2 Chronicles 8; 2 Chronicles 9; 2 Chronicles 10

1 By the end of twenty years, Solomon had built the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace. 2 Solomon rebuilt the towns that Hiram had given him, and Solomon sent Israelites to live in them. 3 Then he went to Hamath Zobah and captured it. 4 Solomon also built the town of Tadmor in the desert, and he built all the towns in Hamath as towns for storing grain and supplies. 5 He rebuilt the towns of Upper Beth Horon and Lower Beth Horon, protecting them with strong walls, gates, and bars in the gates. 6 He also rebuilt the town of Baalath. And he built all the other towns for storage and all the cities for his chariots and horses. He built all he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and everywhere he ruled. 7 There were other people in the land who were not Israelites -- the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 8 They were descendants of the people that the Israelites had not destroyed. Solomon forced them to be slave workers, as is still true today. 9 But Solomon did not make slaves of the Israelites. They were his soldiers, chief captains, commanders of his chariots, and his chariot drivers. 10 These were his most important officers. There were two hundred fifty of them to direct the people. 11 Solomon brought the daughter of the king of Egypt from the older part of Jerusalem to the palace he had built for her. Solomon said, "My wife must not live in King David's palace, because the places where the Ark of the Agreement has been are holy." 12 Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar he had built for the Lord in front of the Temple porch. 13 He offered sacrifices every day as Moses had commanded. They were offered on the Sabbath days, New Moons, and the three yearly feasts -- the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Shelters. 14 Solomon followed his father David's instructions and chose the groups of priests for their service and the Levites to lead the praise and to help the priests do their daily work. And he chose the gatekeepers by their groups to serve at each gate, as David, the man of God, had commanded. 15 They obeyed all of Solomon's commands to the priests and Levites, as well as his commands about the treasuries. 16 All Solomon's work was done as he had said from the day the foundation of the Temple of the Lord was begun, until it was finished. So the Temple was finished. 17 Then Solomon went to the towns of Ezion Geber and Elath near the Red Sea in the land of Edom. 18 Hiram sent ships to Solomon that were commanded by his own men, who were skilled sailors. Hiram's men went with Solomon's men to Ophir and brought back about thirty-four thousand pounds of gold to King Solomon.
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.
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.
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