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  • 2 Chronicles 13

    Abijah rules Judah

    13 Abijah became king over Judah in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam. He ruled for three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Micaiah; she was Uriel’s daughter from Gibeah. When war broke out between Abijah and Jeroboam, Abijah went to fight with an army of four hundred thousand select troops against Jeroboam’s select forces numbering eight hundred thousand, who were arrayed in battle formation.

    Abijah stood on the heights of Mount Zemaraim in Ephraim’s highlands and said:

    “Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel! Surely you know that the Lord, Israel’s God, made an unbreakable covenant with David and his descendants that they would rule Israel forever. It was Jeroboam, Nebat’s son, the servant of Solomon, David’s son, who rebelled against his master. When some useless, worthless people joined his cause, they overpowered Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, who was too young and timid to resist them. And now do you intend to challenge the Lord’s royal rule, entrusted to David’s descendants? You may have a numerical advantage, as well as the gold calves Jeroboam made for you as gods. But you’ve banished the Lord’s priests, Aaron’s sons, along with the Levites, so that you could appoint your own priests as other countries do. Now anyone who shows up with a young bull and seven rams can become a priest of these phony gods!

    10 “But us? The Lord is our God, and we haven’t abandoned him. Aaron’s descendants serve as the Lord’s priests, assisted in the work by the Levites. 11 Every morning and every evening they offer entirely burned offerings and fragrant incense to the Lord, and set out bread in stacks upon a clean table. At night they light the lamps on the gold lampstand. Yes, while you are abandoning the Lord our God, we are doing what he requires. 12 Listen! God is on our side, at our head, along with his priests, who are ready to sound the battle trumpets against you. So, Israelites, don’t fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors, for you won’t succeed!”

    13 Meanwhile, Jeroboam had sent troops around behind them for an ambush so that the main force was in front of Judah while the ambush was behind. 14 When Judah looked around and suddenly realized that they were surrounded, they cried out to the Lord while the priests sounded the trumpets 15 and raised the battle cry. When they raised the battle cry, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 So the Israelites fled before Judah, and God gave Judah the victory. 17 Abijah and his people struck them severely: five hundred thousand select warriors were killed. 18 Israel was subdued on that occasion, and Judah succeeded because they relied on the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and took these cities away from him: Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, along with their villages. 20 Jeroboam failed to regain power during the time of Abijah. The Lord finally struck him down, and he died. 21 Abijah, however, grew strong. He married fourteen wives; he had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 The rest of Abijah’s deeds, what he did and what he said, are written in the account of the prophet Iddo.