The armies met in the hill country of Ephraim. King Abijah went up Mount Zemaraim and called out to Jeroboam and the Israelites: "Listen to me!" he said.
"Don't you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, made an unbreakable covenant with David, giving him and his descendants kingship over Israel forever?
Jeroboam son of Nebat rebelled against Solomon, his king.
Later he gathered together a group of worthless scoundrels, and they forced their will on Rehoboam son of Solomon, who was too young and inexperienced to resist them.
Now you propose to fight against the royal authority that the Lord gave to David's descendants. You have a huge army and have with you the gold bull-calves that Jeroboam made to be your gods.
You drove out the Lord's priests, the descendants of Aaron, and you drove out the Levites. In their place you appointed priests in the same way that other nations do. Anybody who comes along with a bull or seven sheep can get himself consecrated as a priest of those so-called gods of yours.
"But we still serve the Lord our God and have not abandoned him. Priests descended from Aaron perform their duties, and Levites assist them.
Every morning and every evening they offer him incense and animal sacrifices burned whole. They present the offerings of bread on a table that is ritually clean, and every evening they light the lamps on the gold lampstand. We do what the Lord has commanded, but you have abandoned him.
God himself is our leader and his priests are here with trumpets, ready to blow them and call us to battle against you. People of Israel, don't fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors! You can't win!"