Abijah Succeeds Rehoboam
1In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.
And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam [of Israel]. 3 Abijah began the battle with an army of brave soldiers, 400,000 chosen men. Jeroboam drew up in battle formation against him with 800,000 chosen men, valiant men.
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 rule over Israel forever to David and to his sons by a covenant of [a]salt [a permanent pact, extending to each generation of Israel]? 6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his lord [the king], 7 and worthless (unprincipled, unethical) men gathered around him, useless and wicked men, who proved too strong for Rehoboam the son of Solomon when Rehoboam was young and timid, and could not assert himself against them.
8 “And now you intend to assert yourselves against the kingdom of the Lord which is in the hands of the sons of David, since you are a great multitude and have with you the golden calves (idols) which Jeroboam made for you as 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? So whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, even he may become a priest of non-existent gods (idols). 10 But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not abandoned (turned away from) Him. The sons of Aaron are ministering to the Lord as priests, and the Levites attend to their service. 11 Every morning and every evening they offer the burnt offerings and the fragrant incense to the Lord; and the [b]showbread is set on the clean table [of pure gold], and the golden lampstand with its lamps is ready to light every evening; for we keep the charge of the Lord our God [that is, the obligation we have to Him], but you have abandoned (turned away from) Him. 12 Behold, God is with us at our head, and His priests [are here] with their signal trumpets to sound an alarm against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you cannot 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 them. 14 When [the men of] Judah turned around, they were attacked from both front and rear; so they cried out to the Lord [for help], and the priests blew the trumpets. 15 Then the men of Judah raised a war cry; and as they shouted, God struck Jeroboam and all Israel [with defeat] before Abijah and Judah. 16 And the sons of Israel fled before Judah, and God handed over the sons of Israel to them. 17 Abijah and his people inflicted on them a great defeat, so that 500,000 chosen men of Israel fell slain. 18 Thus the sons of Israel were subdued (humbled) at that time, and the sons of Judah prevailed because they relied on the Lord, the God of their fathers. 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured [several] cities from him: Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephraim (Ephron), with their villages.
Death of Jeroboam
20 Jeroboam did not recover strength again during the time of [the reign of] Abijah. And the Lord struck him and he died.
21 But Abijah became powerful. He took fourteen wives for himself and fathered twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 Now the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways and his sayings, are written in the writing of the prophet Iddo.