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The most important of these places of worship was at Gibeon, so the king went there and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings. That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”

Solomon replied, “You showed great and faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you. And you have continued to show this great and faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne.

“Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. 11 So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies— 12 I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! 13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! 14 And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”

15 Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem and stood before the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, where he sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. Then he invited all his officials to a great banquet.

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29 God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore. 30 In fact, his wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men of the East and the wise men of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite and the sons of Mahol—Heman, Calcol, and Darda. His fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations. 32 He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. 33 He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, small creatures, and fish. 34 And kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.

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38 The entire building was completed in every detail by midautumn, in the month of Bul,[a] during the eleventh year of his reign. So it took seven years to build the Temple.

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Footnotes

  1. 6:38 Hebrew by the month of Bul, which is the eighth month. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar usually occurs within the months of October and November.

Solomon Builds His Palace

Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years to complete the construction.

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Solomon’s Wealth and Splendor

14 Each year Solomon received about 25 tons[a] of gold. 15 This did not include the additional revenue he received from merchants and traders, all the kings of Arabia, and the governors of the land.

16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold, each weighing more than fifteen pounds.[b] 17 He also made 300 smaller shields of hammered gold, each weighing nearly four pounds.[c] The king placed these shields in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.

18 Then the king made a huge throne, decorated with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. 19 The throne had six steps and a rounded back. There were armrests on both sides of the seat, and the figure of a lion stood on each side of the throne. 20 There were also twelve other lions, one standing on each end of the six steps. No other throne in all the world could be compared with it!

21 All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were solid gold, as were all the utensils in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. They were not made of silver, for silver was considered worthless in Solomon’s day!

22 The king had a fleet of trading ships of Tarshish that sailed with Hiram’s fleet. Once every three years the ships returned, loaded with gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.[d]

23 So King Solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth. 24 People from every nation came to consult him and to hear the wisdom God had given him. 25 Year after year everyone who visited brought him gifts of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.

26 Solomon built up a huge force of chariots and horses.[e] He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He stationed some of them in the chariot cities and some near him in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah.[f] 28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt[g] and from Cilicia[h]; the king’s traders acquired them from Cilicia at the standard price. 29 At that time chariots from Egypt could be purchased for 600 pieces of silver,[i] and horses for 150 pieces of silver.[j] They were then exported to the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.

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Footnotes

  1. 10:14 Hebrew 666 talents [23 metric tons].
  2. 10:16 Hebrew 600 [shekels] of gold [6.8 kilograms].
  3. 10:17 Hebrew 3 minas [1.8 kilograms].
  4. 10:22 Or and baboons.
  5. 10:26 Or charioteers; also in 10:26b.
  6. 10:27 Hebrew the Shephelah.
  7. 10:28a Possibly Muzur, a district near Cilicia; also in 10:29.
  8. 10:28b Hebrew Kue, probably another name for Cilicia.
  9. 10:29a Hebrew 600 [shekels] of silver, about 15 pounds or 6.8 kilograms in weight.
  10. 10:29b Hebrew 150 [shekels], about 3.8 pounds or 1.7 kilograms in weight.

He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.

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