2 Chronicles 7-9 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Solomon Dedicates the Temple
7 As soon as Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and burned up the offerings. The Lord’s dazzling glory then filled the temple, 2 and the priests could not go in.
3 When the crowd of people saw the fire and the Lord’s glory, they knelt down and worshiped the Lord. They prayed:
“The Lord is good,
4-5 Solomon and the people dedicated the temple to the Lord by sacrificing twenty-two thousand cattle and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. 6 Everybody stood up during the ceremony. The priests were in their assigned places, blowing their trumpets. And the Levites faced them, playing the musical instruments that David had made for them to use when they praised the Lord for his never-ending love.
7 On that same day, Solomon dedicated the courtyard in front of the temple and got it ready to be used for worship. The bronze altar he had made was too small, so he used the courtyard to offer sacrifices to please the Lord[a] and grain sacrifices, and also to send up in smoke the fat from the other offerings.
8 For seven days, Solomon and the crowd celebrated the Festival of Shelters, and people came from as far away as the Egyptian Gorge in the south and Lebo-Hamath in the north. 9 Then on the next day, everyone came together for worship. They had celebrated a total of fourteen days, seven days for the dedication of the altar and seven more days for the festival. 10 Then on the twenty-third day of the seventh month,[b] Solomon sent everyone home. They left very happy because of all the good things the Lord had done for David and Solomon, and for his people Israel.
The Lord Appears to Solomon Again
11 The Lord’s temple and Solomon’s palace were now finished. In fact, everything Solomon had planned to do was completed.
12 Some time later, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said:
I heard your prayer, and I have chosen this temple as the place where sacrifices will be offered to me.
13 Suppose I hold back the rain or send locusts[c] to eat the crops or make my people suffer with deadly diseases. 14 If my own people will humbly pray and turn back to me and stop sinning, then I will answer them from heaven. I will forgive them and make their land fertile once again. 15 I will hear the prayers made in this temple, 16 because it belongs to me, and this is where I will be worshiped forever. I will never stop watching over it.
17 Your father David obeyed me, and now, Solomon, you must do the same. Obey my laws and teachings, 18 and I will keep my solemn promise to him that someone from your family will always be king of Israel.
19 But if you or any of the people of Israel disobey my laws or start worshiping foreign gods, 20 I will pull you out of this land I gave you. I will desert this temple where I said I would be worshiped, so that people everywhere will think it is only a joke and will make fun of it. 21 This temple is now magnificent. But when these things happen, everyone who walks by it will be shocked and will ask, “Why did the Lord do such a terrible thing to his people and to this temple?” 22 Then they will answer, “It was because the people of Israel rejected the Lord their God, who rescued their ancestors from Egypt, and they started worshiping other gods.”
Other Things Solomon Did
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.[d] 18 Hiram sent him ships and some of his experienced sailors. They went with Solomon’s own sailors to the country of Ophir[e] and brought back about seventeen tons of gold for Solomon.
The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
9 The Queen of Sheba heard how famous Solomon was, so she went to Jerusalem to test him with difficult questions. 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. 2 He answered every question, no matter how difficult it was.
3-4 The Queen was amazed at Solomon’s wisdom. She was breathless when she saw his palace,[f] the food on his table, his officials, all his servants in their uniforms, and the sacrifices he offered at the Lord’s temple. 5 She said:
Solomon, in my own country I had heard about your wisdom and all you’ve done. 6 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 greater than I was told. 7 Your people and officials are lucky to be here where they can listen to the wise things you say.
8 I praise the Lord your God. He is pleased with you and has made you king of Israel. God loves the people of this country and will never desert them, so he has given them a king who will rule fairly and honestly.
9 The Queen of Sheba gave Solomon almost five tons of gold, a large amount of jewels, and the best spices anyone had ever seen.
10-12 In return, Solomon gave her everything she wanted—even more than she had given him. Then she and her officials went back to their own country.
Hiram’s and Solomon’s sailors brought gold, juniper wood, and jewels from the country of Ophir. Solomon used the wood to make steps[g] for the temple and palace, and harps and other stringed instruments for the musicians. Nothing like these had ever been made in Judah.
13 Solomon received about twenty-five tons of gold each year, 14 not counting what the merchants and traders brought him. The kings of Arabia and the leaders of Israel also gave him gold and silver.
15 Solomon made two hundred gold shields that weighed about seven and a half pounds each. 16 He also made three hundred smaller gold shields that weighed almost four pounds, and he put these shields in his palace in Forest Hall.
17 His throne was made of ivory and covered with pure gold. 18 It had a gold footstool attached to it and armrests on each side. There was a statue of a lion on each side of the throne, 19 and there were two lion statues on each of the six steps leading up to the throne. No other throne in the world was like Solomon’s.
20 Solomon’s cups and dishes in Forest Hall were made of pure gold, because silver was almost worthless in those days.
22 Solomon was the richest and wisest king in the world. 23-24 Year after year, other kings came to hear the wisdom God had given him. And they brought gifts of silver and gold, as well as clothes, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for his horses and chariots, and he owned twelve thousand horses that he kept in Jerusalem and other towns.
26 He ruled all the nations from the Euphrates River in the north to the land of Philistia in the south, as far as the border of Egypt.
27 While Solomon was king, there was silver everywhere in Jerusalem, and cedar was as common as the sycamore trees in the western foothills. 28 Solomon’s horses were brought in from other countries, including Musri.[j]
29 Everything else Solomon did while he was king is written in the records of Nathan the prophet, Ahijah the prophet from Shiloh, and Iddo the prophet who wrote about Jeroboam son of Nebat. 30 After Solomon had ruled forty years from Jerusalem, 31 he died and was buried in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam then became king.
John 11:1-29 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Death of Lazarus
11 1-2 A man by the name of Lazarus was sick in the village of Bethany. He had two sisters, Mary and Martha. This was the same Mary who later poured perfume on the Lord’s head and wiped his feet with her hair. 3 The sisters sent a message to the Lord and told him that his good friend Lazarus was sick.
4 When Jesus heard this, he said, “His sickness won’t end in death. It will bring glory to God and his Son.”
5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and brother. 6 But he stayed where he was for two more days. 7 Then he said to his disciples, “Now we will go back to Judea.”
8 “Teacher,” they said, “the people there want to stone you to death! Why do you want to go back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours in each day? If you walk during the day, you will have light from the sun, and you won’t stumble. 10 But if you walk during the night, you will stumble, because you don’t have any light.” 11 Then he told them, “Our friend Lazarus is asleep, and I am going there to wake him up.”
12 They replied, “Lord, if he is asleep, he will get better.” 13 Jesus really meant that Lazarus was dead, but they thought he was talking only about sleep.
14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead! 15 I am glad that I wasn’t there, because now you will have a chance to put your faith in me. Let’s go to him.”
16 Thomas, whose nickname was “Twin,” said to the other disciples, “Come on. Let’s go, so we can die with him.”
Jesus Brings Lazarus to Life
17 When Jesus got to Bethany, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was only about two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many people had come from the city to comfort Martha and Mary because their brother had died.
20 When Martha heard that Jesus had arrived, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 Yet even now I know that God will do anything you ask.”
23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will live again!”
24 Martha answered, “I know that he will be raised to life on the last day,[a] when all the dead are raised.”
25 Jesus then said, “I am the one who raises the dead to life! Everyone who has faith in me will live, even if they die. 26 And everyone who lives because of faith in me will never really die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord!” she replied. “I believe that you are Christ, the Son of God. You are the one we hoped would come into the world.”
28 After Martha said this, she went and privately said to her sister Mary, “The Teacher is here, and he wants to see you.” 29 As soon as Mary heard this, she got up and went out to Jesus.
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