2 Chronicles 10-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Rehoboam’s Reign of Folly
10 Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3 So they sent and summoned him. When Jeroboam and all Israel came, they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” 5 He said to them, “Return to me again in three days.” So the people departed.
6 Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had [a]served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people?” 7 They spoke to him, saying, “If you will be kind to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8 But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him [b]and served him. 9 So he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?” 10 The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to the people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us.’ Thus you shall say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! 11 Whereas my father loaded you with 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 on the third day as the king had [c]directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 The king answered them harshly, and King Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the elders. 14 He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “[d]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 events from God that the Lord might establish His word, which He spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16 When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them the people answered the king, saying,
“What portion do we have in David?
So all Israel departed to their tents. 17 But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the forced labor, and the sons of Israel stoned him [e]to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
Rehoboam Reigns over Judah and Builds Cities
11 Now when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were 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, saying, 3 “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, 4 ‘Thus says the Lord, “You shall not go up or fight against your [f]relatives; return every man to his house, for this thing is from Me.”’” So they listened to the words of the Lord and returned from going against Jeroboam.
5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built cities for defense in Judah. 6 Thus he built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin. 11 He also strengthened the fortresses and put officers in them and stores of food, oil and wine. 12 He put shields and spears in every city and strengthened them greatly. So he held Judah and Benjamin.
13 Moreover, the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel stood with him from all their districts.
Jeroboam Appoints False Priests
14 For the Levites left their pasture lands and their property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons had excluded them from serving as priests to the Lord. 15 He set up priests of his own for the high places, for the satyrs and for the calves which he had made. 16 Those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord God of Israel [g]followed them to Jerusalem, to sacrifice to the Lord God of their fathers. 17 They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported 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 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, Shemariah and Zaham. 20 After her he took Maacah the daughter of [h]Absalom, and she bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and concubines. For he had taken eighteen wives and sixty concubines and fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. 22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah as head and leader among his brothers, for he intended to make him king. 23 He acted wisely and distributed [i]some of his sons through all the territories of Judah and Benjamin to all the fortified cities, and he gave them food in abundance. And he sought many wives for them.
Shishak of Egypt Invades Judah
12 When the kingdom of Rehoboam was established and strong, he and all Israel with him forsook the law of the Lord. 2 And it came about in King Rehoboam’s fifth year, because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem 3 with 1,200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen. And the people who came with him from Egypt were without number: the Lubim, the Sukkiim and the Ethiopians. 4 He captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. 5 Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, ‘You have forsaken Me, so I also have forsaken you [j]to Shishak.’” 6 So 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, saying, “They have humbled themselves so I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some measure of deliverance, and My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by means of Shishak. 8 But they will become his slaves so that they may learn the difference between My service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”
Plunder Impoverishes Judah
9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s palace. He took everything; he even took the golden shields which Solomon had made. 10 Then King Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place and committed them to the [k]care of the commanders of the [l]guard who guarded the door of the king’s house. 11 As often as the king entered the house of the Lord, the [m]guards came and carried them and then brought them back into the [n]guards’ room. 12 And when he humbled himself, the anger of the Lord turned away from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and also conditions were good in Judah.
13 So King Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned. Now Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen from all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 14 He did evil because 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 [o]records of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, according to genealogical enrollment? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 16 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David; and his son Abijah became king in his place.
Abijah Succeeds Rehoboam
13 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.
Now there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Abijah began the battle with an army of valiant warriors, 400,000 chosen men, while Jeroboam drew up in battle formation against him with 800,000 chosen men who were valiant warriors.
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 the rule over Israel forever to David [p]and 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 [q]master, 7 and worthless men gathered about him, scoundrels, who proved too strong for Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, when [r]he was young and timid and could not hold his own against them.
8 “So now you intend to resist the kingdom of the Lord [s]through the sons of David, [t]being a great multitude and having with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made for gods for you. 9 Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron and the Levites, and made for yourselves priests like the peoples of other lands? Whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, even he may become a priest of what are no gods. 10 But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken Him; and the sons of Aaron are ministering to the Lord as priests, and the Levites [u]attend to their work. 11 Every morning and evening they [v]burn to the Lord burnt offerings and fragrant incense, and the showbread is set on the clean table, and the golden lampstand with its lamps is ready to light every evening; for we keep the charge of the Lord our God, but you have forsaken Him. 12 Now behold, God is with us at our head and His priests with the signal trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you will not 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 Judah turned around, behold, [w]they were attacked both front and rear; so they cried to the Lord, and the priests blew the trumpets. 15 Then the men of Judah raised a war cry, and when the men of Judah raised the war cry, then it was that God [x]routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 When the sons of Israel fled before Judah, God gave them into their hand. 17 Abijah and his people defeated them with a great slaughter, so that 500,000 chosen men of Israel fell slain. 18 Thus the sons of Israel were subdued at that time, and the sons of Judah [y]conquered because they trusted in the Lord, the God of their fathers. 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured from him several cities, Bethel with its villages, Jeshanah with its villages and [z]Ephron with its villages.
Death of Jeroboam
20 Jeroboam did not again recover strength in the days of Abijah; and the Lord struck him and he died.
21 But Abijah became powerful; and took fourteen wives to himself, and became the father of twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 Now the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways and his words are written in the [aa]treatise of the prophet Iddo.
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