12 Shishak of Egypt Invades Judah
1 When the kingdom of Rehoboam was established and strong, he and all Israel with him forsook the law of the LORD. 2 And it came about in King Rehoboam's fifth year, because they had been unfaithful to the LORD, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem 3 with 1,200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen. And the people who came with him from Egypt were without number: the Lubim, the Sukkiim and the Ethiopians. 4 He captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. 5 Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and he said to them, "Thus says the LORD, `You have forsaken Me, so I also have forsaken you to Shishak.'" 6 So the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, "The LORD is righteous."
7 When the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, "They have humbled themselves so I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some measure of deliverance, and My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by means of Shishak. 8 "But they will become his slaves so that they may learn the difference between My service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries."
Plunder Impoverishes Judah
9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king's palace. He took everything; he even took the golden shields which Solomon had made. 10 Then King Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place and committed them to the care of the commanders of the guard who guarded the door of the king's house. 11 As often as the king entered the house of the LORD, the guards came and carried them and then brought them back into the guards' room. 12 And when he humbled himself, the anger of the LORD turned away from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and also conditions were good in Judah.
13 So King Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned. Now Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen from all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there. And his mother's name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 14 He did evil because he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.
15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, from first to last, are they not written in the records of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, according to genealogical enrollment? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 16 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David; and his son Abijah became king in his place.
13 Abijah Succeeds Rehoboam
1 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.
Now there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Abijah began the battle with an army of valiant warriors, 400,000 chosen men, while Jeroboam drew up in battle formation against him with 800,000 chosen men who were valiant warriors.
4 Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, "Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel: 5 Do you not know that the LORD God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? 6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his master, 7 and worthless men gathered about him, scoundrels, who proved too strong for Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, when he was young and timid and could not hold his own against them.
8 "So now you intend to resist the kingdom of the LORD through the sons of David, being a great multitude and having with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made for gods for you. 9 Have you not driven out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron and the Levites, and made for yourselves priests like the peoples of other lands? Whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, even he may become a priest of what are no gods. 10 But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken Him; and the sons of Aaron are ministering to the LORD as priests, and the Levites attend to their work. 11 Every morning and evening they burn to the LORD burnt offerings and fragrant incense, and the showbread is set on the clean table, and the golden lampstand with its lamps is ready to light every evening; for we keep the charge of the LORD our God, but you have forsaken Him. 12 Now behold, God is with us at our head and His priests with the signal trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the LORD God of your fathers, for you will not succeed."
13 But Jeroboam had set an ambush to come from the rear, so that Israel was in front of Judah and the ambush was behind them. 14 When Judah turned around, behold, they were attacked both front and rear; so they cried to the LORD, and the priests blew the trumpets. 15 Then the men of Judah raised a war cry, and when the men of Judah raised the war cry, then it was that God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 When the sons of Israel fled before Judah, God gave them into their hand. 17 Abijah and his people defeated them with a great slaughter, so that 500,000 chosen men of Israel fell slain. 18 Thus the sons of Israel were subdued at that time, and the sons of Judah conquered because they trusted in the LORD, the God of their fathers. 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured from him several cities, Bethel with its villages, Jeshanah with its villages and Ephron with its villages.
Death of Jeroboam
20 Jeroboam did not again recover strength in the days of Abijah; and the LORD struck him and he died.
21 But Abijah became powerful; and took fourteen wives to himself, 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 treatise of the prophet Iddo.
14 Asa Succeeds Abijah in Judah
1 So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David, and his son Asa became king in his place. The land was undisturbed for ten years during his days.
2 Asa did good and right in the sight of the LORD his God, 3 for he removed the foreign altars and high places, tore down the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherim, 4 and commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers and to observe the law and the commandment. 5 He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah. And the kingdom was undisturbed under him. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah, since the land was undisturbed, and there was no one at war with him during those years, because the LORD had given him rest. 7 For he said to Judah, "Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours because we have sought the LORD our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side." So they built and prospered. 8 Now Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, bearing large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin, bearing shields and wielding bows; all of them were valiant warriors.
9 Now Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and he came to Mareshah. 10 So Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up in battle formation in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, "LORD, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; let not man prevail against You." 12 So the LORD routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar; and so many Ethiopians fell that they could not recover, for they were shattered before the LORD and before His army. And they carried away very much plunder. 14 They destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the dread of the LORD had fallen on them; and they despoiled all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. 15 They also struck down those who owned livestock, and they carried away large numbers of sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.