Two Chronicles Eleven

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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2 Chronicles 11:1 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 Chronicles 11:2 But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,

Shemaiah, the man of God. Shemaiah is called “the prophet” (2 Chronicles 12:5) and author of “the book of Shemaiah” (2 Chronicles 12:15). He was the chief influence for good in the reign of Rehoboam.

2 Chronicles 11:3 Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,

2 Chronicles 11:4 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.

2 Chronicles 11:5 And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah.

cities for defence. Interestingly, the defense cities built at this time, were not in the north against Israel, but in the south, against Egypt. Note 2 Chronicles 12:2.

2 Chronicles 11:6 He built even Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa,

2 Chronicles 11:7 And Bethzur, and Shoco, and Adullam,

2 Chronicles 11:8 And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,

2 Chronicles 11:9 And Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah,

2 Chronicles 11:10 And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities.

2 Chronicles 11:11 And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine.

2 Chronicles 11:12 And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.

2 Chronicles 11:13 And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their coasts.

priests and the Levites. The priests and Levites had originally been given cities throughout the various tribal allotments (see Joshua 21:1-42), forty-eight cities altogether, including the cities of refuge. When Jeroboam set up new worship centers in Bethel and Dan (1 Kings 12:29), instead of Jerusalem (where God had commanded all Israelites to center their worship), many of the priests and Levites soon emigrated into the land of Judah. This in turn led many God-fearing families from the other tribes also to move to Judah, or at least to go to Jerusalem to worship God with their sacrifices and offerings (2 Chronicles 11:16). All of this encouraged Rehoboam to “walk in the way of David and Solomon” for at least three fruitful years (2 Chronicles 11:17).

2 Chronicles 11:14 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:

2 Chronicles 11:15 And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made.

2 Chronicles 11:16 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.

2 Chronicles 11:17 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.

2 Chronicles 11:18 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;

2 Chronicles 11:19 Which bare him children; Jeush, and Shamariah, and Zaham.

2 Chronicles 11:20 And after her he took Maachah the daughter of Absalom; which bare him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith.

daughter of Absalom. According to 2 Samuel 14:27, Absalom's only daughter was named Tamar. It is possible that Maachah was another name for Tamar. More likely, Maachah was the “granddaughter” of Absalom (the Hebrew word “daughter,” bath, is sufficiently flexible to allow this meaning).

2 Chronicles 11:21 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.)

2 Chronicles 11:22 And Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren: for he thought to make him king.

2 Chronicles 11:23 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.