2 Chronicles 11:1–15:19

11 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem,n he mustered Judah and Benjamin—a hundred and eighty thousand able young men—to go to war against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam.

But this word of the Lord came to Shemaiaho the man of God: “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your fellow Israelites.p Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’ ” So they obeyed the words of the Lord and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.

Rehoboam Fortifies Judah

Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built up towns for defense in Judah: Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth Zur, Soko, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron. These were fortified citiesq in Judah and Benjamin. 11 He strengthened their defenses and put commanders in them, with supplies of food, olive oil and wine. 12 He put shields and spears in all the cities, and made them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his.

13 The priests and Levites from all their districts throughout Israel sided with him. 14 The Levitesr even abandoned their pasturelands and propertys and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as priests of the Lord 15 when he appointedt his own priestsu for the high places and for the goatv and calfw idols he had made. 16 Those from every tribe of Israelx who set their hearts on seeking the Lord, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 17 They strengthenedy the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon three years, following the ways of David and Solomon during this time.

Rehoboam’s Family

18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, who was the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 19 She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham. 20 Then he married Maakahz daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah,a Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maakah daughter of Absalom more than any of his other wives and concubines. In all, he had eighteen wivesb and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.

22 Rehoboam appointed Abijahc son of Maakah as crown prince among his brothers, in order to make him king. 23 He acted wisely, dispersing some of his sons throughout the districts of Judah and Benjamin, and to all the fortified cities. He gave them abundant provisionsd and took many wives for them.

Shishak Attacks Jerusalem

12:9–16pp—1Ki 14:21, 25–31

12 After Rehoboam’s position as king was establishede and he had become strong,f he and all Israela g with him abandonedh the law of the Lord. Because they had been unfaithfuli to the Lord, Shishakj king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam. With twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen and the innumerable troops of Libyans,k Sukkites and Cushitesb l that came with him from Egypt, he captured the fortified citiesm of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem.

Then the prophet Shemaiahn came to Rehoboam and to the leaders of Judah who had assembled in Jerusalem for fear of Shishak, and he said to them, “This is what the Lord says, ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandono you to Shishak.’ ”

The leaders of Israel and the king humbledp themselves and said, “The Lord is just.”q

When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but will soon give them deliverance.r My wraths will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. They will, however, become subjectt to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands.”

When Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem, he carried off the treasures of the temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including the gold shieldsu Solomon had made. 10 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned these to the commanders of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. 11 Whenever the king went to the Lord’s temple, the guards went with him, bearing the shields, and afterward they returned them to the guardroom.

12 Because Rehoboam humbledv himself, the Lord’s anger turned from him, and he was not totally destroyed. Indeed, there was some goodw in Judah.

13 King Rehoboam establishedx himself firmly in Jerusalem and continued as king. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel in which to put his Name.y His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite. 14 He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.

15 As for the events of Rehoboam’s reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Shemaiahz the prophet and of Iddo the seer that deal with genealogies? There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. 16 Rehoboama rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. And Abijahb his son succeeded him as king.

Abijah King of Judah

13:1–2,22–14:1pp—1Ki 15:1–2,6–8

13 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam, Abijah became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother’s name was Maakah,a c a daughterb of Uriel of Gibeah.

There was war between Abijahd and Jeroboam.e Abijah went into battle with an army of four hundred thousand able fighting men, and Jeroboam drew up a battle line against him with eight hundred thousand able troops.

Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim,f in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Jeroboam and all Israel,g listen to me! Don’t you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants foreverh by a covenant of salt?i Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, an official of Solomon son of David, rebelledj against his master. Some worthless scoundrelsk gathered around him and opposed Rehoboam son of Solomon when he was young and indecisivel and not strong enough to resist them.

“And now you plan to resist the kingdom of the Lord, which is in the hands of David’s descendants.m You are indeed a vast army and have with youn the golden calveso that Jeroboam made to be your gods. But didn’t you drive out the priestsp of the Lord,q the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and make priests of your own as the peoples of other lands do? Whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bullr and seven ramss may become a priest of what are not gods.t

10 “As for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests who serve the Lord are sons of Aaron, and the Levites assist them. 11 Every morning and eveningu they present burnt offerings and fragrant incensev to the Lord. They set out the bread on the ceremonially clean tablew and light the lampsx on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing the requirements of the Lord our God. But you have forsaken him. 12 God is with us; he is our leader. His priests with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you.y People of Israel, do not fight against the Lord,z the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed.”a

13 Now Jeroboam had sent troops around to the rear, so that while he was in front of Judah the ambushb was behind them. 14 Judah turned and saw that they were being attacked at both front and rear. Then they cried outc to the Lord. The priests blew their trumpets 15 and the men of Judah raised the battle cry. At the sound of their battle cry, God routed Jeroboam and all Israeld before Abijah and Judah. 16 The Israelites fled before Judah, and God deliverede them into their hands. 17 Abijah and his troops inflicted heavy losses on them, so that there were five hundred thousand casualties among Israel’s able men. 18 The Israelites were subdued on that occasion, and the people of Judah were victorious because they reliedf on the Lord, the God of their ancestors.

19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and took from him the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron, with their surrounding villages. 20 Jeroboam did not regain power during the time of Abijah. And the Lord struck him down and he died.

21 But Abijah grew in strength. He married fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.

22 The other events of Abijah’s reign, what he did and what he said, are written in the annotations of the prophet Iddo.

14 a And Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. Asa his son succeeded him as king, and in his days the country was at peace for ten years.

Asa King of Judah

14:2–3pp—1Ki 15:11–12

Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.g He removed the foreign altarsh and the high places, smashed the sacred stonesi and cut down the Asherah poles.b j He commanded Judah to seek the Lord,k the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. He removed the high placesl and incense altarsm in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest.n

“Let us build up these towns,” he said to Judah, “and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God; we sought him and he has given us resto on every side.” So they built and prospered.

Asa had an army of three hundred thousandp men from Judah, equipped with large shields and with spears, and two hundred and eighty thousand from Benjamin, armed with small shields and with bows. All these were brave fighting men.

Zerah the Cushiteq marched out against them with an army of thousands upon thousands and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah.r 10 Asa went out to meet him, and they took up battle positions in the Valley of Zephathah near …

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