11 1 When Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, one hundred eighty thousand chosen men, who were warriors, to fight against Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam. 2 But the word of Yahweh 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 Yahweh, You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers: return every man to his house; for this thing is of me. So they listened to the words of Yahweh, and returned from going against Jeroboam.
The Prosperity of Rehoboam
5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and built cities for defense in Judah. 6 He built Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa, 7 Beth Zur, and Soco, and Adullam, 8 and Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, 9 and Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah, 10 and Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin, fortified cities. 11 He fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and stores of food, and oil and wine. 12 In every city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong. Judah and Benjamin belonged to him.
13 The priests and the Levites who were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their border. 14 For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons cast them off, that they should not execute the priest’s office to Yahweh; 15 and he appointed him priests for the high places, and for the male goats, and for the calves which he had made. 16 After them, out of all the tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek Yahweh, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to Yahweh, the God of their fathers. 17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years; for they walked three years in the way of David and Solomon. 18 Rehoboam took him 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, and Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom; and she bore him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and sixty concubines, and became the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.) 22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah to be chief, even the prince among his brothers; for he was minded to make him king. 23 He dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his sons throughout all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, to every fortified city: and he gave them food in abundance. He sought for them many wives.
Shishak's Invasion of Judah
12 1 It happened, when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established, and he was strong, that he forsook the law of Yahweh, and all Israel with him. 2 It happened in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had trespassed against Yahweh, 3 with twelve hundred chariots, and sixty thousand horsemen. The people were without number who came with him out of Egypt: the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Ethiopians. 4 He took the fortified cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem. 5 Now Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, who were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, Thus says Yahweh, You have forsaken me, therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak. 6 Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, Yahweh is righteous. 7 When Yahweh saw that they humbled themselves, the word of Yahweh came to Shemaiah, saying, 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 his servants, 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, and took away the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and the treasures of the king’s house: he took all away: he took away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 10 King Rehoboam made in their place shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house. 11 It was so, that as often as the king entered into the house of Yahweh, the guard came and bore them, and brought them back into the guard chamber. 12 When he humbled himself, the wrath of Yahweh turned from him, so as not to destroy him altogether: and moreover in Judah there were good things found.
13 So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which Yahweh had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there: and his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 14 He did that which was evil, because he didn’t set his heart to seek Yahweh. 15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, aren’t they written in the histories of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, after the manner of genealogies? There were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 16 Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his place.
The Reign of Abijah
13 1 In the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah. 2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Abijah joined battle with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men: and Jeroboam set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, who were mighty men of valor. 4 Abijah stood up on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, Hear me, Jeroboam and all Israel: 5 Ought you not to know that Yahweh, the God of Israel, gave the kingdom over Israel to David forever, even to him and to 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 lord. 7 There were gathered to him worthless men, base fellows, who strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them. 8 Now you think to withstand the kingdom of Yahweh in the hand of the sons of David; and you are a great multitude, and there are with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made you for gods. 9 Haven’t you driven out the priests of Yahweh, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves after the manner of the peoples of other lands? so that whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, the same may be a priest of those who are no gods. 10 But as for us, Yahweh is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and we have priests ministering to Yahweh, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites in their work: 11 and they burn to Yahweh every morning and every evening burnt offerings and sweet incense: the show bread also set they in order on the pure table; and the lampstand of gold with its lamps, to burn every evening: for we keep the instruction of Yahweh our God; but you have forsaken him. 12 Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with the trumpets of alarm to sound an alarm against you. Children of Israel, don’t you fight against Yahweh, the God of your fathers; for you shall not prosper.
13 But Jeroboam caused an ambush to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambush was behind them. 14 When Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind them; and they cried to Yahweh, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. 15 Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened, that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 The children of Israel fled before Judah; and God delivered them into their hand. 17 Abijah and his people killed them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men. 18 Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on Yahweh, the God of their fathers. 19 Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with its towns, and Jeshanah with its towns, and Ephron with its towns. 20 Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and Yahweh struck him, and he died. 21 But Abijah grew mighty, and took to himself fourteen wives, and became the father of twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters. 22 The rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the commentary 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 Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land was quiet ten years. 2 Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of Yahweh his God: 3 for 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 Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. 5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the sun images: and the kingdom was quiet before him. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah; for the land was quiet, and he had no war in those years, because Yahweh had given him rest. 7 For he said to Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars; the land is yet before us, because we have sought Yahweh our God; we have sought him, and he has given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered. 8 Asa had an army that bore bucklers and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bore shields and drew bows, two hundred eighty thousand: all these were mighty men of valor.
9 There came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an army of a million troops, and three hundred chariots; and he came to Mareshah. 10 Then Asa went out to meet him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Asa cried to Yahweh his God, and said, Yahweh, there is none besides you to help, between the mighty and him who has no strength: help us, Yahweh our God; for we rely on you, and in your name are we come against this multitude. Yahweh, you are our God; don’t let man prevail against you. 12 So Yahweh struck the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar: and there fell of the Ethiopians so many that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before Yahweh, and before his army; and they carried away very much booty. 14 They struck all the cities around Gerar; for the fear of Yahweh came on them: and they despoiled all the cities; for there was much spoil in them. 15 They struck also the tents of livestock, and carried away sheep in abundance, and camels, and returned to Jerusalem.