2 Chronicles 9 The Voice (VOICE)
Solomon’s wealth and wisdom are so well-known that other monarchs in the region come to him to receive advice and to offer gifts. Huram, king of Tyre, may give Solomon great gifts during the construction of Israel’s infrastructure, but his aid is not nearly as memorable as the gifts of the queen of Sheba, who visits from the Arabian peninsula.
9 The queen of Sheba entered Jerusalem with an impressive entourage and camels carrying spices, a large amount of gold, and gems. She had heard about Solomon’s famous wisdom, so she came to ask him difficult questions that addressed her personal concerns. 2 Solomon answered these questions openly and honestly where nothing about the queen was hidden from Solomon’s knowledge. 3-4 His wisdom and frankness impressed and astonished the queen, as did the palace, the meal, the servants, the guests and their clothing, the cupbearers and their clothing, and the stairway[a] that led to the Eternal’s temple. After viewing all these things, the queen was mesmerized and breathless.
Queen of Sheba: 5-6 Although I did not believe the reports of your greatness—it seemed impossible that anyone could have your wisdom, power, and justice—your reputation as a well-spoken and wise king is justified. I have witnessed only a portion of your wisdom, yet even that portion surpasses the stories that are told about you. 7 Those who surround you, your men and your servants, are blessed to be near you and to hear your wise musings daily. 8 Blessed be the Eternal One your God, who favored your potential as a great ruler and placed you on His throne. He has demonstrated His love for Israel by ensuring the nation’s future with you as their just and righteous king.
9 The queen of Sheba gave to Solomon in recognition of his prestige 9,000 pounds of gold, vast quantities of gems, and a large amount of spices previously unknown in Israel. 10 When Solomon’s and Huram’s servants had brought gold from the land of Ophir, they also brought algum wood and costly gems. 11 Solomon had used this non-native algum wood to build the steps to the Eternal’s temple and the king’s palace and to make lyres and harps for the musicians. These were all unmatched by anything that had existed in the land of Judah.
12 Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all that she had traveled to Israel to receive, in addition to gifts equaling those that she brought to him. Contented with her visit, the queen returned home with her servants.
In addition to the gifts of Huram and the queen of Sheba, Solomon collects a substantial treasury from the gifts of other nations.
13 Annually Solomon received about 25 tons of gold 14 in addition to what the traders and merchants brought. The Arabian kings and the local governors also brought gold and silver to him.
15 Solomon used some of this metal to make weapons: 200 large shields (each weighing 7½ pounds of beaten gold) 16 and 300 small, rounded shields (each weighing 3¾ pounds of beaten gold). All the shields were stored in the house made of wood imported from Lebanon.
17 Solomon then constructed a large ivory throne and gilded it. 18-19 At the base of the throne were 6 steps and a golden footstool, and at the sides were armrests. The throne was guarded by 14 lions: one next to each armrest, and one on either side of each step. This throne was unlike any other monarch’s throne.
20 In King Solomon’s house, made of wood from Lebanon, the drinking cups and dishes were of gold (since silver was not recognized as a precious metal in Solomon’s days).
21 Both Solomon and Huram owned ships which traded with the coastal city of Tarshish every three years, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks[b] into Israel. 22 All this made King Solomon richer than all other monarchs, and his wisdom was equally immeasurable. 23 All the kings of the earth wanted an audience with King Solomon, to hear the wisdom which God bestowed upon him, as the queen of Sheba had. 24 Each visitor brought gifts to Solomon every year: silver, gold, garments, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
25 Solomon’s horses and chariots stayed in 4,000 stalls along with the 12,000 horsemen who resided with him in Jerusalem or in Israel’s other fortified cities.
26 During his reign, Solomon ruled the region between the Euphrates River in the east and to the land of the Philistines all the way to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, and southward to north of the border of Egypt. 27 He made Jerusalem so wealthy that silver was as common as stones in the rocky regions and cedars were as plentiful as sycamore trees in the lowland. 28 Solomon also imported and was given expensive horses from Egypt and from other countries.
29 The actions of King Solomon, from his birth until his death, are recorded in the chronicles of Nathan the prophet, in the prophecies of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer (specifically those concerning Jeroboam, son of Nebat).
30 Solomon’s rule over all Israel lasted 40 years—during which time he governed from his capital city, Jerusalem. 31 And after he joined with his ancestors in death and was laid with his father, our beloved King David, in Jerusalem, Solomon’s son Rehoboam ruled Israel in his place.