2 Chronicles 13:1, 2, 21, 22
Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah.…
I. HIS NAME. Abijah, "whose father is Jehovah" (1 Kings 14:1); Abijam, "father of the sea," i.e. a maritime man (1 Kings 14:31; 1 Kings 15:1); or Abia (LXX.). If Abijam be not a clerical mistake, then the hypothesis is at least interesting that the Chronicler adopted the form Abijah because he did not intend to describe this king's reign as wicked, while the writer of the Kings, having this intention, frequently selected the form Abijam (Kitto).
II. HIS MOTHER. Micaiah, or Maacha (2 Chronicles 11:20), the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah, and the daughter (equivalent to granddaughter by the mother's side) of Absalom (2 Chronicles 11:20), or Abishalom (1 Kings 15:2). The notion (Bahr) that Abijah's wife, the mother of Asa, was also called Maacah (2 Chronicles 15:10) is not necessary, and still less the hypothesis (Bertheau) that in this place the name of Abijah's wife has been substituted for that of his mother.
III. HIS WIVES. Fourteen in number, of whom one was (on the supposition just named) Maacah, the names of the others being unknown. Like his father Rehoboam, grandfather Solomon, and great-grandfather David, Abijah practised polygamy. A parent's vices are considerably easier to copy than his virtues. Those also are likelier than these to be transmitted by heredity.
IV. HIS OFFSPRING. Twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. Of the former only one is known, Asa his successor, the rest having disappeared from the stage of history as from that of time. Obscurity, the common lot of men; yet not always a disadvantage in itself, or a proof of inferior merit. Some of the world's greatest men have been unknown to their contemporaries; and Abijah's unnamed sons may have been superior persons to Asa.
V. HIS REIGN.
1. Its sphere. Judah, the southern kingdom, Jeroboam still exercising sovereignty over the northern.
2. Its seat. Jerusalem, the capital of Israel being Samaria.
3. Its duration. Three years, beginning in the eighteenth and ending in the twentieth year of Jeroboam.
4. Its character. Troubled. "There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam."
VI. HIS END.
1. His death. "He slept with his fathers" (2 Chronicles 14:1).
2. His burial. "He was laid in the city of David."
3. His biography. The story of his life, of his acts, ways, and sayings, was written by the Prophet Iddo.
VII. HIS CHARACTER.
1. His ability. Undoubted.
(1) A vigorous ruler (ver. 21);
(2) an able speaker (ver. 4);
(3) a powerful reasoner (vers. 8-12); and
(4) a valiant leader.
2. His piety. Decided. Notwithstanding his polygamy, he was
(1) sincere (vers. 10, 11),
(2) lively (ver. 12),
(3) trustful (ver. 18), and
(4) courageous (ver. 12), though
(5) not perfect (1 Kings 15:3).
1. Jehovah in the heart is better than Jehovah in the name.
2. A weak and wicked father may have a capable and good son.
3. The value of a man's life is not determined by the length of his days.
4. One may have faults and yet be religious.
5. Every one should strive to live so as to be remembered for good after death. - W.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah.