1When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he gathered 180,000 of the best soldiers. He gathered these soldiers from the family groups of Judah and Benjamin. He gathered them to fight against Israel so he could bring the kingdom back to Rehoboam. 2But the message from the Lord came to Shemaiah. Shemaiah was a man of God. The Lord said, 3“Shemaiah, talk to Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, and the king of Judah. And talk to all the people of Israel living in Judah and Benjamin. Tell them: 4This is what the Lord says: 'You must not fight against your brothers! Let every man go back home. I have caused this thing to happen.’” So King Rehoboam and his army obeyed the Lord’s message and turned back. They did not attack Jeroboam. 5Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem. He built strong cities in Judah to defend against attacks. 6He repaired the cities of Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, 8Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These cities in Judah and Benjamin were made strong. 11When Rehoboam made those cities strong, he put commanders in them. He also put supplies of food, oil, and wine in those cities. 12Also, Rehoboam put shields and spears in every city and made the cities very strong. Rehoboam kept the peoples and cities of Judah and Benjamin under his control. 13The priests and the Levites from all over Israel agreed with Rehoboam and joined him. 14The Levites left their grasslands and their own fields and came to Judah and Jerusalem. The Levites did this because Jeroboam and his sons refused to let them serve as priests to the Lord. 15Jeroboam chose his own priests to serve in the high places, where he set up the goat and calf idols he had made. 16When the Levites left Israel, those people in all the family groups of Israel who were faithful to the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord God of their fathers. 17Those people made the kingdom of Judah strong. And they supported Solomon’s son Rehoboam for three years. They did this because during that time they lived the way David and Solomon had lived. 18Rehoboam married Mahalath. Her father was Jerimoth. Her mother was Abihail. Jerimoth was David’s son. Abihail was Eliab’s daughter, and Eliab was Jesse’s son. 19Mahalath gave Rehoboam these sons: Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham. 20Then Rehoboam married Maacah. Maacah was Absalom’s granddaughter. And Maacah gave Rehoboam these children: Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21Rehoboam loved Maacah more that he loved all his other wives and women servants. Maacah was Absalom’s granddaughter. Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 woman servants. Rehoboam was the father of 28 sons and 60 daughters. 22Rehoboam chose Abijah to be the leader among his own brothers. Rehoboam did this because he planned to make Abijah king. 23Rehoboam acted wisely and spread all his sons through all the areas of Judah and Benjamin to every strong city. And Rehoboam gave plenty of supplies to his sons. He also looked for wives for his sons.