2 Chronicles 13-14
Chapter 13: The Lord Kills Jeroboam
In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah. He reigned three years in Jerusalem. A war broke out between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah had four hundred thousand choice warriors. Jeroboam also formed eight hundred thousand choice men of valor, to go up into battle against one another.
Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim, which is the mountains of Ephraim and he said to Jeroboam and all of Israel;
“Ought ye not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David forever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, is risen up, and hath rebelled against his lord. And there are gathered unto him vain men, the children of Belial, and have strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them. And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the Lord in the hand of the sons of David; and ye be a great multitude, and there are with you golden calves, which Jeroboam made you for gods. Have ye not cast out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands? so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods. But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and the priests, which minister unto the Lord, are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their business: And they burn unto the Lord every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the shewbread also set they in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the Lord our God; but ye have forsaken him. And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the Lord God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.” (2 Chronicles 13: 5-12)
Abijah argued that the dynasty of David is the only legitimate house to rule over the tribes of Israel, including the 10 northern tribes that rebelled under Jeroboam. King Abijah essentially threatens the king and challenges him to fight against the Lord, because that is who they were really fighting against and not against Abijah and his small army.
Jeroboam, however was not going to listen he caused an ambush to happen from both sides of Abijah and his men. Something that was not very honorable since the battle had yet to begin and negotiations were still being considered. So Abijah and his men, upon seeing this ambush dropped to the ground and sounded their trumpets to the heavens crying out to the Lord for deliverance.
The Lord listened to their cry and caused that Jeroboam and his men be struck down, giving Abijah and his men the ability to slay 500,000 thousand of his men, with only 400,000 men on the side of Abijah. Abijah pursued Jeroboam and took many cities from him.
Jeroboam did not recover his strength again, and he later died. Abijah on the other hand grew mighty, had fourteen wives, 22 sons and 16 daughters. The rest of his acts are written in the book of the prophet of Iddo. Yet another lost book of the bible!
Chapter 14: Asa Reigns in Judah
Abijah passes away and is buried in the City of David. Asa, his son reigns in his place and for 10 years of his reign there is peace and quiet in the land. Asa did what was good in the eyes of the Lord and he removed altars of the foreign gods and the temples with whom others had built. Asa commands Judah to seek the Lord and to observe the law and his commandments. Asa builds fortified cities in Judah and he had no wars, because the Lord had given them rest.
Asa tells Judah the importance of building cities with great walls around them, with towers, gates and bars while the land is still under their control, to avoid having it taken back from them. Because of this, they built and prospered. Asa also worked on the army and had three hundred thousand men from Judah, who carried shields, and spears. Benjamin also has two hundred and eighty thousand men who carried shields, and drew bows who were very mighty men of valor.
Not too much time goes by when Zerah the Ethiopian comes out against them with an army of a million me and three hundred chariots. They came to Mareshah. So Asa fought against them, in a battle at the Valley of Zephathah in Mareshah. Asa cried out to the Lord God asking for his help, so that they might rest. Asa praised the Lord.
The Lord heard the cries and struck down the Ethiopians before Asa and all of Judah. The Ethiopaians fled. Asa and his people pursued them to Gerar, where the Ethiopians were overthrown. They were beaten down to the point of no recovery. Asa and his people were able to return victorious and with lots of spoil.