8 It took twenty years for the Lord’s temple and Solomon’s palace to be built. 2 After that, Solomon had his workers rebuild the towns that Hiram had given him. Then Solomon sent Israelites to live in those towns.
3 Solomon attacked and captured the town of Hamath-Zobah. 4 He had his workers build the town of Tadmor in the desert and some towns in Hamath where he could keep his supplies. 5 He strengthened Upper Beth-Horon and Lower Beth-Horon by adding walls and gates that could be locked. 6 He did the same thing to the town of Baalath and to the cities where he kept supplies, chariots, and horses. Solomon had his workers build whatever he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and anywhere else in his kingdom.
7-9 Solomon did not force the Israelites to do his work. Instead, they were his soldiers, officers, army commanders, and cavalry troops. But he did make slaves of the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites who were living in Israel. These were the descendants of those foreigners the Israelites did not destroy, and they remained Israel’s slaves.
10 Solomon appointed two hundred fifty officers to be in charge of his workers.
11 Solomon’s wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt, moved from the part of Jerusalem called David’s City to her new palace that Solomon had built. The sacred chest had been kept in David’s City, which made his palace sacred, and so Solomon’s wife could no longer live there.
12 Solomon offered sacrifices to the Lord on the altar he had built in front of the temple. 13 He followed the requirements that Moses had given for sacrifices offered on the Sabbath, on the first day of each month, the Festival of Thin Bread, the Harvest Festival, and the Festival of Shelters.
14 Solomon then assigned the priests and the Levites their duties at the temple, and he followed the instructions that his father David had given him. Some of the Levites were to lead music and help the priests in their duties, and others were to guard the temple gates 15 and the storage rooms. The priests and Levites followed these instructions exactly.
16 Everything Solomon had planned to do was now finished—from the laying of the temple’s foundation to its completion.
17 Solomon went to Ezion-Geber and Eloth, two Edomite towns on the Red Sea.[a]18 Hiram sent him ships and some of his experienced sailors. They went with Solomon’s own sailors to the country of Ophir[b] and brought back about seventeen tons of gold for Solomon.
8.17Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph, here referring to the Gulf of Aqaba, since the term is extended to include the northeastern arm of the Red Sea (see also the note at Exodus 13.18).
8.18Ophir: The location of this place is not known.
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