2 Chronicles 12

The Revolt Against Rehoboam

10 dRehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, ewhere he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. And they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all Israel came and said to Rehoboam, fYour father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you. He said to them, Come to me again in three days. So the people went away.

Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men,1 who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, How do you advise me to answer this people? And they said to him, gIf you will be good to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever. But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. And he said to them, What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, Lighten the yoke that your father put on us? 10 And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, Thus shall you speak to the people who said to you, Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us; thus shall you say to them, My little finger is thicker than my father's thighs. 11 And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.

12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king said, Come to me again the third day. 13 And the king answered them harshly; and forsaking the counsel of the old men, 14 King Rehoboam spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions. 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the Lord might fulfill his word, hwhich he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

16 And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. iEach of you to your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David. So all Israel went to their tents. 17 But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent jHadoram,2 who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and the people of Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehoboam quickly mounted his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

Rehoboam Secures His Kingdom

11 kWhen 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. But the word of the Lord came to lShemaiah the man of God: Say to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up or fight against myour 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.

Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and he built ncities for defense in Judah. He built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, oMareshah, Ziph, 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.

Priests and Levites Come to Jerusalem

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 ptheir common lands and their holdings and came to Judah and Jerusalem, qbecause Jeroboam and his sons cast them out from serving as priests of the Lord, 15 and he appointed his own rpriests for the high places and for the goat idols and for sthe calves that he had made. 16 tAnd 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 uThey 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.

Rehoboam's Family

18 Rehoboam took as wife Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of vEliab the son of Jesse, 19 and she bore him sons, Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 After her he took wMaacah the daughter of Absalom, who bore him xAbijah, 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 yAnd Rehoboam appointed xAbijah 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

Egypt Plunders Jerusalem

12 zWhen the rule of Rehoboam was established aand he was strong, bhe abandoned the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. cIn the fifth year of King Rehoboam, because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, dShishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem with 1,200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen. And the people were without number who came with him from EgypteLibyans, Sukkiim, and Ethiopians. And he took fthe fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. Then gShemaiah 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, hYou abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak. Then the princes of iIsrael and the king humbled themselves and said, jThe Lord is righteous. When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: kThey have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, land my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, mthat they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.

nSo 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 othe 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 phe humbled himself the wrath of the Lord turned from him, so as not to make a complete destruction. Moreover, qconditions were good1 in Judah.

13 rSo 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, sfor he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.

15 tNow the acts of Rehoboam, ufrom first to last, are they not written in the chronicles of vShemaiah the prophet and of wIddo xthe seer?2 There were continual wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. 16 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David, and yAbijah3 his son reigned in his place.

Abijah Reigns in Judah

13 zIn the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, yAbijah began to reign over Judah. He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was aMicaiah1 the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.

bNow there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah went out to battle, having an army of valiant men of war, 400,000 chosen men. And Jeroboam cdrew up his line of battle against him with 800,000 chosen mighty warriors. Then Abijah stood up on Mount dZemaraim that is in ethe hill country of Ephraim and said, Hear me, O Jeroboam and all Israel! Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel fgave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by ga covenant of salt? Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up hand rebelled against his lord, and certain iworthless scoundrels2 gathered about him and defied Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was jyoung and irresolute3 and could not withstand them.

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 kthe golden calves that Jeroboam made you for gods. lHave 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 mfor ordination4 with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of what are nnot 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 oevery morning and every evening burnt offerings and incense of sweet spices, set out pthe showbread on the table of pure gold, qand care for the golden lampstand that its lamps may rburn every evening. For we skeep the charge of the Lord our God, but you have forsaken him. 12 Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests twith their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you. O sons of Israel, udo not fight against the Lord, the God of your fathers, for you cannot succeed.

13 Jeroboam had sent van ambush around to come upon them from behind. Thus his troops5 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. wAnd they cried to the Lord, and the priests tblew the trumpets. 15 Then the men of Judah raised the battle shout. And when the men of Judah shouted, xGod defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 The men of Israel fled before Judah, yand 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, zbecause they relied on the Lord, the God of their fathers. 19 And Abijah pursued Jeroboam aand took cities from him, Bethel with its villages and Jeshanah with its villages and bEphron6 with its villages. 20 Jeroboam did not recover his power in the days of Abijah. cAnd the Lord struck him down, dand 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 estory of the prophet fIddo.

Asa Reigns in Judah

14 1gAbijah 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 And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He took away the foreign altars hand the high places and broke down ithe pillars and cut down the jAsherim and commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment. He also took out of all the cities of Judah hthe high places and the kincense altars. And the kingdom had rest under him. He built lfortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, mfor the Lord gave him peace. And he said to Judah, Let us build these cities and surround them with nwalls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God. We have sought him, mand he has given us peace on every side. So they built and prospered. And Asa had an army of o300,000 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.

Zerah pthe Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and came as far as qMareshah. 10 And Asa went out to meet him, and rthey drew up their lines of battle in the Valley of Zephathah at qMareshah. 11 And Asa scried 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, tfor we rely on you, uand in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you. 12 vSo 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 wGerar, and the Ethiopians fell until none remained alive, for they were broken before the Lord and his army. The men of Judah3 carried away very much spoil. 14 And they attacked all the cities around wGerar, xfor 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.