Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,
and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade.
The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me,26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.30I and the Father are one."31
Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him,
but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"33
"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods' ?35If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came--and the Scripture cannot be broken--36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'?37Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.38But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."39
Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed
and many people came to him. They said, "Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true."
And in that place many believed in Jesus.
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.
Why have you rejected us forever, O God? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember the people you purchased of old, the tribe of your inheritance, whom you redeemed-- Mount Zion, where you dwelt.
Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins, all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.
Your foes roared in the place where you met with us; they set up their standards as signs.
They behaved like men wielding axes to cut through a thicket of trees.
They smashed all the carved paneling with their axes and hatchets.
They burned your sanctuary to the ground; they defiled the dwelling place of your Name.
They said in their hearts, "We will crush them completely!" They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land.
We are given no miraculous signs; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be.
How long will the enemy mock you, O God? Will the foe revile your name forever?
Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!
But you, O God, are my king from of old; you bring salvation upon the earth.
It was you who split open the sea by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave him as food to the creatures of the desert.
It was you who opened up springs and streams; you dried up the ever flowing rivers.
The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon.
It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.
Remember how the enemy has mocked you, O LORD, how foolish people have reviled your name.
Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
Have regard for your covenant, because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name.
Rise up, O God, and defend your cause; remember how fools mock you all day long.
Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries, the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.