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.