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This article is about the King of Judah, also called Abijah. You may be looking for another Abijah.

Abijam,[1] also called Abijah, son of Rehoboam, was the second king of Judah,[2] the southern kingdom. He began his short three-year reign[3] with a strenuous but unsuccessful effort to bring back the ten tribes to their allegiance. His address to "Jeroboam and all Israel," before encountering them in battle, is worthy of being specially noticed.[4] It was a very bloody battle, no fewer than 500,000 of the army of Israel having perished on the field. In spite of his defence of the true God, he is described as having walked "in all the sins of his father."[5] In other words, his political policies were no better for Judah than were those of Rehoboam. However, his efforts were honored by God because of promises made to David.

Reign[]

Abijam, was the son of King Rehoboam and his favourite wife Maacah. Though he was not the firstborn, Rehoboam had named him as his heir.[6]

Battle of Mount Zemaraim[]

There was continual war with Jeroboam king of Israel throughout Abijam's days.[7] During the war, Abijam went out to battle at Mount Zemaraim with an army of 400,000 men, but Jeroboam went out with an army of 800,000 men.[8] Before the armies fought, Abijam stood atop the mountain and gave a speech to Jeroboam and Israel. He recounted the events that led to Israel's revolt from Judah, and reminded Israel of its sin and its idolatry. He contrasted Israel's idolatrous religion with that of Judah, which maintained the priesthood, sacrifices, and ordinations that God had instituted for the Israelites. He declared that God was standing with Judah, and urged the Israelites to refrain from fighting against God.[9]

Despite the speech, Jeroboam did not listen, and had even sent an ambush to come from behind Abijam.[10] When Judah saw that the battle was set against them, they cried out to God, and the priests blew their trumpets.[11] God rewarded the trust of Abijam and Judah and gave them victory over Israel.[12] Despite the numerical odds, Judah struck down 500,000 soldiers of Israel,[13] and captured some cities from Jeroboam.[14] After this battle, Jeroboam could not again challenge Abijam.[15]

Sin[]

Despite Abijam's trust in God and victory at the Battle of Mount Zemaraim, Abijam followed the example of his father Rehoboam in sin, and his heart was not wholly true to God.[16] Although proper worship continued to be conducted in the Temple in Jerusalem, there was cult prostitution and idolatry in the land, and Abijam himself may have even made idols.[17] His mother Maacah was a pagan who worshipped the false goddess Asherah.[18]

Death and descendents[]

After a three year reign, Abijam died and his son Asa succeeded him as king.[19] Although Abijam did not walk in the ways of his ancestor David, God upheld his promise to David to give him an eternal dynasty.[20] As a member of the royal line of Judah, Abijam was an ancestor of David's ultimate heir, Jesus.[21]

Verses[]

  1. 1 Kings 14:31, 15:1-8 (Link)
  2. 1 Chr. 3:10 (Link)
  3. 2 Chr. 12:16; 13 (Link)
  4. 2 Chr. 13:5-12 (Link)
  5. 1 Kings 15:3;2 Chr. 11:20-22 (Link)
  6. 2 Chron. 11:22 (Link)
  7. 1 Kings 15:7 (Link)
  8. 2 Chron. 13:3 (Link)
  9. 2 Chron. 13:12 (Link)
  10. 2 Chron. 13:13 (Link)
  11. 2 Chron. 13:14 (Link)
  12. 2 Chron. 13:15 (Link)
  13. 2 Chron. 13:17 (Link)
  14. 2 Chron. 13:19 (Link)
  15. 2 Chron. 13:20 (Link)
  16. 1 Kings 15:3 (Link)
  17. 1 Kings 15:12 (Link)
  18. 1 Kings 15:13 (Link)
  19. 1 Kings 15:8 (Link)
  20. 1 Kings 15:4 (Link)
  21. Matt. 1:7 (Link)
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