2 Chronicles 1-3 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Lord Makes Solomon Wise
1 King Solomon, the son of David, was now in complete control of his kingdom, because the Lord God had blessed him and made him a powerful king.
2-5 At that time, the sacred tent that Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the desert was still kept at Gibeon, and in front of the tent was the bronze altar that Bezalel[a] had made.
One day, Solomon told the people of Israel, the army commanders, the officials, and the family leaders, to go with him to the place of worship at Gibeon, even though his father King David had already moved the sacred chest from Kiriath-Jearim to the tent that he had set up for it in Jerusalem. Solomon and the others went to Gibeon to worship the Lord, 6 and there at the bronze altar, Solomon offered a thousand animals as sacrifices to please the Lord.[b]
7 God appeared to Solomon that night in a dream and said, “Solomon, ask for anything you want, and I will give it to you.”
8 Solomon answered:
Lord God, you were always loyal to my father David, and now you have made me king of Israel. 9 I am supposed to rule these people, but there are as many of them as there are specks of dust on the ground. So keep the promise you made to my father 10 and make me wise. Give me the knowledge I’ll need to be the king of this great nation of yours.
11 God replied:
Solomon, you could have asked me to make you rich or famous or to let you live a long time. Or you could have asked for your enemies to be destroyed. Instead, you asked for wisdom and knowledge to rule my people. 12 So I will make you wise and intelligent. But I will also make you richer and more famous than any king before or after you.
13 Solomon then left Gibeon and returned to Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel.
14 Solomon had a force of one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses that he kept in Jerusalem and other towns.
15 While Solomon was king of Israel, there was silver and gold everywhere in Jerusalem, and cedar was as common as ordinary sycamore trees in the foothills.
16-17 Solomon’s merchants bought his horses and chariots in the regions of Musri and Kue.[c] 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 Asks Hiram To Help Build the Temple
2 Solomon decided to build a temple where the Lord would be worshiped, and also to build a palace for himself. 2 He assigned seventy thousand men to carry building supplies and eighty thousand to cut stone from the hills. And he chose three thousand six hundred men to supervise these workers.
3 Solomon sent the following message to King Hiram of Tyre:
Years ago, when my father David was building his palace, you supplied him with cedar logs. Now will you send me supplies? 4 I am building a temple where the Lord my God will be worshiped. Sweet-smelling incense will be burned there, and sacred bread will be offered to him. Worshipers will offer sacrifices to the Lord every morning and evening, every Sabbath, and on the first day of each month, as well as during all our religious festivals. These things will be done for all time, just as the Lord has commanded.
5 This will be a great temple, because our God is greater than all other gods. 6 No one can ever build a temple large enough for God—even the heavens are too small a place for him to live in! All I can do is build a place where we can offer sacrifices to him.
7 Send me a worker who can not only carve, but who can work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as make brightly colored cloth. The person you send will work here in Judah and Jerusalem with the skilled workers that my father has already hired.
8 I know that you have workers who are experts at cutting lumber in Lebanon. So would you please send me some cedar, pine, and juniper logs? My workers will be there to help them, 9 because I’ll need a lot of lumber to build such a large and glorious temple. 10 I will pay your woodcutters one hundred twenty-five thousand bushels of wheat, the same amount of barley, one hundred fifteen thousand gallons of wine, and that same amount of olive oil.
11 Hiram sent his answer back to Solomon:
I know that the Lord must love his people, because he has chosen you to be their king. 12 Praise the Lord God of Israel who made heaven and earth! He has given David a son who isn’t only wise and smart, but who has the knowledge to build a temple for the Lord and a palace for himself.
13 I am sending Huram Abi to you. He is very bright. 14 His mother was from the Israelite tribe of Dan, and his father was from Tyre. Not only is Huram an expert at working with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, but he can also make colored cloth and fine linen. And he can carve anything if you give him a pattern to follow. He can help your workers and those hired by your father King David.
15 Go ahead and send the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine you promised to pay my workers. 16 I will tell them to start cutting down trees in Lebanon. They will cut as many as you need, then tie them together into rafts, and float them down along the coast to Joppa. Your workers can take them to Jerusalem from there.
Solomon’s Work Force
17 Solomon counted all the foreigners who were living in Israel, just as his father David had done when he was king, and the total was 153,600. 18 He assigned 70,000 of them to carry building supplies and 80,000 of them to cut stone from the hills. He chose 3,600 others to supervise the workers and to make sure the work was completed.
The Temple Is Built
3 1-2 Solomon’s workers began building the temple in Jerusalem on the second day of the second month,[d] four years after Solomon had become king of Israel. It was built on Mount Moriah where the Lord had appeared to David at the threshing place that had belonged to Araunah[e] from Jebus.
3 The inside of the temple was ninety feet long and thirty feet wide, according to the older standards.[f] 4 Across the front of the temple was a porch thirty feet wide and thirty feet[g] high. The inside walls of the porch were covered with pure gold.
5 Solomon had the inside walls of the temple’s main room paneled first with pine and then with a layer of gold, and he had them decorated with carvings of palm trees and designs that looked like chains. 6 He used precious stones to decorate the temple, and he used gold imported from Parvaim[h] 7 to decorate the ceiling beams, the doors, the door frames, and the walls. Solomon also had the workers carve designs of winged creatures into the walls.
8 The most holy place was thirty feet square, and its walls were covered with almost twenty-five tons of fine gold. 9 More than a pound of gold was used to cover the heads of the nails. The walls of the small storage rooms were also covered with gold.[i]
10 Solomon had two statues of winged creatures[j] made to put in the most holy place, and he covered them with gold. 11-13 Each creature had two wings and was fifteen feet from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other wing. Solomon set them next to each other in the most holy place, facing the doorway. Their wings were spread out and reached all the way across the thirty foot room.
14 A curtain[k] was made of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool, and embroidered with designs of winged creatures.
The Two Columns
15 Two columns were made for the entrance to the temple. Each one was fifty-two feet tall and had a cap on top that was seven and a half feet high. 16 The top of each column was decorated with designs that looked like chains[l] and with a hundred carvings of pomegranates.[m] 17 Solomon had one of the columns placed on the south side of the temple’s entrance; it was called Jachin.[n] The other one was placed on the north side of the entrance; it was called Boaz.[o]
John 10:1-23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
A Story about Sheep
10 Jesus said:
I tell you for certain that only thieves and robbers climb over the fence instead of going in through the gate to the sheep pen. 2-3 But the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd, and he goes in through it. The sheep know their shepherd’s voice. He calls each of them by name and leads them out.
4 When he has led out all of his sheep, he walks in front of them, and they follow, because they know his voice. 5 The sheep will not follow strangers. They don’t recognize a stranger’s voice, and they run away.
6 Jesus told the people this story. But they did not understand what he was talking about.
Jesus Is the Good Shepherd
7 Jesus said:
I tell you for certain that I am the gate for the sheep. 8 Everyone who came before me was a thief or a robber, and the sheep did not listen to any of them. 9 I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture.
10 A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest. 11 I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep. 12 Hired workers are not like the shepherd. They don’t own the sheep, and when they see a wolf coming, they run off and leave the sheep. Then the wolf attacks and scatters the flock. 13 Hired workers run away because they don’t care about the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and they know me. 15 Just as the Father knows me, I know the Father, and I give up my life for my sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them together too, when they hear my voice. Then there will be one flock of sheep and one shepherd.
17 The Father loves me, because I give up my life, so that I may receive it back again. 18 No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! I have the power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my Father commanded me to do.
19 The people took sides because of what Jesus had told them. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon in him! He is crazy! Why listen to him?”
21 But others said, “How could anyone with a demon in him say these things? No one like that could give sight to a blind person!”
Jesus Is Rejected
22 That winter, Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Temple Festival. 23 One day he was walking in that part of the temple known as Solomon’s Porch,[a]
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