1 Kings 1-11
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
I. The Reign of Solomon[a]
David’s Old Age. 1 [b]When King David was old and advanced in years, though they covered him with blankets he could not get warm. 2 His servants therefore said to him, “Let a young virgin be sought to attend my lord the king,[c] and to nurse him. If she sleeps with you, my lord the king will be warm.” 3 So they sought for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunamite. So they brought her to the king. 4 The girl was very beautiful indeed, and she nursed the king and took care of him. But the king did not have relations with her.
Adonijah’s Ambition. 5 Adonijah, son of Haggith, boasted, “I shall be king!” and he provided himself with chariots, horses, and a retinue of fifty to go before him.(A) 6 Yet his father would never antagonize him by asking, “Why are you doing this?” Adonijah was also very handsome, and next in age to Absalom by the same mother. 7 He consulted with Joab, son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest, and they became Adonijah’s supporters. 8 However, Zadok the priest, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei, and David’s warriors did not support Adonijah.
9 Adonijah slaughtered sheep, oxen, and fatlings at the stone Zoheleth near En-rogel[d] and invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah; 10 but he did not invite Nathan the prophet, or Benaiah, or the warriors, or Solomon his brother.
Solomon Proclaimed King. 11 Then Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother: “Have you not heard that Adonijah, son of Haggith, has become king, and our lord David does not know? 12 Come now, let me advise you so that you may save your life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go, visit King David, and say to him, ‘Did you not, my lord king, swear to your handmaid: Your son Solomon shall be king after me; it is he who shall sit upon my throne? Why, then, has Adonijah become king?’ 14 And while you are still there speaking to the king, I will come in after you and confirm your words.”
15 So Bathsheba visited the king in his room. The king was very old, and Abishag the Shunamite was caring for the king.[e] 16 Bathsheba bowed in homage to the king. The king said to her, “What do you wish?”[f] 17 She answered him: “My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord, your God, ‘Solomon your son will be king after me; it is he who shall sit upon my throne.’ 18 But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord king, do not know it.[g] 19 He has sacrificed bulls, fatlings, and sheep in great numbers; he has invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest, and Joab, the commander of the army, but not your servant Solomon. 20 [h]Now, my lord king, all Israel is looking to you to declare to them who is to sit upon the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 If this is not done, when my lord the king rests with his ancestors, I and my son Solomon will be considered criminals.”
22 While she was still speaking to the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 They told the king, “Nathan the prophet is here.” He entered the king’s presence and did him homage, bowing to the floor. 24 Then Nathan said: “My lord king, did you say, ‘Adonijah shall be king after me and shall sit upon my throne’? 25 For today he went down and sacrificed bulls, fatlings, and sheep in great numbers; he invited all the king’s sons, the commanders of the army, and Abiathar the priest, and even now they are eating and drinking in his company and saying, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But me, your servant, he did not invite; nor Zadok the priest, nor Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, nor your servant Solomon. 27 If this was done by order of my lord the king, you did not tell me, your servant, who is to sit upon the throne of my lord the king after him.”
28 King David answered, “Call Bathsheba here.” When she entered the king’s presence and stood before him, 29 the king swore, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress, 30 this very day I will fulfill the oath I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Your son Solomon shall be king after me and shall sit upon my throne in my place.’” 31 Bowing to the floor in homage to the king, Bathsheba said, “May my lord, King David, live forever!”
32 Then King David said, “Call Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, son of Jehoiada.” When they had entered the king’s presence, 33 he said to them: “Take with you the royal officials. Mount my son Solomon upon my own mule and escort him down to Gihon. 34 There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet shall anoint him king over Israel, and you shall blow the ram’s horn and cry, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 When you come back up with him, he is to go in and sit upon my throne. It is he that shall be king in my place: him I designate ruler of Israel and of Judah.” 36 Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, answered the king: “So be it! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, so decree! 37 As the Lord has been with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne even greater than that of my lord, King David!”
38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and Pelethites[i] went down, and mounting Solomon on King David’s mule, escorted him to Gihon. 39 Then Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. They blew the ram’s horn and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 Then all the people went up after him, playing flutes and rejoicing so much the earth split with their shouting.
Adonijah Submits to Solomon. 41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it, just as they ended their banquet. When Joab heard the sound of the ram’s horn, he asked, “Why this uproar in the city?” 42 As he was speaking, Jonathan, son of Abiathar the priest, arrived. Adonijah said, “Come, you are a man of worth and must bring good news.” 43 Jonathan answered Adonijah, “Hardly![j] Our lord, King David, has made Solomon king. 44 The king sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and Pelethites, and they mounted him upon the king’s own mule. 45 Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed him king at Gihon, and they went up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. That is the noise you hear. 46 Moreover, Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne, 47 and moreover the king’s servants have come to pay their respects to our lord, King David, saying, ‘May your God make Solomon’s name more famous than your name, his throne greater than your throne!’ And the king in his bed did homage. 48 This is what the king said: ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has this day provided one to sit upon my throne, so that I see it with my own eyes.’” 49 All the guests of Adonijah got up trembling, and went each their way, 50 but Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, got up and went to grasp the horns of the altar.[k]
51 It was reported to Solomon: “Adonijah, in fear of King Solomon, is clinging to the horns of the altar and saying, ‘Let King Solomon first swear that he will not kill me, his servant, with the sword.’” 52 Solomon answered, “If he proves worthy, not a hair of his shall fall to the ground. But if evil is found in him, he shall die.” 53 King Solomon sent to have him brought down from the altar, and he came and paid homage to King Solomon. Solomon then said to him, “Go to your house.”
David’s Last Instructions and Death. 1 When the time of David’s death drew near, he gave these instructions to Solomon his son: 2 “I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong and be a man! 3 (B)Keep the mandate of the Lord, your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do, and wherever you turn, 4 (C)and that the Lord may fulfill the word he spoke concerning me: If your sons so conduct themselves that they walk before me in faithfulness with their whole heart and soul, there shall never be wanting someone of your line on the throne of Israel.
5 [l](D)“You yourself know what Joab, son of Zeruiah, did to me—what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s armies, Abner, son of Ner, and Amasa, son of Jether: he killed them and brought the blood of war into a time of peace, and put the blood of war on the belt about his waist and the sandal on his foot. 6 Act with all the wisdom you possess; do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. 7 (E)But be true to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and have them among those who eat at your table. For they were loyal to me when I was fleeing from your brother Absalom. 8 (F)You also have with you Shimei, son of Gera, the Benjaminite of Bahurim, who cursed me bitterly the day I was going to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord: ‘I will not kill you by the sword.’ 9 But you must not let him go unpunished. You are wise; you will know what to do to send his gray head down to Sheol in blood.”
The Kingdom Made Secure.[m] 12 Then Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingship was established.
13 Adonijah, son of Haggith, came to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. “Do you come in peace?” she asked. “In peace,” he answered, 14 and he added, “I have something to say to you.” She replied, “Speak.” 15 So he said: “You know that the kingship was mine, and all Israel expected me to be king. But the kingship passed me by and went to my brother; by the Lord’s will it went to him. 16 But now there is one favor I would ask of you. Do not refuse me.” And she said, “Speak on.” 17 [n]He said, “Please ask King Solomon, who will not refuse you, to give me Abishag the Shunamite to be my wife.” 18 Bathsheba replied, “Very well, I will speak to the king for you.”
19 Then Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, and the king stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king’s mother, who sat at his right. 20 She said, “There is one small favor I would ask of you. Do not refuse me.” The king said to her, “Ask it, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” 21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunamite be given to your brother Adonijah to be his wife.” 22 King Solomon answered his mother, “And why do you ask that Abishag the Shunamite be given to Adonijah? Ask the kingship for him as well, for he is my older brother! Ask for him, for Abiathar the priest, for Joab, son of Zeruiah!” 23 And King Solomon swore by the Lord: “May God do thus to me and more, if Adonijah has not spoken this word at the cost of his life. 24 (I)And now, as the Lord lives, who has established me and set me on the throne of David my father and made for me a house as he promised, this day shall Adonijah be put to death.” 25 Then King Solomon sent Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, who struck him dead.
26 (J)The king said to Abiathar the priest: “Go to your estate in Anathoth. Though you deserve to die, I will not put you to death at this time, because you carried the ark of the Lord God before David my father and shared in all the hardships my father endured.”[o] 27 (K)So Solomon dismissed Abiathar from the office of priest of the Lord, thus fulfilling the word the Lord had spoken in Shiloh against the house of Eli.
28 When the news came to Joab, since he had sided with Adonijah, though not with Absalom, he fled to the tent of the Lord and clung to the horns of the altar. 29 King Solomon was told, “Joab has fled to the tent of the Lord and is by the altar.” He sent Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, with the order, “Go, strike him down.” 30 Benaiah went to the tent of the Lord and said to him, “The king says, ‘Come out.’” But he answered, “No! I will die here.” Benaiah reported to the king, “This is what Joab said to me in reply.” 31 The king answered him: “Do as he has said. Strike him down and bury him, and remove from me and from my father’s house the blood which Joab shed without provocation. 32 (L)The Lord will bring blood upon his own head, because he struck down two men better and more just than himself, and slew them with the sword without my father David’s knowledge: Abner, son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa, son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 33 Their blood will be upon the head of Joab and his descendants. But upon David and his descendants, upon his house and his throne, there shall be peace forever from the Lord.” 34 Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, went back, struck him down and killed him; he was buried in his house in the wilderness. 35 The king appointed Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, over the army in his place; Zadok the priest the king put in place of Abiathar.
36 Then the king summoned Shimei and said to him: “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and stay there. Do not go anywhere else. 37 For the day you leave, and cross the Wadi Kidron, be certain you shall surely die. Your blood shall be upon your own head.” 38 Shimei answered the king: “I accept. Your servant will do just as my lord the king has said.” So Shimei stayed in Jerusalem for a long time. 39 But three years later, two of Shimei’s servants ran away to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath, and Shimei was told, “Your servants are in Gath.” 40 So Shimei rose, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish in Gath in search of his servants; and Shimei returned from Gath with his servants. 41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had returned, 42 the king summoned Shimei and said to him: “Did I not have you swear by the Lord and warn you clearly, ‘The day you leave and go anywhere else, be certain you shall surely die’? And you answered, ‘I accept and obey.’[p] 43 Why, then, have you not kept the oath of the Lord and the command that I gave you?” 44 (M)And the king said to Shimei: “In your heart you know very well the evil that you did to David my father. Now the Lord is bringing your own evil upon your head. 45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and David’s throne shall be established before the Lord forever.” 46 The king then gave the order to Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, who went out and struck him dead.
And the royal power was established in Solomon’s hand.
Early Promise of Solomon’s Reign.[q] 1 (N)Solomon allied himself by marriage with Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He married the daughter of Pharaoh and brought her to the City of David, until he should finish building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 The people were sacrificing on the high places, however, for up to that time no house had been built for the name of the Lord. 3 Although Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, he offered sacrifice and burned incense on the high places.
4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, because that was the great high place. Upon its altar Solomon sacrificed a thousand burnt offerings. 5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said: Whatever you ask I shall give you. 6 Solomon answered: “You have shown great kindness to your servant, David my father, because he walked before you with fidelity, justice, and an upright heart; and you have continued this great kindness toward him today, giving him a son to sit upon his throne. 7 Now, Lord, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed David my father; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act— 8 I, your servant, among the people you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. 9 Give your servant, therefore, a listening heart to judge your people and to distinguish between good and evil. For who is able to give judgment for this vast people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased by Solomon’s request. 11 So God said to him: Because you asked for this—you did not ask for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies—but you asked for discernment to know what is right— 12 I now do as you request. I give you a heart so wise and discerning that there has never been anyone like you until now, nor after you will there be anyone to equal you. 13 (O)In addition, I give you what you have not asked for: I give you such riches and glory that among kings there will be no one like you all your days. 14 And if you walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and commandments, as David your father did, I will give you a long life. 15 Solomon awoke; it was a dream! He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, sacrificed burnt offerings and communion offerings, and gave a feast for all his servants.
Solomon’s Listening Heart.[r] 16 Later, two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One woman said: “By your leave, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth in the house while she was present. 18 On the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We were alone; no one else was in the house with us; only the two of us were in the house. 19 This woman’s son died during the night when she lay on top of him. 20 So in the middle of the night she got up and took my son from my side, as your servant was sleeping. Then she laid him in her bosom and laid her dead son in my bosom. 21 I rose in the morning to nurse my son, and he was dead! But when I examined him in the morning light, I saw it was not the son I had borne.” 22 The other woman answered, “No! The living one is my son, the dead one is yours.” But the first kept saying, “No! the dead one is your son, the living one is mine!” Thus they argued before the king. 23 Then the king said: “One woman claims, ‘This, the living one, is my son, the dead one is yours.’ The other answers, ‘No! The dead one is your son, the living one is mine.’” 24 The king continued, “Get me a sword.” When they brought the sword before the king, 25 he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other.” 26 [s]The woman whose son was alive, because she was stirred with compassion for her son, said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby—do not kill it!” But the other said, “It shall be neither mine nor yours. Cut it in two!” 27 The king then answered, “Give her the living baby! Do not kill it! She is the mother.” 28 When all Israel heard the judgment the king had given, they were in awe of him, because they saw that the king had in him the wisdom of God for giving right judgment.
Solomon’s Riches: Domestic Affairs.[t] 1 Solomon was king over all Israel, 2 and these were the officials he had in his service:
Azariah, son of Zadok, the priest;
3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha, scribes;
Jehoshaphat, son of Ahilud, the chancellor;
4 Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, in charge of the army;
Zadok and Abiathar, priests;
5 Azariah, son of Nathan, in charge of the governors;
Zabud, son of Nathan, priest and companion to the king;
6 Ahishar, master of the palace; and
Adoniram, son of Abda, in charge of the forced labor.
the son of Hur in the hill country of Ephraim;
9 the son of Deker in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon Beth-hanan;
10 the son of Hesed in Arubboth, as well as in Socoh and the whole region of Hepher;
11 the son of Abinadab, in all Naphath-dor; he was married to Taphath, Solomon’s daughter;
12 Baana, son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo and all Beth-shean near Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah to beyond Jokmeam;
13 the son of Geber in Ramoth-gilead, having charge of the villages of Jair, son of Manasseh, in Gilead; and of the district of Argob in Bashan—sixty large walled cities with gates barred with bronze;
14 Ahinadab, son of Iddo, in Mahanaim;
15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali; he was married to Basemath, another daughter of Solomon;
16 Baana, son of Hushai, in Asher and Aloth;
17 Jehoshaphat, son of Paruah, in Issachar;
18 Shimei, son of Ela, in Benjamin;
19 Geber, son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the land of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and of Og, king of Bashan.
Solomon’s Riches: International Affairs. 1 [x]Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River[y] to the land of the Philistines, down to the border of Egypt; they paid Solomon tribute and served him as long as he lived. 2 [z]Solomon’s provisions for each day were thirty kors of fine flour, sixty kors of meal, 3 ten fatted oxen, twenty pasture-fed oxen, and a hundred sheep, not counting harts, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowl. 4 He had dominion over all the land west of the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and all its kings, and he had peace on all his borders round about. 5 (Q)Thus Judah and Israel lived in security, everyone under their own vine and fig tree from Dan to Beer-sheba, as long as Solomon lived.
Solomon’s Riches: Chariots and Horses. 6 (R)Solomon had forty thousand stalls for horses for chariots and twelve thousand horsemen. 7 [aa]The governors, one for each month, provided food for King Solomon and for all the guests at King Solomon’s table. They left nothing unprovided. 8 For the chariot horses and draft animals also, each brought his quota of barley and straw to the required place.
Solomon’s Renown. 9 (S)Moreover, God gave Solomon wisdom, exceptional understanding, and knowledge, as vast as the sand on the seashore. 10 Solomon’s wisdom surpassed that of all the peoples of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. 11 He was wiser than anyone else—wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, or Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the musicians—and his fame spread throughout the neighboring peoples. 12 Solomon also uttered three thousand proverbs, and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 13 He spoke of plants, from the cedar on Lebanon to the hyssop growing out of the wall, and he spoke about beasts, birds, reptiles, and fishes. 14 (T)People from all nations came to hear Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.
Preparations for the Temple.[ab] 15 When Hiram, king of Tyre, heard that Solomon had been anointed king in place of his father, he sent an embassy to him; for Hiram had always been David’s friend.[ac] 16 Solomon sent back this message to Hiram: 17 (U)“You know that David my father, because of the wars that beset him, could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God until such time as the Lord should put his enemies under the soles of his feet. 18 But now the Lord, my God, has given me rest on all sides, without adversary or misfortune. 19 (V)So I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord, my God, as the Lord said to David my father: Your son whom I will put upon your throne in your place shall build the house for my name. 20 Give orders, then, to have cedars from the Lebanon cut down for me. My servants shall accompany yours, and I will pay you whatever you say for your servants’ wages. For you know that there is no one among us who is skilled in cutting timber like the Sidonians.” 21 When Hiram had heard the words of Solomon, he was overjoyed, and said, “Blessed be the Lord this day, who has given David a wise son over this numerous people.” 22 [ad]Hiram then sent word to Solomon, “I have heard the proposal you sent me, and I will provide all the cedars and fir trees you desire. 23 My servants shall bring them down from the Lebanon to the sea, and I will arrange them into rafts in the sea and bring them wherever you say. There I will break up the rafts, and you shall take the lumber. You, for your part, shall furnish the provisions I desire for my household.” 24 So Hiram continued to provide Solomon with all the cedars and fir trees he desired, 25 while Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand kors of wheat to provide for his household, and twenty kors[ae] of hand-pressed oil. Solomon gave Hiram all this every year. 26 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom as he promised him. So there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made[af] a covenant.
27 King Solomon raised thirty thousand forced laborers from all Israel.[ag] 28 He sent them to the Lebanon for a month in relays of ten thousand, so that they spent one month in the Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. 29 Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the mountain, 30 in addition to three thousand three hundred overseers answerable to Solomon, who were in charge of the work and directed the people engaged in the work. 31 By order of the king, fine, large blocks of stone were quarried to give the house a foundation of hewn stone. 32 Solomon’s and Hiram’s builders, along with others from Gebal,[ah] shaped them, and prepared the wood and stones for building the house.
Building of the Temple.[ai] 1 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites went forth from the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv (the second month), he began to build the house of the Lord.[aj]
2 The house which King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty wide, and thirty high. 3 The porch in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits from side to side along the width of the house, and ten cubits deep in front of the house. 4 Windows with closed lattices were made for the house, 5 and adjoining the wall of the house he built a substructure around its walls that enclosed the nave and the inner sanctuary, and he made side chambers all around. 6 The lowest story was five cubits wide, the middle one six cubits wide, the third seven cubits wide, because he put recesses along the outside of the house to avoid fastening anything into the walls of the house. 7 The house was built of stone dressed at the quarry, so that no hammer or ax, no iron tool, was to be heard in the house during its construction. 8 The entrance to the middle story was on the south side of the house; stairs led up to the middle story and from the middle story to the third. 9 When he had finished building the house, it was roofed in with rafters and boards of cedar. 10 He built the substructure five cubits high all along the outside of the house, to which it was joined by cedar beams.
11 The word of the Lord came to Solomon: 12 (W)As to this house you are building—if you walk in my statutes, carry out my ordinances, and observe all my commands, walking in them, I will fulfill toward you my word which I spoke to David your father. 13 I will dwell in the midst of the Israelites and will not forsake my people Israel.
14 When Solomon finished building the house, 15 its inside walls were lined with cedar paneling: he covered the interior with wood from floor to ceiling, and he covered its floor with fir planking. 16 At the rear of the house a space of twenty cubits was set off by cedar panels from the floor to the ceiling, enclosing the inner sanctuary, the holy of holies. 17 The house was forty cubits long, that is, the nave, the part in front. 18 The cedar in the interior of the house was carved in the form of gourds and open flowers; all was of cedar, and no stone was to be seen.
19 In the innermost part of the house[ak] he set up the inner sanctuary to house the ark of the Lord’s covenant. 20 In front of the inner sanctuary (it was twenty cubits long, twenty wide, and twenty high, and he covered it with pure gold), he made an altar of cedar. 21 Solomon covered the interior of the house with pure gold, and he drew golden chains across in front of the inner sanctuary, and covered it with gold. 22 He covered the whole house with gold, until the whole house was done, and the whole altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary he covered with gold. 23 In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim, each ten cubits high, made of pine. 24 Each wing of a cherub was five cubits so that the span from wing tip to wing tip was ten cubits. 25 The second cherub was also ten cubits: the two cherubim were identical in size and shape; 26 the first cherub was ten cubits high, and so was the second. 27 He placed the cherubim in the inmost part of the house; the wings of the cherubim were spread wide, so that one wing of the first touched the side wall and the wing of the second touched the other wall; the wings pointing to the middle of the room touched each other. 28 He overlaid the cherubim with gold.
29 The walls of the house on all sides of both the inner and the outer rooms had carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. 30 The floor of the house of both the inner and the outer rooms was overlaid with gold. 31 At the entrance of the inner sanctuary, doors of pine were made; the doorframes had five-sided posts. 32 The two doors were of pine, with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. The doors were overlaid with gold, and the cherubim and the palm trees were also covered with beaten gold. 33 He did the same at the entrance to the nave, where the doorposts were of pine and were four-sided. 34 The two doors were of fir wood, each door consisting of two panels hinged together; 35 and he carved cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and plated them with gold. 36 He walled off the inner court with three courses of hewn stones and one course of cedar beams.
37 The foundations of the Lord’s house were laid in the month of Ziv in the fourth year, 38 and it was finished, in all particulars, exactly according to plan, in the month of Bul, the eighth month, in the eleventh year. Thus Solomon built it in seven years.
1 [al](X)To finish the building of his own house Solomon took thirteen years. 2 He built the House of the Forest of Lebanon one hundred cubits long, fifty wide, and thirty high; it was supported by four rows of cedar columns, with cedar beams upon the columns. 3 Moreover, it had a ceiling of cedar above the rafters resting on the columns; these rafters numbered forty-five, fifteen to a row. 4 There were lattices in three rows, each row facing the next, 5 and all the openings and doorposts were squared with lintels, each facing across from the next. 6 He also made the Porch of Columns, fifty cubits long and thirty wide. The porch extended across the front, and there were columns with a canopy in front of them. 7 He also made the Porch of the Throne where he gave judgment—that is, the Porch of Judgment; it was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling beams. 8 (Y)The house in which he lived was in another court, set in deeper than the Porch and of the same construction. (Solomon made a house like this Porch for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married.)[am] 9 All these buildings were of fine stones, hewn to size and trimmed front and back with a saw, from the foundation to the bonding course and outside as far as the great court. 10 The foundation was made of fine, large blocks, some ten cubits and some eight cubits. 11 Above were fine stones hewn to size, and cedar wood. 12 The great court had three courses of hewn stones all around and a course of cedar beams. So also were the inner court of the house of the Lord and its porch.
13 King Solomon brought Hiram[an] from Tyre. 14 He was a bronze worker, the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali; his father had been from Tyre. He was endowed with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge for doing any work in bronze. He came to King Solomon and did all his metal work.
15 [ao](Z)He fashioned two bronze columns, each eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits in circumference. 16 He also made two capitals cast in bronze, to be placed on top of the columns, each of them five cubits high. 17 There were meshes made like netting and braid made like chains for the capitals on top of the columns, seven for each capital. 18 [ap]He also cast pomegranates, two rows around each netting to cover the capital on top of the columns. 19 The capitals on top of the columns (in the porch) were made like lilies, four cubits high. 20 And the capitals on the two columns, both above and adjoining the bulge where it crossed out of the netting, had two hundred pomegranates in rows around each capital. 21 He set up the columns at the temple porch; one he set up to the south, and called it Jachin, and the other to the north, and called it Boaz.[aq] 22 The top of the columns was made like a lily. Thus the work on the columns was completed.
23 Then he made the molten sea;[ar] it was made with a circular rim, and measured ten cubits across, five in height, and thirty in circumference. 24 Under the brim, gourds encircled it for ten cubits around the compass of the sea; the gourds were in two rows and were cast in one mold with the sea. 25 This rested on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east, with their haunches all toward the center; upon them was set the sea. 26 It was a handbreadth thick, and its brim resembled that of a cup, being lily-shaped. Its capacity was two thousand baths.[as]
27 He also made ten stands of bronze, each four cubits long, four wide, and three high. 28 When these stands were constructed, panels were set within the framework. 29 On the panels within the frames there were lions, oxen, and cherubim; and on the frames likewise, above and below the lions and oxen, there were wreaths in hammered relief. 30 Each stand had four bronze wheels and bronze axles. The four legs of each stand had cast braces, which were under the basin; they had wreaths on each side. 31 The mouth of the basin was inside, and a cubit above, the crown, whose opening was round, made like a receptacle, a cubit and a half in depth. There was carved work at the opening, on panels that were square, not circular. 32 The four wheels were below the paneling, and the axletrees of the wheels and the stand were of one piece. Each wheel was a cubit and a half high. 33 The wheels were constructed like chariot wheels; their axletrees, rims, spokes, and hubs were all cast. 34 The four braces reached the four corners of each stand, and formed part of the stand. 35 At the top of the stand there was a raised collar half a cubit high, and the handles and panels on top of the stand formed part of it. 36 On the flat ends of the handles and on the panels, wherever there was a bare space, cherubim, lions, and palm trees were carved, as well as wreaths all around. 37 This was how he made the ten stands, all of the same casting, the same size, the same shape. 38 He made ten bronze basins, each four cubits in diameter with a capacity of forty baths, one basin atop each of the ten stands.
39 He placed the stands, five on the south side of the house and five on the north. The sea he placed off to the southeast from the south side of the house.
40 When Hiram had made the pots, shovels, and bowls, he finished all his work for King Solomon in the house of the Lord: 41 two columns; two nodes for the capitals on top of the columns; two pieces of netting covering the two nodes for the capitals on top of the columns; 42 four hundred pomegranates in double rows on both pieces of netting that covered the two nodes of the capitals on top of the columns; 43 ten stands; ten basins on the stands; 44 one sea; twelve oxen supporting the sea; 45 pots, shovels, and bowls. All these articles which Hiram made for King Solomon in the house of the Lord were of burnished bronze. 46 The king had them cast in the neighborhood of the Jordan, between Succoth and Zarethan, in thick clay molds. 47 Solomon did not weigh all the articles because they were so numerous; the weight of the bronze, therefore, was not determined.
48 Solomon made all the articles that were for the house of the Lord: the golden altar; the table on which the showbread lay; 49 the lampstands of pure gold, five to the right and five to the left before the inner sanctuary; their flowers, lamps, and tongs of gold; 50 basins, snuffers, bowls, cups, and firepans of pure gold; hinges of gold for the doors of the innermost part of the house, or holy of holies, and for the doors of the outer room, the nave. 51 (AA)When all the work undertaken by King Solomon in the house of the Lord was completed,[at] he brought in the votive offerings of his father David, and put the silver, gold, and other articles in the treasuries of the house of the Lord.
Dedication of the Temple.[au] 1 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the princes in the ancestral houses of the Israelites. They came to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord’s covenant from the city of David (which is Zion). 2 All the people of Israel assembled before King Solomon during the festival in the month of Ethanim (the seventh month).[av] 3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark; 4 and they brought up the ark of the Lord and the tent of meeting with all the sacred vessels that were in the tent. The priests and Levites brought them up. 5 King Solomon and the entire community of Israel, gathered for the occasion before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen too many to number or count. 6 [aw]The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, the inner sanctuary of the house, the holy of holies, beneath the wings of the cherubim. 7 The cherubim had their wings spread out over the place of the ark, sheltering the ark and its poles from above. 8 (AB)The poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary. They cannot be seen from outside, but they remain there to this day. 9 (AC)There was nothing in the ark but the two stone tablets which Moses had put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they went forth from the land of Egypt. 10 (AD)When the priests left the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord 11 so that the priests could no longer minister because of the cloud, since the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord. 12 [ax](AE)Then Solomon said,
“The Lord intends to dwell in the dark cloud;
13 I have indeed built you a princely house,
the base for your enthronement forever.”
14 The king turned and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while the whole assembly of Israel stood. 15 He said: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his own mouth spoke a promise to David my father and by his hand fulfilled it, saying: 16 (AF)Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city out of any tribe of Israel for the building of a house, that my name might be there; but I have chosen David to rule my people Israel. 17 When David my father wished to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, 18 the Lord said to him: In wishing to build a house for my name, you did well. 19 But it is not you who will build the house, but your son, who comes from your loins; he shall build the house for my name. 20 Now the Lord has fulfilled the word he spoke: I have succeeded David my father, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord has spoken, and I have built this house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 I have provided there a place for the ark in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
Solomon’s Prayer. 22 Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, and stretching forth his hands toward heaven, 23 he said, “Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below; you keep covenant and love toward your servants who walk before you with their whole heart, 24 the covenant that you kept toward your servant, David my father, what you promised him; your mouth has spoken and your hand has fulfilled this very day. 25 (AG)And now, Lord, God of Israel, keep toward your servant, David my father, what you promised: There shall never be wanting someone from your line to sit before me on the throne of Israel, provided that your descendants keep to their way, walking before me as you have. 26 Now, God of Israel, may the words you spoke to your servant, David my father, be confirmed.
27 “Is God indeed to dwell on earth? If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, how much less this house which I have built! 28 Regard kindly the prayer and petition of your servant, Lord, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant, utter before you this day. 29 May your eyes be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, My name shall be there; listen to the prayer your servant makes toward this place. 30 Listen to the petition of your servant and of your people Israel which they offer toward this place. Listen, from the place of your enthronement, heaven, listen and forgive.
31 (AH)“If someone sins in some way against a neighbor and is required to take an oath sanctioned by a curse, and comes and takes the oath before your altar in this house, 32 listen in heaven; act and judge your servants. Condemn the wicked, requiting their ways; acquit the just, rewarding their justice.
33 “When your people Israel are defeated by an enemy because they sinned against you, and then they return to you, praise your name, pray to you, and entreat you in this house, 34 listen in heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave their ancestors.
35 “When the heavens are closed, so that there is no rain, because they have sinned against you, but they pray toward this place and praise your name, and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, 36 listen in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel (for you teach them the good way in which they should walk). Give rain to this land of yours which you have given to your people as their heritage.
37 “If there is famine in the land or pestilence; or if blight comes, or mildew, or locusts, or caterpillars; if an enemy of your people presses upon them in the land and at their gates; whatever plague or sickness there may be; 38 whatever prayer or petition any may make, any of your people Israel, who know heartfelt remorse and stretch out their hands toward this house, 39 listen in heaven, the place of your enthronement; forgive and take action. Render to each and all according to their ways, you who know every heart; for it is you alone who know the heart of every human being. 40 So may they revere you as long as they live on the land you gave our ancestors.
41 “To the foreigners, likewise, who are not of your people Israel, but who come from a distant land for the sake of your name 42 (since people will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm), when they come and pray toward this house, 43 listen in heaven, the place of your enthronement. Do all that the foreigner asks of you, that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, may revere you as do your people Israel, and may know that your name has been invoked upon this house that I have built.
44 “When your people go out to war against their enemies, by whatever way you send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city you have chosen and the house I have built for your name, 45 listen in heaven to their prayer and petition, and uphold their cause.
46 (AI)“When they sin against you (for there is no one who does not sin), and in your anger against them you deliver them to an enemy, so that their captors carry them off to the land of the enemy, far or near, 47 and they have a change of heart in the land of their captivity and they turn and entreat you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned and done wrong; we have been wicked’; 48 if with their whole heart and soul they turn back to you in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, the city you have chosen, and the house I have built for your name, 49 listen in heaven, your dwelling place, to their prayer and petition, and uphold their cause. 50 Forgive your people who have sinned against you and all the offenses they have committed against you, and grant them mercy in the sight of their captors, so that these will be merciful to them. 51 For they are your people and your heritage, whom you brought out of Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace.
52 “Thus may your eyes be open to the petition of your servant and to the petition of your people Israel; thus may you listen to them whenever they call upon you. 53 For you have set them apart from all the peoples of the earth to be your heritage, as you declared through Moses your servant when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, Lord my God.”
54 After Solomon finished offering this entire prayer and petition to the Lord, he rose from before the altar of the Lord, where he had been kneeling, hands outstretched toward heaven. 55 He stood and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, saying in a loud voice: 56 “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not a single word has gone unfulfilled of the entire gracious promise he made through Moses his servant. 57 May the Lord, our God, be with us as he was with our ancestors and may he not forsake us nor cast us off. 58 May he draw our hearts to himself, that we may walk in his ways and keep the commands, statutes, and ordinances that he enjoined on our ancestors. 59 May these words of mine, the petition I have offered before the Lord, our God, be present to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel as each day requires, 60 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and there is no other. 61 [ay]Your heart must be wholly devoted to the Lord, our God, observing his statutes and keeping his commandments, as on this day.”
62 The king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the Lord. 63 [az]Solomon offered as communion offerings to the Lord twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. Thus the king and all the Israelites dedicated the house of the Lord. 64 On that day the king consecrated the middle of the court facing the house of the Lord; he offered there the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the communion offerings, because the bronze altar before the Lord was too small to hold the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat of the communion offering. 65 On this occasion Solomon and all Israel with him, a great assembly from Lebo-hamath to the Wadi of Egypt, celebrated the festival before the Lord, our God, for seven days. 66 On the eighth day he dismissed the people, who blessed the king and went to their tents, rejoicing and glad of heart because of all the blessings the Lord had given to David his servant and to his people Israel.
Promise and Warning to Solomon. 1 After Solomon finished building the house of the Lord, the house of the king, and everything else that he wanted to do, 2 (AJ)the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him in Gibeon. 3 The Lord said to him: I have heard the prayer of petition which you offered in my presence. I have consecrated this house which you have built and I set my name there forever; my eyes and my heart shall be there always. 4 As for you, if you walk before me as David your father did, wholeheartedly and uprightly, doing all that I have commanded you, keeping my statutes and ordinances, 5 (AK)I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father: There shall never be wanting someone from your line on the throne of Israel. 6 But if ever you and your descendants turn from following me, fail to keep my commandments and statutes which I set before you, and proceed to serve other gods and bow down to them, 7 I will cut off Israel from the land I gave them and repudiate the house I have consecrated for my name. Israel shall become a proverb and a byword among all nations, 8 (AL)and this house shall become a heap of ruins. Every passerby shall gasp in horror and ask, “Why has the Lord done such things to this land and to this house?” 9 And the answer will come: “Because they abandoned the Lord, their God, who brought their ancestors out of the land of Egypt, and they embraced other gods, bowing down to them and serving them. That is why the Lord has brought upon them all this evil.”
After Building the Temple.[ba] 10 (AM)After the twenty years during which Solomon built the two houses, the house of the Lord and the house of the king— 11 Hiram, king of Tyre, supplying Solomon with all the cedar wood, fir wood, and gold he wished, and King Solomon giving Hiram in return twenty cities in the land of Galilee— 12 Hiram left Tyre to see the cities Solomon had given him, but he was not satisfied with them. 13 So he said, “What are these cities you have given me, my brother?”[bb] And he called them the land of Cabul, as they are called to this day. 14 Hiram, however, had sent King Solomon one hundred and twenty talents of gold.[bc]
15 This is an account of the conscript labor force King Solomon raised in order to build the house of the Lord, his own house, Millo,[bd] the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer 16 (Pharaoh, king of Egypt, had come up and taken Gezer and, after destroying it by fire and slaying all the Canaanites living in the city, had given it as a farewell gift to his daughter, Solomon’s wife; 17 Solomon then rebuilt Gezer), Lower Beth-horon, 18 Baalath, Tamar in the desert of Judah, 19 all his cities for supplies, cities for chariots and cities for cavalry, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in the entire land under his dominion. 20 All the people who were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who were not Israelites— 21 those of their descendants who were left in the land and whom the Israelites had not been able to destroy under the ban—these Solomon conscripted as forced laborers, as they are to this day. 22 But Solomon made none of the Israelites forced laborers, for they were his fighting force, his ministers, commanders, adjutants, chariot officers, and cavalry. 23 There were five hundred fifty overseers answerable to Solomon’s governors for the work, directing the people engaged in the work.
24 (AN)As soon as Pharaoh’s daughter went up from the City of David to her house, which he had built for her, Solomon built Millo. 25 Three times a year Solomon used to offer burnt offerings and communion offerings on the altar which he had built to the Lord, and to burn incense before the Lord.
Thus he completed the temple.[be]
Solomon’s Gifts.[bf] 26 King Solomon also built a fleet at Ezion-geber, which is near Elath on the shore of the Red Sea in the land of Edom.[bg] 27 To this fleet Hiram sent his own servants, expert sailors, with the servants of Solomon. 28 They went to Ophir, and obtained four hundred and twenty talents of gold and brought it to King Solomon.
Solomon’s Listening Heart: The Queen of Sheba.[bh] 1 (AO)The queen of Sheba,[bi] having heard a report of Solomon’s fame, came to test him with subtle questions. 2 She arrived in Jerusalem with a very numerous retinue, and with camels bearing spices, a large amount of gold, and precious stones. She came to Solomon and spoke to him about everything that she had on her mind. 3 King Solomon explained everything she asked about, and there was nothing so obscure that the king could not explain it to her. 4 When the queen of Sheba witnessed Solomon’s great wisdom, the house he had built, 5 the food at his table, the seating of his ministers, the attendance and dress of his waiters, his servers, and the burnt offerings he offered in the house of the Lord, it took her breath away. 6 “The report I heard in my country about your deeds and your wisdom is true,” she told the king. 7 “I did not believe the report until I came and saw with my own eyes that not even the half had been told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report I heard. 8 Happy are your servants, happy these ministers of yours, who stand before you always and listen to your wisdom. 9 Blessed be the Lord, your God, who has been pleased to place you on the throne of Israel. In his enduring love for Israel, the Lord has made you king to carry out judgment and justice.” 10 Then she gave the king one hundred and twenty gold talents, a very large quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never again did anyone bring such an abundance of spices as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 Hiram’s fleet, which used to bring gold from Ophir, also brought from there a very large quantity of almug[bj] wood and precious stones. 12 With this wood the king made supports for the house of the Lord and for the house of the king, and harps and lyres for the singers. Never again was any such almug wood brought or seen to the present day.
13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she desired and asked for, besides what King Solomon gave her from Solomon’s royal bounty. Then she returned with her servants to her own country.
Solomon’s Riches: Domestic Affairs.[bk] 14 (AP)The gold that came to Solomon in one year weighed six hundred and sixty-six gold talents, 15 in addition to what came from the tolls on travelers, from the traffic of merchants, and from all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the country. 16 (AQ)King Solomon made two hundred shields of beaten gold (six hundred shekels of gold went into each shield) 17 and three hundred bucklers of beaten gold (three minas of gold went into each buckler); and the king put them in the house of the Forest of Lebanon. 18 The king made a large ivory throne, and overlaid it with refined gold. 19 The throne had six steps, a back with a round top, and an arm on each side of the seat, with two lions standing next to the arms, 20 and twelve other lions standing there on the steps, two to a step, one on either side of each step. Nothing like this was made in any other kingdom. 21 All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were gold, and all the utensils in the house of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. There was no silver, for in Solomon’s time silver was reckoned as nothing. 22 For the king had a fleet of Tarshish ships[bl] at sea with Hiram’s fleet. Once every three years the fleet of Tarshish ships would come with a cargo of gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
Solomon’s Renown. 23 Thus King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. 24 And the whole world sought audience with Solomon, to hear the wisdom God had put into his heart. 25 They all brought their yearly tribute: vessels of silver and gold, garments, weapons, spices, horses and mules—what was due each year.
Solomon’s Riches: Chariots and Horses. 26 (AR)Solomon amassed chariots and horses; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses; these he allocated among the chariot cities and to the king’s service in Jerusalem. 27 (AS)The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars as numerous as the sycamores of the Shephelah. 28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Cilicia, where the king’s merchants purchased them. 29 A chariot imported from Egypt cost six hundred shekels of silver, a horse one hundred and fifty shekels; they were exported at these rates to all the Hittite and Aramean kings.
The End of Solomon’s Reign.[bm] 1 (AT)King Solomon loved many foreign women besides the daughter of Pharaoh—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, Hittites— 2 (AU)from nations of which the Lord had said to the Israelites: You shall not join with them and they shall not join with you, lest they turn your hearts to their gods. But Solomon held them[bn] close in love. 3 He had as wives seven hundred princesses and three hundred concubines, and they turned his heart.
4 When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to follow other gods, and his heart was not entirely with the Lord, his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 Solomon followed Astarte, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and he did not follow the Lord unreservedly as David his father had done. 7 Solomon then built a high place to Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, and to Molech, the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain opposite Jerusalem. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
9 (AV)The Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice 10 and commanded him not to do this very thing, not to follow other gods. But he did not observe what the Lord commanded. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon: Since this is what you want, and you have not kept my covenant and the statutes which I enjoined on you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 (AW)But I will not do this during your lifetime, for the sake of David your father; I will tear it away from your son’s hand. 13 Nor will I tear away the whole kingdom. I will give your son one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.
Threats to Solomon’s Kingdom.[bo] 14 The Lord then raised up an adversary[bp] against Solomon: Hadad the Edomite, who was of the royal line in Edom. 15 (AX)Earlier, when David had conquered Edom, Joab, the commander of the army, while going to bury the slain, killed every male in Edom. 16 Joab and all Israel remained there six months until they had killed off every male in Edom. 17 But Hadad, with some Edomite servants of his father, fled toward Egypt. Hadad was then a young boy. 18 They left Midian and came to Paran; they gathered men from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh, king of Egypt; he gave Hadad a house, appointed him rations, and assigned him land. 19 Hadad won great favor with Pharaoh, so that he gave him in marriage his sister-in-law, the sister of Queen Tahpenes, his own wife. 20 Tahpenes’ sister bore Hadad a son, Genubath. Tahpenes weaned him in Pharaoh’s palace. And Genubath lived in Pharaoh’s house, with Pharaoh’s own sons. 21 When Hadad in Egypt heard that David rested with his ancestors and that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead, he said to Pharaoh, “Give me leave to return to my own land.” 22 Pharaoh said to him, “What do you lack with me, that you are seeking to return to your own land?” He answered, “Nothing, but please let me go!”
23 God raised up against Solomon another adversary, Rezon, the son of Eliada, who had fled from his lord, Hadadezer, king of Zobah, 24 (AY)when David was slaughtering them. Rezon gathered men about him and became leader of a marauding band. They went to Damascus, settled there, and made him king in Damascus. 25 Rezon was an adversary of Israel as long as Solomon lived, in addition to the harm done by Hadad, and he felt contempt for Israel. He became king over Aram.
Ahijah Announces Jeroboam’s Kingship.[bq] 26 Solomon had a servant, Jeroboam, son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zeredah with a widowed mother named Zeruah. He rebelled against the king. 27 This is how he came to rebel. King Solomon was building Millo, closing up the breach of the City of David, his father. 28 Jeroboam was a very able man, and when Solomon saw that the young man was also a good worker, he put him in charge of all the carriers conscripted from the house of Joseph.
29 At that time Jeroboam left Jerusalem, and the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the road. The prophet was wearing a new cloak,[br] and when the two were alone in the open country, 30 (AZ)Ahijah took off his new cloak, tore it into twelve pieces, 31 (BA)and said to Jeroboam: “Take ten pieces for yourself. Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I am about to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and will give you ten of the tribes. 32 He shall have one tribe for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 33 For they have forsaken me and have bowed down to Astarte, goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh, god of Moab, and Milcom, god of the Ammonites. They have not walked in my ways or done what is right in my eyes, according to my statutes and my ordinances, as David his father did. 34 Yet I will not take any of the kingdom from Solomon himself, but will keep him a prince as long as he lives, for the sake of David my servant, whom I have chosen, who kept my commandments and statutes.
35 But I will take the kingdom from his son’s hand and give it to you—that is, the ten tribes. 36 I will give his son one tribe, that David my servant may always have a holding before me in Jerusalem, the city I have chosen, to set my name there. 37 You I will take and you shall reign over all that you desire and shall become king of Israel. 38 If, then, you heed all that I command you, walking in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments like David my servant, I will be with you. I will build a lasting house for you, just as I did for David; I will give Israel to you. 39 I will humble David’s line for this, but not forever.”
40 When Solomon tried to have Jeroboam killed, Jeroboam fled to Shishak, king of Egypt. He remained in Egypt until Solomon’s death.
41 The rest of the acts of Solomon, with all that he did and his wisdom, are recorded in the book of the acts of Solomon. 42 Solomon was king in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 43 Solomon rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David, his father, and Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.
- 1:1–11:43 The story of the reign of Solomon comprises twelve major units, organized concentrically. That is, the first unit (1:1–2:12a) balances the last (11:26–43), the second (2:12b–46) balances the second last (11:14–25), and so forth. (See the structural notes at the beginning of each major unit.) The center of the whole story is a diptych that narrates the construction of the Temple (6:1–7:51) and its dedication (8:1–9:10).
- 1:1–2:12a The first major unit of the Solomon story concludes the so-called Succession Narrative (2 Sm 9–20; 1 Kgs 1–2). This unit tells how Solomon, a younger son, came to succeed David on the throne of Israel through the intervention of the prophet Nathan. Compare the last unit of the Solomon story, 11:26–43, where the prophet Ahijah begins the process whereby Jeroboam becomes king of the northern tribes after Solomon’s death. The story of Solomon’s accession is itself concentrically arranged: David’s decline, Adonijah’s rise, Solomon’s supporters, David’s decision, Solomon’s inauguration, Adonijah’s fall, David’s death. Chronicles has no developed parallel to this story (see 1 Chr 23:1).
- 1:2 The fulsome use of royal titles and the elaborate etiquette in the Succession Narrative suggest the raw ambition of the contending parties and the oppressive atmosphere of the court.
- 1:9 En-rogel: the modern Job’s Well just southeast of Jerusalem. It marked the ancient boundary between the tribes of Benjamin and Judah (Jos 15:7; 18:16).
- 1:15 Entering the king’s chambers, Bathsheba confronts two realities: he is very old; and she herself, the woman for whom David once committed adultery and murder, has been replaced at the king’s side and in his bed.
- 1:16 Throughout 1 Kgs 1 the key question is “Who shall be king (malak)?” David’s feeble, two-syllable question to Bathsheba is an ironic echo of that key word: “What do you wish?” renders the Heb. mahlak?
- 1:18 Bathsheba uses a clever wordplay to conceal the rivalry between Solomon and Adonijah and imply that the real rivalry is between David and Adonijah. She repeatedly addresses David as “my lord king” (’adoni hammelek), but claims that “Adonijah has become king” (’adoniya malak). Know: the term means both “be aware of” and “recognize, acknowledge, ratify.”
- 1:20 There was no precedent for determining succession to the throne of Israel. Adonijah and his supporters assumed that primogeniture would assure the succession as it did in the monarchies of the surrounding nations. But Bathsheba persuades David that he is free to name anyone he chooses.
- 1:38 Cherethites and Pelethites: mercenaries in David’s bodyguard. They became part of his retinue after he defeated the Philistines and established himself in Jerusalem; cf. 2 Sm 8:18; 15:18; 20:23.
- 1:43 Hardly: Jonathan’s first word, ’abal, whose meaning (such as “indeed,” “on the contrary”) must be discerned from the context, may be ironic. This irony is deepened by an untranslatable wordplay in Hebrew: a very similar word means “to mourn,” which is an appropriate comment about the death of Adonijah’s hopes for the throne.
- 1:50 Horns of the altar: the protuberances on each of the four corners of the altar (Ex 27:2; 29:12). By grasping the horns of the altar Adonijah is claiming asylum (Ex 21:13–14; 1 Kgs 2:28).
- 2:5–9 David urges Solomon to purge Joab and Shimei and supplies him with justification for doing so. Joab had killed Abner (2 Sm 3:22–30) and Amasa (2 Sm 20:4–12), thereby bringing blood guilt upon himself and perhaps upon his master David. Shimei had cursed David (2 Sm 16:5–8), though David pledged that Shimei would not be killed for it (2 Sm 19:16–24). David’s motives, however, may have been more personal. Joab also killed David’s son Absalom and chided David for his untimely public display of grief (2 Sm 18:9–19:8), and David may have felt himself free of the promise he made to Shimei because that promise was coerced by the presence of Shimei’s thousand partisans backing him at the time.
- 2:12–46 The second major unit of the Solomon story shows how Solomon eliminated people he considered threats to the security of his throne. It is marked by a device called “inclusion,” where the text repeats a word, phrase, or idea at the beginning and end of a literary unit (see vv. 12b, 46b). Compare 11:14–25, where Solomon is unable to eliminate other threats to his security.
- 2:17–25 Abishag had belonged to David’s harem (1:3–4), which Solomon inherited. Adonijah’s request could imply a challenge to Solomon’s accession and so exposes Adonijah to the suspicion of insurrection that will cost him his life; cf. 2 Sm 3:6–11; 16:21–22.
- 2:26 The narrator indulges in a subtle wordplay: Abiathar’s exile to Anathoth (‘anatot) continues the series of hardships he has endured (hit‘annita).
- 2:42–44 In his charge against Shimei, Solomon misrepresents the truth in two ways. He did not make Shimei take an oath. And he imposed capital punishment only on crossing the Wadi Kidron, to the east of Jerusalem. This was presumably to prevent Shimei from returning to his home, Bahurim, which lay in that direction; Gath, however, is southwest of Jerusalem. Solomon’s next words to Shimei reveal that he is really being punished for cursing David, not for violating Solomon’s command.
- 3:1–15 The third major unit of the Solomon story depicts the bright beginning of his reign. It includes the narrator’s remarks about Solomon’s marriage and his building projects, and a divine appearance to Solomon. Compare 11:1–13, where the same themes recur, but in negative fashion. The story of the divine appearance is told also in 2 Chr 1:1–13.
- 3:16–5:14 The fourth major unit of the Solomon story shows how Solomon used the three gifts that the Lord gave him in 3:12–13: a listening heart (3:16–28), riches (4:1–5:8), universal renown (5:9–14). In each case his gifts benefited the populace, from the lowest classes (3:16–28) to his whole people (4:20; 5:5) to the whole world (5:9–14). Compare 9:26–10:29, where the same three gifts all redound to the benefit of Solomon himself.
- 3:26–27 The true mother reveals herself by an uncommon and tender word for the child, “baby.” With this, and the woman’s willingness to give up her child, Solomon realizes that she is the true mother, and quotes her words exactly in rendering his judgment.
- 4:1–5:8 The sub-unit on Solomon’s riches is organized around domestic affairs (4:1–20) and international affairs (5:1–5), with a short appendix on Solomon’s horses and chariots (5:6–8). Compare 9:26–10:29, where comparable elements reappear.
- 4:7–19 The administration of the kingdom thus initiated by Solomon continued in its main features for the duration of the monarchy in Israel and Judah. Note the use of “all Israel” to mean only the northern tribes (see also 5:27). Solomon’s exactions did not fall evenly on the whole people, but favored his own southern tribe of Judah. Eventually this inequity would lead to the dissolution of the union of Israel and Judah (12:1–19).
- 4:8–19 Several of the governors are identified only by their fathers’ names.
- 4:19 One governor…land of Judah: the royal territory of Judah had its own peculiar administration different from that of the twelve northern districts, each of which had to supply the king and his household with a month’s provisions of food each year (v. 7).
- 5:1–32 This translation follows the numeration of the Hebrew Bible, rather than the Vulgate; in many English translations, 5:1–14 is 4:21–34, and 5:15 is 5:1.
- 5:1 The River: that is, the Euphrates. This claim may be exaggerated, but “from the Euphrates to the border of Egypt” was the traditional description of the extent of the Davidic holdings.
- 5:2 The list of Solomon’s supplies may have originally belonged with the list of governors in 4:7–19, but the author has placed it here to imply that Solomon’s vassal kingdoms, not his own citizenry, supplied his vast daily needs. The daily provisions listed could have supported several thousand people. Kors: see note on Ez 45:14.
- 5:7 This verse suggests that the governors also saw to the provender for Solomon’s animals (v. 8).
- 5:15–32 The fifth major unit of the Solomon story explains the preparations Solomon made for the construction of the Temple. He negotiates with Hiram of Tyre for materiel (5:15–26), and conscripts a labor force for personnel (5:27–32). Compare 9:11–23, which returns to the same two themes after the Temple has been built and dedicated. 2 Chr 2:1–17 presents another version of the same material.
- 5:15 David’s friend: the term “to be a friend,” lit., “to love,” is political, and means that David and Hiram had been allies. The purpose of Hiram’s embassy is to determine whether Solomon is willing to continue the alliance. This unspoken agenda lies behind the negotiations about materials for the Temple, as the concluding v. 26 makes clear.
- 5:22–23 Although his reply is couched in polite, diplomatic language, Hiram renegotiates Solomon’s terms in his own favor. No Israelites are to enter Tyrian territory, and Solomon is not to pay the salary of Hiram’s laborers but rather to furnish “provisions” for his household—the same language used of the tribute Solomon received from his own vassals in v. 2.
- 5:25 Twenty kors: this means about two thousand gallons of the finest olive oil available, hand-pressed rather than produced in large olive presses, so that no debris (such as crushed olive pits, powder from the grinding stones) would contaminate the oil. Also see note on 2 Chr 2:9.
- 5:26 Made: lit., “cut.” The story of Solomon’s arrangements with Hiram is framed by references to political alliance between Israel and Tyre (vv. 15, 26). Since, in Hebrew idiom, Hiram and Solomon “cut” a covenant, this suggests that the agreement they reach for “cutting” wood (which clearly favors Hiram) reflects the terms of the larger treaty.
- 5:27 All Israel: see note on 4:7–19.
- 5:32 Gebal: Byblos.
- 6:1–7:51 The central units of the Solomon story describe the building of the Temple (6:1–7:51) and its dedication ceremony (8:1–9:10). The account of the construction of the Temple (“the house”) is organized to give the reader a guided tour. Approaching from a distance, we see ground plans (6:2–3) and structural work in stone (6:4–8) and wood (6:9–10). After a brief interruption that recounts a divine word to Solomon (6:11–13), we enter the Temple to view the paneling and ornamentation of the nave (6:14–18), the gilded walls and golden entrance of the inner sanctuary or holy of holies (6:19–22), with its priceless interior decoration and furnishings (6:23–28). As we leave, we admire the interior carvings and gilded floor of the inner sanctuary (6:29–30), return to the nave through carved and gilded doors (6:31–32), and exit from the nave through another set of carved and gilded doors (6:33–35) to the courtyard (6:36). Our guide briefly points out the nearby palace complex (7:1–12); then we walk around the courtyard to marvel at Hiram’s heroic works in bronze: the two columns (7:15–22), the “sea” (7:23–26), and the ten stands and basins set along either side of the Temple buildings (7:27–39). The account ends with the smaller bronze vessels Hiram made for the Temple services (7:40–47) and the gold vessels that Solomon made (7:48–50). Unfortunately, several factors make it impossible to use the account to produce a satisfactory model of Solomon’s Temple. Throughout the account there are numerous technical architectural terms whose meaning is lost to us; and it is moreover likely that the author is describing the Temple as it stood in his own time, centuries after Solomon’s day. The Chronicler also describes the construction of the Temple in 2 Chr 3:1–4:22 and its dedication in 2 Chr 5:1–7:22.
- 6:1 Construction of the Temple is here dated in relation to the traditional date of the exodus from Egypt, rounded off to a conventional twelve generations of forty years each. This chronology means that the Temple was built approximately midway between Israel’s two foundational deliverances, the exodus and the return from the Babylonian exile. The schematization of history implied in these figures recommends caution in using them for historical reconstruction.
- 6:19 The innermost part of the house: the inner sanctuary or holy of holies reserved exclusively for the Lord, enthroned upon the cherubim over the ark of the covenant (2 Chr 3:10–13). See note on Ex 25:18–20.
- 7:1–12 The account of Solomon’s building of the Temple (the Lord’s “house”) is interrupted by an account of his building of the palace (Solomon’s “house”), which contained also the main buildings of public administration. The passage is anachronistic, since 6:38–7:1 and 9:10 imply that the palace was not begun until the Temple was completed. By placing the account here, the narrator highlights the fact that Solomon spent almost twice as long on his own “house” as on the Lord’s.
- 7:8 Solomon did not build the house for Pharaoh’s daughter until Temple and palace were finished (3:1). By mentioning this marriage, the narrator keeps before the reader a developing theme in the Solomon story: the king’s building activities for his foreign wives, which eventually implicate him in idolatry (3:1; 7:8; 9:24; 11:1–8).
- 7:13 Hiram: a craftsman, not the king of Tyre (5:15–26).
- 7:15 The two bronze columns were called Jachin and Boaz (v. 21; also 2 Chr 3:17); the significance of the names is unclear. The columns stood to the right and left of the Temple porch, and may have been intended to mark the entrance to the building as the entrance to God’s private dwelling. Their extraordinary size and elaborate decoration would have made them the most impressive parts of the Temple visible to the ordinary viewer, who was not permitted into the nave, let alone into the innermost sanctuary. According to Jer 52:21, the columns were hollow, the bronze exterior being “four fingers thick.”
- 7:18–20 The Hebrew text is corrupt in many places here, and alternative readings attested in the ancient versions are secondary attempts to make sense of the text. A clearer description of the columns and their decoration is found in vv. 41–42.
- 7:21 Jachin…Boaz: see note on 7:15.
- 7:23–26 The molten sea: this was a large circular tank containing about twelve thousand gallons of water.
- 7:26 Baths: see note on Is 5:10.
- 7:51 The account of the Temple’s construction has been punctuated by references to “building” (banah) or “finishing” (killah) it (6:1b, 9a, 14, 38; 7:40). Here, at the end of the account, the narrator uses a different verb for its “completion,” shillem, which allows him to play on the name of Solomon (shelomo).
- 8:1–66 The account of the Temple’s dedication ceremony is organized concentrically: Solomon gathers the assembly (vv. 1–13), blesses it (vv. 14–21), utters a long dedicatory prayer (vv. 22–53), blesses the assembly again (vv. 54–61), and dismisses it (vv. 62–66). To this account is appended an appearance of the Lord to Solomon (9:2–9) that balances the divine word to Solomon in the account of the Temple’s construction (6:11–13).
- 8:2 “The seventh month” (“Ethanim” in the Canaanite calendar) corresponded to late September/early October. The great festival at that time of year is the feast of Booths, or Succoth/Sukkoth (see Lv 23:33–43; Dt 16:13–15). The feast was important enough to warrant holding the dedication ceremony either a month before or eleven months after the Temple was completed in the eighth month (6:38).
- 8:6–9 The transfer of the ark of the covenant into the newly constructed Temple building, God’s act of possession (8:10–13), and Solomon’s dedicatory prayer and sacrifices constituted the Temple’s solemn dedication and made of it the place of God’s presence in the midst of Israel for which David had hoped (2 Sm 6:12–15; 7:1–3). Later God expresses approval of the Temple with an oracle (1 Kgs 9:3–9).
- 8:12–13 This brief poem is rich in layered meanings. The “dark cloud” in which the Lord intends to dwell refers not only to the cloud that filled the Temple (v. 10) but to the darkness of the windowless holy of holies and to the mystery of the God enthroned invisibly upon the cherubim as well. Solomon calls the Temple he offers God a firm base, using terminology similar to that used for God’s firm establishment of Solomon’s own kingdom (2:12, 46). Finally, Solomon intends this as a place for God to yashab, but the Hebrew word yashab can mean “to dwell” or “to sit.” In other words, the Temple can be understood both as a place where God resides and as the earthly foundation of God’s heavenly throne. The double meaning allows an understanding of the divine presence as both transcendent and graciously immanent. See Solomon’s sentiments in 8:27, and the frequent reference in 8:30–52 to God’s hearing in heaven prayers that were offered in or toward the Temple.
- 8:61 In urging the people to be “wholly devoted” (shalem), Solomon plays on his own name (shelomo), as if to imply that he himself exemplifies perfect fidelity to God.
- 8:63 “Communion offerings” (shelamim) is another wordplay on the name of Solomon.
- 9:10–25 This unit of the Solomon story corresponds to 5:15–32. It comprises the same two themes, negotiations with Hiram of Tyre (vv. 10–14) and use of conscripted labor (vv. 15–23); the last two verses mark the end of the account of Solomon’s building projects (vv. 24–25). Chronicles has an incomplete parallel in 2 Chr 8:1–13.
- 9:13 Brother: a term for a treaty partner; cf. 20:32–33. Cabul: the meaning is uncertain; perhaps “of no value.”
- 9:14 The talent was a measure of weight that varied in the course of ancient Israel’s history from forty-five to one hundred thirty pounds. This would mean that, at the least, Hiram sent five thousand pounds of gold to Solomon, and the figure may be as much as three times that amount.
- 9:15 Millo: probably means ground fill, and may refer to an artificial earthwork or platform of stamped ground south of the Temple area. It was begun by David (2 Sm 5:9); cf. 1 Kgs 9:24; 11:27.
- 9:25 With these words the account of the construction and dedication of the Temple, which began in 6:1, comes to a close. The verb “complete” (shillem) is a play on Solomon’s name (shelomo); see also the note on 7:51.
- 9:26–10:29 The next major unit of the Solomon story returns to the theme of the three gifts the Lord gave Solomon in 3:12–13: a listening heart (10:1–13), riches (9:26–27; 10:14–22, 26–29), universal renown (10:23–25). In 3:16–5:14, where the same three themes structure the passage, the emphasis was on the benefits these gifts brought to the whole nation; here it is on the luxury they afford to Solomon’s own court. The material in 9:26–28; 10:11–12, 22 dealing with Solomon’s commercial fleet corresponds to the material on Solomon’s international affairs in 5:1–5. Chronicles has a partial parallel to this material in 2 Chr 9:17–28; see also 2 Chr 1:14–17.
- 9:26 Ezion-geber…Edom: the first mention of maritime commerce in the Israelite kingdom; Edom was subject after David conquered it; cf. 2 Sm 8:13–14.
- 10:1–13 The sub-unit on Solomon’s wisdom contrasts with 3:16–28. There Solomon’s gifts led him to listen to the humblest of his subjects; he accomplished justice and was revered by all his people. Here the emphasis is on his clever speech to a foreign monarch. She is duly impressed by the glory of his court, but it is she, not Solomon, who recalls the monarch’s duty of establishing justice (v. 9). The unit is interrupted briefly by a remark about Solomon’s maritime commerce (10:11–12).
- 10:1 Queen of Sheba: women rulers among the Arabs are recorded in eighth-century B.C. Assyrian inscriptions. Sheba was for centuries the leading principality in what is now Yemen.
- 10:11–12 Almug: the identification of this wood is unknown.
- 10:14–29 The material on Solomon’s riches, like that in 4:1–5:8, is organized around domestic affairs, international affairs, and chariots and horses (see note on 4:1–5:8), but contrasts with that earlier passage. There, Solomon’s domestic administration produced prosperity for all Judah and Israel (4:20); here the focus is on the wealth and luxury of Solomon’s own palace (10:14–21). There his international hegemony assured peace for all Judah and Israel (5:5); here his maritime ventures simply bring him more and more wealth (9:26–28; 10:11–12, 22). There even his livestock benefited from his prudent administration; here chariotry and horses are just another commodity to be traded (10:26–29).
- 10:22 Tarshish ships: large, strong vessels for long voyages. Tarshish was probably the ancient Tartessus, a Phoenician colony in southern Spain. Ivory, apes, and peacocks: the Hebrew words are obscure and the translations conjectural; however, the reference is certainly to exotic luxury items.
- 11:1–13 The next major unit of the Solomon story corresponds to 3:1–15. Like the earlier passage it includes the narrator’s remarks about Solomon’s foreign wives and his building projects, and a divine word commenting on Solomon’s conduct. However, where 3:1–15 is generally positive toward Solomon, the present passage is unrelievedly negative. Chronicles has no parallel to this material.
- 11:2 Them: both the nations and their gods.
- 11:14–25 This unit of the Solomon story corresponds to 2:12b–46, where Solomon secured his kingdom by eliminating three men he perceived as threats. In this passage, we learn of two foreigners the Lord raised up as “adversaries” to Solomon as early as the beginning of his reign (despite Solomon’s complacent claim to Hiram in 5:18 that he had no adversary). In the next section we will learn of a third opponent, Israelite rather than foreign, who turns out to be the “servant of Solomon” announced by the Lord in 11:11. Chronicles has no parallel to this material.
- 11:14 Adversary: Hebrew śatan, one who stands in opposition; in this context a political opponent.
- 11:26–43 The last major unit of the Solomon story tells how the prophet Ahijah announces the divine intention to take the larger part of Solomon’s kingdom from his control and give it to Jeroboam, Solomon’s servant. This counterbalances the first unit of the story, 1:1–2:12a, where another prophet, Nathan, managed to influence the royal succession and obtain the throne for Solomon. The unit is also the first part of the story of Jeroboam (11:26–14:20). It thus acts as a literary hinge connecting the two stories. Chronicles contains a death notice for Solomon in 2 Chr 9:29–31.
- 11:29 The narrator uses a powerful wordplay here. In the Hebrew consonantal text, Ahijah’s cloak (slmh) is indistinguishable from Solomon’s name (slmh). Since a prophetic gesture such as Ahijah’s was understood as effecting the event it announced, Ahijah’s tearing of his cloak embodies the divine action that will tear Solomon’s kingdom apart (cf. vv. 11–13).