2 Chronicles 13

Abijah becomes king

1 Abijah began to rule over Judah when King Jeroboam had been king of Israel for 18 years. 2 Abijah was king in Jerusalem for three years. His mother's name was Micaiah, daughter of Uriel from the town called Gibeah. Abijah and Jeroboam fought a war. 3 Abijah chose his best 400,000 soldiers. And Jeroboam prepared to fight against him with 800,000 strong brave men that he had chosen.

Abijah speaks to Jeroboam and to his army

4 Abijah stood on the hill called Zemaraim in the hills of Ephraim. He said, ‘Listen to me, Jeroboam and all you men from Israel. 5 The LORD God of Israel has said that David and his descendants would be kings of Israel for all time. And you should know that. It is God's promise and so it must happen. 6 Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, was a servant of David's son Solomon. But this Jeroboam has refused to obey his master. 7 Some evil men with no value joined his group. They made themselves strong against Solomon's son, Rehoboam. Rehoboam was young and he was not brave. So he could not be strong against them.

8 And now you want to be strong against the LORD's kingdom. But David's descendants rule over that kingdom. You are a very large crowd. And you have the young cows of gold that Jeroboam made to be your gods. 9 But you pushed out the LORD's priests, the sons of Aaron. And you sent away the Levites. And you made your own priests as the people in other nations do. You will call anyone a priest who comes with a young male cow and 7 male sheep to sacrifice. But he will become a priest of things that are not gods.

10 But we are different. The LORD is our God and we have not left him. Our priests are the LORD's servants. They are Aaron's sons. And the Levites help them. 11 They burn sacrifices to the LORD and oils with sweet smells every morning and every evening. They put out bread on his special table every day. They put lights on their lampstand of gold every evening. We are obeying the LORD our God. But you have gone away from him. 12 God is with us and he is our leader. His priests will make a loud noise with their trumpets. That will start the fight against you. Men from Israel, you will not win. So do not fight against the LORD, your ancestors' God.’

Jeroboam attacks Abijah and Judah

13 But Jeroboam had sent some soldiers round behind Judah's men. He was in front of them with his army but the other soldiers were now behind Judah's army. 14 Judah's men turned. And they saw Jeroboam's soldiers who were attacking them from the front and from behind them. Then they shouted out to the LORD and the priests started to make a noise with their trumpets.

The LORD helps Abijah to win the fight

15 The men from Judah shouted very loudly. When the men from Judah shouted, the LORD beat Jeroboam and all Israel's men. He helped Abijah and Judah's men to beat them. 16 Israel's men ran away from Judah's men and God caused the men from Judah to win the fight. 17 Abijah and his men completely beat the men from Israel. And 500,000 men from Israel's best soldiers died. 18 On that day, the LORD helped Judah's people to beat the people from Israel. That was because they believed the promises of their ancestors' God. So Israel's men felt silly.

19 Abijah went after Jeroboam. And he won the fight for the towns called Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron with their villages. 20 After that, Jeroboam was always weak while Abijah was Judah's king. The LORD made Jeroboam ill and so he died.

21 But Abijah became very strong. He married 14 wives and he had 22 sons and 16 daughters.

22 Many other things happened while Abijah was king. The prophet Iddo has written about all those things in his book. He wrote about everything that Abijah had done. And he wrote about everything that he had said.