We will begin this lesson in II Chronicles 13:1 "Now in the
eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah."

     It appears, from this, that Rehoboam and Jeroboam began to reign
the same year. They had both finished their 17 years of reign, when
Rehoboam died and his son Ahijah took his place.

     II Chronicles 13:2 "He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His
mother's name also [was] Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And
there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam."

     Abijah is the same as Abijam and Abia. This Michaiah is the same
as Maachah. During this 3 year period it seemed there was war between
Jeroboam and Abijah. This was not like the skirmishes they had
earlier. It was the desire of Abijah to force the ten tribes back
under the control of the house of Judah.

     II Chronicles 13:3 And Abijah set the battle in array with an
army of valiant men of war, [even] four hundred thousand chosen men:
Jeroboam also set the battle in array against him with eight hundred
thousand chosen men, [being] mighty men of valour.

     It would appear that 800,000 men would destroy 400,000, but that
does not take God into account. Abijah's 400,000 actually killed
500,000 of Jeroboam's men.

     II Chronicles 13:4  "And Abijah stood up upon mount Zemaraim,
which [is] in mount Ephraim, and said, Hear me, thou Jeroboam, and all

     This seemed to be a mountain area over the battlefield. This had
to be an area where his voice would carry. He was speaking to
Jeroboam, but, also, to all of the men of the ten tribes, as well.

     II Chronicles 13:5 "Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of
Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, [even] to him
and to his sons by a covenant of salt?"

     This kingdom over Israel was given to David and his descendents
on a conditional basis. They must remain faithful to God. The people
had broken covenant with God. The "covenant of salt" was to show its
preserving factor. It was a sign that this covenant would not go bad.

     II Chronicles 13:6 "Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of
Solomon the son of David, is risen up, and hath rebelled against his

     This is just saying, that Jeroboam had no right to rule over the
Israelites. He was not of the family of David.

     II Chronicles 13:7 "And there are gathered unto him vain men, the
children of Belial, and have strengthened themselves against Rehoboam
the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and
could not withstand them."

     Rehoboam was 41 years old, when he began to reign. He was not a
youngster. This seems so strange that he continues to be spoken of as
a child. Perhaps, he was one of those men who never grew up. We do
know that Rehoboam was a weak person. He was very unsure of himself.

     II Chronicles 13:8 "And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of
the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; and ye [be] a great
multitude, and [there are] with you golden calves, which Jeroboam made
you for gods."

     Jeroboam had done a terrible thing in making the two golden
calves to symbolize God. Jeroboam did this to cause the people to have
a point of contact, so they would not feel the had to come back to the
temple in Jerusalem to worship. They were actually mixing their
worship of Jehovah with paganism. Jeroboam thought that his army which
was twice as large as the army of Judah, would easily destroy Judah.
He had overlooked the power of God. Abijah told the army of Jeroboam
that Judah was the kingdom of the LORD.

     II Chronicles 13:9 "Have ye not cast out the priests of the LORD,
the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after
the manner of the nations of [other] lands? so that whosoever cometh
to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, [the same]
may be a priest of [them that are] no gods."

     There is a question of whether they cast the priests out, or
whether the priests left, because they refused to add the golden
calves to the worship services. They had not remained with the
Levitical tribe for priests. They chose men who wanted to be priest,
and anointed them.  Some of the things they did were Scriptural, but
most of the things they did were pagan practices.

     II Chronicles 13:10 "But as for us, the LORD [is] our God, and we
have not forsaken him; and the priests, which minister unto the LORD,
[are] the sons of Aaron, and the Levites [wait] upon [their]

     These priests of Levi, who were descended from Aaron, were the
chosen of God for this purpose. The purpose of the priests was to keep
the people worshipping God in an acceptable manner. The priest had
great power over the people. He would even speak to a king of the
errors in his reign, if God had him to. He was the spiritual guide for
the nation. God had prepared the office of priest to keep His people
following Him, and not worshipping false gods.

     II Chronicles 13:11 "And they burn unto the LORD every morning
and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the shewbread
also [set they in order] upon the pure table; and the candlestick of
gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the
charge of the LORD our God; but ye have forsaken him."
     The high priest represented the people to God, and represented
God to the people. The burning of the incense twice a day symbolized
the prayers of the saints which rose to heaven. The "shewbread"
symbolized the presence of the Lord Jesus, who is the Bread of Life.
When the temple was there and the priests did as God had charged them
to do.  Judah was blessed. It was when they became unfaithful to God,
that the blessings of God were taken away.

     II Chronicles 13:12 "And, behold, God himself [is] with us for
[our] captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm
against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God
of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper."

     This was a tremendous closing statement by Abijah. Those who are
not with God, are against Him. If Jeroboam had built the golden
calves, he was not with God. God puts great importance to His people
obeying Him. To have priests that are not of the Levicial tribe, would
be in total disobedience to God. Abijah is trying to tell them, if
they were against Judah, they were against God.

     II Chronicles 13:13  "But Jeroboam caused an ambushment to come
about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambushment [was]
behind them."

     This did not effect Jeroboam at all. He totally disregarded what
was said. While Abijah was speaking, the troops of Jeroboam ambushed
him from behind and from in front.

     II Chronicles 13:14 "And when Judah looked back, behold, the
battle [was] before and behind: and they cried unto the LORD, and the
priests sounded with the trumpets."

     God is our very present help in trouble, and He was their help,
as well. The blowing of the trumpet was for war, but it was the sound
of victory, also. The people would come to the trumpet blown. God
heard their prayers.

     II Chronicles 13:15 "Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as
the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and
all Israel before Abijah and Judah."

     This was a shout of triumph. Notice, God smote Jeroboam and his

     II Chronicles 13:16 "And the children of Israel fled before
Judah: and God delivered them into their hand."

     The power of God was with Judah, and these of Israel knew it, and
fled for their lives.

     II Chronicles 13:17 "And Abijah and his people slew them with a
great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred
thousand chosen men."

     The men that fell of the ten tribes of Israel that day were more
than the entire army of Judah. This left no doubt that God was
fighting for Judah.

     II Chronicles 13:18 "Thus the children of Israel were brought
under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they
relied upon the LORD God of their fathers."

     Judah had put their trust in God, and not in their own strength.
Their victory was in God.

     II Chronicles 13:19 "And Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took
cities from him, Beth-el with the towns thereof, and Jeshanah with the
towns thereof, and Ephrain with the towns thereof."

     These are cities that had belonged to Judah, which had been taken
in the time of Rehoboam. Now, God had restored them to Judah. Beth-el
had been one of the two places where Jeroboam had set up the golden
calf to be worshipped. The taking of Beth-el, was not only a defeat
for Jeroboam, but for the false god, too.

     II Chronicles 13:20 "Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again
in the days of Abijah: and the LORD struck him, and he died."

     He was a very sinful king, who caused Israel to sin with the
golden calves. Jeroboam reigned 22 years. He was very evil, and the
LORD killed him.

     II Chronicles 13:21  "But Abijah waxed mighty, and married
fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters."

     Abijah followed in Solomons's and his father's footsteps, and
married many wives. In the latter days of his reign, he drifted away
from the law of God.

     II Chronicles 13:22 "And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his
ways, and his sayings, [are] written in the story of the prophet

     We have heard a great deal about these historical records that
were kept, which were not part of the Bible.

                      2 Chronicles 13 Questions

1.  When did Abijah begin to reign?
2.  Who was his mother?
3.  What are two other names for him?
4.  What was the desire of Abijah?
5.  How many men of war did Abijah have?
6.  How many men did Jeroboam have?
7.  Why did Abijah stand on this point of the mountain to speak?
8.  Who did he say, God gave all of Israel to, to rule over?
9.  What did the "salt covenant" mean?
10. Who did he say, Jeroboam had rebelled against?
11. What did he call the men, that were with Jeroboam?
12. How old was Rehoboam, when he began to reign?
13. What had Jeroboam made for them, to symbolize God to them?
14. Why were there no Levitical priests in the ten tribes of Israel?
15. What kind of religion were they practicing?
16. Who had chosen the descendents of Aaron to be the priests?
17. What was the real purpose of a priest?
18. What were some of the things the priests did, mentioned in verse
19. What did the "shewbread" symbolize?
20. Who did Abijah say was with them?
21. Who did he tell them they were really fighting against?
22. What did Jeroboam do, while Abijah was talking?
23. What did Judah do, when they realized they were ambushed?
24. What did the priests do, that frightened the troops of Jeroboam?
25. How many men fell of Jeroboam?
26. What cities did Abijah take from Jeroboam?
27. How long did Jeroboam reign?
28. How many wives and children did Abijah have?
29. Where is there more written about this?
30. What kind of records would they be called?