May 19
     2 Chronicles 11:1 — 14:15

11 When Rehoboam arrived at Jerusalem, he immediately congregated the house of Judah and Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand choice men able-bodied for war, to fight against Israel so as to bring the kingdom back to Rehoboam. 2 Then the word of Jehovah came to Shemaiah the man of the [true] God, saying: 3 “Say to Rehoboam the son of Solomon the king of Judah and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, 4 ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “YOU must not go up and fight against YOUR brothers. Return each one to his house, for it is at my own instance that this thing has been brought about.”’” So they obeyed the word of Jehovah and returned from going against Jeroboam.

5 And Rehoboam continued to dwell in Jerusalem and proceeded to build fortified cities in Judah. 6 Thus he rebuilt Bethlehem and Etam and Tekoa, 7 and 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, fortified cities, which were in Judah and Benjamin. 11 Further, he reinforced the fortified places and put leaders in them and supplies of food and oil and wine, 12 and in all the different cities large shields and lances; and he went on reinforcing them to a very great degree. And Judah and Benjamin continued his.

13 And the priests and the Levites themselves that were in all Israel took their stand by him out of all their territories. 14 For the Levites left their pasture grounds and their possession and then came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons had discharged them from acting as priests to Jehovah. 15 And he proceeded to put in office for himself priests for the high places and for the goat-shaped demons and for the calves that he had made. 16 And following them from all the tribes of Israel those that were giving their heart to seek Jehovah the God of Israel came themselves to Jerusalem to sacrifice to Jehovah the God of their forefathers. 17 And they kept strengthening the kingship of Judah and confirming 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 his wife Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. 19 In time she bore him sons, Jeush and Shemariah and Zaham. 20 And after her he took Maacah the granddaughter of Absalom. In time she bore him Abijah and Attai and Ziza and Shelomith. 21 And Rehoboam was more in love with Maacah the granddaughter of Absalom than all his other wives and his concubines; for there were eighteen wives that he had taken, also sixty concubines, so that he became father to twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. 22 Consequently Rehoboam put Abijah the son of Maacah in office as head, as leader among his brothers, for [he thought] of making him king. 23 However, he acted understandingly and distributed some out of all his sons to all the lands of Judah and of Benjamin, to all the fortified cities, and gave them food in abundance and procured a multitude of wives [for them].

12 And it came about that, as soon as the kingship of Rehoboam was firmly established and as soon as he was strong, he left the law of Jehovah, and also all Israel with him. 2 And it came about in the fifth year of King Rehoboam that Shishak the king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, (for they had behaved unfaithfully toward Jehovah,) 3 with twelve hundred chariots and with sixty thousand horsemen; and there was no number to the people that came with him out of Egypt—Libyans, Sukkiim and Ethiopians. 4 And he got to capture the fortified cities that belonged to Judah and finally came as far as Jerusalem.

5 Now as for Shemaiah the prophet, he came to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah who had gathered themselves at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and he proceeded to say to them: “This is what Jehovah has said, ‘YOU, for your part, have left me, and I, too, for my part, have left YOU to the hand of Shishak.’” 6 At that the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said: “Jehovah is righteous.” 7 And when Jehovah saw that they had humbled themselves, the word of Jehovah came to Shemaiah, saying: “They have humbled themselves. I shall not bring them to ruin, and in a little while I shall certainly give them an escape, and my rage will not pour forth upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. 8 But they will become servants of his, that they may know the difference between my service and the service of the kingdoms of the lands.”

9 So Shishak the king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem and took the treasures of the house of Jehovah and the treasures of the king’s house. Everything he took; and so he took the gold shields that Solomon had made. 10 Consequently King Rehoboam made in their place copper shields, and he committed them to the control of the chiefs of the runners, the guards of the entrance of the king’s house. 11 And it would occur that as often as the king came to the house of Jehovah, the runners came in and carried them and returned them to the guard chamber of the runners. 12 And because he humbled himself, Jehovah’s anger turned back from him, and he [did] not [think] of bringing them to ruin completely. And, besides, there happened to be good things in Judah.

13 And King Rehoboam continued to make his position strong in Jerusalem and kept reigning; for Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and for seventeen years he reigned in Jerusalem, the city that Jehovah had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 14 But he did what was bad, for he had not firmly established his heart to search for Jehovah.

15 As for Rehoboam’s affairs, the first and the last, are they not written among the words of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the visionary by genealogical enrollment? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the time. 16 Finally Rehoboam lay down with his forefathers and was buried in the City of David; and Abijah his son began to reign in place of him.

13 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam it was that Abijah began to reign over Judah. 2 Three years he reigned in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And war itself took place between Abijah and Jeroboam.

 So Abijah engaged in the war with a military force of four hundred thousand mighty men of war, chosen men. And Jeroboam himself drew up in battle formation against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, valiant, mighty men. 4 Abijah now rose up upon Mount Zemaraim, which is in the mountainous region of Ephraim, and said: “Hear me, O Jeroboam and all Israel. 5 Is it not for YOU to know that Jehovah the God of Israel himself gave a kingdom to David over Israel to time indefinite, to him and to his sons, by a covenant of salt? 6 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, proceeded to rise up and rebel against his lord. 7 And idle men, good-for-nothing fellows, kept collecting themselves together by him. Finally they proved superior to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam himself happened to be young and fainthearted, and he did not hold his own against them.

8 “And now YOU men are thinking of holding YOUR own against the kingdom of Jehovah in the hand of the sons of David, when YOU are a large crowd and there are with YOU the golden calves that Jeroboam made for YOU as gods. 9 Have YOU not driven out Jehovah’s priests, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and do YOU not keep making priests for yourselves like the peoples of the lands? As for anyone that came and filled his hand with power by means of a young bull and seven rams, he became a priest of what are no gods. 10 As for us, Jehovah is our God, and we have not left him; but priests are ministering to Jehovah, the sons of Aaron, and also the Levites in the work. 11 And they are making burnt offerings smoke to Jehovah morning by morning and evening by evening and also perfumed incense; and the layers of bread are upon the table of pure [gold], and there are the golden lampstand and its lamps to light up evening by evening; because we are keeping the obligation to Jehovah our God, but YOU yourselves have left him. 12 And, look! with us there is at the head the [true] God with his priests and the signal trumpets for sounding the battle alarm against YOU. O sons of Israel, do not fight against Jehovah the God of YOUR forefathers, for YOU will not prove successful.”

13 And Jeroboam, for his part, dispatched an ambush around to come behind them, so that they proved to be in front of Judah and the ambush behind them. 14 When those of Judah turned around, why, there they had the battle in front and behind. And they began to cry out to Jehovah, while the priests were loudly sounding the trumpets. 15 And the men of Judah broke out shouting a war cry. And it came about that, when the men of Judah shouted a war cry, then the [true] God himself defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 And the sons of Israel took to flight from before Judah, and then God gave them into their hand. 17 And Abijah and his people went striking them down with a vast slaughter; and the slain of Israel kept falling down, five hundred thousand chosen men. 18 Thus the sons of Israel were humbled at that time, but the sons of Judah proved superior because they leaned upon Jehovah the God of their forefathers. 19 And Abijah kept chasing after Jeroboam and got to capture cities from him, Bethel and its dependent towns, and Jeshanah and its dependent towns, and Ephrain and its dependent towns. 20 And Jeroboam did not retain any more power in the days of Abijah; but Jehovah dealt him a blow, so that he died.

21 And Abijah continued to strengthen himself. In time he got fourteen wives for himself, and became father to twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 And the rest of Abijah’s affairs, even his ways and his words, are written in the exposition of the prophet Iddo.

14 Finally Abijah lay down with his forefathers, and they buried him in the City of David; and Asa his son began to reign in place of him. In his days the land had no disturbance for ten years.

2 And Asa proceeded to do what was good and right in the eyes of Jehovah his God. 3 So he removed the foreign altars and the high places and broke up the sacred pillars and cut down the sacred poles. 4 Further, he said to Judah to search for Jehovah the God of their forefathers and to do the law and the commandment. 5 Accordingly he removed from all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense stands; and the kingdom continued without disturbance before him. 6 And he went on to build fortified cities in Judah, for the land had no disturbance; and there was no war against him during these years, for Jehovah gave him rest. 7 So he said to Judah: “Let us build these cities and make walls around and towers, double doors and bars. For us the land is yet available, because we have searched for Jehovah our God. We have searched, and he gives us rest all around.” And they went building and proving successful.

8 And Asa came to have a military force bearing the large shield and lance, three hundred thousand out of Judah. And out of Benjamin those bearing the buckler and bending the bow were two hundred and eighty thousand. All these were valiant, mighty men.

9 Later Zerah the Ethiopian went out against them with a military force of a million men and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. 10 Then Asa went out against him and they drew up in battle formation in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 And Asa began to call to Jehovah his God and say: “O Jehovah, as to helping, it does not matter with you whether there are many or [those with] no power. Help us, O Jehovah our God, for upon you we do lean, and in your name we have come against this crowd. O Jehovah, you are our God. Do not let mortal man retain strength against you.”

12 At that Jehovah defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians took to flight. 13 And Asa and the people that were with him kept pursuing them as far as Gerar, and those of the Ethiopians continued falling down till there was no one alive of them; for they were broken to pieces before Jehovah and before his camp. Afterward they carried off a very great deal of spoil. 14 Further, they struck all the cities round about Gerar, for the dread of Jehovah had come to be upon them; and they went plundering all the cities, for there happened to be much to plunder in them. 15 And even the tents with livestock they struck so that they took captive flocks in great number and camels, after which they returned to Jerusalem.