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1 Kings 10; 1 Kings 11

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1 Kings 10

1 The queen of Sheba heard about how famous Solomon was. She also heard about how he served and worshiped the Lord. So she came to test him with hard questions.
2 She arrived in Jerusalem with a very large group of attendants. Her camels were carrying spices, huge amounts of gold, and valuable jewels. She came to Solomon and asked him about everything she wanted to know.
3 Solomon answered all of her questions. There wasn't anything that was too hard for the king to explain to her.
4 So the queen of Sheba saw how very wise Solomon was. She saw the palace he had built.
5 She saw the food that was on his table. She saw his officials sitting there. She saw the robes of the servants who waited on everyone. She saw his wine tasters. And she saw the burnt offerings Solomon sacrificed at the LORD's temple. She could hardly believe everything she had seen.
6 She said to the king, "Back in my own country I heard a report about you. I heard about how much you had accomplished. I also heard about how wise you are. Everything I heard is true.
7 But I didn't believe those things. So I came to see for myself. And now I believe it! You are twice as wise and wealthy as people say you are. The report I heard doesn't even begin to tell the whole story about you.
8 "How happy your men must be! How happy your officials must be! They always get to serve you and hear the wise things you say.
9 "May the LORD your God be praised. He must take great delight in you. He placed you on the throne of Israel. The LORD will love Israel for all time to come. That's why he has made you king. He knows that you will do what is fair and right."
10 She gave the king four and a half tons of gold. She also gave him huge amounts of spices and valuable jewels. No one would ever bring to King Solomon as many spices as the queen of Sheba gave him.
11 Hiram's ships brought gold from Ophir. From there they also brought huge amounts of almugwood and valuable jewels.
12 The king used the almugwood to make supports for the LORD's temple and the royal palace. He also used it to make harps and lyres for those who played the music. That much almugwood has never been brought into Judah or seen there since that day.
13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she wanted and asked for. That was in addition to what he had given her out of his royal riches. Then she left. She returned to her own country with her attendants.
14 Each year Solomon received 25 tons of gold.
15 That didn't include the money that was brought in by business and trade. It also didn't include the money from all of the kings of Arabia and the governors of Israel.
16 King Solomon made 200 large shields out of hammered gold. Each one weighed seven and a half pounds.
17 He also made 300 small shields out of hammered gold. Each one weighed almost four pounds. The king put all of the shields in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
18 Then he made a large throne. It was decorated with ivory. It was covered with fine gold.
19 The throne had six steps. Its back had a rounded top. The throne had armrests on both sides of the seat. A statue of a lion stood on each side of the throne.
20 Twelve lions stood on the six steps. There was one at each end of each step. Nothing like that throne had ever been made for any other kingdom.
21 All of King Solomon's cups were made out of gold. All of the articles that were used in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were made out of pure gold. Nothing was made out of silver. When Solomon was king, silver wasn't considered to be worth very much.
22 He had many ships that carried goods to be traded. His ships went to sea along with Hiram's ships. Once every three years the ships returned. They brought gold, silver, ivory, apes and baboons.
23 King Solomon was richer than all of the other kings on earth. He was also wiser than they were.
24 People from the whole world wanted to meet Solomon in person. They wanted to see for themselves how wise God had made him.
25 Year after year, everyone who came to him brought a gift. They brought articles that were made out of silver and gold. They brought robes, weapons and spices. They also brought horses and mules.
26 Solomon had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He kept some of his horses and chariots in the chariot cities. He kept the others with him in Jerusalem.
27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones. He made cedar wood as common there as sycamore-fig trees in the western hills.
28 Solomon got horses from Egypt and from Kue. The royal traders bought them from Kue.
29 They weighed out 15 pounds of silver for a chariot from Egypt. And they weighed out almost four pounds of silver for a horse. They also sold horses and chariots to all of the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Arameans.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

1 Kings 11

1 King Solomon loved many women besides Pharaoh's daughter. They were from other lands. They were Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.
2 The LORD had warned Israel about women from other nations. He had said, "You must not get married to them. If you do, you can be sure they will turn your hearts toward their gods." But Solomon continued to love them anyway. He wouldn't give them up.
3 He had 700 wives who came from royal families. And he had 300 concubines. His wives led him down the wrong path.
4 As Solomon grew older, his wives turned his heart toward other gods. He didn't follow the LORD his God with all his heart. So he wasn't like his father David.
5 Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth. Ashtoreth was the goddess of the people of Sidon. He also worshiped Molech. Molech was the god of the people of Ammon. The LORD hated that god.
6 Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He didn't follow the LORD completely. He didn't do what his father David had done.
7 There is a hill east of Jerusalem. Solomon built a high place for worshiping Chemosh there. He built a high place for worshiping Molech there too. Chemosh was the god of Moab. Molech was the god of Ammon. The LORD hated both of those gods.
8 Solomon also built high places so that all of his wives from other nations could worship their gods. Those women burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods.
9 The LORD became angry with Solomon. That's because his heart had turned away from the Lord. He is the God of Israel. He had appeared to Solomon twice.
10 He had commanded Solomon not to follow other gods. But Solomon didn't obey him.
11 So the LORD said to Solomon, "You have chosen not to keep my covenant. You have decided not to obey my rules. I commanded you to do what I told you. But you did not do it. So you can be absolutely sure I will tear the kingdom away from you. I will give it to one of your officials.
12 "But I will not do that while you are still living. Because of your father David I will wait. I will tear the kingdom out of your son's hand.
13 But I will not tear the whole kingdom away from him. I will give him one of the tribes because of my servant David. I will also do it because of Jerusalem. That is the city I have chosen."
14 Then the LORD brought an enemy against Solomon. The enemy's name was Hadad. He was from Edom. In fact, he belonged to the royal family of Edom.
15 David had fought against Edom. Joab had been the commander of the army. He had gone up to bury the dead bodies of the Israelites who had been killed in battle. At that time he had struck down all of the men in Edom.
16 In fact, Joab and all of the men of Israel stayed there for six months. During that time they destroyed all of the men in Edom.
17 But when Hadad was only a boy, he ran away to Egypt. Some officials from Edom went with him. They had served Hadad's father.
18 They started out from Midian and went to Paran. They took some men from Paran with them. Then they went to Egypt. They went to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. He gave Hadad a house and some land. He also supplied him with food.
19 Pharaoh was very pleased with Hadad. Pharaoh's wife was Queen Tahpenes. He gave Hadad her sister to be his wife.
20 The sister of Tahpenes had a son by Hadad. The baby was named Genubath. Tahpenes brought him up in the royal palace. Genubath lived there with Pharaoh's own children.
21 Hadad heard that David had joined the members of his family who had already died. He also heard that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead. Hadad heard those things while he was in Egypt. He said to Pharaoh, "Let me go. I want to return to my own country."
22 "Why do you want to go back to your own country?" Pharaoh asked. "Don't you have everything you need right here?" "Yes," Hadad replied. "But I want you to let me go anyway!"
23 God brought another enemy against Solomon. The enemy's name was Rezon. He was the son of Eliada. Rezon had run away from his master Hadadezer, the king of Zobah.
24 He gathered some men together to follow him. He became the leader of a group of men who had refused to follow David. It happened when David destroyed the troops of Zobah. Then the group that was against David went to Damascus. They settled down there and took control of it.
25 Rezon was Israel's enemy as long as Solomon was living. Rezon added to the trouble Hadad had caused. So Rezon ruled in Aram. He was Israel's enemy.
26 Jeroboam refused to follow King Solomon. He was one of Solomon's officials. He was from Zeredah in the territory of Ephraim. His father was Nebat. His mother was a widow named Zeruah.
27 Here is the story of how Jeroboam refused to follow the king. Solomon had filled in the low places near the palace. He had also repaired the wall of the city of his father David.
28 Jeroboam was a very important young man. Solomon saw how well he did his work. So he put him in charge of all of the workers in northern Israel.
29 About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem. The prophet Ahijah met him on the road. Ahijah was from Shiloh. He was wearing a new coat. The two of them were all alone out in the country.
30 Ahijah grabbed hold of the new coat he had on. He tore it up into 12 pieces.
31 Then he said to Jeroboam, "Take ten pieces for yourself. The LORD is the God of Israel. He says, 'I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hand. I will give you ten of its tribes.
32 Solomon will have one of its tribes. I will let him keep it because of my servant David and because of Jerusalem. I have chosen that city out of all of the cities in the tribes of Israel.
33 " 'I will do those things because the tribes have deserted me. They have worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the people of Sidon. They have worshiped Chemosh, the god of the people of Moab. And they have worshiped Molech, the god of the people of Ammon. They have not lived the way I wanted them to. They have not done what is right in my eyes. They have not obeyed my rules and laws as Solomon's father David did.
34 " 'But I will not take the whole kingdom out of Solomon's hand. I have made him ruler all the days of his life. I have done it because of my servant David. I chose him. He obeyed my commands and rules.
35 " 'I will take the kingdom out of his son's hands. And I will give you ten of the tribes.
36 " 'I will give one of the tribes to David's son. Then my servant David will always have a son on his throne in Jerusalem. The lamp of David's kingdom will always burn brightly in my sight. Jerusalem is the city I chose for my Name.
37 " 'But I will make you king over Israel. You will rule over everything your heart longs for. So you will be the king of Israel.
38 Do everything I command you to do. Live the way I want you to. Do what is right in my eyes. Obey my rules and commands. That is what my servant David did. If you do those things, I will be with you. I will build you a kingdom. It will last as long as the one I built for David. I will give Israel to you.
39 " 'I will punish David's family because of what Solomon has done. But I will not punish them forever.' "
40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam ran away to Egypt. He went to Shishak, the king of Egypt. He stayed there until Solomon died.
41 The other events of Solomon's rule are written down. Everything he did and the wisdom he showed are written down. They are written in the official records of Solomon.
42 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over the whole nation of Israel for 40 years.
43 Then he joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in the city of his father David. Solomon's son Rehoboam became the next king after him.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.