Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

2 Chronicles 8; 2 Chronicles 9; 2 Chronicles 10

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.
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.
1 Rehoboam went to Shechem. All of the people of Israel had gone there to make him king. 2 Jeroboam heard about it. He was the son of Nebat. Jeroboam was in Egypt at that time. He had gone there for safety. He wanted to get away from King Solomon. But now he returned from Egypt. 3 So the people sent for Jeroboam. He and all of the people went to Rehoboam. They said to him, 4 "Your father put a heavy load on our shoulders. But now make our hard work easier. Make the heavy load on us lighter. Then we'll serve you." 5 Rehoboam answered, "Come back to me in three days." So the people went away. 6 Then King Rehoboam asked the elders for advice. They had served his father Solomon while he was still living. Rehoboam asked them, "What advice can you give me? How should I answer these people?" 7 They replied, "Be kind to them. Please them. Give them what they are asking for. Then they'll always serve you." 8 But Rehoboam didn't accept the advice the elders gave him. He asked for advice from the young men who had grown up with him and were now serving him. 9 He asked them, "What's your advice? How should I answer these people? They said to me, 'Make the load your father put on our shoulders lighter.' " 10 The young men who had grown up with him gave their answer. They replied, "The people have said to you, 'Your father put a heavy load on our shoulders. Make it lighter.' Tell them, 'My little finger is stronger than my father's legs. 11 My father put a heavy load on your shoulders. But I'll make it even heavier. My father beat you with whips. But I'll beat you with bigger whips.' " 12 Three days later Jeroboam and all of the people returned to Rehoboam. That's because the king had said, "Come back to me in three days." 13 The king answered them in a mean way. He didn't accept the advice of the elders. 14 Instead, he followed the advice of the young men. He said, "My father put a heavy load on your shoulders. But I'll make it even heavier. My father beat you with whips. But I'll beat you with bigger whips." 15 So the king didn't listen to the people. That's because God had planned it that way. What the LORD had said through Ahijah came true. Ahijah had spoken the LORD's message to Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. Ahijah was from Shiloh. 16 All of the people of Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them. So they answered the king. They said, "We don't have any share in David's royal family. We don't have any share in Jesse's son. People of Israel, let's go back to our homes. David's royal family, take care of your own kingdom!" So all of the people of Israel went home. 17 But Rehoboam still ruled over the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah. 18 Adoniram was in charge of those who were forced to work hard for King Rehoboam. The king sent him out among the Israelites. But they killed him by throwing stones at him. Rehoboam was able to get away in his chariot. He escaped to Jerusalem. 19 Israel has refused to follow the royal family of David to this very day.
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