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!' "
It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace.
He built the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon a hundred cubits long, fifty wide and thirty high, with four rows of cedar columns supporting trimmed cedar beams.
It was roofed with cedar above the beams that rested on the columns--forty-five beams, fifteen to a row.
Its windows were placed high in sets of three, facing each other.
All the doorways had rectangular frames; they were in the front part in sets of three, facing each other.
He made a colonnade fifty cubits long and thirty wide. In front of it was a portico, and in front of that were pillars and an overhanging roof.
He built the throne hall, the Hall of Justice, where he was to judge, and he covered it with cedar from floor to ceiling.
And the palace in which he was to live, set farther back, was similar in design. Solomon also made a palace like this hall for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had married.
All these structures, from the outside to the great courtyard and from foundation to eaves, were made of blocks of high-grade stone cut to size and trimmed with a saw on their inner and outer faces.
The foundations were laid with large stones of good quality, some measuring ten cubits and some eight.
Above were high-grade stones, cut to size, and cedar beams.
The great courtyard was surrounded by a wall of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams, as was the inner courtyard of the temple of the LORD with its portico.
King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram,
whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was a man of Tyre and a craftsman in bronze. Huram was highly skilled and experienced in all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.
He cast two bronze pillars, each eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits around, by line.
He also made two capitals of cast bronze to set on the tops of the pillars; each capital was five cubits high.
A network of interwoven chains festooned the capitals on top of the pillars, seven for each capital.
He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars. He did the same for each capital.
The capitals on top of the pillars in the portico were in the shape of lilies, four cubits high.
On the capitals of both pillars, above the bowl-shaped part next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around.
He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz.
The capitals on top were in the shape of lilies. And so the work on the pillars was completed.
He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.
Below the rim, gourds encircled it--ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea.
The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center.
It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths.
He also made ten movable stands of bronze; each was four cubits long, four wide and three high.
This is how the stands were made: They had side panels attached to uprights.
On the panels between the uprights were lions, bulls and cherubim--and on the uprights as well. Above and below the lions and bulls were wreaths of hammered work.
Each stand had four bronze wheels with bronze axles, and each had a basin resting on four supports, cast with wreaths on each side.
On the inside of the stand there was an opening that had a circular frame one cubit deep. This opening was round, and with its basework it measured a cubit and a half. Around its opening there was engraving. The panels of the stands were square, not round.
The four wheels were under the panels, and the axles of the wheels were attached to the stand. The diameter of each wheel was a cubit and a half.
The wheels were made like chariot wheels; the axles, rims, spokes and hubs were all of cast metal.
Each stand had four handles, one on each corner, projecting from the stand.
At the top of the stand there was a circular band half a cubit deep. The supports and panels were attached to the top of the stand.
He engraved cherubim, lions and palm trees on the surfaces of the supports and on the panels, in every available space, with wreaths all around.
This is the way he made the ten stands. They were all cast in the same molds and were identical in size and shape.
He then made ten bronze basins, each holding forty baths and measuring four cubits across, one basin to go on each of the ten stands.
He placed five of the stands on the south side of the temple and five on the north. He placed the Sea on the south side, at the southeast corner of the temple.
He also made the basins and shovels and sprinkling bowls. So Huram finished all the work he had undertaken for King Solomon in the temple of the LORD:
the two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two sets of network decorating the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;
the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network, decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars);
the ten stands with their ten basins;
the Sea and the twelve bulls under it;
the pots, shovels and sprinkling bowls. All these objects that Huram made for King Solomon for the temple of the LORD were of burnished bronze.
The king had them cast in clay molds in the plain of the Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan.
Solomon left all these things unweighed, because there were so many; the weight of the bronze was not determined.
Solomon also made all the furnishings that were in the LORD's temple: the golden altar; the golden table on which was the bread of the Presence;
the lampstands of pure gold (five on the right and five on the left, in front of the inner sanctuary); the gold floral work and lamps and tongs;
the pure gold basins, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and censers; and the gold sockets for the doors of the innermost room, the Most Holy Place, and also for the doors of the main hall of the temple.
When all the work King Solomon had done for the temple of the LORD was finished, he brought in the things his father David had dedicated--the silver and gold and the furnishings--and he placed them in the treasuries of the LORD's temple.
Do not rejoice, O Israel; do not be jubilant like the other nations. For you have been unfaithful to your God; you love the wages of a prostitute at every threshing floor.
Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people; the new wine will fail them.
They will not remain in the LORD's land; Ephraim will return to Egypt and eat unclean food in Assyria.
They will not pour out wine offerings to the LORD, nor will their sacrifices please him. Such sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners; all who eat them will be unclean. This food will be for themselves; it will not come into the temple of the LORD.
What will you do on the day of your appointed feasts, on the festival days of the LORD?
Even if they escape from destruction, Egypt will gather them, and Memphis will bury them. Their treasures of silver will be taken over by briers, and thorns will overrun their tents.
The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired man a maniac.
The prophet, along with my God, is the watchman over Ephraim, yet snares await him on all his paths, and hostility in the house of his God.
They have sunk deep into corruption, as in the days of Gibeah. God will remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.
"When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your fathers, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree. But when they came to Baal Peor, they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol and became as vile as the thing they loved.
Ephraim's glory will fly away like a bird-- no birth, no pregnancy, no conception.
Even if they rear children, I will bereave them of every one. Woe to them when I turn away from them!
I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place. But Ephraim will bring out their children to the slayer."
Give them, O LORD-- what will you give them? Give them wombs that miscarry and breasts that are dry.
"Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds, I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious.
Ephraim is blighted, their root is withered, they yield no fruit. Even if they bear children, I will slay their cherished offspring."