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Abijah’s Rule in Judah

13 Abijah became the king of Judah in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam. He ruled for three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah began the battle with an army of powerful soldiers, 400,000 chosen men. Jeroboam came ready for battle against him with 800,000 chosen men who were powerful soldiers.

Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel! Do you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by an agreement of salt? But Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, went against his lord the king. And men of no worth gathered around him. They were bad men who were too strong for Rehoboam the son of Solomon. Rehoboam was young and weak and could not stand against them. So now you plan to stand against the power of the Lord through the sons of David. You think you can because you have many people and the gold calves Jeroboam made you for gods. Have you not driven out the religious leaders of the Lord, the sons of Aaron and the Levites? And have you not made religious leaders for yourselves like the people of other lands? Whoever comes to make himself holy with a young bull and seven rams becomes a religious leader of false gods. 10 But as for us, the Lord is our God. We have not left Him. The sons of Aaron are working for the Lord as religious leaders. And the Levites are doing their work. 11 Every morning they give burnt gifts and burn special perfume to the Lord. The holy bread is set on the clean table. And the gold lamp-stand with its lamps is ready to light every evening. For we do the work of the Lord our God. But you have left Him. 12 Now see, God is with us at our head. His religious leaders are ready to blow the horns, to sound the call to battle against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers. For you cannot win.”

13 But Jeroboam had sent soldiers to come from behind. So Israel was in front of Judah, and soldiers were behind them also. 14 When Judah looked, they saw that the battle was both in front of them and behind them. So they cried to the Lord, and the religious leaders blew the horns. 15 Then the men of Judah sounded a war cry. And when they sounded the war cry, God began destroying Jeroboam and all Israel around Abijah and Judah. 16 The men of Israel ran away from Judah. God gave them into their hand. 17 Abijah and his people killed many of them. There were 500,000 chosen men of Israel killed. 18 So the sons of Israel were set back at that time. The sons of Judah were strong because they trusted in the Lord, the God of their fathers. 19 Abijah went after Jeroboam. He took from him the cities of Bethel with its towns, Jeshanah with its towns, and Ephron with its towns. 20 Jeroboam did not become strong again in the days of Abijah. And the Lord destroyed him, and he died.

21 But Abijah became very strong. He married fourteen wives, and became the father of twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 Now the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways and his words, are written in the story of Iddo the man of God.

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