I Am a Sheep

(Psalm 23, 71:9)
I Am a Sheep

I am a sheep
Within your fold;
Don’t cast me off
When I am old.




1 Abijah thus became the king of Judah

In Jeroboam’s eighteenth year as king

Of Israel, 2 and from Jerusalem

He ruled for three years, and his mother was

Micaiah, daughter of Uriel from

Gibeah. Later on, Abijah and

King Jeroboam out of Israel

Warred against each other. 3 Now Abijah’s

Army had troops—four hundred thousand—and

Jeroboam met him in battle with

Eight hundred thousand troops. 4 Abijah went

Atop Mount Zemaraim in the hills

Of Ephraim and shouted: Hear me out,

               Jeroboam and all you Israelites!

5 Israel’s Lord God promised solemnly

That every king of Israel will be

From David’s family. 6 But Jeroboam,

You were King Solomon’s official, and

You have rebelled, 7 then after Rehoboam

Became the king, you and your bunch of no-

Good followers provoked King Rehoboam—

Too young to know a way to stop you.

8 Now you and your big army think that you

Can stand up to the kingdom that the Lord

Has given David’s progeny. The sole         

Gods that you have are those gold statues of

The calves that Jeroboam made for you.

9 You do not even have descendants of

Aaron with you, for you forced out God’s priests

And Levites, and in their place, you appoint

Regular people to be priests, just as

The foreign nations do. In fact, a man

Who brings a bull and seven rams into

The altar can become a priest of your

Purported gods, 10 but we’ve not turned our backs

On the Lord God! And Aaron’s own descendants

Serve as our priests, and Levites assist them.

11 Two times each day they offer sacrifices

And they burn incense to the Lord. They set

Out sacred loaves of bread upon a table

That has been purified; they light the lamps

In the gold lampstand every day at sunset.

We follow what the Lord our God commands—

You have rejected him! 12 That is why God

Is on our side and will lead us to battle

When the priests sound the signal on the trumpets.

It’s no use, Israelites. You might as well

Give up; there is no way you can defeat

The Lord, the God your predecessors worshiped,

13 But while Abijah lectured, Jeroboam

Had sent some troops to strike at Judah’s army

At their rear guard, while all the rest attacked

Their front. 14 When Judah’s army realized

That they were trapped, they prayed to God.

The priests

Next blew the trumpet signal, 15 and the troops

Let out a battle cry. Then with Abijah

Leading them into battle, God defeated

Jeroboam and Israel’s whole army.

16 The Israelites ran off, and God helped Judah’s

Soldiers slaughter 17 five hundred thousand troops

Of foes, 18 and Judah’s army won because

They put their faith in the Lord God of their

Ancestors, 19 and Abijah kept up his

Attack on Jeroboam’s army and

Captured the towns of Israelites: Jeshanah,

Bethel and Ephron, plus the villages

Around them. 20 Jeroboam never got

His power back for the remainder of

Abijah’s reign. God punished Jeroboam,

Who died; Abijah grew more powerful.

21 Abijah had, all counted, fourteen wives,

twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters. 22 All

Abijah did as king and what he said

Is written in the prophet Iddo’s records.