GOD'S WORD® Translation
1In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam, Abijah began to rule Judah. 2He ruled for three years in Jerusalem. His mother was named Micaiah, daughter of Uriel from Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3Abijah prepared for battle with an army of 400,000 of the best soldiers, while Jeroboam arranged to oppose him with 800,000 of the best professional soldiers.
4Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim in the mountains of Ephraim. He called out, "Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me! 5Don't you know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom of Israel to David and his descendants forever in a permanent promise? 6But Jeroboam (Nebat's son) rebelled against his master. He had been the servant of David's son Solomon. 7Worthless, good-for-nothing men gathered around him. They opposed Rehoboam, son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was too young and inexperienced to challenge them.
8Do you now intend to challenge the LORD's kingdom, which has been placed in the hands of David's descendants? You are a large crowd, and you have the gold calves that Jeroboam made to be your gods. 9You forced out the LORD's priests who were Aaron's descendants, and you forced out the Levites so that you could appoint your own priests, as the people in foreign countries do. Anyone who has a young bull and seven rams can be ordained as a priest of nonexistent gods. 10"However, the LORD is our God. We haven't abandoned him. The priests who serve the LORD are Aaron's descendants, and the Levites assist them. 11They sacrifice burnt offerings to the LORD every morning and every evening. They offer sweet-smelling incense and rows of bread on the clean table. The lamps on the gold lamp stand burn every evening. We're following the instructions the LORD our God gave us, but you have abandoned him. 12God is with us as our leader. His priests will sound their trumpets to call [the army] to fight you. Men of Israel, don't wage war against the LORD God of your ancestors. You won't succeed."
13But Jeroboam had set an ambush to attack them from behind. So Jeroboam's army was in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. 14When Judah's soldiers looked around, the battle was in front of them and behind them. They cried out to the LORD, the priests blew the trumpets, 15and the men of Judah shouted. When they shouted, God attacked Jeroboam and all Israel in front of Abijah and Judah. 16The Israelites fled from Judah's [army], and God handed them over to Judah. 17So Abijah and his men defeated them decisively, and 500,000 of the best men of Israel were killed. 18So the Israelites were humbled at that time, and the men of Judah won because they trusted the LORD God of their ancestors. 19Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured some of his cities: Bethel and its villages, Jeshanah and its villages, and Ephron and its villages.
20Jeroboam never regained power during Abijah's time. The LORD caused Jeroboam to become sick, and Jeroboam died.