Abijah became the king of Judah during the eighteenth year Jeroboam was king of Israel.
Abijah ruled in Jerusalem for three years. His mother was Maacah daughter of Uriel from the town of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.
Abijah led an army of four hundred thousand capable soldiers into battle, and Jeroboam prepared to fight him with eight hundred thousand capable soldiers.
Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim in the mountains of Ephraim and said, "Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me!
You should know that the Lord, the God of Israel, gave David and his sons the right to rule Israel forever by an agreement of salt.
But Jeroboam son of Nebat, one of the officers of Solomon, David's son, turned against his master.
Then worthless, evil men joined Jeroboam against Rehoboam, Solomon's son. He was young and didn't know what to do, so he could not stop them.
"Now you people are making plans against the Lord's kingdom, which belongs to David's sons. There are many of you, and you have the gold calves Jeroboam made for you as gods.
You have thrown out the Levites and the Lord's priests, Aaron's sons. You have chosen your own priests as people in other countries do. Anyone who comes with a young bull and seven male sheep can become a priest of idols that are not gods.
"But as for us, the Lord is our God; we have not left him. The priests who serve the Lord are Aaron's sons, and the Levites help them.
They offer burnt offerings and sweet-smelling incense to the Lord every morning and evening. They put the bread on the special table in the Temple. And they light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. We obey the command of the Lord our God, but you have left him.
God himself is with us as our ruler. His priests blow the trumpet to call us to war against you. Men of Israel, don't fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors, because you won't succeed."
But Jeroboam had sent some troops to sneak behind Judah's army. So while Jeroboam was in front of Judah's army, Jeroboam's soldiers were behind them.
When the soldiers of Judah turned around, they saw Jeroboam's army attacking both in front and back. So they cried out to the Lord, and the priests blew the trumpets.
Then the men of Judah gave a battle cry. When they shouted, God caused Jeroboam and the army of Israel to run away from Abijah and the army of Judah.
When the army of Israel ran away from the men of Judah, God handed them over to Judah.
Abijah's army struck Israel so that five hundred thousand of Israel's best men were killed.
So at that time the people of Israel were defeated. And the people of Judah won, because they depended on the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
Abijah's army chased Jeroboam's army and captured from him the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, and the small villages near them.
Jeroboam never became strong again while Abijah was alive. The Lord struck Jeroboam, and he died.
But Abijah became strong. He married fourteen women and was the father of twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.
Everything else Abijah did -- what he said and what he did -- is recorded in the writings of the prophet Iddo.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.