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Abijah Of Judah

Abijah (also known as Abijam, and not to be confused with others with the same name), from the Hebrew name pronounced awv-iyaw, meaning the LORD is father, was the son and royal successor of King Rehoboam of Israel and Judah - although by the time of his becoming king, after The Division Of Israel, only Judah was left for Abijah to rule.

"14:29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

14:30 And there was war between Rehoboam [see Rehoboam Of Israel And Judah] and Jeroboam [see Jeroboam Of Israel] all their days.

14:31 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 14:29-31 KJV)

After Israel became the two independent kingdoms of "Israel" and "Judah" (see The Northern Kingdom and The Southern Kingdom), the reigns of kings were often recorded in relation to the time of a king of the other kingdom, as in this example in which Abijah of Judah began to reign in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam of Israel.

"15:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah. 15:2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom." (1 Kings 15:1-2 KJV)

"Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters"

Abijah's reign began with an effort to reunite the tribes of Israel under his government. When "diplomacy" (i.e. threats delivered by smiling thugs in suits - imperialistic rulers were no different then than they are now) didn't work, Abjiah set out to conquer those of another independent nation who would not obey him. It resulted in one of the largest battles in human history - 400,000 troops under Abijah of Judah against 800,000 troops under Jeroboam of Israel. Although they were outnumbered 2 to 1, it resulted in a victory for Abijah that rendered the corrupt Jeroboam politically impotent for the rest of his life, while Abijah grew stronger in power - and corruption. It did not however reunite the kingdoms because the division of Israel into "Israel" and "Judah" was the Will of the LORD to begin with (again, see The Division Of Israel).

The Tribes Of Israel

"13:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah. 13:2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.

And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 13:3 And Abijah set the battle in array with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men: Jeroboam also set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, being mighty men of valour.

13:4 And Abijah stood up upon mount Zemaraim, which is in mount Ephraim, and said, Hear me, thou Jeroboam, and all Israel; 13:5 Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? 13:6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, is risen up, and hath rebelled against his lord. 13:7 And there are gathered unto him vain men, the children of Belial, and have strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them.

13:8 And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; and ye be a great multitude, and there are with you golden calves, which Jeroboam made you for gods. 13:9 Have ye not cast out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands? so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods.

13:10 But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and the priests, which minister unto the LORD, are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their business: 13:11 And they burn unto the LORD every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the showbread also set they in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the LORD our God; but ye have forsaken him. 13:12 And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.

13:13 But Jeroboam caused an ambushment to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambushment was behind them. 13:14 And when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind: and they cried unto the LORD, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. 13:15 Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 13:16 And the children of Israel fled before Judah: and God delivered them into their hand. 13:17 And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men. 13:18 Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers.

13:19 And Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with the towns thereof, and Jeshanah with the towns thereof, and Ephrain with the towns thereof. 13:20 Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and the LORD struck him, and he died.

13:21 But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters." (2 Chronicles 13:1-21 KJV)

Abijah became just as corrupt as many of the other northern or southern kings. The LORD tolerated his existence for the sake of the ultimate, and yet future, purpose of the establishment of the Israelite monarchy (see Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah and Zionism).

"15:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah. 15:2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

15:3 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD [i.e. Christ - see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and 'The God Of The Old Testament'] his God, as the heart of David his father [see also David, Future King Of Israel]. 15:4 Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem: 15:5 Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

15:6 And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life. 15:7 Now the rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. 15:8 And Abijam slept with his fathers; and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 15:1-8 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) How many kings of Israel and Judah reigned? (b) Which Israelite dynasty forms the line to the Messiah?
(a) See Kings of Israel and Judah
(b) See Israelite Dynasties


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