Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

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

1 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he gathered one hundred eighty thousand of the best soldiers from Judah and Benjamin. He wanted to fight Israel to take back his kingdom. 2 But the Lord spoke his word to Shemaiah, a man of God, saying, 3 "Speak to Solomon's son Rehoboam, the king of Judah, and to all the Israelites living in Judah and Benjamin. Say to them, 4 'The Lord says you must not go to war against your brothers. Every one of you should go home, because I made all these things happen.'" So they obeyed the Lord's command and turned back and did not attack Jeroboam. 5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built strong cities in Judah to defend it. 6 He built up the cities of Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These were strong, walled cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11 When Rehoboam made those cities strong, he put commanders and supplies of food, oil, and wine in them. 12 Also, Rehoboam put shields and spears in all the cities and made them very strong. Rehoboam kept the people of Judah and Benjamin under his control. 13 The priests and the Levites from all over Israel joined Rehoboam. 14 The Levites even left their pasturelands and property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons refused to let them serve as priests to the Lord. 15 Jeroboam chose his own priests for the places of worship and for the goat and calf idols he had made. 16 There were people from all the tribes of Israel who wanted to obey the Lord, the God of Israel. So they went to Jerusalem with the Levites to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers. 17 These people made the kingdom of Judah strong, and they supported Solomon's son Rehoboam for three years. During this time they lived the way David and Solomon had lived. 18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, the daughter of Jerimoth and Abihail. Jerimoth was David's son, and Abihail was the daughter of Eliab, Jesse's son. 19 Mahalath gave Rehoboam these sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 Then Rehoboam married Absalom's daughter Maacah, and she gave Rehoboam these children: Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah more than his other wives and slave women. Rehoboam had eighteen wives and sixty slave women and was the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. 22 Rehoboam chose Abijah son of Maacah to be the leader of his own brothers, because he planned to make Abijah king. 23 Rehoboam acted wisely. He spread his sons through all the areas of Judah and Benjamin, sending them to every strong, walled city. He gave plenty of supplies to his sons, and he also found wives for them.
1 After Rehoboam's kingdom was set up and he became strong, he and the people of Judah stopped obeying the teachings of the Lord. 2 During the fifth year Rehoboam was king, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem, because Rehoboam and the people were unfaithful to the Lord. 3 Shishak had twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen. He brought troops of Libyans, Sukkites, and Cushites from Egypt with him, so many they couldn't be counted. 4 Shishak captured the strong, walled cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. 5 Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah who had gathered in Jerusalem because they were afraid of Shishak. Shemaiah said to them, "This is what the Lord says: 'You have left me, so now I will leave you to face Shishak alone.'" 6 Then the leaders of Judah and King Rehoboam were sorry for what they had done. They said, "The Lord does what is right." 7 When the Lord saw they were sorry for what they had done, the Lord spoke his word to Shemaiah, saying, "The king and the leaders are sorry. So I will not destroy them but will save them soon. I will not use Shishak to punish Jerusalem in my anger. 8 But the people of Jerusalem will become Shishak's servants so they may learn that serving me is different than serving the kings of other nations." 9 Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and took the treasures from the Temple of the Lord and the king's palace. He took everything, even the gold shields Solomon had made. 10 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to take their place and gave them to the commanders of the guards for the palace gates. 11 Whenever the king went to the Temple of the Lord, the guards went with him, carrying the shields. Later, they would put them back in the guardroom. 12 When Rehoboam was sorry for what he had done, the Lord held his anger back and did not fully destroy Rehoboam. There was some good in Judah. 13 King Rehoboam made himself a strong king in Jerusalem. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for seventeen years. Jerusalem is the city that the Lord chose from all the tribes of Israel in which he was to be worshiped. Rehoboam's mother was Naamah from the country of Ammon. 14 Rehoboam did evil because he did not want to obey the Lord. 15 The things Rehoboam did as king, from the beginning to the end, are written in the records of Shemaiah the prophet and Iddo the seer, in the family histories. There were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the time they ruled. 16 Rehoboam died and was buried in Jerusalem, and his son Abijah became king in his place.
1 Abijah became the king of Judah during the eighteenth year Jeroboam was king of Israel. 2 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. 3 Abijah led an army of four hundred thousand capable soldiers into battle, and Jeroboam prepared to fight him with eight hundred thousand capable soldiers. 4 Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim in the mountains of Ephraim and said, "Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me! 5 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. 6 But Jeroboam son of Nebat, one of the officers of Solomon, David's son, turned against his master. 7 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. 8 "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. 9 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. 10 "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. 11 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. 12 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." 13 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. 14 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. 15 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. 16 When the army of Israel ran away from the men of Judah, God handed them over to Judah. 17 Abijah's army struck Israel so that five hundred thousand of Israel's best men were killed. 18 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. 19 Abijah's army chased Jeroboam's army and captured from him the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, and the small villages near them. 20 Jeroboam never became strong again while Abijah was alive. The Lord struck Jeroboam, and he died. 21 But Abijah became strong. He married fourteen women and was the father of twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 Everything else Abijah did -- what he said and what he did -- is recorded in the writings of the prophet Iddo.
1 Abijah died and was buried in Jerusalem. His son Asa became king in his place, and there was peace in the country for ten years during Asa's time. 2 Asa did what the Lord his God said was good and right. 3 He removed the foreign altars and the places where gods were worshiped. He smashed the stone pillars that honored other gods, and he tore down the Asherah idols. 4 Asa commanded the people of Judah to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his teachings and commandments. 5 He also removed the places where gods were worshiped and the incense altars from every town in Judah. So the kingdom had peace while Asa was king. 6 Asa built strong, walled cities in Judah during the time of peace. He had no war in these years, because the Lord gave him peace. 7 Asa said to the people of Judah, "Let's build up these towns and put walls around them. Let's make towers, gates, and bars in the gates. This country is ours, because we have obeyed the Lord our God. We have followed him, and he has given us peace all around." So they built and had success. 8 Asa had an army of three hundred thousand men from Judah and two hundred eighty thousand men from Benjamin. The men from Judah carried large shields and spears. The men from Benjamin carried small shields and bows and arrows. All of them were brave fighting men. 9 Then Zerah from Cush came out to fight them with an enormous army and three hundred chariots. They came as far as the town of Mareshah. 10 So Asa went out to fight Zerah and prepared for battle in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Asa called out to the Lord his God, saying, "Lord, only you can help weak people against the strong. Help us, Lord our God, because we depend on you. We fight against this enormous army in your name. Lord, you are our God. Don't let anyone win against you." 12 So the Lord defeated the Cushites when Asa's army from Judah attacked them, and the Cushites ran away. 13 Asa's army chased them as far as the town of Gerar. So many Cushites were killed that the army could not fight again; they were crushed by the Lord and his army. Asa and his army carried many valuable things away from the enemy. 14 They destroyed all the towns near Gerar, because the people living in these towns were afraid of the Lord. Since these towns had many valuable things, Asa's army took them away. 15 Asa's army also attacked the camps where the shepherds lived and took many sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.
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