New English Translation
1 In the eighteenth year of the reign of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah. 2 He ruled for three years in Jerusalem. His mother was Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel from Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Abijah launched the attack with 400,000 well-trained warriors, while Jeroboam deployed against him 800,000 well-trained warriors.
4 Abijah ascended Mount Zemaraim, in the Ephraimite hill country, and said: "Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel! 5 Don't you realize that the LORD God of Israel has given David and his dynasty lasting dominion over Israel by a formal agreement? 6 Jeroboam son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon son of David, rose up and rebelled against his master. 7 Lawless good-for-nothing men gathered around him and conspired against Rehoboam son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was an inexperienced young man and could not resist them. 8 Now you are declaring that you will resist the LORD's rule through the Davidic dynasty. You have a huge army, and bring with you the gold calves that Jeroboam made for you as gods. 9 But you banished the LORD's priests, Aaron's descendants, and the Levites, and appointed your own priests just as the surrounding nations do! Anyone who comes to consecrate himself with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of these fake gods! 10 But as for us, the LORD is our God and we have not rejected him. Aaron's descendants serve as the LORD's priests and the Levites assist them with the work. 11 They offer burnt sacrifices to the LORD every morning and every evening, along with fragrant incense. They arrange the Bread of the Presence on a ritually clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. Certainly we are observing the LORD our God's regulations, but you have rejected him. 12 Now look, God is with us as our leader. His priests are ready to blow the trumpets to signal the attack against you. You Israelites, don't fight against the LORD God of your ancestors, for you will not win!"
13 Now Jeroboam had sent some men to ambush the Judahite army from behind. The main army was in front of the Judahite army; the ambushers were behind it. 14 The men of Judah turned around and realized they were being attacked from the front and the rear. So they cried out for help to the LORD. The priests blew their trumpets, 15 and the men of Judah gave the battle cry. As the men of Judah gave the battle cry, the LORD struck down Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 The Israelites fled from before the Judahite army, and God handed them over to the men of Judah. 17 Abijah and his army thoroughly defeated them; 500,000 well-trained Israelite men fell dead. 18 That day the Israelites were defeated; the men of Judah prevailed because they relied on the LORD God of their ancestors.
19 Abijah chased Jeroboam; he seized from him these cities: Bethel and its surrounding towns, Jeshanah and its surrounding towns, and Ephron and its surrounding towns. 20 Jeroboam did not regain power during the reign of Abijah. The LORD struck him down and he died. 21 Abijah's power grew; he had fourteen wives and fathered twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.
22 The rest of the events of Abijah's reign, including his deeds and sayings, are recorded in the writings of the prophet Iddo.
King James Version
1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah.
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.
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.
4 ¶ And Abijah stood up upon mount Zemaraim, which is in mount Ephraim, and said, Hear me, thou Jeroboam, and all Israel;
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?
6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, is risen up, and hath rebelled against his lord.
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.
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.
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.
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 business:
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.
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.
13 ¶ But Jeroboam caused an ambushment to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambushment was behind them.
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.
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.
16 And the children of Israel fled before Judah: and God delivered them into their hand.
17 And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men.
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.
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.
20 Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and the LORD struck him, and he died.
21 ¶ But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters.
22 And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.