Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

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

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.
1 Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem. He brought together 180,000 fighting men from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. He had decided to make war against Israel. He wanted his fighting men to get the kingdom of Israel back for him. 2 But a message came to Shemaiah from the Lord. He was a man of God. The LORD said to him, 3 "Speak to Solomon's son Rehoboam, the king of Judah. Speak to all of the people of Israel in Judah and Benjamin. Tell them, 4 'The LORD says, "Do not go up to fight against your relatives. I want every one of you to go back home. Things have happened exactly the way I planned them." ' " So the fighting men obeyed the LORD's message. They turned back. They didn't march out against Jeroboam. 5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem. He made Judah more secure by building up their towns. 6 He built up Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth Zur, Soco and Adullam. 8 He also built up Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron. All of them were cities in Judah and Benjamin that had high walls around them. 11 Rehoboam made those cities even more secure. He put commanders in them. He gave them plenty of food, olive oil and wine. 12 He put shields and spears in all of those cities. He made them very strong. So he ruled over Judah and Benjamin. 13 The priests and Levites were on Rehoboam's side. They came from their territories all over Israel. 14 The Levites even left their grasslands and other property behind. They came to Judah and Jerusalem. That's because Jeroboam and his sons had refused to accept them as priests of the Lord. 15 Jeroboam appointed his own priests to serve at the high places. He had made statues of gods that looked like goats and calves. His priests served those gods. 16 Some people from every tribe in Israel followed the Levites to Jerusalem. With all their hearts they wanted to worship the Lord. He is the God of Israel. They came to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to him. He was the God of their people of long ago. 17 All those who came to Jerusalem made the kingdom of Judah strong. They helped Solomon's son Rehoboam for three years. During that time they lived the way David and Solomon had lived. 18 Rehoboam got married to Mahalath. She was the daughter of David's son Jerimoth. Her mother was Abihail. Abihail was the daughter of Jesse's son Eliab. 19 Mahalath had sons by Rehoboam. Their names were Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham. 20 Then Rehoboam married Maacah. She was the daughter of Absalom. She had sons by Rehoboam. Their names were Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Absalom's daughter Maacah. In fact, he loved her more than any of his other wives and concubines. He had a total of 18 wives and 60 concubines. And he had a total of 28 sons and 60 daughters. 22 Rehoboam appointed Maacah's son Abijah to be the chief prince among his brothers. He did it to make him king. 23 He acted wisely. He scattered some of his sons through all of the territories of Judah and Benjamin. He put them in all of the cities that had high walls around them. He gave them plenty of food and everything else they needed. He also gave them many wives.
1 Rehoboam had made his position as king secure. He had become very strong. Then he turned away from the law of the Lord. So did all of the people of Judah. 2 They hadn't been faithful to the Lord. So Shishak attacked Jerusalem. It was in the fifth year that Rehoboam was king. Shishak was king of Egypt. 3 He came with 1,200 chariots and 60,000 horsemen. Troops of Libyans, Sukkites and Cushites came with him from Egypt. There were so many of them they couldn't be counted. 4 Shishak captured the cities of Judah that had high walls around them. He came all the way to Jerusalem. 5 Then the prophet Shemaiah came to Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah. They had gathered together in Jerusalem. They were afraid of Shishak. Shemaiah said to them, "The LORD says, 'You have left me. So now I am leaving you to Shishak.' " 6 The king and the leaders of Israel made themselves low in the LORD's sight. They said, "The LORD does what is right and fair." 7 The LORD saw they had made themselves low. So he gave a message to Shemaiah. It said, "They have made themselves low in my sight. So I will not destroy them. Instead, I will soon save them. I will not pour out my burning anger on Jerusalem through Shishak. 8 But its people will be brought under his control. Then they will learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands." 9 Shishak, the king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem. He carried away the treasures of the LORD's temple. He also carried the treasures of the royal palace away. He took everything. That included the gold shields Solomon had made. 10 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to take their place. He gave them to the commanders of the guards who were on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. 11 Every time the king went to the LORD's temple, the guards went with him. They carried the shields. Later, they took them back to the room where they were kept. 12 Rehoboam had made himself low in the LORD's sight. So the LORD turned his anger away from him. Rehoboam wasn't totally destroyed. In fact, some good things happened in Judah. 13 King Rehoboam had made his position secure in Jerusalem. He continued as king. He was 41 years old when he became king. He ruled for 17 years in Jerusalem. It was the city the LORD had chosen out of all of the cities in the tribes of Israel. He wanted to put his Name there. The name of Rehoboam's mother was Naamah from Ammon. 14 Rehoboam did what was evil. That's because he hadn't worshiped the LORD with all his heart. 15 The events of Rehoboam's rule from beginning to end are written down. They are written in the records of the prophets Shemaiah and Iddo. The records deal with family histories. Rehoboam and Jeroboam were always at war with each other. 16 Rehoboam joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in the City of David. His son Abijah became the next king after him.
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