Bible: 1 Kings 1-11

Adonijah Tries to Seize the Throne

1:1 King David was very old; 1  even when they covered him with blankets, 2  he could not get warm. 1:2 His servants advised 3  him, “A young virgin must be found for our master, the king, 4  to take care of the king’s needs 5  and serve as his nurse. She can also sleep with you 6  and keep our master, the king, warm.” 7  1:3 So they looked through all Israel 8  for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 1:4 The young woman was very beautiful; she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king did not have sexual relations with her. 9 

1:5 Now Adonijah, son of David and Haggith, 10  was promoting himself, 11  boasting, 12  “I will be king!” He managed to acquire 13  chariots and horsemen, as well as fifty men to serve as his royal guard. 14  1:6 (Now his father had never corrected 15  him 16  by saying, “Why do you do such things?” He was also very handsome and had been born right after Absalom. 17 ) 1:7 He collaborated 18  with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they supported 19  him. 20  1:8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s elite warriors 21  did not ally themselves 22  with Adonijah. 1:9 Adonijah sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened steers at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, 23  as well as all the men of Judah, the king’s servants. 1:10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the elite warriors, 24  or his brother Solomon.

1:11 Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Has it been reported to you 25  that Haggith’s son Adonijah has become king behind our master David’s back? 26  1:12 Now 27  let me give you some advice as to how 28  you can save your life and your son Solomon’s life. 1:13 Visit 29  King David and say to him, ‘My master, O king, did you not solemnly promise 30  your servant, “Surely your son Solomon will be king after me; he will sit on my throne? So why has Adonijah become king?’ 1:14 While 31  you are still there speaking to the king, I will arrive 32  and verify your report.” 33 

1:15 So Bathsheba visited the king in his private quarters. 34  (The king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was serving the king.) 1:16 Bathsheba bowed down on the floor before 35  the king. The king said, “What do you want? 1:17 She replied to him, “My master, you swore an oath to your servant by the Lord your God, ‘Solomon your son will be king after me and he will sit on my throne.’ 1:18 But now, look, Adonijah has become king! But you, 36  my master the king, are not even aware of it! 37  1:19 He has sacrificed many cattle, steers, and sheep and has invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest, and Joab, the commander of the army, but he has not invited your servant Solomon. 1:20 Now, 38  my master, O king, all Israel is watching anxiously to see who is named to succeed my master the king on the throne. 39  1:21 If a decision is not made, 40  when my master the king is buried with his ancestors, 41  my son Solomon and I 42  will be considered state criminals.” 43 

1:22 Just then, 44  while she was still speaking to the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. 1:23 The king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” Nathan entered and bowed before the king with his face to the floor. 45  1:24 Nathan said, “My master, O king, did you announce, ‘Adonijah will be king after me; he will sit on my throne? 1:25 For today he has gone down and sacrificed many cattle, steers, and sheep and has invited all the king’s sons, the army commanders, and Abiathar the priest. At this moment 46  they are having a feast 47  in his presence, and they have declared, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 48  1:26 But he did not invite me – your servant – or Zadok the priest, or Benaiah son of Jehoiada, or your servant Solomon. 1:27 Has my master the king authorized this without informing your servants 49  who should succeed my master the king on his throne? 50 

David Picks Solomon as His Successor

1:28 King David responded, 51 Summon Bathsheba!” 52  She came and stood before the king. 53  1:29 The king swore an oath: “As certainly as the Lord lives (he who has rescued me 54  from every danger), 1:30 I will keep 55  today the oath I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel: ‘Surely Solomon your son will be king after me; he will sit in my place on my throne.’ 1:31 Bathsheba bowed down to the king with her face to the floor 56  and said, “May my master, King David, live forever!

1:32 King David said, “Summon Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, 57  and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” They came before the king, 1:33 and he 58  told them, “Take your master’s 59  servants with you, put my son Solomon on my mule, and lead him down to Gihon. 60  1:34 There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet will anoint 61  him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet and declare, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 1:35 Then follow him up as he comes and sits on my throne. He will be king in my place; I have decreed 62  that he will be ruler over Israel and Judah.” 1:36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada responded 63  to the king: “So be it! 64  May the Lord God of my master the king confirm it! 65  1:37 As the Lord is with my master the king, so may he be with Solomon, and may he make him an even greater king than my master King David! 66 

1:38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites, and the Pelethites 67  went down, put Solomon on King David’s mule, and led him to Gihon. 1:39 Zadok the priest took a horn filled with olive oil 68  from the tent and poured it on 69  Solomon; the trumpet was blown and all the people declared, “Long live King Solomon! 1:40 All the people followed him up, playing flutes and celebrating so loudly they made the ground shake. 70 

1:41 Now Adonijah and all his guests heard the commotion just as they had finished eating. 71  When Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he asked, “Why is there such a noisy commotion in the city? 72  1:42 As he was still speaking, Jonathan 73  son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in, for 74  an important man like you must be bringing good news.” 75  1:43 Jonathan replied 76  to Adonijah: “No! 77  Our master 78  King David has made Solomon king. 1:44 The king sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites, and the Pelethites and they put him on the king’s mule. 1:45 Then Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed 79  him king in Gihon. They went up from there rejoicing, and the city is in an uproar. That is the sound you hear. 1:46 Furthermore, Solomon has assumed the royal throne. 80  1:47 The king’s servants have even come to congratulate 81  our master 82  King David, saying, ‘May your God 83  make Solomon more famous than you and make him an even greater king than you!’ 84  Then the king leaned 85  on the bed 1:48 and said 86  this: ‘The Lord God of Israel is worthy of praise because 87  today he has placed a successor on my throne and allowed me to see it.’ 88 

1:49 All of Adonijah’s guests panicked; 89  they jumped up and rushed off their separate ways. 1:50 Adonijah feared Solomon, so he got up and went and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 90  1:51 Solomon was told, “Look, Adonijah fears you; 91  see, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘May King Solomon solemnly promise 92  me today that he will not kill his servant with the sword.’ 1:52 Solomon said, “If he is a loyal subject, 93  not a hair of his head will be harmed, but if he is found to be a traitor, 94  he will die.” 1:53 King Solomon sent men to bring him down 95  from the altar. He came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon told him, “Go home.” 96 

David’s Final Words to Solomon

2:1 When David was close to death, 97  he told 98  Solomon his son: 2:2 I am about to die. 99  Be strong and become a man! 2:3 Do the job the Lord your God has assigned you 100  by following his instructions 101  and obeying 102  his rules, commandments, regulations, and laws as written in the law of Moses. Then you will succeed in all you do and seek to accomplish, 103  2:4 and the Lord will fulfill his promise to me, 104  ‘If your descendants watch their step 105  and live faithfully in my presence 106  with all their heart and being, 107  then,’ he promised, 108  ‘you will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 109 

2:5You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me – how he murdered two commanders of the Israelite armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. 110  During peacetime he struck them down like he would in battle; 111  when he shed their blood as if in battle, he stained his own belt and the sandals on his feet. 112  2:6 Do to him what you think is appropriate, 113  but don’t let him live long and die a peaceful death. 114 

2:7Treat fairly 115  the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and provide for their needs, 116  because they helped me 117  when I had to flee from your brother Absalom.

2:8Note well, you still have to contend with Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, 118  who tried to call down upon me a horrible judgment when I went to Mahanaim. 119  He came down and met me at the Jordan, and I solemnly promised 120  him by the Lord, ‘I will not strike you down 121  with the sword.’ 2:9 But now 122  don’t treat him as if he were innocent. You are a wise man and you know how to handle him; 123  make sure he has a bloody death.” 124 

2:10 Then David passed away 125  and was buried in the city of David. 126  2:11 David reigned over Israel forty years; he reigned in Hebron seven years, and in Jerusalem 127  thirty-three years.

Solomon Secures the Throne

2:12 Solomon sat on his father David’s throne, and his royal authority 128  was firmly solidified.

2:13 Haggith’s son Adonijah visited Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She asked, “Do you come in peace?” He answered, “Yes.” 129  2:14 He added, 130 I have something to say to you.” She replied, “Speak.” 2:15 He said, “You know that the kingdom 131  was mine and all Israel considered me king. 132  But then the kingdom was given to my brother, for the Lord decided it should be his. 133  2:16 Now I’d like to ask you for just one thing. Please don’t refuse me.” 134  She said, “Go ahead and ask.” 135  2:17 He said, “Please ask King Solomon if he would give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife, for he won’t refuse you.” 136  2:18 Bathsheba replied, “That’s fine, 137  I’ll speak to the king on your behalf.”

2:19 So Bathsheba visited King Solomon to speak to him on Adonijah’s behalf. The king got up to greet 138  her, bowed to her, and then sat on his throne. He ordered a throne to be brought for the king’s mother, 139  and she sat at his right hand. 2:20 She said, “I would like to ask you for just one small favor. 140  Please don’t refuse me.” 141  He said, 142 Go ahead and ask, my mother, for I would not refuse you.” 2:21 She said, “Allow Abishag the Shunammite to be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.” 2:22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why just request Abishag the Shunammite for him? 143  Since he is my older brother, you should also request the kingdom for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah!

2:23 King Solomon then swore an oath by the Lord, “May God judge me severely, 144  if Adonijah does not pay for this request with his life! 145  2:24 Now, as certainly as the Lord lives (he who made me secure, allowed me to sit on my father David’s throne, and established a dynasty 146  for me as he promised), Adonijah will be executed today! 2:25 King Solomon then sent 147  Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he killed Adonijah. 148 

2:26 The king then told Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your property 149  in Anathoth. You deserve to die, 150  but today I will not kill you because you did carry the ark of the sovereign Lord before my father David and you suffered with my father through all his difficult times.” 151  2:27 Solomon dismissed Abiathar from his position as priest of the Lord, 152  fulfilling the decree of judgment the Lord made in Shiloh against the family of Eli. 153 

2:28 When the news reached Joab (for Joab had supported 154  Adonijah, although he had not supported Absalom), he 155  ran to the tent of the Lord and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 156  2:29 When King Solomon heard 157  that Joab had run to the tent of the Lord and was right there beside the altar, he ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada, 158 Go, strike him down.” 2:30 When Benaiah arrived at the tent of the Lord, he said to him, “The king says, ‘Come out!’” But he replied, “No, I will die here!” So Benaiah sent word to the king and reported Joab’s reply. 159  2:31 The king told him, “Do as he said! Strike him down and bury him. Take away from me and from my father’s family 160  the guilt of Joab’s murderous, bloody deeds. 161  2:32 May the Lord punish him for the blood he shed; 162  behind my father David’s back he struck down and murdered with the sword two men who were more innocent and morally upright than he 163  – Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 2:33 May Joab and his descendants be perpetually guilty of their shed blood, but may the Lord give perpetual peace to David, his descendants, his family, 164  and his dynasty.” 165  2:34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and executed Joab; 166  he was buried at his home in the wilderness. 2:35 The king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada to take his place at the head of 167  the army, and the king appointed Zadok the priest to take Abiathar’s place. 168 

2:36 Next the king summoned 169  Shimei and told him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem 170  and live there – but you may not leave there to go anywhere! 171  2:37 If you ever do leave and cross the Kidron Valley, know for sure that you will certainly die! You will be responsible for your own death.” 172  2:38 Shimei said to the king, “My master the king’s proposal is acceptable. 173  Your servant will do as you say.” 174  So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time. 175 

2:39 Three years later two of Shimei’s servants ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. Shimei was told, “Look, your servants are in Gath.” 2:40 So Shimei got up, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish at Gath to find his servants; Shimei went and brought back his servants from Gath. 2:41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had then returned, 2:42 the king summoned 176  Shimei and said to him, “You will recall 177  that I made you take an oath by the Lord, and I solemnly warned you, ‘If you ever leave and go anywhere, 178  know for sure that you will certainly die.’ You said to me, ‘The proposal is acceptable; I agree to it.’ 179  2:43 Why then have you broken the oath you made before the Lord and disobeyed the order I gave you? 180  2:44 Then the king said to Shimei, “You are well aware of the way you mistreated my father David. 181  The Lord will punish you for what you did. 182  2:45 But King Solomon will be empowered 183  and David’s dynasty 184  will endure permanently before the Lord.” 2:46 The king then gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada who went and executed Shimei. 185 

So Solomon took firm control of the kingdom. 186 

The Lord Gives Solomon Wisdom

3:1 Solomon made an alliance by marriage with Pharaoh, king of Egypt; he married Pharaoh’s daughter. He brought her to the City of David 187  until he could finish building his residence and the temple of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. 188  3:2 Now the people were offering sacrifices at the high places, 189  because in those days a temple had not yet been built to honor the Lord. 190  3:3 Solomon demonstrated his loyalty to the Lord by following 191  the practices 192  of his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.

3:4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for it had the most prominent of the high places. 193  Solomon would offer up 194  a thousand burnt sacrifices on the altar there. 3:5 One night in Gibeon the Lord appeared 195  to Solomon in a dream. God said, “Tell 196  me what I should give you.” 3:6 Solomon replied, “You demonstrated 197  great loyalty to your servant, my father David, as he served 198  you faithfully, properly, and sincerely. 199  You have maintained this great loyalty to this day by allowing his son to sit on his throne. 200  3:7 Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in my father David’s place, even though I am only a young man and am inexperienced. 201  3:8 Your servant stands 202  among your chosen people; 203  they are a great nation that is too numerous to count or number. 3:9 So give your servant a discerning mind 204  so he can make judicial decisions for 205  your people and distinguish right from wrong. 206  Otherwise 207  no one is able 208  to make judicial decisions for 209  this great nation of yours.” 210  3:10 The Lord 211  was pleased that Solomon made this request. 212  3:11 God said to him, “Because you asked for the ability to make wise judicial decisions, and not for long life, or riches, or vengeance on your enemies, 213  3:12 I 214  grant your request, 215  and give 216  you a wise and discerning mind 217  superior to that of anyone who has preceded or will succeed you. 218  3:13 Furthermore, I am giving 219  you what you did not request – riches and honor so that you will be the greatest king of your generation. 220  3:14 If you follow my instructions 221  by obeying 222  my rules and regulations, just as your father David did, 223  then I will grant you long life.” 224  3:15 Solomon then woke up and realized it was a dream. 225  He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant, offered up burnt sacrifices, presented peace offerings, 226  and held a feast for all his servants.

Solomon Demonstrates His Wisdom

3:16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 3:17 One of the women said, “My master, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was with me in the house. 3:18 Then three days after I had my baby, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one else in the house except the two of us. 227  3:19 This woman’s child suffocated 228  during the night when she rolled 229  on top of him. 3:20 She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your servant was sleeping. She put him in her arms, and put her dead son in my arms. 3:21 I got up in the morning to nurse my son, and there he was, 230  dead! But when I examined him carefully in the morning, I realized it was not my baby.” 231  3:22 The other woman said, “No! My son is alive; your son is dead!” But the first woman replied, “No, your son is dead; my son is alive.” Each presented her case before the king. 232 

3:23 The king said, “One says, ‘My son is alive; your son is dead,’ while the other says, ‘No, your son is dead; my son is alive.’ 3:24 The king ordered, “Get me a sword!” So they placed a sword before the king. 3:25 The king then said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one and half to the other! 3:26 The real mother 233  spoke up to the king, for her motherly instincts were aroused. 234  She said, “My master, give her the living child! Whatever you do, don’t kill him!” 235  But the other woman said, “Neither one of us will have him! Let them cut him in two! 3:27 The king responded, “Give the first woman the living child; don’t kill him. She is the mother.” 3:28 When all Israel heard about the judicial decision which the king had rendered, they respected 236  the king, for they realized 237  that he possessed supernatural wisdom 238  to make judicial decisions.

Solomon’s Royal Court and Administrators

4:1 King Solomon ruled over all Israel. 4:2 These were his officials:

Azariah son of Zadok was the priest.

4:3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, wrote down what happened. 239 

Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of the records.

4:4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was commander of 240  the army.

Zadok and Abiathar were priests.

4:5 Azariah son of Nathan was supervisor of 241  the district governors.

Zabud son of Nathan was a priest and adviser to 242  the king.

4:6 Ahishar was supervisor of the palace. 243 

Adoniram son of Abda was supervisor of 244  the work crews. 245 

4:7 Solomon had twelve district governors appointed throughout Israel who acquired supplies for the king and his palace. Each was responsible for one month in the year. 4:8 These were their names:

Ben-Hur was in charge of the hill country of Ephraim.

4:9 Ben-Deker was in charge of Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan.

4:10 Ben-Hesed was in charge of Arubboth; he controlled Socoh and all the territory of Hepher.

4:11 Ben-Abinadab was in charge of Naphath Dor. (He was married to Solomon’s daughter Taphath.)

4:12 Baana son of Ahilud was in charge of Taanach and Megiddo, 246  as well as all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah and on past Jokmeam.

4:13 Ben-Geber was in charge of Ramoth Gilead; he controlled the tent villages of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan, including sixty large walled cities with bronze bars locking their gates.

4:14 Ahinadab son of Iddo was in charge of Mahanaim.

4:15 Ahimaaz was in charge of Naphtali. (He married Solomon’s daughter Basemath.)

4:16 Baana son of Hushai was in charge of Asher and Aloth.

4:17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah was in charge of Issachar.

4:18 Shimei son of Ela was in charge of Benjamin.

4:19 Geber son of Uri was in charge of the land of Gilead (the territory which had once belonged to King Sihon of the Amorites and to King Og of Bashan). He was sole governor of the area.

Solomon’s Wealth and Fame

4:20 The people of Judah and Israel were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore; they had plenty to eat and drink and were happy. 4:21 247  Solomon ruled all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River 248  to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These kingdoms paid tribute as Solomon’s subjects throughout his lifetime. 249  4:22 Each day Solomon’s royal court consumed 250  thirty cors 251  of finely milled flour, sixty cors of cereal, 4:23 ten calves fattened in the stall, 252  twenty calves from the pasture, and a hundred sheep, not to mention rams, gazelles, deer, and well-fed birds. 4:24 His royal court was so large because 253  he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River from Tiphsah 254  to Gaza; he was at peace with all his neighbors. 255  4:25 All the people of Judah and Israel had security; everyone from Dan to Beer Sheba enjoyed the produce of their vines and fig trees throughout Solomon’s lifetime. 256  4:26 Solomon had 4,000 257  stalls for his chariot horses and 12,000 horses. 4:27 The district governors acquired supplies for King Solomon and all who ate in his royal palace. 258  Each was responsible for one month in the year; they made sure nothing was lacking. 4:28 Each one also brought to the assigned location his quota of barley and straw for the various horses. 259 

4:29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment; the breadth of his understanding 260  was as infinite as the sand on the seashore. 4:30 Solomon was wiser than all the men of the east and all the sages of Egypt. 261  4:31 He was wiser than any man, including Ethan the Ezrahite or Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. He was famous in all the neighboring nations. 262  4:32 He composed 263  3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. 4:33 He produced manuals on botany, describing every kind of plant, 264  from the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows on walls. He also produced manuals on biology, describing 265  animals, birds, insects, and fish. 4:34 People from all nations came to hear Solomon’s display of wisdom; 266  they came from all the kings of the earth who heard about his wisdom.

Solomon Gathers Building Materials for the Temple

5:1 267  King Hiram of Tyre 268  sent messengers 269  to Solomon when he heard that he had been anointed king in his father’s place. (Hiram had always been an ally of David.) 5:2 Solomon then sent this message to Hiram: 5:3 You know that my father David was unable to build a temple to honor the Lord 270  his God, for he was busy fighting battles on all fronts while the Lord subdued his enemies. 271  5:4 But now the Lord my God has made me secure on all fronts; there is no adversary or dangerous threat. 5:5 So I have decided 272  to build a temple to honor the Lord 273  my God, as the Lord instructed my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will put on your throne in your place, is the one who will build a temple to honor me.’ 274  5:6 So now order some cedars of Lebanon to be cut for me. My servants will work with your servants. I will pay your servants whatever you say is appropriate, for you know that we have no one among us who knows how to cut down trees like the Sidonians.”

5:7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was very happy. He said, “The Lord is worthy of praise today because he 275  has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.” 5:8 Hiram then sent this message to Solomon: “I received 276  the message you sent to me. I will give you all the cedars and evergreens you need. 277  5:9 My servants will bring the timber down from Lebanon to the sea. I will send it by sea in raft-like bundles to the place you designate. 278  There I will separate the logs 279  and you can carry them away. In exchange you will supply the food I need for my royal court.” 280 

5:10 So Hiram supplied the cedars and evergreens Solomon needed, 281  5:11 and Solomon supplied Hiram annually with 20,000 cors 282  of wheat as provision for his royal court, 283  as well as 20,000 baths 284  of pure 285  olive oil. 286  5:12 So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he had promised him. And Hiram and Solomon were at peace and made a treaty. 287 

5:13 King Solomon conscripted 288  work crews 289  from throughout Israel, 30,000 men in all. 5:14 He sent them to Lebanon in shifts of 10,000 men per month. They worked in Lebanon for one month, and then spent two months at home. Adoniram was supervisor of 290  the work crews. 5:15 Solomon also had 70,000 common laborers 291  and 80,000 stonecutters 292  in the hills, 5:16 besides 3,300 293  officials who supervised the workers. 294  5:17 By royal order 295  they supplied large valuable stones in order to build the temple’s foundation with chiseled stone. 5:18 Solomon’s and Hiram’s construction workers, 296  along with men from Byblos, 297  did the chiseling and prepared the wood and stones for the building of the temple. 298 

The Building of the Temple

6:1 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites left Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, during the month Ziv 299  (the second month), he began building the Lord’s temple. 6:2 The temple King Solomon built for the Lord was 90 feet 300  long, 30 feet 301  wide, and 45 feet 302  high. 6:3 The porch in front of the main hall of the temple was 30 feet 303  long, corresponding to the width of the temple. It was 15 feet 304  wide, extending out from the front of the temple. 6:4 He made framed windows for the temple. 6:5 He built an extension all around the walls of the temple’s main hall and holy place and constructed side rooms in it. 305  6:6 The bottom floor of the extension was seven and a half feet 306  wide, the middle floor nine feet 307  wide, and the third floor ten and a half 308  feet wide. He made ledges 309  on the temple’s outer walls so the beams would not have to be inserted into the walls. 310  6:7 As the temple was being built, only stones shaped at the quarry 311  were used; the sound of hammers, pickaxes, or any other iron tool was not heard at the temple while it was being built. 6:8 The entrance to the bottom 312  level of side rooms was on the south side of the temple; stairs went up 313  to the middle floor and then on up to the third 314  floor. 6:9 He finished building the temple 315  and covered it 316  with rafters 317  and boards made of cedar. 318  6:10 He built an extension all around the temple; it was seven and a half feet high 319  and it was attached to the temple by cedar beams.

6:11 320 

The Lord said 321  to Solomon: 6:12 As for this temple you are building, if you follow 322  my rules, observe 323  my regulations, and obey all my commandments, 324  I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father David. 325  6:13 I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”

6:14 So Solomon finished building the temple. 326  6:15 He constructed the walls inside the temple with cedar planks; he paneled the inside with wood from the floor of the temple to the rafters 327  of the ceiling. He covered the temple floor with boards made from the wood of evergreens. 6:16 He built a wall 30 feet in from the rear of the temple as a partition for an inner sanctuary that would be the most holy place. 328  He paneled the wall with cedar planks from the floor to the rafters. 329  6:17 The main hall in front of the inner sanctuary was 60 feet long. 330  6:18 The inside of the temple was all cedar and was adorned with carvings of round ornaments and of flowers in bloom. Everything was cedar; no stones were visible. 331 

6:19 He prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple so that the ark of the covenant of the Lord could be placed there. 6:20 The inner sanctuary was 30 feet 332  long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He plated it with gold, 333  as well as the cedar altar. 334  6:21 Solomon plated the inside of the temple with gold. 335  He hung golden chains in front of the inner sanctuary and plated the inner sanctuary 336  with gold. 6:22 He plated the entire inside of the temple with gold, as well as the altar inside the inner sanctuary. 337 

6:23 In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubs of olive wood; each stood 15 feet 338  high. 6:24 Each of the first cherub’s wings was seven and a half feet long; its entire wingspan was 15 feet. 339  6:25 The second cherub also had a wingspan of 15 feet; it was identical to the first in measurements and shape. 340  6:26 Each cherub stood 15 feet high. 341  6:27 He put the cherubs in the inner sanctuary of the temple. 342  Their wings were spread out. One of the first cherub’s wings touched one wall and one of the other cherub’s wings touched the opposite wall. The first cherub’s other wing touched the second cherub’s other wing in the middle of the room. 343  6:28 He plated the cherubs with gold.

6:29 On all the walls around the temple, inside and out, 344  he carved 345  cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom. 6:30 He plated the floor of the temple with gold, inside and out. 346  6:31 He made doors of olive wood at the entrance to the inner sanctuary; the pillar on each doorpost was five-sided. 347  6:32 On the two doors made of olive wood he carved 348  cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom, and he plated them with gold. 349  He plated the cherubs and the palm trees with hammered gold. 350  6:33 In the same way he made doorposts of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall, only with four-sided pillars. 351  6:34 He also made 352  two doors out of wood from evergreens; each door had two folding leaves. 353  6:35 He carved cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom and plated them with gold, leveled out over the carvings. 6:36 He built the inner courtyard with three rows of chiseled stones and a row of cedar beams.

6:37 In the month Ziv 354  of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign 355  the foundation was laid for the Lord’s temple. 6:38 In the eleventh year, in the month Bul 356  (the eighth month) the temple was completed in accordance with all its specifications and blueprints. It took seven years to build. 357 

The Building of the Royal Palace

7:1 Solomon took thirteen years to build his palace. 358  7:2 He named 359  it “The Palace of the Lebanon Forest; 360  it was 150 feet 361  long, 75 feet 362  wide, and 45 feet 363  high. It had four rows of cedar pillars and cedar beams above the pillars. 7:3 The roof above the beams supported by the pillars was also made of cedar; there were forty-five beams, fifteen per row. 7:4 There were three rows of windows arranged in sets of three. 364  7:5 All of the entrances 365  were rectangular in shape 366  and they were arranged in sets of three. 367  7:6 He made a colonnade 368  75 feet 369  long and 45 feet 370  wide. There was a porch in front of this and pillars and a roof in front of the porch. 371  7:7 He also made a throne room, called “The Hall of Judgment,” where he made judicial decisions. 372  It was paneled with cedar from the floor to the rafters. 373  7:8 The palace where he lived was constructed in a similar way. 374  He also constructed a palace like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married. 375  7:9 All of these were built with the best 376  stones, chiseled to the right size 377  and cut with a saw on all sides, 378  from the foundation to the edge of the roof 379  and from the outside to the great courtyard. 7:10 The foundation was made of large valuable stones, measuring either 15 feet or 12 feet. 380  7:11 Above the foundation 381  the best 382  stones, chiseled to the right size, 383  were used along with cedar. 7:12 Around the great courtyard were three rows of chiseled stones and one row of cedar beams, like the inner courtyard of the Lord’s temple and the hall of the palace. 384 

Solomon Commissions Hiram to Supply the Temple

7:13 King Solomon sent for Hiram 385  of Tyre. 386  7:14 He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, 387  and his father was a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. He had the skill and knowledge 388  to make all kinds of works of bronze. He reported to King Solomon and did all the work he was assigned.

7:15 He fashioned two bronze pillars; each pillar was 27 feet 389  high and 18 feet 390  in circumference. 7:16 He made two bronze tops for the pillars; each was seven-and-a-half feet high. 391  7:17 The latticework on the tops of the pillars was adorned with ornamental wreaths and chains; the top of each pillar had seven groupings of ornaments. 392  7:18 When he made the pillars, there were two rows of pomegranate-shaped ornaments around the latticework covering the top of each pillar. 393  7:19 The tops of the two pillars in the porch were shaped like lilies and were six feet high. 394  7:20 On the top of each pillar, right above the bulge beside the latticework, there were two hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments arranged in rows all the way around. 395  7:21 He set up the pillars on the porch in front of the main hall. He erected one pillar on the right 396  side and called it Jakin; 397  he erected the other pillar on the left 398  side and called it Boaz. 399  7:22 The tops of the pillars were shaped like lilies. So the construction of the pillars was completed.

7:23 He also made the large bronze basin called “The Sea.” 400  It measured 15 feet 401  from rim to rim, was circular in shape, and stood seven-and-a-half feet 402  high. Its circumference was 45 feet. 403  7:24 Under the rim all the way around it 404  were round ornaments 405  arranged in settings 15 feet long. 406  The ornaments were in two rows and had been cast with “The Sea.” 407  7:25 The Sea” stood on top of twelve bulls. Three faced northward, three westward, three southward, and three eastward. “The Seawas placed on top of them, and they all faced outward. 408  7:26 It was four fingers thick and its rim was like that of a cup shaped like a lily blossom. It could hold about 12,000 gallons. 409 

7:27 He also made ten bronze movable stands. Each stand was six feet 410  long, six feet 411  wide, and four-and-a-half feet 412  high. 7:28 The stands were constructed with frames between the joints. 7:29 On these frames and joints were ornamental lions, bulls, and cherubs. Under the lions and bulls were decorative wreaths. 413  7:30 Each stand had four bronze wheels with bronze axles and four supports. Under the basin the supports were fashioned on each side with wreaths. 414  7:31 Inside the stand was a round opening that was a foot-and-a-half deep; it had a support that was two and one-quarter feet long. 415  On the edge of the opening were carvings in square frames. 416  7:32 The four wheels were under the frames and the crossbars of the axles were connected to the stand. Each wheel was two and one-quarter feet 417  high. 7:33 The wheels were constructed like chariot wheels; their crossbars, rims, spokes, and hubs were made of cast metal. 7:34 Each stand had four supports, one per side projecting out from the stand. 418  7:35 On top of each stand was a round opening three-quarters of a foot deep; 419  there were also supports and frames on top of the stands. 7:36 He engraved ornamental cherubs, lions, and palm trees on the plates of the supports and frames wherever there was room, 420  with wreaths 421  all around. 7:37 He made the ten stands in this way. All of them were cast in one mold and were identical in measurements and shape.

7:38 He also made ten bronze basins, each of which could hold about 240 gallons. 422  Each basin was six feet in diameter; 423  there was one basin for each stand. 7:39 He put five basins on the south side of the temple and five on the north side. He put “The Seaon the south side, in the southeast corner.

7:40 Hiram also made basins, shovels, and bowls. He 424  finished all the work on the Lord’s temple he had been assigned by King Solomon. 425  7:41 He made 426  the two pillars, the two bowl-shaped tops of the pillars, the latticework for the bowl-shaped tops of the two pillars, 7:42 the four hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments for the latticework of the two pillars (each latticework had two rows of these ornaments at the bowl-shaped top of the pillar), 7:43 the ten movable stands with their ten basins, 7:44 the big bronze basin called “The Seawith its twelve bulls underneath, 427  7:45 and the pots, shovels, and bowls. All these items King Solomon assigned Hiram to make for the Lord’s temple 428  were made from polished bronze. 7:46 The king had them cast in earth foundries 429  in the region of the Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan. 7:47 Solomon left all these items unweighed; there were so many of them they did not weigh the bronze. 430 

7:48 Solomon also made all these items for the Lord’s temple: the gold altar, the gold table on which was kept the Bread of the Presence, 431  7:49 the pure gold lampstands at the entrance to the inner sanctuary (five on the right and five on the left), the gold flower-shaped ornaments, lamps, and tongs, 7:50 the pure gold bowls, trimming shears, basins, pans, and censers, and the gold door sockets for the inner sanctuary (the most holy place) and for the doors of the main hall of the temple. 7:51 When King Solomon finished constructing the Lord’s temple, he 432  put the holy items that belonged to his father David (the silver, gold, and other articles) in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple.


Solomon Moves the Ark into the Temple


Then Solomon convened in Jerusalem 434  Israel’s elders, all the leaders of the Israelite tribes and families, so they could witness the transferal of the ark of the Lord’s covenant from the city of David (that is, Zion). 435  8:2 All the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon during the festival 436  in the month Ethanim 437  (the seventh month). 8:3 When all Israel’s elders had arrived, the priests lifted the ark. 8:4 The priests and Levites carried the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, 438  and all the holy items in the tent. 439  8:5 Now King Solomon and all the Israelites who had assembled with him went on ahead of the ark and sacrificed more sheep and cattle than could be counted or numbered. 440 

8:6 The priests brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its assigned 441  place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, in the most holy place, under the wings of the cherubs. 8:7 The cherubswings extended over the place where the ark sat; the cherubs overshadowed the ark and its poles. 442  8:8 The poles were so long their ends were visible from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from beyond that point. 443  They have remained there to this very day. 8:9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets Moses had placed there in Horeb. 444  It was there that 445  the Lord made an agreement with the Israelites after he brought them out of the land of Egypt. 8:10 Once the priests left the holy place, a cloud filled the Lord’s temple. 8:11 The priests could not carry out their duties 446  because of the cloud; the Lord’s glory filled his temple. 447 

8:12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he lives in thick darkness. 8:13 O Lord, 448  truly I have built a lofty temple for you, a place where you can live permanently.” 8:14 Then the king turned around 449  and pronounced a blessing over the whole Israelite assembly as they stood there. 450  8:15 He said, “The Lord God of Israel is worthy of praise because he has fulfilled 451  what he promised 452  my father David. 8:16 He told David, 453  ‘Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from all the tribes of Israel to build a temple in which to live. 454  But I have chosen David to lead my people Israel.’ 8:17 Now my father David had a strong desire 455  to build a temple to honor the Lord God of Israel. 456  8:18 The Lord told my father David, ‘It is right for you to have a strong desire to build a temple to honor me. 457  8:19 But you will not build the temple; your very own son will build the temple for my honor.’ 458  8:20 The Lord has kept the promise he made. 459  I have taken my father David’s place and have occupied the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. I have built this temple for the honor 460  of the Lord God of Israel 8:21 and set up in it a place for the ark containing the covenant the Lord made with our ancestors 461  when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

Solomon Prays for Israel

8:22 Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward the sky. 462  8:23 He prayed: 463  “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven above or on earth below! You maintain covenantal loyalty 464  to your servants who obey you with sincerity. 465  8:24 You have kept your word to your servant, my father David; 466  this very day you have fulfilled what you promised. 467  8:25 Now, O Lord, God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant, my father David, when you said, ‘You will never fail to have a successor ruling before me on the throne of Israel, 468  provided that your descendants watch their step and serve me as you have done.’ 469  8:26 Now, O God of Israel, may the promise you made 470  to your servant, my father David, be realized. 471 

8:27God does not really live on the earth! 472  Look, if the sky and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this temple I have built! 8:28 But respond favorably to 473  your servant’s prayer and his request for help, O Lord my God. Answer 474  the desperate prayer 475  your servant is presenting to you 476  today. 8:29 Night and day may you watch over this temple, the place where you promised you would live. 477  May you answer your servant’s prayer for this place. 478  8:30 Respond to the request of your servant and your people Israel for this place. 479  Hear from inside your heavenly dwelling place 480  and respond favorably. 481 

8:31When someone is accused of sinning against his neighbor and the latter pronounces a curse on the alleged offender before your altar in this temple, be willing to forgive the accused if the accusation is false. 482  8:32 Listen from heaven and make a just decision about your servantsclaims. Condemn the guilty party, declare the other innocent, and give both of them what they deserve. 483 

8:33The time will come when 484  your people Israel are defeated by an enemy 485  because they sinned against you. If they come back to you, renew their allegiance to you, 486  and pray for your help 487  in this temple, 8:34 then listen from heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.

8:35The time will come when 488  the skies are shut up tightly and no rain falls because your people 489  sinned against you. When they direct their prayers toward this place, renew their allegiance to you, 490  and turn away from their sin because you punish 491  them, 8:36 then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Certainly 492  you will then teach them the right way to live 493  and send rain on your land that you have given your people to possess. 494 

8:37The time will come when the land suffers from a famine, a plague, blight and disease, or a locust 495  invasion, or when their enemy lays siege to the cities of the land, 496  or when some other type of plague or epidemic occurs. 8:38 When all your people Israel pray and ask for help, 497  as they acknowledge their pain 498  and spread out their hands toward this temple, 8:39 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place, forgive their sin, 499  and act favorably toward each one based on your evaluation of his motives. 500  (Indeed you are the only one who can correctly evaluate the motives of all people.) 501  8:40 Then they will obey 502  you throughout their lifetimes as 503  they live on the land you gave to our ancestors.

8:41Foreigners, who do not belong to your people Israel, will come from a distant land because of your reputation. 504  8:42 When they hear about your great reputation 505  and your ability to accomplish mighty deeds, 506  they will come and direct their prayers toward this temple. 8:43 Then listen from your heavenly dwelling place and answer all the prayers of the foreigners. 507  Then all the nations of the earth will acknowledge your reputation, 508  obey 509  you like your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I built belongs to you. 510 

8:44When you direct your people to march out and fight their enemies, 511  and they direct their prayers to the Lord 512  toward his chosen city and this temple I built for your honor, 513  8:45 then listen from heaven to their prayers for help 514  and vindicate them. 515 

8:46The time will come when your people 516  will sin against you (for there is no one who is sinless!) and you will be angry with them and deliver them over to their enemies, who will take them as prisoners to their own land, 517  whether far away or close by. 8:47 When your people 518  come to their senses 519  in the land where they are held prisoner, they will repent and beg for your mercy in the land of their imprisonment, admitting, ‘We have sinned and gone astray; 520  we have done evil.’ 8:48 When they return to you with all their heart and being 521  in the land where they are held prisoner, 522  and direct their prayers to you toward the land you gave to their ancestors, your chosen city, and the temple I built for your honor, 523  8:49 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place to their prayers for help 524  and vindicate them. 525  8:50 Forgive all the rebellious acts of your sinful people and cause their captors to have mercy on them. 526  8:51 After all, 527  they are your people and your special possession 528  whom you brought out of Egypt, from the middle of the iron-smelting furnace. 529 

8:52May you be attentive 530  to your servant’s and your people Israel’s requests for help and may you respond to all their prayers to you. 531  8:53 After all, 532  you picked them out of all the nations of the earth to be your special possession, 533  just as you, O sovereign Lord, announced through your servant Moses when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”

8:54 When Solomon finished presenting all these prayers and requests to the Lord, he got up from before the altar of the Lord where he had kneeled and spread out his hands toward the sky. 534  8:55 When he stood up, he pronounced a blessing over the entire assembly of Israel, saying in a loud voice: 8:56 The Lord is worthy of praise because he has made Israel his people secure 535  just as he promised! Not one of all the faithful promises he made through his servant Moses is left unfulfilled! 536  8:57 May the Lord our God be with us, as he was with our ancestors. May he not abandon us or leave us. 8:58 May he make us submissive, 537  so we can follow all his instructions 538  and obey 539  the commandments, rules, and regulations he commanded our ancestors. 8:59 May the Lord our God be constantly aware of these requests of mine I have presented to him, 540  so that he might vindicate 541  his servant and his people Israel as the need arises. 8:60 Then 542  all the nations of the earth will recognize that the Lord is the only genuine God. 543  8:61 May you demonstrate wholehearted devotion to the Lord our God 544  by following 545  his rules and obeying 546  his commandments, as you are presently doing.” 547 

Solomon Dedicates the Temple

8:62 The king and all Israel with him were presenting sacrifices to the Lord. 8:63 Solomon offered as peace offerings 548  to the Lord 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. Then the king and all the Israelites dedicated the Lord’s temple. 8:64 That day the king consecrated the middle of the courtyard that is in front of the Lord’s temple. He offered there burnt sacrifices, grain offerings, and the fat from the peace offerings, because the bronze altar that stood before the Lord was too small to hold all these offerings. 549  8:65 At that time Solomon and all Israel with him celebrated a festival before the Lord our God for two entire weeks. This great assembly included people from all over the land, from Lebo Hamath in the north to the Brook of Egypt 550  in the south. 551  8:66 On the fifteenth day after the festival started, 552  he dismissed the people. They asked God to empower the king 553  and then went to their homes, happy and content 554  because of all the good the Lord had done for his servant David and his people Israel.

The Lord Gives Solomon a Promise and a Warning

9:1 After Solomon finished building the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and all the other construction projects he had planned, 555  9:2 the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, in the same way he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 556  9:3 The Lord said to him, “I have answered 557  your prayer and your request for help that you made to me. I have consecrated this temple you built by making it my permanent home; 558  I will be constantly present there. 559  9:4 You must serve me with integrity and sincerity, just as your father David did. Do everything I commanded and obey my rules and regulations. 560  9:5 Then I will allow your dynasty to rule over Israel permanently, 561  just as I promised your father David, ‘You will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 562 

9:6But if you or your sons ever turn away from me, fail to obey the regulations and rules I instructed you to keep, 563  and decide to serve and worship other gods, 564  9:7 then I will remove Israel from the land 565  I have given them, I will abandon this temple I have consecrated with my presence, 566  and Israel will be mocked and ridiculed 567  among all the nations. 9:8 This temple will become a heap of ruins; 568  everyone who passes by it will be shocked and will hiss out their scorn, 569  saying, ‘Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple?’ 9:9 Others will then answer, 570 Because they abandoned the Lord their God, who led their ancestors 571  out of Egypt. They embraced other gods whom they worshiped and served. 572  That is why the Lord has brought all this disaster down on them.’

Foreign Affairs and Building Projects

9:10 After twenty years, during which Solomon built the Lord’s temple and the royal palace, 573  9:11 King Solomon gave King Hiram of Tyre 574  twenty cities in the region of Galilee, because Hiram had supplied Solomon with cedars, evergreens, and all the gold he wanted. 9:12 When Hiram went out from Tyre to inspect the cities Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. 575  9:13 Hiram asked, 576 Why did you give me these cities, my friend 577 ?” He called that area the region of Cabul, a name which it has retained to this day. 578  9:14 Hiram had sent to the king one hundred twenty talents 579  of gold.

9:15 Here are the details concerning the work crews 580  King Solomon conscripted 581  to build the Lord’s temple, his palace, the terrace, the wall of Jerusalem, 582  and the cities of 583  Hazor, 584  Megiddo, 585  and Gezer. 9:16 (Pharaoh, king of Egypt, had attacked and captured Gezer. He burned it and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city. He gave it as a wedding present to his daughter, who had married Solomon.) 9:17 Solomon built up Gezer, lower Beth Horon, 9:18 Baalath, Tadmor in the wilderness, 586  9:19 all the storage cities that belonged to him, 587  and the cities where chariots and horses were kept. 588  He built whatever he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and throughout his entire kingdom. 589  9:20 Now several non-Israelite peoples were left in the land after the conquest of Joshua, including the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 590  9:21 Their descendants remained in the land (the Israelites were unable to wipe them out completely). Solomon conscripted them for his work crews, and they continue in that role to this very day. 591  9:22 Solomon did not assign Israelites to these work crews; 592  the Israelites served as his soldiers, attendants, officers, charioteers, and commanders of his chariot forces. 593  9:23 These men were also in charge of Solomon’s work projects; there were a total of 550 men who supervised the workers. 594  9:24 Solomon built the terrace as soon as Pharaoh’s daughter moved up from the city of David 595  to the palace Solomon built for her. 596 

9:25 Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings 597  on the altar he had built for the Lord, burning incense along with them before the Lord. He made the temple his official worship place. 598 

9:26 King Solomon also built ships 599  in Ezion Geber, which is located near Elat in the land of Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea. 9:27 Hiram sent his fleet and some of his sailors, who were well acquainted with the sea, to serve with Solomon’s men. 600  9:28 They sailed 601  to Ophir, took from there four hundred twenty talents 602  of gold, and then brought them to King Solomon.

Solomon Entertains a Queen

10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon, 603  she came to challenge 604  him with difficult questions. 605  10:2 She arrived in Jerusalem 606  with a great display of pomp, 607  bringing with her camels carrying spices, 608  a very large quantity of gold, and precious gems. She visited Solomon and discussed with him everything that was on her mind. 10:3 Solomon answered all her questions; there was no question too complex for the king. 609  10:4 When the queen of Sheba saw for herself Solomon’s extensive wisdom, 610  the palace 611  he had built, 10:5 the food in his banquet hall, 612  his servants and attendants, 613  their robes, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings which he presented in the Lord’s temple, she was amazed. 614  10:6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your wise sayings and insight 615  was true! 10:7 I did not believe these things until I came and saw them with my own eyes. Indeed, I didn’t hear even half the story! 616  Your wisdom and wealth 617  surpass what was reported to me. 10:8 Your attendants, who stand before you at all times and hear your wise sayings, are truly happy! 618  10:9 May the Lord your God be praised because he favored 619  you by placing you on the throne of Israel! Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he made you king so you could make just and right decisions.” 620  10:10 She gave the king 120 talents 621  of gold, a very large quantity of spices, and precious gems. The quantity of spices the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon has never been matched. 622  10:11 (Hiram’s fleet, which carried gold from Ophir, also brought from Ophir a very large quantity of fine timber and precious gems. 10:12 With the timber the king made supports 623  for the Lord’s temple and for the royal palace and stringed instruments 624  for the musicians. No one has seen so much of this fine timber to this very day. 625 ) 10:13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she requested, besides what he had freely offered her. 626  Then she left and returned 627  to her homeland with her attendants.

Solomon’s Wealth

10:14 Solomon received 666 talents 628  of gold per year, 629  10:15 besides what he collected from the merchants, 630  traders, Arabian kings, and governors of the land. 10:16 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; 600 measures 631  of gold were used for each shield. 10:17 He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold; three minas 632  of gold were used for each of these shields. The king placed them in the Palace of the Lebanon Forest. 633 

10:18 The king made a large throne decorated with ivory and overlaid it with pure gold. 10:19 There were six steps leading up to the throne, and the back of it was rounded on top. The throne had two armrests with a statue of a lion standing on each side. 634  10:20 There were twelve statues of lions on the six steps, one lion at each end of each step. There was nothing like it in any other kingdom. 635 

10:21 All of King Solomon’s cups were made of gold, and all the household items in the Palace of the Lebanon Forest were made of pure gold. There were no silver items, for silver was not considered very valuable in Solomon’s time. 636  10:22 Along with Hiram’s fleet, the king had a fleet of large merchant ships 637  that sailed the sea. Once every three years the fleet 638  came into port with cargoes of 639  gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. 640 

10:23 King Solomon was wealthier and wiser than any of the kings of the earth. 641  10:24 Everyone 642  in the world wanted to visit Solomon to see him display his God-given wisdom. 643  10:25 Year after year visitors brought their gifts, which included items of silver, items of gold, clothes, perfume, spices, horses, and mules. 644 

10:26 Solomon accumulated 645  chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He kept them in assigned cities and in Jerusalem. 646  10:27 The king made silver as plentiful 647  in Jerusalem as stones; cedar was 648  as plentiful as sycamore fig trees are in the lowlands. 649  10:28 Solomon acquired his horses from Egypt 650  and from Que; the king’s traders purchased them from Que. 10:29 They paid 600 silver pieces for each chariot from Egypt and 150 silver pieces for each horse. They also sold chariots and horses to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Syria. 651 

The Lord Punishes Solomon for Idolatry

11:1 King Solomon fell in love with many foreign women (besides Pharaoh’s daughter), including Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. 11:2 They came from nations about which the Lord had warned the Israelites, “You must not establish friendly relations with them! 652  If you do, they will surely shift your allegiance to their gods.” 653  But Solomon was irresistibly attracted to them. 654 

11:3 He had 700 royal wives 655  and 300 concubines; 656  his wives had a powerful influence over him. 657  11:4 When Solomon became old, his wives shifted his allegiance to 658  other gods; he was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his father David had been. 659  11:5 Solomon worshiped 660  the Sidonian goddess Astarte and the detestable Ammonite god Milcom. 661  11:6 Solomon did evil in the Lord’s sight; 662  he did not remain loyal to 663  the Lord, like his father David had. 11:7 Furthermore, 664  on the hill east of Jerusalem 665  Solomon built a high place 666  for the detestable Moabite god Chemosh 667  and for the detestable Ammonite god Milcom. 668  11:8 He built high places for all his foreign wives so they could burn incense and make sacrifices to their gods. 669 

11:9 The Lord was angry with Solomon because he had shifted his allegiance 670  away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him on two occasions 671  11:10 and had warned him about this very thing, so that he would not follow other gods. 672  But he did not obey 673  the Lord’s command. 11:11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you insist on doing these things and have not kept the covenantal rules I gave you, 674  I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 11:12 However, for your father David’s sake I will not do this while you are alive. I will tear it away from your son’s hand instead. 11:13 But I will not tear away the entire kingdom; I will leave 675  your son one tribe for my servant David’s sake and for the sake of my chosen city Jerusalem.”

11:14 The Lord brought 676  against Solomon an enemy, Hadad the Edomite, a descendant of the Edomite king. 11:15 During David’s campaign against Edom, 677  Joab, the commander of the army, while on a mission to bury the dead, killed every male in Edom. 11:16 For six months Joab and the entire Israelite army 678  stayed there until they had exterminated every male in Edom. 679  11:17 Hadad, 680  who was only a small boy at the time, escaped with some of his father’s Edomite servants and headed for Egypt. 681  11:18 They went from Midian to Paran; they took some men from Paran and went to Egypt. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, supplied him with a house and food and even assigned him some land. 682  11:19 Pharaoh liked Hadad so well 683  he gave him his sister-in-law (Queen Tahpenessister) as a wife. 684  11:20 Tahpenessister gave birth to his son, 685  named Genubath. Tahpenes raised 686  him in Pharaoh’s palace; Genubath grew up in Pharaoh’s palace among Pharaoh’s sons. 11:21 While in Egypt Hadad heard that David had passed away 687  and that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead. So Hadad asked Pharaoh, “Give me permission to leave 688  so I can return to my homeland.” 11:22 Pharaoh said to him, “What do you lack here that makes you want to go to your homeland?” 689  Hadad replied, 690 Nothing, but please give me permission to leave.” 691 

11:23 God also brought against Solomon 692  another enemy, Rezon son of Eliada who had run away from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah. 11:24 He gathered some men and organized a raiding band. 693  When David tried to kill them, 694  they went to Damascus, where they settled down and gained control of the city. 11:25 He was Israel’s enemy throughout Solomon’s reign and, like Hadad, caused trouble. He loathed 695  Israel and ruled over Syria.

11:26 Jeroboam son of Nebat, one of Solomon’s servants, rebelled against 696  the king. He was an Ephraimite 697  from Zeredah whose mother was a widow named Zeruah. 11:27 This is what prompted him to rebel against the king: 698  Solomon built a terrace and he closed up a gap in the wall of the city of his father David. 699  11:28 Jeroboam was a talented man; 700  when Solomon saw that the young man was an accomplished worker, he made him the leader of the work crew from the tribe 701  of Joseph. 11:29 At that time, when Jeroboam had left Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the road; the two of them were alone in the open country. Ahijah 702  was wearing a brand new robe, 11:30 and he grabbed the robe 703  and tore it into twelve pieces. 11:31 Then he told Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces, for this is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘Look, I am about to tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hand and I will give ten tribes to you. 11:32 He will retain one tribe, for my servant David’s sake and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 11:33 I am taking the kingdom from him 704  because they have 705  abandoned me and worshiped the Sidonian goddess Astarte, the Moabite god Chemosh, and the Ammonite god Milcom. They have not followed my instructions 706  by doing what I approve and obeying my rules and regulations, like Solomon’s father David did. 707  11:34 I will not take the whole kingdom from his hand. I will allow him to be ruler for the rest of his life for the sake of my chosen servant David who kept my commandments and rules. 11:35 I will take the kingdom from the hand of his son and give ten tribes to you. 708  11:36 I will leave 709  his son one tribe so my servant David’s dynasty may continue to serve me 710  in Jerusalem, the city I have chosen as my home. 711  11:37 I will select 712  you; you will rule over all you desire to have and you will be king over Israel. 11:38 You must obey 713  all I command you to do, follow my instructions, 714  do what I approve, 715  and keep my rules and commandments, like my servant David did. Then I will be with you and establish for you a lasting dynasty, as I did for David; 716  I will give you Israel. 11:39 I will humiliate David’s descendants because of this, 717  but not forever.” 718  11:40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam escaped to Egypt and found refuge with King Shishak of Egypt. 719  He stayed in Egypt until Solomon died.

Solomon’s Reign Ends

11:41 The rest of the events of Solomon’s reign, including all his accomplishments and his wise decisions, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of Solomon. 720  11:42 Solomon ruled over all Israel from Jerusalem 721  for forty years. 11:43 Then Solomon passed away 722  and was buried in the city of his father David. 723  His son Rehoboam replaced him as king. 724 

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