2 Chronicles 13

Abijah King of Judah

1 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam, Abijah became king of Judah,
2 and he reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother’s name was Maakah,[a] a daughter[b] of Uriel of Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.
3 Abijah went into battle with an army of four hundred thousand able fighting men, and Jeroboam drew up a battle line against him with eight hundred thousand able troops.
4 Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim, in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me!
5 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?
6 Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, an official of Solomon son of David, rebelled against his master.
7 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.
8 “And now you plan to resist the kingdom of the LORD, which is in the hands of David’s descendants. You are indeed a vast army and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made to be your gods.
9 But didn’t you drive out the priests of the LORD, 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 bull and seven rams may become a priest of what are not gods.
10 “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.
11 Every morning and evening they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the LORD. They set out the bread on the ceremonially clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing the requirements of the LORD our God. But you have forsaken him.
12 God is with us; he is our leader. His priests with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you. People of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed.”
13 Now Jeroboam had sent troops around to the rear, so that while he was in front of Judah the ambush was behind them.
14 Judah turned and saw that they were being attacked at both front and rear. Then they cried out to the LORD. The priests blew their trumpets
15 and the men of Judah raised the battle cry. At the sound of their battle cry, God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.
16 The Israelites fled before Judah, and God delivered them into their hands.
17 Abijah and his troops inflicted heavy losses on them, so that there were five hundred thousand casualties among Israel’s able men.
18 The Israelites were subdued on that occasion, and the people of Judah were victorious because they relied on the LORD, the God of their ancestors.
19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and took from him the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron, with their surrounding villages.
20 Jeroboam did not regain power during the time of Abijah. And the LORD struck him down and he died.
21 But Abijah grew in strength. He married fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.
22 The other events of Abijah’s reign, what he did and what he said, are written in the annotations of the prophet Iddo.

2 Chronicles 13 Commentary

Chapter 13

Abijah overcomes Jeroboam.

- Jeroboam and his people, by apostacy and idolatry, merited the severe punishment Abijah was permitted to execute upon them. It ( 1 Kings. 15:3 ) not himself truly religious, yet he encouraged himself from the religion of his people. It is common for those that deny the power of godliness, to boast of the form of it. Many that have little religion themselves, value it in others. But it was true that there were numbers of pious worshippers in Judah, and that theirs was the more righteous cause. In their distress, when danger was on every side, which way should they look for deliverance unless upward? It is an unspeakable comfort, that our way thither is always open. They cried unto the Lord. Earnest prayer is crying. To the cry of prayer they added the shout of faith, and became more than conquerors. Jeroboam escaped the sword of Abijah, but God struck him; there is no escaping his sword.

Cross References 30

  • 1. 2 Chronicles 15:16
  • 2. S 2 Chronicles 11:20
  • 3. 1 Kings 15:6
  • 4. Joshua 18:22
  • 5. 1 Chronicles 11:1
  • 6. S 2 Samuel 7:13; S 1 Chronicles 17:12
  • 7. S Leviticus 2:13; Numbers 18:19
  • 8. 1 Kings 11:26
  • 9. S Judges 9:4
  • 10. S 1 Chronicles 29:1
  • 11. S 2 Chronicles 9:8
  • 12. 1 Samuel 4:3
  • 13. S Exodus 32:4; 1 Kings 12:28; S 2 Chronicles 11:15
  • 14. S 1 Kings 12:31
  • 15. 2 Chronicles 11:14-15
  • 16. Exodus 29:35-36
  • 17. S Exodus 29:31
  • 18. Jeremiah 2:11; Galatians 4:8
  • 19. S Exodus 29:39; S 2 Chronicles 2:4
  • 20. S Exodus 25:6
  • 21. Leviticus 24:5-9; S 1 Chronicles 9:32
  • 22. S Exodus 25:37
  • 23. S Numbers 10:8-9
  • 24. S Judges 2:15; Acts 5:39
  • 25. Job 9:4; Proverbs 21:30; Proverbs 29:1
  • 26. Joshua 8:9; 2 Chronicles 20:22
  • 27. S 1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 14:11; 2 Chronicles 18:31
  • 28. S 1 Chronicles 9:1; 2 Chronicles 14:12
  • 29. 2 Chronicles 16:8
  • 30. 1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 14:11; 2 Chronicles 16:7; Psalms 22:5

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Most Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also 11:20 and 1 Kings 15:2); Hebrew "Micaiah"
  • [b]. Or "granddaughter"

Chapter Summary


This chapter begins with the reign of Abijah, 2Ch 13:1,2, gives an account of a battle between him and Jeroboam, previous to which Abijah made a speech to Jeroboam and his army, to vindicate his own cause, encourage his own soldiers, and intimidate the enemy, and dissuade them from fighting, 2Ch 13:3-12 and in the mean while Jeroboam laid an ambush for him, which greatly distressed him, 2Ch 13:13,14, nevertheless he obtained a complete victory over him, 2Ch 13:15-20, and the chapter is concluded with some account of his family and reign, 2Ch 13:21,22.

2 Chronicles 13 Commentaries

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