“But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah” (10:17). After King Solomon’s death, the kingdom passed to his son Rehoboam, who quickly lost control. Rehoboam insulted the people and wouldn’t negotiate or listen to tribal leaders, so, as was prophesied (I Kings 11), the nation fell apart. The northern tribes formed their own alliance, leaving Rehoboam as king over “Judah,” the southern region. Greater Israel’s moment of unity, peace, and prosperity had ended.
“It was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord” (10:15) as the consequence of Solomon’s fall into idolatry (I Kings 11). God’s people were broken not by outside armies, but by their own unfaithfulness to the Lord.