8 It took Solomon twenty years to build the Lord’s Temple and his own royal palace. At the end of that time,2 Solomon turned his attention to rebuilding the towns that King Hiram[a] had given him, and he settled Israelites in them.
3 Solomon also fought against the town of Hamath-zobah and conquered it.4 He rebuilt Tadmor in the wilderness and built towns in the region of Hamath as supply centers.5 He fortified the towns of Upper Beth-horon and Lower Beth-horon, rebuilding their walls and installing barred gates.6 He also rebuilt Baalath and other supply centers and constructed towns where his chariots and horses[b] could be stationed. He built everything he desired in Jerusalem and Lebanon and throughout his entire realm.
7 There were still some people living in the land who were not Israelites, including the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.8 These were descendants of the nations whom the people of Israel had not destroyed. So Solomon conscripted them for his labor force, and they serve as forced laborers to this day.9 But Solomon did not conscript any of the Israelites for his labor force. Instead, he assigned them to serve as fighting men, officers in his army, commanders of his chariots, and charioteers.10 King Solomon appointed 250 of them to supervise the people.
11 Solomon moved his wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, from the City of David to the new palace he had built for her. He said, “My wife must not live in King David’s palace, for the Ark of the Lord has been there, and it is holy ground.”
12 Then Solomon presented burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar he had built for him in front of the entry room of the Temple.13 He offered the sacrifices for the Sabbaths, the new moon festivals, and the three annual festivals—the Passover celebration, the Festival of Harvest,[c] and the Festival of Shelters—as Moses had commanded.
14 In assigning the priests to their duties, Solomon followed the regulations of his father, David. He also assigned the Levites to lead the people in praise and to assist the priests in their daily duties. And he assigned the gatekeepers to their gates by their divisions, following the commands of David, the man of God.15 Solomon did not deviate in any way from David’s commands concerning the priests and Levites and the treasuries.
16 So Solomon made sure that all the work related to building the Temple of the Lord was carried out, from the day its foundation was laid to the day of its completion.
17 Later Solomon went to Ezion-geber and Elath,[d] ports along the shore of the Red Sea[e] in the land of Edom.18 Hiram sent him ships commanded by his own officers and manned by experienced crews of sailors. These ships sailed to Ophir with Solomon’s men and brought back to Solomon almost seventeen tons[f] of gold.
8:2Hebrew Huram, a variant spelling of Hiram; also in 8:18.
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