1 Kings 10-11 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Visit of the Queen of Sheba
10 The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame,[a] and she traveled to Jerusalem to test him with difficult questions. 2 She 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. 3 He answered them all; there was nothing too difficult for him to explain. 4 The queen of Sheba heard Solomon's wisdom and saw the palace he had built. 5 She 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. 6 She said to King Solomon, “What I heard in my own country about you[b] and your wisdom is true! 7 But 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. 8 How fortunate are your wives![c] And how fortunate your servants, who are always in your presence and are privileged to hear your wise sayings! 9 Praise 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.”
10 She presented to King Solomon the gifts she had brought: almost five tons 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. 12 Solomon 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.)
13 King 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
14 Every year King Solomon received over twenty-five tons of gold, 15 in addition to the taxes[d] paid by merchants, the profits from trade, and tribute paid by the Arabian kings and the governors of the Israelite districts.
16 Solomon made two hundred large shields and had each one overlaid with almost fifteen pounds of gold. 17 He also made three hundred smaller shields, overlaying each one of them with nearly four pounds of gold. He had all these shields placed in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon.[e]
18 He also had a large throne made. Part of it was covered with ivory and the rest of it was covered with the finest gold. 19-20 The 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 armrests was the figure of a lion. No throne like this had ever existed in any other kingdom.
21 All 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. 22 He 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.
23 King Solomon was richer and wiser than any other king, 24 and the whole world wanted to come and listen to the wisdom that God had given him. 25 Everyone who came brought him a gift—articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons, spices, horses, and mules. This continued year after year.
26 Solomon built up a force of fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand cavalry horses. Some of them he kept in Jerusalem and the rest he stationed in various other cities. 27 During his reign silver was as common in Jerusalem as stone, and cedar was as plentiful as ordinary sycamore in the foothills of Judah. 28 The king's agents controlled the export of horses from Musri[f] and Cilicia,[g] 29 and 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
11 Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides the daughter of the king of Egypt he married Hittite women and women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Sidon. 2 He 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. 3 Solomon married seven hundred princesses and also had three hundred concubines. They made him turn away from God, 4 and 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. 5 He worshiped Astarte, the goddess of Sidon, and Molech, the disgusting god of Ammon. 6 He sinned against the Lord and was not true to him as his father David had been. 7 On 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. 8 He also built places of worship where all his foreign wives could burn incense and offer sacrifices to their own gods.
9-10 Even though the Lord, the God of Israel, had appeared to Solomon twice and had commanded him not to worship foreign gods, Solomon did not obey the Lord but turned away from him. So the Lord was angry with Solomon 11 and 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. 12 However, for the sake of your father David I will not do this in your lifetime, but during the reign of your son. 13 And 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.”
14 So the Lord caused Hadad, of the royal family of Edom, to turn against Solomon. 15-16 Long before this, when David had conquered Edom, Joab the commander of his army had gone there to bury the dead. He and his men remained in Edom six months, and during that time they killed every male in Edom 17 except Hadad and some of his father's Edomite servants, who escaped to Egypt. (At that time Hadad was just a child.) 18 They left Midian and went to Paran, where some other men joined them. Then they traveled to Egypt and went to the king, who gave Hadad some land and a house and provided him with food. 19 Hadad won the friendship of the king, and the king gave his sister-in-law, the sister of Queen Tahpenes, to Hadad in marriage. 20 She bore him a son, Genubath, who was raised by the queen in the palace, where he lived with the king's sons.
21 When 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.[h]
As king of Edom, Hadad was an evil, bitter enemy of Israel.[i]
23 God also caused Rezon son of Eliada to turn against Solomon. Rezon had fled from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah, 24 and 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 gang went and lived in Damascus, where his followers made him king of Syria. 25 He was an enemy of Israel during the lifetime of Solomon.
God's Promise to Jeroboam
26 Another 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. 27 This is the story of the revolt.
Solomon was filling in the land on the east side of Jerusalem and repairing the city walls. 28 Jeroboam was an able young man, and when Solomon noticed how hard he worked, he put him in charge of all the forced labor in the territory of the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim. 29 One day, as Jeroboam was traveling from Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh met him alone on the road in the open country. 30 Ahijah took off the new robe he was wearing, tore it into twelve pieces, 31 and 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. 32 Solomon 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. 33 I am going to do this because Solomon has rejected me and has[j] worshiped foreign gods: Astarte, the goddess of Sidon; Chemosh, the god of Moab; and Molech, the god of Ammon. Solomon has[k] disobeyed me; he has done wrong and has not kept my laws and commands as his father David did. 34 But 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. 35 I will take the kingdom away from Solomon's son and will give you ten tribes, 36 but 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 worshiped. 37 Jeroboam, I will make you king of Israel, and you will rule over all the territory that you want. 38 If 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. 39 Because of Solomon's sin I will punish the descendants of David, but not for all time.’”
40 And so Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but he escaped to King Shishak of Egypt and stayed there until Solomon's death.
The Death of Solomon
41 Everything else that Solomon did, his career, and his wisdom, are all recorded in The History of Solomon. 42 He was king in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 43 He died and was buried in David's City, and his son Rehoboam succeeded him as king.
1 Kings 10-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Visit of the Queen of Sheba
10 When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon (fame due to[a] the name of the Lord), she came to test him with hard questions. 2 She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices, and very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. 3 Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her. 4 When the queen of Sheba had observed all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 5 the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his valets, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her.
6 So she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your accomplishments and of your wisdom, 7 but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. Not even half had been told me; your wisdom and prosperity far surpass the report that I had heard. 8 Happy are your wives![b] Happy are these your servants, who continually attend you and hear your wisdom! 9 Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king to execute justice and righteousness.” 10 Then she gave the king one hundred twenty talents of gold, a great quantity of spices, and precious stones; never again did spices come in such quantity as that which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 Moreover, the fleet of Hiram, which carried gold from Ophir, brought from Ophir a great quantity of almug wood and precious stones. 12 From the almug wood the king made supports for the house of the Lord, and for the king’s house, lyres also and harps for the singers; no such almug wood has come or been seen to this day.
13 Meanwhile King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba every desire that she expressed, as well as what he gave her out of Solomon’s royal bounty. Then she returned to her own land, with her servants.
14 The weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred sixty-six talents of gold, 15 besides that which came from the traders and from the business of the merchants, and from all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land. 16 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of gold went into each large shield. 17 He made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three minas of gold went into each shield; and the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 18 The king also made a great ivory throne, and overlaid it with the finest gold. 19 The throne had six steps. The top of the throne was rounded in the back, and on each side of the seat were arm rests and two lions standing beside the arm rests, 20 while twelve lions were standing, one on each end of a step on the six steps. Nothing like it was ever made in any kingdom. 21 All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver—it was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon. 22 For the king had a fleet of ships of Tarshish at sea with the fleet of Hiram. Once every three years the fleet of ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.[c]
23 Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. 24 The whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. 25 Every one of them brought a present, objects of silver and gold, garments, weaponry, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year.
26 Solomon gathered together chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as numerous as the sycamores of the Shephelah. 28 Solomon’s import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king’s traders received them from Kue at a price. 29 A chariot could be imported from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred fifty; so through the king’s traders they were exported to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.
11 King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the Israelites, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you; for they will surely incline your heart to follow their gods”; Solomon clung to these in love. 3 Among his wives were seven hundred princesses and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. 5 For Solomon followed Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not completely follow the Lord, as his father David had done. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who offered incense and sacrificed to their gods.
9 Then the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this matter, that he should not follow other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord commanded. 11 Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. 12 Yet for the sake of your father David I will not do it in your lifetime; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 I will not, however, tear away the entire kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”
Adversaries of Solomon
14 Then the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was of the royal house in Edom. 15 For when David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army went up to bury the dead, he killed every male in Edom 16 (for Joab and all Israel remained there six months, until he had eliminated every male in Edom); 17 but Hadad fled to Egypt with some Edomites who were servants of his father. He was a young boy at that time. 18 They set out from Midian and came to Paran; they took people with them from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, assigned him an allowance of food, and gave him land. 19 Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him his sister-in-law for a wife, the sister of Queen Tahpenes. 20 The sister of Tahpenes gave birth by him to his son Genubath, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house; Genubath was in Pharaoh’s house among the children of Pharaoh. 21 When Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his ancestors and that Joab the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me depart, that I may go to my own country.” 22 But Pharaoh said to him, “What do you lack with me that you now seek to go to your own country?” And he said, “No, do let me go.”
23 God raised up another adversary against Solomon,[d] Rezon son of Eliada, who had fled from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah. 24 He gathered followers around him and became leader of a marauding band, after the slaughter by David; they went to Damascus, settled there, and made him king in Damascus. 25 He was an adversary of Israel all the days of Solomon, making trouble as Hadad did; he despised Israel and reigned over Aram.
26 Jeroboam son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, a servant of Solomon, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, rebelled against the king. 27 The following was the reason he rebelled against the king. Solomon built the Millo, and closed up the gap in the wall[e] of the city of his father David. 28 The man Jeroboam was very able, and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious he gave him charge over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph. 29 About that time, when Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Ahijah had clothed himself with a new garment. The two of them were alone in the open country 30 when Ahijah laid hold of the new garment he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 He then said to Jeroboam: Take for yourself ten pieces; for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “See, I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon, and will give you ten tribes. 32 One tribe will remain his, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city that I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 33 This is because he has[f] forsaken me, worshiped Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the Ammonites, and has[g] not walked in my ways, doing what is right in my sight and keeping my statutes and my ordinances, as his father David did. 34 Nevertheless I will not take the whole kingdom away from him but will make him ruler all the days of his life, for the sake of my servant David whom I chose and who did keep my commandments and my statutes; 35 but I will take the kingdom away from his son and give it to you—that is, the ten tribes. 36 Yet to his son I will give one tribe, so that my servant David may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name. 37 I will take you, and you shall reign over all that your soul desires; you shall be king over Israel. 38 If you will listen to all that I command you, walk in my ways, and do what is right in my sight by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you, and will build you an enduring house, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you. 39 For this reason I will punish the descendants of David, but not forever.” 40 Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam; but Jeroboam promptly fled to Egypt, to King Shishak of Egypt, and remained in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
Death of Solomon
41 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, all that he did as well as his wisdom, are they not written in the Book of the Acts of Solomon? 42 The time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. 43 Solomon slept with his ancestors and was buried in the city of his father David; and his son Rehoboam succeeded him.
1 Kings 10-11 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
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. 2 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, 3 and Shlomo answered all her questions; nothing was hidden from the king that he could not explain to her. 4 After the queen of Sh’va had seen all Shlomo’s wisdom, the palace he had built, 5 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. 6 She said to the king, “What I heard in my own country about your deeds and your wisdom is true, 7 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. 8 How happy your people must be, how happy these servants of yours who are always here attending you and get to hear your wisdom! 9 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 — 2 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. 3 He had 700 wives, all princesses, and 300 concubines; and his wives turned his heart away. 4 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. 5 For Shlomo followed ‘Ashtoret the goddess of the Tzidoni and Milkom the abomination of the ‘Amoni. 6 Thus Shlomo did what was evil in Adonai’s view and did not fully follow Adonai, as David his father had done. 7 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. 8 This is what he did for all his foreign wives, who then offered and sacrificed to their gods. 9 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.
1 Kings 10-11 The Message (MSG)
The Queen of Sheba Visits
10 1-5 The queen of Sheba heard about Solomon and his connection with the Name of God. She came to put his reputation to the test by asking tough questions. She made a grand and showy entrance into Jerusalem—camels loaded with spices, a huge amount of gold, and precious gems. She came to Solomon and talked about all the things that she cared about, emptying her heart to him. Solomon answered everything she put to him—nothing stumped him. When the queen of Sheba experienced for herself Solomon’s wisdom and saw with her own eyes the palace he had built, the meals that were served, the impressive array of court officials and sharply dressed waiters, the lavish crystal, and the elaborate worship extravagant with Whole-Burnt-Offerings at the steps leading up to The Temple of God, it took her breath away.
6-9 She said to the king, “It’s all true! Your reputation for accomplishment and wisdom that reached all the way to my country is confirmed. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself; they didn’t exaggerate! Such wisdom and elegance—far more than I could ever have imagined. Lucky the men and women who work for you, getting to be around you every day and hear your wise words firsthand! And blessed be God, your God, who took such a liking to you and made you king. Clearly, God’s love for Israel is behind this, making you king to keep a just order and nurture a God-pleasing people.”
10 She then gave the king four and a half tons of gold, and also sack after sack of spices and expensive gems. There hasn’t been a cargo of spices like that since that shipload the queen of Sheba brought to King Solomon.
11-12 The ships of Hiram also imported gold from Ophir along with tremendous loads of fragrant sandalwood and expensive gems. The king used the sandalwood for fine cabinetry in The Temple of God and the palace complex, and for making harps and dulcimers for the musicians. Nothing like that shipment of sandalwood has been seen since.
13 King Solomon for his part gave the queen of Sheba all her heart’s desire—everything she asked for, on top of what he had already so generously given her. Satisfied, she returned home with her train of servants.
14-15 Solomon received twenty-five tons of gold in tribute annually. This was above and beyond the taxes and profit on trade with merchants and assorted kings and governors.
16-17 King Solomon crafted two hundred body-length shields of hammered gold—seven and a half pounds of gold to each shield—and three hundred smaller shields about half that size. He stored the shields in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
18-20 The king built a massive throne of ivory accented with a veneer of gold. The throne had six steps leading up to it, its back shaped like an arch. The armrests on each side were flanked by lions. Lions, twelve of them, were placed at either end of the six steps. There was no throne like it in any of the surrounding kingdoms.
21 King Solomon’s chalices and tankards were made of gold and all the dinnerware and serving utensils in the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold—nothing was made of silver; silver was considered common and cheap.
22 The king had a fleet of ocean-going ships at sea with Hiram’s ships. Every three years the fleet would bring in a cargo of gold, silver, and ivory, and apes and peacocks.
23-25 King Solomon was wiser and richer than all the kings of the earth—he surpassed them all. People came from all over the world to be with Solomon and drink in the wisdom God had given him. And everyone who came brought gifts—artifacts of gold and silver, fashionable robes and gowns, the latest in weapons, exotic spices, and horses and mules—parades of visitors, year after year.
26-29 Solomon collected chariots and horses: fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses! He stabled them in the special chariot cities as well as in Jerusalem. The king made silver as common as rocks and cedar as common as the fig trees in the lowland hills. His horses were brought in from Egypt and Cilicia, specially acquired by the king’s agents. Chariots from Egypt went for fifteen pounds of silver and a horse for about three and three-quarter pounds of silver. Solomon carried on a brisk horse-trading business with the Hittite and Aramean royal houses.
11 1-5 King Solomon was obsessed with women. Pharaoh’s daughter was only the first of the many foreign women he loved—Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite. He took them from the surrounding pagan nations of which God had clearly warned Israel, “You must not marry them; they’ll seduce you into infatuations with their gods.” Solomon fell in love with them anyway, refusing to give them up. He had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred concubines—a thousand women in all! And they did seduce him away from God. As Solomon grew older, his wives beguiled him with their alien gods and he became unfaithful—he didn’t stay true to his God as his father David had done. Solomon took up with Ashtoreth, the whore goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech, the horrible god of the Ammonites.
6-8 Solomon openly defied God; he did not follow in his father David’s footsteps. He went on to build a sacred shrine to Chemosh, the horrible god of Moab, and to Molech, the horrible god of the Ammonites, on a hill just east of Jerusalem. He built similar shrines for all his foreign wives, who then polluted the countryside with the smoke and stench of their sacrifices.
9-10 God was furious with Solomon for abandoning the God of Israel, the God who had twice appeared to him and had so clearly commanded him not to fool around with other gods. Solomon faithlessly disobeyed God’s orders.
11-13 God said to Solomon, “Since this is the way it is with you, that you have no intention of keeping faith with me and doing what I have commanded, I’m going to rip the kingdom from you and hand it over to someone else. But out of respect for your father David I won’t do it in your lifetime. It’s your son who will pay—I’ll rip it right out of his grasp. Even then I won’t take it all; I’ll leave him one tribe in honor of my servant David and out of respect for my chosen city Jerusalem.”
14-20 God incited Hadad, a descendant of the king of Edom, into hostile actions against Solomon. Years earlier, when David devastated Edom, Joab, commander of the army, on his way to bury the dead, massacred all the men of Edom. Joab and his army stayed there for six months, making sure they had killed every man in Edom. Hadad, just a boy at the time, had escaped with some of the Edomites who had worked for his father. Their escape route took them through Midian to Paran. They picked up some men in Paran and went on to Egypt and to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave Hadad a house, food, and even land. Pharaoh liked him so well that he gave him the sister of his wife, Queen Tahpenes, in marriage. She bore Hadad a son named Genubath who was raised like one of the royal family. Genubath grew up in the palace with Pharaoh’s children.
21 While living in Egypt, Hadad heard that both David and Joab, commander of the army, were dead. He approached Pharaoh and said, “Send me off with your blessing—I want to return to my country.”
22 “But why?” said Pharaoh. “Why would you want to leave here? Hasn’t everything been to your liking?”
“Everything has been just fine,” said Hadad, “but I want to go home—give me a good send-off!”
23-25 Then God incited another adversary against Solomon, Rezon son of Eliada, who had deserted from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah. After David’s slaughter of the Arameans, Rezon collected a band of outlaws and became their leader. They later settled in Damascus, where Rezon eventually took over as king. Like Hadad, Rezon was a thorn in Israel’s side all of Solomon’s life. He was king over Aram, and he hated Israel.
26 And then, the last straw: Jeroboam son of Nebat rebelled against the king. He was an Ephraimite from Zeredah, his mother a widow named Zeruah. He served in Solomon’s administration.
27-28 This is why he rebelled. Solomon had built the outer defense system (the Millo) and had restored the fortifications that were in disrepair from the time of his father David. Jeroboam stood out during the construction as strong and able. When Solomon observed what a good worker he was, he put the young man in charge of the entire workforce of the tribe of Joseph.
29-30 One day Jeroboam was walking down the road out of Jerusalem. Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh, wearing a brand-new cloak, met him. The two of them were alone on that remote stretch of road. Ahijah took off the new cloak that he was wearing and ripped it into twelve pieces.
31-33 Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten of these pieces for yourself; this is by order of the God of Israel: See what I’m doing—I’m ripping the kingdom out of Solomon’s hands and giving you ten of the tribes. In honor of my servant David and out of respect for Jerusalem, the city I especially chose, he will get one tribe. And here’s the reason: He faithlessly abandoned me and went off worshiping Ashtoreth goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh god of the Moabites, and Molech god of the Ammonites. He hasn’t lived the way I have shown him, hasn’t done what I have wanted, and hasn’t followed directions or obeyed orders as his father David did.
34-36 “Still, I won’t take the whole kingdom away from him. I’ll stick with him through his lifetime because of my servant David whom I chose and who did follow my directions and obey my orders. But after that I’ll remove the kingdom from his son’s control and give you ten tribes. I’ll leave one tribe to his son, to maintain a witness to my servant David in Jerusalem, the city I chose as a memorial to my Name.
37-39 “But I have taken you in hand. Rule to your heart’s content! You are to be the king of Israel. If you listen to what I tell you and live the way I show you and do what pleases me, following directions and obeying orders as my servant David did, I’ll stick with you no matter what. I’ll build you a kingdom as solid as the one I built for David. Israel will be yours! I am bringing pain and trouble on David’s descendants, but the trials won’t last forever.”
40 Solomon ordered the assassination of Jeroboam, but he got away to Egypt and found asylum there with King Shishak. He remained in exile there until Solomon died.
41-43 The rest of Solomon’s life and rule, his work and his wisdom, you can read for yourself in The Chronicles of Solomon. Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. He died and was buried in the City of David his father. His son Rehoboam was the next king.