1. Rehoboam went to Jerusalem and called together the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand selected warriors, to fight the northern tribes of Israel and win back the kingdom of Rehoboam.
2. But the word of Yahweh came to the prophet Shemaiah,
3. "Say this to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin, 'Yahweh says this:
4. Do not attack your fellow Israelites; let everyone go home, for what has happened is my doing."
5. They obeyed Yahweh's command and went back, instead of fighting against Jeroboam. Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built fortified towns in Judah.
6. He rebuilt Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa,
7. Bethzur, Soco, Adullam,
8. Gath, Mareshah, Ziph,
9. Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah,
10. Zorah, Aijalon, Hebron; these were fortified towns in Judah and Benjamin.
11. He fortified them with walls and put commanders in them with stores of food, oil and wine.
12. In each of these towns were shields and spears. He made them very strong to keep Judah and Benjamin under control.
13. From all the territory of Israel, priests and Levites came south to Judah.
14. The Levites, indeed, abandoned their pasture lands and their holdings, and came to Judah and Jerusalem, since Jeroboam and his sons did not recognize them as the only priests of Yahweh
15. and had appointed priests of his own to serve at the High places to worship the goats and the bullcalves he had made.
16. Members of all the tribes of Israel, people who sincerely wanted to worship Yahweh the God of Israel, followed them and came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to Yahweh, the God of their ancestors.
17. These Israelites added strength to the kingdom of Judah, and gave their support to Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years, because during three years he followed the example of David and Solomon.
18. Rehoboam took as wife Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth, son of David and of Abihail, daughter of Eliab, son of Jesse.
19. She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham.
20. After her, he married Maacah daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith.
21. Rehoboam loved Maacah, daughter of Absalom, more than all his other wives and concubines. He had in fact a total of eighteen wives and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
22. Rehoboam favored Abijah, Maacah's son over all his other children, choosing him as the one to succeed him as king.
23. Rehoboam ruled prudently by scattering his sons throughout Judah and Benjamin in the fortified towns, where he provided them with generous provisions and many wives.