2 Chronicles 11

1 When Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem, he sent servants to bring all the soldiers in Judah and Benjamin to him. He had 180,000 best soldiers to fight for him against Israel. Rehoboam wanted them to help him to become the king of all the people again.

11:1Only the two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, served the family of David.

2 But the Lord said to Shemaiah, the servant of God, 3 ‘Speak to Rehoboam, son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin. 4 Tell them that the Lord is saying this: “Do not go up to fight your relatives. Each man must return to his house, because I have caused this to happen.” ’ So they obeyed the words of the Lord. They turned round and they did not attack Jeroboam.

11:4By this time, Jeroboam had become the king of Israel (the 10 northern tribes). (see 1 Kings 12:20)

Rehoboam makes Judah strong

5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem. He built cities in Judah to keep it safe. 6 He put more buildings in Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth-Zur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah and Ziph. 9 And he built in Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron. He made all those cities in Judah and Benjamin very strong. 11 He made their strong buildings even stronger and he put important officers in them to rule over them. He stored food and olive oil and wine in them. 12 He supplied every city with shields and spears. And he made them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his.

13 The priests and Levites from everywhere in Israel joined his group. 14 The Levites even left their lands and their houses to come to him in Judah and Jerusalem. They came because Jeroboam and his sons had not let them be the Lord's priests. 15 Jeroboam chose his own priests for the high places for worship. They were priests for the models of the goats and the young bulls that he had made. 16 But some people from every tribe in Israel followed the Levites to Jerusalem. Those people wanted to be servants of the Lord God of Israel. They came to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 17 They helped to make the kingdom of Judah stronger. They had helped Rehoboam, Solomon's son to be strong for three years. During those three years, they lived in the way that David and Solomon had lived.

Rehoboam's family

18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, daughter of David's son Jerimoth and of Abihail the daughter of Jesse's son Eliab. 19 She gave to him three sons, who were Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham. 20 Then he married Absalom's daughter Maakah and she gave to him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Absalom's daughter Maakah better than he loved any of his other wives. He had 18 wives and 60 slave wives. And he was the father of 28 sons and 60 daughters.

22 Rehoboam said that Abijah, son of Maakah was the most important among all his sons. He wanted him to become king. 23 He did a wise thing. He sent his sons to different parts of Judah and Benjamin and to all the strong cities. He gave to them plenty of food to store and he found many wives for them.