2 Chronicles 8-10 English Standard Version

Solomon's Further Activities

8 At the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the house of the Lord and his own house, 2  Solomon rebuilt the cities that Hiram had given to him, and settled the people of Israel in them. 3  And Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and took it. 4  He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the store cities that he built in Hamath. 5  He also built Upper Beth-horon and Lower Beth-horon, fortified cities with walls, gates, and bars, 6  and Baalath, and all the store cities that Solomon had and all the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 7  All the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, 8  from their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the people of Israel had not destroyed--these Solomon drafted as forced labor, and so they are to this day. 9  But of the people of Israel Solomon made no slaves for his work; they were soldiers, and his officers, the commanders of his chariots, and his horsemen. 10  And these were the chief officers of King Solomon, 250, who exercised authority over the people. 11  Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter up from the city of David to the house that he had built for her, for he said, "My wife shall not live in the house of David king of Israel, for the places to which the ark of the Lord has come are holy."

12  Then Solomon offered up burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of the Lord that he had built before the vestibule, 13  as the duty of each day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses for the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the three annual feasts--the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths. 14  According to the ruling of David his father, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, and the Levites for their offices of praise and ministry before the priests as the duty of each day required, and the gatekeepers in their divisions at each gate, for so David the man of God had commanded. 15  And they did not turn aside from what the king had commanded the priests and Levites concerning any matter and concerning the treasuries. 16  Thus was accomplished all the work of Solomon from[1] the day the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid until it was finished. So the house of the Lord was completed. 17  Then Solomon went to Ezion-geber and Eloth on the shore of the sea, in the land of Edom. 18  And Hiram sent to him by the hand of his servants ships and servants familiar with the sea, and they went to Ophir together with the servants of Solomon and brought from there talents[2] of gold and brought it to King Solomon.

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

9 Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions, having a very great retinue and camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. 2  And Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing hidden from Solomon that he could not explain to her. 3  And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 4  the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, and their clothing, his cupbearers, and their clothing, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her. 5  And she said to the king, "The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, 6  but I did not believe the[3] reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, half the greatness of your wisdom was not told me; you surpass the report that I heard. 7  Happy are your wives![4] Happy are these your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 8  Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the Lord your God! Because your God loved Israel and would establish them forever, he has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness." 9  Then she gave the king 120 talents[5] of gold, and a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones. There were no spices such as those that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. 10  Moreover, the servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon, who brought gold from Ophir, brought algum wood and precious stones. 11  And the king made from the algum wood supports for the house of the Lord and for the king's house, lyres also and harps for the singers. There never was seen the like of them before in the land of Judah. 12  And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what she had brought to the king. So she turned and went back to her own land with her servants.

Solomon's Riches and Fame

13  Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 14  besides that which the explorers and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land brought gold and silver to Solomon. 15  King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold; 600 shekels[6] of beaten gold went into each shield. 16  And he made 300 shields of beaten gold; shekels of gold went into each shield; and the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 17  The king also made a great ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold. 18  The throne had six steps and a footstool of gold, which were attached to the throne, and on each side of the seat were armrests and two lions standing beside the armrests, 19  while twelve lions stood there, one on each end of a step on the six steps. Nothing like it was ever made for any kingdom. 20  All King Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. Silver was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon. 21  For the king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram. Once every three years the ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.[7] 22  Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. 23  And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. 24  Every one of them brought his present, articles of silver and of gold, garments, myrrh, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year. 25  And Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 26  And he ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. 27  And the king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah. 28  And horses were imported for Solomon from Egypt and from all lands.

The Death of Solomon

29  Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, from first to last, are they not written in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? 30  Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 31  And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father, and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.

Israel's Revolt

10 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2  And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3  And they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all Israel came and said to Rehoboam, 4  "Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you." 5  He said to them, "Come to me again in three days." So the people went away. 6  Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men,[8] who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, "How do you advise me to answer this people?" 7  And they said to him, "If you will be good to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever." 8  But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. 9  And he said to them, "What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, 'Lighten the yoke that your father put on us'?" 10  And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, "Thus shall you speak to the people who said to you, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us'; thus shall you say to them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's thighs. 11  And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.'"

12  So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king said, "Come to me again the third day." 13  And the king answered them harshly; and forsaking the counsel of the old men, 14  King Rehoboam spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions." 15  So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the Lord might fulfill his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 16  And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, "What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Each of you to your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David." So all Israel went to their tents. 17  But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah. 18  Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram,[9] who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and the people of Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehoboam quickly mounted his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19  So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

Footnotes

[1] 8:16 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew to

[2] 8:18 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms

[3] 9:6 Hebrew their

[4] 9:7 Septuagint (compare 1 Kings 10:8); Hebrew men

[5] 9:9 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms

[6] 9:15 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams

[7] 9:21 Or baboons

[8] 10:6 Or the elders; also verses 8, 13

[9] 10:18 Spelled Adoram in 1 Kings 12:18

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