8 It took Solomon 20 years to build the Temple of the Lord and his own palace. 2 Then Solomon rebuilt the towns that Hiram had given him. And Solomon sent Israelites to live in them. 3 Then he went to Hamath Zobah and captured it. 4 Solomon also built the town of Tadmor in the desert. He built all the towns in Hamath as towns for storing things. 5 He rebuilt the towns of Upper Beth Horon and Lower Beth Horon. He made them protected towns with strong walls, gates and bars in the gates. 6 He also rebuilt the town of Baalath. And he built all the other towns where he stored things. He built all the cities where the chariots and horses were kept. Solomon built all he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon and in all the country he ruled.
7-8 Many people who were not Israelites were left living in the country. These people were the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. They were descendants of the people that the Israelites had not destroyed. Solomon forced all of them to be slave workers. This is still true today. 9 But Solomon did not force any of the Israelites to be slave workers. They were his fighting men. They were the commanders of his army officers, his chariots and his chariot drivers. 10 Some of them were his most important officers. There were 250 of them to direct the people.
11 Solomon brought the daughter of the king of Egypt from the older part of Jerusalem. He brought her to the palace he had built for her. Solomon said, “My wife must not live in King David’s palace. This is because the places where the Ark of the Covenant has been are holy places.”
12 Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the Lord on the Lord’s altar. Solomon built that altar in front of the Temple porch. 13 He offered sacrifices every day as Moses had commanded. Sacrifices were to be offered on the Sabbath days, New Moons and the three yearly feasts. The three yearly feasts were the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Shelters. 14 Solomon followed his father David’s instructions. Solomon chose the groups of priests for their service. He chose the Levites to lead the praise. And they were to help the priests do their daily work. And he chose the gatekeepers by their groups to serve at each gate. This is what David, the man of God, had commanded. 15 They obeyed all of Solomon’s commands to the priests and Levites. And they obeyed his commands about the treasuries.
16 All Solomon’s work was done. Everything was done as he had said from the day the Temple of the Lord was begun until it was finished. So the Temple was finished.
17 Then Solomon went to the towns of Ezion Geber and Elath. They were near the Red Sea in the country of Edom. 18 Hiram sent to Solomon ships commanded by his own men. They were skilled sailors. Hiram’s men went with Solomon’s men to Ophir. And they brought back about 34,000 pounds of gold to King Solomon.
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