Solomon’s Many Achievements
1It took Solomon twenty years to build the Lord’s Temple and his own royal palace. At the end of that time, 2Solomon turned his attention to rebuilding the towns that King Hiram#8:2 Hebrew Huram, a variant spelling of Hiram; also in 8:18. had given him, and he settled Israelites in them.
3Solomon also fought against the town of Hamath-zobah and conquered it. 4He rebuilt Tadmor in the wilderness and built towns in the region of Hamath as supply centers. 5He fortified the towns of Upper Beth-horon and Lower Beth-horon, rebuilding their walls and installing barred gates. 6He also rebuilt Baalath and other supply centers and constructed towns where his chariots and horses#8:6 Or and charioteers. could be stationed. He built everything he desired in Jerusalem and Lebanon and throughout his entire realm.
7There were still some people living in the land who were not Israelites, including the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 8These were descendants of the nations whom the people of Israel had not destroyed. So Solomon conscripted them for his labor force, and they serve as forced laborers to this day. 9But Solomon did not conscript any of the Israelites for his labor force. Instead, he assigned them to serve as fighting men, officers in his army, commanders of his chariots, and charioteers. 10King Solomon appointed 250 of them to supervise the people.
11Solomon moved his wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, from the City of David to the new palace he had built for her. He said, “My wife must not live in King David’s palace, for the Ark of the Lord has been there, and it is holy ground.”
12Then Solomon presented burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar he had built for him in front of the entry room of the Temple. 13He offered the sacrifices for the Sabbaths, the new moon festivals, and the three annual festivals—the Passover celebration, the Festival of Harvest,#8:13 Or Festival of Weeks. and the Festival of Shelters—as Moses had commanded.
14In assigning the priests to their duties, Solomon followed the regulations of his father, David. He also assigned the Levites to lead the people in praise and to assist the priests in their daily duties. And he assigned the gatekeepers to their gates by their divisions, following the commands of David, the man of God. 15Solomon did not deviate in any way from David’s commands concerning the priests and Levites and the treasuries.
16So Solomon made sure that all the work related to building the Temple of the Lord was carried out, from the day its foundation was laid to the day of its completion.
17Later Solomon went to Ezion-geber and Elath,#8:17a As in Greek version (see also 2 Kgs 14:22; 16:6); Hebrew reads Eloth, a variant spelling of Elath. ports along the shore of the Red Sea#8:17b As in parallel text at 1 Kgs 9:26; Hebrew reads the sea. in the land of Edom. 18Hiram sent him ships commanded by his own officers and manned by experienced crews of sailors. These ships sailed to Ophir with Solomon’s men and brought back to Solomon almost seventeen tons#8:18 Hebrew 450 talents [15.3 metric tons]. of gold.