1Abijah became king of Judah in the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam.
2He reigned in Jerusalem for three years. His mother's name was Micaiah, daughter of Uriel—she was from Gibeah. Abijah and Jeroboam were at war.
3Abijah went out to fight with an army of 400,000 brave warriors, while Jeroboam opposed him with his army of 800,000 chosen warriors of great strength.
4Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim, in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Listen to me, Jeroboam and all of Israel!
5Don't you understand that the Lord, the God of Israel, gave the kingdom of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a binding agreement?
6Yet Jeroboam, son of Nebat, just a servant of Solomon, son of David, had the audacity to rebel against his master.
7Then some good-for-nothing evil men gathered round him and defied Rehoboam, son of Solomon, when he was young and inexperienced, and couldn't confront them.
8Now do you really think you can oppose the kingdom of the Lord, held by David's descendants? You may be a large horde, and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made for you as gods.
9But didn't you drive out the priests of the Lord, Aaron's descendants, and the Levites, and make priests for yourselves just like people in other nations do? Now anyone who wants to can come and dedicate himself, sacrificing a young bull and seven rams, and he can become a priest of things that really are not gods.
10But for us, the Lord is our God! We have not abandoned him. We have priests serving the Lord who are descendants of Aaron, and we have Levites who help them in their ministry.
11Morning and evening they present burnt offerings and burn fragrant incense to the Lord. They place the rows of showbread on the purified table, and light the lamps of the gold lampstand every evening. We are doing what the Lord our God told us to do, while you have abandoned him.
12God is leading us! His priests blow their trumpets to go into battle against you. People of Israel, don't fight against the Lord, the God of your fathers, for you won't win!”
13But Jeroboam had sent troops around to attack from the rear, so that while he and the main force was in front of Judah, the ambush was behind them.
14Judah turned around and realized that they were having to fight front and rear. They cried out to the Lord for help. Then the priests blew their trumpets,
15and the men of Judah gave a loud shout. When they shouted, God struck Jeroboam and all Israel in front of Abijah and Judah.
16The Israelites ran away from Judah, and God handed them over to Judah, defeated.
17Abijah and his men hit them hard, and 500,000 of Israel's best warriors were killed.
18So the Israelites were subdued at that time, and the people of Judah were victorious because they relied on the Lord, the God of their forefathers.
19Abijah chased Jeroboam and captured some towns from him: Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, along with their villages.
20Jereboam never regained his power during Abijah's reign. Eventually the Lord struck him down and he died.
21But Abijah grew stronger and stronger. He married fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.
22The rest of what Abijah did—what he said and what he accomplished—is recorded in the history written by Iddo the Prophet.