9

The Lord’s Response to Solomon

1So Solomon finished building the Temple of the Lord, as well as the royal palace. He completed everything he had planned to do. 2Then the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had done before at Gibeon. 3The Lord said to him,

“I have heard your prayer and your petition. I have set this Temple apart to be holy—this place you have built where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.

4“As for you, if you will follow me with integrity and godliness, as David your father did, obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations, 5then I will establish the throne of your dynasty over Israel forever. For I made this promise to your father, David: ‘One of your descendants will always sit on the throne of Israel.’

6“But if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the commands and decrees I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, 7then I will uproot Israel from this land that I have given them. I will reject this Temple that I have made holy to honor my name. I will make Israel an object of mockery and ridicule among the nations. 8And though this Temple is impressive now, all who pass by will be appalled and will gasp in horror. They will ask, ‘Why did the Lord do such terrible things to this land and to this Temple?’

9“And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why the Lord has brought all these disasters on them.’”

Solomon’s Agreement with Hiram

10It took Solomon twenty years to build the Lord’s Temple and his own royal palace. At the end of that time, 11he gave twenty towns in the land of Galilee to King Hiram of Tyre. (Hiram had previously provided all the cedar and cypress timber and gold that Solomon had requested.) 12But when Hiram came from Tyre to see the towns Solomon had given him, he was not at all pleased with them. 13“What kind of towns are these, my brother?” he asked. So Hiram called that area Cabul (which means “worthless”), as it is still known today. 14Nevertheless, Hiram paid*9:14a Or For Hiram had paid.  Solomon 9,000 pounds*9:14b Hebrew 120 talents [4,000 kilograms].  of gold.

Solomon’s Many Achievements

15This is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon conscripted to build the Lord’s Temple, the royal palace, the supporting terraces,*9:15 Hebrew the millo; also in 9:24. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.  the wall of Jerusalem, and the cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16(Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had attacked and captured Gezer, killing the Canaanite population and burning it down. He gave the city to his daughter as a wedding gift when she married Solomon. 17So Solomon rebuilt the city of Gezer.) He also built up the towns of Lower Beth-horon, 18Baalath, and Tamar*9:18 An alternate reading in the Masoretic Text reads Tadmor.  in the wilderness within his land. 19He built towns as supply centers and constructed towns where his chariots and horses*9:19 Or and charioteers.  could be stationed. He built everything he desired in Jerusalem and Lebanon and throughout his entire realm.

20There were still some people living in the land who were not Israelites, including Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 21These were descendants of the nations whom the people of Israel had not completely destroyed.*9:21 The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.  So Solomon conscripted them as slaves, and they serve as forced laborers to this day. 22But Solomon did not conscript any of the Israelites for forced labor. Instead, he assigned them to serve as fighting men, government officials, officers and captains in his army, commanders of his chariots, and charioteers. 23Solomon appointed 550 of them to supervise the people working on his various projects.

24Solomon moved his wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, from the City of David to the new palace he had built for her. Then he constructed the supporting terraces.

25Three times each year Solomon presented burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar he had built for the Lord. He also burned incense to the Lord. And so he finished the work of building the Temple.

26King Solomon also built a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, a port near Elath*9:26a As in Greek version (see also 2 Kgs 14:22; 16:6); Hebrew reads Eloth, a variant spelling of Elath.  in the land of Edom, along the shore of the Red Sea.*9:26b Hebrew sea of reeds.  27Hiram sent experienced crews of sailors to sail the ships with Solomon’s men. 28They sailed to Ophir and brought back to Solomon some sixteen tons*9:28 Hebrew 420 talents [14 metric tons].  of gold.