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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. 2The Lord appeared to him a second time. He had already appeared to him at Gibeon. 3The Lord said to him, "I have heard you pray to me. I have heard you ask me to show you my favor. 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.
4"But you must walk 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. 5Then 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 man on the throne of Israel.'
6"But suppose all of you turn away from me. Or your sons 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. 7Then I will cut Israel off 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 of the nations. They will laugh and joke about Israel.
8"This temple is now grand and beautiful. But the time is coming when 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?'
9"People will answer, 'Because they have deserted the Lord their God. He brought their people 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 of this horrible trouble on them.' "
Other Things Solomon Did
10Solomon built the Lord's temple and the royal palace. It took him 20 years to construct those two buildings.
11King Solomon gave 20 towns in Galilee to Hiram. That's because Hiram had provided him with all of the cedar and pine logs he wanted. He had also provided him with all of the gold he wanted. Hiram was king of Tyre.
12Hiram 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 Cabul. And that's what they are still called to this very day. 14Hiram had sent four and a half tons of gold to Solomon.
15King 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.
16Pharaoh, 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.
17Solomon rebuilt Gezer. He built up Lower Beth Horon 18and Baalath. He built up Tadmor in the desert. All of those towns were in his land. 19He built up all of 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 of the territory he ruled over.
20There were still many people left in the land who weren't Israelites. They included Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 21They 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 had forced them to work very hard as his slaves. And they still work for Israel to this very day.
22But Solomon didn't force any of the men of Israel 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. 23Still others were the chief officials who were in charge of his projects. There were 550 officials in charge of those who did the work.
24Pharaoh'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.
25Three 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.
26King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber. It's near Elath in Edom. It's on the shore of the Red Sea.
27Hiram sent his men to serve on the ships together with Solomon's men. Hiram's sailors knew the sea. 28All of them sailed to Ophir. They brought back 16 tons of gold. They gave it to King Solomon.
The Lord’s Response to Solomon
1So Solomon finished building the Temple of the Lord, as well as the royal palace. He completed everything he had planned to do. 2Then the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had done before at Gibeon. 3The Lord said to him,
“I have heard your prayer and your petition. I have set this Temple apart to be holy—this place you have built where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.
4“As for you, if you will follow me with integrity and godliness, as David your father did, obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations, 5then I will establish the throne of your dynasty over Israel forever. For I made this promise to your father, David: ‘One of your descendants will always sit on the throne of Israel.’
6“But if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the commands and decrees I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, 7then I will uproot Israel from this land that I have given them. I will reject this Temple that I have made holy to honor my name. I will make Israel an object of mockery and ridicule among the nations. 8And though this Temple is impressive now, all who pass by will be appalled and will gasp in horror. They will ask, ‘Why did the Lord do such terrible things to this land and to this Temple?’
9“And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why the Lord has brought all these disasters on them.’”
Solomon’s Agreement with Hiram
10It took Solomon twenty years to build the Lord’s Temple and his own royal palace. At the end of that time, 11he gave twenty towns in the land of Galilee to King Hiram of Tyre. (Hiram had previously provided all the cedar and cypress timber and gold that Solomon had requested.) 12But when Hiram came from Tyre to see the towns Solomon had given him, he was not at all pleased with them. 13“What kind of towns are these, my brother?” he asked. So Hiram called that area Cabul (which means “worthless”), as it is still known today. 14Nevertheless, Hiram paid#9:14a Or For Hiram had paid. Solomon 9,000 pounds#9:14b Hebrew 120 talents [4,000 kilograms]. of gold.
Solomon’s Many Achievements
15This is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon conscripted to build the Lord’s Temple, the royal palace, the supporting terraces,#9:15 Hebrew the millo; also in 9:24. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. the wall of Jerusalem, and the cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16(Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had attacked and captured Gezer, killing the Canaanite population and burning it down. He gave the city to his daughter as a wedding gift when she married Solomon. 17So Solomon rebuilt the city of Gezer.) He also built up the towns of Lower Beth-horon, 18Baalath, and Tamar#9:18 An alternate reading in the Masoretic Text reads Tadmor. in the wilderness within his land. 19He built towns as supply centers and constructed towns where his chariots and horses#9:19 Or and charioteers. could be stationed. He built everything he desired in Jerusalem and Lebanon and throughout his entire realm.
20There were still some people living in the land who were not Israelites, including Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 21These were descendants of the nations whom the people of Israel had not completely destroyed.#9:21 The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering. So Solomon conscripted them as slaves, and they serve as forced laborers to this day. 22But Solomon did not conscript any of the Israelites for forced labor. Instead, he assigned them to serve as fighting men, government officials, officers and captains in his army, commanders of his chariots, and charioteers. 23Solomon appointed 550 of them to supervise the people working on his various projects.
24Solomon moved his wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, from the City of David to the new palace he had built for her. Then he constructed the supporting terraces.
25Three times each year Solomon presented burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar he had built for the Lord. He also burned incense to the Lord. And so he finished the work of building the Temple.
26King Solomon also built a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, a port near Elath#9:26a As in Greek version (see also 2 Kgs 14:22; 16:6); Hebrew reads Eloth, a variant spelling of Elath. in the land of Edom, along the shore of the Red Sea.#9:26b Hebrew sea of reeds. 27Hiram sent experienced crews of sailors to sail the ships with Solomon’s men. 28They sailed to Ophir and brought back to Solomon some sixteen tons#9:28 Hebrew 420 talents [14 metric tons]. of gold.