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Chapter 12

Rehoboam’s Apostasy. Once Rehoboam had established himself as king and was firmly in charge, he abandoned the law of the Lord, and so did all Israel with him.(A) So in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak, king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem, for they had acted treacherously toward the Lord.(B) He had twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen, and there was no counting the army that came with him from Egypt—Libyans, Sukkites,[a] and Ethiopians. They captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. Then Shemaiah(C) the prophet came to Rehoboam and the commanders of Judah who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them: “Thus says the Lord: You have abandoned me, and so I have abandoned you to the power of Shishak.”

Then the commanders of Israel and the king humbled themselves saying, “The Lord is in the right.” When the Lord saw that they had humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: Because they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them; I will give them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem through Shishak. But they shall be his servants. Then they will know what it is to serve me and what it is to serve the kingdoms of the earth. (D)Thereupon Shishak, king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem and took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the house of the king. He took everything, including the gold shields that Solomon had made. 10 To replace them, King Rehoboam made bronze shields, which he entrusted to the officers of the attendants on duty at the entrance of the king’s house. 11 Whenever the king visited the house of the Lord, the attendants would carry them, and then return them to the guardroom. 12 Because he had humbled himself, the anger of the Lord turned from him so as not to destroy him completely; in Judah, moreover, there was some good.

13 King Rehoboam was firmly in power in Jerusalem and continued to rule. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city in which, out of all the tribes of Israel, the Lord chose to set his name. His mother’s name was Naamah, the Ammonite.(E) 14 He did evil, for he had not set his heart to seek the Lord. 15 (F)The acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are recorded in the history of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer (his family record). There were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days. 16 Rehoboam rested with his ancestors; he was buried in the City of David. His son Abijah[b] succeeded him as king.


  1. 12:3 Sukkites: foreign mercenaries in the Egyptian army.
  2. 12:16 Abijah: in 1 Kgs 14:31–15:8 this king is called Abijam.