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2 Chronicles Chapter Twelve


2 Chronicles 12 Outline of Contents

Egypt Attacks Judah (v.1~12)

The End of Rehoboam’s Reign (v.13~16)

New King James Version (NKJV)



Rehoboam and his people forsaking the law of the Lord, Shishak king of Egypt is allowed by God to invade his land, and take his fenced cities, 2 Chronicles 12:1, upon which a prophet of the Lord was sent to him and his princes, to show them the reason of it; whereupon they humbled themselves, and the Lord was pleased not to allow the enemy utterly to destroy them, yet to reduce them to servitude, and take away their riches, 2 Chronicles 12:5, and the chapter is closed with an account of the reign and death of Rehoboam, 2 Chronicles 12:13.


2 Chronicles 12:1  Now it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, that he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel along with him.

   YLT  1And it cometh to pass, at the establishing of the kingdom of Rehoboam, and at his strengthening himself, he hath forsaken the law of Jehovah, and all Israel with him.

And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom,.... Or when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established; the tribes of Judah and Benjamin being firmly attached to him, and great numbers from the other tribes coming over to him, and things going on peaceably and prosperously during the three years that he and his people abode by the pure worship of God:

and had strengthened himself; built fortified cities for the defence of himself and kingdom, 2 Chronicles 11:5, he forsook the law of the Lord; after he had reigned three years, and was become strong, and thought himself safe and secure on the throne, trusting to his strength:

and all Israel with him; the greater part of them following the example of their king; of this defection, and the sins they fell into, see 1 Kings 14:22.


2 Chronicles 12:2  2 And it happened in the fifth year of King Rehoboam that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the Lord,

   YLT  2And it cometh to pass, in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, come up hath Shishak king of Egypt against Jerusalem -- because they trespassed against Jehovah –

And it came to pass in the fifth year of Rehoboam,.... In the fourth year, the apostasy of him and his people began; and, in the year following, what is next related happened, as a punishment of it:

Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem; of whom see 1 Kings 11:40,

because they transgressed against the Lord; transgressed the law of the Lord by falling into idolatry and other abominable evils; the Targum is,"against the Word of the Lord.'


2 Chronicles 12:3  3 with twelve hundred chariots, sixty thousand horsemen, and people without number who came with him out of Egypt—the Lubim and the Sukkiim and the Ethiopians.

   YLT  3with a thousand and two hundred chariots, and with sixty thousand horsemen, and there is no number to the people who have come with him out of Egypt -- Lubim, Sukkiim, and Cushim –

With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen; and the people were without number,.... The foot soldiers; their number, according to JosephusF8Antiqu. l. 8. c. 10. sect. 2. was 400,000:

that came with him out of Egypt; the above numerous army came from thence with him, which was famous for horses and chariots of war, see Exodus 14:7, what follow seem to have joined him after he came out of Egypt, or whom he subdued in his way; the Lubim or Lybians, inhabitants of Libya, a country near Egypt the same with the Lehabim; of whom see Genesis 10:13,

the Sukkiims; who were either the Scenite Arabs, who dwelt in tents, as this word signifies; or the Troglodytes, according to the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, who dwelt in dens and caves, in which sense the word "Succah" is sometimes used, Job 38:40 and in their country was a town called Suchae, mentioned by PlinyF9Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 29. ; they inhabited near the Red sea; and if Shishak is the same with Sesostris, as is thought, these people were subdued by him, as HerodotusF11Euterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 102. and StraboF12Geograph. l. 16. p. 529. testify:

and the Ethiopians; some think these were the Cushite Arabs, and that Sesostris came into Arabia is testified by the above writers; though rather the proper Ethiopians are meant, since they are joined with the Lubim or Africans; and since, as HerodotusF13Ut supra, (Euterpe, sive, l. 2.) c. 110. says, he ruled over Ethiopia; and Diodorus SiculusF14Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 50. says he fought with them, and obliged them to pay him tribute.


2 Chronicles 12:4  4 And he took the fortified cities of Judah and came to Jerusalem.

   YLT  4and he captureth the cities of the bulwarks that [are] to Judah, and cometh in unto Jerusalem.

And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah,.... Which Rehoboam had lately built, and placed his sons in them, 2 Chronicles 11:5, these he took without any opposition:

and came to Jerusalem; there being no army to oppose him; and so Sesostris took many countries without fighting, and among the rest Phoenicia, as ManethoF15Apud Joseph. contr. Apion. l. 1. c. 15. relates, in which Judea may be included.


2 Chronicles 12:5  5 Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah, who were gathered together in Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says the Lord: ‘You have forsaken Me, and therefore I also have left you in the hand of Shishak.’”

   YLT  5And Shemaiah the prophet hath come in unto Rehoboam and the heads of Judah who have been gathered unto Jerusalem from the presence of Shishak, and saith to them, `Thus said Jehovah, Ye have forsaken Me, and also, I have left you in the hand of Shishak;'

Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam,.... The same as in 2 Chronicles 11:2, there called the man of God:

and to the princes of Judah that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak; through fear of him, and for safety and protection from him, and to consult what was to be done at this critical juncture, whether to fight him, or make peace with him on the best terms they could:

and said unto them, thus saith the Lord, ye have forsaken me; his law, his word, worship, and ordinances, 2 Chronicles 12:1,

and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak; suffered him to invade their land, take their fenced cities, and come up to Jerusalem without any opposition, as a punishment of their apostasy; and to explain this providence to them, and call them to repentance, was the prophet sent.


2 Chronicles 12:6  6 So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, “The Lord is righteous.”

   YLT  6and the heads of Israel are humbled, and the king, and they say, `Righteous [is] Jehovah.'

Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves,.... Both by words acknowledging their sins, and the justice of God, and by deeds, perhaps putting on sackcloth, as was usual on such occasions, and betaking themselves to fasting and prayer:

and they said, the Lord is righteous; in giving them up into the hand of their enemies, seeing they had forsaken him, and sinned against him.


2 Chronicles 12:7  7 Now when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance. My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.

   YLT  7And when Jehovah seeth that they have been humbled, a word of Jehovah hath been unto Shemaiah, saying, `They have been humbled; I do not destroy them, and I have given to them as a little thing for an escape, and I pour not out My fury in Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak;

And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves,.... Though but externally; the Lord takes notice of external humiliation, as he did of Ahab's, 1 Kings 21:29,

the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, they have humbled themselves, therefore I will not destroy them; not now, at least not altogether, 2 Chronicles 12:12,

but I will grant them some deliverance; yet not a complete one, for they were brought into servitude by Shishak, 2 Chronicles 12:8, or only for a short time:

and my wrath shall not be poured out against Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak; that is, to the uttermost; that was reserved to another time, and to be done by another hand, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.


2 Chronicles 12:8  8 Nevertheless they will be his servants, that they may distinguish My service from the service of the kingdoms of the nations.”

   YLT  8but they become servants to him, and they know My service, and the service of the kingdoms of the lands.'

Nevertheless, they shall be his servants,.... tributaries to the king of Egypt:

that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries; the difference between them, how easy the one, which they might perform without taxes and tributes, and how hard and heavy the other, through the exactions and exorbitant demands of those to whom they became subjects.


2 Chronicles 12:9  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 everything. He also carried away the gold shields which Solomon had made.

   YLT  9And Shishak king of Egypt cometh up against Jerusalem, and taketh the treasures of the house of Jehovah, and the treasures of the house of the king -- the whole he hath taken -- and he taketh the shields of gold that Solomon had made;

Verses 9-11

So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem,.... The Vulgate Latin version is,"departed from Jerusalem,'as he did, having taken it, and spoiled it of its riches, and settled a yearly tax on the inhabitants of the land; of this, and the two following verses; see Gill on 1 Kings 14:26. 1 Kings 14:27. 1 Kings 14:28.


2 Chronicles 12:10  10 Then King Rehoboam made bronze shields in their place, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who guarded the doorway of the king’s house.

   YLT  10and king Rehoboam maketh in their stead shields of brass, and hath given [them] a charge on the hand of the heads of the runners who are keeping the opening of the house of the king;


2 Chronicles 12:11  11 And whenever the king entered the house of the Lord, the guard would go and bring them out; then they would take them back into the guardroom.

   YLT  11and it cometh to pass, from the time of the going in of the king to the house of Jehovah, the runners have come in and lifted them up, and brought them back unto the chamber of the runners.


2 Chronicles 12:12  12 When he humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and things also went well in Judah.

   YLT  12And in his being humbled, turned back from him hath the wrath of Jehovah, so as not to destroy to completion; and also, in Judah there have been good things.

And when he humbled himself,.... That is, Rehoboam; or broke his heart, as the Targum, was of a contrite spirit seemingly, for it was merely external:

the wrath of the Lord turned from him; which appeared by the departure of Shishak's army:

that he would not destroy him altogether; or make an utter destruction of him and his people:

and also in Judah things went well; prospered and succeeded after this affair of Shishak was over: or "in Judah there were good things"F16דברים טובים "opera bona", V. L. "res bonae", Tigurine version, Vatablus, Rambachius. ; there were some good men, priests, Levites, and many of the common people, that did good things, kept up and abode by the pure worship and service of God; and which was another reason why the Lord would not destroy them altogether now, see Genesis 18:31.


2 Chronicles 12:13  13 Thus King Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned. Now Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king; 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. His mother’s name was Naamah, an Ammonitess.

   YLT  13And king Rehoboam strengtheneth himself in Jerusalem, and reigneth; for a son of forty and two years [is] Rehoboam in his reigning, and seventeen years he hath reigned in Jerusalem, the city that Jehovah hath chosen to put His name there, out of all the tribes of Israel, and the name of his mother [is] Naamah the Ammonitess,

So Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem,.... Fortified that yet more for the defence of himself, after Shishak departed:

and reigned; twelve years more, for he reigned in all seventeen, and this was in his fifth year; of what follows in this verse; see Gill on 1 Kings 14:21.


2 Chronicles 12:14  14 And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.

   YLT  14and he doth the evil thing, for he hath not prepared his heart to seek Jehovah.

And he did evil,.... Committed idolatry, relapsed into that, his humiliation not being hearty and sincere:

because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord; by prayer and supplication, and by an attendance on the service and worship of God; for though he did these things outwardly, yet not sincerely and heartily; he did not engage in them seriously and in good earnest, with affection and fervour.


2 Chronicles 12:15  15 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 all their days.

   YLT  15And the matters of Rehoboam, the first and the last, are they not written among the matters of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer, concerning genealogy? And the wars of Rehoboam and Jeroboam [are] all the days;

Verse 15-16

Now the acts of Rehoboam,.... Of these two verses; see Gill on 1 Kings 14:29. 1 Kings 14:30. 1 Kings 14:31.


2 Chronicles 12:16  16 So Rehoboam rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David. Then Abijah[a] his son reigned in his place.

   YLT  16and Rehoboam lieth with his fathers, and is buried in the city of David, and reign doth Abijah his son in his stead.


──John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible


New King James Version (NKJV)


  1. 2 Chronicles 12:16 Spelled Abijam in 1 Kings 14:31