2 Chronicles 11

1 When Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, one hundred and eighty thousand chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam. 2 But the LORD’s word came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 3 “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, 4 ‘the LORD says, “You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers! Every man return to his house; for this thing is of me.”’” So they listened to the LORD’s words, and returned from going against Jeroboam. 5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and built cities for defense in Judah. 6 He built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin. 11 He fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and stores of food, oil and wine. 12 He put shields and spears in every city, and made them exceedingly strong. Judah and Benjamin belonged to him. 13 The priests and the Levites who were in all Israel stood with him out of all their territory. 14 For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem; for Jeroboam and his sons cast them off, that they should not execute the priest’s office to the LORD. 15 He himself appointed priests for the high places, for the male goats, and for the calves which he had made. 16 After them, out of all the tribes of Israel, those who set their hearts to seek the LORD, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD, the God of their fathers. 17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong for three years; for they walked three years in the way of David and Solomon. 18 Rehoboam took a wife for himself, Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. 19 She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 After her, he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom; and she bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines; for he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and became the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. 22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah to be chief, the prince amongst his brothers; for he intended to make him king. 23 He dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his sons throughout all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, to every fortified city. He gave them food in abundance and he sought many wives for them.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–12

A few good words might have prevented the rebellion of Rehoboam’s subjects; but all the force of his kingdom cannot bring them back. And it is in vain to contend with the purpose of God, when it is made known to us. Even those who are destitute of true faith, will at times pay some regard to the word of God, and be kept by it from wrong actions, to which they are prone by nature.

Verses 13–23

When the priests and Levites came to Jerusalem, the devout, pious Israelites followed them. Such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel, left the inheritance of their fathers, and went to Jerusalem, that they might have free access to the altar of God, and be out of the temptation to worship the calves. That is best for us, which is best for our souls; in all our choices, religious advantages must be sought before all outward conveniences. Where God’s faithful priests are, his faithful people should be. And when it has been proved that we are willing to renounce our worldly interests, so far as we are called to do so for the sake of Christ and his gospel, we have good evidence that we are truly his disciples. And it is the interest of a nation to protect religion and religious people.

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