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1 Kings 5:12-18:34 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

12 (4:32) He composed 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. 13 (4:33) He could discuss trees, from the cedar in the L’vanon to the hyssop growing out of the wall; he could discuss wild animals, poultry, reptiles and fish. 14 (4:34) People from all nations came to hear the wisdom of Shlomo, including kings from all over the earth who had heard of his wisdom.

15 (1) Hiram king of Tzor sent his servants to Shlomo, because he had heard that they had anointed him king in his father’s place, and Hiram had always loved David. 16 (2) Shlomo returned this message to Hiram: 17 (3) “You know that David my father wasn’t able to build a house for the name of Adonai his God, because of the wars that beset him from every side, until Adonai put his enemies under the soles of my feet. 18 (4) But now Adonai my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor calamity. 19 (5) So now I intend to build a house for the name of Adonai my God, in keeping with what Adonai said to David my father, ‘Your son, whom I will put on your throne in your place, will be the one to build the house for my name.’ 20 (6) Therefore, order your people to cut down cedar trees from the L’vanon for me. My servants will be with your servants. I will pay your servants according to everything you say; for you know that we have no one among us as skilled in felling trees as the Tzidonim.”

21 (7) When Hiram heard Shlomo’s message, he was very happy and said, “Blessed be Adonai today, who has given David a wise son to rule this great people.” 22 (8) Then Hiram sent Shlomo this message: “I have heard the message you sent me, and I will do everything you want concerning cedar logs and cypress logs. 23 (9) My servants will bring them down from the L’vanon to the sea. I will make them into rafts to go by sea to whatever place you tell me and will have them broken up there, and you will receive them. You will compensate me by providing food for my household.”

24 (10) So Hiram gave Shlomo all the cedar logs and cypress logs he wanted; 25 (11) and Shlomo gave Hiram 100,000 bushels of wheat as food for his household and a thousand gallons of oil from pressed olives — this is what Shlomo gave Hiram each year. 26 (12) Adonai gave Shlomo wisdom, as he had promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Shlomo — the two of them formed an alliance together.

27 (13) King Shlomo conscripted 30,000 men from all Isra’el for forced labor. 28 (14) He sent them to the L’vanon in monthly relays of 10,000; they would stay a month in the L’vanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor.

29 (15) Shlomo had 70,000 men to carry loads and another 80,000 stonecutters in the hills, 30 (16) besides Shlomo’s 3,300 supervisors who were in charge of the people doing the work. 31 (17) The king gave orders; and they quarried large stones, expensive stones, to lay the foundation of the house with cut stone. 32 (18) Shlomo’s and Hiram’s builders, along with the men from G’val, worked the stones and prepared the timber and stones for building the house.

It was in the 480th year after the people of Isra’el had left the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Shlomo’s reign over Isra’el, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of Adonai. The house which King Shlomo built for Adonai was 105 feet long, thirty-five feet wide and fifty-two-and-a-half feet high. The hall fronting the temple of the house was thirty-five feet long, the same as the width of the house itself, so that its seventeen-and-a-half-foot width extended frontward from the house. The windows he made for the house were wide on the inside and narrow on the outside. Against the wall of the house he built an annex all the way around; it went all the way around the walls of the house, including both the temple and the sanctuary. The lowest floor of the annex was eight-and-three-quarters feet wide, the middle floor ten-and-a-half feet wide and the third floor twelve-and-a-quarter feet wide; for he had made the outer part of the wall of the house step-shaped, so that the beams of the annex would not have to be attached to the house walls. For the house, when under construction, was built of stone prepared at the quarry; so that no hammer, chisel or iron tool of any kind was heard in the house while it was being built. The entrance to the lowest floor was on the south side of the house; a spiral staircase went up to the middle floor and on to the third. So he built the house, and after finishing it, he put its roof on — cedar planks over beams. 10 Each floor of the annex surrounding the house was eight-and-three-quarters feet high and was attached to the house with beams of cedar.

11 Then this word of Adonai came to Shlomo: 12 “Concerning this house which you are building: if you will live according to my regulations, follow my rulings and observe all my mitzvot and live by them, then I will establish with you my promise that I made to David your father — 13 I will live in it among the people of Isra’el, and I will not abandon my people Isra’el.”

14 So Shlomo finished building the house. 15 The insides of the walls of the house he built with boards of cedar: from the floor of the house to the joists of the ceiling he covered them on the inside with wood, and he covered the floor of the house with boards of cypress. 16 The thirty-five-foot back portion of the house he built with boards of cedar from the floor to the joists and reserved this part of the house to be a sanctuary, the Especially Holy Place; 17 while the rest of the house, that is, the temple in front, was seventy feet long. 18 The cedar covering the house was carved with gourds and open flowers; all was cedar; no stone was visible. 19 In the inner part of the house he set up the sanctuary, so that the ark for the covenant of Adonai could be placed there. 20 This sanctuary was thirty-five feet long, wide and high; and it was overlaid with pure gold. In front of it he set an altar, which he covered with cedar. 21 Shlomo overlaid the interior of the house with pure gold and had chains of gold placed before the sanctuary, which itself he overlaid with gold. 22 The entire house he overlaid with gold until it was completely covered with it. He also overlaid with gold the entire altar that belonged to the sanctuary.

23 Inside the sanctuary he made two k’ruvim of olive-wood, each seventeen-and-a-half feet high. 24 Each of the two wings of one of the k’ruvim was eight-and-three quarters feet long, so that the distance from the end of one wing to the end of the other was seventeen-and-a-half feet. 25 Likewise the [wingspread of the] other keruv was seventeen-and-a-half feet; both k’ruvim were identical in shape and size. 26 The height of the one keruv was seventeen-and-a-half feet, likewise that of the other. 27 He set the k’ruvim in the inner house; the wings of the k’ruvim were stretched out, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other keruv touched the other wall; their wings touched each other in the middle of the house. 28 He overlaid the k’ruvim with gold. 29 All around the walls of the house, both inside the sanctuary and outside it, he carved figures of k’ruvim, palm trees and open flowers. 30 He overlaid the floor of the house with gold, both inside the sanctuary and outside it.

31 For the entrance to the sanctuary he made doors of olive-wood, set within a five-sided door-frame. 32 On the two olive-wood doors he carved figures of k’ruvim, palm trees and open flowers. He overlaid the doors with gold, forcing the gold into the shapes of the k’ruvim and palm trees as well. 33 For the entrance to the temple he also made doorposts of olive-wood, set within a rectangular door-frame, 34 and two doors of cypress-wood; the two leaves of the one door were folding, as were the two leaves of the other. 35 On them he carved k’ruvim, palm trees and open flowers, overlaying them with gold fitted to the carved work. 36 He built the inner courtyard with three rows of cut stone and a row of cedar beams.

37 The foundation of the house of Adonai was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv. 38 In the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, all parts of the house were completed exactly as designed. Thus he was seven years building it.

Shlomo built a palace for himself, taking thirteen years to finish it. For he built the House of the L’vanon Forest 175 feet long, eighty-seven-and-a-half feet wide and fifty-two-and-a-half feet high, on four rows of cedar posts, with cedar beams on the posts. It had a roof made of cedar and supported by beams lying on forty-five posts, fifteen in a row. There were three rows of window openings, placed so that the windows on facing walls were opposite each other at all three levels. All the doors and doorways were rectangular and opposite each other at all three levels.

He made the columned hall eighty-seven-and-a-half feet long and fifty-two-and-a-half feet wide, with a columned, corniced porch in front of it.

He made the Hall of the Throne his place for dispensing justice, that is, the Hall of Judgment; it was covered with cedar from floor to ceiling.

His own living quarters, in the other courtyard, set back from the Hall, were similarly designed. He also made a house like this Hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom Shlomo had taken as his wife.

All these buildings were made of expensive stone blocks, cut to measure and finished by saws on the inner surfaces as well as the outer ones. These stones were used from the foundation to the eaves and outward from the buildings all the way to the Great Courtyard. 10 The foundation was of expensive stone blocks, very large ones — stones fourteen to eighteen feet long. 11 Above these were costly stones, cut to measure, and cedar-wood. 12 The surrounding Great Courtyard had three rows of cut stone and a row of cedar beams like the inner courtyard of the house of Adonai and the courtyard by the hall of the house.

13 King Shlomo sent for Hiram and brought him from Tzor. 14 He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naftali, but his father was from Tzor, a bronze-worker filled with wisdom, understanding and skill for all kinds of bronze craftsmanship. He came to King Shlomo and did all his bronzework. 15 He made the two bronze columns, each one thirty-one-and-a-half feet high and twenty-one feet in circumference. 16 He made two capitals of melted bronze to set on the tops of the columns; each capital was eight-and-three-quarters feet high; 17 he also made checker-work nets and chained wreaths, seven for the top of each capital. 18 When he made the columns, he made two rows of pomegranates to put at the top of each column around the netting covering its capital. 19 The capitals on the columns in the hall had shapes like lilies and were seven feet high. 20 As for the capitals on the two columns, there were 200 pomegranates in rows around each capital near the molding by the netting. 21 He erected the columns in the hall of the temple; on erecting the right column he gave it the name “Yakhin,” and on erecting the left column he named it “Bo‘az.” 22 On the tops of the columns were shapes like lilies; thus the work of the columns was finished.

23 He made the cast metal “Sea” circular, seventeen-and-a-half feet from rim to rim, eight-and-three quarter feet high and fifty-two-and-a-half feet in circumference. 24 Under its rim, three hundred gourds encircled it in two rows; they were cast when the Sea was cast. 25 It rested on twelve oxen, three looking north, three looking west, three looking south and three looking east, all with their hindquarters toward the center. The Sea was set on top of them. 26 It was a handbreadth thick, its rim was made like the rim of a cup, like the flower of a lily; and its capacity was 11,000 gallons.

27 He made ten bronze trolleys, each one seven feet long, seven feet wide, and five-and-a-quarter feet high. 28 They were designed with panels that were set between the corner-posts, 29 and on the panels between the corner-posts were lions, oxen and k’ruvim. The corner-posts above were similarly designed. Below the lions and oxen were wreaths of hammered work. 30 Every trolley had four bronze wheels and bronze axles, and its four legs each had cast supports which were under the basin, with wreaths next to each. 31 The opening of the stand into which the basin was inserted was eighteen inches high; the stand was round, resembling a pedestal, and it was two-and-a-half feet in diameter. On the stand were carvings, and the outside was square, not round. 32 The four wheels were under the panels, and the axles for the wheels were attached to the trolleys; each wheel was two-and-a-half feet. 33 The wheels were made like chariot wheels; their axles, rims, spokes and hubs were all cast metal. 34 There were four supports at the four corners of each trolley; the supports were attached to the trolley itself. 35 In the top of the trolley was a circular support ten-and-a-half inches high, and the trolley’s corner-posts and panels were attached to its top. 36 On the sides of the panels and on its corners he carved k’ruvim, lions and palm trees, according to the amount of space each required, with wreaths surrounding. 37 According to this design he made the ten trolleys; all of them were cast from a single mold, so that they had the same size and shape.

38 He made ten bronze basins; each basin’s capacity was 220 gallons and had a diameter of seven feet; there was a basin for each of the ten trolleys. 39 He arranged five of the trolleys on the right side of the house and five on the left side. The Sea he placed on the right side of the house, toward the southeast.

40 Hiram made the ash pots, shovels and sprinkling basins. With that, Hiram completed all the work he had done for King Shlomo in the house of Adonai 41 the two columns, the two moldings of the capitals on top of the columns, the two nettings covering the two moldings of the capitals atop the columns, 42 the 400 pomegranates for the two nettings, two rows of pomegranates for each netting, to cover the two moldings of the capitals atop the columns, 43 the ten trolleys, the ten basins on the trolleys, 44 the one Sea, the twelve oxen under the Sea, 45 the ash pots, the shovels and the sprinkling basins. All these articles that Hiram made for King Shlomo in the house of Adonai were of burnished bronze. 46 The king cast them in the plain of the Yarden, in the clay ground between Sukkot and Tzartan. 47 Shlomo did not weigh any of these objects, because there were so many of them; thus the total weight of the bronze could not be determined.

48 Shlomo made all the objects that were inside the house of Adonai: the gold altar; the table of gold on which the showbread was displayed; 49 the menorahs — five on the right and five on the left in front of the sanctuary — of pure gold; the flowers, lamps and tongs of gold; 50 the cups, snuffers, basins, incense pans and fire pans of pure gold; and the hinges of gold, both those for the doors of the inner house, the Especially Holy Place, and those for the doors of the house, that is, of the temple.

51 Thus all the work that King Shlomo did in the house of Adonai was finished. After this, Shlomo brought in the gifts which David his father had dedicated — the silver, the gold and the utensils — and put them in the treasuries of the house of Adonai.

Then Shlomo assembled all the leaders of Isra’el, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the paternal clans of the people of Isra’el, to King Shlomo in Yerushalayim, to bring the ark for the covenant of Adonai out of the City of David, also known as Tziyon. All the men of Isra’el assembled before King Shlomo at the festival in the month of Etanim, the seventh month. All the leaders of Isra’el came. The cohanim took the ark and brought up the ark of Adonai, the tent of meeting and all the holy utensils that were in the tent; these are what the cohanim and L’vi’im brought up. King Shlomo and the whole community of Isra’el assembled in his presence were with him in front of the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen in numbers beyond counting or recording.

The cohanim brought the ark for the covenant of Adonai in to its place inside the sanctuary of the house, to the Especially Holy Place, under the wings of the k’ruvim. For the k’ruvim spread out their wings over the place for the ark, covering the ark and its poles from above. The poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the sanctuary, but they could not be seen from outside; they are there to this day. There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moshe put there at Horev, when Adonai made the covenant with the people of Isra’el at the time of their leaving the land of Egypt.

10 When the cohanim came out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the house of Adonai, 11 so that, because of the cloud, the cohanim could not stand up to perform their service; for the glory of Adonai filled the house of Adonai.

12 Shlomo said, “Adonai said he would live in thick darkness. 13 But I have built you a magnificent house, a place where you can live forever.”

14 Then the king turned around and blessed the whole community of Isra’el. The whole community of Isra’el stood 15 as he said: “Blessed be Adonai, the God of Isra’el, who spoke to my father David with his mouth and fulfilled his promise with his hand. He said, 16 ‘Since the day I brought my people Isra’el out of Egypt, I chose no city from any of the tribes of Isra’el in which to build a house, so that my name might be there; but I did choose David to be over my people Isra’el.’ 17 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of Adonai the God of Isra’el; 18 but Adonai said to David my father, ‘Although it was in your heart to build a house for my name, and you did well that it was in your heart, 19 nevertheless you will not build the house. Rather, you will father a son, and it will be he who will build the house for my name.’ 20 Now Adonai has fulfilled this spoken word of his; for I have succeeded my father and sit on the throne of Isra’el, as Adonai promised; and I have built the house for the name of Adonai the God of Isra’el. 21 And there I have made a place for the ark containing the covenant of Adonai, which he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

22 Then Shlomo stood before the altar of Adonai in the presence of the whole community of Isra’el, spread out his hands toward heaven, 23 and said, “Adonai, God of Isra’el, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below. You keep covenant with your servants and show them grace, provided they live in your presence with all their heart. 24 You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father; you spoke with your mouth and fulfilled it with your hand; so it is today. 25 Now therefore, Adonai, God of Isra’el, keep what you promised to your servant David, my father, when you said, ‘You will never lack a man in my presence to sit on the throne of Isra’el, if only your children are careful about what they do, so that they live in my presence, just as you have lived in my presence.’ 26 Now therefore, God of Isra’el, please let your word, which you spoke to your servant David, my father, be confirmed.

27 “But can God actually live on the earth? Why, heaven itself, even the heaven of heavens, cannot contain you; so how much less this house I have built? 28 Even so, Adonai my God, pay attention to your servant’s prayer and plea, listen to the cry and prayer that your servant is praying before you today, 29 that your eyes will be open toward this house night and day — toward the place concerning which you said, ‘My name will be there’ — to listen to the prayer your servant will pray toward this place. 30 Yes, listen to the plea of your servant, and also that of your people Isra’el when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven where you live; and when you hear, forgive!

31 “If a person sins against a fellow member of the community, and he is made to swear under oath, and he comes and swears before your altar in this house; 32 then hear in heaven, act, and judge your servants, condemning the wicked, so that his way of life devolves on his own head, and vindicating the one who is right, giving him what his righteousness deserves.

33 “When your people Isra’el sin against you and in consequence are defeated by an enemy; then if they turn back to you, acknowledge your name, and pray and make their plea to you in this house; 34 hear in heaven, forgive the sin of your people Isra’el, and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.

35 “When they sin against you, and in consequence the sky is shut, so that there is no rain; then, if they pray toward this place, acknowledge your name and turn from their sin when you have brought them low; 36 hear in heaven, forgive the sin of your servants and of your people Isra’el — since you keep teaching them the good way by which they should live — and send down rain on your land, which you have given your people as their inheritance.

37 “If there is famine in the land, or blight, windstorm, mildew, locusts or shearer-worms; or if their enemy comes to the land and besieges them in any of their cities — no matter what kind of plague or sickness it is; 38 then, regardless of what prayer or plea anyone among all your people Isra’el makes — for each individual will know what is plagueing his own conscience — and the person spreads out his hands toward this house; 39 hear in heaven where you live, and forgive, and act, and, since you know what is in each one’s heart, give each person what his conduct deserves (because you, and only you, know all human hearts), 40 so that they will fear you throughout the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors.

41 “Also the foreigner who does not belong to your people Isra’el — when he comes from a distant country because of your reputation 42 (for they will hear of your great reputation, your mighty hand and your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house; 43 then hear in heaven where you live, and act in accordance with everything about which the foreigner is calling to you; so that all the peoples of the earth will know your name and fear you, as does your people Isra’el, and so that they will know that this house which I have built bears your name.

44 “If your people go out to fight against their enemy, no matter by which way you send them, and they pray to Adonai toward the city you chose, toward the house I built for your name; 45 then, in heaven, hear their prayer and plea, and uphold their cause.

46 “If they sin against you — for there is no one who doesn’t sin — and you are angry with them and hand them over to the enemy, so that they carry them off captive to the land of their enemy, whether far away or nearby; 47 then, if they come to their senses in the land where they have been carried away captive, turn back and make their plea to you in the land of those who carried them off captive, saying, ‘We sinned, we acted wrongly, we behaved wickedly,’ 48 if, in the land of their enemies who carried them off captive, they return to you with all their heart and being and pray to you toward their own land, which you gave to their ancestors, toward the city you chose and toward the house I have built for your name; 49 then, in heaven where you live, hear their prayer and plea, uphold their cause, 50 and forgive your people who have sinned against you — forgive their transgressions which they have committed against you, and give them compassion in the sight of their captors, so that they will show compassion toward them; 51 for they are your people, your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of the flames of the iron furnace.

52 “May your eyes be open to the plea of your servant and to the plea of your people Isra’el, so that you will hear them whenever they cry out to you. 53 For you made a distinction between them and all the peoples of the earth by making them your inheritance, as you said through Moshe your servant when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, Adonai Elohim.”

54 When Shlomo had finished praying all this prayer and plea to Adonai, he got up from in front of the altar of Adonai, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven, 55 stood up, and raised his voice to bless the whole community of Isra’el. He said, 56 “Blessed be Adonai, who has given rest to his people Isra’el, in accordance with everything he promised. Not one word has failed of his good promise, which he made through Moshe his servant. 57 May Adonai our God be with us, as he was with our ancestors. May he never leave us or abandon us. 58 In this way he will incline our hearts toward him, so that we will live according to his ways and observe his mitzvot, laws and rulings which he ordered our fathers to obey. 59 May these words of mine, which I have used in my plea before Adonai, be present with Adonai our God day and night, so that he will uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Isra’el day by day. 60 Then all the peoples of the earth will know that Adonai is God; there is no other. 61 So be wholehearted with Adonai our God, living by his laws and observing his mitzvot, as you are doing today.”

62 Then the king, together with all Isra’el, offered sacrifices before Adonai. 63 For the sacrifice of peace offerings which Shlomo offered to Adonai, he offered 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. Thus the king and all the people of Isra’el dedicated the house of Adonai.

64 The same day, the king consecrated the center of the courtyard in front of the house of Adonai, because he had to offer the burnt offering, the grain offering and the fat of the peace offerings there. For the bronze altar before Adonai was too small to receive the burnt offering, the grain offering and the fat of the peace offerings.

65 So Shlomo celebrated the festival at that time. All Isra’el, a huge gathering [that had come all the way] from the entrance of Hamat to the Vadi [of Egypt], celebrated with him before Adonai our God for seven days and then for seven more days — fourteen days in all. 66 On the eighth day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and returned to their tents full of joy and glad of heart for all the goodness Adonai had shown to David his servant and to Isra’el his people.

After Shlomo had finished building the house of Adonai, the royal palace and everything else he wanted to build for himself, Adonai appeared to Shlomo a second time, as he had appeared to him in Giv‘on. Adonai said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea that you made before me: I am consecrating this house which you built and placing my name there forever; my eyes and heart will always be there. As for you, if you will live in my presence, as did David your father, in pureness of heart and uprightness, doing everything I have ordered you to do, and observing my laws and rulings; then I will establish the throne of your rulership over Isra’el forever, just as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You will never lack a man on the throne of Isra’el.’ But if you turn away from following me, you or your children, and do not observe my mitzvot and regulations which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, worshipping them; then I will cut off Isra’el from the land I have given them. This house, which I consecrated for my name, I will eject from my sight; and Isra’el will become an example to avoid and an object of scorn among all peoples. This house, now so exalted — everyone passing by will gasp in shock at the sight of it and will ask, ‘Why has Adonai done this to this land and to this house?’ But the answer will be, ‘It’s because they abandoned Adonai their God, who brought their ancestors out of the land of Egypt, and took hold of other gods, worshipping and serving them; this is why Adonai brought all these calamities on them.’”

10 At the end of twenty years, during which time Shlomo had built the two buildings, the house of Adonai and the royal palace, 11 King Shlomo gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of the Galil (recall that Hiram the king of Tzor had supplied Shlomo with cedar and cypress logs and with all the gold Shlomo wanted). 12 Hiram came over from Tzor to see the cities Shlomo had given him, but he was not satisfied with them. 13 He said, “What kind of cities are these which you have given me, my brother?” So they have been called the land of Kabul [good for nothing] till this day. 14 (Hiram had sent the king four tons of gold.)

15 Following is the account of the forced labor levied by King Shlomo for building the house of Adonai, his own palace, the Millo, the wall of Yerushalayim, and the cities of Hatzor, Megiddo and Gezer. 16 Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, taken Gezer, burned it to the ground and killed the Kena‘ani living in the city; then he had given it as a dowry for his daughter, Shlomo’s wife. 17 So Shlomo rebuilt Gezer; he also built Lower Beit-Horon, 18 Ba‘alat, Tadmor in the desert, in the land, 19 as well as all the cities that Shlomo had for storing supplies, the cities for his chariots, the cities for his horsemen, and the other buildings Shlomo wanted to build for himself in Yerushalayim, in the L’vanon and throughout the land he ruled. 20 All the people still left from the Emori, Hitti, P’rizi, Hivi, and Y’vusi, who were not part of the people of Isra’el, 21 that is, their descendants remaining after them in the land, whom the people of Isra’el were not able to destroy completely — from them Shlomo levied his forced laborers; as it is to this day. 22 But Shlomo did not raise any of his forced labor from the people of Isra’el; rather, they were the soldiers, his servants, administrators and commanders, and the officials in charge of his chariots and horsemen. 23 There were 550 chief officers over Shlomo’s work, in charge of the workers.

24 Pharaoh’s daughter came up from the City of David to her house, which Shlomo had built for her. After that he built the Millo.

25 Three times a year Shlomo offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar which he had built for Adonai, offering incense with them on the altar before Adonai. So he finished the house.

26 King Shlomo built a fleet of ships in ‘Etzyon-Gever, by Elot on the shore of the Sea of Suf in the land of Edom. 27 Hiram sent some of his own servants, experienced sailors who understood the sea, to serve with Shlomo’s servants. 28 They went to Ofir and took from there gold, fourteen tons of it, which they brought back to King Shlomo.

10 When the queen of Sh’va heard what was being said about Shlomo because of the name of Adonai, she came to test him with difficult questions. She arrived in Yerushalayim accompanied by a very great retinue, including camels bearing spices and gold in great abundance, and precious stones. When she appeared before Shlomo she spoke with him about everything on her heart, and Shlomo answered all her questions; nothing was hidden from the king that he could not explain to her. After the queen of Sh’va had seen all Shlomo’s wisdom, the palace he had built, the food at his table, the manner of seating his officials, the manner in which his staff served him, how they were dressed, his personal servants and his burnt offering which he offered in the house of Adonai, it left her breathless. She said to the king, “What I heard in my own country about your deeds and your wisdom is true, but I couldn’t believe the report until I came and saw for myself. Actually, they didn’t tell me even the half of it — your wisdom and prosperity surpass the reports I heard. How happy your people must be, how happy these servants of yours who are always here attending you and get to hear your wisdom! Blessed be Adonai your God, who took pleasure in you to put you on the throne of Isra’el. Because of Adonai’s eternal love for Isra’el, he has made you king, to administer judgment and justice fairly.” 10 Then she gave the king four tons of gold, a huge amount of spices, and precious stones; never again did there arrive such an abundance of spices as those the queen of Sh’va gave to King Shlomo.

11 Hiram’s fleet which had brought gold from Ofir now brought in from Ofir a large quantity of sandalwood and precious stones. 12 The king used the sandalwood to make columns for the house of Adonai and for the royal palace, and also lyres and lutes for the singers. No sandalwood like it has come or been seen to this day.

13 King Shlomo gave the queen of Sh’va everything she wanted, whatever she asked, in addition to the presents he gave her on his own initiative. After this, she returned and went back to her own country, she and her servants.

14 The weight of the gold Shlomo received annually came to twenty-two tons of gold, 15 besides that which came from sales taxes, customs duties and assessments collected by all the kings of the mixed peoples and by the district governors. 16 King Shlomo made 200 large shields of hammered gold; fifteen pounds of gold went into one shield. 17 He made 300 more shields of hammered gold, with three-and-three-quarters pounds going into one shield; the king put these in the House of the L’vanon Forest.

18 The king also made a large throne of ivory and overlaid it with the finest gold. 19 The throne had six steps, a back with a rounded top, arms on either side of the seat, two lions standing beside the arms, 20 and twelve more lions standing on each side of the six steps. Nothing like it had ever been made in any kingdom.

21 All King Shlomo’s drinking vessels were of gold; and all the utensils in the House of the L’vanon Forest were of pure gold; none was of silver, for in Shlomo’s time it was regarded as having little value. 22 The king had a fleet of large “Tarshish” ships along with Hiram’s fleet; once every three years the “Tarshish” fleet came in, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes and peacocks.

23 So King Shlomo surpassed all the kings on earth in both wealth and wisdom. 24 All the earth sought to have an audience with Shlomo, in order to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 25 Each one brought his present — articles of silver, articles of gold, clothing, armor, spices, horses and mules; and this continued year after year.

26 Shlomo amassed chariots and horsemen; he had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen; he assigned them to the chariot cities and to the king in Yerushalayim. 27 The king made silver in Yerushalayim as common as stones, and he made cedars as abundant as sycamore-fig trees are in the Sh’felah. 28 Shlomo’s horses had been brought from Egypt and from Keveh, with the king’s agents having bought them from the dealers in Keveh at the going price. 29 A chariot from Egypt cost fifteen pounds of silver shekels and a horse three-and-three quarters pounds [of shekels]; all the kings of the Hittim and the kings of Aram purchased them at these prices through Shlomo’s agents.

11 King Shlomo loved many foreign women besides the daughter of Pharaoh. There were women from the Mo’avi, ‘Amoni, Edomi, Tzidoni and Hitti — nations about which Adonai had said to the people of Isra’el, “You are not to go among them or they among you, because they will turn your hearts away toward their gods.” But Shlomo was deeply attached to them by his love. He had 700 wives, all princesses, and 300 concubines; and his wives turned his heart away. For when Shlomo became old, his wives turned his heart away toward other gods; so that he was not wholehearted with Adonai his God, as David his father had been. For Shlomo followed ‘Ashtoret the goddess of the Tzidoni and Milkom the abomination of the ‘Amoni. Thus Shlomo did what was evil in Adonai’s view and did not fully follow Adonai, as David his father had done. Shlomo built a high place for K’mosh the abomination of Mo’av on the hill on front of Yerushalayim, and another for Molekh the abomination of the people of ‘Amon. This is what he did for all his foreign wives, who then offered and sacrificed to their gods. So Adonai grew angry with Shlomo, because his heart had turned away from Adonai the God of Isra’el, who had appeared to him twice 10 and given him orders concerning this matter that he should not follow other gods. But he didn’t obey Adonai’s orders.

11 So Adonai said to Shlomo, “Since this is what has been in your mind, and you haven’t kept my covenant and my regulations which I ordered you to obey, I will tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. 12 However, for David your father’s sake I won’t do it while you are alive, but I will tear it away from your son. 13 Even then, I won’t tear away all the kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Yerushalayim, which I have chosen.”

14 Then Adonai raised up an adversary against Shlomo, Hadad the Edomi, of the royal line of Edom. 15 Back when David had been in Edom, and Yo’av the commander of the army had gone up to bury the dead, having killed every male in Edom 16 (for Yo’av and all Isra’el had stayed there six months, until he had eliminated every male in Edom), 17 Hadad had fled, he and a number of Edomi servants of his father’s with him, and gone into Egypt; at the time Hadad had been but a small boy. 18 On their way, they passed through Midyan and arrived in Pa’ran, took with them men from Pa’ran, and went on into Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt. He gave Hadad a house, saw to it that he had food and gave him land. 19 Hadad became a great favorite of Pharaoh, so that he gave him his own wife’s sister in marriage, that is, the sister of Tachp’neis the queen. 20 The sister of Tachp’neis bore him G’nuvat his son, and Tachp’neis brought him up in Pharaoh’s own house, so that G’nuvat was in Pharaoh’s house along with Pharaoh’s sons. 21 When Hadad in Egypt heard that David slept with his ancestors and Yo’av the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me leave, so that I can return to my own country.” 22 Pharaoh asked him, “But what have you lacked with me that makes you want just now to go to your own country?” “Nothing in particular,” he replied, “but let me leave, anyway.”

23 God raised up another adversary against Shlomo, Rezon the son of Elyada, who had fled from his lord Hadad‘ezer king of Tzovah 24 when David killed the men from Tzovah. Rezon rallied men to himself and became the leader of a band of marauders; they went to Dammesek and settled there, while he became king of Dammesek. 25 He remained an adversary as long as Shlomo lived, causing difficulties in addition to those of Hadad. He detested Isra’el and ruled Aram.

26 Also Yarov‘am the son of N’vat, an Efrati from Tz’redah, whose mother’s name was Tz’ru‘ah, one of Shlomo’s servants, rebelled against the king. 27 Here is the reason he rebelled against the king: Shlomo was building the Millo and closing the breach in [the wall of] the City of David his father. 28 Now this Yarov‘am was a strong, energetic man; and Shlomo, seeing how serious the young man was, made him supervisor over all the work being done by the tribe of Yosef. 29 Once, during this period, when Yarov‘am had gone out of Yerushalayim, the prophet Achiyah from Shiloh spotted him traveling. Achiyah was wearing a new cloak, and the two of them were alone in open country. 30 Achiyah took hold of his new cloak that he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 Then he said to Yarov‘am, “Take ten pieces for yourself! For here is what Adonai the God of Isra’el says: ‘I am going to tear the kingdom out of Shlomo’s hand, and I will give ten tribes to you. 32 But he will keep one tribe for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Yerushalayim, the city I have chosen from all the tribes of Isra’el. 33 I will do this because they have abandoned me and worshipped ‘Ashtoret the goddess of the Tzidoni, K’mosh the god of Mo’av and Milkom the god of the people of ‘Amon. They haven’t lived according to my ways, so that they could do what was right in my view and obey my regulations and rulings, as did David his father. 34 Nevertheless, I will not take the entire kingdom away from him; but I will make him prince as long as he lives, for the sake of David my servant, whom I chose, because he obeyed my mitzvot and regulations. 35 However, I will take the kingdom away from his son and give ten tribes of it to you. 36 To his son I will give one tribe, so that David my servant will always have a light burning before me in Yerushalayim, the city I chose for myself as the place to put my name. 37 I will take you, and you will rule over everything you want; you will be king over Isra’el. 38 Now if you will listen to all that I order you, live according to my ways and do what is right in my view, so that you observe my regulations and mitzvot, as David my servant did; then I will be with you, and I will build you a lasting dynasty, as I built for David; and I will give Isra’el to you. 39 For this [offense] I will trouble David’s descendants, but not forever.” 40 Because of this Shlomo tried to kill Yarov‘am; but Yarov‘am roused himself, fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and stayed in Egypt until the death of Shlomo.

41 Other activities of Shlomo, all he accomplished and his wisdom are recorded in the Annals of Shlomo. 42 The length of Shlomo’s reign in Yerushalayim over all Isra’el was forty years. 43 Then Shlomo slept with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David his father, and Rechav‘am his son became king in his place.

12 Rechav‘am went to Sh’khem, where all Isra’el had come to proclaim him king. When Yarov‘am the son of N’vat heard of it — for he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from Shlomo; so Yarov‘am was living in Egypt; but they sent and summoned him — Yarov‘am and the whole community of Isra’el came and said to Rechav‘am, “Your father laid a harsh yoke on us. But if you will lighten the harsh service we had to render your father and ease his heavy yoke that he put on us, we will serve you.” He said to them, “Leave me alone for three days, then come back to me.” So the people left.

King Rechav‘am consulted the older men who had been in attendance on Shlomo his father during his lifetime and asked, “What advice would you give me as to how to answer these people?” They said to him, “If you will start today being a servant to these people — if you will serve them, be responsive to them and give them favorable consideration, then they will be your servants forever.” But he didn’t take the advice the older men gave him; instead he consulted the young men he had grown up with, who were now his attendants. He asked them, “What advice would you give me, so that we can give an answer to these people who said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father laid on us’?” 10 The young men he had grown up with said to him, “These people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy; but you, make it lighter for us’ — here’s the answer you should give them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11 Yes, my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, but I will make it heavier! My father controlled you with whips, but I will control you with scorpions!’”

12 So Yarov‘am and all the people came to Rechav‘am the third day, as the king had requested by saying, “Come to me again the third day”; 13 and the king answered the people harshly. Abandoning the advice the older men had given him, 14 he addressed them according to the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke! My father controlled you with whips, but I will control you with scorpions!” 15 So the king didn’t listen to the people; and that was something Adonai brought about, so that he could fulfill his word, which Adonai had spoken through Achiyah from Shiloh to Yarov‘am the son of N’vat.

16 When all Isra’el saw that the king wasn’t listening to them, the people answered the king,

“Do we have any share in David?
We have no heritage in the son of Yishai!
Go to your tents, Isra’el!
Care for your own house, David!”

So Isra’el left for their tents.

17 But as for the people of Isra’el living in the cities of Y’hudah, Rechav‘am ruled over them. 18 King Rechav‘am then sent Adoram, who was in charge of forced labor; but all Isra’el stoned him to death. King Rechav‘am managed to mount his chariot and flee to Yerushalayim. 19 Isra’el has been in rebellion against the dynasty of David to this day.

20 On hearing that Yarov‘am had returned, all Isra’el summoned him to the assembly and proclaimed him king over all Isra’el. No one followed the dynasty of David except the tribe of Y’hudah.

21 When Rechav‘am arrived in Yerushalayim, he assembled all the house of Y’hudah and the tribe of Binyamin, 180,000 select soldiers, to fight the house of Isra’el and bring the rulership back to Rechav‘am the son of Shlomo. 22 But this word from God came to Sh’ma‘yah the man of God: 23 “Speak to Rechav‘am the son of Shlomo, king of Y’hudah, to all the house of Y’hudah and Binyamin and to the rest of the people; tell them 24 that this is what Adonai says: ‘You are not to go up and fight your brothers the people of Isra’el! Every man is to go back home, because this is my doing.’” They paid attention to the word of Adonai and turned back, as Adonai had told them to do.

25 Then Yarov‘am built up Sh’khem in the hills of Efrayim and lived there. After that, he left and built up P’nu’el. 26 Nevertheless Yarov‘am said to himself, “Now the rulership will return to the house of David. 27 For if these people continue going up to offer sacrifices in the house of Adonai in Yerushalayim, their hearts will turn back to their lord, Rechav‘am king of Y’hudah. Then they will kill me and return to Rechav‘am king of Y’hudah.” 28 After seeking advice, the king made two calves of gold and said to the people, “You have been going up to Yerushalayim long enough! Here are your gods, Isra’el, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” 29 He placed one in Beit-El and the other in Dan, 30 and the affair became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one [in Beit-El and] all the way to Dan [to worship the other]. 31 He also set up temples on the high places and made cohanim from among all the people, even though they were not descended from Levi.

32 Yarov‘am instituted a festival in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, similar to the festival held in Y’hudah; he went up to the altar in Beit-El to sacrifice to the calves he had made; and he placed in Beit-El the cohanim he had appointed for the high places. 33 He went up to the altar which he had set up in Beit-El on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had chosen on his own, and instituted a festival for the people of Isra’el; he went up to the altar to burn incense.

13 Just then, as Yarov‘am was standing by the altar to burn incense, a man of God came out of Y’hudah, directed to Beit-El by a word from Adonai. And by the word from Adonai he cried out against the altar: “Altar, altar, here is what Adonai says: ‘A son will be born to the house of David; his name will be Yoshiyahu; and on you he will sacrifice the cohanim of the high places who burn incense on you! They will burn human bones on you!’” That same day he also gave a sign: “Here is the sign which Adonai has decreed:

“‘The altar will be split apart;
the ashes on it will be scattered about.’”

When the king heard what the man of God said, how he denounced the altar in Beit-El, Yarov‘am took his hand away from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But his hand, the one he had stretched out against him, shriveled up; so that he could not draw it back to himself. Also the altar was split apart, and the ashes scattered from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of Adonai. The king then responded to the man of God. “Ask now the favor of Adonai your God,” he said, “and pray for me, that my hand will be restored to me.” The man of God prayed to Adonai, and the king’s hand was restored to him and became as it had been before. The king then said to the man of God, “Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward. But the man of God replied to the king, “Even if you give me half your household, I will not accept your hospitality; nor will I eat food or drink water in this place. For this is the order I received through the word of Adonai: ‘Don’t eat food or drink water, and don’t return by the road you took when you came.’” 10 So he went another way and did not return by the road by which he had come to Beit-El.

11 Now there lived an old prophet in Beit-El; and one of his sons came and told him all the things the man of God had done that day in Beit-El; also they told their father what he had said to the king. 12 Their father asked them, “Which way did he go?” For his sons had seen what road the man of God from Y’hudah had taken. 13 He then said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him; and, riding on it, 14 he went after the man of God. He found him sitting under a pistachio tree and said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Y’hudah?” He answered, “I am.” 15 Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat some food.” 16 He replied, “I cannot return with you or partake of your hospitality, nor will I eat food or drink water with you in this place; 17 because it was said to me by the word of Adonai, ‘You are not to eat food or drink water there, and you are not to go back by the way you came.’” 18 The other said to him, “I too am a prophet, just like you; and an angel spoke to me by the word of Adonai and said, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, so that he can eat food and drink water.’” But he was lying to him. 19 So he went back with him and did eat food and drink water in his house. 20 As they were sitting at the table, the word of Adonai came to the prophet who had brought him back; 21 and he cried to the man of God who had come from Y’hudah, “Here is what Adonai says: ‘Since you rebelled against the word of Adonai and didn’t obey the mitzvah Adonai your God gave you, 22 but came back and ate food and drank water in the place where he warned you not to eat food or drink water, your corpse will not arrive at the tomb of your ancestors.” 23 After he had eaten food and drunk, he saddled the donkey for the prophet he had brought back. 24 But after he had gone, a lion encountered the man of God on the road and killed him. His corpse lay there in the road, with the donkey and the lion standing next to it. 25 In time, people passed by and saw the corpse lying in the road with the lion standing next to it; and they came and told about it in the city where the old prophet lived.

26 When the prophet who had brought him back from the road heard about it, he said, “It is the man of God who rebelled against the word of Adonai; this is why Adonai handed him over to the lion to tear him to pieces and kill him, in keeping with the word Adonai spoke to him.” 27 To his sons he said, “Saddle the donkey for me,” and they saddled it. 28 He went and found his corpse lying in the road, with the donkey and the lion standing next to the corpse; the lion had neither eaten the corpse nor attacked the donkey. 29 The prophet picked up the corpse of the man of God, laid it on the donkey and brought it back to the city where he lived, to mourn and bury him. 30 He laid the corpse in his own burial cave, and they mourned him — “Oh! My brother!” 31 After burying him he said to his sons, “When I die, put me in the burial cave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones next to his bones. 32 For the thing he cried by the word of Adonai against the altar in Beit-El and against all the temples on the high places near the cities of Shomron will surely happen.”

33 After this, Yarov‘am did not turn back from his evil way but continued appointing cohanim for the high places from among all the people; he consecrated anyone who wanted to be a cohen of the high places. 34 This brought sin to the house of Yarov‘am that would eventually cut it off and destroy it from the face of the earth.

14 At this time, Aviyah the son of Yarov‘am fell ill. Yarov‘am said to his wife, “Please come, and disguise yourself, so that you won’t be recognized as Yarov‘am’s wife, and go to Shiloh. Achiyah the prophet is there, the one who said that I would be king over these people. Take with you ten loaves of bread, some cakes and a jug of honey; and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.”

Yarov‘am’s wife did this; she set out, went to Shiloh and arrived at the house of Achiyah. Now Achiyah could not see, because his eyes were dim with age. Adonai had told Achiyah, “Yarov‘am’s wife is on her way to you to ask about her son, who is ill. You are to tell her thus and thus; moreover, when she comes, she will be pretending she is another woman.”

When Achiyah heard the sound of her feet as she came in the door, he said, “Enter, wife of Yarov‘am! Why pretend you are someone else? I’ve been given bad news for you. Go, tell Yarov‘am that this is what Adonai says: ‘I raised you up from among the people, made you prince over my people Isra’el, tore the kingdom away from the dynasty of David and gave it to you. In spite of this, you have not been like my servant David, who obeyed my mitzvot and followed me with all his heart, so that he could do only what I regarded as right. Rather, you have committed more evil than anyone before you! You went and made other gods for yourself and images of cast metal to make me angry, but me you shoved behind your back! 10 Therefore, I will now bring disaster on the house of Yarov‘am. I will cut off every male of Yarov‘am’s line, whether a slave or free in Isra’el; I will sweep away the house of Yarov‘am as completely as when someone sweeps away dung until it’s all gone. 11 If someone from the line of Yarov‘am dies in the city, the dogs will eat him; if he dies in the countryside, the vultures will eat him. For Adonai has said it.’ 12 So get up and go home; when your feet enter the city, the boy will die. 13 All Isra’el will mourn him, and they will bury him; he is the only one of Yarov‘am’s line who will lie in a grave, because he alone in the house of Yarov‘am has in him an element of good toward Adonai the God of Isra’el. 14 Moreover, Adonai will raise up for himself a king over Isra’el who at that time will cut off the house of Yarov‘am. And what will God do now? 15 Adonai will strike Isra’el until it shakes like a reed in the water; he will uproot Isra’el from this good land, which he gave to their ancestors, and scatter them beyond the [Euphrates] River; because they made sacred poles for themselves, thus making Adonai angry. 16 He will give up on Isra’el because of the sins of Yarov‘am, which he committed himself, and with which he made Isra’el sin as well.”

17 Yarov‘am’s wife got up, left and went to Tirtzah. The moment she reached the threshold of the house, the boy died. 18 All Isra’el buried him and mourned him, in keeping with the word of Adonai spoken through his servant Achiyah the prophet.

19 Other activities of Yarov‘am, how he fought and how he ruled are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Isra’el. 20 Yarov‘am’s reign lasted twenty-two years; then he slept with his ancestors, and Nadav his son became king in his place.

21 Rechav‘am the son of Shlomo was reigning in Y’hudah. Rechav‘am was forty-one years old when he began to rule; and he ruled seventeen years in Yerushalayim, the city Adonai had chosen from all the tribes of Isra’el to bear his name; his mother’s name was Na‘amah the ‘Amonit.

22 Y’hudah did what was evil from Adonai’s perspective; they made him angry because of their sins, which were worse than any their ancestors had committed. 23 For they erected high places, standing-stones and sacred poles on every high hill and under every green tree. 24 Also there were male and female cult-prostitutes in the land attached to these shrines, doing all the disgusting things which the nations did that Adonai had expelled ahead of the people of Isra’el.

25 In the fifth year of King Rechav‘am, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Yerushalayim. 26 He took the treasures in the house of Adonai and the treasures in the royal palace — he took everything, including all the gold shields Shlomo had made. 27 To replace them, King Rechav‘am made shields of bronze, which he entrusted to the commanders of the contingent guarding the gate to the royal palace. 28 Whenever the king went to the house of Adonai, the guard would get the shields; later they would return them to the guardroom.

29 Other activities of Rechav‘am and all his accomplishments are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Y’hudah. 30 But there was continual war between Rechav‘am and Yarov‘am. 31 Rechav‘am slept with his ancestors and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David; his mother’s name was Na‘amah the ‘Amonit. Then Aviyam his son became king in his place.

15 It was in the eighteenth year of King Yarov‘am the son of N’vat that Aviyam began his reign over Y’hudah. He ruled three years in Yerushalayim; his mother’s name was Ma‘akhah the daughter of Avishalom. He committed all the sins his father had committed before him; he was not wholehearted with Adonai his God, as David his forefather had been. Nevertheless, for David’s sake Adonai his God gave him a lamp burning in Yerushalayim by establishing his son after him and making Yerushalayim secure. For David had done what was right from Adonai’s perspective; he had not turned away from anything he had ordered him to do, as long as he lived, except in the matter of Uriyah the Hitti.

There was war between Rechav‘am and Yarov‘am as long as he lived.

Other activities of Aviyam and all his accomplishments are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Y’hudah. But there was war between Aviyam and Yarov‘am. Aviyam slept with his ancestors, and they buried him in the City of David. Then Asa his son became king in his place.

It was in the twentieth year of Yarov‘am king of Isra’el that Asa began his reign over Y’hudah. 10 He ruled forty-one years in Yerushalayim; his [grand]mother’s name was Ma‘akhah the daughter of Avishalom. 11 Asa did what was right from the perspective of Adonai, as David his ancestor had done. 12 He rid the land of cult-prostitutes and removed all the idols his ancestors had made. 13 He also deposed Ma‘akhah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a disgusting image as an asherah. Asa cut down this image of hers and burned it in Vadi Kidron. 14 But the high places were not removed. Nevertheless, Asa was wholehearted with Adonai throughout his life. 15 He brought into the house of Adonai all the articles his father had consecrated, also the things he himself had consecrated — silver, gold and utensils.

16 There was war between Asa and Ba‘sha king of Isra’el as long as they both lived. 17 Ba‘sha attacked Y’hudah, and he fortified Ramah to prevent anyone’s leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Y’hudah. 18 Then Asa took all the silver and gold left among the treasures of the house of Adonai and among the treasures of the royal palace; and, entrusting them to his servants, King Asa sent them to Ben-Hadad the son of Tavrimmon, the son of Hezyon, king of Aram, who lived in Dammesek, with this message: 19 “There is a covenant between me and you, which existed already between my father and your father. Here, I am sending you a present of silver and gold; go, and break your covenant with Ba‘sha king of Isra’el, so that he will leave me alone.” 20 Ben-Hadad did as King Asa asked — he sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Isra’el, attacking ‘Iyon, Dan, Avel-Beit-Ma‘akhah, all of Kinn’rot and all the land of Naftali. 21 As soon as Ba‘sha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah and stayed in Tirtzah. 22 King Asa then issued a proclamation requiring every man in Y’hudah, with no exception, to come and carry off the stones and timber Ba‘sha had used to fortify Ramah. With them King Asa fortified Geva of Binyamin and Mitzpah.

23 The other activities of Asa, all his power, all his accomplishments and the cities he fortified are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Y’hudah. But in his old age he suffered from a disease in his legs. 24 Asa slept with his ancestors and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David his ancestor. Then Y’hoshafat his son became king in his place.

25 It was in the second year of Asa king of Y’hudah that Nadav the son of Yarov‘am began his reign over Isra’el, and he ruled Isra’el two years. 26 He did what was evil from Adonai’s perspective, following the example of his father and the sin through which he had made Isra’el sin.

27 Ba‘sha the son of Achiyah, from the descendants of Yissakhar, conspired against him; and Ba‘sha attacked him at Gib’ton, which belonged to the P’lishtim; for at the time Nadav and all Isra’el were besieging Gib’ton. 28 It was in the third year of Asa king of Y’hudah that Ba‘sha killed Nadav and became king in his place.

29 As soon as he had become king he killed off the entire house of Yarov‘am, destroying every living soul and leaving not one survivor. This was in keeping with what Adonai had said through his servant Achiyah from Shiloh; 30 it was the punishment for the sins Yarov‘am had committed and through which he had made Isra’el sin, thereby angering Adonai the God of Isra’el.

31 Other activities of Nadav and all his accomplishments are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Isra’el. 32 There was war between Asa and Ba‘sha king of Isra’el as long as they both lived.

33 It was in the third year of Asa king of Y’hudah that Ba‘sha the son of Achiyah began his reign over all Isra’el in Tirtzah, and his rule lasted twenty-four years. 34 He did what was wrong from Adonai’s perspective, following the example of Yarov‘am and committing the sin through which he had made Isra’el sin.

16 The word of Adonai came to Yehu the son of Hanani against Ba‘sha: “I raised you up out of the dust and made you prince over my people Isra’el. But you have lived in the same way as Yarov‘am and caused my people Isra’el to sin, so that their sinning has made me angry. Therefore I will sweep away Ba‘sha and his house completely; I will make your house like the house of Yarov‘am the son of N’vat. If someone from the line of Ba‘sha dies in the city, the dogs will eat him; if he dies in the countryside, the vultures will eat him.”

Other activities of Ba‘sha, his accomplishments and his power are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Isra’el. Ba‘sha slept with his ancestors, and Elah his son became king in his place. Through the prophet Yehu the son of Hanani the word of Adonai was proclaimed against Ba‘sha and his house both because he did so much evil from Adonai’s perspective, angering him with his actions and becoming like the house of Yarov‘am, and because he killed [Nadav].

It was in the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Y’hudah that Elah the son of Ba‘sha began his reign over all Isra’el in Tirtzah, and he ruled for two years. His servant Zimri, commander of half of his chariots, plotted against him. Finally, one time when Elah was in Tirtzah, drinking himself senseless in the house of Artza, administrator of the palace in Tirtzah, 10 Zimri entered, struck him down and killed him. This was in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Y’hudah; Zimri then took Elah’s place as king.

11 At the beginning of his reign, as soon as he took over the throne, he killed off the entire house of Ba‘sha; he left not a single male, neither of his relatives nor of his friends. 12 Thus Zimri eliminated all the house of Ba‘sha, in keeping with the word of Adonai spoken against Ba‘sha through Yehu the prophet. This word had been spoken 13 because of all of Ba‘sha’s sins and the sins of Elah his son, which they committed and with which they made Isra’el sin, thereby angering Adonai the God of Isra’el with their worthless idols. 14 Other activities of Elah and all his accomplishments are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Isra’el.

15 It was in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Y’hudah that Zimri ruled for seven days in Tirtzah. At that time, the army was besieging Gib’ton, which belonged to the P’lishtim. 16 The troops in their camp heard it said that Zimri had plotted and killed the king, whereupon that same day, there in the camp, all Isra’el made ‘Omri, the commander of the army, king over Isra’el. 17 ‘Omri and all Isra’el with him withdrew from Gib’ton and besieged Tirtzah. 18 When Zimri saw that the city had been captured, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and burned down the royal palace over him, so that he died. 19 This came about because of the sins he committed in doing what was evil from Adonai’s perspective, in living as Yarov‘am had lived, and in sinning by making Isra’el sin. 20 Other activities of Zimri and his conspiracy are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Isra’el.

21 At this point the people of Isra’el divided into two factions. Half of the people went after Tivni the son of Ginat to make him king, while the other half followed ‘Omri. 22 But the faction supporting ‘Omri won out over that of Tivni the son of Ginat; so Tivni died, and ‘Omri became king.

23 It was in the thirty-first year of Asa king of Y’hudah that ‘Omri began his reign over Isra’el, and he ruled for twelve years, six of them in Tirtzah. 24 He bought Mount Shomron from Shemer for 132 pounds of silver. On the mountain he built a city, which he named Shomron after Shemer, who had owned the mountain.

25 ‘Omri did what was evil from Adonai’s perspective, outdoing all his predecessors in wickedness; 26 for he lived entirely in the manner of Yarov‘am the son of N’vat, committing the sins with which he made Isra’el sin, thereby angering Adonai the God of Isra’el with their worthless idols. 27 Other activities of ‘Omri and the power he demonstrated are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Isra’el. 28 Then ‘Omri slept with his ancestors and was buried in Shomron, and Ach’av his son became king in his place.

29 It was in the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Y’hudah that Ach’av the son of ‘Omri began his rule over Isra’el; Ach’av the son of ‘Omri ruled twenty-two years over Isra’el in Shomron. 30 Ach’av the son of ‘Omri did what was evil from Adonai’s perspective, outdoing all his predecessors [in wickedness]. 31 But then, as if it had been a trifling thing for him to commit the sins of Yarov‘am the son of N’vat, he took as his wife Izevel the daughter of Etba‘al king of the Tzidonim, and went and served Ba‘al and worshipped him. 32 He erected an altar for Ba‘al in the house of Ba‘al, which he had built in Shomron. 33 Ach’av also set up the asherah; indeed, Ach’av did more to anger Adonai the God of Isra’el, than all the kings of Isra’el preceding him. 34 It was during his time that Hi’el of Beit-El rebuilt Yericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of his firstborn son Aviram and erected its gates at the cost of his youngest son S’guv. This was in keeping with the word of Adonai spoken through Y’hoshua the son of Nun.

17 Eliyahu from Tishbe, an inhabitant of Gil‘ad, said to Ach’av, “As Adonai the God of Isra’el lives, before whom I stand, there will be neither rain nor dew in the years ahead unless I say so.” Then the word of Adonai came to him: “Leave here, turn to the east, and hide in Vadi K’rit near the Yarden. You are to drink from the stream, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and acted according to the word of Adonai he went and lived in Vadi K’rit near the Yarden. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the stream. After a while the stream dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

Then this word of Adonai came to him: “Get up; go to Tzarfat, a village in Tzidon; and live there. I have ordered a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he set out and went to Tzarfat. On reaching the gate of the city, he saw a widow there gathering sticks. He called out to her, “Please bring a little water in a container for me to drink.” 11 As she was going to get it, he called after her, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” 12 She answered, “As Adonai your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a pot and a little oil in the jug. Here I am, gathering a couple sticks of wood, so that I can go and cook it for myself and my son. After we have eaten that, we will die.” 13 Eliyahu said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go; and do what you said; but first, use a little of it to make me a small loaf of bread; and bring it out to me. After that, make food for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what Adonai the God of Isra’el, says: ‘The pot of meal will not get used up, nor will there fail to be oil in the jug, until the day Adonai sends rain down on the land.’” 15 She went and acted according to what Eliyahu had said; and she, he and her household had food to eat for a long time. 16 The pot of meal did not get used up, nor did there fail to be oil in the jug, in fulfillment of the word of Adonai spoken through Eliyahu.

17 A while later, the son of the woman whose house it was fell ill; his illness grew increasingly serious until his breathing stopped. 18 She said to Eliyahu, “What do you have against me, you man of God? Did you come to me just to remind me how sinful I am by killing my son?” 19 “Give me your son,” he said to her. Taking him from her lap, he carried him into the room upstairs where he was staying and laid him on his own bed. 20 Then he cried out to Adonai: “Adonai my God! Have you brought also this misery on the widow I’m staying with by killing her son?” 21 He stretched himself out on the child three times and cried out to Adonai: “Adonai my God, please! Let this child’s soul come back into him!” 22 Adonai heard Eliyahu’s cry, the child’s soul came back into him, and he revived. 23 Eliyahu took the child, brought him down from the upstairs room into the house and gave him to his mother; and Eliyahu said, “See? Your son is alive.” 24 The woman replied to Eliyahu, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of Adonai that you speak is the truth.”

18 A long time passed. Then, in the third year, the word of Adonai came to Eliyahu: “Go, present yourself to Ach’av, and I will send rain down on the land.” When Eliyahu went to present himself to Ach’av, the famine in Shomron had become severe. Ach’av called ‘Ovadyah, who was in charge of the palace. Now ‘Ovadyah greatly revered Adonai; for example, when Izevel was murdering Adonai’s prophets, ‘Ovadyah took a hundred prophets, hid them in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. Ach’av said to ‘Ovadyah, “Go throughout the land, and check all the springs and vadis; maybe we can find grass somewhere, so that we can keep the horses and mules alive and not lose all the animals.” So they divided between them the territory to be visited; Ach’av went one way by himself, and ‘Ovadyah went another way by himself.

‘Ovadyah was on the road when suddenly Eliyahu encountered him. ‘Ovadyah recognized him, fell on his face and said, “Is it really you, my lord Eliyahu?” He answered, “Yes, it is I; go, tell your master, ‘Eliyahu is here.’” ‘Ovadyah replied, “How have I sinned, that you would hand your servant over to Ach’av to kill me? 10 As Adonai your God lives, there can’t be a single nation or kingdom where my master hasn’t sent to search you out; and in each kingdom or nation where they said, ‘He isn’t here,’ he made them take an oath that they hadn’t found you. 11 Now you say, ‘Go tell your master, “Eliyahu is here.”’ 12 But as soon as I leave you, the Spirit of Adonai will carry you off to I don’t know where; so that when I come and tell Ach’av, and he can’t find you, he will kill me. But I your servant have revered Adonai from my youth — 13 wasn’t my lord told what I did when Izevel killed Adonai’s prophets, how I hid a hundred of Adonai’s prophets by fifties in caves and supplied their food and water? 14 Now you say, ‘Go tell your master, “Look, Eliyahu is here.”’ Why, he’ll kill me!” 15 Eliyahu said, “As Adonai-Tzva’ot lives, before whom I stand, I will present myself to him today.”

16 So ‘Ovadyah went, found Ach’av and told him; and Ach’av went to meet Eliyahu. 17 When Ach’av saw Eliyahu, Ach’av said to him, “Is it really you, you troubler of Isra’el?” 18 He answered, “I haven’t troubled Isra’el, you have, you and your father’s house, by abandoning Adonai’s mitzvot and following the ba‘alim. 19 Now order all Isra’el to assemble before me on Mount Karmel, along with the 450 prophets of Ba‘al and the 400 prophets of the asherah who eat at Izevel’s table.”

20 Ach’av sent word to all the people of Isra’el and assembled the prophets together on Mount Karmel. 21 Eliyahu stepped forward before all the people and said, “How long are you going to jump back and forth between two positions? If Adonai is God, follow him; but if it’s Ba‘al, follow him!” The people answered him not a word. 22 Then Eliyahu said to the people, “I, I alone, am the only prophet of Adonai who is left, while Ba‘al’s prophets number 450. 23 Let them give us two young bulls, and they can choose the bull they want for themselves. Then let them cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood but put no fire under it. I will prepare the other bull, lay it on the wood and put no fire under it. 24 Then, you, call on the name of your god; and I will call on the name of Adonai; and the God who answers with fire, let him be God!” All the people answered, “Good idea! Agreed!”

25 Then Eliyahu said to the prophets of Ba‘al, “Choose one bull for yourselves, and prepare it first; because there are many of you. Then call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.” 26 They took the bull that was given to them, prepared it and called on the name of Ba‘al from morning till noon — “Ba‘al! Answer us!” But no voice was heard; and no one answered, as they jumped around on the altar they had made. 27 Around noon Eliyahu began ridiculing them: “Shout louder! After all, he’s a god, isn’t he? Maybe he’s daydreaming, or he’s on the potty, or he’s away on a trip. Maybe he’s asleep, and you have to wake him up.” 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and knives, as their custom was, until blood gushed out all over them. 29 By now it was afternoon, and they went on ranting and raving until it was time for the evening offering. But no voice came, no one answered, no one paid any attention.

30 Then Eliyahu said to all the people, “Come here to me.” All the people came up to him, as he set about repairing the altar of Adonai that had been broken down. 31 Eliyahu took twelve stones, in keeping with the number of tribes of the sons of Ya‘akov, to whom the word of Adonai had come, saying, “Your name is to be Isra’el.” 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of Adonai. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough for half a bushel of grain. 33 He arranged the wood, cut up the bull and laid it on the wood. 34 Then he said, “Fill four pots with water, and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” They did it. “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again. “Do it a third time,” he said, and they did it a third time.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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