King Abijam - Biography

Chart of the Kings King Abijam - Biography God's Judgment Regarding King Abijam
Previous King: Rehoboam   Next King: Asa

King Abijam succeeded his father King Rehoboam, becoming the second king of Judah. His reign was a continuation of his father's regime, characterized by continuing wars with King Jeroboam of Israel, and by abandonment of the LORD. Though his three years as king are declared to be evil, the only incident recorded does show some limited faith and success.

War broke out yet again between Judah and Israel. As the armies faced each other, King Abijam addressed a sermon to the enemy army. He recounted how Israel had abandoned the LORD in favor of Jeroboam's religion of golden calf idols, whereas Judah continued to faithfully obey the LORD. Reminding them that God had by a solemn covenant given the throne to David, and thereby to David's heir Abijam, he invited them to reject Jeroboam and his cult and return to the LORD and rejoin Judah, predicting that the LORD would fight on behalf of his faithful people.

While Abijam made his appeal, Jeroboam's people prepared an ambush, surrounding Abijam's army. Seeing their plight, the soldiers cried out to God. Though we are not told how, God routed Jeroboam's army. Judah inflicted 500,000 casualties on Israel, and captured many border towns, including Bethel, one of the centers of Jeroboam's golden calf cult. Jeroboam's administration never recovered from this setback.

Unfortunately, at this point Abijam expressed his faithlessness. Having captured Bethel, he failed to dismantle the golden calf, which continued ushering Israel's people into sin until King Josiah destroyed it 300 years later.

It is an indication of the continuing presence of a sub-population faithful to the LORD in Judah, and of the depth of Israel's rejection of the LORD, that even after Judah's decades of pagan worship sponsored by Solomon, Rehoboam, and himself, King Abijam could announce to the enemy's army, “The LORD is our God.”1

Where to read Abijam's story: 1 Kings 15:1-8; 2 Chronicles 13:1 - 14:1

  1 2 Chronicles 13:10
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