2 Chronicles 13

1When King Jeroboam was in his 18th year as king of Israel, Abijah became the new king of Judah. 2Abijah was king in Jerusalem for three years. Abijah’s mother was Maacah. Maacah was Uriel’s daughter. Uriel was from the town of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3Abijah’s army had 400,000 brave soldiers. Abijah led that army into battle. Jeroboam’s army had 800,000 brave soldiers. Jeroboam got ready to have a war with Abijah. 4Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim in the hill country of Ephraim. Abijah said, “Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me! 5You should know that the Lord God of Israel gave David and his sons the right to be king over Israel forever. God gave this right to David with an agreement of salt. 6But Jeroboam turned against his Master! Jeroboam son of Nebat was one of the servants of David’s son Solomon. 7Then worthless, evil men became friends with Jeroboam. Then Jeroboam and those bad men turned against Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. Rehoboam was young and did not have experience. So Rehoboam could not stop Jeroboam and his bad friends. 8“Now, you people have decided to defeat the Lord’s kingdom—the kingdom that is ruled by David’s sons. You have very many people with you and you have those golden calves—those 'gods’ that Jeroboam made for you! 9You threw out the Lord’s priests, the descendants of Aaron. And you threw out the Levites. Then you chose your own priests, just like every other nation on earth. And now, any person that will bring a young bull and seven rams can become a priest! A priest to serve those 'No-gods’. 10“But as for us, the Lord is our God. We people of Judah have not refused to obey God! We have not left him! The priests who serve the Lord are Aaron’s sons. And the Levites help the priests serve the Lord. 11They offer burnt offerings and burn incense of spices to the Lord every morning and every evening. They put the bread in rows on the special table in the temple. And they take care of the lamps on the golden lampstand so it shines bright each and every evening. We very carefully serve the Lord our God. But you people have abandoned him! 12God himself is with us. He is our ruler, and his priests are with us. God’s priests blow his trumpets to wake you up and make you excited about coming to him! Men of Israel, don’t fight against the Lord God of your ancestors! You will not succeed!” 13But Jeroboam sent a group of soldiers to sneak behind Abijah’s army. Jeroboam’s army was in front of Abijah’s army. The hidden soldiers from Jeroboam’s army were behind Abijah’s army. 14When the soldiers in Abijah’s army from Judah looked around, they saw Jeroboam’s army attacking both in front and in back. The men of Judah shouted out to the Lord and the priests blew the trumpets. 15Then the men in Abijah’s army shouted. When the men of Judah shouted, God defeated Jeroboam’s army. All of Jeroboam’s army from Israel were defeated by Abijah’s army from Judah. 16The men of Israel ran away from the men of Judah. God let the army from Judah defeat the army from Israel. 17Abijah’s army greatly defeated the army of Israel, and 500,000 of the best men of Israel were killed. 18So at that time the people of Israel were defeated, and the people of Judah won. The army from Judah won because they depended on the Lord the God of their ancestors. 19Abijah’s army chased Jeroboam’s army. Abijah’s army captured the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron from Jeroboam. They captured those towns and the small villages near those towns. 20Jeroboam never became strong again while Abijah lived. The Lord killed Jeroboam. 21But Abijah became strong. He married 14 women and was the father of 22 sons and 16 daughters. 22All the other things that Abijah did are written in the books of the prophet Iddo.

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