1 Then Rehoboam went to Jerusalem, and he called together the entire house of Judah and of Benjamin, one hundred eighty thousand elect men of war, so that he might contend against Israel, and turn back his kingdom to himself.
2 And the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, the man of God, saying:
3 “Speak to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, the king of Judah, and to all of Israel who are of Judah, or of Benjamin:
4 Thus says the Lord: You shall not ascend and fight against your brothers. Let each one return to his own house. For it is by my will that this has happened.” And when they had heard the word of the Lord, they turned back, and they did not continue on against Jeroboam.
5 Then Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and he built fortified cities in Judah.
6 And he built up Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa,
7 and also Bethzur, and Soco, and Adullam,
8 indeed also Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,
9 then too Adoram, and Lachish, and Azekah,
10 as well as Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which were very fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin.
11 And when he had enclosed them with walls, he placed in them rulers, and storehouses of provisions, that is, of oil and wine.
12 Moreover, in each city he made an armory of shields and spears, and he strengthened them with the utmost diligence. And he ruled over Judah and Benjamin.
13 Then the priests and Levites, who were in all of Israel, came to him from all their settlements,
14 leaving behind their suburbs and possessions, and crossing over to Judah and to Jerusalem. For Jeroboam and his followers had cast them out, so that they could not exercise the priestly office to the Lord.
15 And he appointed for himself priests of high places, and of demons, and of calves that he had made.
16 Moreover, out of all the tribes of Israel, whosoever would give their heart so that they sought the Lord God of Israel, they went to Jerusalem to immolate their victims before the Lord, the God of their fathers.
17 And they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and they confirmed Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, for three years. For they walked in the ways of David and of Solomon, but only for three years.
18 Then Rehoboam took as wife Mahalath, the daughter of Jerimoth, son of David, and also Abihail, the daughter of Eliab, son of Jesse.
19 They bore sons for him: Jeush, and Shemariah, and Zaham.
20 And also after her, he married Maacah, the daughter of Absalom, who bore for him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith.
21 But Rehoboam loved Maacah, the daughter of Absalom, above all his wives and concubines. For he had taken eighteen wives and sixty concubines. And he conceived twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
22 Truly, he appointed as the head, Abijah, the son of Maacah, to be the ruler over all his brothers. For he thought to make him king,
23 since he was wiser and more powerful than all his sons, even in all the regions of Judah and Benjamin, and in all the fortified cities. And he provided them with very much food, and he sought many wives.