1When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he gathered the men from the households of Judah and Benjamin— 180,000 chosen warriors—to go and fight against Israel to bring the kingdom back to Rehoboam.
2But a message from the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God that said,
3“Tell Rehoboam, son of Solomon, king of Judah, and of all the Israelites living in Judah and Benjamin:
4‘This is what the Lord says. Don't fight against your relatives. Every one of you, go home! For what has happened is down to me.’” So they obeyed what the Lord told them and did not fight against Jeroboam.
5Rehoboam stayed in Jerusalem, and he strengthened the defenses of the towns in Judah.
6He built up Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa,
7Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam,
8Gath, Mareshah, Ziph,
9Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah,
10Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron. These are the fortified towns in Judah and in Benjamin.
11He strengthened their fortresses and put commanders in charge of them, together with supplies of food, olive oil, and wine.
12He stored shields and spears in all the towns and made them very strong. So he held Judah and Benjamin under his rule.
13However, the priests and Levites throughout Israel chose to side with Rehoboam.
14The Levites even left their pasturelands and properties behind, and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons refused to allow them to serve as priests of the Lord.
15Jeroboam chose his own priests for the high places and for the goat and calf idols he had made.
16Those from every tribe of Israel who were committed to worshiping their God followed the Levites to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their forefathers.
17So they supported the kingdom of Judah and for three years they were loyal to Rehoboam, son of Solomon, because they followed the way of David and Solomon.
18Rehoboam married Mahalath, who was the daughter of David's son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Eliab, son of Jesse.
19She was the mother his sons Jeush, and Shamariah, and Zaham.
20After her he married Maacah Absalom's daughter, and she was the mother of his sons Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith.
21Rehoboam loved Maacah Absalom's daughter more than all his other wives and concubines. He had a total of eighteen wives and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
22Rehoboam made Abijah son of Maacah crown prince among his brothers, planning to make him king.
23Rehoboam was also wise to place some of his sons throughout the land of Judah and Benjamin, and to all the fortified towns. He gave them plenty of supplies and sought many wives for them. He worked to arrange many wives for them.