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Chapter 11

(A)On his arrival in Jerusalem, Rehoboam assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin—one hundred and eighty thousand elite warriors—to wage war against Israel and restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. However, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, a man of God: Say to Rehoboam, son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin: “Thus says the Lord: You must not go out to war against your kinsmen. Return home, each of you, for it is I who have brought this about.” They obeyed the word of the Lord and turned back from going against Jeroboam.

Rehoboam’s Works.[a] Rehoboam took up residence in Jerusalem and built fortified cities in Judah. He built up Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron; these were fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11 Then he strengthened the fortifications and put commanders in them, along with supplies of food, oil, and wine. 12 In every city were shields and spears, and he made them very strong. Thus Judah and Benjamin remained his.

Refugees from the North. 13 Now the priests and Levites throughout Israel presented themselves to him from all parts of their land, 14 for the Levites left their assigned pasture lands and their holdings and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons rejected them as priests of the Lord.(B) 15 In their place, he himself appointed priests for the high places as well as for the satyrs and calves he had made.(C) 16 After them, all those, of every tribe of Israel, who set their hearts to seek the Lord, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 17 Thus they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and made Rehoboam, son of Solomon, prevail for three years; for they walked in the way of David and Solomon three years.

Rehoboam’s Family. 18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, daughter of Jerimoth, son of David and of Abihail, daughter of Eliab, son of Jesse. 19 She bore him sons: Jehush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 After her, he married Maacah, daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah,(D) Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah, daughter of Absalom, more than all his other wives and concubines; he had taken eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. 22 Rehoboam put Abijah, son of Maacah, first among his brothers, as leader, for he intended to make him king. 23 He acted prudently, distributing his various sons throughout all the districts of Judah and Benjamin, in all the fortified cities; and he gave them generous provisions and sought an abundance of wives for them.


  1. 11:5–12 These verses have no parallel in 1 Kings; they are apparently based on a separate source.