2 Chronicles 13

Abijah rules Judah as king

1 Abijah became king of Judah after Jeroboam had been king of Israel for 18 years. 2 Abijah ruled in Jerusalem as king for three years. His mother's name was Micaiah. She was the daughter of Uriel from Gibeah.

Abijah and Jeroboam fought a war against each other. 3 Abijah attacked with an army of 400,000 brave soldiers that he had chosen. Jeroboam prepared to fight against him with 800,000 strong brave soldiers that he had chosen.

4 Abijah went to stand on Mount Zemaraim, in the hill country of Ephraim. He shouted, ‘Listen to me, Jeroboam and all you Israelites! 5 The Lord, Israel's God, has chosen David and his descendants to be kings of Israel for all time. You know that God has promised that must happen. 6 Nebat's son Jeroboam was a servant of David's son, King Solomon. But he turned against his master. 7 He took some wicked useless men to join his group. They made themselves strong against Solomon's son, Rehoboam. Rehoboam was young and he had not been king for very long. So he was not strong enough to stop them.

8 Now you want to fight against the Lord's own kingdom that he has chosen David's descendants to rule over. You have a very large army. You bring with you the gold statues of young bulls that Jeroboam made for you as your gods. 9 But you chased away the Lord's own priests, the descendants of Aaron. You chased away the Levites. Instead you chose your own priests, as the people in other nations do. Anyone can become a priest to serve your false gods. He only has to come with a sacrifice of a young bull and seven male sheep!

10 But we still serve the Lord as our God. We have not turned away from him. We have the descendants of Aaron to serve as our priests. The Levites help them in their work. 11 They offer burnt offerings and sweet incense to the Lord every morning and every evening. They put out the special bread on his table every day. They light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. So we are the people who are obeying the rules of the Lord our God. But you have turned away from him.

12 Listen to me! God himself is our leader. He is here to help us. His priests are ready to make a loud noise with their trumpets to start the battle against you. Israelite people, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors. You will not win the battle.’

13 But Jeroboam had sent some soldiers around behind Judah's army. Jeroboam was with the rest of his army, in front of Judah's army. The other soldiers were ready to attack from behind. 14 Judah's soldiers turned around. They saw that Jeroboam's soldiers were in front of them and behind them. So they called out to the Lord for help. The priests made a noise with their trumpets.

15 Judah's soldiers shouted very loudly. As King Abijah led Judah's soldiers into the battle, the Lord knocked down Jeroboam and all Israel's army. 16 Israel's soldiers ran away as Judah's army chased after them. God caused Judah's soldiers to win the fight. 17 Abijah and his army killed many of the Israel soldiers. 500,000 of Israel's best soldiers died. 18 Judah's soldiers trusted the Lord, the God of their ancestors, to help them. That was why they won the battle that day against Israel's army.

19 King Abijah chased King Jeroboam. He took these Israelite towns for himself: Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron, as well as the villages around them.

20 After that, while Abijah was Judah's king, Jeroboam never became strong again. Finally, the Lord punished Jeroboam so that he died. 21 But Abijah became more powerful. He married 14 wives. He became the father of 22 sons and 16 daughters.

22 All the other things that happened while Abijah ruled as king are written in the book of the prophet Iddo. It includes the things that Abijah did and the things that he said.