2 Chronicles 11

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Read 2 Chronicles 11

11 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered Judah and Benjamin—a hundred and eighty thousand able young men—to go to war against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam.

But this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God: “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your fellow Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’” So they obeyed the words of the Lord and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.

Rehoboam Fortifies Judah

Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built up towns for defense in Judah:Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth Zur, Soko, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron. These were fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11 He strengthened their defenses and put commanders in them, with supplies of food, olive oil and wine. 12 He put shields and spears in all the cities, and made them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his.

13 The priests and Levites from all their districts throughout Israel sided with him. 14 The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as priests of the Lord 15 when he appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat and calf idols he had made. 16 Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 17 They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon three years, following the ways of David and Solomon during this time.

Rehoboam’s Family

18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, who was the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 19 She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham. 20 Then he married Maakah daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maakah daughter of Absalom more than any of his other wives and concubines. In all, he had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.

22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maakah as crown prince among his brothers, in order to make him king. 23 He acted wisely, dispersing some of his sons throughout the districts of Judah and Benjamin, and to all the fortified cities. He gave them abundant provisions and took many wives for them.

Go Deeper

In today’s reading, we see Rehoboam on the brink of war. He wasn’t just contemplating war. The Chronicler tells us that he rounded up 180,000 men to go to war against Israel in hopes of expanding his own kingdom (v. 1). But something interesting happens next: a prophet named Shemaiah, who is described as “a man of God”, is given a message by God to deliver to Rehoboam. God doesn’t want them to go fight against their fellow Israelites. Maybe Rehoboam was trying to do the faithful thing. Maybe he simply got cold feet. Whatever the reason, Rehoboam listened to what Shemaiah said and they turned around. 

We then see how Rehoboam starts to fortify Judah in order to preserve and protect his kingdom (v. 5-12). Then something really interesting happens: the priests and the Levites (who were living in the northern kingdom) abandoned their land and moved south to be part of Judah (v. 13). Jeroboam, the first king of the northern kingdom, had constructed idols to worship and led the charge on what was essentially state-sponsored idolatry. The Levites couldn’t reconcile being part of such an unfaithful kingdom and were deeply insulted by Jeroboam’s actions, so they abandoned their homes and their lands in order to move south. 

By choosing to do so, we see a shift in the culture of Rehoboam’s reign. This influx of godly men and women into the Kingdom of Judah “strengthened the kingdom of Judah” (v. 17). It wasn’t just the Levites that left; there were people from “every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord” (v. 16)! While the strengthening of the kingdom was short-lived, that was more likely a result of Rehoboam’s bent towards ungodliness that was prevalent throughout his reign.

What we can take away from this passage is the impact godly men and women can have on a place and a group of people when they have the courage to do the right thing. When fellow believers resolve to not simply follow the culture, but instead live with their hearts set on seeking the Lord, the outside world takes notice. They live differently. They don’t prioritize the things of this world, but instead the things of God. That’s how culture changes: one faithful group of people at a time.


  1. What stuck out to you in your first reading of this chapter? Why?
  2. How have you seen godly people shift a culture? What did things look like before and after? 
  3. What are ways you can strengthen the area(s) and change the culture around you? What would it look like for you, your family, your Life Group, etc. to live in a counter-cultural way?

Keep Digging

The rift between Jeroboam and Rehoboam is an important one to understand. To learn more about these two kings, check out this article from GotQuestions.org.  

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4 thoughts on “2 Chronicles 11”

  1. Listen. God has/had a plan. Hear, obey even when it is weird or hard. This is what I am gleaning out of these chapters. King J decided he didn’t want his people going to see King R because they might want to stay. King J built them idols and did what “he” thought would “fix” things instead of God wanted for the people. We\I see a situation and mostly I do not know and /or God hasn’t revealed what needs done but I, in my own fix-it mentality, try to fix-it. I should be seeking God, asking and waiting for answers with big listening ears. Most of the time I should just go on my way, live my life to glorify God and maybe that is all that is required.

    God thank You for me coming to You with all things first. Thank You that I quit trying to fix what You do not want me to be a part of. God I give this day to You. Thank You that I can be a light and that I make Your heart happy because of my love for You in Jesus name amen.

  2. Ella Snodgrass

    I’m reminded of JP sharing the acronym GPS when making a decision:
    G-gather your trusted people
    S-seek out scriptures that speak into your situation

  3. Last week we were traveling over the 4th of the July weekend, visiting grandparents. On Sunday we worshipped with our old church. The congregation sung with all their heart. The pastors were preaching a summer series through the Psalms. At the end of the service, many in the congregation stayed to enjoy fellowship. We were welcomed by numerous members. As a parent, I was especially delighted to see how many took the time to chat with our six and seven year olds. They joked with them, asked them questions, showered them with love. An hour later, we emerged into the hot July parking lot, our spirits buoyed. For both our kids, going to church was a highlight of our trip.

    As I reflect on the questions for today, I rejoice that God’s people were living out the fourth commandment. The world around them was sailing, barbecuing, biking. But God’s people were worshipping their Savior, enjoying fellowship, and relishing the privilege of lingering in God’s house. The sermon that Sunday was on Psalm 5. Verse 7 struck me:
    But I, by your great love,
    can come into your house;
    in reverence I bow down
    toward your holy temple.

  4. Diane Frances Rogers

    Foolishness divided Rehoboams kingdom and he tried to unite it by force. True unity however cannot be forced. It must be the free response of willing hearts. Let us be examples to our children, friends and culture in following our Lord’s plan.
    Lord, I pray for continued obedience that I may act in reason and spiritual discernment rather than out of my selfishness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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