2 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.
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(12) Shields.—The “targets” of 2Chronicles 9:15.

Made them exceeding strong.Strengthened them (the same word as “fortified” in 2Chronicles 11:11) very abundantly (l’harbēh meôd). A form of words only used by the chronicler. (See 2Chronicles 16:8; and comp. Nehemiah 6:18.)

Having Judah and Benjamin on his side.—Literally, and he had (or, there fell to him) Judah and Benjamin. A definition of Rehoboam’s territory. (Comp. 2Chronicles 10:17.)

11:1-12 A few good words might have prevented the rebellion of Rehoboam's subjects; but all the force of his kingdom cannot bring them back. And it is in vain to contend with the purpose of God, when it is made known to us. Even those who are destitute of true faith, will at times pay some regard to the word of God, and be kept by it from wrong actions, to which they are prone by nature.The site of Adoraim is uncertain. For Lachish, see Joshua 10:3; Azekah, Joshua 10:10; Zorah, Joshua 15:33; Aijalon, Joshua 10:12; Hebron, Joshua 14:15. No one of the cities was really within the limits of the tribe of Benjamin. The writer uses the phrase "Judah and Benjamin" merely as the common designation of the southern kingdom (compare 2 Chronicles 11:12 and 2 Chronicles 11:23). 5-11. built cities for defence in Judah—This is evidently used as the name of the southern kingdom. Rehoboam, having now a bitter enemy in Israel, deemed it prudent to lose no time in fortifying several cities that lay along the frontier of his kingdom. Jeroboam, on his side, took a similar precaution (1Ki 12:25). Of the fifteen cities named, Aijalon, now Yalo, and Zorah, now Surah, between Jerusalem and Jabneh [Robinson], lay within the province of Benjamin. Gath, though a Philistine city, had been subject to Solomon. And Etham, which was on the border of Simeon, now incorporated with the kingdom of Israel, was fortified to repel danger from that quarter. These fortresses Rehoboam placed under able commanders and stocked them with provisions and military stores, sufficient, if necessary, to stand a siege. In the crippled state of his kingdom, he seems to have been afraid lest it might be made the prey of some powerful neighbors. In every several city, to wit, so fortified, as he said, 2 Chronicles 11:11And in every several city he put shields and spears,.... Furnished them with these and perhaps other pieces of armour, these being put for all, to defend themselves with against an enemy, and to annoy them:

and made them exceeding strong; so that they could not be easily taken:

having Judah and Benjamin on his side: which tribes cleaved to one another, and to Rehoboam, and to the kings of the house of David, in later times, as well as to the true religion.

And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.
12. having Judah and Benjamin on his side] Render, And so Judah and Benjamin became his. Rehoboam’s fortresses (which were scattered all over the country and were not placed on the borders only) were intended to keep Judah in subjection. His appointment of military governors (2 Chronicles 11:11) and his dispersion of his sons among the fortresses (2 Chronicles 11:23) were also parts of the same policy of preparedness to put down revolt.

Verse 12. - Having Judah and Benjamin on his side. The mention of both tribes just serves to point for us the fact that Benjamin's existence and value were not absolutely ignored, but were for a short while quoted before the kingdom of Rehoboam became called by the name of Judah simply. 2 Chronicles 11:12"And he made strong the fortresses, and put captains in them," etc.; i.e., he increased their strength by placing them in a thoroughly efficient condition to defend themselves against attacks, appointing commandants (נגידים), provisioning them, and (2 Chronicles 11:12) laying up stores of all kinds of arms. In this way he made them exceedingly strong. The last clause, 2 Chronicles 11:12, "And there were to him Judah and Benjamin," corresponds to the statement, 2 Chronicles 10:19, that Israel revolted from the house of David, and forms the conclusion of the account (vv. 1-17a) of that which Rehoboam did to establish his power and consolidate his kingdom. There follows hereupon, in
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