2 Chronicles 7:11-22
The Lord Appears to Solomon
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. The Lord appeared to him at night. The Lord said,
“I have heard your prayer. I have chosen this place for myself. It is a temple where sacrifices will be offered.
“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. But they make themselves humble 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. Now my eyes will see them. My ears will pay attention to the prayers they offer in this place. 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.
“But you must walk faithfully with me, just as your father David did. Do everything I command you to do. Obey my rules and laws. 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 from your family line to rule over Israel.’
“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. 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 the nations hate it. They will laugh and joke about it. This temple will become a pile of stones. 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?’ 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 the Lord has brought all this horrible trouble on them.’ ”
2 Chronicles 8
Other Things Solomon Did
Solomon built the Lord’s temple and his own palace. It took him 20 years to build them. After that, Solomon rebuilt the villages Hiram had given him. Solomon had Israelites make their homes in them. Then Solomon went to Hamath Zobah. He captured it. He also built up Tadmor in the desert. He built up all the cities in Hamath where he could store things. He rebuilt Upper Beth Horon and Lower Beth Horon. He put up high walls around them. He made their city gates secure with heavy metal bars. He rebuilt Baalath and all the cities where he could store things. He also rebuilt all the cities for his chariots and horses. Solomon built anything he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon and all the territory he ruled.
There were still many people left in the land who weren’t Israelites. They included Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 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 forced them to work very hard as his slaves. And they still work for Israel to this day. But Solomon didn’t force the Israelites to work as his slaves. Instead, some were his fighting men. Others were commanders of his captains, chariots and chariot drivers. Still others were King Solomon’s chief officials. There were 250 officials in charge of the other men.
Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her. Solomon 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.”
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. 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. 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 the gates. That’s what David, the man of God, had ordered. The king’s commands were followed completely. They applied to the priests and Levites. They also applied to the temple treasure.
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.
Solomon went to Ezion Geber and Elath on the coast of Edom. Hiram sent him ships that his own officers commanded. They were sailors 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.
2 Chronicles 9
The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
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. He answered all her questions. There wasn’t anything too hard for him to explain to her. So the queen of Sheba saw how wise Solomon was. She saw the palace he had built. She saw the food 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.
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. 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. How happy your people must be! How happy your officials must be! They always get to serve you and hear the wise things you say. May the Lord your God be praised. He takes 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.”
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.
The servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon brought gold from Ophir. They also brought algumwood and valuable jewels. 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 anything like those instruments in Judah before.
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.
Each year Solomon received 25 tons of gold. That didn’t include the money brought in by business and trade. All the kings of Arabia also brought gold and silver to Solomon. So did the governors of the territories.
King Solomon made 200 large shields out of hammered gold. Each one weighed 15 pounds. He also made 300 small shields out of hammered gold. Each one weighed almost eight pounds. The king put all the shields in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
Then he made a large throne. It was covered with ivory. And that was covered with pure gold. 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. 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. All of King Solomon’s cups were made out of gold. All the things 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. He had many ships that carried goods to be traded. The crews of those ships were made up of Hiram’s servants. Once every three years the ships returned. They brought gold, silver, ivory, apes and peacocks.
King Solomon was richer than all the other kings on earth. He was also wiser than they were. All these kings wanted to meet Solomon in person. They wanted to see for themselves how wise God had made him. Year after year, everyone who came to him brought a gift. They brought gifts made out of silver and gold. They brought robes, weapons and spices. They also brought horses and mules.
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. Solomon ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines. He ruled all the way to the border of Egypt. 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. Solomon got horses from Egypt. He also got them from many other countries.
The other events of Solomon’s rule from beginning to end are written down. They are written in the records of Nathan the prophet. They are written in the prophecy of Ahijah. He was from Shiloh. They are also written in the records of the visions of Iddo the prophet about Jeroboam. Jeroboam was the son of Nebat. Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over the whole nation of Israel for 40 years. Then he joined the members of his family who had already died. He was buried in the city of his father David. Solomon’s son Rehoboam became the next king after him