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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Divrei Hayamim II - II Chronicles - Chapter 13

Divrei Hayamim II - II Chronicles - Chapter 13

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 13

1. In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah began to reign over Judah.   א. בִּשְׁנַת שְׁמוֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה לַמֶּלֶךְ יָרָבְעָם וַיִּמְלֹךְ אֲבִיָּה עַל יְהוּדָה:
2. Three years he reigned in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel from Gibeah, and there was a war between Abijah and Jeroboam.   ב. שָׁלוֹשׁ שָׁנִים מָלַךְ בִּירוּשָׁלִַם וְשֵׁם אִמּוֹ מִיכָיָהוּ בַת אוּרִיאֵל מִן גִּבְעָה וּמִלְחָמָה הָיְתָה בֵּין אֲבִיָּה וּבֵין יָרָבְעָם:
Three years he reigned in Jerusalem: and no more, as is proven in I Kings (15:9): “And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam, king of Israel, Asa reigned over Judah.” We find that he did not reign even three whole years.  
Micaiah the daughter of Uriel: And above (11: 20), he calls her by a different name, Maacah the daughter of Absalom, and in I Kings (15:10), it is likewise written “Maacah the daughter of Absalom.” Micaiah the daughter of Uriel was her [real] name, and here he calls her thus because this is the genealogical record of Judah. In Kings, which is the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, he calls her by her nickname, Maacah the daughter of Absalom. Now, for this reason, they nicknamed her Maacah, rather than call her by her real name, Micaiah, (and the name of her father was Uriel Abishalom). She was called by the name of her daughter- in-law, who was a valiant woman, a heroic woman, as it is written (below 15:16): “And also Maacah the mother of King Asa he removed from being queen,” and in honor of her daughter-in-law, they called the mother-in-law by the daughter-in-law’s name. So it is explained in Yerushalmi (unknown). Now this tradition is in the name of Rabbi Eliezer, and he told me this in the name of his father, and so I found in his father’s commentary: Wherever a “vav” is added to the name of a woman, this is to her praise, like Athaliah (below 22:12): “and Athaliah reigned over the land,” for she was a valiant woman; similarly Jecaliah (ibid. 26:3) and Jecaliahu (II Kings 15:2), because she was a heroic woman, for Amaziah her husband fled to Lachish and was there fifteen years until he died, and she judged the people all those fifteen years, and later, when he died, they crowned his son Uzziah after him at the age of sixteen.  
3. And Abijah conducted the war with an army of mighty warriors, four hundred thousand chosen men, and Jeroboam waged war with him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, mighty warriors.   ג. וַיֶּאְסֹר אֲבִיָּה אֶת הַמִּלְחָמָה בְּחַיִל גִּבּוֹרֵי מִלְחָמָה אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף אִישׁ בָּחוּר וְיָרָבְעָם עָרַךְ עִמּוֹ מִלְחָמָה בִּשְׁמוֹנֶה מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף אִישׁ בָּחוּר גִּבּוֹר חָיִל:
4. And Abijah arose at the top of Mount Zemaraim, which is on Mount Ephraim, and he said, "Hearken to me, Jeroboam and all Israel.   ד. וַיָּקָם אֲבִיָּה מֵעַל לְהַר צְמָרַיִם אֲשֶׁר בְּהַר אֶפְרָיִם וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמָעוּנִי יָרָבְעָם וְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
And Abijah arose: For Abijah went to war against Jeroboam in Jeroboam’s territory on Mount Ephraim.  
5. Should you not know that the Lord, the God of Israel, gave the kingdom to David over Israel forever, to him and to his sons, [with] a covenant of salt?   ה. הֲלֹא לָכֶם לָדַעַת כִּי יְהֹוָה| אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל נָתַן מַמְלָכָה לְדָוִיד עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל לְעוֹלָם לוֹ וּלְבָנָיו בְּרִית מֶלַח:
a covenant of salt: with endurance and permanence. And now -  
6. But Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, arose and rebelled against his master.   ו. וַיָּקָם יָרָבְעָם בֶּן נְבָט עֶבֶד שְׁלֹמֹה בֶן דָּוִיד וַיִּמְרֹד עַל אֲדֹנָיו:
Jeroboam, etc. the servant of Solomon the son of David, arose, etc.: and a great stigma is attached to this.  
7. And there gathered to him worthless and unbridled men, and they overwhelmed Rehoboam the son of Solomon, and Rehoboam was young and soft-hearted, and he did not strengthen himself before them.   ז. וַיִּקָּבְצוּ עָלָיו אֲנָשִׁים רֵקִים בְּנֵי בְלִיַּעַל וַיִּתְאַמְּצוּ עַל רְחַבְעָם בֶּן שְׁלֹמֹה וּרְחַבְעָם הָיָה נַעַר וְרַךְ לֵבָב וְלֹא הִתְחַזַּק לִפְנֵיהֶם:
And there gathered to him worthless: wicked.  
and they overwhelmed: Rehoboam the son of Solomon.  
and Rehoboam was young and soft-hearted: and since they found in him humility and soft- heartedness, they overwhelmed him.  
young: Heb. נַעַר. Although he was forty-one years old when he reigned, he is called a youth (נַעַר), as I explained above (I Chron. 22:5) in regards to Solomon.  
8. And now, you are saying to strengthen yourselves before the kingdom of the Lord in the hand of the sons of David, and you are a great multitude, and with you are golden calves that Jeroboam made for you for gods.   ח. וְעַתָּה| אַתֶּם אֹמְרִים לְהִתְחַזֵּק לִפְנֵי מַמְלֶכֶת יְהֹוָה בְּיַד בְּנֵי דָוִיד וְאַתֶּם הָמוֹן רָב וְעִמָּכֶם עֶגְלֵי זָהָב אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לָכֶם יָרָבְעָם לֵאלֹהִים:
9. Did you not banish the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and make for yourselves priests like the peoples of the lands? Whoever comes to initiate himself with a young bull and seven rams, will be a priest to a non-god.   ט. הֲלֹא הִדַּחְתֶּם אֶת כֹּהֲנֵי יְהֹוָה אֶת בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן וְהַלְוִיִּם וַתַּעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם כֹּהֲנִים כְּעַמֵּי הָאֲרָצוֹת כָּל הַבָּא לְמַלֵּא יָדוֹ בְּפַר בֶּן בָּקָר וְאֵילִם שִׁבְעָה וְהָיָה כֹהֵן לְלֹא אֱלֹהִים:
like the peoples of the lands: Whoever wishes to come and be initiated to be a priest to a golden calf, shall bring a young bull and seven rams, and be accepted.  
to initiate himself: Heb. לְמַלֵּא יָדוֹ. To differentiate between impure and pure, similar to (Exod. 29: 29): “to be anointed and initiated (וּלְמַלֵּא בָם אֶת יָדָם) through them.”  
10. But, as for us-the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken Him, and the priests who minister to the Lord are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites engage in the work.   י. וַאֲנַחְנוּ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְלֹא עֲזַבְנֻהוּ וְכֹהֲנִים מְשָׁרְתִים לַיהֹוָה בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן וְהַלְוִיִּם בַּמְלָאכֶת:
engage in the work: i.e., in their work; this one to sing, and that one to guard the gates, every man to his work, as David prepared it.  
11. And they burn to the Lord burnt offerings every morning and every evening, and incense and [set up] the showbread on the pure table, and the golden candelabrum and its lamps to kindle every evening, for we keep the watch of the Lord our God, but you have forsaken Him.   יא. וּמַקְטִרִים לַיהֹוָה עֹלוֹת בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר וּבָעֶרֶב בָּעֶרֶב וּקְטֹרֶת סַמִּים וּמַעֲרֶכֶת לֶחֶם עַל הַשֻּׁלְחָן הַטָּהוֹר וּמְנוֹרַת הַזָּהָב וְנֵרֹתֶיהָ לְבָעֵר בָּעֶרֶב בָּעֶרֶב כִּי שֹׁמְרִים אֲנַחְנוּ אֶת מִשְׁמֶרֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְאַתֶּם עֲזַבְתֶּם אֹתוֹ:
12. And behold, with us at the head are God and His priests and the sounding trumpets to sound over you. O Children of Israel, do not wage war with the Lord, the God of your forefathers, for you will not succeed."   יב. וְהִנֵּה עִמָּנוּ בָרֹאשׁ הָאֱלֹהִים| וְכֹהֲנָיו וַחֲצֹצְרוֹת הַתְּרוּעָה לְהָרִיעַ עֲלֵיכֶם בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אַל תִּלָּחֲמוּ עִם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם כִּי לֹא תַצְלִיחוּ:
13. And Jeroboam turned the ambush to come from behind them, and they were before Judah, and the ambush was behind them.   יג. וְיָרָבְעָם הֵסֵב אֶת הַמַּאֲרָב לָבוֹא מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶם וַיִּהְיוּ לִפְנֵי יְהוּדָה וְהַמַּאֲרָב מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶם:
14. And Judah turned around, and behold the battle was before them and behind them, and they cried out to the Lord, and the priests were sounding the trumpets.   יד. וַיִּפְנוּ יְהוּדָה וְהִנֵּה לָהֶם הַמִּלְחָמָה פָּנִים וְאָחוֹר וַיִּצְעֲקוּ לַיהֹוָה וְהַכֹּהֲנִים מַחְצְרִים בַּחֲצֹצְרוֹת:
15. And the men of Judah shouted, and it came to pass, when the men of Judah shouted, God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.   טו. וַיָּרִיעוּ אִישׁ יְהוּדָה וַיְהִי בְּהָרִיעַ אִישׁ יְהוּדָה וְהָאֱלֹהִים נָגַף אֶת יָרָבְעָם וְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי אֲבִיָּה וִיהוּדָה:
16. And the Children of Israel fled before Judah, and God delivered them into their hands.   טז. וַיָּנוּסוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִפְּנֵי יְהוּדָה וַיִּתְּנֵם אֱלֹהִים בְּיָדָם:
17. And Abijah and his people smote them a great blow, and five hundred thousand chosen men of Israel fell slain.   יז. וַיַּכּוּ בָהֶם אֲבִיָּה וְעַמּוֹ מַכָּה רַבָּה וַיִּפְּלוּ חֲלָלִים מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל חֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף אִישׁ בָּחוּר:
18. And the Children of Israel were humbled at that time, and the Children of Judah became strong because they relied on the Lord, the God of their forefathers.   יח. וַיִּכָּנְעוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּעֵת הַהִיא וַיֶּאֶמְצוּ בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה כִּי נִשְׁעֲנוּ עַל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם:
19. And Abijah pursued Jeroboam, and he captured cities from him; Beth-El and its villages and Jeshanah and its villages and Ephrain and its villages.   יט. וַיִּרְדֹּף אֲבִיָּה אַחֲרֵי יָרָבְעָם וַיִּלְכֹּד מִמֶּנּוּ עָרִים אֶת בֵּית אֵל וְאֶת בְּנוֹתֶיהָ וְאֶת יְשָׁנָה וְאֶת בְּנוֹתֶיהָ וְאֶת עֶפְרַיִן וּבְנֹתֶיהָ:
20. And Jeroboam could muster no more strength in the days of Abijah, and the Lord smote him, and he died.   כ. וְלֹא עָצַר כֹּחַ יָרָבְעָם עוֹד בִּימֵי אֲבִיָּהוּ וַיִּגְּפֵהוּ יְהֹוָה וַיָּמֹת:
And Jeroboam could muster no more strength, etc., and the Lord smote him: i.e., Jeroboam.  
and he died: He did not die immediately, but continuously deteriorated because of the wars, and in Genesis Rabbah (65:20), it is explained that the Lord smote Abijah.  
21. And Abijah strengthened himself, and he took himself fourteen wives, and he begot twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.   כא. וַיִּתְחַזֵּק אֲבִיָּהוּ וַיִּשָּׂא לוֹ נָשִׁים אַרְבַּע עֶשְׂרֵה וַיּוֹלֶד עֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁנַיִם בָּנִים וְשֵׁשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה בָּנוֹת:
22. And the rest of the deeds of Abijah and his ways and his deeds are written in the midrash of the prophet Iddo.   כב. וְיֶתֶר דִּבְרֵי אֲבִיָּה וּדְרָכָיו וּדְבָרָיו כְּתוּבִים בְּמִדְרַשׁ הַנָּבִיא עִדּוֹ:
23. And Abijah slept with his forefathers, and they buried him in the City of David, and his son Asa reigned in his stead; in his time, the land was tranquil for ten years.   כג. וַיִּשְׁכַּב אֲבִיָּה עִם אֲבֹתָיו וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֹתוֹ בְּעִיר דָּוִיד וַיִּמְלֹךְ אָסָא בְנוֹ תַּחְתָּיו בְּיָמָיו שָׁקְטָה הָאָרֶץ עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים:
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