1 Solomon, the son of David, became a very strong king, because the Lord his God was with him and made him very great.
2-3 The people of Israel and the captains, generals, judges, leaders, and heads of the families were all gathered together. Solomon spoke to them, and then they all went to the high place at Gibeon. They went there because God’s Meeting Tent was there. The Lord’s servant Moses made this tent when he and the Israelites were in the desert. 4 David had carried God’s Box of the Agreement from Kiriath Jearim to Jerusalem where he had set up another tent for it. 5 But the bronze altar that Bezalel son of Uri, who was the son of Hur, had made was in front of the Holy Tent at Gibeon. So Solomon and the people went there to ask the Lord for advice. 6 Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the Lord at the Meeting Tent and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.
7 That night God came to Solomon and said, “Ask me for whatever you want me to give you.”
8 Solomon said to God, “You were very kind to my father David when you allowed me to rule on his throne after him. 9 Now, Lord God, continue to keep your promise to my father David. You made me king over so many people that they are like the dust of the earth. 10 Now give me wisdom and knowledge so that I can lead these people in the right way. No one could rule this great nation without your help.”
11 God said to Solomon, “You have the right attitude. You did not ask for long life and riches for yourself. You did not ask for the death of your enemies. You asked for the wisdom and knowledge so that you can make the right decisions. 12 So I will give you wisdom and knowledge, but I will also give you wealth, riches, and honor. No king who lived before you has ever had so much wealth and honor, and no king in the future will have as much wealth and honor.”
13 Solomon left the Meeting Tent that was at the high place in Gibeon and went back to Jerusalem to rule as the king of Israel.
14 Solomon started gathering horses and chariots for his army. He had 1400 chariots and 12,000 horse soldiers. He kept them in the chariot cities[a] and in Jerusalem where he lived. 15 In Jerusalem Solomon gathered so much gold and silver that it was as common as rocks. He gathered so much cedar wood that it was as common as sycamore trees in the western hill country. 16 Solomon imported horses from Egypt and Kue.[b] His merchants bought the horses in Kue for a set price. 17 They also bought chariots from Egypt for 600 shekels[c] of silver each and horses for 150 shekels[d] of silver each. They then sold the horses and chariots to the kings of the Hittites and Arameans.
2 Solomon planned to build a Temple to give honor to the Lord’s name. He also planned to build a palace for himself. 2 He got 70,000 laborers and 80,000 stonemasons to cut stones in the mountains. He chose 3600 foremen to supervise the workers.
3 Then Solomon sent this message to King Hiram of Tyre:
“Help me as you helped my father David. You sent him cedar logs so that he could build a palace for himself to live in. 4 I will build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God. At the Temple we will burn incense in front of him, and we will always put the holy bread on the special table. We will offer burnt offerings every morning and evening, on the Sabbath days, during New Moon celebrations, and on the other special meeting days that the Lord our God has commanded us to celebrate. This is a rule for the people of Israel to obey forever.
5 “I will build a great temple because our God is greater than all the other gods. 6 No one can really build a house to put our God in. The whole sky and the highest heaven cannot contain our God, so I cannot build a temple to put him in. I can only build a place to burn incense to honor him.
7 “Now I would like you to send me a man who is skilled in working with gold, silver, bronze, and iron. He must know how to work with purple, red, and blue cloth. He will work here in Judah and Jerusalem with the craftsmen my father chose. 8 Also send me wood from cedar trees, pine trees, and algum trees[e] from the country of Lebanon. I know your servants are experienced at cutting down trees from Lebanon. My servants will help your servants. 9 I will need lots of wood because the Temple I am building will be very large and beautiful. 10 This is what I will pay for your servants to cut down the trees for wood. I will give them 125,000 bushels[f] of wheat for food, 125,000 bushels of barley, 115,000 gallons[g] of wine, and 115,000 gallons of oil.”
11 Then Hiram answered Solomon and sent this message to him:
“Solomon, the Lord loves his people. That is why he chose you to be their king.” 12 Hiram also said, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel! He made heaven and earth. He gave a wise son to King David. Solomon, you have wisdom and understanding. You are building a Temple for the Lord. You are also building a palace for yourself. 13 I will send you a skilled craftsman named Huram Abi.[h] 14 His mother was from the tribe of Dan, and his father was from the city of Tyre. Huram Abi has skill in working with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood. He also has skill in working with purple, blue, and red cloth and expensive linen. Huram Abi can design and build anything you tell him. He will work with your craftsmen and with the craftsmen of your father King David.
15 “Now, sir, you offered to give us wheat, barley, oil, and wine. Give them to my servants, 16 and we will cut as much wood as you need from Lebanon. We will tie the logs together and float them by sea to the town of Joppa. Then you can carry the wood to Jerusalem.”
17 So Solomon counted all the foreigners living in Israel. (This was after the time when his father David counted the people.) They found 153,600 strangers in the country. 18 Solomon chose 70,000 men to carry the stones, 80,000 men to cut the stone in the mountains, and 3600 men to supervise the workers.
3 Solomon began building the Lord’s Temple at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared to David, Solomon’s father. This was the place David had prepared for the Temple. It had been the threshing floor of Araunah[i] the Jebusite.[j] 2 Solomon started to build on the second day of the second month of his fourth year as king of Israel.
3 These are the measurements he used for building the foundation of God’s Temple, using the old cubit.[k] The foundation was 60 cubits[l] long and 20 cubits[m] wide. 4 The porch in front of the Temple was 20 cubits long and 20 cubits high.[n] He covered the inside of the porch with pure gold. 5 He put panels made of cypress wood on the walls of the larger room. Then he put pure gold over the cypress panels and then put pictures of palm trees and chains on the gold. 6 He put valuable stones in the Temple for beauty. The gold he used was gold from Parvaim.[o] 7 He covered the inside of the Temple with the gold. He put the gold on the ceiling beams, doorposts, walls, and doors. He carved Cherub angels on the walls.
8 Then he made the Most Holy Place. This room was 20 cubits long and 20 cubits wide. It was as wide as the Temple was. He put pure gold on the walls of the Most Holy Place. The gold weighed about 22 1/2 tons.[p] 9 The gold nails weighed 1 1/4 pounds.[q] He covered the upper rooms with gold. 10 He made two Cherub angels to put in the Most Holy Place. The workers covered the Cherub angels with gold. 11 Each wing of the Cherub angels was 5 cubits[r] long. The total length of the wings was 20 cubits. One wing of the first Cherub angel touched the wall on one side of the room. The other wing touched one wing of the second Cherub angel. 12 And the other wing of the second Cherub angel touched the wall on the other side of the room. 13 So the wings of the two Cherub angels together reached across the room—a total of 20 cubits. The Cherub angels stood facing the Holy Place.[s]
14 He made the curtain[t] from blue, purple, and red materials and expensive linen. There were Cherub angels on the curtain.
15 He put two columns in front of the Temple. The columns were 35 cubits[u] tall. The top part of the two columns was 5 cubits long. 16 He made chains in a necklace and put them on the tops of the columns. He made 100 pomegranates[v] and put them on the chains. 17 Then he put the columns up in front of the Temple. One column stood on the right side. The other column stood on the left side. He named the column on the right side “Jakin.”[w] And he named the column on the left side “Boaz.”[x]
10 Jesus said, “It is certainly true that when a man enters the sheep pen, he should use the gate. If he climbs in some other way, he is a robber. He is trying to steal the sheep. 2 But the man who takes care of the sheep enters through the gate. He is the shepherd. 3 The man who guards the gate opens the gate for the shepherd. And the sheep listen to the voice of the shepherd. He calls his own sheep, using their names, and he leads them out. 4 He brings all of his sheep out. Then he goes ahead of them and leads them. The sheep follow him, because they know his voice. 5 But sheep will never follow someone they don’t know. They will run away from him, because they don’t know his voice.”
6 Jesus told the people this story, but they did not understand what it meant.
7 So Jesus said again, “I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All those who came before me were thieves and robbers. The sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will be able to come in and go out. They will find everything they need. 10 A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I came to give life—life that is full and good.
11 “I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. 12 The worker who is paid to keep the sheep is different from the shepherd. The paid worker does not own the sheep. So when he sees a wolf coming, he runs away and leaves the sheep alone. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 13 The man runs away because he is only a paid worker. He does not really care for the sheep.
14-15 “I am the shepherd who cares for the sheep. I know my sheep just as the Father knows me. And my sheep know me just as I know the Father. I give my life for these sheep. 16 I have other sheep too. They are not in this flock here. I must lead them also. They will listen to my voice. In the future there will be one flock and one shepherd.[a] 17 The Father loves me because I give my life. I give my life so that I can get it back again. 18 No one takes my life away from me. I give my own life freely. I have the right to give my life, and I have the right to get it back again. This is what the Father told me.”
19 Again the Jews were divided over what Jesus was saying. 20 Many of them said, “A demon has come into him and made him crazy. Why listen to him?”
21 But others said, “These aren’t the words of someone controlled by a demon. A demon cannot heal the eyes of a blind man.”
22 It was winter, and the time came for the Festival of Dedication[b] at Jerusalem. 23 Jesus was in the Temple area at Solomon’s Porch.