Solomon's reign, although glorious, was very taxing.
The ever increasing taxes had put a burden on the people and created the seeds of unrest and rebellion.
300 years earlier, between the tribes of Ephraim and Judah, jealously had become an issue.
Joshua was from Ephraim and his tribe had taken a leading role and those in Judah resented it.
Doesn't matter who is leading, somebody is unhappy and misery loves company. The Northern tribes let resentment build until David came on the scene. He was from Judah in the Southern tribal region.
The lead shifted now to his tribe and eventually to his son Solomon who put all the tribes under a heavy tax burden which created discord.
Solomon's son Rehoboam, after unwise counsel from younger leaders, threatened to levy heavier taxes upon the people. This was an unwise decision. It added fuel to the fires of revolt already brewing for 300 years, since the time of the Judges.
The 10 tribes faithful to Ephraim in the north revolted.
The two remaining tribes, Judah and Benjamin remained loyal.
This erupted tension led to the appointing of Jeroboam as king of the northern section of the people while Rehoboam became king after Solomon.
The divided kingdom begins as recorded in 1 Kings 11:31 when the prophet Ahijah uses a symbolic gesture by taking off his coast and tearing it into ten pieces.
He describes what God is about to do when he says to Jeroboam, "Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says:'See I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hand and give you ten tribes."
The kingdom is divided.
Solomon is judged for years of pride, power and luxury at the expense of his faithfulness to God.
He was disloyal by marrying foreign women and allowing their pagan forms of worship to influence him and the integrity of his reign.
Sin brought division and eventual captivity. Israel and Judah have been apart now for almost 3000 years but God is working behind the scenes and one day they will be united again. See Isaiah 11:10-13; Ezekiel 37:15-28.
Next: Elijah's life and legacy in Elisha.