1Now #1 Kin. 12:21–24when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled from the house of Judah and Benjamin one hundred and eighty thousand chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might restore the kingdom to Rehoboam.
2But the word of the Lord came #1 Chr. 12:5; 2 Chr. 12:15to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 3“Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, 4‘Thus says the Lord: “You shall not go up or fight against your brethren! Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from Me.” ’ ” Therefore they obeyed the words of the Lord, and turned back from attacking Jeroboam.
Rehoboam Fortifies the Cities
5So Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defense in Judah. 6And he built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7Beth Zur, Sochoh, Adullam, 8Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and Benjamin, fortified cities. 11And he fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and stores of food, oil, and wine. 12Also in every city he put shields and spears, and made them very strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.
Priests and Levites Move to Judah
13And from all their territories the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel took their stand with him. 14For the Levites left #Num. 35:2–5their common-lands and their possessions and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for #1 Kin. 12:28–33; 2 Chr. 13:9Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them from serving as priests to the Lord. 15#1 Kin. 12:31; 13:33; 14:9; (Hos. 13:2)Then he appointed for himself priests for the high places, for #(Lev. 17:7; 1 Cor. 10:20)the demons, and #1 Kin. 12:28the calf idols which he had made. 16#2 Chr. 14:7And after the Levites left, those from all the tribes of Israel, such as set their heart to seek the Lord God of Israel, #2 Chr. 15:9, 10; 30:11, 18came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord God of their fathers. 17So they #2 Chr. 12:1, 13strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong for three years, because they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.
The Family of Rehoboam
18Then Rehoboam took for himself as wife Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of #1 Sam. 16:6Eliah the son of Jesse. 19And she bore him children: Jeush, Shamariah, and Zaham. 20After her he took #2 Chr. 13:2Maachah the granddaughter of #1 Kin. 15:2Absalom; and she bore him #1 Kin. 14:31Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21Now Rehoboam loved Maachah the granddaughter of Absalom more than all his #Deut. 17:17wives and his concubines; for he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and begot twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. 22And Rehoboam #Deut. 21:15–17appointed #2 Chr. 13:1Abijah the son of Maachah as chief, to be leader among his brothers; for he intended to make him king. 23He dealt wisely, and dispersed some of his sons throughout all the territories of Judah and Benjamin, to every #2 Chr. 11:5fortified city; and he gave them provisions in abundance. He also sought many wives for them.