But this word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God:
"Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin,
'This is what the LORD says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.' " So they obeyed the words of the LORD and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.
Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built up towns for defense in Judah:
Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa,
Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam,
Gath, Mareshah, Ziph,
Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah,
Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron. These were fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin.
He strengthened their defenses and put commanders in them, with supplies of food, olive oil and wine.
He put shields and spears in all the cities, and made them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his.
The priests and Levites from all their districts throughout Israel sided with him.
The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property, and came to Judah and Jerusalem because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as priests of the LORD.
And he appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat and calf idols he had made.
Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the LORD, the God of their fathers.
They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon three years, walking in the ways of David and Solomon during this time.
Rehoboam married Mahalath, who was the daughter of David's son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Jesse's son Eliab.
She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham.
Then he married Maacah daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith.
Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than any of his other wives and concubines. In all, he had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah to be the chief prince among his brothers, in order to make him king.
He acted wisely, dispersing some of his sons throughout the districts of Judah and Benjamin, and to all the fortified cities. He gave them abundant provisions and took many wives for them.
After Rehoboam's position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the LORD.
Because they had been unfaithful to the LORD, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam.
With twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen and the innumerable troops of Libyans, Sukkites and Cushites that came with him from Egypt,
he captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem.
Then the prophet Shemaiah came to Rehoboam and to the leaders of Judah who had assembled in Jerusalem for fear of Shishak, and he said to them, "This is what the LORD says, 'You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak.' "
The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, "The LORD is just."
When the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, this word of the LORD came to Shemaiah: "Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but will soon give them deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak.
They will, however, become subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands."
When Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem, he carried off the treasures of the temple of the LORD and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including the gold shields Solomon had made.
So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned these to the commanders of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace.
Whenever the king went to the LORD's temple, the guards went with him, bearing the shields, and afterward they returned them to the guardroom.
Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the LORD's anger turned from him, and he was not totally destroyed. Indeed, there was some good in Judah.
King Rehoboam established himself firmly in Jerusalem and continued as king. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel in which to put his Name. His mother's name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite.
He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the LORD.
As for the events of Rehoboam's reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer that deal with genealogies? There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam.
Rehoboam rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David. And Abijah his son succeeded him as king.
In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam, Abijah became king of Judah,
and he reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother's name was Maacah, a daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.
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, in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, "Jeroboam and all Israel, 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 forever by a covenant of salt?
Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, an official of Solomon son of David, rebelled against his master.
Some worthless scoundrels gathered around him and opposed Rehoboam son of Solomon when he was young and indecisive and not strong enough to resist them.