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King Abijah’s War with King Jeroboam(A)

13 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam, Abijah began to rule Judah. He ruled for three years in Jerusalem. His mother was named Micaiah, daughter of Uriel from Gibeah.

There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.

Abijah prepared for battle with an army of 400,000 of the best soldiers, while Jeroboam arranged to oppose him with 800,000 of the best professional soldiers.

Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim in the mountains of Ephraim. He called out, “Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me! Don’t you know that Yahweh Elohim of Israel gave the kingdom of Israel to David and his descendants forever in a permanent promise?[a] But Jeroboam (Nebat’s son) rebelled against his master. He had been the servant of David’s son Solomon. Worthless, good-for-nothing men gathered around him. They opposed Rehoboam, son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was too young and inexperienced to challenge them. Do you now intend to challenge Yahweh’s kingdom, which has been placed in the hands of David’s descendants? You are a large crowd, and you have the gold calves that Jeroboam made to be your gods. You forced out Yahweh’s priests who were Aaron’s descendants, and you forced out the Levites so that you could appoint your own priests, as the people in foreign countries do. Anyone who has a young bull and seven rams can be ordained as a priest of nonexistent gods.

10 “However, Yahweh is our Elohim. We haven’t abandoned him. The priests who serve Yahweh are Aaron’s descendants, and the Levites assist them. 11 They sacrifice burnt offerings to Yahweh every morning and every evening. They offer sweet-smelling incense and rows of bread on the clean[b] table. The lamps on the gold lamp stand burn every evening. We’re following the instructions Yahweh our Elohim gave us, but you have abandoned him. 12 Elohim is with us as our leader. His priests will sound their trumpets to call the army to fight you. Men of Israel, don’t wage war against Yahweh Elohim of your ancestors. You won’t succeed.”

13 But Jeroboam had set an ambush to attack them from behind. So Jeroboam’s army was in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. 14 When Judah’s soldiers looked around, the battle was in front of them and behind them. They cried out to Yahweh, the priests blew the trumpets, 15 and the men of Judah shouted. When they shouted, Elohim attacked Jeroboam and all Israel in front of Abijah and Judah. 16 The Israelites fled from Judah’s army, and Elohim handed them over to Judah. 17 So Abijah and his men defeated them decisively, and 500,000 of the best men of Israel were killed. 18 So the Israelites were humbled at that time, and the men of Judah won because they trusted Yahweh Elohim of their ancestors. 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured some of his cities: Bethel and its villages, Jeshanah and its villages, and Ephron and its villages.

20 Jeroboam never regained power during Abijah’s time. Yahweh caused Jeroboam to become sick, and Jeroboam died.

21 But Abijah became strong. He married 14 wives and fathered 22 sons and 16 daughters.

22 Everything else about Abijah—how he lived and what he said—is written in the history by the prophet Iddo.


  1. 2 Chronicles 13:5 Or “covenant.”
  2. 2 Chronicles 13:11 “Clean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is presentable to God.