2 Chronicles 8-14
New International Version
Solomon’s Other Activities(A)
8 At the end of twenty years, during which Solomon built the temple of the Lord and his own palace,(B) 2 Solomon rebuilt the villages that Hiram[a] had given him, and settled Israelites in them. 3 Solomon then went to Hamath Zobah and captured it. 4 He also built up Tadmor in the desert and all the store cities he had built in Hamath.(C) 5 He rebuilt Upper Beth Horon(D) and Lower Beth Horon as fortified cities, with walls and with gates and bars, 6 as well as Baalath(E) and all his store cities, and all the cities for his chariots and for his horses[b]—whatever he desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon and throughout all the territory he ruled.
7 There were still people left from the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites(F) (these people were not Israelites). 8 Solomon conscripted(G) the descendants of all these people remaining in the land—whom the Israelites had not destroyed—to serve as slave labor, as it is to this day. 9 But Solomon did not make slaves of the Israelites for his work; they were his fighting men, commanders of his captains, and commanders of his chariots and charioteers. 10 They were also King Solomon’s chief officials—two hundred and fifty officials supervising the men.
11 Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter(H) up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her, for he said, “My wife must not live in the palace of David king of Israel, because the places the ark of the Lord has entered are holy.”
12 On the altar(I) of the Lord that he had built in front of the portico, Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings to the Lord, 13 according to the daily requirement(J) for offerings commanded by Moses for the Sabbaths,(K) the New Moons(L) and the three(M) annual festivals—the Festival of Unleavened Bread,(N) the Festival of Weeks(O) and the Festival of Tabernacles.(P) 14 In keeping with the ordinance of his father David, he appointed the divisions(Q) of the priests for their duties, and the Levites(R) to lead the praise and to assist the priests according to each day’s requirement. He also appointed the gatekeepers(S) by divisions for the various gates, because this was what David the man of God(T) had ordered.(U) 15 They did not deviate from the king’s commands to the priests or to the Levites in any matter, including that of the treasuries.
16 All Solomon’s work was carried out, from the day the foundation of the temple of the Lord was laid until its completion. So the temple of the Lord was finished.
17 Then Solomon went to Ezion Geber and Elath on the coast of Edom. 18 And Hiram sent him ships commanded by his own men, sailors who knew the sea. These, with Solomon’s men, sailed to Ophir and brought back four hundred and fifty talents[c] of gold,(V) which they delivered to King Solomon.
The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon(W)
9 When the queen of Sheba(X) heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Arriving with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind. 2 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. 3 When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon,(Y) as well as the palace he had built, 4 the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, the cupbearers in their robes and the burnt offerings he made at[d] the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.
5 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 6 But I did not believe what they said until I came(Z) and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard. 7 How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 8 Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne(AA) as king to rule for the Lord your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king(AB) over them, to maintain justice and righteousness.”
10 (The servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon brought gold from Ophir;(AD) they also brought algumwood[f] and precious stones. 11 The king used the algumwood to make steps for the temple of the Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nothing like them had ever been seen in Judah.)
12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for; he gave her more than she had brought to him. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.
13 The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents,[g] 14 not including the revenues brought in by merchants and traders. Also all the kings of Arabia(AF) and the governors of the territories brought gold and silver to Solomon.
15 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekels[h] of hammered gold went into each shield. 16 He also made three hundred small shields(AG) of hammered gold, with three hundred shekels[i] of gold in each shield. The king put them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.(AH)
17 Then the king made a great throne covered with ivory(AI) and overlaid with pure gold. 18 The throne had six steps, and a footstool of gold was attached to it. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. 19 Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom. 20 All King Solomon’s goblets were gold, and all the household articles in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Nothing was made of silver, because silver was considered of little value in Solomon’s day. 21 The king had a fleet of trading ships[j] manned by Hiram’s[k] servants. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.
22 King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.(AJ) 23 All the kings(AK) of the earth sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 24 Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift(AL)—articles of silver and gold, and robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.
25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots,(AM) and twelve thousand horses,[l] which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. 26 He ruled(AN) over all the kings from the Euphrates River(AO) to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt.(AP) 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. 28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from all other countries.
29 As for the other events of Solomon’s reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Nathan(AR) the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah(AS) the Shilonite and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam(AT) son of Nebat? 30 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 31 Then he rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David(AU) his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.
Israel Rebels Against Rehoboam(AV)
10 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam(AW) son of Nebat heard this (he was in Egypt, where he had fled(AX) from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. 3 So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and all Israel(AY) went to Rehoboam and said to him: 4 “Your father put a heavy yoke on us,(AZ) but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
5 Rehoboam answered, “Come back to me in three days.” So the people went away.
6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders(BA) who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.
7 They replied, “If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer,(BB) they will always be your servants.”
8 But Rehoboam rejected(BC) the advice the elders(BD) gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 9 He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”
10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “The people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered them harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from God,(BE) to fulfill the word the Lord had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.(BF)
16 When all Israel(BG) saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:
“What share do we have in David,(BH)
what part in Jesse’s son?
To your tents, Israel!
Look after your own house, David!”
So all the Israelites went home. 17 But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.
18 King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram,[m](BI) who was in charge of forced labor, but the Israelites stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
11 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem,(BJ) he mustered Judah and Benjamin—a hundred and eighty thousand able young men—to go to war against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam.
2 But this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah(BK) the man of God: 3 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, 4 ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your fellow Israelites.(BL) Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’” So they obeyed the words of the Lord and turned back from marching against Jeroboam.
Rehoboam Fortifies Judah
5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built up towns for defense in Judah: 6 Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7 Beth Zur, Soko, Adullam, 8 Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9 Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron. These were fortified cities(BM) in Judah and Benjamin. 11 He strengthened their defenses and put commanders in them, with supplies of food, olive oil and wine. 12 He put shields and spears in all the cities, and made them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his.
13 The priests and Levites from all their districts throughout Israel sided with him. 14 The Levites(BN) even abandoned their pasturelands and property(BO) and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as priests of the Lord 15 when he appointed(BP) his own priests(BQ) for the high places and for the goat(BR) and calf(BS) idols he had made. 16 Those from every tribe of Israel(BT) who set their hearts on seeking the Lord, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 17 They strengthened(BU) the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon three years, following the ways of David and Solomon during this time.
18 Rehoboam married Mahalath, who was the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. 19 She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham. 20 Then he married Maakah(BV) daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah,(BW) Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maakah daughter of Absalom more than any of his other wives and concubines. In all, he had eighteen wives(BX) and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah(BY) son of Maakah as crown prince among his brothers, in order to make him king. 23 He acted wisely, dispersing some of his sons throughout the districts of Judah and Benjamin, and to all the fortified cities. He gave them abundant provisions(BZ) and took many wives for them.
Shishak Attacks Jerusalem(CA)
12 After Rehoboam’s position as king was established(CB) and he had become strong,(CC) he and all Israel[n](CD) with him abandoned(CE) the law of the Lord. 2 Because they had been unfaithful(CF) to the Lord, Shishak(CG) king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam. 3 With twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen and the innumerable troops of Libyans,(CH) Sukkites and Cushites[o](CI) that came with him from Egypt, 4 he captured the fortified cities(CJ) of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem.
5 Then the prophet Shemaiah(CK) came to Rehoboam and to the leaders of Judah who had assembled in Jerusalem for fear of Shishak, and he said to them, “This is what the Lord says, ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon(CL) you to Shishak.’”
7 When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but will soon give them deliverance.(CO) My wrath(CP) will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. 8 They will, however, become subject(CQ) to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands.”
9 When Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem, he carried off the treasures of the temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including the gold shields(CR) Solomon had made. 10 So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned these to the commanders of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. 11 Whenever the king went to the Lord’s temple, the guards went with him, bearing the shields, and afterward they returned them to the guardroom.
13 King Rehoboam established(CU) himself firmly in Jerusalem and continued as king. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel in which to put his Name.(CV) His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite. 14 He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.
15 As for the events of Rehoboam’s reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Shemaiah(CW) the prophet and of Iddo the seer that deal with genealogies? There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. 16 Rehoboam(CX) rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. And Abijah(CY) his son succeeded him as king.
Abijah King of Judah(CZ)
There was war between Abijah(DB) and Jeroboam.(DC) 3 Abijah went into battle with an army of four hundred thousand able fighting men, and Jeroboam drew up a battle line against him with eight hundred thousand able troops.
4 Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim,(DD) in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Jeroboam and all Israel,(DE) listen to me! 5 Don’t you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever(DF) by a covenant of salt?(DG) 6 Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, an official of Solomon son of David, rebelled(DH) against his master. 7 Some worthless scoundrels(DI) gathered around him and opposed Rehoboam son of Solomon when he was young and indecisive(DJ) and not strong enough to resist them.
8 “And now you plan to resist the kingdom of the Lord, which is in the hands of David’s descendants.(DK) You are indeed a vast army and have with you(DL) the golden calves(DM) that Jeroboam made to be your gods. 9 But didn’t you drive out the priests(DN) of the Lord,(DO) the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and make priests of your own as the peoples of other lands do? Whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull(DP) and seven rams(DQ) may become a priest of what are not gods.(DR)
10 “As for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests who serve the Lord are sons of Aaron, and the Levites assist them. 11 Every morning and evening(DS) they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense(DT) to the Lord. They set out the bread on the ceremonially clean table(DU) and light the lamps(DV) on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing the requirements of the Lord our God. But you have forsaken him. 12 God is with us; he is our leader. His priests with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you.(DW) People of Israel, do not fight against the Lord,(DX) the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed.”(DY)
13 Now Jeroboam had sent troops around to the rear, so that while he was in front of Judah the ambush(DZ) was behind them. 14 Judah turned and saw that they were being attacked at both front and rear. Then they cried out(EA) to the Lord. The priests blew their trumpets 15 and the men of Judah raised the battle cry. At the sound of their battle cry, God routed Jeroboam and all Israel(EB) before Abijah and Judah. 16 The Israelites fled before Judah, and God delivered(EC) them into their hands. 17 Abijah and his troops inflicted heavy losses on them, so that there were five hundred thousand casualties among Israel’s able men. 18 The Israelites were subdued on that occasion, and the people of Judah were victorious because they relied(ED) on the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and took from him the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron, with their surrounding villages. 20 Jeroboam did not regain power during the time of Abijah. And the Lord struck him down and he died.
21 But Abijah grew in strength. He married fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.
22 The other events of Abijah’s reign, what he did and what he said, are written in the annotations of the prophet Iddo.
14 [r]And Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. Asa his son succeeded him as king, and in his days the country was at peace for ten years.
Asa King of Judah(EE)
2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.(EF) 3 He removed the foreign altars(EG) and the high places, smashed the sacred stones(EH) and cut down the Asherah poles.[s](EI) 4 He commanded Judah to seek the Lord,(EJ) the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. 5 He removed the high places(EK) and incense altars(EL) in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. 6 He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest.(EM)
7 “Let us build up these towns,” he said to Judah, “and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God; we sought him and he has given us rest(EN) on every side.” So they built and prospered.
8 Asa had an army of three hundred thousand(EO) men from Judah, equipped with large shields and with spears, and two hundred and eighty thousand from Benjamin, armed with small shields and with bows. All these were brave fighting men.
9 Zerah the Cushite(EP) marched out against them with an army of thousands upon thousands and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah.(EQ) 10 Asa went out to meet him, and they took up battle positions in the Valley of Zephathah near Mareshah.
11 Then Asa called(ER) to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us,(ES) Lord our God, for we rely(ET) on you, and in your name(EU) we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail(EV) against you.”
12 The Lord struck down(EW) the Cushites before Asa and Judah. The Cushites fled, 13 and Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar.(EX) Such a great number of Cushites fell that they could not recover; they were crushed(EY) before the Lord and his forces. The men of Judah carried off a large amount of plunder.(EZ) 14 They destroyed all the villages around Gerar, for the terror(FA) of the Lord had fallen on them. They looted all these villages, since there was much plunder there. 15 They also attacked the camps of the herders and carried off droves of sheep and goats and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.
- 2 Chronicles 8:2 Hebrew Huram, a variant of Hiram; also in verse 18
- 2 Chronicles 8:6 Or charioteers
- 2 Chronicles 8:18 That is, about 17 tons or about 15 metric tons
- 2 Chronicles 9:4 Or and the ascent by which he went up to
- 2 Chronicles 9:9 That is, about 4 1/2 tons or about 4 metric tons
- 2 Chronicles 9:10 Probably a variant of almugwood
- 2 Chronicles 9:13 That is, about 25 tons or about 23 metric tons
- 2 Chronicles 9:15 That is, about 15 pounds or about 6.9 kilograms
- 2 Chronicles 9:16 That is, about 7 1/2 pounds or about 3.5 kilograms
- 2 Chronicles 9:21 Hebrew of ships that could go to Tarshish
- 2 Chronicles 9:21 Hebrew Huram, a variant of Hiram
- 2 Chronicles 9:25 Or charioteers
- 2 Chronicles 10:18 Hebrew Hadoram, a variant of Adoniram
- 2 Chronicles 12:1 That is, Judah, as frequently in 2 Chronicles
- 2 Chronicles 12:3 That is, people from the upper Nile region
- 2 Chronicles 13:2 Most Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also 11:20 and 1 Kings 15:2); Hebrew Micaiah
- 2 Chronicles 13:2 Or granddaughter
- 2 Chronicles 14:1 In Hebrew texts 14:1 is numbered 13:23, and 14:2-15 is numbered 14:1-14.
- 2 Chronicles 14:3 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah; here and elsewhere in 2 Chronicles