Abijah Reigns in Judah
(1 Kings 15:1–8)
And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Abijah went into battle with an army of 400,000 chosen men, while Jeroboam drew up in formation against him with 800,000 chosen and mighty men of valor.
Civil War against Jeroboam
4 Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim in the hill country of Ephraim and said, “Hear me, O Jeroboam and all Israel! 5 Do you not know that the LORD, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt d? 6 Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon son of David, rose up and rebelled against his master. 7 Then worthless and wicked men gathered around him to resist Rehoboam son of Solomon when he was young, inexperienced, and unable to resist them.
8 And now you think you can resist the kingdom of the LORD, which is in the hands of David’s descendants. You are indeed a vast army, and you have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made for you as gods. 9 But did you not drive out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites? And did you not make priests for yourselves as do the peoples of other lands? Now whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams can become a priest of things that are not gods.
10 But as for us, the LORD is our God. We have not forsaken Him; the priests who minister to the LORD are sons of Aaron, and the Levites attend to their duties. 11 Every morning and every evening they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the LORD. They set out the rows of showbread on the ceremonially clean table, and every evening they light the lamps of the gold lampstand. We are carrying out the requirements of the LORD our God, while you have forsaken Him.
12 Now behold, God Himself is with us as our head, and His priests with their trumpets sound the battle call against you. O children of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your fathers, for you will not succeed.”
13 Now Jeroboam had sent troops around to ambush from the rear, so that while he was in front of Judah, the ambush was behind them. 14 When Judah turned and discovered that the battle was both before and behind them, they cried out to the LORD. Then the priests blew the trumpets, 15 and the men of Judah raised the battle cry. And when they raised the cry, God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.
16 So the Israelites fled before Judah, and God delivered them into their hands. 17 Then Abijah and his people struck them with a mighty blow, and 500,000 chosen men of Israel fell slain. 18 Thus the Israelites were subdued at that time, and the men of Judah prevailed because they relied on the LORD, the God of their fathers.
19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured some cities from him: Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, along with their villages.
20 Jeroboam did not again recover his power during the days of Abijah, and the LORD struck him down and he died.
21 But Abijah grew strong, married fourteen wives, and became the father of twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 Now the rest of the acts of Abijah, along with his ways and his words, are written in the Treatise e of the Prophet Iddo.
1 a Abijah is a variant of Abijam ; see 1 Kings 14:31.
2 b Hebrew; most LXX manuscripts and Syriac Maacah ; see 2 Chronicles 11:20 and 1 Kings 15:2.
2 c Or granddaughter
5 d That is, a perpetual covenant
22 e Or Exposition or Study