New International Reader's Version

1 Kings 9

The Lord Appears to Solomon

1Solomon finished building the Lord’s temple and the royal palace. He had accomplished everything he had planned to do. The Lord appeared to him a second time. He had already appeared to him at Gibeon. The Lord said to him,

“I have heard you pray to me. I have heard you ask me to help you. You have built 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. Your heart must be honest. It must be without blame. Do everything I command you to do. Obey my rules and laws. Then I will set up your royal throne over Israel forever. I promised your father David I would do that. I said to him, ‘You will always have a son from your family line on the throne of Israel.’

“But suppose all of you turn away from me. Or your children turn away from me. You refuse to obey the commands and rules I have given you. And you go off to serve other gods and worship them. Then I will remove Israel from the 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. Then Israel will be hated by all the nations. They will laugh and joke about Israel. This temple will become a pile of stones. All those who pass by it will be shocked. They will make fun of it. And 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 their God. He brought out of Egypt their people of long ago. 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.’ ”

Other Things Solomon Did

10 Solomon built the Lord’s temple and the royal palace. It took him 20 years to construct those two buildings. 11 King Solomon gave 20 towns in Galilee to Hiram, the king of Tyre. That’s because Hiram had provided him with all the cedar and juniper logs he wanted. He had also provided Solomon with all the gold he wanted. 12 Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns Solomon had given him. But he wasn’t pleased with them. 13 “My friend,” he asked, “what have you given me? What kind of towns are these?” So he called them the Land of Kabul. And that’s what they are still called to this day. 14 Hiram had sent four and a half tons of gold to Solomon.

15 King Solomon forced people to work hard for him. Here is a record of what they did. They built the Lord’s temple and Solomon’s palace. They filled in the low places. They rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem. They built up Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. 16 Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had attacked Gezer and captured it. He had set it on fire. He had killed the Canaanites who lived there. Then he had given Gezer as a wedding gift to his daughter. She was Solomon’s wife. 17 Solomon rebuilt Gezer. He built up Lower Beth Horon 18 and Baalath. He built up Tadmor in the desert. All those towns were in his land. 19 He built up all the cities where he could store things. He also built up the towns for his chariots and horses. He built anything he wanted to build in Jerusalem, Lebanon and all the territory he ruled over.

20 There were still many people left in the land who weren’t Israelites. They included Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 21 They were children of the people who had lived in the land before the Israelites came. Those people had been set apart to the Lord in a special way to be destroyed. But the Israelites hadn’t been able to kill all of them. Solomon forced them to work very hard as his slaves. And they still work for Israel as slaves to this day. 22 But Solomon didn’t force any of the Israelites to work as his slaves. Instead, some were his fighting men. Others were his government officials, his officers and his captains. Others were commanders of his chariots and chariot drivers. 23 Still others were the chief officials in charge of Solomon’s projects. There were 550 officials in charge of those who did the work.

24 Pharaoh’s daughter moved from the City of David up to the palace Solomon had built for her. After that, he filled in the low places near the palace.

25 Three times a year Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings and friendship offerings. He sacrificed them on the altar he had built to honor the Lord. Along with the offerings, he burned incense to the Lord. So he carried out his duties for the temple.

26 King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber. It’s near Elath in Edom. It’s on the shore of the Red Sea. 27 Hiram sent his men to serve on the ships together with Solomon’s men. Hiram’s sailors knew the sea. 28 All of them sailed to Ophir. They brought back 16 tons of gold. They gave it to King Solomon.