The reign of King Abijam in Judah (913-911 BCE) (1 Kings 15:1-15:8)

“In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijam began to reign over Judah. He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom. He walked in all the sins that his father did before him. His heart was not true to Yahweh his God, like the heart of his father David. Nevertheless for David’s sake Yahweh his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem. Because David did what was right in the sight of Yahweh, and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. The war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continued all the days of his life. The rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? There was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. Abijam slept with his ancestors. They buried him in the city of David. Then his son Asa succeeded him.”

Abijam only ruled for 3 years, a very short period of time compared to the others. Interesting enough, he has almost the same name as Jeroboam’s young son that died, Abijah. There is no indication of how or why he died. However, he followed his father’s bad footsteps. His mother was called Maacah, but a lot of people had that common name. There ever was a territory with that name. Her father is called Abishalom, but Chronicles will later change it to Absalom, the son of David, who revolted against him. This might be why there is a long explanation of how wonderful David was. David is referred to as his father, but Abijam is actually the great grandson of David, after Solomon and Rehoboam. However, he could be the grandson of David on his mother’s side. There was a continuous war with Jeroboam all his life, including under his own reign. Abijam was buried in Jerusalem. If anybody wanted to know more about him, there was the ever present “Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah.”