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

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2 Chronicles 9

1 When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon's fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. She had a large group of servants with her and camels carrying spices, jewels, and much gold. When she came to Solomon, she talked with him about all she had in mind,
2 and Solomon answered all her questions. Nothing was too hard for him to explain to her.
3 The queen of Sheba saw that Solomon was very wise. She saw the palace he had built,
4 the food on his table, his many officers, the palace servants and their good clothes, the servants who served Solomon his wine and their good clothes. She saw the whole burnt offerings he made in the Temple of the Lord. All these things amazed her.
5 So she said to King Solomon, "What I heard in my own country about your achievements and wisdom is true.
6 I did not believe it then, but now I have come and seen it with my own eyes. I was not told even half of your great wisdom! You are much greater than I had heard.
7 Your men and officers are very lucky, because in always serving you, they are able to hear your wisdom.
8 Praise the Lord your God who was pleased to make you king. He has put you on his throne to rule for the Lord your God, because your God loves the people of Israel and supports them forever. He has made you king over them to keep justice and to rule fairly."
9 Then she gave the king about nine thousand pounds of gold and many spices and jewels. No one had ever given such spices as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
10 Hiram's men and Solomon's men brought gold from Ophir, juniper wood, and jewels.
11 King Solomon used the juniper wood to build steps for the Temple of the Lord and the palace and to make lyres and harps for the musicians. No one in Judah had ever seen such beautiful things as these.
12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she wanted and asked for, even more than she had brought to him. Then she and her servants returned to her own country.
13 Every year King Solomon received about fifty thousand pounds of gold.
14 Besides that, he also received gold from traders and merchants. All the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land also brought gold and silver.
15 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold, each of which contained about seven and one-half pounds of hammered gold.
16 He also made three hundred smaller shields of hammered gold, each of which contained about four pounds of gold. The king put them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
17 The king built a large throne of ivory and covered it with pure gold.
18 The throne had six steps on it and a gold footstool. There were armrests on both sides of the chair, and each armrest had a lion beside it.
19 Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one lion at each end of each step. Nothing like this had ever been made for any other kingdom.
20 All of Solomon's drinking cups, as well as the dishes in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon, were made of pure gold. In Solomon's time people did not think silver was valuable.
21 King Solomon had many ships that he sent out to trade, with Hiram's men as the crews. Every three years the ships returned, bringing back gold, silver, ivory, apes, and baboons.
22 King Solomon had more riches and wisdom than all the other kings on earth.
23 All the kings of the earth wanted to see Solomon and listen to the wisdom God had given him.
24 Year after year everyone who came brought gifts of silver and gold, clothes, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and he had twelve thousand horses. He kept some in special cities for the chariots, and others he kept with him in Jerusalem.
26 Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt.
27 In Jerusalem the king made silver as common as stones and cedar trees as plentiful as the fig trees on the western hills.
28 Solomon imported horses from Egypt and all other countries.
29 Everything else Solomon did, from the beginning to the end, is written in the records of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer, who wrote about Jeroboam, Nebat's son.
30 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years.
31 Then Solomon died and was buried in Jerusalem, the city of David, his father. And Solomon's son Rehoboam became king in his place.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Chronicles 10

1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all the Israelites had gone to make him king.
2 Jeroboam son of Nebat was in Egypt, where he had gone to escape from King Solomon. When Jeroboam heard about Rehoboam being made king, he returned from Egypt.
3 After the people sent for him, he and the people went to Rehoboam and said to him,
4 "Your father forced us to work very hard. Now, make it easier for us, and don't make us work as he did. Then we will serve you."
5 Rehoboam answered, "Come back to me in three days." So the people left.
6 King Rehoboam asked the older leaders who had advised Solomon during his lifetime, "How do you think I should answer these people?"
7 They answered, "Be kind to these people. If you please them and give them a kind answer, they will serve you always."
8 But Rehoboam rejected this advice. Instead, he asked the young men who had grown up with him and who served as his advisers.
9 Rehoboam asked them, "What is your advice? How should we answer these people who said, 'Don't make us work as hard as your father did'?"
10 The young men who had grown up with him answered, "The people said to you, 'Your father forced us to work very hard. Now make our work easier.' You should tell them, 'My little finger is bigger than my father's legs.
11 He forced you to work hard, but I will make you work even harder. My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with whips that have sharp points.'"
12 Rehoboam had told the people, "Come back to me in three days." So after three days Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam.
13 King Rehoboam spoke cruel words to them, because he had rejected the advice of the older leaders.
14 He followed the advice of the young men and said, "My father forced you to work hard, but I will make you work even harder. My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with whips that have sharp points."
15 So the king did not listen to the people. God caused this to happen so that the Lord could keep the promise he had made to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah, a prophet from Shiloh.
16 When all the Israelites saw that the king refused to listen to them, they said to the king, "We have no share in David! People of Israel, let's go to our own homes! Let David's son rule his own people." So all the Israelites went home.
17 But Rehoboam still ruled over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.
18 Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. When Rehoboam sent him to the people, they threw stones at him until he died. But King Rehoboam ran to his chariot and escaped to Jerusalem.
19 Since then, Israel has been against the family of David.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Chronicles 11

1 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he gathered one hundred eighty thousand of the best soldiers from Judah and Benjamin. He wanted to fight Israel to take back his kingdom.
2 But the Lord spoke his word to Shemaiah, a man of God, saying,
3 "Speak to Solomon's son Rehoboam, the king of Judah, and to all the Israelites living in Judah and Benjamin. Say to them,
4 'The Lord says you must not go to war against your brothers. Every one of you should go home, because I made all these things happen.'" So they obeyed the Lord's command and turned back and did not attack Jeroboam.
5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built strong cities in Judah to defend it.
6 He built up the cities of Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa,
7 Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam,
8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph,
9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah,
10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These were strong, walled cities in Judah and Benjamin.
11 When Rehoboam made those cities strong, he put commanders and supplies of food, oil, and wine in them.
12 Also, Rehoboam put shields and spears in all the cities and made them very strong. Rehoboam kept the people of Judah and Benjamin under his control.
13 The priests and the Levites from all over Israel joined Rehoboam.
14 The Levites even left their pasturelands and property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons refused to let them serve as priests to the Lord.
15 Jeroboam chose his own priests for the places of worship and for the goat and calf idols he had made.
16 There were people from all the tribes of Israel who wanted to obey the Lord, the God of Israel. So they went to Jerusalem with the Levites to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers.
17 These people made the kingdom of Judah strong, and they supported Solomon's son Rehoboam for three years. During this time they lived the way David and Solomon had lived.
18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, the daughter of Jerimoth and Abihail. Jerimoth was David's son, and Abihail was the daughter of Eliab, Jesse's son.
19 Mahalath gave Rehoboam these sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham.
20 Then Rehoboam married Absalom's daughter Maacah, and she gave Rehoboam these children: Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith.
21 Rehoboam loved Maacah more than his other wives and slave women. Rehoboam had eighteen wives and sixty slave women and was the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
22 Rehoboam chose Abijah son of Maacah to be the leader of his own brothers, because he planned to make Abijah king.
23 Rehoboam acted wisely. He spread his sons through all the areas of Judah and Benjamin, sending them to every strong, walled city. He gave plenty of supplies to his sons, and he also found wives for them.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Chronicles 12

1 After Rehoboam's kingdom was set up and he became strong, he and the people of Judah stopped obeying the teachings of the Lord.
2 During the fifth year Rehoboam was king, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem, because Rehoboam and the people were unfaithful to the Lord.
3 Shishak had twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen. He brought troops of Libyans, Sukkites, and Cushites from Egypt with him, so many they couldn't be counted.
4 Shishak captured the strong, walled cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem.
5 Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah who had gathered in Jerusalem because they were afraid of Shishak. Shemaiah said to them, "This is what the Lord says: 'You have left me, so now I will leave you to face Shishak alone.'"
6 Then the leaders of Judah and King Rehoboam were sorry for what they had done. They said, "The Lord does what is right."
7 When the Lord saw they were sorry for what they had done, the Lord spoke his word to Shemaiah, saying, "The king and the leaders are sorry. So I will not destroy them but will save them soon. I will not use Shishak to punish Jerusalem in my anger.
8 But the people of Jerusalem will become Shishak's servants so they may learn that serving me is different than serving the kings of other nations."
9 Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and took the treasures from the Temple of the Lord and the king's palace. He took everything, even the gold shields Solomon had made.
10 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to take their place and gave them to the commanders of the guards for the palace gates.
11 Whenever the king went to the Temple of the Lord, the guards went with him, carrying the shields. Later, they would put them back in the guardroom.
12 When Rehoboam was sorry for what he had done, the Lord held his anger back and did not fully destroy Rehoboam. There was some good in Judah.
13 King Rehoboam made himself a strong king in Jerusalem. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for seventeen years. Jerusalem is the city that the Lord chose from all the tribes of Israel in which he was to be worshiped. Rehoboam's mother was Naamah from the country of Ammon.
14 Rehoboam did evil because he did not want to obey the Lord.
15 The things Rehoboam did as king, from the beginning to the end, are written in the records of Shemaiah the prophet and Iddo the seer, in the family histories. There were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the time they ruled.
16 Rehoboam died and was buried in Jerusalem, and his son Abijah became king in his place.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.