1When Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, one hundred and eighty thousand chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam.
2But the LORD’s word came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
3“Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,
4‘The LORD says, “You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers! Every man return to his house; for this thing is of me.”’” So they listened to the LORD’s words, and returned from going against Jeroboam.
5Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah.
6He built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa,
7Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam,
8Gath, Mareshah, Ziph,
9Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah,
10Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin.
11He fortified the strongholds and put captains in them with stores of food, oil and wine.
12He put shields and spears in every city, and made them exceedingly strong. Judah and Benjamin belonged to him.
13The priests and the Levites who were in all Israel stood with him out of all their territory.
14For the Levites left their pasture lands and their possessions, and came to Judah and Jerusalem; for Jeroboam and his sons cast them off, that they should not execute the priest’s office to the LORD.
15He himself appointed priests for the high places, for the male goat and calf idols which he had made.
16After them, out of all the tribes of Israel, those who set their hearts to seek the LORD, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD, the God of their fathers.
17So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong for three years, for they walked three years in the way of David and Solomon.
18Rehoboam took a wife for himself, Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse.
19She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham.
20After her, he took Maacah the granddaughter of Absalom; and she bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith.
21Rehoboam loved Maacah the granddaughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines; for he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and became the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
22Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah to be chief, the prince amongst his brothers, for he intended to make him king.
23He dealt wisely, and dispersed some of his sons throughout all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, to every fortified city. He gave them food in abundance; and he sought many wives for them.