2 Chronicles 11New Life Version (NLV)
11 When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he gathered together the family of Judah and Benjamin. There were 180,000 chosen men of war gathered to fight against Israel to make Rehoboam their king again. 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 speak to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin. Tell them, 4 ‘This is what the Lord says, “You must not go up to fight against your brothers. Every man return to his house. For I have made this happen.”’” So they listened to the word of the Lord and returned. They did not go against Jeroboam.
Rehoboam Makes the Cities Strong
5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built strong cities in Judah. 6 He built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These are strong cities with walls, in Judah and in Benjamin. 11 He made the strong places stronger. He put leaders in them, and stores of food, oil, and wine. 12 And he put battle-coverings and spears in every city and made them very strong. So he kept Judah and Benjamin.
Religious Leaders and Levites Come to Judah
13 The religious leaders and the Levites who were in all Israel joined with Rehoboam from all places where they lived. 14 The Levites left their fields and land and came to Judah and Jerusalem. For Jeroboam and his sons had stopped them from working as religious leaders for the Lord. 15 He chose religious leaders of his own for the high places, for the goat-gods and for the calves which he had made. 16 Those from all the families of Israel who set their hearts on following the Lord God of Israel came after them to Jerusalem. They came to give gifts in worship to the Lord God of their fathers. 17 They made the nation of Judah strong, and gave strength to Rehoboam the son of Solomon for three years. For they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.
18 Then Rehoboam married Mahalath. She was the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. 19 She gave birth to Rehoboam’s sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 After her he married Maacah the daughter of Absalom. She gave birth to his sons: Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and women who acted as his wives. For he had taken eighteen wives and sixty women who acted as his wives. He was the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. 22 Rehoboam chose Maacah’s son Abijah to be the head leader among his brothers. For he wanted to make him king. 23 And he acted with wisdom. He spread some of his sons to every strong city in all the lands of Judah and Benjamin. He gave them much food, and found many wives for them.