2 Chronicles 8

Solomon Blesses the People

rThen Solomon said, The Lord has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. But I have built you san exalted house, a place for you to dwell in forever. Then the king turned around and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel stood. And he said, Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his hand has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to David my father, saying, Since the day that I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, that my name might be there, and I chose no man as prince over my people Israel; tbut I have chosen Jerusalem that my name may be there, uand I have chosen David to be over my people Israel. vNow it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord said to David my father, Whereas vit was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless, it is not you who shall build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name. 10 Now the Lord has fulfilled his promise that he made. For I have risen in the place of David my father and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and I have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 11 And there I have set the ark, win which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with the people of Israel.

Solomon's Prayer of Dedication

12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. 13 xSolomon had made a bronze platform five cubits1 long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the court, and he stood on it. yThen he knelt on his knees in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven, 14 and said, O Lord, God of Israel, zthere is no God like you, in heaven or on earth, akeeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart, 15 bwho have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day. 16 Now therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, cYou shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, dif only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk in my law as you have walked before me. 17 Now therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you have spoken to your servant David.

18 But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, eheaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built! 19 Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you, 20 fthat your eyes may be open day and night toward this house, the place where you have promised to set your name, that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. 21 And listen to the pleas of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen from heaven your dwelling place, gand when you hear, forgive.

22 If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath and comes and swears his oath before your altar in this house, 23 then hear from heaven and act and judge your servants, repaying the guilty by bringing his conduct on his own head, and vindicating the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness.

24 If your people Israel are defeated before the enemy because they have sinned against you, and they turn again and acknowledge your name and pray and plead with you in this house, 25 gthen hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them again to the land that you gave to them and to their fathers.

26 hWhen heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict2 them, 27 gthen hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way3 in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.

28 iIf there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemies besiege them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, 29 whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own sorrow and stretching out his hands toward this house, 30 gthen hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways, jfor you, you only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, 31 that they may fear you and walk in your ways all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers.

32 Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for the sake of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays toward this house, 33 hear from heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house kthat I have built is called by your name.

34 If your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to you toward this city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, 35 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.

36 If they sin against youlfor there is no one who does not sinand you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to a land far or near, 37 yet if they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly, 38 if they repent with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity to which they were carried captive, and pray toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, 39 then hear from heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their pleas, and maintain their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against you. 40 Now, O my God, mlet your eyes be open nand your ears attentive to the prayer of this place.

41  And now arise, O Lord God, and go to your oresting place,

you and the ark of your might.

Let your priests, O Lord God, be pclothed with salvation,

and let your saints qrejoice in your goodness.

42  O Lord God, rdo not turn away the face of your anointed one!

sRemember your steadfast love for David your servant.

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.