1When Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel to bring the kingdom back to Rehoboam.
2But the word of Yahweh 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‘This is what Yahweh says: “You are not to go up, nor fight against your brothers! Everyone return to his house, because this thing is from me.” So they listened to the words of Yahweh and turned back from going against Jeroboam.
5Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and he fortified cities for defense in Judah.
6He built up Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa,
7and Beth-zur, and Soco, and Adullam,
8and Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,
9and Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah,
10and Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin.
11He fortified the strongholds and put commanders in them, and supplies of food and oil and wine.
12He also put shields and spears in every city and made them exceedingly strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his.
13And the priests and the Levites from all their territories throughout all Israel presented themselves to him.
14The Levites left their open land and their property and came to Judah and Jerusalem because Jeroboam and his sons prohibited them from serving as priests to Yahweh,
15and he had appointed priests for himself for the shrines, and for the goat demons, and for the golden calves that he had made,
16so those people from every tribe of Israel who had set their heart on seeking Yahweh, the God of Israel, followed them to Jerusalem to sacrifice to Yahweh the God of their fathers.
17So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong for three years because they walked for 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;
19and she bore him sons: Jeush, and Shemariah, and Zaham.
20After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom, and she bore him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith.
21Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his wives and his concubines (for he took 18 wives and 60 concubines and fathered 28 sons and 60 daughters).
22Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah to be head and leader among his brothers, for he planned to make him king.
23He acted wisely and dispersed some of his many sons throughout all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, to every fortified city, and he gave them food in abundance, and he acquired many wives for them.