Solomon finished building the Temple of the Lord and his royal palace and everything he wanted to build.
Then the Lord appeared to him again just as he had done before, in Gibeon.
The Lord said to him: "I have heard your prayer and what you have asked me to do. You built this Temple, and I have made it a holy place. I will be worshiped there forever and will watch over it and protect it always.
"But you must serve me as your father David did; he was fair and sincere. You must obey all I have commanded and keep my laws and rules.
If you do, I will make your kingdom strong. This is the promise I made to your father David -- that someone from his family would always rule Israel.
"But you and your children must follow me and obey the laws and commands I have given you. You must not serve or worship other gods.
If you do, I will force Israel to leave the land I have given them, and I will leave this Temple that I have made holy. All the nations will make fun of Israel and speak evil about them.
If the Temple is destroyed, everyone who passes by will be shocked. They will make fun of you and ask, 'Why did the Lord do this terrible thing to this land and this Temple?'
People will answer, 'This happened because they left the Lord their God. This was the God who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, but they decided to follow other gods. They worshiped and served those gods, so the Lord brought all this disaster on them.'"
By the end of twenty years, King Solomon had built two buildings -- the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace.
At that time King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, because Hiram had helped with the buildings. Hiram had given Solomon all the cedar, pine, and gold he wanted.
So Hiram traveled from Tyre to see the towns Solomon had given him, but when he saw them, he was not pleased.
He asked, "What good are these towns you have given me, my brother?" So he named them the Land of Cabul, and they are still called that today.
Hiram had sent Solomon about nine thousand pounds of gold.
This is the account of the forced labor Solomon used to build the Temple and the palace. He had them fill in the land and build the wall around Jerusalem. He also had them rebuild the cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer.
(In the past the king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. After burning it, he killed the Canaanites who lived there. Then he gave it as a wedding present to his daughter, who married Solomon.
So Solomon rebuilt it.) He also built the cities of Lower Beth Horon
and Baalath, as well as Tadmor, which is in the desert.
King Solomon also built cities for storing grain and supplies and cities for his chariots and horses. He built whatever he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and everywhere he ruled.
There were other people in the land who were not Israelites -- Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
They were descendants of people that the Israelites had not destroyed. Solomon forced them to work for him as slaves, as is still true today.
But Solomon did not make slaves of the Israelites. They were his soldiers, government leaders, officers, captains, chariot commanders, and drivers.
These were his most important officers over the work. There were five hundred fifty supervisors over the people who did the work on Solomon's projects.
The daughter of the king of Egypt moved from the old part of Jerusalem to the palace that Solomon had built for her. Then Solomon filled in the surrounding land.
Three times each year Solomon offered whole burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the Lord. He also burned incense before the Lord. So he finished the work on the Temple.
King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber, a town near Elath on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom.
Hiram had skilled sailors, so he sent them to serve in these ships with Solomon's men.
The ships sailed to Ophir and brought back about thirty-two thousand pounds of gold to King Solomon.