Abijam, son of Rehoboam

Abijam's short reign began with a vigorous attempt to reunite the twelve tribes. His impressive speech (2Ch 13:4-12) before the start of battle "Hear me, Jeroboam and all Israel..." extolled the virtues of the Levitical priesthood and administration of the true faith as opposed to the golden calf idolatry foisted upon the people by Jeroboam I, King of Israel. "Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?"

Jeroboam disregarded the fiery oration and sent forth an ambushment against Abijam's forces. The priests of Judah sounded the trumpets and the men of Judah cried out to God for deliverance. Five hundred thousand men of Israel lost their lives and Judah recaptured many cities including Bethel. Although not killed in the battle, this marked the beginning of the end for Jeroboam (2Ch 13:20).

Despite this national victory, it appears that Abijam's personal life was another story, for Scripture records that "Abijam waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives..." (2Ch 13:21), and "Abijam walked in all the sins of his father..." and that "his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God." (1Ki 15:3)