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.
But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,
to all Israel
Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house: for this thing is done of me. And they obeyed the words of the LORD, and returned from going against Jeroboam.
for this thing
And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defence in Judah.
A. M. 3029-3032. B.C. 975-972. built
He built even Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa,
Bethlehem, called Bethlehem Judah (Jud 17:7,) to distinguish it from another Bethlehem in Zebulun, (Jos 19:15,) and also Ephratah, (i.e., fruitful,) and by the Arabs, Bait-el-lahm, is situated on a rising ground on the southern side of a deep and extensive valley, and reclining from E. to W. not quite six miles S. of Jerusalem.
And Bethzur, and Shoco, and Adullam,
And Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,
And Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah,
And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities.
And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine.
And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.
he put shields
And the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their coasts.
A. M. 3030. B.C. 974. resorted to him. Heb. presented themselves to him
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:
And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made.
for the devils
The word, seÔrim literally signifies hairy ones, or goats: see Note on Le 17:7.
for the calves
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.
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.
A. M. 3029-3032. B.C. 975-972. strengthened
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;
A. M. 3029-3046. B.C. 975-958. daughter. Eliab was David's eldest brother; and more than eighty years had elapsed since David, at the age of thirty, began to reign: Abigail must therefore have been grand-daughter to Eliab; and this shows the latitude in which the words son and daughter are used in Scripture
And after her he took Maachah the daughter of Absalom; which bare him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith.
Michaiah the daughter of Uriel
And Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines; and begat twenty and eight sons, and threescore daughters.)
And Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren: for he thought to make him king.
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.
every fenced city
Heb. a multitude of wives.