December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- On his arrival in Jerusalem Rehoboam gathered together the house of Judah and Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand seasoned warriors, to have them fight against Israel and restore the kingdom to him.
- However, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, a man of God:
- "Say to Rehoboam, son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin:
- 'Thus says the LORD: You must not march out to fight against your brothers. Let every man return home, for what has occurred I have brought about.'" They obeyed this message of the LORD and gave up the expedition against Jeroboam.
- 1 Rehoboam took up residence in Jerusalem and built fortified cities in Judah.
- He built up Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa,
- Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam,
- Gath, Mareshah, Ziph,
- Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah,
- Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron; these were fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin.
- Then he strengthened the fortifications and put commanders in them, with supplies of food, oil and wine.
- In every city were shields and spears, and he made them very strong. Thus Judah and Benjamin remained his.
- Now the priests and Levites throughout Israel presented themselves to him from all parts of their land,
- for the Levites left their assigned pasture lands and their holdings and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons repudiated them as priests of the LORD.
- In their place, he himself appointed priests for the high places and satyrs and calves he had made.
- After them, all those of the Israelite tribes who firmly desired to seek the LORD, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD, the God of their fathers.
- Thus they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and made Rehoboam, son of Solomon, prevail for three years; for they walked in the way of David and Solomon three years.
- Rehoboam took to himself as wife Mahalath, daughter of Jerimoth, son of David and of Abihail, daughter of Eliab, son of Jesse.
- She bore him sons: Jehush, Shemariah and Zaham.
- After her, he married Maacah, daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith.
- Rehoboam loved Maacah, daughter of Absalom, more than all his other wives and concubines; he had taken eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
- Rehoboam constituted Abijah, son of Maacah, commander among his brothers, for he intended to make him king.
- He acted prudently, distributing various of his sons throughout all the districts of Judah and Benjamin, in all the fortified cities; and he furnished them with copious provisions and sought an abundance of wives for them.
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1 [5-12] These verses, though not found in 1 Kings, are apparently based on a reliable, ancient source.
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