"God's Command to Rehoboam. [1
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
II Chronicles 11:1 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house of Judah and Benjamin an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam."
In the prior chapter, Solomon had died and his son Rehoboam went to Shechem to have all the elders of each tribe meet to make him king over all the tribes. The people placed a condition on Rehoboam first before they would agree to being under him, he went for counsel to the wise men of Judah. However, Rehoboam did not take their advice, and turned to the kids that he grew up with in the royal family for their advice. The only request by the people was that Rehoboam cut some of the taxes that Solomon his father placed on their heads and land. Rehoboam refused, and swore to increase their taxes, and brought with him the chief tax collector Mr Hadoram, who was immediately stoned to death.
So Rehoboam mounted his chariot and headed back to Jerusalem, fleeing for his life. Once arriving in Jerusalem, he called together his army, some hundred and eighty thousand [180,000] men. They were all drawn together and made ready to march on the ten northern tribes that had Jeroboam ruling over them. So as they were preparing for war, God came to Shemaiah and let His will be know, that this splitting of the kingdom was not by accident, but YHVH made it happen for His purpose.
II Chronicles 11:2 "But the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,"
II Chronicles 11:3 "Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,"
God told Shemaiah to go to the kings of both Judah [Rehoboam] and Israel [Jeroboam], and tell them that they are not to go to war.
II Chronicles 11:4 "`Thus saith the Lord, `Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house: for this things is done of Me. ' " And they obeyed the words, of the Lord, and returned from going against Jeroboam."
God called attention to the fact that it was He that caused the split between these tribes, and it is not necessary to go to war to prove anything. Put down your arms, go home, and have peace in the land. There will be two separate nations and two separate kingdoms from this day forth.
II Chronicles 11:5 "And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cites for defence in Judah."
The armies put down their arms and went home, and Rehoboam then focused on building up the defenses of his new kingdom. Many of the prior defenses of Solomon's kingdom were in the land that was now the kingdom of Israel, and not part of the house of Judah. From this point on, there will be two separate nations, with each having their own kings, armies, and laws. There will be one basic problem that will exist, and have to be dealt with very shortly, and that is with the Temple of God that Solomon built, that is located in Jerusalem, the capital city of the house or nation of Judah. Rehoboam set out to build his fifteen cities of fortified stronghold, for the protection of the nation of Judah. His army would be drawn in for those fortified cities that were in the land of Israel. Note that many of these cities are in the land of the tribe of Benjamin, while the rest are in the land of Judah.
II Chronicles 11:6 "He built even Beth-lehem, and Etam, and Tekoa,"
II Chronicles 11:7 "And Beth-zur, and Shoco, and Adullam,"
II Chronicles 11:8 "And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,"
II Chronicles 11:9 "And Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah,"
II Chronicles 11:10 "And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities."
II Chronicles 11:11 "And he fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine."
Each of these fifteen cities became military strongholds with enough food and drink to sustain them through a military conflict.
II Chronicles 11:12 "And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side."
It is now evident to Rehoboam that he simply cannot count of the other tribes for help if he goes to war with an outside enemy. The main enemy against the house of Judah was Egypt at this time, for the house of Israel was not in the same state as Judah, as Jeroboam had influences there, as we read in II Chronicles 10:2. In First Kings 14:25-28 we read that Rehoboam's fears were well grounded.
Sure the moral condition of Israel the day that Solomon had died had fallen greatly in the prior 15 years before his death, then after Solomon's death, Judah did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and provoked God to Jealousy for all the sins they had committed. Remember all those families of Solomon's wives that had come to Jerusalem? Solomon had built the high places, the images and groves on every high hill in the land to please his heathen wives.
Even today when you build a church, and then go out to bring in immoral people and try to please them with their traditions; in time your church will become more than a moral snake pit like Jerusalem had become. This is what happened in the case of the Passover, in time the Passover communion had been renamed Easter after the feast of Ishtar. Or course this took place because of one careless scribe that translated "Pasha" the Greek word for Passover, into Easter. In the beginning of the church, these heathen practices, in order to bring people into the church, and in time these heathen customs became an acceptable part of their church traditions.
We read in I Kings 14:24 that one of the abominations in the nation of Judah that was being allowed, and acceptable was Sodomy. Remember back when the Israelites were going to enter the land, and those practicing filthy satanic practices were all killed off, letting God's people know that Sodomy was not acceptable before our Heavenly Father. "And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to the abominations of the nations which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel." So we see that Rehoboam had provoked God into lifting His protective hand from over the land if Judah.
I Kings 14:25, 26 "(And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem:"  "And he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made." 
This is a good lesson for us living in these end times, for God gives you what you can handle and take care of. When you go down to Egypt and shoot your mouth off, and they are a stronger nation; then they will come and take it from you. This was the Pharaoh of the northern kingdom of Egypt that raided Jerusalem. All of the treasures were stored in the "king's house", and God allowed the Egyptians to take all those blessings that He gave to Solomon, and haul all that wealth back to Egypt.
I Kings 14:27, 28 "And king Rehoboam made in their stead brasen shields, and committed them unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the king's house."  "And it was so, when the king went into the house of the Lord, that the guard bare them, and brought them back into the guard chamber.)" 
Remember all those chains of gold, the swords, and chariots of gold, the vessels and shields of gold, as well as the precious stones. It all went back to Egypt, and Rehoboam had to call on the metal workers to make us some swords and shields of brass for his guards.
II Chronicles 11:13 "And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their coasts."
There was a war going on at this time between the two houses [nations] Israel and Judah, not with swords, but with words and threats. Remember that the Levites were scattered among all the tribes from the time of Joshua, some 400 years earlier. The problem was that the borders were now closing to free passage between the two nations, and Jeroboam allowed these priests and Levites that wanted to flee to Judah, to go.
II Chronicles 11:14 "For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest's office unto the Lord:"
Once these Levites were taken off their lands, those possessions went to Jeroboam, and the ten tribes making up the nation of Israel. Jeroboam did not want his people to make those three annual trips to Jerusalem, as required by the laws of Moses. So Jeroboam made two golden calves, and posted one in the land of Dan, and the other centered in the land for easy access.
II Chronicles 11:15 "And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made."
When all the Priests and Levites had departed, "he" Jeroboam and his sons ordained his own priest, and set up a new form of religion. These "devils" were hairy goats that would be worshipped, as well as the two golden calves that he set at each end of his kingdom.
II Chronicles 11:16 "And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers."
It didn't take long before many of the house of Israel saw what was going on in their land was not right with God. Sacrifices to animals and images, sexual orgies, and all the other wickedness that was carried on that went against the laws of Moses, caused many from all tribes to flee to Jerusalem, and the land of Judah.
II Chronicles 11:17 "So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon."
As these many people streamed over the border into Judah, they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, for they brought with them the will to follow God's ways. For three years after this coming of these righteous people into Judah, the will of the people was to walk in the way of David and Solomon, and follow the laws and instructions of Moses.
II Chronicles 11:18 "And Rehoboam took him Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David to wife, and Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse;"
Sure Rehoboam took many wives, but in I Kings 14:31 there is one that will stand out. "And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead." So we see that the king that will reign when Rehoboam dies will be the son of an Ammonitess, a Baal worshipper.
II Chronicles 11:19 "Which bare him children; Jeush, and Shamariah, and Zaham."
II Chronicles 11:20 "And after her he took Maachah the daugher of Absalom; which bare him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith."
II Chronicles 11:21 "And Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his comcubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and eight sons, and threescore daughters,)"
II Chronicles 11:22 "And Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren: for he thought to make him king."
As we read all these names and relatives, with those many wives listed here in the book of II Chronicles, remember that many of these names are different than those of I Kings, and the writing of the prophets. Many things had changed over the four to five hundred years that the Kenite scribes had written the names in the Chronicles. We can see how changes came about even in the English language in the past five hundred years, the time prior to the writing of the 1611 Kings James version. Of the many wives and sons of Rehoboam, one will be king, and that one was "Abijam" [Abijah], "the son of Naamah an Ammonites", who is recorded here in II Chronicles 11:22 as [Maachah].
II Chronicles 11:23 "And he dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his children throughout all the countries of Judah and Benjamin, unto every fenced city: and he gave them victual in abundance. And he desired many wives."
Notice that the first thing that Abijam did was to scatter all his brothers across the land, and make them leaders in the cities where each went. He gave each brother much abundance of whatever they needed. Then just like his father and grandfather, Solomon, Abijam took many wives. The next chapter will get into more detail of the reign of Rehoboam, and kingdom that he established, and we will go to I Kings 14 again to see more of the trouble Judah had with Egypt.
Potter Seasons Sonshine Rain