International Standard Version
1During the eighteenth year of the reign of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah. 2He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother was Uriel's daughter Micaiah from Gibeah. A war started between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3Abijah started the battle with an army of 400,000 specially chosen valiant soldiers, but Jeroboam opposed him with 800,000 specially chosen valiant soldiers.
4Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim in the hill country of Ephraim and announced: "Listen to me, Jeroboam and Israel! 5Don't you know that the LORD God of Israel assigned the kingship over Israel to David and his descendants forever by a salt covenant? 6Even so, Nebat's son Jeroboam, who used to serve David's son Solomon, rose in rebellion against his own master! 7Useless troublemakers soon gathered around him, who turned out to be too strong for Rehoboam, because he was young, timid, and unable to withstand them.
8"So now you think you'll be able to withstand the LORD's kingdom as controlled by David's descendants, just because you have a large crown and have brought with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made for you as gods. 9Haven't you already driven away the LORD's priests, the descendants of Aaron and the descendants of Levi? Haven't you established your own priests like the people of other lands? 10"Now as far as we're concerned, the LORD is our God, and we haven't abandoned him. The descendants of Aaron are ministering to the LORD as priests, and the descendants of Levi continue their work. 11Every morning and evening, they're offering burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the LORD, the showbread is set out on the pure table, and they take care of the golden lamp stand so its lamps can continue to burn every evening. We continue to be faithful over what the LORD our God entrusted to us, but you have abandoned him. 12Now listen! God is with us to lead us, and his priests are about to sound their battle trumpets against you. Descendants of Israel, don't fight against the LORD God of your ancestors, because you won't succeed!"
13But Jeroboam had sent an ambush to attack from the rear, so Israel was in front of Judah, with the ambush set in place behind them. 14When the army of Judah turned around to look, they were being attacked from both front and rear, so they cried out to the LORD while the priests sounded their trumpets. 15Then the army of Judah sounded a war cry, and God routed Jeroboam and the entire army of Israel in front of Abijah and Judah. 16When the descendants of Israel ran away from the army of Judah, God handed them over to the army of Judah. 17Abijah and his army defeated them in a tremendous slaughter that resulted in 500,000 special forces from Israel being slain. 18And so the descendants of Israel were defeated at that time. The descendants of Judah were victorious because they trusted in the LORD God of their ancestors. 19After this Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured Bethel and its villages, Jeshanah and its villages, and Ephron and its villages.
20Jeroboam never recovered his strength for the rest of Abijah's life. The LORD struck Jeroboam, and he died,
21but Abijah continued to grow more powerful. He took fourteen wives for himself and fathered 22 sons and sixteen daughters. 22The rest of Abijah's accomplishments, his lifestyle and his memoirs are recorded in the Midrash of the Prophet Iddo.