Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 129

Bible text(s)


10It took Solomon twenty years to build the Temple and his palace. 11King Hiram of Tyre had provided him with all the cedar and pine and with all the gold he wanted for this work. After it was finished, King Solomon gave Hiram twenty towns in the region of Galilee. 12Hiram went to see them, and he did not like them. 13So he said to Solomon, “So these, my brother, are the towns you have given me!” For this reason the area is still called Cabul. 14Hiram had sent Solomon more than four tonnes of gold.


15King Solomon used forced labour to build the Temple and the palace, to fill in land on the east side of the city, and to build the city wall. He also used it to rebuild the cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16(The king of Egypt had attacked Gezer and captured it, killing its inhabitants and setting fire to the city. Then he gave it as a wedding present to his daughter when she married Solomon, 17and Solomon rebuilt it.) Using his forced labour, Solomon also rebuilt Lower Beth Horon, 18Baalath, Tamar in the Judean wilderness, 19the cities where his supplies were kept, the cities for his horses and chariots, and everything else he wanted to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and elsewhere in his kingdom. 22Solomon did not make slaves of Israelites; they served as his soldiers, officers, commanders, chariot captains, and horsemen.

23There were 550 officials in charge of the forced labour working on Solomon's various building projects.

24Solomon filled in the land on the east side of the city, after his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt, had moved from David's City to the palace Solomon built for her.

25Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built to the LORD. He also burnt incense to the LORD. And so he finished building the Temple.

26King Solomon also built a fleet of ships at Eziongeber, which is near Elath, on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba, in the land of Edom. 27King Hiram sent some experienced seamen from his fleet to serve with Solomon's men. 28They sailed to the land of Ophir, and brought back to Solomon more than fourteen tonnes of gold.

The Visit of the Queen of Sheba

(2 Chr 9.1–12)

1The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame, and she travelled to Jerusalem to test him with difficult questions. 2She brought with her a large group of attendants, as well as camels loaded with spices, jewels, and a large amount of gold. When she and Solomon met, she asked him all the questions that she could think of. 3He answered them all; there was nothing too difficult for him to explain. 4The queen of Sheba heard Solomon's wisdom and saw the palace he had built. 5She saw the food that was served at his table, the living quarters for his officials, the organization of his palace staff and the uniforms they wore, the servants who waited on him at feasts, and the sacrifices he offered in the Temple. It left her breathless and amazed. 6She said to King Solomon, “What I heard in my own country about you and your wisdom is true! 7But I couldn't believe it until I had come and seen it all for myself. But I didn't hear even half of it; your wisdom and wealth are much greater than what I was told. 8How fortunate are your wives! And how fortunate your servants, who are always in your presence and are privileged to hear your wise sayings! 9Praise the LORD your God! He has shown how pleased he is with you by making you king of Israel. Because his love for Israel is eternal, he has made you their king so that you can maintain law and justice.”

10She presented to King Solomon the gifts she had brought: more than four tonnes of gold and a very large amount of spices and jewels. The amount of spices she gave him was by far the greatest that he ever received at any time.

11(Hiram's fleet, which had brought gold from Ophir, also brought from there a large amount of juniper wood and jewels. 12Solomon used the wood to build railings in the Temple and the palace, and also to make harps and lyres for the musicians. It was the finest juniper wood ever imported into Israel; none like it has ever been seen again.)

13King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she asked for, besides all the other customary gifts that he had generously given her. Then she and her attendants returned to the land of Sheba.

King Solomon's Wealth

(2 Chr 9.13–28)

14Every year King Solomon received almost 23 tonnes of gold 15in addition to the taxes paid by merchants, the profits from trade, and tribute paid by the Arabian kings and the governors of the Israelite districts.

16Solomon made 200 large shields, and had each one overlaid with almost seven kilogrammes of gold. 17He also made 300 smaller shields, overlaying each one of them with almost two kilogrammes of gold. He had all these shields placed in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon.

18He also had a large throne made. Part of it was covered with ivory and the rest of it was covered with the finest gold. 19-20The throne had six steps leading up to it, with the figure of a lion at each end of every step, a total of twelve lions. At the back of the throne was the figure of a bull's head, and beside each of the two arms was the figure of a lion. No throne like this had ever existed in any other kingdom.

21All of Solomon's drinking cups were made of gold, and all the utensils in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. No silver was used, since it was not considered valuable in Solomon's day. 22He had a fleet of ocean-going ships sailing with Hiram's fleet. Every three years his fleet would return, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.

23King Solomon was richer and wiser than any other king, 24and the whole world wanted to come and listen to the wisdom that God had given him. 25Everyone who came brought him a gift — articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons, spices, horses, and mules. This continued year after year.

26Solomon built up a force of 1,400 chariots and 12,000 cavalry horses. Some of them he kept in Jerusalem and the rest he stationed in various other cities. 27During his reign silver was as common in Jerusalem as stone, and cedar was as plentiful as ordinary sycomore in the foothills of Judah. 28The king's agents controlled the export of horses from Musri and Cilicia, 29and the export of chariots from Egypt. They supplied the Hittite and Syrian kings with horses and chariots, selling chariots for 600 pieces of silver each and horses for 150 each.

Solomon Turns Away from God

1Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides the daughter of the king of Egypt he married Hittite women and women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Sidon. 2He married them even though the LORD had commanded the Israelites not to intermarry with these people, because they would cause the Israelites to give their loyalty to other gods. 3Solomon married 700 princesses and also had 300 concubines. They made him turn away from God 4and by the time he was old they had led him into the worship of foreign gods. He was not faithful to the LORD his God, as his father David had been. 5He worshipped Astarte the goddess of Sidon, and Molech the disgusting god of Ammon. 6He sinned against the LORD and was not true to him as his father David had been. 7On the mountain east of Jerusalem he built a place to worship Chemosh, the disgusting god of Moab, and a place to worship Molech, the disgusting god of Ammon. 8He also built places of worship where all his foreign wives could burn incense and offer sacrifices to their own gods.

11and said to him, “Because you have deliberately broken your covenant with me and disobeyed my commands, I promise that I will take the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your officials. 12However, for the sake of your father David I will not do this in your lifetime, but during the reign of your son. 13And I will not take the whole kingdom away from him; instead, I will leave him one tribe for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have made my own.”

Solomon's Enemies

14So the LORD caused Hadad, of the royal family of Edom, to turn against Solomon. 17except Hadad and some of his father's Edomite servants, who escaped to Egypt. (At that time Hadad was just a child.) 18They left Midian and went to Paran, where some other men joined them. Then they travelled to Egypt and went to the king, who gave Hadad some land and a house and provided him with food. 19Hadad won the friendship of the king, and the king gave his sister-in-law, the sister of Queen Tahpenes, to Hadad in marriage. 20She bore him a son, Genubath, who was brought up by the queen in the palace, where he lived with the king's sons.

21When the news reached Hadad in Egypt that David had died and that Joab the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to the king, “Let me go back to my own country.”

22“Why?” the king asked. “Have I failed to give you something? Is that why you want to go back home?”

“Just let me go,” Hadad answered the king. And he went back to his country.

As king of Edom, Hadad was an evil, bitter enemy of Israel.

23God also caused Rezon son of Eliada to turn against Solomon. Rezon had fled from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah, 24and had become the leader of a gang of outlaws. (This happened after David had defeated Hadadezer and had slaughtered his Syrian allies.) Rezon and his men went and lived in Damascus, where his men made him king of Syria. 25He was an enemy of Israel during the lifetime of Solomon.

God's Promise to Jeroboam

26Another man who turned against King Solomon was one of his officials, Jeroboam son of Nebat, from Zeredah in Ephraim. His mother was a widow named Zeruah. 27This is the story of the revolt.

Solomon was filling in the land on the east side of Jerusalem and repairing the city walls. 28Jeroboam was an able young man, and when Solomon noticed how hard he worked, he put him in charge of all the forced labour in the territory of the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim. 29One day, as Jeroboam was travelling from Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah, from Shiloh, met him alone on the road in the open country. 30Ahijah took off the new robe he was wearing, tore it into twelve pieces, 31and said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, because the LORD, the God of Israel, says to you, ‘I am going to take the kingdom away from Solomon, and I will give you ten tribes. 32Solomon will keep one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen to be my own from the whole land of Israel. 33I am going to do this because Solomon has rejected me and has worshipped foreign gods: Astarte, the goddess of Sidon; Chemosh, the god of Moab; and Molech, the god of Ammon. Solomon has disobeyed me; he has done wrong, and has not kept my laws and commands as his father David did. 34But I will not take the whole kingdom away from Solomon, and I will keep him in power as long as he lives. This I will do for the sake of my servant David, whom I chose and who obeyed my laws and commands. 35I will take the kingdom away from Solomon's son and will give you ten tribes, 36but I will let Solomon's son keep one tribe, so that I will always have a descendant of my servant David ruling in Jerusalem, the city I have chosen as the place where I am worshipped. 37Jeroboam, I will make you king of Israel, and you will rule over all the territory that you want. 38If you obey me completely, live by my laws, and win my approval by doing what I command, as my servant David did, I will always be with you. I will make you king of Israel and will make sure that your descendants rule after you, just as I have done for David. 39Because of Solomon's sin I will punish the descendants of David, but not for all time.’ ”

40And so Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but he escaped to King Shishak of Egypt and stayed there until Solomon's death.


41Everything else that Solomon did, his career and his wisdom, are all recorded in The History of Solomon. 42He was king in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 43He died and was buried in David's City, and his son Rehoboam succeeded him as king.

1 Kings 9:10-11:43GNBOpen in Bible reader
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