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Rehoboam’s Reign

11:5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem;5 he built up these fortified cities throughout Judah: 11:6 Bethlehem,6 Etam, Tekoa, 11:7 Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, 11:8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 11:9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 11:10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These were the fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11:11 He fortified these cities and placed officers in them, as well as storehouses of food, olive oil, and wine. 11:12 In each city there were shields and spears; he strongly fortified them.7 Judah and Benjamin belonged to him.

11:13 The priests and Levites who lived throughout Israel supported him, no matter where they resided.8 11:14 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. 11:15 Jeroboam9 appointed his own priests to serve at the worship centers10 and to lead in the worship of the goat idols and calf idols he had made.11 11:16 Those among all the Israelite tribes who were determined to worship the Lord God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem12 to sacrifice to the Lord God of their ancestors.13 11:17 They supported14 the kingdom of Judah and were loyal to15 Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years; they followed the edicts of16 David and Solomon for three years.

11:18 Rehoboam married17 Mahalath the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of18 Abihail, the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 11:19 She bore him sons named Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 11:20 He later married Maacah the daughter of Absalom. She bore to him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 11:21 Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than his other wives and concubines.19 He had eighteen wives and sixty concubines; he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.

11:22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as the leader over his brothers, for he intended to name him his successor.20 11:23 He wisely placed some of his many sons throughout the regions of Judah and Benjamin in the various fortified cities.21 He supplied them with abundant provisions and acquired many wives for them.22

12:1 After Rehoboam’s rule was established and solidified, he and all Israel rejected the law of the Lord. 12:2 Because they were unfaithful to the Lord, in King Rehoboam’s fifth year, King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 12:3 He had 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen, and an innumerable number of soldiers who accompanied him from Egypt, including Libyans, Sukkites, and Cushites. 12:4 He captured the fortified cities of Judah and marched against Jerusalem.

12:5 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.’ ”1 12:6 The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is just.”2 12:7 When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, he gave this message to Shemaiah:3 “They have humbled themselves, so I will not destroy them. I will deliver them soon.4 My anger will not be unleashed against5 Jerusalem through6 Shishak. 12:8 Yet they will become his subjects, so they can experience how serving me differs from serving the surrounding nations.”7

12:9 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. 12:10 King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned them to the officers of the royal guard8 who protected the entrance to the royal palace. 12:11 Whenever the king visited the Lord’s temple, the royal guards carried them and then brought them back to the guardroom.9

12:12 So when Rehoboam10 humbled himself, the Lord relented from his anger and did not annihilate him;11 Judah experienced some good things.12 12:13 King Rehoboam solidified his rule in Jerusalem;13 he14 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.15 Rehoboam’s16 mother was an Ammonite named Naamah. 12:14 He did evil because he was not determined to follow the Lord.17

12:15 The events of Rehoboam’s reign, from start to finish, are recorded18 in the Annals of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer that include genealogical records. 12:16 Then Rehoboam passed away19 and was buried in the City of David.20 His son Abijah replaced him as king.


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