Building Projects and Commercial Efforts
1 After twenty years, during which Solomon built the Lord’s temple and his royal palace, 2 Solomon rebuilt the cities that Huram#tn Heb “Huram” (also in v. 18). Some medieval Hebrew mss, along with the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate spell the name “Hiram,” agreeing with 1 Chr 14:1. “Huram” is a variant spelling referring to the same individual. had given him and settled Israelites there. 3 Solomon went to Hamath Zobah and seized it. 4 He built up Tadmor in the wilderness and all the storage cities he had built in Hamath. 5 He made upper Beth Horon and lower Beth Horon fortified cities with walls and barred gates,#tn Heb “and he built…[as] cities of fortification, [with] walls, doors, and a bar.” 6 and built up Baalath, all the storage cities that belonged to him,#tn Heb “Solomon.” The recurrence of the proper name is unexpected in terms of contemporary English style, so the pronoun has been used in the translation instead. and all the cities where chariots and horses were kept.#tn Heb “the cities of the chariots and the cities of the horses.” He built whatever he wanted in Jerusalem,#map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. Lebanon, and throughout his entire kingdom.#tn Heb “and all the desire of Solomon which he desired to build in Jerusalem and in Lebanon and in all the land of his kingdom.”
7 Now several non-Israelite peoples were left in the land after the conquest of Joshua, including the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.#tn Heb “all the people who were left from the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not from Israel.” 8 Their descendants remained in the land (the Israelites were unable to wipe them out). Solomon conscripted them for his work crews and they continue in that role to this very day.#tn Heb “from their sons who were left after them in the land, whom the sons of Israel did not wipe out, and Solomon raised them up for a work crew to this day.” 9 Solomon did not assign Israelites to these work crews;#tn Heb “and from the sons of Israel which Solomon did not assign to the laborers for his work.” the Israelites served as his soldiers, officers, charioteers, and commanders of his chariot forces.#tn Heb “officers of his chariots and his horses.” 10 These men worked for Solomon as supervisors; there were a total of 250 of them who were in charge of the people.#tn Heb “these [were] the officials of the governors who belonged to the king, Solomon, 250, the ones ruling over the people.”
11 Solomon moved Pharaoh’s daughter up from the City of David#sn The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7. to the palace he had built for her, for he said, “My wife must not live in the palace of King David of Israel, for the places where the ark of the Lord has entered are holy.”
12 Then Solomon offered burnt sacrifices to the Lord on the altar of the Lord which he had built in front of the temple’s porch.#tn Heb “the porch.” 13 He observed the daily requirements for sacrifices that Moses had specified for Sabbaths, new moon festivals, and the three annual celebrations – the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Temporary Shelters.#tn The Hebrew phrase הַסֻּכּוֹת[חַג] (khag hassukot, “[festival of] huts” [or “shelters”]) is traditionally known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The rendering “booths” (cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV) is probably better than the traditional “tabernacles” in light of the meaning of the term סֻכָּה (sukkah, “hut; booth”), but “booths” are frequently associated with trade shows and craft fairs in contemporary American English. The nature of the celebration during this feast as a commemoration of the wanderings of the Israelites after they left Egypt suggests that a translation like “temporary shelters” is more appropriate. 14 As his father David had decreed, Solomon#tn Heb “he”; the referent (Solomon) has been specified in the translation for clarity. appointed the divisions of the priests to do their assigned tasks, the Levitical orders to lead worship and help the priests with their daily tasks,#tn Heb “and the Levites, according to their posts, to praise and to serve opposite the priests according to the matter of a day in its day.” and the divisions of the gatekeepers to serve at their assigned gates.#tn Heb “and the gatekeepers by their divisions for a gate and a gate.” This was what David the man of God had ordered.#tn Heb “for so [was] the command of David the man of God.” 15 They did not neglect any detail of the king’s orders pertaining to the priests, Levites, and treasuries.#tn Heb “and they did not turn aside from the command of the king concerning the priests and the Levites with regard to any matter and with regard to the treasuries.”
16 All the work ordered by Solomon was completed, from the day the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid until it was finished; the Lord’s temple was completed.
17 Then Solomon went to Ezion Geber and to Elat on the coast in the land of Edom. 18 Huram sent him ships and some of his sailors, men who were well acquainted with the sea. They sailed with Solomon’s men to Ophir,#tn Heb “and Huram sent to him by the hand of his servants, ships, and servants [who] know the sea, and they came with the servants of Solomon to Ophir.” and took from there 450 talents#tn The Hebrew word כִּכַּר (kikar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or, by extension, to a standard unit of weight. According to the older (Babylonian) standard the “talent” weighed 130 lbs. (58.9 kg), but later this was lowered to 108.3 lbs. (49.1 kg). More recent research suggests the “light” standard talent was 67.3 lbs. (30.6 kg). Using this as the standard for calculation, the weight of the gold was 30,285 lbs. (13,770 kg). of gold, which they brought back to King Solomon.