Abijam

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Abijam, king of Judah
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Abijam was a king of Judah in the 10th century BC. He was also called Abijah.

In Hebrew, אבים, means "father of the sea" or "my father is Yahweh". He was the son Rehoboam, who was also a king of Judah.

Reign

William F. Albright has dated his reign to 915 BC-913 BC, while E.R. Thiele offers the dates 913 BC-911 BC.

He began his three years' reign (2 Chronicles 12:16 - 2 Chronicles 13:2) with a strenuous but unsuccessful effort to bring back the ten tribes to their past allegiance to God. His address to "Jeroboam and all Israel," before encountering them in battle, is worthy of especial notice (2 Chronicles 13:5-12). It was a very bloody battle, with no fewer than 500,000 of the army of Israel perishing on the field.

Notwithstanding the speech calling people back to God, Abijam is described as having walked "in all the sins of his father" (1 Kings 15:3).

Family

It is said in 1 Kings 15:2 that "his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom" but in 2 Chronicles 13:2 we read, "his mother's name was Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah." The explanation may be that Maachah is just a variation of the name Michaiah, and that Abishalom is probably the same as Absalom, the son of David. It is probable that "Uriel of Gibeah" married Tamar, the daughter of Absalom (2 Samuel 14:27), and by her had Maachah. The word "daughter" in 1 Kings 15:2 will thus, as it does elsewhere, mean granddaughter.

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