1 Kings 10; 1 Kings 11; Luke 21:20-38

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1 Kings 10

1 The queen of Sheba heard about Solomon's reputation. (He owed his reputation to the name of the LORD.) So she came to test him with riddles.
2 She arrived in Jerusalem with a large group of servants, with camels carrying spices, a very large quantity of gold, and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she talked to him about everything she had on her mind.
3 Solomon answered all her questions. No question was too difficult for the king to answer.
4 When the queen of Sheba saw all of Solomon's wisdom, the palace he built,
5 the food on his table, his officers' seating arrangement, the organization of his officials and the uniforms they wore, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings that he sacrificed at the LORD's temple, she was breathless.
6 She told the king, "What I heard in my country about your words and your wisdom is true!
7 But I didn't believe the reports until I came and saw it with my own eyes. I wasn't even told half of it. Your wisdom and wealth surpass the stories I've heard.
8 How blessed your men must be! How blessed these servants of yours must be because they are always stationed in front of you, listening to your wisdom!
9 Thank the LORD your God, who is pleased with you. He has put you on the throne of Israel. Because of your God's eternal love for the people of Israel, he has made you king so that you would maintain justice and righteousness."
10 She gave the king 9,000 pounds of gold, a very large quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never again was such a large quantity of spices brought [into Israel] as those that the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon.
11 Hiram's fleet that brought gold from Ophir also brought a large quantity of sandalwood and precious stones from Ophir.
12 With the sandalwood the king made supports for the LORD's temple and the royal palace, and lyres and harps for the singers. Never again was sandalwood like this imported [into Israel], nor has any been seen [there] to this day.
13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba anything she wanted, whatever she asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal generosity. Then she and her servants went back to her country.
14 The gold that came to Solomon in one year weighed 49,950 pounds,
15 not counting [the gold] which came from the merchants, the traders' profits, all the Arab kings, and the governors of the country.
16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold, using 15 pounds of gold on each shield.
17 He also made 300 small shields of hammered gold, using four pounds of gold on each shield. The king put them in the hall [which he called] the Forest of Lebanon.
18 The king also made a large ivory throne and covered it with fine gold.
19 Six steps led to the throne. Carved into the back of the throne was a calf's head. There were armrests on both sides of the seat. Two lions stood beside the armrests.
20 Twelve lions stood on six steps, one on each side. Nothing like this had been made for any other kingdom.
21 All King Solomon's cups were gold, and all the utensils for the hall [which he called] the Forest of Lebanon were fine gold. (Nothing was silver, because it wasn't considered valuable in Solomon's time.)
22 The king had a fleet headed for Tarshish with Hiram's fleet. Once every three years the Tarshish fleet would bring gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.
23 In wealth and wisdom King Solomon was greater than all the [other] kings of the world.
24 The whole world wanted to listen to the wisdom that God gave Solomon.
25 So everyone who came brought him gifts: articles of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules. This happened year after year.
26 Solomon built up [his army] with chariots and war horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 war horses. He stationed [some] in chariot cities and [others] with himself in Jerusalem.
27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as plentiful as fig trees in the foothills.
28 Solomon's horses were imported from Egypt and Kue. The king's traders bought them from Kue for a fixed price.
29 Each chariot was imported from Egypt for 15 pounds of silver and each horse for 6 ounces of silver. For the same price they obtained horses to export to all the Hittite and Aramean kings.

1 Kings 11

1 King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh's daughter. He loved Hittite women and women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Sidon.
2 They came from the nations about which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, "Never intermarry with them. They will surely tempt you to follow their gods." But Solomon was obsessed with their love.
3 He had 700 wives who were princesses and 300 wives who were concubines.
4 In his old age, his wives tempted him to follow other gods. He was no longer committed to the LORD his God as his father David had been.
5 Solomon followed Astarte (the goddess of the Sidonians) and Milcom (the disgusting idol of the Ammonites).
6 So Solomon did what the LORD considered evil. He did not wholeheartedly follow the LORD as his father David had done.
7 Then Solomon built an illegal worship site on the hill east of Jerusalem for Chemosh (the disgusting idol of Moab) and for Molech (the disgusting idol of the Ammonites).
8 He did these things for each of his foreign wives who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
9 So the LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.
10 God had given him commands about this. [He told him] not to follow other gods. But Solomon did not obey God's command.
11 The LORD told Solomon, "Because this is your attitude and you have no respect for my promises or my laws that I commanded you to keep, I will certainly tear the kingdom away from you. I will give it to one of your servants.
12 But I will not do it in your lifetime because of your father David. I will tear it away from the hands of your son.
13 However, I will not tear the whole kingdom away from you. I will give your son one tribe for my servant David's sake and for the sake of Jerusalem, [the city] that I chose."
14 The LORD raised up Hadad the Edomite as a rival to Solomon. Hadad was from the Edomite royal family.
15 When David had conquered Edom, Joab, the commander of the army, went to bury those killed in battle and killed every male in Edom.
16 (Joab and all Israel stayed there six months until they had destroyed every male in Edom.)
17 Hadad was a young boy at the time. He and some of his father's Edomite servants fled to Egypt.
18 They left Midian and went to Paran. Taking some men from Paran with them, they went to Pharaoh (the king of Egypt). Pharaoh gave Hadad a home, a food allowance, and land.
19 Pharaoh approved of Hadad. So he gave Hadad his sister-in-law, the sister of Queen Tahpenes, to be Hadad's wife.
20 Tahpenes' sister had a son [named] Genubath. Tahpenes presented the boy to Pharaoh in the palace, and Genubath lived in the palace among Pharaoh's children.
21 When Hadad heard in Egypt that David had lain down in death with his ancestors and that Joab, the commander of the army, had died, he said to Pharaoh, "Let me go to my own country."
22 Pharaoh asked him, "What don't you have here that makes you eager to go home?" "Nothing," he said. "But let me leave anyway."
23 God also raised up Rezon, son of Eliada, as a rival to Solomon. Rezon fled from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah,
24 after David killed the men of Zobah. Rezon gathered men and became the leader of a troop of warriors. They went to Damascus, settled there, and ruled a kingdom in Damascus.
25 In addition to the trouble that Hadad caused, Rezon was Israel's rival as long as Solomon lived. He ruled Aram and despised Israel.
26 There was also Jeroboam, who was the son of Nebat and an Ephrathite from Zeredah. His mother Zeruah was a widow. He was one of Solomon's officers, but he rebelled against the king.
27 This was the situation when he rebelled against the king: Solomon was building the Millo and repairing a break in the [wall of] the City of David.
28 Solomon saw that Jeroboam was a very able and hard-working man. So he put Jeroboam in charge of all forced labor from the tribes of Joseph.
29 At that time Jeroboam left Jerusalem. The prophet Ahijah from Shiloh met him on the road. The two of them were alone in the open country, and Ahijah had on new clothes.
30 Ahijah took his new garment and tore it into 12 pieces.
31 He told Jeroboam, "Take 10 pieces because this is what the LORD God of Israel says: I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hands and give ten tribes to you.
32 He will have one tribe [left] because of my servant David and Jerusalem, the city I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel.
33 I will do this because he has abandoned me and worshiped Astarte (the goddess of the Sidonians), Chemosh (the god of Moab), and Milcom (the god of Ammon). He has not followed my ways. He did not do what I consider right or keep my laws and decrees as his father David did.
34 "I will not take the whole kingdom from him. Instead, I will allow him to be ruler as long as he lives because of my servant David whom I chose, who obeyed my commands and laws.
35 But I will take the kingdom away from his son and give you ten tribes.
36 I will give his son one tribe so that my servant David will always have a lamp in my presence in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to place my name.
37 "I will choose you so that you can rule everything you desire. You will be king of Israel.
38 If you will do all I command you, follow my ways, and do what I consider right by obeying my laws and commands as my servant David did, then I will be with you. I will build a permanent dynasty for you as I did for David. And I will give you Israel.
39 I will make David's descendants suffer for this, but not always."
40 Then Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to King Shishak of Egypt. He stayed in Egypt until Solomon died.
41 Aren't the rest of Solomon's acts--everything he did--and his wisdom written in the records of Solomon?
42 The length of Solomon's reign in Jerusalem over all Israel was 40 years.
43 Solomon lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. His son Rehoboam succeeded him as king.

Luke 21:20-38

20 "When you see armies camped around Jerusalem, realize that the time is near for it to be destroyed.
21 Then those of you in Judea should flee to the mountains. Those of you in Jerusalem should leave it. Those of you in the fields shouldn't go back into them.
22 This will be a time of vengeance. Everything that is written about it will come true.
23 "How horrible it will be for women who are pregnant or who are nursing babies in those days. Indeed, the land will suffer very hard times, and its people will be punished.
24 Swords will cut them down, and they will be carried off into all nations as prisoners. Nations will trample Jerusalem until the times allowed for the nations [to do this] are over.
25 "Miraculous signs will occur in the sun, moon, and stars. The nations of the earth will be deeply troubled and confused because of the roaring and tossing of the sea.
26 People will faint as they fearfully wait for what will happen to the world. Indeed, the powers of the universe will be shaken.
27 "Then people will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 "When these things begin to happen, stand with confidence! The time when you will be set free is near."
29 Then Jesus used this story as an illustration. "Look at the fig tree or any other tree.
30 As soon as leaves grow on them, you know without being told that summer is near.
31 In the same way, when you see these things happen, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 "I can guarantee this truth: This generation will not disappear until all this takes place.
33 The earth and the heavens will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
34 "Make sure that you don't become drunk, hung over, and worried about life. Then that day could suddenly catch you by surprise
35 like a trap that catches a bird. That day will surprise all people who live on the earth.
36 Be alert at all times. Pray so that you have the power to escape everything that is about to happen and to stand in front of the Son of Man."
37 During the day Jesus would teach in the temple courtyard. But at night he would go to the Mount of Olives (as it was called) and spend the night there.
38 All of the people would get up early to hear him speak in the temple courtyard.