Rehoboam in Jerusalem 11 1When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mobilized the house of Judah and Benjamin—180,000 choice warriors—to fight against Israel to restore the reign to Rehoboam. 2But the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, the man of God: 3“Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people: 4‘This is what the Lord says: You are not to march up and fight against your brothers. Each of you must return home, for this incident has come from Me.’ ” So they listened to what the Lord said and turned back from going against Jeroboam.   Judah’s King Rehoboam   5Rehoboam stayed in Jerusalem, and he fortified cities[O] in Judah. 6He built up Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, 8Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin. 11He strengthened their fortifications and put leaders in them with supplies of food, oil, and wine. 12He also put large shields and spears in each and every city to make them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his. 13The priests and Levites from all their regions throughout Israel took their stand with Rehoboam, 14for the Levites left their pasturelands and their possessions and went to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons refused to let them serve as priests of Yahweh. 15Jeroboam appointed his own priests for the high places, the goat-demons, and the golden calves he had made. 16Those from every tribe of Israel who had determined in their hearts to seek Yahweh their God followed the Levites to Jerusalem to sacrifice to Yahweh, the God of their ancestors. 17So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years, because they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years. 18Rehoboam married Mahalath, daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 19She bore sons to him: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20After her, he married Maacah daughter[P] of Absalom. She bore Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith to him. 21Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter[Q] of Absalom more than all his wives and concubines. He acquired 18 wives and 60 concubines and was the father of 28 sons and 60 daughters. 22Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as chief, leader among his brothers, intending to make him king. 23Rehoboam also showed discernment by dispersing some of his sons to all the regions of Judah and Benjamin and to all the fortified cities. He gave them plenty of provisions and sought many wives for them.
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