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2 Chronicles 10:2–13:20

And it happened that when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard it—now he was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon—Jeroboam returned from Egypt. And they sent and called him. Then Jeroboam and all Israel went, and they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now, therefore, lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, and we will serve you.” And he said to them, “In three days return to me again.” And the people went away.

Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the elders who had been servinga before Solomon his father when he was alive, saying, “What word do you advise to answer this people?” And they said to him, “If you will be good to this people and please them, then speak good words to them. Then they will be your servants forever.”b But he forsook the advice of the elders that advised him and took counsel of the young men who had grown up with him who were servingc before him. And he said to them, “What do you advise that we should say in return to this people, who said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father has put upon us’?” 10 Then the young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus you should say to this people who have said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, so you yourself should lighten it for us.’ Thus you should say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than the loins of my father. 11 So now, my father laid upon you a heavy yoke, but I myself will add to the yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I myself will do so with scorpions.’ ”

12 Then Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had spoken, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 And the king answered them harshly, and King Rehoboam forsook the advice of the elders. 14 And he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “I will make your yoke heavy, and I myself will add to it. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will do so with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turning of events from God, so that Yahweh might fulfill his word that he had spoken by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat. 16 So all Israel saw that the king would not listen to them, and the people answered the king, saying, “What portion is there for us in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Each to your tents, O Israel! Now look to your own house, David!” And all Israel went to their own tents. 17 But as for the Israelitesd who were living in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam ruled over them. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was in charge ofe the forced labor, but the Israelitesf stoned him with stones, and he died. Then King Rehoboam hastily went up into the chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has rebelled against the house of David until this day.

Rehoboam’s Kingdom

11 When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, one hundred and eighty thousand chosen warriors,a to fight against Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. But the word of Yahweh came to Shemaiah, the man of God, saying, “Say to Rehoboam, son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, ‘Thus says Yahweh: “Do not go up, and do not fight against your brothers. Return, each man to his house, for this matter has come from me.” ’ ” So they obeyed the words of Yahweh and turned back from going against Jeroboam.

And Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and he built cities as strongholds in Judah. He built Bethlehem, Etah, Tekoa, Beth-Zur, Socoh, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, fortified cities that are in Judah and in Benjamin. 11 And he strengthened the fortifications and put commanders in them, along with stores of food, olive oil, and wine. 12 And in all the cities he put shields and spears, and he greatly strengthened them. So he had Judah and Benjamin.

The Priests and Levites Come to Jerusalem

13 Now the priests and the Levites who were throughout all Israel took their stand with himb from all their territories. 14 For the Levites left their pasturelands and their property and came to Judah and to Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them from serving as priests to Yahweh. 15 And he appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat idols and for the bull calves that he had made. 16 Then after them, from all the tribes of Israel, those who set their heart to seek Yahweh, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to offer to Yahweh, the God of their ancestors.c 17 And they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and made Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, secure for three years, for they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.

Rehoboam’s Harem and Family

18 Then Rehoboam took to himself as a wife Mahalath, the daughterd of Yerimot son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. 19 And she bore to him sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 And after her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom, who bore to him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 And Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his wives and concubines (for he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters). 22 And Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah as chief and crown prince over his brothers, in order to make him king. 23 And he dealt wisely and distributed some of his sons throughout all the land of Judah and Benjamin, through all the fortified cities, and gave abundant provisions to them and obtained many wives for them.

Shishak of Egypt Invades Jerusalem

12 And when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established and when he was strengthened, he forsook the law of Yahweh, and all Israel with him. And it happened that in the fifth year of King Rehoboam (for they had acted unfaithfully against Yahweh), Shishak the king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem with one thousand two hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen. And there was no number to the people who came up with him from Egypt—Libyans, Sukkites, and Cushites. And he took the fortified cities that belonged to Judah, and he came up to Jerusalem.

Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah who had gathered at Jerusalem from before Shishak. And he said to them, “Thus says Yahweh: ‘You yourselves have abandoned me, and I myself have surely abandoned you into the hand of Shishak.’ ” Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “Yahweh is righteous.” And when Yahweh saw that they humbled themselves, the word of Yahweh came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves; I will not destroy. I will give to them some way of escape, that my anger not be poured out against Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. However, they shall be his servants, that they might know my service and the service of the kingdoms of other countries.”

Then Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and he took the treasures out of the house of Yahweh and the treasures out of the king’s house. He took everything. He also took the small shields of gold that Solomon had made. 10 And King Rehoboam made small shields of bronze in their place and committed them into the hand of the commanders of the guards who were keeping the entrance of the house of the king. 11 And whenever the king went into the house of Yahweh, the guards came and carried them, and then they returned them to the alcove of the guards. 12 And when he humbled himself, the anger of Yahweh was turned away from him, so that he did not destroy the city completely. Moreover, matters were well in Judah.

The Death of Rehoboam

13 So King Rehoboam was strengthened in Jerusalem, and he reigned there. Now, Rehoboam was forty-one years olda when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city where Yahweh had chosen to put his name out of all the tribes of Israel. And the name of his mother was Naamah the Ammonite. 14 And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek Yahweh.

15 Now the words of Rehoboam from the first to the last, are they not written in the chroniclesb of Shemaiah the prophet and Iddo the seer as a record? And there were battles between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all theirc days. 16 And Rehoboam slept with his ancestors,d and he was buried in the city of David, and Abijah his son reigned in his place.

Abijah and Civil War

13 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah reigned over Judah. He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. And the name of his mother was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel from Gibeah.

Now there was war between Abijah and between Jeroboam. And Abijah joined in the battle with an army of four hundred thousand battle-hardened warriors,a chosen men, and Jeroboam put the battle in order against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, an army of mighty warriors.

Then Abijah stood up on top of Mount Zemaraim that is in the hill country of Ephraim and said, “Hear me, O Jeroboam and all Israel! Do you not all know that Yahweh the God of Israel gave the kingdom to David over Israel forever, to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? But Jeroboam the son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his master, and worthless men, sons of wickedness,b were gathered about him and became hostile against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was a boy and gentle of heart and was not strong enough to stand before them. So now you yourselves are considering that you are strong before the kingdom of Yahweh which is in the hand of the sons of David, since you yourselves are a great multitude and you have bull calves of gold that Jeroboam has made for idols. Did you not drive out the priests of Yahweh, the sons of Aaron, the Levites? Have you not made for yourselves priests like all the peoples of the …

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