Chapter 11

1And Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, and he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, one hundred and eighty thousand chosen warriors, to wage war with the House of Israel, to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam.   אוַיָּבֹ֣א רְחַבְעָם֘ יְרֽוּשָׁלִַם֒ וַיַּקְהֵל֩ אֶת־בֵּ֨ית יְהוּדָ֜ה וּבִנְיָמִ֗ן מֵאָ֨ה וּשְׁמוֹנִ֥ים אֶ֛לֶף בָּח֖וּר עֹשֵׂ֣ה מִלְחָמָ֑ה לְהִלָּחֵם֙ עִם־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לְהָשִׁ֥יב אֶת־הַמַּמְלָכָ֖ה לִרְחַבְעָֽם:
and he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin: who were together on the border. Jerusalem belonged to both of them, and the Temple was built on their common border. In the section dealing with boundaries in Joshua, it explains how their border was shared. Our Rabbis also said (Yoma 12a, Meg. 26a, Zeb. 53b): A strip protruded from the territory of Benjamin and entered the territory of Judah, upon which the altar was built. Therefore, they were inseparable, and they are also mentioned close to one another.  
2And the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, the man of God, saying:   בוַיְהִי֙ דְּבַר־יְהֹוָ֔ה אֶל־שְׁמַעְיָ֥הוּ אִישׁ־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֖ים לֵאמֹֽר:
3"Speak to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying:   גאֱמֹ֕ר אֶל־רְחַבְעָ֥ם בֶּן־שְׁלֹמֹ֖ה מֶ֣לֶךְ יְהוּדָ֑ה וְאֶל֙ כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בִּֽיהוּדָ֥ה וּבִנְיָמִ֖ן לֵאמֹֽר:
4So said the Lord, 'You shall not go up and you shall not war with your brothers; return each man to his home for this thing has been brought about by Me."' And they heeded the word of the Lord, and they returned from going to Jeroboam.   דכֹּ֣ה אָמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֡ה לֹא־תַֽעֲלוּ֩ וְלֹֽא־תִלָּֽ֨חֲמ֜וּ עִם־אֲחֵיכֶ֗ם שׁוּבוּ אִ֣ישׁ לְבֵית֔וֹ כִּי־מֵֽאִתִּ֛י נִֽהְיָ֖ה הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֑ה וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ֙ אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה וַיָּשֻׁ֖בוּ מִלֶּ֥כֶת אֶל־יָֽרָבְעָֽם:
with your brothers: Are they not your brothers, the sons of one man?  
5And Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and he built cities for fortification in Judah.   הוַיֵּ֥שֶׁב רְחַבְעָ֖ם בִּירֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם וַיִּ֧בֶן עָרִ֛ים לְמָצ֖וֹר בִּֽיהוּדָֽה:
and he built cities for fortification: Heb. לְמָצוֹר. He built small cities and surrounded them with water for strength, and this is [called] מָצוֹר as it is written in Isaiah (37:25): “I dug and drank water, and I dried up with the soles of my feet all rivers of fortification (מָצוֹר).” And this was now necessary because Israel rebelled against him.  
6And he built Bethlehem and Etam and Tekoa.   ווַיִּ֧בֶן אֶת־בֵּֽית־לֶ֛חֶם וְאֶת־עֵיטָ֖ם וְאֶת־תְּקֽוֹעַ:
7And Beth-Zur and Socho and Adullam.   זוְאֶת־בֵּֽית־צ֥וּר וְאֶת־שׂוֹכ֖וֹ וְאֶת־עֲדֻלָּֽם:
8And Gath and Maresha and Ziph.   חוְאֶת־גַּ֥ת וְאֶת־מָֽרֵשָׁ֖ה וְאֶת־זִֽיף:
9And Adoraim and Lachish and Azekah.   טוְאֶת־אֲדוֹרַ֥יִם וְאֶת־לָכִ֖ישׁ וְאֶת־עֲזֵקָֽה:
10And Zoreah and Ajalon and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin, fortified cities.   יוְאֶת־צָרְעָה֙ וְאֶת־אַיָּל֔וֹן וְאֶ֨ת־חֶבְר֔וֹן אֲשֶׁ֥ר בִּֽיהוּדָ֖ה וּבְבִנְיָמִ֑ן עָרֵ֖י מְצֻוּרֽוֹת:
11And he strengthened the fortifications, and he placed in them leaders, and storehouses of food, oil, and wine.   יאוַיְחַזֵּ֖ק אֶת־הַמְּצֻוּר֑וֹת וַיִּתֵּ֚ן בָּהֶם֙ נְגִידִ֔ים וְאֹֽצְר֥וֹת מַֽאֲכָ֖ל וְשֶׁ֥מֶן וָיָֽיִן:
leaders: chiefs and officers to guard the towns and the large cities.  
and storehouses of food, oil, and wine: in order to have food prepared for them should the house of Israel march upon them to besiege them.  
12And in every city [he placed] shields and spears, and he made them exceedingly strong, and Judah and Benjamin were his.   יבוּבְכָל־עִ֚יר וָעִיר֙ צִנּ֣וֹת וּרְמָחִ֔ים וַיְחַזְּקֵ֖ם לְהַרְבֵּ֣ה מְאֹ֑ד וַֽיְהִי־ל֖וֹ יְהוּדָ֥ה וּבִנְיָמִֽן:
13And the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel stood by him in all their boundary.   יגוְהַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ וְהַֽלְוִיִּ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל הִֽתְיַצְּב֥וּ עָלָ֖יו מִכָּל־גְּבוּלָֽם:
14For the Levites had abandoned their open land and their heritage, and they went to Judah and to Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons had coerced them to abandon their position of ministering to the Lord.   ידכִּי־עָֽזְב֣וּ הַלְוִיִּ֗ם אֶת־מִגְרְשֵׁיהֶם֙ וַֽאֲחֻזָּתָ֔ם וַיֵּֽלְכ֥וּ לִֽיהוּדָ֖ה וְלִֽירֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם כִּֽי־הִזְנִיחָ֚ם יָֽרָבְעָם֙ וּבָנָ֔יו מִכַּהֵ֖ן לַיהֹוָֽה:
For the Levites had abandoned their open land: that was in the entire land of the ten tribes.  
because Jeroboam… had coerced them to abandon: He coerced them to abandon serving and ministering to the Lord.  
15And he stationed for himself priests for the high places and for the satyrs, and for the calves that he had made.   טווַיַּֽעֲמֶד־לוֹ֙ כֹּֽהֲנִ֔ים לַבָּמ֖וֹת וְלַשְּׂעִירִ֑ים וְלַֽעֲגָלִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָֽׂה:
priests for the high places: i.e., Why did Jeroboam coerce them to abandon [their positions]? Because he stationed pagan priests for the satyrs.  
16And after them, from all the tribes of Israel, those who put their heart to seek the Lord, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their forefathers.   טזוְאַֽחֲרֵיהֶ֗ם מִכֹּל֙ שִׁבְטֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הַנֹּֽתְנִים֙ אֶת־לְבָבָ֔ם לְבַקֵּ֕שׁ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל בָּאוּ יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם לִזְבּ֕וֹחַ לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י אֲבֽוֹתֵיהֶֽם:
And after them: [i.e., after] the Levites and the priests.  
17And they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam the son of Solomon for three years, for they went in the way of David and Solomon for three years.   יזוַיְחַזְּקוּ֙ אֶת־מַלְכ֣וּת יְהוּדָ֔ה וַיְאַמְּצ֛וּ אֶת־רְחַבְעָ֥ם בֶּן־שְׁלֹמֹ֖ה לְשָׁנִ֣ים שָׁל֑וֹשׁ כִּ֣י הָֽלְכ֗וּ בְּדֶ֧רֶךְ דָּוִ֛יד וּשְׁלֹמֹ֖ה לְשָׁנִ֥ים שָׁלֽוֹשׁ:
18And Rehoboam took himself a wife, Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, [and] Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse.   יחוַיִּקַּח־ל֚וֹ רְחַבְעָם֙ אִשָּׁ֔ה אֶת־מַ֣חֲלַ֔ת בַּת־ (כתיב בַּן־) יְרִימ֖וֹת בֶּן־דָּוִ֑יד אֲבִיהַ֕יִל בַּת־אֱלִיאָ֖ב בֶּן־יִשָֽׁי:
Abihail the daughter of Eliab: Like: and Abihail, similar to (Jer. 11:19): “And I was like a lamb and a bull אַלּוּף) (כְּכֶבֶשׂ.” The following was the reason that Samuel the seer erred when Jesse passed Eliab before Samuel, and he [Samuel] said, (I Sam. 16:6): “Surely before the Lord is His anointed.” This is the one about whom the Holy One, blessed be He, is destined to say, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” But Samuel erred about him, for he saw Eliab’s daughter as Rehoboam’s wife, the queen, and because of the following matter, Samuel was punished: When Saul asked him, (ibid. 9:18) “Which is the house of the seer?” Samuel replied, “I am the seer,” in which case he did not answer him with humility, saying, “What do you wish.” [Therefore,] the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, “By your life, you are destined to see, and you will not know what you see,” for he erred concerning Eliab and his daughter the queen.  
19And she bore him sons: Jeush and Shemariah and Zaham.   יטוַתֵּ֥לֶד ל֖וֹ בָּנִ֑ים אֶת־יְע֥וּשׁ וְאֶת־שְׁמַרְיָ֖ה וְאֶת־זָֽהַם:
20And after her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom, and she bore him Abijah and Attai and Ziza and Shelomith.   כוְאַֽחֲרֶ֣יהָ לָקַ֔ח אֶת־מַֽעֲכָ֖ה בַּת־אַבְשָׁל֑וֹם וַתֵּ֣לֶד ל֗וֹ אֶת־אֲבִיָּה֙ וְאֶת־עַתַּ֔י וְאֶת־זִיזָ֖א וְאֶת־שְׁלֹמִֽית:
21And Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his wives and his concubines, for he married eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and he begot twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.   כאוַיֶּֽאֱהַ֨ב רְחַבְעָ֜ם אֶת־מַֽעֲכָ֣ה בַת־אַבְשָׁל֗וֹם מִכָּל־נָשָׁיו֙ וּפִֽילַגְשָׁ֔יו כִּ֠י נָשִׁ֚ים שְׁמוֹנֶֽה־עֶשְׂרֵה֙ נָשָׂ֔א וּפִֽילַגְשִׁ֖ים שִׁשִּׁ֑ים וַיּ֗וֹלֶד עֶשְׂרִ֧ים וּשְׁמוֹנָ֛ה בָּנִ֖ים וְשִׁשִּׁ֥ים בָּנֽוֹת:
22And Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah to be the head, as a leader among his brothers, in order to make him king.   כבוַיַּֽעֲמֵ֨ד לָרֹ֧אשׁ רְחַבְעָ֛ם אֶת־אֲבִיָּ֥ה בֶן־מַֽעֲכָ֖ה לְנָגִ֣יד בְּאֶחָ֑יו כִּ֖י לְהַמְלִיכֽוֹ:
as a leader among his brothers: in order to make him king.  
23And he understood, and he dispersed of all his sons to all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, to all the fortified cities, and he gave them abundant food, and he sought many wives.   כגוַיָּבֶן֩ וַיִּפְרֹ֨ץ מִכָּל־בָּנָ֜יו לְֽכָל־אַרְצ֧וֹת יְהוּדָ֣ה וּבִנְיָמִ֗ן לְכֹל֙ עָרֵ֣י הַמְּצֻר֔וֹת וַיִּתֵּ֥ן לָהֶ֛ם הַמָּז֖וֹן לָרֹ֑ב וַיִּשְׁאַ֖ל הֲמ֥וֹן נָשִֽׁים:
and he dispersed: He scattered his sons to all the lands of Judah. A similar expression is (I Chron. 4:38): “And their fathers’ houses spread (פָּרְצוּ) exceedingly.”