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1st Kings (niv)

Chapter 1

[1] When King David was old and well advanced in years, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. [2] So his servants said to him, "Let us look for a young virgin to attend the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm."

[3] Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful girl and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. [4] The girl was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no intimate relations with her.

[5] Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, "I will be king." So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. [6] (His father had never interfered with him by asking, "Why do you behave as you do?" He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)

[7] Adonijah conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they gave him their support. [8] But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei and David's special guard did not join Adonijah.

[9] Adonijah then sacrificed sheep, cattle and fattened calves at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the men of Judah who were royal officials, [10] but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the special guard or his brother Solomon.

[11] Then Nathan asked Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, "Have you not heard that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has become king without our lord David's knowing it? [12] Now then, let me advise you how you can save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. [13] Go in to King David and say to him, `My lord the king, did you not swear to me your servant: "Surely Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne"? Why then has Adonijah become king?' [14] While you are still there talking to the king, I will come in and confirm what you have said."

[15] So Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag the Shunammite was attending him. [16] Bathsheba bowed low and knelt before the king.

"What is it you want?" the king asked.

[17] She said to him, "My lord, you yourself swore to me your servant by the LORD your God: `Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.' [18] But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, do not know about it. [19] He has sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep, and has invited all the king's sons, Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army, but he has not invited Solomon your servant. [20] My lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to learn from you who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. [21] Otherwise, as soon as my lord the king is laid to rest with his fathers, I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals."

[22] While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. [23] And they told the king, "Nathan the prophet is here." So he went before the king and bowed with his face to the ground.

[24] Nathan said, "Have you, my lord the king, declared that Adonijah shall be king after you, and that he will sit on your throne? [25] Today he has gone down and sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep. He has invited all the king's sons, the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest. Right now they are eating and drinking with him and saying, `Long live King Adonijah!' [26] But me your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he did not invite. [27] Is this something my lord the king has done without letting his servants know who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?"

[28] Then King David said, "Call in Bathsheba." So she came into the king's presence and stood before him.

[29] The king then took an oath: "As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, [30] I will surely carry out today what I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place."

[31] Then Bathsheba bowed low with her face to the ground and, kneeling before the king, said, "May my lord King David live forever!"

[32] King David said, "Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada." When they came before the king, [33] he said to them: "Take your lord's servants with you and set Solomon my son on my own mule and take him down to Gihon. [34] There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, `Long live King Solomon!' [35] Then you are to go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah."

[36] Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, "Amen! May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so declare it. [37] As the LORD was with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon to make his throne even greater than the throne of my lord King David!"

[38] So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites went down and put Solomon on King David's mule and escorted him to Gihon. [39] Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, "Long live King Solomon!" [40] And all the people went up after him, playing flutes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound.

[41] Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they were finishing their feast. On hearing the sound of the trumpet, Joab asked, "What's the meaning of all the noise in the city?"

[42] Even as he was speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, "Come in. A worthy man like you must be bringing good news."

[43] "Not at all!" Jonathan answered. "Our lord King David has made Solomon king. [44] The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites, and they have put him on the king's mule, [45] and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon. From there they have gone up cheering, and the city resounds with it. That's the noise you hear. [46] Moreover, Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne. [47] Also, the royal officials have come to congratulate our lord King David, saying, `May your God make Solomon's name more famous than yours and his throne greater than yours!' And the king bowed in worship on his bed [48] and said, `Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has allowed my eyes to see a successor on my throne today.' "

[49] At this, all Adonijah's guests rose in alarm and dispersed. [50] But Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. [51] Then Solomon was told, "Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar. He says, `Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.' "

[52] Solomon replied, "If he shows himself to be a worthy man, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground; but if evil is found in him, he will die." [53] Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, "Go to your home."

Chapter 2

[1] When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.

[2] "I am about to go the way of all the earth," he said. "So be strong, show yourself a man, [3] and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go, [4] and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: `If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.'

[5] "Now you yourself know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me--what he did to the two commanders of Israel's armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peacetime as if in battle, and with that blood stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet. [6] Deal with him according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace.

[7] "But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and let them be among those who eat at your table. They stood by me when I fled from your brother Absalom.

[8] "And remember, you have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, who called down bitter curses on me the day I went to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD: `I will not put you to death by the sword.' [9] But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him. Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood."

[10] Then David rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David. [11] He had reigned forty years over Israel--seven years in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. [12] So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established.

[13] Now Adonijah, the son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother. Bathsheba asked him, "Do you come peacefully?"

He answered, "Yes, peacefully." [14] Then he added, "I have something to say to you."

"You may say it," she replied.

[15] "As you know," he said, "the kingdom was mine. All Israel looked to me as their king. But things changed, and the kingdom has gone to my brother; for it has come to him from the LORD. [16] Now I have one request to make of you. Do not refuse me."

"You may make it," she said.

[17] So he continued, "Please ask King Solomon--he will not refuse you--to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife."

[18] "Very well," Bathsheba replied, "I will speak to the king for you."

[19] When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat down at his right hand.

[20] "I have one small request to make of you," she said. "Do not refuse me."

The king replied, "Make it, my mother; I will not refuse you."

[21] So she said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given in marriage to your brother Adonijah."

[22] King Solomon answered his mother, "Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him--after all, he is my older brother--yes, for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah!"

[23] Then King Solomon swore by the LORD: "May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if Adonijah does not pay with his life for this request! [24] And now, as surely as the LORD lives--he who has established me securely on the throne of my father David and has founded a dynasty for me as he promised--Adonijah shall be put to death today!" [25] So King Solomon gave orders to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he struck down Adonijah and he died.

[26] To Abiathar the priest the king said, "Go back to your fields in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not put you to death now, because you carried the ark of the Sovereign LORD before my father David and shared all my father's hardships." [27] So Solomon removed Abiathar from the priesthood of the LORD, fulfilling the word the LORD had spoken at Shiloh about the house of Eli.

[28] When the news reached Joab, who had conspired with Adonijah though not with Absalom, he fled to the tent of the LORD and took hold of the horns of the altar. [29] King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the tent of the LORD and was beside the altar. Then Solomon ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada, "Go, strike him down!"

[30] So Benaiah entered the tent of the LORD and said to Joab, "The king says, `Come out!' "

But he answered, "No, I will die here."

Benaiah reported to the king, "This is how Joab answered me."

[31] Then the king commanded Benaiah, "Do as he says. Strike him down and bury him, and so clear me and my father's house of the guilt of the innocent blood that Joab shed. [32] The LORD will repay him for the blood he shed, because without the knowledge of my father David he attacked two men and killed them with the sword. Both of them--Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel's army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah's army--were better men and more upright than he. [33] May the guilt of their blood rest on the head of Joab and his descendants forever. But on David and his descendants, his house and his throne, may there be the LORD's peace forever."

[34] So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and struck down Joab and killed him, and he was buried on his own land in the desert. [35] The king put Benaiah son of Jehoiada over the army in Joab's position and replaced Abiathar with Zadok the priest.

[36] Then the king sent for Shimei and said to him, "Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, but do not go anywhere else. [37] The day you leave and cross the Kidron Valley, you can be sure you will die; your blood will be on your own head."

[38] Shimei answered the king, "What you say is good. Your servant will do as my lord the king has said." And Shimei stayed in Jerusalem for a long time.

[39] But three years later, two of Shimei's slaves ran off to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath, and Shimei was told, "Your slaves are in Gath." [40] At this, he saddled his donkey and went to Achish at Gath in search of his slaves. So Shimei went away and brought the slaves back from Gath.

[41] When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned, [42] the king summoned Shimei and said to him, "Did I not make you swear by the LORD and warn you, `On the day you leave to go anywhere else, you can be sure you will die'? At that time you said to me, `What you say is good. I will obey.' [43] Why then did you not keep your oath to the LORD and obey the command I gave you?"

[44] The king also said to Shimei, "You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the LORD will repay you for your wrongdoing. [45] But King Solomon will be blessed, and David's throne will remain secure before the LORD forever."

[46] Then the king gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down and killed him.

The kingdom was now firmly established in Solomon's hands.

Chapter 3

[1] Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the LORD, and the wall around Jerusalem. [2] The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD. [3] Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the statutes of his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.

[4] The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. [5] At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."

[6] Solomon answered, "You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.

[7] "Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. [8] Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. [9] So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?"

[10] The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. [11] So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, [12] I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. [13] Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for--both riches and honor--so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. [14] And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life." [15] Then Solomon awoke--and he realized it had been a dream.

He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord's covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he gave a feast for all his court.

[16] Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. [17] One of them said, "My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. [18] The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.

[19] "During the night this woman's son died because she lay on him. [20] So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. [21] The next morning, I got up to nurse my son--and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn't the son I had borne."

[22] The other woman said, "No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours."

But the first one insisted, "No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine." And so they argued before the king.

[23] The king said, "This one says, `My son is alive and your son is dead,' while that one says, `No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.' "

[24] Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword for the king. [25] He then gave an order: "Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other."

[26] The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!"

But the other said, "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"

[27] Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother."

[28] When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

Chapter 4

[1] So King Solomon ruled over all Israel. [2] And these were his chief officials:

Azariah son of Zadok--the priest;

[3] Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha--secretaries;

Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud--recorder;

[4] Benaiah son of Jehoiada--commander in chief;

Zadok and Abiathar--priests;

[5] Azariah son of Nathan--in charge of the district officers;

Zabud son of Nathan--a priest and personal adviser to the king;

[6] Ahishar--in charge of the palace;

Adoniram son of Abda--in charge of forced labor.

[7] Solomon also had twelve district governors over all Israel, who supplied provisions for the king and the royal household. Each one had to provide supplies for one month in the year. [8] These are their names:

Ben-Hur--in the hill country of Ephraim;

[9] Ben-Deker--in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh and Elon Bethhanan;

[10] Ben-Hesed--in Arubboth (Socoh and all the land of Hepher were his);

[11] Ben-Abinadab--in Naphoth Dor (he was married to Taphath daughter of Solomon);

[12] Baana son of Ahilud--in Taanach and Megiddo, and in all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah across to Jokmeam;

[13] Ben-Geber--in Ramoth Gilead (the settlements of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead were his, as well as the district of Argob in Bashan and its sixty large walled cities with bronze gate bars);

[14] Ahinadab son of Iddo--in Mahanaim;

[15] Ahimaaz--in Naphtali (he had married Basemath daughter of Solomon);

[16] Baana son of Hushai--in Asher and in Aloth;

[17] Jehoshaphat son of Paruah--in Issachar;

[18] Shimei son of Ela--in Benjamin;

[19] Geber son of Uri--in Gilead (the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and the country of Og king of Bashan). He was the only governor over the district.

[20] The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy. [21] And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon's subjects all his life.

[22] Solomon's daily provisions were thirty cors of fine flour and sixty cors of meal, [23] ten head of stall-fed cattle, twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks and choice fowl. [24] For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides. [25] During Solomon's lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, each man under his own vine and fig tree.

[26] Solomon had four thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses.

[27] The district officers, each in his month, supplied provisions for King Solomon and all who came to the king's table. They saw to it that nothing was lacking. [28] They also brought to the proper place their quotas of barley and straw for the chariot horses and the other horses.

[29] God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. [30] Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. [31] He was wiser than any other man, including Ethan the Ezrahite--wiser than Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. [32] He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. [33] He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. [34] Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.

Chapter 5

[1] When Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with David. [2] Solomon sent back this message to Hiram:

[3] "You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet. [4] But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. [5] I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David, when he said, `Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.'

[6] "So give orders that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. My men will work with yours, and I will pay you for your men whatever wages you set. You know that we have no one so skilled in felling timber as the Sidonians."

[7] When Hiram heard Solomon's message, he was greatly pleased and said, "Praise be to the LORD today, for he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation."

[8] So Hiram sent word to Solomon:

"I have received the message you sent me and will do all you want in providing the cedar and pine logs. [9] My men will haul them down from Lebanon to the sea, and I will float them in rafts by sea to the place you specify. There I will separate them and you can take them away. And you are to grant my wish by providing food for my royal household."

[10] In this way Hiram kept Solomon supplied with all the cedar and pine logs he wanted, [11] and Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand cors of wheat as food for his household, in addition to twenty thousand baths of pressed olive oil. Solomon continued to do this for Hiram year after year. [12] The LORD gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.

[13] King Solomon conscripted laborers from all Israel--thirty thousand men. [14] He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. [15] Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills, [16] as well as thirty-three hundred foremen who supervised the project and directed the workmen. [17] At the king's command they removed from the quarry large blocks of quality stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple. [18] The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and the men of Gebal cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple.

Chapter 6

[1] In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites had come out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the LORD.

[2] The temple that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high. [3] The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended the width of the temple, that is twenty cubits, and projected ten cubits from the front of the temple. [4] He made narrow clerestory windows in the temple. [5] Against the walls of the main hall and inner sanctuary he built a structure around the building, in which there were side rooms. [6] The lowest floor was five cubits wide, the middle floor six cubits and the third floor seven. He made offset ledges around the outside of the temple so that nothing would be inserted into the temple walls.

[7] In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.

[8] The entrance to the lowest floor was on the south side of the temple; a stairway led up to the middle level and from there to the third. [9] So he built the temple and completed it, roofing it with beams and cedar planks. [10] And he built the side rooms all along the temple. The height of each was five cubits, and they were attached to the temple by beams of cedar.

[11] The word of the LORD came to Solomon: [12] "As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. [13] And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel."

[14] So Solomon built the temple and completed it. [15] He lined its interior walls with cedar boards, paneling them from the floor of the temple to the ceiling, and covered the floor of the temple with planks of pine. [16] He partitioned off twenty cubits at the rear of the temple with cedar boards from floor to ceiling to form within the temple an inner sanctuary, the Most Holy Place. [17] The main hall in front of this room was forty cubits long. [18] The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with gourds and open flowers. Everything was cedar; no stone was to be seen.

[19] He prepared the inner sanctuary within the temple to set the ark of the covenant of the LORD there. [20] The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty wide and twenty high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold, and he also overlaid the altar of cedar. [21] Solomon covered the inside of the temple with pure gold, and he extended gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, which was overlaid with gold. [22] So he overlaid the whole interior with gold. He also overlaid with gold the altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary.

[23] In the inner sanctuary he made a pair of cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. [24] One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long, and the other wing five cubits--ten cubits from wing tip to wing tip. [25] The second cherub also measured ten cubits, for the two cherubim were identical in size and shape. [26] The height of each cherub was ten cubits. [27] He placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple, with their wings spread out. The wing of one cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. [28] He overlaid the cherubim with gold.

[29] On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers. [30] He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold.

[31] For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood with five-sided jambs. [32] And on the two olive wood doors he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid the cherubim and palm trees with beaten gold. [33] In the same way he made four-sided jambs of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall. [34] He also made two pine doors, each having two leaves that turned in sockets. [35] He carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers on them and overlaid them with gold hammered evenly over the carvings.

[36] And he built the inner courtyard of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams.

[37] The foundation of the temple of the LORD was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv. [38] In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it.

Chapter 7

[1] It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace. [2] He built the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon a hundred cubits long, fifty wide and thirty high, with four rows of cedar columns supporting trimmed cedar beams. [3] It was roofed with cedar above the beams that rested on the columns--forty-five beams, fifteen to a row. [4] Its windows were placed high in sets of three, facing each other. [5] All the doorways had rectangular frames; they were in the front part in sets of three, facing each other.

[6] He made a colonnade fifty cubits long and thirty wide. In front of it was a portico, and in front of that were pillars and an overhanging roof.

[7] He built the throne hall, the Hall of Justice, where he was to judge, and he covered it with cedar from floor to ceiling. [8] And the palace in which he was to live, set farther back, was similar in design. Solomon also made a palace like this hall for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had married.

[9] All these structures, from the outside to the great courtyard and from foundation to eaves, were made of blocks of high-grade stone cut to size and trimmed with a saw on their inner and outer faces. [10] The foundations were laid with large stones of good quality, some measuring ten cubits and some eight. [11] Above were high-grade stones, cut to size, and cedar beams. [12] The great courtyard was surrounded by a wall of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams, as was the inner courtyard of the temple of the LORD with its portico.

[13] King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, [14] whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was a man of Tyre and a craftsman in bronze. Huram was highly skilled and experienced in all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.

[15] He cast two bronze pillars, each eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits around, by line. [16] He also made two capitals of cast bronze to set on the tops of the pillars; each capital was five cubits high. [17] A network of interwoven chains festooned the capitals on top of the pillars, seven for each capital. [18] He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars. He did the same for each capital. [19] The capitals on top of the pillars in the portico were in the shape of lilies, four cubits high. [20] On the capitals of both pillars, above the bowl-shaped part next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around. [21] He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz. [22] The capitals on top were in the shape of lilies. And so the work on the pillars was completed.

[23] He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. [24] Below the rim, gourds encircled it--ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea.

[25] The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. [26] It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths.

[27] He also made ten movable stands of bronze; each was four cubits long, four wide and three high. [28] This is how the stands were made: They had side panels attached to uprights. [29] On the panels between the uprights were lions, bulls and cherubim--and on the uprights as well. Above and below the lions and bulls were wreaths of hammered work. [30] Each stand had four bronze wheels with bronze axles, and each had a basin resting on four supports, cast with wreaths on each side. [31] On the inside of the stand there was an opening that had a circular frame one cubit deep. This opening was round, and with its basework it measured a cubit and a half. Around its opening there was engraving. The panels of the stands were square, not round. [32] The four wheels were under the panels, and the axles of the wheels were attached to the stand. The diameter of each wheel was a cubit and a half. [33] The wheels were made like chariot wheels; the axles, rims, spokes and hubs were all of cast metal.

[34] Each stand had four handles, one on each corner, projecting from the stand. [35] At the top of the stand there was a circular band half a cubit deep. The supports and panels were attached to the top of the stand. [36] He engraved cherubim, lions and palm trees on the surfaces of the supports and on the panels, in every available space, with wreaths all around. [37] This is the way he made the ten stands. They were all cast in the same molds and were identical in size and shape.

[38] He then made ten bronze basins, each holding forty baths and measuring four cubits across, one basin to go on each of the ten stands. [39] He placed five of the stands on the south side of the temple and five on the north. He placed the Sea on the south side, at the southeast corner of the temple. [40] He also made the basins and shovels and sprinkling bowls.

So Huram finished all the work he had undertaken for King Solomon in the temple of the LORD:

[41] the two pillars;

the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;

the two sets of network decorating the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;

[42] the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network, decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars);

[43] the ten stands with their ten basins;

[44] the Sea and the twelve bulls under it;

[45] the pots, shovels and sprinkling bowls.

All these objects that Huram made for King Solomon for the temple of the LORD were of burnished bronze. [46] The king had them cast in clay molds in the plain of the Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan. [47] Solomon left all these things unweighed, because there were so many; the weight of the bronze was not determined.

[48] Solomon also made all the furnishings that were in the LORD's temple:

the golden altar;

the golden table on which was the bread of the Presence;

[49] the lampstands of pure gold (five on the right and five on the left, in front of the inner sanctuary);

the gold floral work and lamps and tongs;

[50] the pure gold basins, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and censers;

and the gold sockets for the doors of the innermost room, the Most Holy Place, and also for the doors of the main hall of the temple.

[51] When all the work King Solomon had done for the temple of the LORD was finished, he brought in the things his father David had dedicated--the silver and gold and the furnishings--and he placed them in the treasuries of the LORD's temple.

Chapter 8

[1] Then King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the LORD's covenant from Zion, the City of David. [2] All the men of Israel came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.

[3] When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark, [4] and they brought up the ark of the LORD and the Tent of Meeting and all the sacred furnishings in it. The priests and Levites carried them up, [5] and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.

[6] The priests then brought the ark of the LORD's covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. [7] The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles. [8] These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today. [9] There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.

[10] When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. [11] And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.

[12] Then Solomon said, "The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; [13] I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever."

[14] While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them. [15] Then he said:

"Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who with his own hand has fulfilled what he promised with his own mouth to my father David. For he said, [16] `Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built for my Name to be there, but I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.'

[17] "My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel. [18] But the LORD said to my father David, `Because it was in your heart to build a temple for my Name, you did well to have this in your heart. [19] Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, who is your own flesh and blood--he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.'

[20] "The LORD has kept the promise he made: I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel. [21] I have provided a place there for the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD that he made with our fathers when he brought them out of Egypt."

[22] Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven [23] and said:

"O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below--you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. [24] You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it--as it is today.

[25] "Now LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, `You shall never fail to have a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons are careful in all they do to walk before me as you have done.' [26] And now, O God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David my father come true.

[27] "But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! [28] Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. [29] May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, `My Name shall be there,' so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. [30] Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.

[31] "When a man wrongs his neighbor and is required to take an oath and he comes and swears the oath before your altar in this temple, [32] then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, condemning the guilty and bringing down on his own head what he has done. Declare the innocent not guilty, and so establish his innocence.

[33] "When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and confess your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, [34] then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their fathers.

[35] "When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and confess your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, [36] then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.

[37] "When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when an enemy besieges them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, [38] and when a prayer or plea is made by any of your people Israel--each one aware of the afflictions of his own heart, and spreading out his hands toward this temple-- [39] then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of all men), [40] so that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our fathers.

[41] "As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name-- [42] for men will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm--when he comes and prays toward this temple, [43] then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.

[44] "When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to the LORD toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, [45] then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.

[46] "When they sin against you--for there is no one who does not sin--and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to his own land, far away or near; [47] and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their conquerors and say, `We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly'; [48] and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their fathers, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; [49] then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. [50] And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their conquerors to show them mercy; [51] for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.

[52] "May your eyes be open to your servant's plea and to the plea of your people Israel, and may you listen to them whenever they cry out to you. [53] For you singled them out from all the nations of the world to be your own inheritance, just as you declared through your servant Moses when you, O Sovereign LORD, brought our fathers out of Egypt."

[54] When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to the LORD, he rose from before the altar of the LORD, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven. [55] He stood and blessed the whole assembly of Israel in a loud voice, saying:

[56] "Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. [57] May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may he never leave us nor forsake us. [58] May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep the commands, decrees and regulations he gave our fathers. [59] And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day's need, [60] so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other. [61] But your hearts must be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time."

[62] Then the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the LORD. [63] Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to the LORD: twenty-two thousand cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the Israelites dedicated the temple of the LORD.

[64] On that same day the king consecrated the middle part of the courtyard in front of the temple of the LORD, and there he offered burnt offerings, grain offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings, because the bronze altar before the LORD was too small to hold the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings.

[65] So Solomon observed the festival at that time, and all Israel with him--a vast assembly, people from Lebo Hamath to the Wadi of Egypt. They celebrated it before the LORD our God for seven days and seven days more, fourteen days in all. [66] On the following day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and then went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the good things the LORD had done for his servant David and his people Israel.

Chapter 9

[1] When Solomon had finished building the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had achieved all he had desired to do, [2] the LORD appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. [3] The LORD said to him:

"I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

[4] "As for you, if you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, [5] I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, `You shall never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.'

[6] "But if you or your sons turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, [7] then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. [8] And though this temple is now imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, `Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?' [9] People will answer, `Because they have forsaken the LORD their God, who brought their fathers out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them--that is why the LORD brought all this disaster on them.' "

[10] At the end of twenty years, during which Solomon built these two buildings--the temple of the LORD and the royal palace-- [11] King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, because Hiram had supplied him with all the cedar and pine and gold he wanted. [12] But when Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns that Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. [13] "What kind of towns are these you have given me, my brother?" he asked. And he called them the Land of Cabul, a name they have to this day. [14] Now Hiram had sent to the king 120 talents of gold.

[15] Here is the account of the forced labor King Solomon conscripted to build the LORD's temple, his own palace, the supporting terraces, the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. [16] (Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He had set it on fire. He killed its Canaanite inhabitants and then gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter, Solomon's wife. [17] And Solomon rebuilt Gezer.) He built up Lower Beth Horon, [18] Baalath, and Tadmor in the desert, within his land, [19] as well as all his store cities and the towns for his chariots and for his horses--whatever he desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon and throughout all the territory he ruled.

[20] All the people left from the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (these peoples were not Israelites), [21] that is, their descendants remaining in the land, whom the Israelites could not exterminate--these Solomon conscripted for his slave labor force, as it is to this day. [22] But Solomon did not make slaves of any of the Israelites; they were his fighting men, his government officials, his officers, his captains, and the commanders of his chariots and charioteers. [23] They were also the chief officials in charge of Solomon's projects--550 officials supervising the men who did the work.

[24] After Pharaoh's daughter had come up from the City of David to the palace Solomon had built for her, he constructed the supporting terraces.

[25] Three times a year Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the LORD, burning incense before the LORD along with them, and so fulfilled the temple obligations.

[26] King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath in Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea. [27] And Hiram sent his men--sailors who knew the sea--to serve in the fleet with Solomon's men. [28] They sailed to Ophir and brought back 420 talents of gold, which they delivered to King Solomon.

red, "If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me." Then he added, "Mark my words, all you people!"

[29] So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. [30] The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.

[31] Now the king of Aram had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, "Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel." [32] When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, "Surely this is the king of Israel." So they turned to attack him, but when Jehoshaphat cried out, [33] the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel and stopped pursuing him.

[34] But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, "Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I've been wounded." [35] All day long the battle raged, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died. [36] As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army: "Every man to his town; everyone to his land!"

[37] So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried him there. [38] They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria (where the prostitutes bathed), and the dogs licked up his blood, as the word of the LORD had declared.

[39] As for the other events of Ahab's reign, including all he did, the palace he built and inlaid with ivory, and the cities he fortified, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? [40] Ahab rested with his fathers. And Ahaziah his son succeeded him as king.

[41] Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. [42] Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother's name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. [43] In everything he walked in the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD. The high places, however, were not removed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. [44] Jehoshaphat was also at peace with the king of Israel.

[45] As for the other events of Jehoshaphat's reign, the things he achieved and his military exploits, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? [46] He rid the land of the rest of the male shrine prostitutes who remained there even after the reign of his father Asa. [47] There was then no king in Edom; a deputy ruled.

[48] Now Jehoshaphat built a fleet of trading ships to go to Ophir for gold, but they never set sail--they were wrecked at Ezion Geber. [49] At that time Ahaziah son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, "Let my men sail with your men," but Jehoshaphat refused.

[50] Then Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the city of David his father. And Jehoram his son succeeded him.

[51] Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. [52] He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, because he walked in the ways of his father and mother and in the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. [53] He served and worshiped Baal and provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger, just as his father had done.