2 Chronicles 9; 2 Chronicles 10; 2 Chronicles 11; 2 Chronicles 12

1 The queen of Sheba heard of King Solomon's fame, and she traveled to Jerusalem to test him with difficult questions. She brought with her a large group of attendants, as well as camels loaded with spices, jewels, and a large amount of gold. When she and Solomon met, she asked him all the questions that she could think of. 2 He answered them all; there was nothing too difficult for him to explain. 3 The queen of Sheba heard Solomon's wisdom and saw the palace he had built. 4 She saw the food that was served at his table, the living quarters for his officials, the organization of his palace staff and the uniforms they wore, the clothing of the servants who waited on him at feasts, and the sacrifices he offered in the Temple. It left her breathless and amazed. 5 She said to the king, "What I heard in my own country about you and your wisdom is true! 6 I did not believe what they told me until I came and saw for myself. I had not heard of even half your wisdom. You are even wiser than people say. 7 How fortunate are those who serve you, who are always in your presence and are privileged to hear your wise sayings! 8 Praise the Lord your God! He has shown how pleased he is with you by making you king, to rule in his name. Because he loves his people Israel and wants to preserve them forever, he has made you their king so that you can maintain law and justice." 9 She presented to King Solomon the gifts she had brought: almost five tons of gold and a very large amount of spices and jewels. There have never been any other spices as fine as those that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. 10 (The sailors of King Hiram and of King Solomon who brought gold from Ophir also brought juniper wood and jewels. 11 Solomon used the wood to make stairs for the Temple and for his palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nothing like that had ever been seen before in the land of Judah.) 12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she asked for. This was in addition to what he gave her in exchange for the gifts she brought to him. Then she and her attendants returned to the land of Sheba. 13 Every year King Solomon received over twenty-five tons of gold, 14 in addition to the taxes paid by the traders and merchants. The kings of Arabia and the governors of the Israelite districts also brought him silver and gold. 15 Solomon made two hundred large shields, each of which was covered with about fifteen pounds of beaten gold, 16 and three hundred smaller shields, each covered with about eight pounds of beaten gold. He had them all placed in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon. 17 The king also had a large throne made. Part of it was covered with ivory and the rest of it was covered with pure gold. 18 Six steps led up to the throne, and there was a footstool attached to it, covered with gold. There were arms on each side of the throne, and the figure of a lion stood at each side. 19 Twelve figures of lions were on the steps, one at either end of each step. No throne like this had ever existed in any other kingdom. 20 All of King Solomon's drinking cups were made of gold, and all the utensils in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. Silver was not considered valuable in Solomon's day. 21 He had a fleet of ocean-going ships sailing with King Hiram's fleet. Every three years his fleet would return, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys. 22 King Solomon was richer and wiser than any other king in the world. 23 They all consulted him, to hear the wisdom that God had given him. 24 Each of them brought Solomon gifts - articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons, spices, horses, and mules. This continued year after year. 25 King Solomon also had four thousand stalls for his chariots and horses, and had twelve thousand cavalry horses. Some of them he kept in Jerusalem and the rest he stationed in various other cities. 26 He was supreme ruler of all the kings in the territory from the Euphrates River to Philistia and the Egyptian border. 27 During his reign silver was as common in Jerusalem as stone, and cedar was as plentiful as ordinary sycamore in the foothills of Judah. 28 Solomon imported horses from Musri and from every other country. 29 The rest of the history of Solomon from beginning to end is recorded in [The History of Nathan the Prophet,] in [The Prophecy of Ahijah of Shiloh,] and in [The Visions of Iddo the Prophet,] which also deal with the reign of King Jeroboam of Israel. 30 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 31 He died and was buried in David's City, and his son Rehoboam succeeded him as king.
1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all the people of northern Israel had gathered to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had gone to Egypt to escape from King Solomon, heard this news, he returned home. 3 The people of the northern tribes sent for him, and they all went together to Rehoboam and said to him, 4 "Your father placed heavy burdens on us. If you make these burdens lighter and make life easier for us, we will be your loyal subjects." 5 Rehoboam replied, "Give me three days to consider the matter. Then come back." So the people left. 6 King Rehoboam consulted the older men who had served as his father Solomon's advisers. "What answer do you advise me to give these people?" he asked. 7 They replied, "If you are kind to these people and try to please them by giving a considerate answer, they will always serve you loyally." 8 But he ignored the advice of the older men and went instead to the young men who had grown up with him and who were now his advisers. 9 "What do you advise me to do?" he asked. "What shall I say to the people who are asking me to make their burdens lighter?" 10 They replied, "This is what you should tell them: "My little finger is thicker than my father's waist.' 11 Tell them, "My father placed heavy burdens on you; I will make them even heavier. He beat you with whips; I'll flog you with bullwhips!' " 12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to King Rehoboam, as he had instructed them. 13 The king ignored the advice of the older men and spoke harshly to the people, 14 as the younger men had advised. He said, "My father placed heavy burdens on you; I will make them even heavier. He beat you with whips; I'll flog you with bullwhips!" 15 It was the will of the Lord God to bring about what he had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh. This is why the king did not pay any attention to the people. 16 When the people saw that the king would not listen to them, they shouted, "Down with David and his family! What have they ever done for us? People of Israel, let's go home! Let Rehoboam look out for himself!" So the people of Israel rebelled, 17 leaving Rehoboam as king only of the people who lived in the territory of Judah. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoniram, who was in charge of the forced labor, to go to the Israelites, but they stoned him to death. At this, Rehoboam hurriedly got in his chariot and escaped to Jerusalem. 19 Ever since that time the people of the northern kingdom of Israel have been in rebellion against the dynasty of David.
1 When King Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he called together 180,000 of the best soldiers from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah. He intended to go to war and restore his control over the northern tribes of Israel. 2 But the Lord told the prophet Shemaiah 3 to give this message to King Rehoboam and to all the people of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin: 4 "Do not attack your own relatives. Go home, all of you. What has happened is my will." They obeyed the Lord's command and did not go to fight Jeroboam. 5 Rehoboam remained in Jerusalem and had fortifications built for the following cities of Judah and Benjamin: 6 Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Bethzur, Soco, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. 11 He had them strongly fortified and appointed a commander for each of them, and in each one he placed supplies of food, olive oil, and wine, 12 and also shields and spears. In this way he kept Judah and Benjamin under his control. 13 From all the territory of Israel priests and Levites came south to Judah. 14 The Levites abandoned their pastures and other land and moved to Judah and Jerusalem, because King Jeroboam of Israel and his successors would not let them serve as priests of the Lord. 15 Jeroboam appointed priests of his own to serve at the pagan places of worship and to worship demons and the idols he made in the form of bull-calves. 16 From all the tribes of Israel people who sincerely wanted to worship the Lord, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem, so that they could offer sacrifices to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 17 This strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and for three years they supported Rehoboam son of Solomon and lived as they had under the rule of King David and King Solomon. 18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, whose father was Jerimoth son of David and whose mother was Abihail, the daughter of Eliab and granddaughter of Jesse. 19 They had three sons, Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 Later he married Maacah, the daughter of Absalom, and they had four sons: Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 In all, Rehoboam had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. Of all his wives and concubines he loved Maacah best, 22 and he favored her son Abijah over all his other children, choosing him as the one to succeed him as king. 23 Rehoboam wisely assigned responsibilities to his sons and stationed them throughout Judah and Benjamin in the fortified cities. He provided generously for them and also secured many wives for them.
1 As soon as Rehoboam had established his authority as king, he and all his people abandoned the Law of the Lord. 2 In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign their disloyalty to the Lord was punished. King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem 3 with an army of twelve hundred chariots, sixty thousand cavalry, and more soldiers than could be counted, including Libyan, Sukkite, and Ethiopian troops. 4 He captured the fortified cities of Judah and advanced as far as Jerusalem. 5 Shemaiah the prophet went to King Rehoboam and the Judean leaders who had gathered in Jerusalem to escape Shishak. He said to them, "This is the Lord's message to you: "You have abandoned me, so now I have abandoned you to Shishak.' " 6 The king and the leaders admitted that they had sinned, and they said, "What the Lord is doing is just." 7 When the Lord saw this, he spoke again to Shemaiah and said to him, "Because they admit their sin, I will not destroy them. But when Shishak attacks, they will barely survive. Jerusalem will not feel the full force of my anger, 8 but Shishak will conquer them, and they will learn the difference between serving me and serving earthly rulers." 9 King Shishak came to Jerusalem and took the treasures from the Temple and from the palace. He took everything, including the gold shields that King Solomon had made. 10 To replace them, Rehoboam made bronze shields and entrusted them to the officers responsible for guarding the palace gates. 11 Every time the king went to the Temple, the guards carried the shields and then returned them to the guardroom. 12 Because he submitted to the Lord, the Lord's anger did not completely destroy him, and things went well for Judah. 13 Rehoboam ruled in Jerusalem and increased his power as king. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled for seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen from all the territory of Israel as the place where he was to be worshiped. Rehoboam's mother was Naamah, from the land of Ammon. 14 He did what was evil, because he did not try to find the Lord's will. 15 Rehoboam's acts from beginning to end and his family records are found in [The History of Shemaiah the Prophet] and [The History of Iddo the Prophet.] Rehoboam and Jeroboam were constantly at war with each other. 16 Rehoboam died and was buried in the royal tombs in David's City and his son Abijah succeeded him as king.
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