It took Solomon 20 years to build the LORD's house and his own house.
He rebuilt the cities Huram gave him, and he had Israelites live in them.
Then Solomon went to Hamath Zobah and conquered it.
He rebuilt Tadmor in the desert and built all the storage cities in Hamath.
He rebuilt Upper Beth Horon and Lower Beth Horon into cities fortified with walls, double-door gates, and bars.
[He also rebuilt] Baalath and all the storage cities that he owned. He built all the cities for his chariots, all the cities for his war horses, and whatever [else] he wanted to build in Jerusalem, Lebanon, or the entire territory that he governed.
The Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites had been left [in the land] because the Israelites had not been able to destroy them. They were not Israelites,
but they had descendants who were still in the land. Solomon drafted them for slave labor. (They are still [slaves] today.)
But Solomon didn't make any of the Israelites slaves for his projects. Instead, they were the soldiers, officers, generals, and commanders of his chariot and cavalry units.
These were the officers in charge of King Solomon's projects: 250 foremen for the people who did the work.
Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter from the City of David to a palace he had built for her. He said, "My wife will not live in the palace of King David of Israel because these places where the LORD's ark has come are holy."
Then Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings to the LORD on the LORD's altar that he built in front of the entrance hall.
He sacrificed every day, on weekly worship days, on the New Moon Festivals, and on the three annual festivals (the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Booths) as Moses had commanded.
As Solomon's father David had directed, he set up the divisions of priests for their service and the [divisions of] Levites for their appointed places. [The Levites] were to lead in praising [the LORD] and to serve beside the priests by doing whatever needed to be done each day. Solomon also set up divisions of doorkeepers at every gate because this is what David, the man of God, had commanded.
No one neglected the king's orders to the priests or the Levites in any matter, including the [temple's] finances.
All of Solomon's work was carried out from the day the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid until it was completed. The LORD's temple was [now] finished.
Then Solomon went to the coast near Ezion Geber and Elath in Edom.
Huram sent his own servants and his experienced sailors with ships to Solomon. They went with Solomon's servants to Ophir, got 33,750 pounds of gold, and brought it to King Solomon.
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.
Solomon answered all her questions. No question was too difficult for Solomon to answer.
When the queen of Sheba saw Solomon's wisdom, the palace he built,
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.
She told the king, "What I heard in my country about your words and your wisdom is true!
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.
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!
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."
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.
Huram's servants and Solomon's servants who brought gold from Ophir also brought sandalwood and precious stones.
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.
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.
The gold that came to Solomon in one year weighed 49,950 pounds,
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.
King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold, using 15 pounds of gold on each shield.
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.
The king also made a large ivory throne and covered it with pure gold.
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.
Twelve lions stood on six steps, one on each side. Nothing like this had been made for any other kingdom.
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.)
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.
In wealth and wisdom King Solomon was greater than all the [other] kings of the world.
All the kings of the world wanted to listen to the wisdom that God gave Solomon.
So everyone who came brought him gifts: articles of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules. This happened year after year.
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.
He ruled all the kings from the Euphrates River to the country of the Philistines and as far as the Egyptian border.
The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as plentiful as fig trees in the foothills.
Horses were imported for Solomon from Egypt and from all other countries.
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)?
Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for 40 years.
Solomon lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. His son Rehoboam succeeded him as king.
Rehoboam went to Shechem because all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king.
Jeroboam (Nebat's son) was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon. When he heard [about Rehoboam], he returned from Egypt.
[Israel] sent for Jeroboam and invited him back. Jeroboam and all Israel went to speak to Rehoboam. They said,
"Your father made us carry a heavy burden. Reduce the hard work and lighten the heavy burden he put on us, and we will serve you."
He said to them, "Come back the day after tomorrow." So the people left.
King Rehoboam sought advice from the older leaders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive. He asked, "What do you advise? How should I respond to these people?"
They told him, "If you are good to these people and try to please them by speaking gently to them, then they will always be your servants."
But he ignored the advice the older leaders gave him. He sought advice from the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.
He asked them, "What is your advice? How should we respond to these people who are asking me to lighten the burden my father put on them?"
The young men who had grown up with him answered, "This is what you should tell them: 'My little finger is heavier than my father's whole body.
If my father put a heavy burden on you, I will add to it. If my father punished you with whips, I will punish you with scorpions.'"
So Jeroboam and all the people came back to Rehoboam two days later, as the king had instructed them.
The king answered them harshly. He ignored the older leaders' advice.
He spoke to them as the young men advised. He said, "If my father made your burden heavy, I will add to it. If my father punished you with whips, I will use scorpions."
The king refused to listen to the people because the LORD was directing these events to carry out the promise he had made to Jeroboam (Nebat's son) through Ahijah from Shiloh.
When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, the people answered the king, "What share do we have in David's kingdom? We won't receive an inheritance from Jesse's son. Everyone to his own tent, Israel! Now look after your own house, David!" So all Israel went home to their own tents.
But Rehoboam ruled the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.
Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram to the Israelites. He was in charge of forced labor, but they stoned him to death. So King Rehoboam got on his chariot as fast as he could and fled to Jerusalem.
Israel has rebelled against David's dynasty to this day.