Abijah went into battle with a force of four hundred thousand able fighting men, and Jeroboam drew up a battle line against him with eight hundred thousand able troops.
Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim,1 in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, "Jeroboam and all Israel,2 listen to me!
Don't you know that the LORD, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever3 by a covenant of salt?46
Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, an official of Solomon son of David, rebelled5 against his master.
Some worthless scoundrels6 gathered around him and opposed Rehoboam son of Solomon when he was young and indecisive7 and not strong enough to resist them.
"And now you plan to resist the kingdom of the LORD, which is in the hands of David's descendants.8 You are indeed a vast army and have with you9 the golden calves10 that Jeroboam made to be your gods.
But didn't you drive out the priests11 of the LORD,12 the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and make priests of your own as the peoples of other lands do? Whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull13 and seven rams14 may become a priest of what are not gods.1510
"As for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests who serve the LORD are sons of Aaron, and the Levites assist them.
Every morning and evening16 they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense17 to the LORD. They set out the bread on the ceremonially clean table18 and light the lamps19 on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing the requirements of the LORD our God. But you have forsaken him.
God is with us; he is our leader. His priests with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you.20 Men of Israel, do not fight against the LORD,21 the God of your fathers, for you will not succeed."2213
Now Jeroboam had sent troops around to the rear, so that while he was in front of Judah the ambush23 was behind them.