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Abijah and Civil War

13 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah reigned over Judah. He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. And the name of his mother was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel from Gibeah.

Now there was war between Abijah and between Jeroboam. And Abijah joined in the battle with an army of four hundred thousand battle-hardened warriors,[a] chosen men, and Jeroboam put the battle in order against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, an army of mighty warriors.

Then Abijah stood up on top of Mount Zemaraim that is in the hill country of Ephraim and said, “Hear me, O Jeroboam and all Israel! Do you not all know that Yahweh the God of Israel gave the kingdom to David over Israel forever, to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? But Jeroboam the son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his master, and worthless men, sons of wickedness,[b] were gathered about him and became hostile against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was a boy and gentle of heart and was not strong enough to stand before them. So now you yourselves are considering that you are strong before the kingdom of Yahweh which is in the hand the sons of David, since you yourselves are a great multitude and you have bull calves of gold that Jeroboam has made for idols. Did you not drive out the priests of Yahweh, the sons of Aaron, the Levites? Have you not made for yourselves priests like all the peoples of the lands? All who come to be consecrated for priestly service[c] with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of what is not a god. 10 But as for us, Yahweh is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests serving Yahweh are the sons of Aaron, the Levites, according to their service. 11 They offer burnt offerings to Yahweh every morning[d] and every evening,[e] sweet spices of incense, and the rows of bread upon the pure table. And the golden lampstand with its lamps they keep kindled every evening,[f] for we are keeping the requirement of Yahweh our God, but you yourselves have forsaken him. 12 And look, God is with us at the head, and his priests have the trumpets for sounding blasts against you, O sons of Israel. Do not fight against Yahweh, the God of your ancestors,[g] for you will not succeed.”

13 Then Jeroboam sent around an ambush to come behind them. So they were in front of Judah, but the ambush was behind them. 14 When Judah turned, then behold, the battle against them was in front and behind, and they cried to Yahweh, and the priests blew on the trumpets. 15 Then the men of Judah shouted, and it happened that when the men of Judah were shouting, then God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 And the Israelites[h] fled from before Judah, and God gave them into their hand. 17 And Abijah and his people struck a great blow against them, and the dead from Israel that fell were five hundred thousand chosen men. 18 And the Israelites[i] were subdued at that time, and the people[j] of Judah were victorious, for they relied upon Yahweh the God of their ancestors.[k]

19 And Abijah pursued after Jeroboam and took cities from him: Bethel with its villages, Jeshanah with its villages, and Ephron with its villages. 20 And Jeroboam did not regain strength again in the days of Abijah. And Yahweh plagued him and he died. 21 But Abijah became strong, and he took to himself fourteen wives and fathered twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 Now the rest of the words of Abijah and his ways and his words are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.


  1. 2 Chronicles 13:3 Literally “mighty warriors of battle”
  2. 2 Chronicles 13:7 Literally “sons of Belial”
  3. 2 Chronicles 13:9 Literally “to fill his hand” (a Hebrew idiom for ordination)
  4. 2 Chronicles 13:11 Literally “in the morning, in the morning”
  5. 2 Chronicles 13:11 Literally “in the evening, in the evening”
  6. 2 Chronicles 13:11 Literally “in the evening, in the evening”
  7. 2 Chronicles 13:12 Or “fathers”
  8. 2 Chronicles 13:16 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  9. 2 Chronicles 13:18 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  10. 2 Chronicles 13:18 Or “sons”
  11. 2 Chronicles 13:18 Or “fathers”