These are two Biblical characters, whose stories are ignored and most of those who are familiar with all the other stories are seldom aware of the history or the implications of their engagement.
Jeroboam was an officer who served under King Solomon and was the head of the Labour force of the tribe of Ephraim, a valiant man. But King Solomon for ressons best known to him, couldn’t handle him. So the king went after him and as any of those surivors in the Old Testsment reached Egypt and resurfaced after King Solomon’s death.
Meanwhile Solomon’s son Rehoboam ascennds the throne. His mother’s name was Naamah, an Ammonitess. So against all scriptural warnings a half Jew ascends the throne of the undivided Israel. However, throughout the Old Testament, this is never condemned and even The loss of 10 tribes of Israel by Rehoboam is ascribed to the precipitating cause of Rehoboam’s acceptance of his worthless friends’ advice and the spiritual cause of Solomon having CLUNG TO THOSE ALIEN WOMEN WITH LOVE!
Even Ahaseuerus with all his 127 provinces couldn’t decide to depose his Queen without consulting his nobles, whereas our Solomon, in comparison a mere chieftain, blew away all the resources accumulated by his father King David, on 700 wives and 300 concubines!
Naturally, the taxes were prohibitively exacting and upon the death of Solomon, Rehoboam had to decide either to discontinue with those taxes or alienate himself from people’s favour. Rehoboam makes one of those grand statements : the girth of my little finger is thicker than my father’s waist and my father chastised you with whips, but I will with scorpions!
According to me he was the worst King to have ever ruled Israel, and continued to live out his tenure in great ignominy. Even Ishboseth, is less pitiable than Rehoboam. A comparable set of characters. Ishboseth loses the trust of Amasa by asking Amasa, if Amasa had sex with Rizpah after the death of Saul. Amasa makes that the reason for abandoning Ishboseth and doesn’t enjoy the fruits of his betrayal, as Joab smites Amasa under his 5th rib, citing avenging Asahael ‘s death!
This Rehoboam, an uterine Ammonite and the other half being a Jew, surrenders 10 tribes to Jeroboam, meek as a lamb, just because some Prophets said all those post facto rationalisations!
But Rehoboam’s son Abijah was made of sterner stuff! A wife whose mother or grandmother was from Absolom’s side and most of all Fortune favoured the brave Abijha.
Jeroboam and Abijha meet at the battlefield and While Abijha was justifying his kingship narrating historical and prophetic utterances, Jeroboam who had twice the number of soldiers, surrounded Abijha in the battlefield.
Voila! Jeroboam is defeated, Bethel and vast Ephraim territories were taken back and integrated to the Judah Benjamin tribes, yet no prophecy of Abijha appears in the whole Old Testament! Worse still is the fact that Abijah’s victory is not given the historical importance, which is due. Judah & Benjamin recapture Bethel and make in roads into the Northern Territory! Jeroboam started his alliance with Egypt against Judah and here Abijah sets the ground for Assyria and Babylon to play against Israel!
STRATEGIC SHIFT IN FOREIGN POLICY TRIGGERED BY ABIJAH THROUGH HIS DIVINE ARBITRAGE!
But Abijah’s lecture on the battlefield when he was being ambushed by Jeroboam is a delight to read!
SURELY THE BATTLE IS NEITHER FOR THE STRONG, NOR THE RACE TO THE SWIFT!