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CHAPTER 13 Oct. 20 
Abijah’s Reign
In the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah. 2He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3Abijah joined battle with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men. Jeroboam set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, who were mighty men of valour. 4Abijah stood up on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, Hear me, Jeroboam and all Israel. 5Ought you not to know that Yahweh, the God of Israel, gave the kingdom over Israel to David forever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? 6Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up, and rebelled against his lord. 7There were gathered to him vain men, base fellows, who strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them. 8Now you think to withstand the kingdom of Yahweh in the hand of the sons of David. You are a great multitude, and there are with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made you for gods. 9Haven’t you driven out the priests of Yahweh, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves after the ways of the peoples of other lands? So that whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, the same may be a priest of those who are not gods. 10But as for us, Yahweh is our God, and we have not forsaken Him. We have priests ministering to Yahweh, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites in their work: 11and they burn to Yahweh every morning and every evening burnt offerings and sweet incense. They also set the showbread in order on the pure table; and the lampstand of gold with its lamps, to burn every evening. We keep the instruction of Yahweh our God; but you have forsaken Him. 12Behold, God is with us at our head, and His priests with the trumpets of alarm to sound an alarm against you. Children of Israel, don’t fight against Yahweh, the God of your fathers; for you shall not prosper. 13But Jeroboam caused an ambush to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambush was behind them. 14When Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind them; and they cried to Yahweh, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. 15Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened, that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16The children of Israel fled before Judah; and God delivered them into their hand. 17Abijah and his people killed them with a great slaughter; so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men. 18Thus the children of Israel were overcome at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on Yahweh, the God of their fathers. 19Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him: Bethel with its suburbs, Jeshanah with its suburbs and Ephron with its suburbs. 20Jeroboam didn’t recover strength again in the days of Abijah. Yahweh struck him, and he died. 21But Abijah grew mighty, and took to himself fourteen wives, and became the father of twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters. 22The rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways and his sayings, are written in the commentary of the prophet Iddo.


13:7 When Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them- This was an exaggeration, because he was 41 when he became king (12:13). We can so easily justify the sins and weakness of others whom we perceive as being ‘on our side’, trying to reduce everything to a simplistic black and white view of the world, whereby people are either wonderfully good or totally bad (:11). Reality is far different- we only have to realistically analyze our own lives and personalities.
13:12 Don’t fight against Yahweh- It seems Abijah was assuming that he was as it were in the place of God. He had picked a fight with Jeroboam (:3), but then realized he was outnumbered and wanted a way out- and so he starts claiming how righteous Judah are (:10-12) even though they were rebellious against God from the day He knew them (Is. 65:2; Ez. 16,20) and were worshipping idols (14:3).  He also starts playing God, by assuming that his enemy is God’s enemy. Therefore God brought Judah’s strong men into a situation where they were about to be destroyed, and had to throw themselves upon His grace (:14). 
13:13 This was exactly the situation which the Gentile people of Ai were in as described in Josh. 8:21,22. They were caught in an ambush and hemmed in on all sides. Judah who thought they were so superior spiritually were being taught they were no better than Gentiles who had to be cast out by God.