King Abijah calls out King Jeroboam (2 Chr 13:4-13:7)

“Then King Abijah stood on the slope of Mount Zemaraim that is in the hill country of Ephraim. He said.

‘Listen to me, King Jeroboam and all Israel!

Do you know

That Yahweh God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to King David and his sons

By a covenant of salt?

Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat,

A servant of King Solomon the son of King David,

Rose up and rebelled against his lord.

Certain worthless scoundrels gathered about him

They defied King Rehoboam son of King Solomon,

When King Rehoboam was young and irresolute

And could not withstand them.’”

There is no other source for this speech since there was no indication of this speech in 1 Kings. In one sense it is odd. They are about to go to war and King Abijah tried to persuade his opponent to surrender when he has twice as many troops. King Abijah said that Yahweh had given the kingship to David and his sons with a covenant of salt. A salt treaty was common in the Middle East since salt was a sign of friendship and a preservative. King Ahijah seemed to indicate that King Jeroboam had a bunch of worthless scoundrels around him. He also seemed to indicate that King Rehoboam was too young and too weak to withstand this rebellion of Jeroboam. However, in chapter 11 of this book, clearly the prophet of Yahweh told him not to attack Jeroboam. Actually King Rehoboam was 41 years old when he began to rule, not that young. What had changed to make this attack come about? There is no indication other than that they were irritated with each other.

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