utterly extinguished: 'I will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone' .
The son died so soon as the mother crossed the threshold on her return; and as the death of Jeroboam himself is the next event recorded, it would seem that he did not long survive his son. He died in B.C. 954 .
Jeroboam was perhaps a less remarkable man than the circumstance of his being the founder of a new kingdom might lead us to expect. The tribes would have revolted without him; and he was chosen king merely because he had been pointed out by previous circumstances. His government exhibits but one idea—that of raising a barrier against the reunion of the tribes. Of this idea he was the slave and victim; and although the barrier which he raised was effectual for its purpose, it only served to show the weakness of the man who could deem needful the protection for his separate interests which such a barrier offered.
Jeroboam, thirteenth king of Israel, son of Joash, whom, in B.C. 824, he succeeded on the throne, and reigned forty-one years. He followed the example of the first Jeroboam in keeping up the idolatry of the golden calves. Nevertheless the Lord had pity upon Israel, the time of its ruin was not yet come, and this reign was long and flourishing. Jeroboam brought to a successful result the wars which his father had under-taken, and was always victorious over the Syrians. He even took their chief cities of Damascus and Hamath, which had formerly been subject to the scepter of David, and restored to the realm of Israel the ancient eastern limits from Lebanon to the Dead Sea. He died in B.C. 783 (;; ).
The Scriptural account of this reign is too short to enable us to judge of the character of a prince under whom the kingdom of Israel seems to have reached a degree of prosperity which it had never before enjoyed, and was not able long to preserve.
- Jeroboam from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Jeroboam from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Jeroboam from Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
- Jeroboam from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Jeroboam from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Jeroboam from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Jeroboam from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Jeroboam from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Jeroboam from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Jeroboam from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- Jeroboam from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Jeroboam from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Jeroboam from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature