11 1 Now when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem , he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin , 180,000 e e chosen men who were warriors , to fight against Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam . 2 But the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God , saying , 3 "Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon , king of Judah , and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin , saying , 4 'Thus says the Lord , "You shall not go up or fight against your relatives ; return every man to his house , for this thing is from Me.""' So they listened to the words of the Lord and returned from going against Jeroboam .
The Prosperity of Rehoboam
5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built cities for defense in Judah . 6 Thus he built Bethlehem , Etam , Tekoa , 7 Beth-zur , Soco , Adullam , 8 Gath , Mareshah , Ziph , 9 Adoraim , Lachish , Azekah , 10 Zorah , Aijalon and Hebron , which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin . 11 He also strengthened the fortresses and put officers in them and stores of food , oil and wine . 12 He put shields and spears in every city and strengthened them greatly e . So he held Judah and Benjamin .
13 Moreover, the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel stood with him from all their districts . 14 For the Levites left their pasture lands and their property and came to Judah and Jerusalem , for Jeroboam and his sons had excluded them from serving as priests to the Lord . 15 He set up priests of his own for the high places , for the satyrs and for the calves which he had made . 16 Those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem , to sacrifice to the Lord God of their fathers . 17 They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam the son of Solomon for three years , for they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years . 18 Then Rehoboam took as a wife Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse , 19 and she bore him sons : Jeush , Shemariah and Zaham . 20 After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom , and she bore him Abijah , Attai , Ziza and Shelomith . 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and concubines . For he had taken eighteen e wives and sixty concubines and fathered twenty-eight e sons and sixty daughters . 22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah as head and leader among his brothers , for he intended to make him king . 23 He acted wisely and distributed some of his sons through all the territories of Judah and Benjamin to all the fortified cities , and he gave them food in abundance . And he sought many wives for them.
Shishak's Invasion of Judah
12 1 When the kingdom of Rehoboam was established and strong , he and all Israel with him forsook the law of the Lord . 2 And it came about in King Rehoboam's fifth year , because they had been unfaithful to the Lord , that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem 3 with 1,200 e chariots and 60,000 e horsemen . And the people who came with him from Egypt were without number : the Lubim , the Sukkiim and the Ethiopians . 4 He captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem . 5 Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah who had gathered at Jerusalem because e of Shishak , and he said to them, "Thus says the Lord , ' You have forsaken Me, so I also have forsaken you to Shishak .' " 6 So the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said , "The Lord is righteous ." 7 When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah , saying , " They have humbled themselves so I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some measure of deliverance , and My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by means of Shishak . 8 "But they will become his slaves so that they may learn the difference between My service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries ." 9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem , and took the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's palace . He took everything ; he even took the golden shields which Solomon had made . 10 Then King Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place and committed them to the care of the commanders of the guard who guarded the door of the king's house . 11 As often as the king entered the house of the Lord , the guards came and carried them and then brought them back into the guards' room . 12 And when he humbled himself, the anger of the Lord turned away from him, so as not to destroy him completely ; and also conditions were good in Judah .
13 So King Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned . Now Rehoboam was forty-one e years old when he began to reign , and he reigned seventeen e years in Jerusalem , the city which the Lord had chosen from all the tribes of Israel , to put His name there . And his mother's name was Naamah the Ammonitess . 14 He did evil because he did not set his heart to seek the Lord . 15 Now the acts of Rehoboam , from first to last , are they not written in the records of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer , according to genealogical enrollment ? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually e . 16 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David ; and his son Abijah became king in his place .
The Reign of Abijah
13 1 In the eighteenth e year of King Jeroboam , Abijah became king over Judah . 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem ; and his mother's name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah . Now there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam . 3 Abijah began the battle with an army of valiant warriors , 400,000 e e chosen men , while Jeroboam drew up in battle formation against him with 800,000 e e chosen men who were valiant warriors . 4 Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim , which is in the hill country of Ephraim , and said , "Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel : 5 "Do you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt ? 6 "Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat , the servant of Solomon the son of David , rose up and rebelled against his master , 7 and worthless men gathered about him, scoundrels e , who proved too strong for Rehoboam , the son of Solomon , when he was young and timid e and could not hold his own against them. 8 "So now you intend to resist the kingdom of the Lord through the sons of David , being a great multitude and having with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made for gods for you. 9 " Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord , the sons of Aaron and the Levites , and made for yourselves priests like the peoples of other lands ? Whoever comes to consecrate e himself with a young bull and seven rams , even he may become a priest of what are no gods . 10 "But as for us, the Lord is our God , and we have not forsaken Him; and the sons of Aaron are ministering to the Lord as priests , and the Levites attend to their work . 11 "Every morning and evening they burn to the Lord burnt offerings and fragrant incense , and the showbread e is set on the clean table , and the golden lampstand with its lamps is ready to light every evening ; for we keep the charge of the Lord our God , but you have forsaken Him. 12 "Now behold , God is with us at our head and His priests with the signal trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O sons of Israel , do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers , for you will not succeed ."
13 But Jeroboam had set an ambush to come from the rear , so that Israel was in front of Judah and the ambush was behind e them. 14 When Judah turned around , behold , they were attacked both front and rear ; so they cried to the Lord , and the priests blew the trumpets . 15 Then the men of Judah raised a war cry , and when the men of Judah raised the war cry , then it was that God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah . 16 When the sons of Israel fled before e Judah , God gave them into their hand . 17 Abijah and his people defeated them with a great slaughter , so that 500,000 e e chosen men of Israel fell slain . 18 Thus the sons of Israel were subdued at that time , and the sons of Judah conquered because they trusted in the Lord , the God of their fathers . 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured from him several cities , Bethel with its villages , Jeshanah with its villages and Ephron with its villages . 20 Jeroboam did not again recover strength in the days of Abijah ; and the Lord struck him and he died . 21 But Abijah became powerful ; and took fourteen e wives to himself, and became the father of twenty-two e sons and sixteen e daughters . 22 Now the rest of the acts of Abijah , and his ways and his words are written in the treatise of the prophet Iddo .
The Reign of Asa
14 1 So Abijah slept with his fathers , and they buried him in the city of David , and his son Asa became king in his place . The land was undisturbed for ten years during his days . 2 Asa did good and right in the sight of the Lord his God , 3 for he removed the foreign altars and high places , tore down the sacred pillars , cut down the Asherim , 4 and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers and to observe the law and the commandment . 5 He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah . And the kingdom was undisturbed under him. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah , since the land was undisturbed , and there was no one at war with him during those years , because the Lord had given him rest . 7 For he said to Judah , " Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers , gates and bars . The land is still ours because we have sought the Lord our God ; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side ." So they built and prospered . 8 Now Asa had an army of 300,000 e e from Judah , bearing large shields and spears , and 280,000 e e from Benjamin , bearing shields and wielding bows ; all of them were valiant warriors .
9 Now Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 e chariots , and he came to Mareshah . 10 So Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up in battle formation in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah . 11 Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said , "Lord , there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength ; so help us, O Lord our God , for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude . O Lord , You are our God ; let not man prevail against You." 12 So the Lord routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah , and the Ethiopians fled . 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar ; and so many Ethiopians fell that they could not recover , for they were shattered before the Lord and before His army . And they carried away very much plunder . 14 They destroyed all the cities around Gerar , for the dread of the Lord had fallen on them; and they despoiled all the cities , for there was much plunder in them. 15 They also struck down those who owned livestock , and they carried away large numbers of sheep and camels . Then they returned to Jerusalem .