2 Chronicles 11 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
Israel’s Priests Come to Judah
11 When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he gathered the people of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 of the best soldiers, to fight against Israel and return the kingdom to Rehoboam.
2 But God spoke his word to Shemaiah, the man of God. He said, 3 “Speak to Judah’s King Rehoboam, son of Solomon, and all Israel in Judah and Benjamin. 4 This is what the Lord says: Don’t wage war against your relatives. Everyone, go home. What has happened is my doing.” So they obeyed the Lord’s word. They turned back from their attack on Jeroboam.
5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built fortified cities in Judah. 6 He rebuilt Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These were fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11 He strengthened them and put army officers with reserves of food, olive oil, and wine in them. 12 In each city he stored shields and spears. He made the cities very secure. So Rehoboam held on to Judah and Benjamin.
13 The priests and Levites in every region of Israel sided with Rehoboam. 14 The priests abandoned their land and property and went to Judah and Jerusalem because Jeroboam and his descendants rejected them as the Lord’s priests. 15 Instead, Jeroboam appointed his own priests for the illegal worship sites and the goat and calf statues he had made as idols. 16 People from every tribe of Israel who were determined to seek the Lord God of Israel followed the Levitical priests to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord God of their ancestors.
17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah by supporting Rehoboam, son of Solomon, for three years. During those three years they lived the way David and Solomon had lived.
18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, daughter of Jerimoth. (Jerimoth was the son of David and Abihail. Abihail was the daughter of Eliab, son of Jesse.) 19 Mahalath gave birth to the following sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham.
20 After marrying Mahalath, he married Maacah, Absalom’s granddaughter. She gave birth to Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah, Absalom’s granddaughter, more than all his other wives and concubines.[a] (He had 18 wives and 60 concubines. He fathered 28 sons and 60 daughters.)
22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah, son of Maacah, as family head and prince among his brothers. By doing this, Rehoboam could make him king. 23 He wisely placed his sons in every region of Judah and Benjamin, in every fortified city. He gave them allowances and obtained many wives for them.
2 Chronicles 11 New International Version (NIV)
11 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered Judah and Benjamin—a hundred and eighty thousand able young men—to go to war against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam.
2 But this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God: 3 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, 4 ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your fellow Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’” So they obeyed the words of the Lord and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.
Rehoboam Fortifies Judah
5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built up towns for defense in Judah: 6 Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth Zur, Soko, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron. These were fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11 He strengthened their defenses and put commanders in them, with supplies of food, olive oil and wine. 12 He put shields and spears in all the cities, and made them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his.
13 The priests and Levites from all their districts throughout Israel sided with him. 14 The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as priests of the Lord 15 when he appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat and calf idols he had made. 16 Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 17 They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon three years, following the ways of David and Solomon during this time.
18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, who was the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 19 She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham. 20 Then he married Maakah daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maakah daughter of Absalom more than any of his other wives and concubines. In all, he had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maakah as crown prince among his brothers, in order to make him king. 23 He acted wisely, dispersing some of his sons throughout the districts of Judah and Benjamin, and to all the fortified cities. He gave them abundant provisions and took many wives for them.