II Chronicles 11-13
When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he summoned 180,000 skilled warriors from Judah and Benjamin to attack Israel and restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. 2 But the Lord told Shemaiah the prophet, 3 “Say this to King Rehoboam son of Solomon of Judah and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin, 4 ‘The Lord says this: “Do not attack and make war with your brothers. Each of you go home, for I have caused this to happen.”’” They obeyed the Lord and called off the attack against Jeroboam.
5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem; he built up these fortified cities throughout Judah: 6 Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These were the fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11 He fortified these cities and placed officers in them, as well as storehouses of food, olive oil, and wine. 12 In each city there were shields and spears; he strongly fortified them. Judah and Benjamin belonged to him.
13 The priests and Levites who lived throughout Israel supported him, no matter where they resided. 14 The Levites even left their pasturelands and their property behind and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons prohibited them from serving as the Lord’s priests. 15 Jeroboam appointed his own priests to serve at the worship centers and to lead in the worship of the goat idols and calf idols he had made. 16 Those among all the Israelite tribes who were determined to worship the Lord God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord God of their ancestors. 17 They supported the kingdom of Judah and were loyal to Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years; they followed the edicts of David and Solomon for three years.
18 Rehoboam married Mahalath the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 19 She bore him sons named Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 He later married Maacah the daughter of Absalom. She bore to him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than his other wives and concubines. He had eighteen wives and sixty concubines; he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as the leader over his brothers, for he intended to name him his successor. 23 He wisely placed some of his many sons throughout the regions of Judah and Benjamin in the various fortified cities. He supplied them with abundant provisions and acquired many wives for them.
After Rehoboam’s rule was established and solidified, he and all Israel rejected the law of the Lord. 2 Because they were unfaithful to the Lord, in King Rehoboam’s fifth year, King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 3 He had 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen, and an innumerable number of soldiers who accompanied him from Egypt, including Libyans, Sukkites, and Cushites. 4 He captured the fortified cities of Judah and marched against Jerusalem.
5 Shemaiah the prophet visited Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah who were assembled in Jerusalem because of Shishak. He said to them, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have rejected me, so I have rejected you and will hand you over to Shishak.’” 6 The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is just.” 7 When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, he gave this message to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves, so I will not destroy them. I will deliver them soon. My anger will not be unleashed against Jerusalem through Shishak. 8 Yet they will become his subjects, so they can experience how serving me differs from serving the surrounding nations.”
9 King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and took away the treasures of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace; he took everything, including the gold shields that Solomon had made. 10 King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned them to the officers of the royal guard who protected the entrance to the royal palace. 11 Whenever the king visited the Lord’s temple, the royal guards carried them and then brought them back to the guardroom.
12 So when Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord relented from his anger and did not annihilate him; Judah experienced some good things. 13 King Rehoboam solidified his rule in Jerusalem; he was forty-one years old when he became king and he ruled for seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord chose from all the tribes of Israel to be his home. Rehoboam’s mother was an Ammonite named Naamah. 14 He did evil because he was not determined to follow the Lord.
15 The events of Rehoboam’s reign, from start to finish, are recorded in the Annals of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer that include genealogical records. 16 Then Rehoboam passed away and was buried in the City of David. His son Abijah replaced him as king.
In the eighteenth year of the reign of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah. 2 He ruled for three years in Jerusalem. His mother was Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel from Gibeah.
There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Abijah launched the attack with 400,000 well-trained warriors, while Jeroboam deployed against him 800,000 well-trained warriors.
4 Abijah ascended Mount Zemaraim, in the Ephraimite hill country, and said: “Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel! 5 Don’t you realize that the Lord God of Israel has given David and his dynasty lasting dominion over Israel by a formal agreement? 6 Jeroboam son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon son of David, rose up and rebelled against his master. 7 Lawless good-for-nothing men gathered around him and conspired against Rehoboam son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was an inexperienced young man and could not resist them. 8 Now you are declaring that you will resist the Lord’s rule through the Davidic dynasty. You have a huge army, and bring with you the gold calves that Jeroboam made for you as gods. 9 But you banished the Lord’s priests, Aaron’s descendants, and the Levites, and appointed your own priests just as the surrounding nations do! Anyone who comes to consecrate himself with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of these fake gods! 10 But as for us, the Lord is our God and we have not rejected him. Aaron’s descendants serve as the Lord’s priests and the Levites assist them with the work. 11 They offer burnt sacrifices to the Lord every morning and every evening, along with fragrant incense. They arrange the Bread of the Presence on a ritually clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. Certainly we are observing the Lord our God’s regulations, but you have rejected him. 12 Now look, God is with us as our leader. His priests are ready to blow the trumpets to signal the attack against you. You Israelites, don’t fight against the Lord God of your ancestors, for you will not win!”
13 Now Jeroboam had sent some men to ambush the Judahite army from behind. The main army was in front of the Judahite army; the ambushers were behind it. 14 The men of Judah turned around and realized they were being attacked from the front and the rear. So they cried out for help to the Lord. The priests blew their trumpets, 15 and the men of Judah gave the battle cry. As the men of Judah gave the battle cry, the Lord struck down Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 The Israelites fled from before the Judahite army, and God handed them over to the men of Judah. 17 Abijah and his army thoroughly defeated them; 500,000 well-trained Israelite men fell dead. 18 That day the Israelites were defeated; the men of Judah prevailed because they relied on the Lord God of their ancestors.
19 Abijah chased Jeroboam; he seized from him these cities: Bethel and its surrounding towns, Jeshanah and its surrounding towns, and Ephron and its surrounding towns. 20 Jeroboam did not regain power during the reign of Abijah. The Lord struck him down and he died. 21 Abijah’s power grew; he had fourteen wives and fathered twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.
22 The rest of the events of Abijah’s reign, including his deeds and sayings, are recorded in the writings of the prophet Iddo.