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2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19

11 Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter from the City of David to a palace he had built for her. He said, “My wife will not live in the palace of King David of Israel because these places where the Lord’s ark has come are holy.”

12 Then Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings to the Lord on the Lord’s altar that he built in front of the entrance hall. 13 He sacrificed every day, on weekly days of rest—holy days, on the New Moon Festivals, and on the three annual festivals (the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Booths) as Moses had commanded. 14 As Solomon’s father David had directed, he set up the divisions of priests for their service and the divisions of Levites for their appointed places. The Levites were to lead in praising the Lord and to serve beside the priests by doing whatever needed to be done each day. Solomon also set up divisions of doorkeepers at every gate because this is what David, the man of God, had commanded. 15 No one neglected the king’s orders to the priests or the Levites in any matter, including the temple’s finances. 16 All of Solomon’s work was carried out from the day the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid until it was completed. The Lord’s temple was now finished.

17 Then Solomon went to the coast near Ezion Geber and Elath in Edom. 18 Huram sent his own servants and his experienced sailors with ships to Solomon. They went with Solomon’s servants to Ophir, got 33,750 pounds of gold, and brought it to King Solomon.

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

The queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s reputation. So she came to Jerusalem to test him with riddles. She arrived with a large group of servants, with camels carrying spices, a large quantity of gold, and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she talked to him about everything she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions. No question was too difficult for Solomon to answer.

When the queen of Sheba saw Solomon’s wisdom, the palace he built, the food on his table, his officers’ seating arrangement, the organization of his officials and the uniforms they wore, his cupbearers[a] and their uniforms, and the burnt offerings that he sacrificed at the Lord’s temple, she was breathless. She told the king, “What I heard in my country about your words and your wisdom is true! But I didn’t believe the reports until I came and saw it with my own eyes. I wasn’t even told about half of the extent of your wisdom. You’ve surpassed the stories I’ve heard. How blessed your men must be! How blessed these servants of yours must be because they are always stationed in front of you and listen to your wisdom! Thank the Lord your God, who is pleased with you. He has put you on his throne to be king on behalf of the Lord your God. Because of your God’s love for the people of Israel, he has established them permanently and made you king over them so that you would maintain justice and righteousness.”

She gave the king 9,000 pounds of gold, a very large quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never was there such a large quantity of spices in Israel as those that the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon.

10 Huram’s servants and Solomon’s servants who brought gold from Ophir also brought sandalwood and precious stones. 11 With the sandalwood the king made gateways to the Lord’s temple and the royal palace, and lyres and harps for the singers. No one had ever seen anything like them in Judah.

12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba anything she wanted, whatever she asked for, more than what she had brought him. Then she and her servants went back to her country.

Solomon’s Wealth

13 The gold that came to Solomon in one year weighed 49,950 pounds, 14 not counting the gold which the merchants and traders brought. All the Arab kings and governors of the land also brought gold and silver to Solomon.

15 King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold, using 15 pounds of gold on each shield. 16 He also made 300 small shields of hammered gold, using 7½ pounds of gold on each shield. The king put them in the hall named the Forest of Lebanon.

17 The king also made a large ivory throne and covered it with pure gold. 18 Six steps led to the throne, which had a gold footstool attached to it. There were armrests on both sides of the seat. Two lions stood beside the armrests. 19 Twelve lions stood on six steps, one on each side. Nothing like this had been made for any other kingdom.

20 All King Solomon’s cups were gold, and all the utensils for the hall named the Forest of Lebanon were fine gold. (Silver wasn’t considered valuable in Solomon’s time.) 21 The king had ships going to Tarshish with Huram’s sailors. Once every three years the Tarshish ships would bring gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.

22 In wealth and wisdom King Solomon was greater than all the other kings of the world. 23 All the kings of the world wanted to listen to the wisdom that God gave Solomon. 24 So everyone who came brought him gifts: articles of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules. This happened year after year.

25 Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 war horses. He stationed some in chariot cities and others with himself in Jerusalem. 26 He ruled all the kings from the Euphrates River to the country of the Philistines and as far as the Egyptian border. 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as plentiful as fig trees in the foothills. 28 Horses were imported for Solomon from Egypt and from all other countries.

Solomon’s Death

29 Aren’t the rest of Solomon’s acts from first to last written in the records of Nathan the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah from Shiloh, and in Iddo the seer’s[b] visions about Jeroboam (son of Nebat)?

30 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for 40 years. 31 Solomon lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. His son Rehoboam succeeded him as king.

King Rehoboam Foolishly Rejects Israel’s Request

10 Rehoboam went to Shechem because all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. Jeroboam (Nebat’s son) was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon. When he heard about Rehoboam, he returned from Egypt. Israel sent for Jeroboam and invited him back. Jeroboam and all Israel went to speak to Rehoboam. They said, “Your father made us carry a heavy burden. Reduce the hard work and lighten the heavy burden he put on us, and we will serve you.”

He said to them, “Come back the day after tomorrow.” So the people left.

King Rehoboam sought advice from the older leaders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive. He asked, “What do you advise? How should I respond to these people?”

They told him, “If you are good to these people and try to please them by speaking gently to them, then they will always be your servants.”

But he ignored the advice the older leaders gave him. He sought advice from the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we respond to these people who are asking me to lighten the burden my father put on them?”

10 The young men who had grown up with him answered, “This is what you should tell them: ‘My little finger is heavier than my father’s whole body. [c] 11 If my father put a heavy burden on you, I will add to it. If my father punished you with whips, I will punish you with scorpions.’”

12 So Jeroboam and all the people came back to Rehoboam two days later, as the king had instructed them. 13 The king answered them harshly. He ignored the older leaders’ advice. 14 He spoke to them as the young men advised. He said, “If my father made your burden heavy, I will add to it. If my father punished you with whips, I will use scorpions.” 15 The king refused to listen to the people because the Lord was directing these events to carry out the promise he had made to Jeroboam (Nebat’s son) through Ahijah from Shiloh.

16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, the people answered the king,

“What share do we have in David’s kingdom?
We won’t receive an inheritance from Jesse’s son.
    Everyone to his own tent, Israel!
    Now look after your own house, David!”

So all Israel went home to their own tents. 17 But Rehoboam ruled the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.

18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram to the Israelites. He was in charge of forced labor, but they stoned him to death. So King Rehoboam got on his chariot as fast as he could and fled to Jerusalem. 19 Israel has rebelled against David’s dynasty to this day.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 9:4 A cupbearer was a trusted royal official who ensured that the king’s drink was not poisoned.
  2. 2 Chronicles 9:29 A seer is a prophet.
  3. 2 Chronicles 10:11 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
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Romans 8:9-25

But if God’s Spirit lives in you, you are under the control of your spiritual nature, not your corrupt nature.

Whoever doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ doesn’t belong to him. 10 However, if Christ lives in you, your bodies are dead because of sin, but your spirits are alive because you have God’s approval. 11 Does the Spirit of the one who brought Jesus back to life live in you? Then the one who brought Christ back to life will also make your mortal bodies alive by his Spirit who lives in you.

12 So, brothers and sisters, we have no obligation to live the way our corrupt nature wants us to live. 13 If you live by your corrupt nature, you are going to die. But if you use your spiritual nature to put to death the evil activities of the body, you will live. 14 Certainly, all who are guided by God’s Spirit are God’s children. 15 You haven’t received the spirit of slaves that leads you into fear again. Instead, you have received the spirit of God’s adopted children by which we call out, “Abba![a] Father!” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 If we are his children, we are also God’s heirs. If we share in Christ’s suffering in order to share his glory, we are heirs together with him.

God’s Spirit Helps Us

18 I consider our present sufferings insignificant compared to the glory that will soon be revealed to us. 19 All creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal who his children are. 20 Creation was subjected to frustration but not by its own choice. The one who subjected it to frustration did so in the hope 21 that it would also be set free from slavery to decay in order to share the glorious freedom that the children of God will have. 22 We know that all creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time.

23 However, not only creation groans. We, who have the Spirit as the first of God’s gifts, also groan inwardly. We groan as we eagerly wait for our adoption, the freeing of our bodies from sin. 24 We were saved with this hope in mind. If we hope for something we already see, it’s not really hope. Who hopes for what can be seen? 25 But if we hope for what we don’t see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 8:15 Abba is Aramaic for “father.”
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Psalm 18:16-36

16 He reached down from high above and took hold of me.
He pulled me out of the raging water.
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy
    and from those who hated me,
        because they were too strong for me.
18 On the day when I faced disaster, they confronted me,
    but the Lord came to my defense.
19         He brought me out to a wide-open place.
        He rescued me because he was pleased with me.

20 The Lord rewarded me
    because of my righteousness,
    because my hands are clean.
He paid me back
21     because I have kept the ways of the Lord
        and I have not wickedly turned away from my God,
22     because all his judgments are in front of me
        and I have not turned away from his laws.
23             I was innocent as far as he was concerned.
            I have kept myself from guilt.
24 The Lord paid me back
    because of my righteousness,
    because he can see that my hands are clean.

25 In dealing with faithful people you are faithful,
    with innocent people you are innocent,
26     with pure people you are pure.
In dealing with devious people you are clever.

27 You save humble people,
    but you bring down a conceited look.
28 O Lord, you light my lamp.
    My God turns my darkness into light.
29         With you I can attack a line of soldiers.
        With my God I can break through barricades.

30 God’s way is perfect!
    The promise of the Lord has proven to be true.
        He is a shield to all those who take refuge in him.
31             Who is God but the Lord?
                Who is a rock except our God?
32 God arms me with strength
    and makes my way perfect.
33         He makes my feet like those of a deer
            and gives me sure footing on high places.
34         He trains my hands for battle
            so that my arms can bend an archer’s bow of bronze.
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation.
Your right hand supports me.
Your gentleness makes me great.
36 You make a wide path for me to walk on
    so that my feet do not slip.

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Proverbs 19:26

Foolproof Instructions

26 A son who assaults his father and who drives away his mother
    brings shame and disgrace.

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GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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