¶ And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house
of Judah and Benjamin an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which
were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom
again to Rehoboam.
2 But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
3 Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,
.4 Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house: for this thing is done of me. And they obeyed the words of the LORD, and returned from going against Jeroboam.
These first four verses are parallel to the account beginning at 1ki1221.
1 - Judah and Benjamin The two tribes formed the Southern Kingdom which is usually called Judah (where Jerusalem was). Benjamin had had ties with Ephriam but in the split had chosen to go with Judah. See map.
2 - Shemiah A prophet of the time 2ch1205ff.
4 - Not go up It was not God's plan that the land should be divided.
| 5 And Rehoboam
dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah.
.6 He built even Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa,
7 And Bethzur, and Shoco, and Adullam,
.8 And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,
.9 And Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah,
10 And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities.
11 And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine.
.12 And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.
5 - Cities of defense Listed in the next few verses. Because they are south and west of Jerusalem they may have been for protection against Shishak of Egypt.
6 - Bethleham 5 miles (8 km.) south of Jerusalem. See the South of Jerusalem Detail map.
6 - Etam On same map west of Hebron. The Pools of Solomon, in the illustration, are near Etam. See the Jerusalem vicinity map, south edge. The pools are "large open cisterns at Etam, at the head of the Wady Urtas, having an average length of 400 feet [120 m.] by 220 in breadth, and 20 to 30 in depth. These pools derive their chief supply of water from a spring called "the sealed fountain," about 200 yards [180 m.] to the north-west of the upper pool, to which it is conveyed by a large subterranean passage... They cover about 7 acres. "They are probably referred to in Ec 2:6. On the fourth day after his victory over the Ammonites, etc., in the wilderness of Tekoa," (Easton's Bible Dictionary).
6 - Tekoa South of Jerusalem on the detail map. Other cities are also on this map.
| 13 ¶ And the priests
and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their
.14 For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest's office unto the LORD:
.15 And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made.
.16 And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers.
17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon.
- Priests and Levites They had been rejected in the new Northern
14 - Suburbs Grazing or agricultural land around the city le2534, jos1404.
15 - Ordained him priests In continuing to develop his false form of worship.
15 - Devils Occult entertainment is becoming increasing more popular today. Most who read popular magic or witch literature deny that this is devil worship de3217, ps10637, 1co1020.
| 18 And Rehoboam took him Mahalath
the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David to wife, and Abihail the daughter
of Eliab the son of Jesse;
19 Which bare him children; Jeush, and Shamariah, and Zaham.
.20 And after her he took Maachah the daughter of Absalom; which bare him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith.
21 And Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines; and begat twenty and eight sons, and threescore daughters.)
|18 - Rehoboam took Taking many wives was the kingly thing to do but not in God's plan ge1601 and following. de1717.|
| 22 And Rehoboam made Abijah
the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren: for he thought
to make him king.
.23 And he dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his children throughout all the countries of Judah and Benjamin, unto every fenced city: and he gave them victual in abundance. And he desired many wives.
- Wisely ... dispersed This allowed for local representation.
23 - Many wives Not wise as noted above. It was the way of kings of the time but not approved by God.