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After David had unified the tribes of Israel into one nation, subdued his neighboring enemies, and joined his ancestors in death, David’s son Solomon demonstrated his authority as king over Israel. The Eternal God was with Solomon and made him great.

As the new king, Solomon continues building God’s temple, utilizing David’s preparations, building the structure, and establishing the religion of the Lord.

As their new king, Solomon spoke to all Israel (commanders of thousands and hundreds, the judges, and every tribal leader). Then he took the group up to the high place at Gibeon, a place in the mountains known for its connection to the Divine, where God’s meeting tent stood. (Moses, the servant of the Eternal, had made this tent and the covenant chest in the wilderness where it traveled with the people, but David prepared a permanent home for the covenant chest of God in Jerusalem where it stayed after he took it from Kiriath-jearim.) At this high place, 5-6 Solomon and the group looked for the bronze altar, which Bezalel (son of Uri, son of Hur) had placed before the Eternal’s congregation tent. Solomon offered 1,000 burnt offerings there in the presence of the Eternal.

That night, the True God appeared to Solomon.

God (following the offerings of Solomon): Ask what you want from Me, and I shall give it to you.

Solomon: 8-9 The loyal love You showed my father, David, was immeasurable, and You, O Eternal God, have fulfilled Your promise to my father and made me the king of innumerable people in his place. 10 Now that I am their ruler, give me wisdom and knowledge to lead this great people. Without such wisdom, who can govern such a great people?

God: 11 You did not ask for selfish personal gain: riches, wealth, honor, the deaths of your enemies, or a long life. Instead, you asked for godly wisdom and knowledge to rule My people, over whom I have made you king. 12 Because you thought of the welfare of My people, I have granted you this exceptional wisdom and knowledge. In addition, I will give you riches and wealth and honor greater than any king ever has possessed or ever will possess.

These gifts are signs that God loves Solomon, and Solomon could use them for his own selfish reasons. But Solomon demonstrates wisdom by using these exceptional gifts to honor God in the construction of His temple.

13 Having sacrificed to God at the meeting tent on the high place of Gibeon and received His gifts, Solomon returned to Jerusalem to govern Israel.

14 There Solomon gathered his wealth. He collected 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen; and then he stationed them in the fortified cities, as well as in Jerusalem, where he remained. 15 He distributed silver and gold until they saturated Jerusalem. He imported cedar trees until they rivaled in number the sycamores of the foothills. 16 He imported horses from Egypt and from Kue, a nation north of Israel—the king’s merchants bought the horses from Kue, 17 and they acquired chariots from Egypt for about 15 pounds of silver each and horses for about 4 pounds of silver each. Solomon then traded them to all the Hittite and Aramean kings.

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