2 Chronicles 9

Fire from Heaven

tAs soon as Solomon finished his prayer, ufire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, vand the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord's house. When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, For he is good, wfor his steadfast love endures forever.

The Dedication of the Temple

xThen the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord. King Solomon offered as a sacrifice 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. The priests stood at their posts; ythe Levites also, with the instruments for music to the Lord that King David had made for giving thanks to the Lordwfor his steadfast love endures foreverwhenever David offered praises by their ministry;1 zopposite them the priests sounded trumpets, and all Israel stood.

aAnd Solomon consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord, for there he offered the burnt offering and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar Solomon had made could not hold the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat.

At that time Solomon held the feast for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from bLebo-hamath to the cBrook of Egypt. And on the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for they had kept the dedication of the altar seven days and the feast seven days. 10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their homes, joyful and glad of heart for the prosperity2 that the Lord had granted to David and to Solomon and to Israel his people.

If My People Pray

11 dThus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king's house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house he successfully accomplished. 12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: I have heard your prayer eand have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 fWhen I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name ghumble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 hNow my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16 eFor now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 17 And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, 18 then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, iYou shall not lack a man to rule Israel.

19 jBut if you3 turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20 kthen I will pluck you4 up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it la proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21 And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, mWhy has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house? 22 Then they will say, Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.

Solomon's Accomplishments

nAt the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the house of the Lord and his own house, Solomon rebuilt the cities that Hiram had given to him, and settled the people of Israel in them.

And Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and took it. He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the store cities that he built in Hamath. He also built oUpper Beth-horon and Lower Beth-horon, pfortified cities pwith walls, gates, and bars, and Baalath, and all the store cities that Solomon had and all the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. qAll the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, from their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the people of Israel had not destroyedthese Solomon drafted ras forced labor, and so they are to this day. But of the people of Israel Solomon made no slaves for his work; they were soldiers, and his officers, the commanders of his chariots, and his horsemen. 10 And these were the chief officers of King Solomon, 250, who exercised authority over the people.

11 sSolomon brought Pharaoh's daughter up from the city of David to the house that he had built for her, for he said, My wife shall not live in the house of David king of Israel, for the places to which the ark of the Lord has come are holy.

12 Then Solomon offered up burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of the Lord tthat he had built before the vestibule, 13 uas the duty of each day required, offering vaccording to the commandment of Moses for the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the wthree annual feaststhe Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths. 14 According to the ruling of David his father, he appointed xthe divisions of the priests for their service, yand the Levites for their offices of praise and zministry before the priests uas the duty of each day required, and athe gatekeepers in their divisions at each gate, for so David bthe man of God had commanded. 15 And they did not turn aside from what the king had commanded the priests and Levites concerning any matter and concerning the treasuries.

16 Thus was accomplished all the work of Solomon from1 the day the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid until it was finished. So the house of the Lord was completed.

17 Then Solomon went to cEzion-geber and dEloth on the shore of the sea, in the land of Edom. 18 And Hiram sent to him by the hand of his servants ships and servants familiar with the sea, and they went to Ophir together with the servants of Solomon and brought from there e450 talents2 of gold and brought it to King Solomon.

The Queen of Sheba

fNow when gthe queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions, having a very great retinue and camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. And Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing hidden from Solomon that he could not explain to her. And when gthe queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, and their clothing, his cupbearers, and their clothing, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her.

And she said to the king, The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the1 reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, half the greatness of your wisdom was not told me; you surpass the report that I heard. Happy are your wives!2 Happy are these your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you hand set you on his throne as king for the Lord your God! iBecause your God loved Israel and would establish them forever, he has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness. Then she gave the king 120 talents3 of gold, and a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones. There were no spices such as those that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

10 Moreover, the servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon, jwho brought gold from Ophir, brought algum wood and precious stones. 11 And the king made from the algum wood ksupports for the house of the Lord and for the king's house, lyres also and harps for the singers. There never was seen the like of them before in the land of Judah.

12 And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked lbesides what she had brought to the king. So she turned and went back to her own land with her servants.

Solomon's Wealth

13 mNow the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 14 besides that which the explorers and merchants brought. nAnd all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land brought gold and silver to Solomon. 15 King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold; 600 shekels4 of beaten gold went into each shield. 16 And he made 300 shields of beaten gold; o300 shekels of gold went into each shield; and the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 17 The king also made a great ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold. 18 The throne had six steps and a footstool of gold, which were attached to the throne, and on each side of the seat were armrests and two lions standing beside the armrests, 19 while twelve lions stood there, one on each end of a step on the six steps. Nothing like it was ever made for any kingdom. 20 All King Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. Silver was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon. 21 For the king's ships went to pTarshish with the servants of Hiram. Once every three years the ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.5

22 Thus King Solomon qexcelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. 23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. 24 Every one of them brought his present, articles of silver and of gold, garments, myrrh,6 spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year. 25 And Solomon had r4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 26 sAnd he ruled over all the kings tfrom the Euphrates7 to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. 27 uAnd the king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah. 28 vAnd horses were imported for Solomon from Egypt and from all lands.

Solomon's Death

29 wNow the rest of the acts of Solomon, from xfirst to last, are they not written in the history of yNathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of zAhijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of aIddo bthe seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? 30 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 31 And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in cthe city of David his father, and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.

The Revolt Against Rehoboam

10 dRehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, ewhere he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. And they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all Israel came and said to Rehoboam, fYour father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you. He said to them, Come to me again in three days. So the people went away.

Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men,1 who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, How do you advise me to answer this people? And they said to him, gIf you will be good to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever. But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. And he said to them, What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, Lighten the yoke that your father put on us? 10 And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, Thus shall you speak to the people who said to you, Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us; thus shall you say to them, My little finger is thicker than my father's thighs. 11 And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.

12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king said, Come to me again the third day. 13 And the king answered them harshly; and forsaking the counsel of the old men, 14 King Rehoboam spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions. 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the Lord might fulfill his word, hwhich he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

16 And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. iEach of you to your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David. So all Israel went to their tents. 17 But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent jHadoram,2 who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and the people of Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehoboam quickly mounted his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

Rehoboam Secures His Kingdom

11 kWhen Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen warriors, to fight against Israel, to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. But the word of the Lord came to lShemaiah the man of God: Say to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up or fight against myour relatives. Return every man to his home, for this thing is from me. So they listened to the word of the Lord and returned and did not go against Jeroboam.

Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and he built ncities for defense in Judah. He built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, oMareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, fortified cities that are in Judah and in Benjamin. 11 He made the fortresses strong, and put commanders in them, and stores of food, oil, and wine. 12 And he put shields and spears in all the cities and made them very strong. So he held Judah and Benjamin.

Priests and Levites Come to Jerusalem

13 And the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel presented themselves to him from all places where they lived. 14 For the Levites left ptheir common lands and their holdings and came to Judah and Jerusalem, qbecause Jeroboam and his sons cast them out from serving as priests of the Lord, 15 and he appointed his own rpriests for the high places and for the goat idols and for sthe calves that he had made. 16 tAnd those who had set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers. 17 uThey strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and for three years they made Rehoboam the son of Solomon secure, for they walked for three years in the way of David and Solomon.

Rehoboam's Family

18 Rehoboam took as wife Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of vEliab the son of Jesse, 19 and she bore him sons, Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 After her he took wMaacah the daughter of Absalom, who bore him xAbijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and concubines (he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters). 22 yAnd Rehoboam appointed xAbijah the son of Maacah as chief prince among his brothers, for he intended to make him king. 23 And he dealt wisely and distributed some of his sons through all the districts of Judah and Benjamin, in all the fortified cities, and he gave them abundant provisions and procured wives for them.1