The Lord Appears to Solomon
9 jAs soon as Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord kand the king’s house and lall that Solomon desired to build, 2 mthe Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 And the Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, nby putting my name there forever. oMy eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 4 And as for you, if you will pwalk before me, qas David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, 5 rthen I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ 6 sBut if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 tthen I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, uand the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, vand Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8 And this house will become a heap of ruins.1 Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, w‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 9 Then they will say, ‘Because xthey abandoned the Lord their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the Lord has brought all this disaster on them.’”
The Queen of Sheba
10 yNow when zthe queen of aSheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came bto test him with hard questions. 2 She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels cbearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. 3 And Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her. 4 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 5 the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her.
6 And she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, 7 but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report that I heard. 8 eHappy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 9 fBlessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! gBecause the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king, hthat you may execute justice and righteousness.” 10 iThen she gave the king 120 talents1 of gold, and a very great quantity of spices and precious stones. Never again came such an abundance of spices as these that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 Moreover, jthe fleet of Hiram, which brought kgold from Ophir, brought from Ophir a very great amount of almug wood and precious stones. 12 And the king made of the almug wood supports for the house of the Lord and for the king’s house, also lyres and harps for the singers. No such almug wood has come or been seen to this day.
13 And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what was given her by the bounty of King Solomon. So she turned and went back to her own land with her servants.
Our Heavenly Dwelling
5 For we know that if kthe tent that is lour earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, ma house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent nwe groan, longing to oput on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on1 we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal pmay be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, qwho has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that rwhile we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for swe walk by faith, not tby sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we uwould rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to vplease him. 10 For wwe must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, xso that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
The Ministry of Reconciliation
11 Therefore, knowing ythe fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But zwhat we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 aWe are not commending ourselves to you again but bgiving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we care beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ dcontrols us, because we have concluded this: that eone has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, fthat those who live might no longer live for themselves but gfor him who for their sake died and was raised.
16 From now on, therefore, hwe regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is iin Christ, he is ja new creation.2 kThe old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, lwho through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us mthe ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling3 the world to himself, nnot counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us mthe message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, owe are ambassadors for Christ, pGod making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 qFor our sake he made him to be sin rwho knew no sin, so that in him we might become sthe righteousness of God.