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Abijah Reigns over Judah

13 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah began to reign over Judah.(A) He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Micaiah daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.

Now there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.(B) Abijah engaged in battle, having an army of valiant warriors, four hundred thousand picked men; and Jeroboam drew up his line of battle against him with eight hundred thousand picked mighty warriors. Then Abijah stood on the slope of Mount Zemaraim that is in the hill country of Ephraim and said, “Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel!(C) Do you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?(D) Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon son of David, rose up and rebelled against his lord,(E) and certain worthless scoundrels gathered around him and defied Rehoboam son of Solomon when Rehoboam was young and irresolute and could not withstand them.

“And now you think that you can withstand the kingdom of the Lord in the hand of the sons of David, because you are a great multitude and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made as gods for you.(F) Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord, the descendants of Aaron, and the Levites and made priests for yourselves like the peoples of other lands? Whoever comes to be consecrated with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of what are no gods.(G) 10 But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not abandoned him. We have priests ministering to the Lord who are descendants of Aaron and Levites for their service. 11 They offer to the Lord every morning and every evening burnt offerings and fragrant incense, set out the rows of bread on the table of pure gold, and care for the golden lampstand so that its lamps may burn every evening, for we keep the charge of the Lord our God, but you have abandoned him.(H) 12 See, God is with us at our head, and his priests have their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you. O Israelites, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors, for you cannot succeed.”(I)

13 Jeroboam had sent an ambush around to come on them from behind; thus his troops[a] were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. 14 When Judah turned, the battle was in front of them and behind them. They cried out to the Lord, and the priests blew the trumpets.(J) 15 Then the people of Judah raised the battle shout. And when the people of Judah shouted, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.(K) 16 The Israelites fled before Judah, and God gave them into their hands.(L) 17 Abijah and his army defeated them with great slaughter; five hundred thousand picked men of Israel fell slain. 18 Thus the Israelites were subdued at that time, and the people of Judah prevailed because they relied on the Lord, the God of their ancestors.(M) 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and took cities from him: Bethel with its villages and Jeshanah with its villages and Ephron[b] with its villages. 20 Jeroboam did not recover his power in the days of Abijah; the Lord struck him down, and he died.(N) 21 But Abijah strengthened himself. He took fourteen wives and became the father of twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 The rest of the acts of Abijah, his behavior and his deeds, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.(O)

Asa Reigns

14 [c]So Abijah slept with his ancestors, and they buried him in the city of David. His son Asa succeeded him. In his days the land was quiet for ten years.(P) [d]Asa did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord his God. He took away the foreign altars and the high places, broke down the pillars, cut down the sacred poles,[e](Q) and commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to keep the law and the commandment. He also removed from all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense altars. And the kingdom was quiet under him.(R) He built fortified cities in Judah while the land was quiet. He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him rest.(S) He said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars; the land is still ours because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought him, and he has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah armed with large shields and spears and two hundred eighty thousand troops from Benjamin who carried shields and drew bows; all these were mighty warriors.

Ethiopian Invasion Repulsed

Zerah the Cushite came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots and came as far as Mareshah.(T) 10 Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up their lines of battle in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Asa cried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is no difference for you between helping the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let no mortal prevail against you.”(U) 12 So the Lord defeated the Cushites before Asa and before Judah, and the Cushites fled.(V) 13 Asa and the army with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Cushites fell until no one remained alive, for they were broken before the Lord and his army. The people of Judah[f] carried away a great quantity of spoil.(W) 14 They defeated all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the Lord was on them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much plunder in them.(X) 15 They also attacked the tents of those who had livestock[g] and carried away sheep and goats in abundance and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.


  1. 13.13 Heb they
  2. 13.19 Or Ephrain
  3. 14.1 13.23 in Heb
  4. 14.2 14.1 in Heb
  5. 14.3 Or Asherahs
  6. 14.13 Heb They
  7. 14.15 Meaning of Heb uncertain

Mary Anoints Jesus

12 Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.(A) There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him.(B) Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’s feet, and wiped them[a] with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.(C) But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it[b] so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.(D) You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”(E)

The Plot to Kill Lazarus

When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.(F)

Jesus’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

12 The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—
    the King of Israel!”(G)

14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:

15 “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.
Look, your king is coming,
    sitting on a donkey’s colt!”(H)

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.(I) 17 So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify.[c] 18 It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. 19 The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!”(J)

Some Greeks Wish to See Jesus

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.(K) 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew, then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.(L) 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain, but if it dies it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.(M) 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.(N)

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  1. 12.3 Gk his feet
  2. 12.7 Gk lacks She bought it
  3. 12.17 Other ancient authorities read with him began to testify that he had called . . . from the dead