At the end of twenty years, Solomon had quite a list of accomplishments. He had: built The Temple of God and his own palace;
rebuilt the cities that Hiram had given him and colonized them with Israelites;
marched on Hamath Zobah and took it;
fortified Tadmor in the desert and all the store-cities he had founded in Hamath;
built the fortress cities Upper Beth Horon and Lower Beth Horon, complete with walls, gates, and bars;
built Baalath and store-cities; built chariot-cities for his horses. Solomon built impulsively and extravagantly - whenever a whim took him. And in Jerusalem, in Lebanon - wherever he fancied.
The remnants from the original inhabitants of the land (Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites - all non-Israelites),
survivors of the holy wars, were rounded up by Solomon for his gangs of slave labor. The policy is in effect today.
But true Israelites were not treated this way; they were used in his army and administration - government leaders and commanders of his chariots and charioteers.
They were also the project managers responsible for Solomon's building operations - 250 in all in charge of the workforce.
Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter from the City of David to a house built especially for her, "Because," he said, "my wife cannot live in the house of David king of Israel, for the areas in which the Chest of God has entered are sacred."
Then Solomon offered Whole-Burnt-Offerings to God on the Altar of God that he had built in front of The Temple porch.
He kept to the regular schedule of worship set down by Moses: Sabbaths, New Moons, and the three annual feasts of Unraised Bread (Passover), Weeks (Pentecost), and Booths.
He followed the practice of his father David in setting up groups of priests carrying out the work of worship, with the Levites assigned to lead the sacred music for praising God and to assist the priests in the daily worship; he assigned security guards to be on duty at each gate - that's what David the man of God had ordered.
The king's directions to the priests and Levites and financial stewards were kept right down to the fine print - no innovations - including the treasuries.
All that Solomon set out to do, from the groundbreaking of The Temple of God to its finish, was now complete.
Then Solomon went to Ezion Geber and Elath on the coast of Edom.
Hiram sent him ships and with them veteran sailors. Joined by Solomon's men they sailed to Ophir (in east Africa), loaded on fifteen tons of gold, and brought it back to King Solomon.
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)