The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Paralipomena
Upon reaching Jerusalem, Roboam mustered the whole forces of Juda and Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand tried warriors, to do battle with the Israelites and recover his kingdom.
But the Lord sent word to the prophet Semeias,
Here is a message for Roboam, son of Solomon, king of Juda, and for all the Israelites of Juda and Benjamin.
You are not to march out, the Lord says, and make war upon your own brethren; go home, every man of you; all this is my doing. Learning that this was the Lord’s will, all went home, and never marched out against Jeroboam.✻
Roboam had his capital at Jerusalem, but there were many other cities in Juda he fortified,
Bethlehem, Etam, Thecue,
Bethsur, Socho, Odollam,
Geth, Maresa, Ziph,
Aduram, Lachis, Azecha,
Saraa, Aialon and Hebron. All these cities of Juda and Benjamin were fastnesses of his,
each of them walled about, and furnished with a commander, and stores of food, wine and oil,
and an armoury full of shields and spears; no pains did he spare in making them secure. Juda and Benjamin were his subjects,
and from their homes in every part of Israel the priests and Levites rallied to him.
Precincts and lands must be left behind, to Juda and Jerusalem they must betake themselves, now that Jeroboam and his heirs would have none of their divinely appointed ministrations;
Jeroboam must have his own priests, to serve the hill-shrines, and the devil-gods, and the calves he had made.
Nay, in all the tribes of Israel there were dedicated hearts that had recourse still to the Lord God of Israel; these, when they had victims to offer, would present themselves at Jerusalem, before the Lord God of their fathers.
These added strength to the kingdom of Juda, and lent courage to Roboam, the son of Solomon, but only for three years. Only for three years did they follow loyally in the steps of David and Solomon.
Roboam married, first Mahalath, daughter of David’s son Jerimoth, then Abihail, daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab,
the mother of Jehus, Somoria and Zoöm,
then Absalom’s daughter Maacha, who bore him Abia, Ethai, Ziza and Salomith.
Roboam had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, who bore him twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters; but Maacha, Absalom’s daughter, he loved best of all.
And it was to Maacha’s son Abia that he gave the foremost place among the royal princes, meaning to make him king.
This prince was abler than the rest, and had more influence up and down Juda and Benjamin, as well as in the garrison cities. All alike must be well cared for, and wives a many found for the royal house.✻
The Holy Bible