Bible: 1 Kings 3-8
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 1 until he could finish building his residence and the temple of the
3:4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for it had the most prominent of the high places. 7 Solomon would offer up 8 a thousand burnt sacrifices on the altar there. 3:5 One night in Gibeon the
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. 41 3:19 This woman’s child suffocated 42 during the night when she rolled 43 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, 44 dead! But when I examined him carefully in the morning, I realized it was not my baby.” 45 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. 46
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 47 spoke up to the king, for her motherly instincts were aroused. 48 She said, “My master, give her the living child! Whatever you do, don’t kill him!” 49 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 50 the king, for they realized 51 that he possessed supernatural wisdom 52 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. 53
Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of the records.
4:4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was commander of 54 the army.
Zadok and Abiathar were priests.
4:5 Azariah son of Nathan was supervisor of 55 the district governors.
Zabud son of Nathan was a priest and adviser to 56 the king.
4:6 Ahishar was supervisor of the palace. 57
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, 60 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 61 Solomon ruled all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River 62 to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These kingdoms paid tribute as Solomon’s subjects throughout his lifetime. 63 4:22 Each day Solomon’s royal court consumed 64 thirty cors 65 of finely milled flour, sixty cors of cereal, 4:23 ten calves fattened in the stall, 66 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 67 he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River from Tiphsah 68 to Gaza; he was at peace with all his neighbors. 69 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. 70 4:26 Solomon had 4,000 71 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. 72 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. 73
4:29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment; the breadth of his understanding 74 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. 75 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. 76 4:32 He composed 77 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. 4:33 He produced manuals on botany, describing every kind of plant, 78 from the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows on walls. He also produced manuals on biology, describing 79 animals, birds, insects, and fish. 4:34 People from all nations came to hear Solomon’s display of wisdom; 80 they came from all the kings of the earth who heard about his wisdom.
Solomon Gathers Building Materials for the Temple
5:1 81 King Hiram of Tyre 82 sent messengers 83 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
5:7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was very happy. He said, “The
5:10 So Hiram supplied the cedars and evergreens Solomon needed, 95 5:11 and Solomon supplied Hiram annually with 20,000 cors 96 of wheat as provision for his royal court, 97 as well as 20,000 baths 98 of pure 99 olive oil. 100 5:12 So the
5:13 King Solomon conscripted 102 work crews 103 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 104 the work crews. 5:15 Solomon also had 70,000 common laborers 105 and 80,000 stonecutters 106 in the hills, 5:16 besides 3,300 107 officials who supervised the workers. 108 5:17 By royal order 109 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, 110 along with men from Byblos, 111 did the chiseling and prepared the wood and stones for the building of the temple. 112
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 113 (the second month), he began building the
6:14 So Solomon finished building the temple. 140 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 141 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. 142 He paneled the wall with cedar planks from the floor to the rafters. 143 6:17 The main hall in front of the inner sanctuary was 60 feet long. 144 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. 145
6:19 He prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple so that the ark of the covenant of the
6:23 In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubs of olive wood; each stood 15 feet 152 high. 6:24 Each of the first cherub’s wings was seven and a half feet long; its entire wingspan was 15 feet. 153 6:25 The second cherub also had a wingspan of 15 feet; it was identical to the first in measurements and shape. 154 6:26 Each cherub stood 15 feet high. 155 6:27 He put the cherubs in the inner sanctuary of the temple. 156 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. 157 6:28 He plated the cherubs with gold.
6:29 On all the walls around the temple, inside and out, 158 he carved 159 cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom. 6:30 He plated the floor of the temple with gold, inside and out. 160 6:31 He made doors of olive wood at the entrance to the inner sanctuary; the pillar on each doorpost was five-sided. 161 6:32 On the two doors made of olive wood he carved 162 cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom, and he plated them with gold. 163 He plated the cherubs and the palm trees with hammered gold. 164 6:33 In the same way he made doorposts of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall, only with four-sided pillars. 165 6:34 He also made 166 two doors out of wood from evergreens; each door had two folding leaves. 167 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 168 of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign 169 the foundation was laid for the
The Building of the Royal Palace
7:1 Solomon took thirteen years to build his palace. 172 7:2 He named 173 it “The Palace of the Lebanon Forest”; 174 it was 150 feet 175 long, 75 feet 176 wide, and 45 feet 177 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. 178 7:5 All of the entrances 179 were rectangular in shape 180 and they were arranged in sets of three. 181 7:6 He made a colonnade 182 75 feet 183 long and 45 feet 184 wide. There was a porch in front of this and pillars and a roof in front of the porch. 185 7:7 He also made a throne room, called “The Hall of Judgment,” where he made judicial decisions. 186 It was paneled with cedar from the floor to the rafters. 187 7:8 The palace where he lived was constructed in a similar way. 188 He also constructed a palace like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married. 189 7:9 All of these were built with the best 190 stones, chiseled to the right size 191 and cut with a saw on all sides, 192 from the foundation to the edge of the roof 193 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. 194 7:11 Above the foundation 195 the best 196 stones, chiseled to the right size, 197 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
Solomon Commissions Hiram to Supply the Temple
7:13 King Solomon sent for Hiram 199 of Tyre. 200 7:14 He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, 201 and his father was a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. He had the skill and knowledge 202 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 203 high and 18 feet 204 in circumference. 7:16 He made two bronze tops for the pillars; each was seven-and-a-half feet high. 205 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. 206 7:18 When he made the pillars, there were two rows of pomegranate-shaped ornaments around the latticework covering the top of each pillar. 207 7:19 The tops of the two pillars in the porch were shaped like lilies and were six feet high. 208 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. 209 7:21 He set up the pillars on the porch in front of the main hall. He erected one pillar on the right 210 side and called it Jakin; 211 he erected the other pillar on the left 212 side and called it Boaz. 213 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.” 214 It measured 15 feet 215 from rim to rim, was circular in shape, and stood seven-and-a-half feet 216 high. Its circumference was 45 feet. 217 7:24 Under the rim all the way around it 218 were round ornaments 219 arranged in settings 15 feet long. 220 The ornaments were in two rows and had been cast with “The Sea.” 221 7:25 “The Sea” stood on top of twelve bulls. Three faced northward, three westward, three southward, and three eastward. “The Sea” was placed on top of them, and they all faced outward. 222 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. 223
7:27 He also made ten bronze movable stands. Each stand was six feet 224 long, six feet 225 wide, and four-and-a-half feet 226 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. 227 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. 228 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. 229 On the edge of the opening were carvings in square frames. 230 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 231 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. 232 7:35 On top of each stand was a round opening three-quarters of a foot deep; 233 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, 234 with wreaths 235 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. 236 Each basin was six feet in diameter; 237 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 Sea” on the south side, in the southeast corner.
7:40 Hiram also made basins, shovels, and bowls. He 238 finished all the work on the
7:48 Solomon also made all these items for the
Solomon Moves the Ark into the Temple
Then Solomon convened in Jerusalem 248 Israel’s elders, all the leaders of the Israelite tribes and families, so they could witness the transferal of the ark of the
8:6 The priests brought the ark of the
8:12 Then Solomon said, “The
Solomon Prays for Israel
8:22 Solomon stood before the altar of the
8:27 “God does not really live on the earth! 286 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 287 your servant’s prayer and his request for help, O
8:31 “When 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. 296 8:32 Listen from heaven and make a just decision about your servants’ claims. Condemn the guilty party, declare the other innocent, and give both of them what they deserve. 297
8:33 “The time will come when 298 your people Israel are defeated by an enemy 299 because they sinned against you. If they come back to you, renew their allegiance to you, 300 and pray for your help 301 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.
8:35 “The time will come when 302 the skies are shut up tightly and no rain falls because your people 303 sinned against you. When they direct their prayers toward this place, renew their allegiance to you, 304 and turn away from their sin because you punish 305 them, 8:36 then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Certainly 306 you will then teach them the right way to live 307 and send rain on your land that you have given your people to possess. 308
8:37 “The time will come when the land suffers from a famine, a plague, blight and disease, or a locust 309 invasion, or when their enemy lays siege to the cities of the land, 310 or when some other type of plague or epidemic occurs. 8:38 When all your people Israel pray and ask for help, 311 as they acknowledge their pain 312 and spread out their hands toward this temple, 8:39 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place, forgive their sin, 313 and act favorably toward each one based on your evaluation of his motives. 314 (Indeed you are the only one who can correctly evaluate the motives of all people.) 315 8:40 Then they will obey 316 you throughout their lifetimes as 317 they live on the land you gave to our ancestors.
8:41 “Foreigners, who do not belong to your people Israel, will come from a distant land because of your reputation. 318 8:42 When they hear about your great reputation 319 and your ability to accomplish mighty deeds, 320 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. 321 Then all the nations of the earth will acknowledge your reputation, 322 obey 323 you like your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I built belongs to you. 324
8:44 “When you direct your people to march out and fight their enemies, 325 and they direct their prayers to the
8:46 “The time will come when your people 330 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, 331 whether far away or close by. 8:47 When your people 332 come to their senses 333 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; 334 we have done evil.’ 8:48 When they return to you with all their heart and being 335 in the land where they are held prisoner, 336 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, 337 8:49 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place to their prayers for help 338 and vindicate them. 339 8:50 Forgive all the rebellious acts of your sinful people and cause their captors to have mercy on them. 340 8:51 After all, 341 they are your people and your special possession 342 whom you brought out of Egypt, from the middle of the iron-smelting furnace. 343
8:52 “May you be attentive 344 to your servant’s and your people Israel’s requests for help and may you respond to all their prayers to you. 345 8:53 After all, 346 you picked them out of all the nations of the earth to be your special possession, 347 just as you, O sovereign
8:54 When Solomon finished presenting all these prayers and requests to the
Solomon Dedicates the Temple
8:62 The king and all Israel with him were presenting sacrifices to the