I. Founder of the kingdom of Israel, son of Nebat, of the tribe of Ephraim, died about 953 B. C. He was selected by Solomon to be a superintendent of the public works at Jerusalem. Informed by the prophet Ahijah that he was to rule the ten tribes which should revolt from the house of David, he immediately engaged in plots against Solomon, and fled to the court of Shishak, king of Egypt, to escape punishment. On the death of Solomon he returned, headed the deputation of the chiefs of tribes which, met Rehoboam at Shechem and whose demands were rejected, and was then elected by ten of the tribes to reign over them, with the title of king of Israel, Judah and Benjamin alone remaining to Rehoboam (975 B. C). He resided at Shechem, which he fortified, built temples at Dan and Bethel, where golden calves were made the symbols of the Divinity, to which his subjects might resort rather than to Jerusalem, and was generally successful in his wars against Judah, though he was defeated in a great battle by Abijah. The leading aim of his government was to raise a barrier against any reunion of the tribes. II. Thirteenth king of Israel, son of Joash, reigned 823-782 B. C. His reign of 41 years was prosperous, although licentious and oppressive.
He captured Damascus from the Syrians, and reconquered Ammon and Moab. In Scripture he is mentioned only in 2 Kings xiii.-xv., 1 Chron. v., and in the prophecies of Hosea and Amos. Wherever the name occurs elsewhere, it refers to Jeroboam I.