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1a On his arrival in Jerusalem, Rehoboam assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin—one hundred and eighty thousand elite warriors—to wage war against Israel and restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. 2However, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, a man of God: 3Say to Rehoboam, son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin: 4“Thus says the LORD: You must not go out to war against your kinsmen. Return home, each of you, for it is I who have brought this about.” They obeyed the word of the LORD and turned back from going against Jeroboam.
Rehoboam’s Works.* 5Rehoboam took up residence in Jerusalem and built fortified cities in Judah. 6He built up Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, 8Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron; these were fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11Then he strengthened the fortifications and put commanders in them, along with supplies of food, oil, and wine. 12In every city were shields and spears, and he made them very strong. Thus Judah and Benjamin remained his.
Refugees from the North. 13Now the priests and Levites throughout Israel presented themselves to him from all parts of their land, 14for the Levites left their assigned pasture lands and their holdings and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons rejected them as priests of the LORD.b 15In their place, he himself appointed priests for the high places as well as for the satyrs and calves he had made.c 16After them, all those, of every tribe of Israel, who set their hearts to seek the LORD, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD, the God of their ancestors. 17Thus 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’s Family. 18Rehoboam married Mahalath, daughter of Jerimoth, son of David and of Abihail, daughter of Eliab, son of Jesse. 19She bore him sons: Jehush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20After her, he married Maacah, daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah,d Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21Rehoboam 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. 22Rehoboam put Abijah, son of Maacah, first among his brothers, as leader, for he intended to make him king. 23He acted prudently, distributing his various sons throughout all the districts of Judah and Benjamin, in all the fortified cities; and he gave them generous provisions and sought an abundance of wives for them.
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