The Legends of the Jews— Volume 4: From Joshua to Esther

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Author: Louis Ginzberg

The Two Abijahs

Jeroboam did not entirely forego his plan of a campaign against Judah, but it was not executed until Abijah had succeeded his father Rehoboam on the throne of Jerusalem. The Judean king was victorious. However, he could not long enjoy the fruits of his victory. Shortly after occurred his death, brought on by his own crimes. In his war against Jeroboam he had indulged in excessive cruelty; he ordered the corpses of the enemy to be mutilated, and permitted them to be buried only after putrefaction had set in. Such savagery was all the more execrable as it prevented many widows from entering into a second marriage. Mutilating the corpses had made identification impossible, and so it was left doubtful whether their husbands were among the dead.

Moreover, Abijah used most disrespectful language about the prophet Abijah the Shilonite; he called him a "son of Belial" in his address to the people on Mount Zemaraim. That in itself merited severe punishment. Finally, his zeal for true worship of God, which Abijah had urged as the reason of the war between himself and Jeroboam, cooled quickly. When he obtained possession of Beth-el, he failed to do away with the golden calves. (16)

In this respect his namesake, the Israelitish king Abijah, the son of Jeroboam, was by far his superior. By removing the guards stationed at the frontier, he bade defiance to the command of his father, who had decreed the death penalty for pilgrimages to Jerusalem. More than this, he himself ventured to go up to Jerusalem in fulfilment of his religious duty. (17)

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Chicago: Louis Ginzberg, "The Two Abijahs," The Legends of the Jews— Volume 4: From Joshua to Esther, trans. Rodwell, J. M. in The Legends of the Jews—Volume 4: From Joshua to Esther Original Sources, accessed February 6, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=84WV1YZHKXL7W7B.

MLA: Ginzberg, Louis. "The Two Abijahs." The Legends of the Jews— Volume 4: From Joshua to Esther, translted by Rodwell, J. M., in The Legends of the Jews—Volume 4: From Joshua to Esther, Original Sources. 6 Feb. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=84WV1YZHKXL7W7B.

Harvard: Ginzberg, L, 'The Two Abijahs' in The Legends of the Jews— Volume 4: From Joshua to Esther, trans. . cited in , The Legends of the Jews—Volume 4: From Joshua to Esther. Original Sources, retrieved 6 February 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=84WV1YZHKXL7W7B.