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Abijah King of Judah

13 Abijah became the king of Judah. This was during the eighteenth year Jeroboam was king of Israel. Abijah was king in Jerusalem for three years. Abijah’s mother was Maacah daughter of Uriel. Uriel was from the town of Gibeah.

And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah led an army of 400,000 capable soldiers into battle. And Jeroboam prepared to fight him with 800,000 capable soldiers.

Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim in the mountains of Ephraim. He said, “Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me! You should know this: The Lord, the God of Israel, gave David and his sons the right to be king over Israel forever. God gave this right to David with an agreement which will last forever. But Jeroboam turned against his master. Jeroboam was the son of Nebat, one of Solomon’s officers. Solomon was David’s son. Then worthless, evil men became friends with Jeroboam. They were against Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. Rehoboam 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. The Lord’s kingdom 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 Lord’s priests and the Levites. The priests are Aaron’s sons. You have chosen your own priests as people in other countries do. Anyone who comes to make himself ready to serve the Lord with a young bull and seven male sheep can become a priest. He may 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 the priests serve the Lord. 11 They offer burnt offerings and sweet-smelling incense to the Lord every morning and evening. They also 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 the Lord. 12 God himself is with us. He is our ruler, and his priests are with us. The priests blow the trumpet to call us to war against you. Men of Israel, don’t fight against the Lord because you won’t succeed. He is the God of your ancestors.”

13 But Jeroboam had sent some troops to sneak behind Abijah’s army. So while Jeroboam was in front of Abijah’s army, Jeroboam’s soldiers were behind them. 14 The soldiers in Abijah’s army looked around. Then they saw Jeroboam’s army attacking both in front and back. 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 defeated Jeroboam and the army of Israel. They ran away from Abijah and the army of Judah. 16 The men of Israel ran away from the men of Judah. God let the army from Judah defeat them. 17 Abijah’s army killed many of Israel’s men. Of Israel’s best men 500,000 were killed. 18 So at that time the people of Israel were defeated. And the people of Judah won. They won because they depended on the Lord, the God of their ancestors.

19 Abijah’s army chased Jeroboam’s army. Abijah’s army captured from Jeroboam the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron. They also captured the small villages near these towns. 20 Jeroboam never became strong again while Abijah was alive. The Lord struck Jeroboam, and he died.

21 But Abijah became strong. He married 14 women. And he was the father of 22 sons and 16 daughters. 22 All the other things Abijah did as king are written down. What he said and did are recorded in what the prophet Iddo has written.

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