When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Arriving 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 she had on her mind.
Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her.
When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built,
the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, the cupbearers in their robes 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 what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; 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 his throne as king to rule for the LORD your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness."
Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. There had never been such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
(The men of Hiram and the men of Solomon brought gold from Ophir; they also brought algumwood and precious stones.
The king used the algumwood to make steps for the temple of the LORD and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nothing like them had ever been seen in Judah.)
King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for; he gave her more than she had brought to him. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.
The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents,
not including the revenues brought in by merchants and traders. Also all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land brought gold and silver to Solomon.
King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred bekas of hammered gold went into each shield.
He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold, with three hundred bekas of gold in each shield. The king put them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
Then the king made a great throne inlaid with ivory and overlaid with pure gold.
The throne had six steps, and a footstool of gold was attached to it. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them.
Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom.
All King Solomon's goblets were gold, and all the household articles in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Nothing was made of silver, because silver was considered of little value in Solomon's day.
The king had a fleet of trading ships manned by Hiram's men. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.
King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.
All the kings of the earth sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.
Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift--articles of silver and gold, and robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.
Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem.
He ruled over all the kings from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt.
The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills.
Solomon's horses were imported from Egypt and from all other countries.
As for the other events of Solomon's reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Nathan the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat?
Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years.
Then he rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.
As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!"
2"Do you see all these great buildings?" replied Jesus. "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."3
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately,
"Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?"
Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you.6Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many.7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.8Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.9"You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.10And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.11Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.12"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.13All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.14"When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong--let the reader understand--then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.15Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out.16Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak.17How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!18Pray that this will not take place in winter,19because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now--and never to be equaled again.20If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.21At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ !' or, 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it.22For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect--if that were possible.23So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.24"But in those days, following that distress, " 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;25the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'26"At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.27And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.28"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.29Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door.30I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
32"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.33Be on guard! Be alert ! You do not know when that time will come.34It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.35"Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back--whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.36If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.37What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!' "
Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him.
"But not during the Feast," they said, "or the people may riot."
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume?
It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly.
6"Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.7The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.8She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.9I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."10
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.
They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus' disciples asked him, "Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?"
So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, "Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him.14Say to the owner of the house he enters, 'The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?'15He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there."16
The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.
While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me--one who is eating with me."19
They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, "Surely not I?"
20"It is one of the Twelve," he replied, "one who dips bread into the bowl with me.21The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."22
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body."23
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.
24"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them.
25"I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God."26
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
27"You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is written: " 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.'28But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."29
Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I will not."
30"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "today--yes, tonight--before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times."31
But Peter insisted emphatically, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the others said the same.
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray."33
He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled.
34"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."35
Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.
36"Abba", Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."37
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Simon," he said to Peter, "are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?38Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."39
Once more he went away and prayed the same thing.
When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.
Returning the third time, he said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.42Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"
Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.
Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard."
Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Rabbi!" and kissed him.
The men seized Jesus and arrested him.
Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
48"Am I leading a rebellion," said Jesus, "that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me?49Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled."50
Then everyone deserted him and fled.
A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him,
he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.
They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law came together.
Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any.
Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.
Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him:
"We heard him say, 'I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.' "
Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?"
But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?"
62"I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."63
The high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more witnesses?" he asked.
"You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" They all condemned him as worthy of death.
Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, "Prophesy!" And the guards took him and beat him.
While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by.
When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. "You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus," she said.
But he denied it. "I don't know or understand what you're talking about," he said, and went out into the entryway.
When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, "This fellow is one of them."
Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, "Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean."
He began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them, "I don't know this man you're talking about."
Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times." And he broke down and wept.
Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all the Israelites had gone there to make him king.
When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt.
So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and all Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him:
"Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you."
Rehoboam answered, "Come back to me in three days." So the people went away.
Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. "How would you advise me to answer these people?" he asked.
They replied, "If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants."
But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.
He asked them, "What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, 'Lighten the yoke your father put on us'?"
The young men who had grown up with him replied, "Tell the people who have said to you, 'Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter'--tell them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's waist.
My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.' "
Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, "Come back to me in three days."
The king answered them harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders,
he followed the advice of the young men and said, "My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions."
So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from God, to fulfill the word the LORD had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.
When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: "What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse's son? To your tents, O Israel! Look after your own house, O David!" So all the Israelites went home.
But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.
King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but the Israelites stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem.
So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered the house of Judah and Benjamin--a hundred and eighty thousand fighting men--to make war against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam.
But this word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God:
"Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin,
'This is what the LORD says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.' " So they obeyed the words of the LORD and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.
Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built up towns for defense in Judah:
Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa,
Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam,
Gath, Mareshah, Ziph,
Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah,
Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron. These were fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin.
He strengthened their defenses and put commanders in them, with supplies of food, olive oil and wine.
He put shields and spears in all the cities, and made them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his.
The priests and Levites from all their districts throughout Israel sided with him.
The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property, and came to Judah and Jerusalem because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as priests of the LORD.
And he appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat and calf idols he had made.
Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the LORD, the God of their fathers.
They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon three years, walking in the ways of David and Solomon during this time.
Rehoboam married Mahalath, who was the daughter of David's son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Jesse's son Eliab.
She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham.
Then he married Maacah daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith.
Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than any of his other wives and concubines. In all, he had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah to be the chief prince among his brothers, in order to make him king.
He acted wisely, dispersing some of his sons throughout the districts of Judah and Benjamin, and to all the fortified cities. He gave them abundant provisions and took many wives for them.