"As for you, if you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws,
I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, 'You shall never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.'
"But if you or your sons turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them,
then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.
And though this temple is now imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, 'Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?'
People will answer, 'Because they have forsaken the LORD their God, who brought their fathers out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them--that is why the LORD brought all this disaster on them.' "
At the end of twenty years, during which Solomon built these two buildings--the temple of the LORD and the royal palace--
King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, because Hiram had supplied him with all the cedar and pine and gold he wanted.
But when Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns that Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them.
"What kind of towns are these you have given me, my brother?" he asked. And he called them the Land of Cabul, a name they have to this day.
Now Hiram had sent to the king 120 talents of gold.
Here is the account of the forced labor King Solomon conscripted to build the LORD's temple, his own palace, the supporting terraces, the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer.
(Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He had set it on fire. He killed its Canaanite inhabitants and then gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter, Solomon's wife.
And Solomon rebuilt Gezer.) He built up Lower Beth Horon,
Baalath, and Tadmor in the desert, within his land,
as well as all his store cities and the towns for his chariots and for his horses--whatever he desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon and throughout all the territory he ruled.
All the people left from the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (these peoples were not Israelites),
that is, their descendants remaining in the land, whom the Israelites could not exterminate--these Solomon conscripted for his slave labor force, as it is to this day.
But Solomon did not make slaves of any of the Israelites; they were his fighting men, his government officials, his officers, his captains, and the commanders of his chariots and charioteers.
They were also the chief officials in charge of Solomon's projects--550 officials supervising the men who did the work.
After Pharaoh's daughter had come up from the City of David to the palace Solomon had built for her, he constructed the supporting terraces.
Three times a year Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the LORD, burning incense before the LORD along with them, and so fulfilled the temple obligations.
King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath in Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea.
And Hiram sent his men--sailors who knew the sea--to serve in the fleet with Solomon's men.
They sailed to Ophir and brought back 420 talents of gold, which they delivered to King Solomon.
When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.
Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan--with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones--she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind.
Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her.
When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built,
the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed.
She said to the king, "The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true.
But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard.
How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!
Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the LORD's eternal love for Israel, he has made you king, to maintain justice and righteousness."
And she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
(Hiram's ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwood and precious stones.
The king used the almugwood to make supports for the temple of the LORD and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. So much almugwood has never been imported or seen since that day.)
King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.