11:1 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he summoned 180,000 skilled warriors from Judah and Benjamin 1 to attack Israel and restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. 11:2 But the Lord told Shemaiah the prophet, 2 11:3 “Say this to King Rehoboam son of Solomon of Judah and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin, 11:4 ‘The Lord says this: “Do not attack and make war with your brothers. Each of you go home, for I have caused this to happen.”’” 3 They obeyed the Lord and called off the attack against Jeroboam. 4
11:5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem; 5 he built up these fortified cities throughout Judah: 11:6 Bethlehem, 6 Etam, Tekoa, 11:7 Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, 11:8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 11:9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 11:10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These were the fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11:11 He fortified these cities and placed officers in them, as well as storehouses of food, olive oil, and wine. 11:12 In each city there were shields and spears; he strongly fortified them. 7 Judah and Benjamin belonged to him.
11:13 The priests and Levites who lived throughout Israel supported him, no matter where they resided. 8 11:14 The Levites even left their pasturelands and their property behind and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons prohibited them from serving as the Lord’s priests. 11:15 Jeroboam 9 appointed his own priests to serve at the worship centers 10 and to lead in the worship of the goat idols and calf idols he had made. 11 11:16 Those among all the Israelite tribes who were determined to worship the Lord God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem 12 to sacrifice to the Lord God of their ancestors. 13 11:17 They supported 14 the kingdom of Judah and were loyal to 15 Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years; they followed the edicts of 16 David and Solomon for three years.
11:18 Rehoboam married 17 Mahalath the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of 18 Abihail, the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 11:19 She bore him sons named Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 11:20 He later married Maacah the daughter of Absalom. She bore to him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 11:21 Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than his other wives and concubines. 19 He had eighteen wives and sixty concubines; he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
11:22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as the leader over his brothers, for he intended to name him his successor. 20 11:23 He wisely placed some of his many sons throughout the regions of Judah and Benjamin in the various fortified cities. 21 He supplied them with abundant provisions and acquired many wives for them. 22
[11:21] 19 sn Concubines were slave women in ancient Near Eastern societies who were the legal property of their master, but who could have legitimate sexual relations with their master. A concubine’s status was more elevated than a mere servant, but she was not free and did not have the legal rights of a free wife. The children of a concubine could, in some instances, become equal heirs with the children of the free wife. After the period of the Judges concubines may have become more of a royal prerogative (2 Sam 21:10-14; 1 Kgs 11:3).