11When Rehoboam arrived at Jerusalem, he mobilized the men of Judah and Benjamin—180,000 select troops—to fight against Israel and to restore the kingdom to himself.H7346H935H3389H6950H1004H3063H1144H3967H8084H505H977H6213H4421H3898H3478H7725H4467H7725H7346 2But the LORD said to Shemaiah, the man of God,H1697H3068H8098H376H430H559 3"Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin.H559H7346H1121H8010H4428H3063H3478H3063H1144H559 4'This is what the LORD says: Do not fight against your relatives. Go back home, for what has happened is my doing!'" So they obeyed the message of the LORD and did not fight against Jeroboam.H559H3068H5927H3898H251H7725H376H1004H1697H1961H8085H1697H3068H7725H3212H3379 5Rehoboam remained in Jerusalem and fortified various towns for the defense of Judah.H7346H3427H3389H1129H5892H4692H3063 6He built up Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa,H1129H1035H5862H8620 7Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam,H1049H7755H5725 8Gath, Mareshah, Ziph,H1661H4762H2128 9Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah,H115H3923H5825 10Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These became the fortified towns of Judah and Benjamin.H6881H357H2275H3063H1144H4694H5892 11Rehoboam strengthened their defenses and stationed commanders in them, and he stored supplies of food, olive oil, and wine.H2388H4694H5414H5057H214H3978H8081H3196 12He also put shields and spears in these towns as a further safety measure. So only Judah and Benjamin remained under his control.H5892H6793H7420H7235H3966H2388H3063H1144 13But all the priests and Levites living among the northern tribes of Israel sided with Rehoboam.H3548H3881H3478H3320H1366 14The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property and moved to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons would not allow them to serve the LORD as priests.H3881H5800H4054H272H3212H3063H3389H3379H1121H2186H3547H3068 15Jeroboam appointed his own priests to serve at the pagan shrines, where they worshiped the goat and calf idols he had made.H5975H3548H1116H8163H5695H6213 16From all the tribes of Israel, those who sincerely wanted to worship the LORD, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem, where they could offer sacrifices to the LORD, the God of their ancestors.H310H7626H3478H5414H3824H1245H3068H430H3478H935H3389H2076H3068H430H1 17This strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and for three years they supported Rehoboam son of Solomon, for during those years they faithfully followed in the footsteps of David and Solomon.H2388H4438H3063H7346H1121H8010H553H7969H8141H7969H8141H1980H1870H1732H8010 18Rehoboam married his cousin Mahalath, the daughter of David's son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Eliab son of Jesse.H7346H3947H4258H1323H1121H3406H1121H1732H802H32H1323H446H1121H3448 19Mahalath had three sons—Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham.H3205H1121H3266H8114H2093 20Later Rehoboam married another cousin, Maacah, the daughter of Absalom. Maacah gave birth to Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith.H310H3947H4601H1323H53H3205H29H6262H2124H8019 21Rehoboam loved Maacah more than any of his other wives and concubines. In all, he had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and they gave birth to twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.H7346H157H4601H1323H53H802H6370H5375H8083H6240H802H8346H6370H3205H6242H8083H1121H8346H1323 22Rehoboam appointed Maacah's son Abijah as leader among the princes, making it clear that he would be the next king.H7346H5975H29H1121H4601H7218H5057H251H4427 23Rehoboam also wisely gave responsibilities to his other sons and stationed some of them in the fortified towns throughout the land of Judah and Benjamin. He provided them with generous provisions, and he found many wives for them.H995H6555H1121H776H3063H1144H4694H5892H5414H4202H7230H7592H1995H802
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