2 Chronicles 11-14 English Standard Version

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11 When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen 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: 3  "Say to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, 4  'Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up or fight against your relatives. Return every man to his home, for this thing is from me.'" So they listened to the word of the Lord and returned and did not go against Jeroboam.

The Prosperity of Rehoboam

5  Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and he built cities for defense in Judah. 6  He built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7  Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, 8  Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9  Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10  Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, fortified cities that are in Judah and in Benjamin. 11  He made the fortresses strong, and put commanders in them, and stores of food, oil, and wine. 12  And he put shields and spears in all the cities and made them very strong. So he held Judah and Benjamin.

13  And the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel presented themselves to him from all places where they lived. 14  For the Levites left their common lands and their holdings and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons cast them out from serving as priests of the Lord, 15  and he appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat idols and for the calves that he had made. 16  And those who had set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers. 17  They strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and for three years they made Rehoboam the son of Solomon secure, for they walked for three years in the way of David and Solomon. 18  Rehoboam took as 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, who bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21  Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and concubines (he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters). 22  And Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah as chief prince among his brothers, for he intended to make him king. 23  And he dealt wisely and distributed some of his sons through all the districts of Judah and Benjamin, in all the fortified cities, and he gave them abundant provisions and procured wives for them.[1]

Shishak's Invasion of Judah

12 When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. 2  In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem 3  with 1,200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen. And the people were without number who came with him from Egypt-- Libyans, Sukkiim, and Ethiopians. 4  And he took the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. 5  Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah, who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, "Thus says the Lord, 'You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak.'" 6  Then 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: "They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. 8  Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries." 9  So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house. He took away everything. He also took away the shields of gold that Solomon had made, 10  and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. 11  And as often as the king went into the house of the Lord, the guard came and carried them and brought them back to the guardroom. 12  And when he humbled himself the wrath of the Lord turned from him, so as not to make a complete destruction. Moreover, conditions were good[2] in Judah.

13  So King Rehoboam grew strong in Jerusalem and reigned. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city that the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel to put his name there. His mother's name was Naamah the Ammonite. 14  And he did evil, for 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 chronicles of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer?[3] There were continual wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. 16  And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David, and Abijah[4] his son reigned in his place.

The Reign of Abijah

13 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah began to reign over Judah. 2  He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Micaiah[5] the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. Now there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3  Abijah went out to battle, having an army of valiant men of war, 400,000 chosen men. And Jeroboam drew up his line of battle against him with 800,000 chosen mighty warriors. 4  Then Abijah stood up on Mount Zemaraim that is in the hill country of Ephraim and said, "Hear me, O Jeroboam and all Israel! 5  Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? 6  Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his lord, 7  and certain worthless scoundrels gathered about him and defied Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and irresolute[6] and could not withstand them. 8  "And now you think to withstand the kingdom of the Lord in the hand of the sons of David, because you are a great multitude and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made you for gods. 9  Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves like the peoples of other lands? Whoever comes for ordination[7] with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of what are no gods. 10  But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him. We have priests ministering to the Lord who are sons of Aaron, and Levites for their service. 11  They offer to the Lord every morning and every evening burnt offerings and incense of sweet spices, set out the showbread on the table of pure gold, and care for the golden lampstand that its lamps may burn every evening. For we keep the charge of the Lord our God, but you have forsaken him. 12  Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your fathers, for you cannot succeed."

13  Jeroboam had sent an ambush around to come upon them from behind. Thus his troops[8] were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. 14  And when Judah looked, behold, the battle was in front of and behind them. And they cried to the Lord, and the priests blew the trumpets. 15  Then the men of Judah raised the battle shout. And when the men of Judah shouted, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16  The men of Israel fled before Judah, and God gave them into their hand. 17  Abijah and his people struck them with great force, so there fell slain of Israel 500,000 chosen men. 18  Thus the men of Israel were subdued at that time, and the men of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the Lord, the God of their fathers. 19  And Abijah pursued Jeroboam and took cities from him, Bethel with its villages and Jeshanah with its villages and Ephron[9] with its villages. 20  Jeroboam did not recover his power in the days of Abijah. And the Lord struck him down, and he died. 21  But Abijah grew mighty. And he took fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22  The rest of the acts of Abijah, his ways and his sayings, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.

The Reign of Asa

14 [10] Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land had rest for ten years. 2  [11] And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. 3  He took away the foreign altars and the high places and broke down the pillars and cut down the Asherim 4  and commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment. 5  He also took out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense altars. And the kingdom had rest under him. 6  He built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him peace. 7  And 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 peace on every side." So they built and prospered. 8  And Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, armed with large shields and spears, and 280,000 men from Benjamin that carried shields and drew bows. All these were mighty men of valor.

9  Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. 10  And Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up their lines of battle in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11  And Asa cried to the Lord his God, "O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you." 12  So the Lord defeated 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 the Ethiopians fell until none remained alive, for they were broken before the Lord and his army. The men of Judah[12] carried away very much spoil. 14  And they attacked all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the Lord was upon them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. 15  And they struck down the tents of those who had livestock and carried away sheep in abundance and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

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Footnotes

[1] 11:23 Hebrew and sought a multitude of wives

[2] 12:12 Hebrew good things were found

[3] 12:15 After seer, Hebrew adds according to genealogy

[4] 12:16 Spelled Abijam in 1 Kings 14:31

[5] 13:2 Spelled Maacah in 1 Kings 15:2

[6] 13:7 Hebrew soft of heart

[7] 13:9 Hebrew to fill his hand

[8] 13:13 Hebrew they

[9] 13:19 Or Ephrain

[10] 14:1 Ch 13:23 in Hebrew

[11] 14:2 Ch 14:1 in Hebrew

[12] 14:13 Hebrew they

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