2 Samuel 7:14
When God promised David He would establish his throne forever, He also stipulated that, if his son sinned, He would "chasten him with the rod of men" (II Samuel 7:14). The word son refers not only to Solomon but also to any of David's descendants who would become king over Israel. Around 975 BC, Solomon died, having ruled Israel in unparalleled splendor for forty years (I Kings 11:42). "And Rehoboam his son reigned in his place" (I Kings 11:43).
Now was the time for chastening. God, having responded to Solomon's apostasy by committing Himself to ripping a part of his kingdom from his descendants, looked about for a suitable ruler of the remaining tribes. He found Jeroboam, a talented and ambitious Ephraimite whom Solomon had years before placed in charge of Joseph's labor force (I Kings 11:28). God, apparently recognizing potential in Jeroboam, made him two promises through the prophet Ahijah (I Kings 11:35-39). One of these promises is conditional, while the other is unconditional.
» Unconditional promise: "I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you" (verse 31). God goes on to explain that He will leave one tribe, Judah, under the Davidic monarchy in order "that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem" (verse 36). God did this to honor His promise to David that He would "establish the throne of [Solomon's] kingdom forever" (II Samuel 7:12-13). Christ, the last King, descended from Judah and will sit on that throne forever.
» Conditional promise: ". . . if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you" (I Kings 11:38). This is a remarkable promise. God says He will establish in Jeroboam a permanent dynasty over ten tribes if he keeps His covenant.
Searching for Israel (Part Five): Solomon and the Divided Kingdom