Bible History

The History of the Governments
of Israel and Judah

Lesson Two

The Subject Material Of This Lesson is divided into three parts.

Josephus, Book 8, Chapter 10

1. (Continued from the last lesson) Concerning Rehoboam, and how God inflicted punishment upon him for his impiety, by Shishak, (King of Egypt.)

 Josephus , Book 8, Chapter 11

 2. Concerning the death of a son of Jeroboam. How Jeroboam was beaten by Abijah, who died a little afterwards, and was succeeded in his kingdom by Asa; and also how, after the death of Jeroboam, Baasha destroyed his son Nadab, and all the House of Jeroboam

 Josephus , Book 8, Chapter 12

3. How Zerah, king of the Ethiopians, was beaten by Asa; and how Asa, upon Baasha's making war against him, invited the King of the Camascens to assist him; and how, on the destruction of the house of Baasha, Zimri got the kingdom, as did his son Ahab after him

The Antiquities Of The Jews: By Josephus. In these lessons we will hear the witness of the historian Josephus (Joseph Ben Mattias). His father was a Levite and his mother was of the tribe of Judah. During his life he was a priest, general, prisoner, and later a Roman citizen and author. He lived from 37 A.D. to about 100 A.D. His writings are available in any Christian Book Store. We will present Josephus account parallel to the Bible's account.

In Association with


God Punishes Rehoboam King of Judah

Josephus: Book 8,
Chapter 10 Section 4.

1 Kings 14:25-31

2 Chronicles 12:9-16

4. When Shishak was gone away, king Rehoboam make bucklers and shields of brass, instead of those of gold, and delivered the some number of them to the keepers of the king's palace: so, instead of warlike expeditions, and that glory which results from those public actions, he reigned in great quietness, though not without fear, as being always an enemy to Jeroboam; and he died when he had lived fifty-seven years, and reigned seventeen. He was in his disposition a proud and a foolish man, and lost (part of his) dominions by not hearkening to his father's friends. He was buried in Jerusalem, in the sepulchres of the kings; and his son Abijah succeeded him in the kingdom, and this in the eighteenth year of Jeroboam's reign over the ten tribes; and this was the conclusion of these affairs. It must be now our business to relate the affairs of Jeroboam, and how he ended his life; for he ceased not, nor rested to be injurious to God, but every day raised up altars upon high mountains, and went on making priests out of the multitude (25) And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, {that} Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem:

(26) And he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.

(27) And king Rehoboam made in their stead brasen shields, and committed {them} unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the king's house.

(28) And it was {so}, when the king went into the house of the Lord, that the guard bare them, and brought them back into the guard chamber.

(29) Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, {are} they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

(30) And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all {their} days.

(31) And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother's name {was} Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead.


(9) So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made. (10) Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed {them} to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king's house.

(11) And when the king entered into the house of the Lord, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber.

(12) And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned from him, that he would not destroy {him} altogether: and also in Judah things went well.

(13) So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam {was} one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name {was} Naamah an Ammonitess.

(14) And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.

(15) Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, {are} they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And {there were} wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.

(16) And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead.

 The Son Of The King Of Israel Is Sick 

Josephus: Book 8
Chapter 11. Section 1

1 Kings 14:1-6

1. However, God was in no long time ready to return Jeroboam's wicked actions, and the punishment they deserved, upon his own head, and upon the heads of all his house: and whereas a son of his lay sick at that time, who was called Abijah, he enjoined his wife to lay aside her robes, and to take the garments belonging to a private person, and to go to Ahijah the prophet, for that he was a wonderful man in foretelling futurities, it having been he who told Jeroboam that he should be king.

He also enjoined her, when she come to him to inquire concerning the child, as if she were a stranger, whether he should escape this distemper.

So she did as her husband bade her, and changed her habit, and came to the city Shiloh, for there did Ahijah live: and as she was going into his house, his eyes being then dim with age, God appeared to him, and informed him of two things; that the wife of Jeroboam was come to him, and what answer he should make to her inquiry.

 Accordingly, as the woman was coming into the house like a private person and a stranger, he cried out, "Come in, O thou wife of Jeroboam?

Why concealest thou thyself? Thou art not concealed from God, who hath appeared to me, and informed me that thou wast coming, and hath given me in command what I shall say to thee?

So he said that she should go away to her husband, and speak to him thus:-

(1) At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick.

(2) And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there {is} Ahijah the prophet, which told me that {I should be} king over this people.

(3) And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.

(4) And Jeroboam's wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age.

(5) And the Lord said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he {is} sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself {to be} another {woman}.

(6) And it was {so}, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself {to be} another? for I {am} sent to thee {with} heavy {tidings}.

 Ahijah's Message From God To The King Of Israel

Josephus: Book 8, Chapter 11
 Section 1. Continued.

1 Kings 14:7-18

"Since I make thee a great man when thou wast little, or rather wast nothing, and rent the kingdom from the house of David, and gave it to thee, and thou hast been unmindful of these benefits, hast left off my worship, hast make thee molten gods, and honored them, I will in like manner cast thee down again, and destroy all they house, and make them food for the dogs and the fowls; for a certain king is rising up, by appointment, over all this people, who shall leave none of the family of Jeroboam remaining.

The multitude also shall themselves partake of the same punishment, and shall be cast out of this good land, and shall be scattered into the places beyond Euphrates, because they have worshipped the gods that he made, and forsaken my sacrifices.

But do thou, O woman, make haste back to thy husband, and tell him this message; but thou shalt then find thy son dead, for as thou enterest the city he shall depart this life; yet shall he be buried with the lamentation of all the multitude, and honored with a general mourning, for he is the only person of goodness of Jeroboam's family.

But do thou, O woman, make haste back to thy husband, and tell him this message; but thou shalt then find thy son dead, for as thou enterest the city he shall depart this life; yet shall he be buried with the lamentation of all the multitude, and honored with a general mourning, for he is the only person of goodness of Jeroboam's family.

When the prophet had foretold these events, the woman went hastily away, with a disordered mind, and greatly grieved at the death of the forenamed child: so she was in lamentation as she went along the road, and mourned for the death of her son, that was just at hand.

She was indeed in miserable condition, at the unavoidable misery of his death, and went apace, but in circumstances very unfortunate, because of her son; for the greater haste she made, she would the sooner see her son dead, yet was she forced to make such haste, on account of her husband.

Accordingly, when she was come back, she found that the child had given up the ghost, as the prophet had said; and she related all the circumstances to the king.


(7) Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel,

(8) And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and {yet} thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do {that} only {which was} right in mine eyes;

(9) But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

(10) Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, {and} him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.

(11) Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the Lord hath spoken {it}.

(12) Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: {and} when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die.

(13) And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found {some} good thing toward the Lord God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

(14) Moreover the Lord shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: but what? even now.

(15) For the Lord shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the Lord to anger.

(16) And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.

(17) And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: {and} when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died;

(18) And they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet.


Comment: Thus far God has hired and fired the nation's kings. His employment agency has been the Prophet.

In The Eighteenth Year of King Jeroboam of Israel
Abijah is King in Judah

Kings 15:1-2

Chronicles 13:1-2

(1) Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah.

(2) Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name {was} Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

(1) Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah.

(2) He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also {was} Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam

War Between Abijah and Jeroboam
The Jews Are at War with Israel

Josephus: Book 8, Chapter 11. Section 2.

2 Chronicles 13:3

 2. Yet did not Jeroboam lay any of these things to heart, but he brought together a very numerous army, and made a warlike expedition against Abijah, the son of Rehoboam, who had succeeded his father in the kingdom of the two tribes; for he despised him because of his age.

But when he heard of the expedition of Jeroboam, he was not affrighted at it, but proved of a courageous temper of mind, superior both to his youth and to the hopes of his enemy; so he chose him an army out of the two tribes, and met Jeroboam at a place called Mount Zemaraim, and pitched his camp near the other, and prepared everything necessary for the fight.

His army consisted of four hundred thousand, but the army of Jeroboam was double to it.

(3) And Abijah set the battle in array with an army of valiant men of war, {even} four hundred thousand chosen men: Jeroboam also set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, {being} mighty men of valour.






Question #1. In this war between the Jews and Israel, how many men were in each army?

      In Israel's army  _____________________

      In Judah's army  _____________________

Question #2. How many women were in these armies?      


 Question #3. Before we go to war against an enemy, what must we do?  Deuteronomy 20:10,

       (  ) a.  Prepare for a first strike, surprise attack.

       (  ) b.  Make a formal declaration of war.

Answers and Next page - Click Here


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