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


11:4 So they listened to the words of Yahweh- This is very commendable. When we’ve prepared to do something on a major scale, turning back from the project because we perceive God’s word to teach otherwise is a hard thing to do. But this must be the power of God’s word in our lives. Any war of aggression against our brethren just has to be wrong; and we as the Israel of God should bear this always in mind regardless of what provocation we receive from our brethren.
11:14 Despite Jeroboam being so apostate from the true God, the ten tribes are still called the “brothers” of Judah (:4). No matter how far some go from the Lord or His truth, once a brother always a brother. Once a person is within the family of God through baptism into Christ, it is not for us to ever say in this life that they are no longer in that family.
11:16 In times when the children of God turn away from Him, the faithful minority will go to great lengths to meet with others who are still faithful; and it may even require our geographical relocation, with all the economic costs associated with that (:13).
11:18 This implies that David married his own niece. There were many anomalies in David’s life, especially in his personal relationships; and yet God accepted him and spoke so highly of him. This isn’t to justify any sin or complacent attitude in ourselves personally; but to encourage us in the hard work of being patiently acceptive of those who have similar anomalies in their lives.
11:21 Eighteen wives, and sixty concubines- The weakness of Solomon his father was repeated in Solomon’s son. Justifying sin and worldly behaviour inevitably influences our children to think such behaviour is acceptable. And in their turn, Solomon’s son sought to lead his children into failure in this area of polygamy (:23).