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Abijam (Hebrew: אבים, ʼAḇiyām; "Name means::father of the sea") or Abijah (Hebrew: אביה, ʼAḇiyāh; Greek: Ἀβιά, Abia; "Name means::my father is YHWH") (958-56 BC according to Ussher,[1] or 913-910 BC according to Thiele[2]), was the second king of the Kingdom of Judah and immediate successor of Rehoboam.

Description of Reign

The Bible nowhere gives a hint as to the year of the birth of Abijam—unusual in the annals of the kings of the Southern Kingdom. Both Bible sources describe Abijam's reign as "evil-doing in the sight of the Lord." The one major exception to this is the Battle of Zemaraim, in which he faced off against an army twice as large as his own and inflicted an incredible 62.5 percent casualties on it. The Chronicler tells us that Abijam won the day at Zemaraim because for once in his reign he trusted in God and exhorted his forces to do the same. After that battle, Jeroboam was never again able to pose a credible threat to his kingdom.[3][4]

Unfortunately, Abijam failed to dismantle the golden calf at Bethel after capturing it. That task would fall to King Josiah, more than three hundred years later.[4]


descendant of::Jesse
descendant of::David
descendant of::Bath-sheba
grandson of::Absalom
grandson of::Solomon
son of::Rehoboam
brother of::Attai
brother of::Ziza
brother of::Shelomith
father of::Asa

Abijam was the son of Rehoboam and Rehoboam's favorite wife Maachah. The precise identity and lineage of Maachah is confusing, in that she is either the daughter or the grand-daughter of Absalom.[3]

Abijam had a total of fourteen wives, and on them sired twenty-two sons, including his eventual successor Asa, and sixteen daughters.

Death and Succession

Died: Died:: Abib 3048 AM
Preceded by
Successor of::Rehoboam
King of Ruler of::Kingdom of Judah
Accession::Abib 3046 AMDied::Abib 3048 AM
Succeeded by
Succeeded by::Asa

Abijam died in the third year of his reign, and his son Asa succeeded him.

Both 1 Kings (1_Kings 15:1-8 ) and 2 Chronicles (1_Chronicles 13 ) give the length of his reign as three years. The dates shown here depend on explicit synchronies with the reign of Jeroboam I of the Kingdom of Israel. King Abijam, unlike nearly all the other kings of Judah, used non-accession reckoning to date the beginning of his reign.[5]

See Also


  1. James Ussher, The Annals of the World, Larry Pierce, ed., Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003 (ISBN 0890513600), pghh. 487-489
  2. Leon J. Wood, A Survey of Israel's History, rev. ed. David O'Brien, Grand Rapids, MI: Academie Books, 1986 (ISBN 031034770X), p. 289
  3. 3.0 3.1 Authors unknown. "Entry for Abijah." WebBible Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 22, 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Authors unknown. "King Abijam - Biography." The Kings of Israel, hosted at Retrieved June 22, 2007.
  5. Jones, Floyd N., The Chronology of the New Testament, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003, Chart 5.