Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 15

The rule and early death of Abijah

1 Kings 15:6-8

It must have been a great shock for Judah’s people when Abijah died. At last, their nation had found the powerful and capable leader that they needed – and now he was dead. He had ruled for just three years.

His son Asa, who became king after him, was very young – perhaps he was only a boy. The future of Judah as a nation, and the future of its people, seemed so uncertain.

The principal event for which people remembered Abijah, was his success in war against Jeroboam. Jeroboam, the king of northern and central Israel, attacked Judah with a vast army. Abijah urged his much weaker army to trust God in the battle. God supported Judah, and Jeroboam suffered a terrible defeat. Jeroboam never recovered from that defeat and, not long afterwards, he too was dead (2 Chronicles chapter 13).

Abijah received the honour that we would expect from his people. They prepared official records of all the events during his rule. The prophet (holy man) Iddo, who recorded the events of Rehoboam’s life, also wrote a record of events during Abijah’s rule (2 Chronicles 13:22).

Abijah’s grave was in the city of David, which was the oldest part of Jerusalem. Already, there were several royal graves in that place. Abijah’s grave stood by the graves of David, of Solomon, and of Rehoboam. David had ruled for 40 years, Solomon for 40 years and Rehoboam for 17 years. Abijah had only ruled for 3 years.

So, David’s family had been kings for 100 years at the death of Abijah.

Next part: Asa becomes king of Judah (1 Kings 15:9-10)


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