2 Chronicles 10; 2 Chronicles 11; 2 Chronicles 12

1 Rehoboam went to Shechem. All of the people of Israel had gone there to make him king. 2 Jeroboam heard about it. He was the son of Nebat. Jeroboam was in Egypt at that time. He had gone there for safety. He wanted to get away from King Solomon. But now he returned from Egypt. 3 So the people sent for Jeroboam. He and all of the people went to Rehoboam. They said to him, 4 "Your father put a heavy load on our shoulders. But now make our hard work easier. Make the heavy load on us lighter. Then we'll serve you." 5 Rehoboam answered, "Come back to me in three days." So the people went away. 6 Then King Rehoboam asked the elders for advice. They had served his father Solomon while he was still living. Rehoboam asked them, "What advice can you give me? How should I answer these people?" 7 They replied, "Be kind to them. Please them. Give them what they are asking for. Then they'll always serve you." 8 But Rehoboam didn't accept the advice the elders gave him. He asked for advice from the young men who had grown up with him and were now serving him. 9 He asked them, "What's your advice? How should I answer these people? They said to me, 'Make the load your father put on our shoulders lighter.' " 10 The young men who had grown up with him gave their answer. They replied, "The people have said to you, 'Your father put a heavy load on our shoulders. Make it lighter.' Tell them, 'My little finger is stronger than my father's legs. 11 My father put a heavy load on your shoulders. But I'll make it even heavier. My father beat you with whips. But I'll beat you with bigger whips.' " 12 Three days later Jeroboam and all of the people returned to Rehoboam. That's because the king had said, "Come back to me in three days." 13 The king answered them in a mean way. He didn't accept the advice of the elders. 14 Instead, he followed the advice of the young men. He said, "My father put a heavy load on your shoulders. But I'll make it even heavier. My father beat you with whips. But I'll beat you with bigger whips." 15 So the king didn't listen to the people. That's because God had planned it that way. What the LORD had said through Ahijah came true. Ahijah had spoken the LORD's message to Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. Ahijah was from Shiloh. 16 All of the people of Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them. So they answered the king. They said, "We don't have any share in David's royal family. We don't have any share in Jesse's son. People of Israel, let's go back to our homes. David's royal family, take care of your own kingdom!" So all of the people of Israel went home. 17 But Rehoboam still ruled over the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah. 18 Adoniram was in charge of those who were forced to work hard for King Rehoboam. The king sent him out among the Israelites. But they killed him by throwing stones at him. Rehoboam was able to get away in his chariot. He escaped to Jerusalem. 19 Israel has refused to follow the royal family of David to this very day.
1 Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem. He brought together 180,000 fighting men from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. He had decided to make war against Israel. He wanted his fighting men to get the kingdom of Israel back for him. 2 But a message came to Shemaiah from the Lord. He was a man of God. The LORD said to him, 3 "Speak to Solomon's son Rehoboam, the king of Judah. Speak to all of the people of Israel in Judah and Benjamin. Tell them, 4 'The LORD says, "Do not go up to fight against your relatives. I want every one of you to go back home. Things have happened exactly the way I planned them." ' " So the fighting men obeyed the LORD's message. They turned back. They didn't march out against Jeroboam. 5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem. He made Judah more secure by building up their towns. 6 He built up Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth Zur, Soco and Adullam. 8 He also built up Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron. All of them were cities in Judah and Benjamin that had high walls around them. 11 Rehoboam made those cities even more secure. He put commanders in them. He gave them plenty of food, olive oil and wine. 12 He put shields and spears in all of those cities. He made them very strong. So he ruled over Judah and Benjamin. 13 The priests and Levites were on Rehoboam's side. They came from their territories all over Israel. 14 The Levites even left their grasslands and other property behind. They came to Judah and Jerusalem. That's because Jeroboam and his sons had refused to accept them as priests of the Lord. 15 Jeroboam appointed his own priests to serve at the high places. He had made statues of gods that looked like goats and calves. His priests served those gods. 16 Some people from every tribe in Israel followed the Levites to Jerusalem. With all their hearts they wanted to worship the Lord. He is the God of Israel. They came to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to him. He was the God of their people of long ago. 17 All those who came to Jerusalem made the kingdom of Judah strong. They helped Solomon's son Rehoboam for three years. During that time they lived the way David and Solomon had lived. 18 Rehoboam got married to Mahalath. She was the daughter of David's son Jerimoth. Her mother was Abihail. Abihail was the daughter of Jesse's son Eliab. 19 Mahalath had sons by Rehoboam. Their names were Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham. 20 Then Rehoboam married Maacah. She was the daughter of Absalom. She had sons by Rehoboam. Their names were Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Absalom's daughter Maacah. In fact, he loved her more than any of his other wives and concubines. He had a total of 18 wives and 60 concubines. And he had a total of 28 sons and 60 daughters. 22 Rehoboam appointed Maacah's son Abijah to be the chief prince among his brothers. He did it to make him king. 23 He acted wisely. He scattered some of his sons through all of the territories of Judah and Benjamin. He put them in all of the cities that had high walls around them. He gave them plenty of food and everything else they needed. He also gave them many wives.
1 Rehoboam had made his position as king secure. He had become very strong. Then he turned away from the law of the Lord. So did all of the people of Judah. 2 They hadn't been faithful to the Lord. So Shishak attacked Jerusalem. It was in the fifth year that Rehoboam was king. Shishak was king of Egypt. 3 He came with 1,200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen. Troops of Libyans, Sukkites and Cushites came with him from Egypt. There were so many of them they couldn't be counted. 4 Shishak captured the cities of Judah that had high walls around them. He came all the way to Jerusalem. 5 Then the prophet Shemaiah came to Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah. They had gathered together in Jerusalem. They were afraid of Shishak. Shemaiah said to them, "The LORD says, 'You have left me. So now I am leaving you to Shishak.' " 6 The king and the leaders of Israel made themselves low in the LORD's sight. They said, "The LORD does what is right and fair." 7 The LORD saw they had made themselves low. So he gave a message to Shemaiah. It said, "They have made themselves low in my sight. So I will not destroy them. Instead, I will soon save them. I will not pour out my burning anger on Jerusalem through Shishak. 8 But its people will be brought under his control. Then they will learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands." 9 Shishak, the king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem. He carried away the treasures of the LORD's temple. He also carried the treasures of the royal palace away. He took everything. That included the gold shields Solomon had made. 10 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to take their place. He gave them to the commanders of the guards who were on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. 11 Every time the king went to the LORD's temple, the guards went with him. They carried the shields. Later, they took them back to the room where they were kept. 12 Rehoboam had made himself low in the LORD's sight. So the LORD turned his anger away from him. Rehoboam wasn't totally destroyed. In fact, some good things happened in Judah. 13 King Rehoboam had made his position secure in Jerusalem. He continued as king. He was 41 years old when he became king. He ruled for 17 years in Jerusalem. It was the city the LORD had chosen out of all of the cities in the tribes of Israel. He wanted to put his Name there. The name of Rehoboam's mother was Naamah from Ammon. 14 Rehoboam did what was evil. That's because he hadn't worshiped the LORD with all his heart. 15 The events of Rehoboam's rule from beginning to end are written down. They are written in the records of the prophets Shemaiah and Iddo. The records deal with family histories. Rehoboam and Jeroboam were always at war with each other. 16 Rehoboam joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in the City of David. His son Abijah became the next king after him.
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