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2 Chronicles 9 (GOD'S WORD Translation)

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1 The queen of Sheba heard about Solomon's reputation. So she came to Jerusalem to test him with riddles. She arrived with a large group of servants, with camels carrying spices, a large quantity of gold, and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she talked to him about everything she had on her mind. 2 Solomon answered all her questions. No question was too difficult for Solomon to answer. 3 When the queen of Sheba saw Solomon's wisdom, the palace he built, 4 the food on his table, his officers' seating arrangement, the organization of his officials and the uniforms they wore, his cupbearers and their uniforms, and the burnt offerings that he sacrificed at the LORD's temple, she was breathless. 5 She told the king, "What I heard in my country about your words and your wisdom is true! 6 But I didn't believe the reports until I came and saw it with my own eyes. I wasn't even told about half of the extent of your wisdom. You've surpassed the stories I've heard. 7 How blessed your men must be! How blessed these servants of yours must be because they are always stationed in front of you and listen to your wisdom! 8 Thank the LORD your God, who is pleased with you. He has put you on his throne to be king on behalf of the LORD your God. Because of your God's love for the people of Israel, he has established them permanently and made you king over them so that you would maintain justice and righteousness." 9 She gave the king 9,000 pounds of gold, a very large quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never was there such a large quantity of spices [in Israel] as those that the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon. 10 Huram's servants and Solomon's servants who brought gold from Ophir also brought sandalwood and precious stones. 11 With the sandalwood the king made gateways to the LORD's temple and the royal palace, and lyres and harps for the singers. No one had ever seen anything like them in Judah. 12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba anything she wanted, whatever she asked for, more than what she had brought him. Then she and her servants went back to her country. 13 The gold that came to Solomon in one year weighed 49,950 pounds, 14 not counting [the gold] which the merchants and traders brought. All the Arab kings and governors of the land also brought gold and silver to Solomon. 15 King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold, using 15 pounds of gold on each shield. 16 He also made 300 small shields of hammered gold, using 7½ pounds of gold on each shield. The king put them in the hall [named] the Forest of Lebanon. 17 The king also made a large ivory throne and covered it with pure gold. 18 Six steps led to the throne, which had a gold footstool attached to it. There were armrests on both sides of the seat. Two lions stood beside the armrests. 19 Twelve lions stood on six steps, one on each side. Nothing like this had been made for any other kingdom. 20 All King Solomon's cups were gold, and all the utensils for the hall [named] the Forest of Lebanon were fine gold. (Silver wasn't considered valuable in Solomon's time.) 21 The king had ships going to Tarshish with Huram's sailors. Once every three years the Tarshish ships would bring gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys. 22 In wealth and wisdom King Solomon was greater than all the [other] kings of the world. 23 All the kings of the world wanted to listen to the wisdom that God gave Solomon. 24 So everyone who came brought him gifts: articles of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules. This happened year after year. 25 Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 war horses. He stationed [some] in chariot cities and [others] with himself in Jerusalem. 26 He ruled all the kings from the Euphrates River to the country of the Philistines and as far as the Egyptian border. 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as plentiful as fig trees in the foothills. 28 Horses were imported for Solomon from Egypt and from all other countries. 29 Aren't the rest of Solomon's acts from first to last written in the records of Nathan the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah from Shiloh, and in Iddo the seer's visions about Jeroboam (son of Nebat)? 30 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for 40 years. 31 Solomon lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. His son Rehoboam succeeded him as king.
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