He also put large shields and spears in each and every city to make them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his.
The priests and Levites from all their regions throughout Israel took their stand with Rehoboam,
for the Levites left their pasturelands and their possessions and went to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons refused to let them serve as priests of the Lord.
Jeroboam appointed his own priests for the high places, the goat-demons,a and the [gold] calves he had made.b16
Those from every tribe of Israel who had determined in their hearts to seek the Lord their God followed the Levites to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord God of their ancestors.
So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years, because they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.
Rehoboam married Mahalath, daughter of David's son Jerimoth and of Abihail daughter of Jesse's son Eliab.
She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham.
After her, he married Maacah daughterc of Absalom. She bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith.
Rehoboam loved Maacah daughterd of Absalom more than all his wives and concubines. He acquired 18 wives and 60 concubines and was the father of 28 sons and 60 daughters.
Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as chief, leader among his brothers, intending to make him king.