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11 Now when Rehoboam arrived at Jerusalem, he assembled the House of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel in order to restore the kingdom back to Rehoboam.

But the word of Adonai came to Shemaiah the man of God saying: “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin saying, ‘Thus says Adonai, You shall not go up nor fight against your kinsmen. Let everyone return to his house for this matter is of Me.’” So they listened to the words of Adonai and returned from marching against Jeroboam.

Reign of Rehoboam

Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built fortified cities for defense in Judah.

He built up Beth-lehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin. 11 He also strengthened the fortified towns and put commanders in them, along with stores of food, oil and wine. 12 He also put shields and spears in every town, and made them very strong. So he held Judah and Benjamin.

13 Moreover, the kohanim and the Levites from all their territories throughout Israel presented themselves to him. 14 The Levites even abandoned their pastures and their possessions and came to Judah and Jerusalem because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as kohanim to Adonai, 15 and had appointed his own priests for the high places, for the he-goats and for the calves that he had made. 16 Those from all the tribes of Israel, who had set their hearts to seek Adonai, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to sacrifice to Adonai, the God of their fathers. 17 So 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 Rehoboam married Mahalat the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. 19 She bore him sons: Jeush and Shemariah and Zaham. 20 After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom and she bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. 21 Now Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his wives and concubines—for he took 18 wives and 60 concubines and fathered 28 sons and 60 daughters.

22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah as chief and commander among his brothers, for he intended to make him king. 23 He also wisely dispersed some of his sons throughout the territories of Judah and Benjamin to all the fortified cities and he gave them plenty of food and sought many wives for them.