2 Chronicles 11; 2 Chronicles 12; 2 Chronicles 13; 2 Chronicles 14

1 When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he gathered the people of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 of the best soldiers, to fight against Israel and return the kingdom to Rehoboam. 2 But God spoke his word to Shemaiah, the man of God. He said, 3 "Speak to Judah's King Rehoboam, son of Solomon, and all Israel in Judah and Benjamin. 4 This is what the LORD says: Don't wage war against your relatives. Everyone, go home. What has happened is my doing." So they obeyed the word of the LORD. They turned back from their attack on Jeroboam. 5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built fortified cities in Judah. 6 He rebuilt Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These were fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11 He strengthened them and put army officers with reserves of food, olive oil, and wine in them. 12 In each city he stored shields and spears. He made the cities very secure. So Rehoboam held on to Judah and Benjamin. 13 The priests and Levites in every region of Israel sided with Rehoboam. 14 The priests abandoned their land and property and went to Judah and Jerusalem because Jeroboam and his descendants rejected them as the LORD's priests. 15 Instead, Jeroboam appointed [his own] priests for the illegal worship sites and the goat and calf statues he had made as idols. 16 People from every tribe of Israel who were determined to seek the LORD God of Israel followed the Levitical priests to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD God of their ancestors. 17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah by supporting Rehoboam, son of Solomon, for three years. During [those] three years they lived the way David and Solomon had lived. 18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, daughter of Jerimoth. (Jerimoth was the son of David and Abihail. Abihail was the daughter of Eliab, son of Jesse.) 19 Mahalath gave birth to the following sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 After marrying Mahalath, he married Maacah, Absalom's granddaughter. She gave birth to Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah, Absalom's granddaughter, more than all his other wives and concubines. (He had 18 wives and 60 concubines. He fathered 28 sons and 60 daughters.) 22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah, son of Maacah, as family head and prince among his brothers. By doing this, Rehoboam could make him king. 23 He wisely placed his sons in every region of Judah and Benjamin, in every fortified city. He gave them allowances and obtained many wives for them.
1 When Rehoboam had established his kingdom and made himself strong, he and all Israel abandoned the LORD's teachings. 2 In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign, King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. This happened because all Israel was not loyal to the LORD. 3 Shishak had 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horses, and an army of countless Libyans, Sukkites, and Sudanese from Egypt. 4 He captured the fortified cities in Judah and then came to Jerusalem. 5 The prophet Shemaiah came to Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah who had gathered in Jerusalem because of Shishak. Shemaiah said to them, "This is what the LORD says: You have abandoned me, so I will abandon you. I will hand you over to Shishak." 6 Then the commanders of Israel and the king humbled themselves. "The LORD is right!" they said. 7 When the LORD saw that they had humbled themselves, he spoke his word to Shemaiah: "They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them. In a little while I will give them an escape. I will not use Shishak to pour my anger on Jerusalem. 8 But they will become his servants so that they can learn the difference between serving me and serving foreign kings." 9 King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and took the treasures from the LORD's temple and the royal palace. He took them all. He took the gold shields Solomon had made. 10 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and put them by the entrance to the royal palace, where the captains of the guards were stationed. 11 Whenever the king went into the LORD's temple, guards carried the shields and then returned them to the guardroom. 12 After Rehoboam humbled himself, the LORD was no longer angry with him and didn't completely destroy him. So things went well in Judah. 13 King Rehoboam strengthened his position in Jerusalem and ruled. He was 41 years old when he began to rule. He ruled for 17 years in Jerusalem, the city that the LORD chose from all the tribes of Israel, the city where the LORD put his name. (Rehoboam's mother was an Ammonite woman named Naamah.) 14 He did evil things because he was not serious about dedicating himself to serving the LORD. 15 Aren't the events concerning Rehoboam from first to last written in the records of the prophet Shemaiah and the records of the seer Iddo in the genealogies? There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam as long as they lived. 16 Rehoboam lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. His son Abijah succeeded him as king.
1 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam, Abijah began to rule Judah. 2 He ruled for three years in Jerusalem. His mother was named Micaiah, daughter of Uriel from Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Abijah prepared for battle with an army of 400,000 of the best soldiers, while Jeroboam arranged to oppose him with 800,000 of the best professional soldiers. 4 Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim in the mountains of Ephraim. He called out, "Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me! 5 Don't you know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom of Israel to David and his descendants forever in a permanent promise? 6 But Jeroboam (Nebat's son) rebelled against his master. He had been the servant of David's son Solomon. 7 Worthless, good-for-nothing men gathered around him. They opposed Rehoboam, son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was too young and inexperienced to challenge them. 8 Do you now intend to challenge the LORD's kingdom, which has been placed in the hands of David's descendants? You are a large crowd, and you have the gold calves that Jeroboam made to be your gods. 9 You forced out the LORD's priests who were Aaron's descendants, and you forced out the Levites so that you could appoint your own priests, as the people in foreign countries do. Anyone who has a young bull and seven rams can be ordained as a priest of nonexistent gods. 10 "However, the LORD is our God. We haven't abandoned him. The priests who serve the LORD are Aaron's descendants, and the Levites assist them. 11 They sacrifice burnt offerings to the LORD every morning and every evening. They offer sweet-smelling incense and rows of bread on the clean table. The lamps on the gold lamp stand burn every evening. We're following the instructions the LORD our God gave us, but you have abandoned him. 12 God is with us as our leader. His priests will sound their trumpets to call [the army] to fight you. Men of Israel, don't wage war against the LORD God of your ancestors. You won't succeed." 13 But Jeroboam had set an ambush to attack them from behind. So Jeroboam's army was in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. 14 When Judah's soldiers looked around, the battle was in front of them and behind them. They cried out to the LORD, the priests blew the trumpets, 15 and the men of Judah shouted. When they shouted, God attacked Jeroboam and all Israel in front of Abijah and Judah. 16 The Israelites fled from Judah's [army], and God handed them over to Judah. 17 So Abijah and his men defeated them decisively, and 500,000 of the best men of Israel were killed. 18 So the Israelites were humbled at that time, and the men of Judah won because they trusted the LORD God of their ancestors. 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured some of his cities: Bethel and its villages, Jeshanah and its villages, and Ephron and its villages. 20 Jeroboam never regained power during Abijah's time. The LORD caused Jeroboam to become sick, and Jeroboam died. 21 But Abijah became strong. He married 14 wives and fathered 22 sons and 16 daughters. 22 Everything else about Abijah--how he lived and what he said--is written in the history by the prophet Iddo.
1 Abijah lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. His son Asa succeeded him as king. In Asa's time the land had peace for ten years. 2 Asa did what the LORD his God considered good and right. 3 He got rid of the altars of foreign gods, broke down the sacred stones, and cut down the poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah. 4 He told the people of Judah to dedicate their lives to serving the LORD God of their ancestors and follow his teachings and commands. 5 He got rid of the illegal places of worship and the altars for incense in all the cities of Judah. The kingdom was at peace during his reign. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah because the land had peace. There was no war during those years because the LORD gave him a time of peace. 7 So Asa told Judah, "Let's build these cities and make walls around them with towers and doors that can be barred. The country is still ours because we have dedicated our lives to serving the LORD our God. We have dedicated our lives to him, and he has surrounded us with peace." So they built the cities, and everything went well. 8 Asa had an army of 300,000 Judeans who were armed with large shields and spears and 280,000 Benjaminites who were armed with small shields and bows. All of these men were good fighting men. 9 Then Zerah from Sudan came with 1,000,000 men and 300 chariots to attack Asa. Zerah got as far as Mareshah. 10 Asa went to confront him, and the two armies set up their battle lines in the Zephathah Valley at Mareshah. 11 Asa called on the LORD his God. He said, "LORD, there is no one except you who can help those who are not strong so that they can fight against a large [army]. Help us, LORD our God, because we are depending on you. In your name we go against this large crowd. You are the LORD our God. Don't let anyone successfully oppose you." 12 The LORD attacked the Sudanese army in front of Asa and Judah. The Sudanese army fled. 13 Asa and his troops pursued them as far as Gerar. Many of the Sudanese died in battle. As a result, the Sudanese army couldn't fight again. It was crushed in front of the LORD and his army. The LORD's army captured a lot of goods. 14 It attacked all the cities around Gerar because the cities were afraid of the LORD. The army looted all the cities because there were many things to take. 15 It also attacked those who were letting their cattle graze and captured many sheep and camels. Then it returned to Jerusalem.
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