Solomon son of David took a firm grip on the reins of his kingdom. God was with him and gave him much help.
Solomon addressed all Israel - the commanders and captains, the judges, every leader, and all the heads of families.
Then Solomon and the entire company went to the worship center at Gibeon - that's where the Tent of Meeting of God was, the one that Moses the servant of God had made in the wilderness.
The Chest of God, though, was in Jerusalem - David had brought it up from Kiriath Jearim, prepared a special place for it, and pitched a tent for it.
But the Bronze Altar that Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made was in Gibeon, in its place before the Tabernacle of God; and that is where Solomon and the congregation gathered to pray.
Solomon worshiped God at the Bronze Altar in front of the Tent of Meeting; he sacrificed a thousand Whole-Burnt-Offerings on it.
That night God appeared to Solomon. God said, "What do you want from me? Ask."
Solomon answered, "You were extravagantly generous with David my father, and now you have made me king in his place.
Establish, God, the words you spoke to my father, for you've given me a staggering task, ruling this mob of people.
Yes, give me wisdom and knowledge as I come and go among this people - for who on his own is capable of leading these, your glorious people?"
God answered Solomon, "This is what has come out of your heart: You didn't grasp for money, wealth, fame, and the doom of your enemies; you didn't even ask for a long life. You asked for wisdom and knowledge so you could govern well my people over whom I've made you king.
Because of this, you get what you asked for - wisdom and knowledge. And I'm presenting you the rest as a bonus - money, wealth, and fame beyond anything the kings before or after you had or will have."
Then Solomon left the worship center at Gibeon and the Tent of Meeting and went to Jerusalem. He set to work as king of Israel.
Solomon collected chariots and horses: 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses! He stabled them in the special chariot-cities as well as in Jerusalem.
The king made silver and gold as common as rocks, and cedar as common as the fig trees in the lowland hills.
His horses were brought in from Egypt and Cilicia, specially acquired by the king's agents.
Chariots from Egypt went for fifteen pounds of silver and a horse for about three and three-quarters of a pound of silver. Solomon carried on a brisk horse-trading business with the Hittite and Aramean royal houses.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)