1When Jeroboam had been ruling Israel for almost eighteen years, Abijah became the king of Judah.
2He ruled in Jerusalem for three years. His mother was Micaiah (OR, Maacah), the daughter of Uriel from Gibeah town. There was a war between the armies of Abijah and Jeroboam.
3Abijah went into the battle, taking 400,000 of his capable soldiers, and Jeroboam prepared to fight them, taking 800,000 of his capable troops.
4Abijah stood on the top of Zemaraim Mountain, which is in the hilly area that belonged to the tribe of Ephraim, and he shouted, “Jeroboam and all you other people of Israel, listen to me!
5You should know that Yahweh, the God to whom all we Israelis belong, has appointed David and his descendants to be the kings of Israel forever. He has confirmed that by making a permanent agreement.
6But Jeroboam, who was only an official of David's son King Solomon, rebelled against his king.
7And when Solomon's son Rehoboam became king and was still young and inexperienced, a group of worthless scoundrels gathered around you, Jeroboam, and rebelled against Rehoboam.
8And now you are planning to fight against the kingdom that Yahweh established to be governed by David's descendants. It is true that you have a huge army, and you and your soldiers have brought with you the golden statues of calves that Jeroboam's workers made to be gods for all of you.
9But you expelled the priests that Yahweh appointed, men who are descendants of Aaron the first Supreme Priest, and you expelled the descendants of Levi, and you appointed the priests that you wanted, like the people of other countries do. You allow anyone to become a priest of idols that are not gods if he comes to dedicate himself to be a priest by sacrificing a young bull and seven rams.
10As for us, Yahweh is our God, and we have not abandoned him. Our priests who serve Yahweh are descendants of Aaron, and the descendants of Levi assist them.
11Every morning and every evening they present to Yahweh offerings to be completely burned on the altar, and they burn fragrant incense. Each week they place the sacred bread on the sacred table, and each morning they light the lamps that are on the gold lampstand. We are obeying what Yahweh our God requires us to do. But you have abandoned him.
12Yahweh is with us; he is our leader. The priests whom he has appointed will blow their trumpets to signal that we are ready to fight a battle against you. You Israeli men, do not fight against Yahweh, the God to whom your ancestors belonged, because you will not be successful and win the battle against him.”
13While he was speaking, Jeroboam sent some of his troops around the army of Judah. So while the soldiers who were with Jeroboam were in front of the army of Judah, the other soldiers of Israel were behind the army of Judah.
14When the soldiers of Judah turned and saw that they were going to be attacked from the front and from the rear, they cried out to Yahweh. The priests blew their trumpets,
15and the men of Judah shouted a loud battle-cry. Then Yahweh enabled Abijah and the army of Judah to defeat Jeroboam and the army of Israel.
16The soldiers of Israel fled from the soldiers of Judah, and God enabled the army of Judah to defeat them.
17Abijah and his troops struck the capable soldiers of Israel and killed 500,000 of them.
18So the soldiers of Israel were defeated, and the soldiers of Judah won the battle because they trusted in Yahweh, the God to whom their ancestors belonged.
19Abijah's army pursued the army of Jeroboam, and they captured from the people of Israel the cities of Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, and the surrounding villages.
20During the remaining time that Abijah ruled, Jeroboam did not become powerful again. Then Yahweh caused him to become very ill, and he died.
21But Abijah became more powerful. He married fourteen wives and had 22 sons and 16 daughters.
22An account of the other things that Abijah did while he was the king, including what he said and what he did, is in the scroll written by the prophet Iddo.