Original Research - Special Collection: African Hermeneutics

1 Kings 12:1–24 and effects of hate speech in Nigeria

Favour C. Uroko, Mary J. Obiorah
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 42, No 1 | a2209 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v42i1.2209 | © 2021 Favour C. Uroko, Mary J. Obiorah | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 January 2021 | Published: 21 October 2021

About the author(s)

Favour C. Uroko, Department of Religion, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Mary J. Obiorah, Department of Religion, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

This article examines the effect of hate speech in Nigeria in the light of 1 Kings 12:1–24. Hate speech refers to any speech that subordinates, marginalises or harms members of a group. The analysis of the text unveils how Rehoboam’s speech inhibits and exhibits hate, subordination and neglect of citizens he was ruling based on tribal difference. Rehoboam’s father, Solomon, placed a heavy burden especially on the people of northern Israel. After Solomon’s death, the people hoped for a review and possible annihilation of the biased policies by Rehoboam. Unfortunately, Rehoboam’s response was full of hate. The people of Israel also responded with hate speech towards Rehoboam. Thus, the exchange of hate speech from the ruler to the ruled occurred. This led to a divided Israel, opened to attacks. This analysis affords an insight into the problem of hate speech in Nigeria. There is a general perception that a particular set of people are favoured by federal government in Nigeria. This had further intensified ethnic tension, ethno-religious disunity and calls for disintegration of Nigeria. The pericope (1 Ki 12:1–24) speaks anew about the problem of ever-increasing hate speech in Nigeria.

Intra/interdisciplinary implications: This research is based on the importance of hate speech in 1 Kings 12:1–24. Similar to what is obtainable amongst Nigerians, 1 Kings 12 reveals that harmful speech from the ruler and the ruled have far-reaching implications. It leads to the destruction of lives and property. Disciplines implicated include Old Testament and ethnicity and Communication Studies.


Keywords

Rehoboam scorpion; Solomon; 1 Kings 12; hate speech; scorpion

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