After Solomon's death, he is not the first to come to power, as he fled Israel to escape Solomon's fury. When Rehoboam, one of Solomon's sons, comes to power, he returns to confront him in vain, and sees him decide to increase the Isrealite's burden rather than reduce it. While God commands the soldiers (through the prophet Shemaiah) to not defend Rehoboam and return to their homes, Jeroboam builds a city and lives there. He soon becomes the first post-Solomon king of Israel.
During his rule, he leads Israel away from God. He builds two golden calves and claims that these were what brought Israel out of Egypt and appoints priests who are not Levites, and proceeds to sacrifice to these calves and not God. As a result, God sends a prophesy through an unnamed prophet that a descendant of David will come and as a sign to testify this the alters will be torn down. Upon hearing this (for the prophet hand spoken this to him), Jeroboam commanded him to be thrown out. Reaching out to indicate the individual, God shrivels up his hand, and soon the altar is torn down, as God said it would. Upset, he asks the man of God to have God heal his hand, and after asking this from God Jeroboam's hand is restored.
Soon after another prophesy is made against Jeroboam. His son Abijah becomes ill, and he and his wife try to bribe the prophet Ahijah into making their son better. However, after arriving at his house, the wife is given a prophesy claiming that great harm will come upon Jeroboam's household since he has turned his back on the Lord. Afterwards, the son dies as a result of Jeroboam's idolatry.
Jeroboam is succeeded by his son, Nadab.