II Chronicles – Chapter 13

Aviya Says

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Aviya continued his father’s war with Yeravam. They prepared for battle and Aviya sent word to Yeravam that G-d had made a covenant with David as unchanging as salt that his descendants would rule. Yeravam, Aviya said, was nothing more than a rebellious servant whose rule was illegal. The only reason Rechavam had failed to put him down (Aviya said) is because he was young and inexperienced. Though they thad the superior numbers, the army of the Ten Tribes was tainted by the sin of Yeravam’s idols. They drove out the kohanim and allowed anyone with the proper animals on hand to serve as a “priest.” But the people of Judah have remained true to G-d and the real priests, the kohanim, serve Him daily at the Temple. If Yeravam intends to make war on G-d, Aviya said, he is doomed to fail.

Yeravam moved his forces to outflank Aviya’s, with the result that Judah soon found themselves the victims of an ambush. The army of Judah cried out to G-d and He defeated the army of the Ten Tribes for them. Aviya recaptured some land from Yeravam, who never recovered from this defeat.

Once secure on his throne, Aviya married. Ultimately, he had 14 wives, 22 sons and 16 daughters. When he died, Aviya was succeeded by his son, Asa.

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