(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.
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.