then I'll back your kingly rule over Israel, make it a sure thing on a solid foundation. The same guarantee I gave David your father I'm giving you: 'You can count on always having a descendant on Israel's throne.'
"But if you or your sons betray me, ignoring my guidance and judgments, taking up with alien gods by serving and worshiping them,
then the guarantee is off: I'll wipe Israel right off the map and repudiate this Temple I've just sanctified to honor my Name. And Israel will become nothing but a bad joke among the peoples of the world.
And this Temple, splendid as it now is, will become an object of contempt; visitors will shake their heads, saying, 'Whatever happened here? What's the story behind these ruins?'
Then they'll be told, 'The people who used to live here betrayed their God, the very God who rescued their ancestors from Egypt; they took up with alien gods, worshiping and serving them. That's what's behind this God-visited devastation.'"
At the end of twenty years, having built the two buildings, The Temple of God and his personal palace,
Solomon rewarded Hiram king of Tyre with a gift of twenty villages in the district of Galilee. Hiram had provided him with all the cedar and cypress and gold that he had wanted.
But when Hiram left Tyre to look over the villages that Solomon had given him, he didn't like what he saw.
He said, "What kind of reward is this, my friend? Twenty backwoods hick towns!" People still refer to them that way.
This is all Hiram got from Solomon in exchange for four and a half tons of gold!
This is the work record of the labor force that King Solomon raised to build The Temple of God, his palace, the defense complex (the Millo), the Jerusalem wall, and the fortified cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer.