2 Chronicles 7; 2 Chronicles 8; 2 Chronicles 9; John 11:1-29

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2 Chronicles 7

1 Solomon finished praying. Then fire came down from heaven. It burned up the burnt offering and the sacrifices. The glory of the LORD filled the temple.
2 The priests couldn't enter the temple of the Lord. His glory filled it.
3 All of the people of Israel saw the fire coming down. They saw the glory of the LORD above the temple. So they got down on their knees in the courtyard with their faces toward the ground. They worshiped the Lord. They gave thanks to him. They said, "He is good. His faithful love continues forever."
4 Then the king and all of the people offered sacrifices to the Lord.
5 King Solomon sacrificed 22,000 head of cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. So the king and all of the people set the temple of God apart.
6 The priests and Levites took their positions. The Levites played the LORD's musical instruments. King David had made them for praising the Lord. They were used when he gave thanks to the Lord. He said, "His faithful love continues forever." Across from where the Levites were, the priests blew their trumpets. All of the people of Israel were standing.
7 Solomon set the middle area of the courtyard apart to the Lord. It was in front of the LORD's temple. There Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings. He also sacrificed the fat of the friendship offerings there. He did it there because the bronze altar he had made couldn't hold all of the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat parts.
8 At that time Solomon celebrated the Feast of Booths for seven days. The whole community of Israel was with him. It was a huge crowd. People came from as far away as Lebo Hamath and the Wadi of Egypt.
9 On the eighth day they held a service. For seven days they had celebrated by setting the altar apart to honor God. The feast continued for seven more days.
10 Then Solomon sent the people home. It was the 23rd day of the seventh month. The people were glad. Their hearts were full of joy. That's because the LORD had done good things for David and Solomon and his people Israel.
11 Solomon finished the LORD's temple and the royal palace. He had done everything he had planned to do in the LORD's temple and his own palace.
12 The LORD appeared to him at night. He said, "I have heard your prayer. I have chosen this place for myself. It is a temple where sacrifices will be offered.
13 "Suppose I close up the sky and there isn't any rain. Suppose I command locusts to eat up the crops. And I send a plague among my people.
14 But they make themselves low in my sight. They pray and look to me. And they turn from their evil ways. Then I will listen to them from heaven. I will forgive their sin. And I will heal their land. After all, they are my people.
15 "Now my eyes will see them. My ears will pay attention to the prayers they offer in this place.
16 I have chosen this temple. I have set it apart for myself. My Name will be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
17 "But you must walk with me, just as your father David did. Do everything I command you to do. Obey my rules and laws.
18 Then I will set up your royal throne. I made a covenant with your father David to do that. I said to him, 'You will always have a son to rule over Israel.'
19 "But suppose all of you turn away from me. You refuse to obey the rules and commands I have given you. And you go off to serve other gods and worship them.
20 Then I will remove Israel from my land. It is the land I gave them. I will turn my back on this temple. I will do it even though I have set it apart for my Name to be there. I will make all of the nations hate it. They will laugh and joke about it.
21 "This temple is now so grand and beautiful. But the time is coming when all those who pass by it will be shocked. They will say, 'Why has the LORD done a thing like this to this land and temple?'
22 "People will answer, 'Because they have deserted the Lord. He is the God of their people who lived long ago. He brought them out of Egypt. But they have been holding on to other gods. They've been worshiping them. They've been serving them. That's why he has brought all of this horrible trouble on them.' "
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

2 Chronicles 8

1 Solomon built the LORD's temple and his own palace. It took him 20 years to build them. After that,
2 Solomon rebuilt the villages Hiram had given him. He settled Israelites in them.
3 Then Solomon went to Hamath Zobah. He captured it.
4 He also built up Tadmor in the desert. He built up all of the cities in Hamath where he could store things.
5 He rebuilt Lower Beth Horon and Upper Beth Horon. He put up high walls around them. He made their city gates secure with heavy metal bars.
6 He rebuilt Baalath and all of the cities where he could store things. He also rebuilt all of the cities for his chariots and horses. Solomon built anything he wanted to build in Jerusalem, Lebanon and all of the territory he ruled over.
7 There were still many people left in the land who weren't Israelites. They included Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
8 They were children of the people who had lived in the land before the Israelites came. The people of Israel hadn't destroyed them. Solomon had forced them to work very hard as his slaves. And they still work for Israel to this very day.
9 But Solomon didn't force the men of Israel to work as his slaves. Instead, some were his fighting men. Others were commanders of his captains, chariots and chariot drivers.
10 Still others were King Solomon's chief officials. There were 250 officials in charge of the other men.
11 Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her. He said, "My wife must not live in the palace of David, who was the king of Israel. It's one of the places the ark of the LORD has entered. That makes it holy."
12 Solomon had built the LORD's altar. It stood in front of the temple porch. On that altar Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings to the Lord.
13 Each day he sacrificed what the Law of Moses required. He sacrificed the required offerings every Sabbath day. He also sacrificed them at each New Moon Feast and during the three yearly feasts. Those three were the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths.
14 Solomon followed the orders his father David had given him. He appointed the groups of priests for their duties. He appointed the Levites to lead the people in praising the Lord. They also helped the priests do their required tasks each day. Solomon appointed the groups of men who guarded all of the gates. That's what David, the man of God, had ordered.
15 King David's commands were followed completely. They applied to the priests and Levites. They also applied to the temple treasure.
16 All of Solomon's work was carried out. It started the day the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid. It ended when the LORD's temple was finished.
17 Solomon went to Ezion Geber and Elath on the coast of Edom.
18 Hiram sent him ships that his own officers commanded. They were men who knew the sea. Together with Solomon's men they sailed to Ophir. They brought back 17 tons of gold. They gave it to King Solomon.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

2 Chronicles 9

1 The queen of Sheba heard about how famous Solomon was. So she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. She arrived 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.
2 He answered all of her questions. There wasn't anything that was too hard for him to explain to her.
3 So the queen of Sheba saw how wise Solomon was. She saw the palace he had built.
4 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 the robes the wine tasters were wearing. And she saw the burnt offerings Solomon sacrificed at the LORD's temple. She could hardly believe everything she had seen.
5 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.
6 But I didn't believe what people were saying. So I came to see for myself. And now I believe it! You are twice as wise as people say you are. The report I heard doesn't even begin to tell the whole story about you.
7 "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.
8 "May the LORD your God be praised. He must take great delight in you. He placed you on his throne as king. He put you there to rule for him. Your God loves Israel very much. He longs to take good care of them forever. That's why he has made you king over them. He knows that you will do what is fair and right."
9 She gave the king four and a half tons of gold. She also gave him huge amounts of spices and valuable jewels. There had never been as many spices as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
10 The servants of Hiram and those of Solomon brought gold from Ophir. They also brought algumwood and valuable jewels.
11 The king used the algumwood to make steps for the LORD's temple and the royal palace. He also used it to make harps and lyres for those who played the music. No one had ever seen that much algumwood in Judah before.
12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she wanted and asked for. In fact, he gave her more than she had brought to him. Then she left. She returned to her own country with her attendants.
13 Each year Solomon received 25 tons of gold.
14 That didn't include the money that was brought in by business and trade. All of the kings of Arabia also brought gold and silver to Solomon. So did the governors of Israel.
15 King Solomon made 200 large shields out of hammered gold. Each one weighed seven and a half pounds.
16 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.
17 Then he made a large throne. It was decorated with ivory. It was covered with pure gold.
18 The throne had six steps. A gold stool for the king's feet was connected to it. The throne had armrests on both sides of the seat. A statue of a lion stood on each side of the throne.
19 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.
20 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.
21 He had many ships that carried goods to be traded. The crews of those ships were made up of Hiram's men. Once every three years the ships returned. They brought gold, silver, ivory, apes and baboons.
22 King Solomon was richer than all of the other kings on earth. He was also wiser than they were.
23 All of these kings wanted to meet Solomon in person. They wanted to see for themselves how wise God had made him.
24 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.
25 Solomon had 4,000 spaces where he kept his horses and chariots. He had 12,000 horses. He kept some of his horses and chariots in the chariot cities. He kept the others with him in Jerusalem.
26 Solomon ruled over all of the kings from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines. He ruled all the way to the border of Egypt.
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. He also got them from many other countries.
29 The other events of Solomon's rule from beginning to end are written down. They are written in the records of the prophet Nathan. They are written in the prophecy of Ahijah. He was from Shiloh. They are also written in the records of the visions of the prophet Iddo about Jeroboam. Jeroboam was the son of Nebat.
30 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over the whole nation of Israel for 40 years.
31 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.

John 11:1-29

1 A man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived.
2 Mary would later pour perfume on the Lord. She would also wipe his feet with her hair. Her brother Lazarus was sick in bed.
3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus. "Lord," they told him, "the one you love is sick."
4 When Jesus heard this, he said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory. God's Son will receive glory because of it."
5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
6 But after he heard Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days.
7 Then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea."
8 "But Rabbi," they said, "a short time ago the Jews tried to kill you with stones. Are you still going back there?"
9 Jesus answered, "Aren't there 12 hours of daylight? A person who walks during the day won't trip and fall. He can see because of this world's light.
10 But when he walks at night, he'll trip and fall. He has no light."
11 After he said this, Jesus went on speaking to them. "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep," he said. "But I am going there to wake him up."
12 His disciples replied, "Lord, if he's sleeping, he will get better."
13 Jesus had been speaking about the death of Lazarus. But his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead.
15 For your benefit, I am glad I was not there. Now you will believe. But let us go to him."
16 Then Thomas, who was called Didymus, spoke to the rest of the disciples. "Let us go also," he said. "Then we can die with Jesus."
17 When Jesus arrived, he found out that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
18 Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem.
19 Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary. They had come to comfort them because their brother was dead.
20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him. But Mary stayed at home.
21 "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "I wish you had been here! Then my brother would not have died.
22 But I know that even now God will give you anything you ask for."
23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again. This will happen when people are raised from the dead on the last day."
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even if he dies.
26 And those who live and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
27 "Yes, Lord," she told him. "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God. I believe that you are the One who was supposed to come into the world."
28 After she said this, she went back home. She called her sister Mary to one side to talk to her. "The Teacher is here," Martha said. "He is asking for you."
29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.