5.57 1 Kings -- 200 Years of Bickering

The history of Israel-Judah for the next 200 years was one of strife and conflict, interrupted by an occasional alliance against a common threat.  At the end of that time, Israel was swallowed up by Assyria, while Judah hung on for another century.  

       

At times, a full scale civil war developed, despite the warning of Shemaiah.  Abijah, son of Rehoboam, arrayed 400,00 men of Judah against 800,000 Israelites under Jeroboam (2 Chron 13). The men of Judah raised the battle cry and God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah (2 Chron 13:15).

       

500,000 Israelite soldiers died in this battle!  The Judahite casualties were not listed.   But is it not clear that the strength of the nation was wasted on this fraticidal conflict?  How indeed could Israel hope to resist Aram and Assyria, or Judah repel Egypt, when their armies were so depleted?  As Jesus later said,

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        "If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand" (Mk 3:25).