1 Kings 10-11 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
10 The Queen of Sheba heard how famous Solomon was, so she went to Jerusalem to test him with difficult questions. 2 She took along several of her officials, and she loaded her camels with gifts of spices, jewels, and gold. When she arrived, she and Solomon talked about everything she could think of. 3 He answered every question, no matter how difficult it was.
4-5 The Queen was amazed at Solomon’s wisdom. She was breathless when she saw his palace, the food on his table, his officials, his servants in their uniforms, the people who served his food, and the sacrifices he offered at the Lord’s temple. 6 She said:
Solomon, in my own country I had heard about your wisdom and all you’ve done. 7 But I didn’t believe it until I saw it with my own eyes! And there’s so much I didn’t hear about. You are wiser and richer than I was told. 8 Your wives[a] and officials are lucky to be here where they can listen to the wise things you say.
9 I praise the Lord your God. He is pleased with you and has made you king of Israel. The Lord loves Israel, so he has given them a king who will rule fairly and honestly.
10 The Queen of Sheba gave Solomon almost five tons of gold, many jewels, and more spices than anyone had ever brought into Israel.
11-13 In return, Solomon gave her the gifts he would have given any other ruler, but he also gave her everything else she wanted. Then she and her officials went back to their own country.
King Hiram’s ships brought gold, juniper wood, and jewels from the country of Ophir. Solomon used the wood to make steps[b] for the temple and palace, and harps and other stringed instruments for the musicians. It was the best juniper wood anyone in Israel had ever seen.
14 Solomon received about twenty-five tons of gold a year. 15 The merchants and traders, as well as the kings of Arabia and rulers from Israel, also gave him gold.
16 Solomon made two hundred gold shields and used about seven and a half pounds of gold for each one. 17 He also made three hundred smaller gold shields, using almost four pounds for each one, and he put the shields in his palace in Forest Hall.
18 His throne was made of ivory and covered with pure gold. 19-20 The back of the throne was rounded at the top, and it had armrests on each side. There was a statue of a lion on both sides of the throne, and there was a statue of a lion at both ends of each of the six steps leading up to the throne. No other throne in the world was like Solomon’s.
21 Since silver was almost worthless in those days, everything was made of gold, even the cups and dishes used in Forest Hall.
23 He was the richest and wisest king in the world. 24 People from every nation wanted to hear the wisdom God had given him. 25 Year after year people came and brought gifts of silver and gold, as well as clothes, weapons, spices, horses, or mules.
26 Solomon had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses that he kept in Jerusalem and other towns.
27 While he was king, there was silver everywhere in Jerusalem, and cedar was as common as ordinary sycamore trees in the foothills.
28-29 Solomon’s merchants bought his horses and chariots in the regions of Musri and Kue.[e] They paid about fifteen pounds of silver for a chariot and almost four pounds of silver for a horse. They also sold horses and chariots to the Hittite and Syrian kings.
Solomon Disobeys the Lord
11 1-2 The Lord did not want the Israelites to worship foreign gods, so he had warned them not to marry anyone who was not from Israel.
Solomon loved his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt. But he also loved some women from Moab, Ammon, and Edom, and others from Sidon and the land of the Hittites. 3-4 Seven hundred of his wives were daughters of kings, but he also married three hundred other women.[f]
As Solomon got older, some of his wives led him to worship their gods. He wasn’t like his father David, who had worshiped only the Lord God. 5 Solomon also worshiped Astarte the goddess of Sidon, and Milcom the disgusting god of Ammon. 6 Solomon’s father had obeyed the Lord with all his heart, but Solomon disobeyed and did what the Lord hated.
7 Solomon built shrines on a hill east of Jerusalem to worship Chemosh the disgusting god of Moab, and Molech the disgusting god of Ammon. 8 In fact, he built a shrine for each of his foreign wives, so all of them could burn incense and offer sacrifices to their own gods.
9-10 The Lord God of Israel had appeared to Solomon two times and warned him not to worship foreign gods. But Solomon disobeyed and did it anyway. This made the Lord very angry, 11 and he said to Solomon:
You did what you wanted and not what I told you to do. Now I’m going to take your kingdom from you and give it to one of your officials. 12 But because David was your father, you will remain king as long as you live. I will wait until your son becomes king, then I will take the kingdom from him. 13 When I do, I will still let him rule one tribe, because I have not forgotten that David was my servant and Jerusalem is my city.
Hadad Becomes an Enemy of Solomon
14 Hadad was from the royal family of Edom, and here is how the Lord made him Solomon’s enemy:
15-16 Some time earlier, when David conquered the nation of Edom,[g] Joab his army commander went there to bury those who had died in battle. Joab and his soldiers stayed in Edom six months, and during that time they killed every man and boy who lived there.
17-19 Hadad was a boy at the time, but he escaped to Midian with some of his father’s officials. At Paran some other men joined them, and they went to the king of Egypt. The king liked Hadad and gave him food, some land, and a house, and even let him marry the sister of Queen Tahpenes. 20 Hadad and his wife had a son named Genubath, and the queen let the boy grow up in the palace with her own children.
21 When Hadad heard that David and Joab were dead, he said to the king, “Your Majesty, please let me go back to my own country.”
22 “Why?” asked the king. “Do you want something I haven’t given you?”
“No, I just want to go home.”
Rezon Becomes an Enemy of Solomon
23 Here is how God made Rezon son of Eliada an enemy of Solomon:
Rezon had run away from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah. 24-25 He formed his own small army and became its leader after David had defeated Hadadezer’s troops.[h] Then Rezon and his army went to Damascus, where he became the ruler of Syria and an enemy of Israel.
Both Hadad and Rezon were enemies of Israel while Solomon was king, and they caused him a lot of trouble.
The Lord Makes a Promise to Jeroboam
26 Jeroboam was from the town of Zeredah in Ephraim. His father Nebat had died, but his mother Zeruah was still alive. Jeroboam was one of Solomon’s officials, but even he rebelled against Solomon. 27 Here is how it happened:
While Solomon’s workers were filling in the land on the east side of Jerusalem[i] and repairing the city walls, 28 Solomon noticed that Jeroboam was a hard worker. So he put Jeroboam in charge of the work force from Manasseh and Ephraim.
29-30 One day when Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, he met Ahijah, a prophet from Shiloh. No one else was anywhere around. Suddenly, Ahijah took off his new coat and ripped it into twelve pieces. 31 Then he said:
Jeroboam, take ten pieces of this coat and listen to what the Lord God of Israel says to you. “Jeroboam, I am the Lord God, and I am about to take Solomon’s kingdom from him and give you ten tribes to rule. 32 But Solomon will still rule one tribe,[j] since he is the son of David my servant, and Jerusalem is my chosen city.
33 “Solomon and the Israelites are not like their ancestor David. They will not listen to me, obey me, or do what is right. They have turned from me to worship Astarte the goddess of Sidon, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of Ammon.
34 “Solomon is David’s son, and David was my chosen leader, who did what I commanded. So I will let Solomon be king until he dies. 35 Then I will give you ten tribes to rule, 36 but Solomon’s son will still rule one tribe. This way, my servant David will always have a descendant ruling in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to be worshiped.
37 “You will be king of Israel and will rule every nation you want. 38 I’ll help you if you obey me. And if you do what I say, as my servant David did, I will always let someone from your family rule in Israel, just as someone from David’s family will always rule in Judah. The nation of Israel will be yours.
39 “I will punish the descendants of David, but not forever.”
40 When Solomon learned what the Lord had told Jeroboam, Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam. But he escaped to King Shishak of Egypt and stayed there until Solomon died.
41 Everything else Solomon did while he was king is written in the book about him and his wisdom. 42 After he had ruled forty years from Jerusalem, 43 he died and was buried there in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam then became king.
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