2 Chronicles 10-12 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Some of the People Rebel against Rehoboam
10 Rehoboam went to Shechem where everyone was waiting to crown him king.
2 Jeroboam son of Nebat heard what was happening, and he returned from Egypt, where he had gone to hide from Solomon. 3 The people from the northern tribes of Israel sent for him. Then together they went to Rehoboam and said, 4 “Your father Solomon forced us to work very hard. But if you make our work easier, we will serve you and do whatever you ask.”
5 Rehoboam replied, “Come back in three days for my answer.” So the people left.
6 Rehoboam went to some leaders who had been his father’s senior officials, and he asked them, “What should I tell these people?”
7 They answered, “If you want them to serve and obey you, then you should be kind and promise to make their work easier.”
8 But Rehoboam refused their advice and went to the younger men who had grown up with him and were now his officials. 9 He asked, “What do you think I should say to these people who asked me to make their work easier?”
10 His younger advisors said:
Here’s what we think you should say to them: “Compared to me, my father was weak.[a] 11 He made you work hard, but I’ll make you work even harder. He punished you with whips, but I’ll use whips with pieces of sharp metal!”
12 Three days later, Jeroboam and the others came back. 13 Rehoboam ignored the advice of the older advisors. He spoke bluntly 14 and told them exactly what his own advisors had suggested. He said: “My father made you work hard, but I’ll make you work even harder. He punished you with whips, but I’ll use whips with pieces of sharp metal!”
15-19 When the people realized that Rehoboam would not listen to them, they shouted: “We don’t have to be loyal to David’s family. We can do what we want. Come on, people of Israel, let’s go home! Rehoboam can rule his own people.”
Adoniram[b] was in charge of the work force, and Rehoboam sent him to talk to the people. But they stoned him to death. Then Rehoboam ran to his chariot and hurried back to Jerusalem.
Everyone from Israel’s northern tribes went home, leaving Rehoboam to rule only the people from Judah. And since that day, the people of Israel have been opposed to David’s descendants in Judah.[c] All of this happened just as Ahijah the Lord’s prophet from Shiloh had told Jeroboam.
Shemaiah the Prophet Warns Rehoboam
11 After Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem, he decided to attack Israel and regain control of the whole country. So he called together one hundred eighty thousand soldiers from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
2 Meanwhile, the Lord had told Shemaiah the prophet 3 to tell Rehoboam and everyone from Judah and Benjamin, 4 “The Lord warns you not to go to war against the people from the northern tribes—they are your relatives. Go home! The Lord is the one who made these things happen.”
Rehoboam and his army obeyed the Lord’s message and did not attack Jeroboam and his troops.
Rehoboam Fortifies Cities in Judah
5 Rehoboam ruled from Jerusalem, and he had several cities in Judah turned into fortresses so he could use them to defend his country. These cities included 6 Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth-Zur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. After he had fortified these cities in the territories of Judah and Benjamin, 11 he assigned an army commander to each of them and stocked them with supplies of food, olive oil, and wine, 12 as well as with shields and spears. He used these fortified cities to keep control of Judah and Benjamin.
The Priests and the Levites Support Rehoboam
13 The priests and Levites from the northern tribes of Israel gave their support to King Rehoboam. 14 And since Jeroboam and the kings of Israel that followed him would not allow any Levites to serve as priests, most Levites left their towns and pasturelands in Israel and moved to Jerusalem and other towns in Judah. 15 Jeroboam chose his own priests to serve at the local shrines[d] in Israel and at the places of worship where he had set up statues of goat-demons and of calves.
16 But some of the people from Israel wanted to worship the Lord God, just as their ancestors had done. So they followed the priests and Levites to Jerusalem, where they could offer sacrifices to the Lord. 17 For the next three years, they lived in Judah and were loyal to Rehoboam and his kingdom, just as they had been loyal to David and Solomon.
18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, whose father was Jerimoth son of David, and whose mother was Abihail the daughter of Eliab and granddaughter of Jesse. 19 Rehoboam and Mahalath had three sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 Then Rehoboam married Maacah the daughter of Absalom. Their sons were Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith.
21 Rehoboam had eighteen wives, but he also married sixty other women,[e] and he was the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. Rehoboam loved his wife Maacah the most, 22 so he chose their oldest son Abijah to be the next king. 23 Rehoboam was wise enough to put one of his sons in charge of each fortified city in his kingdom. He gave them all the supplies they needed and found wives for every one of them.
King Shishak of Egypt Invades Judah
12 Soon after Rehoboam had control of his kingdom, he and everyone in Judah stopped obeying the Lord. 2 So in the fifth year of Rehoboam’s rule, the Lord punished them for their unfaithfulness and allowed King Shishak of Egypt to invade Judah. 3 Shishak attacked with his army of one thousand two hundred chariots and sixty thousand cavalry troops, as well as Egyptian soldiers from Libya, Sukkoth, and Ethiopia.[f] 4 He captured every one of the fortified cities in Judah and then marched to Jerusalem.
5 Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah had gone to Jerusalem to escape Shishak’s invasion. And while they were there, Shemaiah the prophet told them, “The Lord says that because you have disobeyed him, he has now abandoned you. The Lord will not help you against Shishak!”
6 Rehoboam and the leaders were sorry for what they had done and admitted, “The Lord is right. We have deserted him.”
7 When the Lord heard this, he told Shemaiah:
The people of Judah are truly sorry for their sins, and so I won’t let Shishak completely destroy them. But because I am still angry, 8 he will conquer and rule them.
Then my people will know what it’s like to serve a foreign king instead of serving me.
9 Shishak attacked Jerusalem and took all the valuable things from the temple and from the palace, including Solomon’s gold shields.
10 Rehoboam had bronze shields made to replace the gold ones, and he ordered the guards at the city gates to keep them safe. 11 Whenever Rehoboam went to the Lord’s temple, the guards carried the shields. But they always took them back to the guardroom as soon as he had finished worshiping.
12 Rehoboam turned back to the Lord, and so the Lord did not let Judah be completely destroyed, and Judah was prosperous again.
Rehoboam’s Rule in Judah
13 Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled seventeen years from Jerusalem, the city where the Lord had chosen to be worshiped. His mother Naamah was from Ammon. Rehoboam was a powerful king, 14 but he still did wrong and refused to obey the Lord.
15 Everything else Rehoboam did while he was king, including a history of his family, is written in the records of the two prophets, Shemaiah and Iddo. During Rehoboam’s rule, he and King Jeroboam of Israel were constantly at war. 16 When Rehoboam died, he was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem, and his son Abijah became king.
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