Rehoboam Takes Counsel

5th century, with medieval and modern restorations
Nave, Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

This is the story in 1 Kings 12 of how the Davidic kingdom came to be divided. Rehoboam, heir of Solomon, asks his counselors how he should deal with the protests of Jeroboam and his men.

On the left side of the panel the old counselors advise gentle diplomacy to keep Jeroboam in the kingdom. But on the right the young advise him to tell them, "my father put a, heavy yoke upon you, but I will add to your yoke: my father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions" (12:11). Rehoboam listens to the young counselors and loses most of his kingdom.

In the left background the artist has pictorialized Rehoboam's threatened beating. It is not clear what is being pictured in the right background.

This is part of the extensive series of Old Testament scenes portrayed in mosaics along the two walls of the nave. To view the others, follow this link.

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Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.