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Monday, August 11 2014

2 Chronicles 13: Abijah and Jeroboam: Judah Versus Israel

"There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam"

Abijah, the son of King Rehoboam (see Rehoboam's House of Judah and Benjamin) and the grandson of King Solomon, was the king of Judah during the latter part of the reign of King Jeroboam of Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah and Kings of Israel and Judah). There were times, after the division of the united kingdom of Israel into "Israel" and "Judah," when Israel and Judah were at war. Abijah and Jeroboam saw such conflict for "there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam."

Israel and Judah

"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." (2 Chronicles 13:1-3 KJV)

The reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah overlapped (i.e. the kings of Israel and Judah almost never began or ended their individual reigns at the same time), with the result that a newcomer was faced with an experienced, and oftentimes hostile, leader in the other kingdom (see Old Boys Versus Greenhorns). In their case, Abijah was the young and inexperienced one, while Jeroboam was a seasoned army leader and king. The overriding factor however was that Jeroboam had become corrupt in the eyes of the LORD ("Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, is risen up, and hath rebelled against his lord"), while Abijah had remained faithful and obedient ("But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him").

"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 shewbread 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." (2 Chronicles 13:4-12 KJV)

Jeroboam was a wise battle commander. He led Abijah's forces into an ambush, but Jeroboam was nevertheless defeated and routed because the LORD stands with those who stand with Him. So "Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers."

"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." (2 Chronicles 13:13-19 KJV)

It was the end for Jeroboam ("Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and the LORD struck him, and he died"), while faithful "Abijah waxed mighty" with the help of the LORD.

"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.

13:22 And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo." (2 Chronicles 13:20-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: When will Israel and Judah be restored as a united kingdom?
See When Will The United Kingdom Be Restored?

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This Day In History, August 11

117: The accession of Hadrian, the 14th Roman emperor. He reigned 117-138 (see A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba).

Hadrian 355: Claudius Silvanus proclaimed himself Roman Emperor against Emperor Constantius II.

490: The Battle of Adda. The Goths under Theodoric the Great and his ally Alaric II defeated the army of Odoacer on the Adda River, near Milan.

991: The Danes under Olaf Tryggvason defeated the Saxons at Maldon.

1675: During the Franco-Dutch War, armies of "the Holy Roman Empire" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) defeated the French at the Battle of Konzer Brucke.

1712: The Treaty of Aargau was signed which ended the Swiss War and guaranteed Protestant superiority over Catholic Cantons.

1786: Francis Light established the British colony of Penang, Malaysia.

1718: The English fleet under Admiral George Byng destroyed or captured 15 out of 22 Spanish ships at the Battle of Cape Passaro off Sicily.

1804: Francis II became the first Emperor of Austria.

1858: The Eiger of the Bernese Alps was climbed for the first time.

1863: Cambodia became a French protectorate.

1906: In France, Eugene Lauste received the first patent for a "talking film."

1908: Britain's King Edward VII met with Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II (Kaiser is the German form of Caesar; again, see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) to protest the growth of the German navy.

1919: After the First World War, the constitution of the Weimar Republic was adopted in Germany.

1933: "The Assyrian Incident" - a massacre of Assyrian villagers (315 men, 4 women, 6 children) by Iraqi government forces.

1934: The first civilian prisoners arrived at the Federal prison on Alcatraz Island, California. The incarceration rate in the USA today is the highest in the world. With only 5% of the world's population, nearly 25% of the world's inmates are in US prisons.

1942: A German submarine sank the British Navy's HMS Eagle, one of the world's first aircraft carriers.

1952: King Hussein of Jordan succeeded to the throne after his father, King Ala, was deposed. He reigned for 47 years, until his death in 1999.

1972: The last U.S. military forces withdrew from Vietnam. Soon thereafter, North Vietnam over-ran South Vietnam, ending the Vietnam civil war between north and south, thereby creating a single country free of foreign interference for the first time since colonial France divided Vietnam into North and South in the 1950s.

1990: West German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher's Free Democrats (FDP) merged with their liberal East German allies to become the first revived all-Germany political party.

2003: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) took over command of the "peacekeeping" force in Afghanistan, its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history (NATO was formed to defend western Europe from Soviet invasion).


Copyright © Wayne Blank