1Rois (NAB) 1


The Struggle for the Succession

1 1 When King David was old and advanced in years, though they spread covers over him he could not keep warm.2 His servants therefore said to him, "Let a young virgin be sought to attend you, lord king, and to nurse you. If she sleeps with your royal majesty, you will be kept warm."3 So they sought for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunamite, whom they brought to the king.4 The maiden, who was very beautiful, nursed the king and cared for him, but the king did not have relations with her.
Adonijah, son of Haggith, began to display his ambition to be king. He acquired chariots, drivers, and fifty henchmen.6 Yet his father never rebuked him or asked why he was doing this. Adonijah was also very handsome, and next in age to Absalom by the same mother.7 He conferred with Joab, son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest, and they supported him.8 However, Zadok the priest, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, and Shimei and his companions, the pick of David's army, did not side with Adonijah.
When he slaughtered sheep, oxen, and fatlings at the stone Zoheleth, near En-rogel, Adonijah invited all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the royal officials of Judah. 10 But he did not invite the prophet Nathan, or Benaiah, or the pick of the army, or his brother Solomon.
Then Nathan said to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother: "Have you not heard that Adonijah, son of Haggith, has become king without the knowledge of our lord David?12 Come now, let me advise you so that you may save your life and that of your son Solomon.13 Go, visit King David, and say to him, 'Did you not, lord king, swear to your handmaid: Your son Solomon shall be king after me and shall sit upon my throne? Why, then, has Adonijah become king?'14 And while you are still there speaking to the king, I will come in after you and confirm what you have said."
So Bathsheba visited the king in his room, while Abishag the Shunamite was attending him because of his advanced age.16 Bathsheba bowed in homage to the king, who said to her, "What do you wish?"17 She answered him: "My lord, you swore to me your handmaid by the LORD, your God, that my son Solomon should reign after you and sit upon your throne.18 But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord king, do not know it.19 He has slaughtered oxen, fatlings, and sheep in great numbers; he has invited all the king's sons, Abiathar the priest, and Joab, the general of the army, but not your servant Solomon.20 Now, my lord king, all Israel is waiting for you to make known to them who is to sit on the throne after your royal majesty. 21 If this is not done, when my lord the king sleeps with his fathers, I and my son Solomon will be considered criminals."
While she was still speaking to the king, the prophet Nathan came in.23 When he had been announced, the prophet entered the king's presence and, bowing to the floor, did him homage.24 Then Nathan said: "Have you decided, my lord king, that Adonijah is to reign after you and sit on your throne?25 He went down today and slaughtered oxen, fatlings, and sheep in great numbers; he invited all the king's sons, the commanders of the army, and Abiathar the priest, and they are eating and drinking in his company and saying, 'Long live King Adonijah!'26 But me, your servant, he did not invite; nor Zadok the priest, nor Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, nor your servant Solomon.27 Was this done by my royal master's order without my being told who was to succeed to your majesty's kingly throne?"

The Accession of Solomon

28 King David answered, "Call Bathsheba here." When she re-entered the king's presence and stood before him,29 the king swore, "As the LORD lives, who has delivered me from all distress,30 this very day I will fulfill the oath I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel, that your son Solomon should reign after me and should sit upon my throne in my place."31 Bowing to the floor in homage to the king, Bathsheba said, "May my lord, King David, live forever!"
Then King David summoned Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, son of Jehoiada. When they had entered the king's presence,33 he said to them: "Take with you the royal attendants. Mount my son Solomon upon my own mule and escort him down to Gihon.34 There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet are to anoint him king of Israel, and you shall blow the horn and cry, 'Long live King Solomon!'35 When you come back in his train, he is to go in and sit upon my throne and reign in my place. I designate him ruler of Israel and of Judah."36 In answer to the king, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, said: "So be it! May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so decree!37 As the LORD has been with your royal majesty, so may he be with Solomon, and exalt his throne even more than that of my lord, King David!"
So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and Pelethites went down, and mounting Solomon on King David's mule, escorted him to Gihon. 39 Then Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. They blew the horn and all the people shouted, "Long live King Solomon!"40 Then all the people went up after him, playing flutes and rejoicing so much as to split open the earth with their shouting.
Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it, just as they ended their banquet. When Joab heard the sound of the horn, he asked, "What does this uproar in the city mean?"42 As he was speaking, Jonathan, son of Abiathar the priest, arrived. "Come," said Adonijah, "you are a man of worth and must bring good news."43 "On the contrary!" Jonathan answered him. "Our lord, King David, has made Solomon king.44 The king sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and Pelethites, and they mounted him upon the king's own mule.45 Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed him king at Gihon, and they went up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. That is the noise you heard.46 Besides, Solomon took his seat on the royal throne,47 and the king's servants went in and paid their respects to our lord, King David, saying, 'May God make Solomon more famous than you and exalt his throne more than your own!' And the king in his bed worshiped God,48 and this is what he said: 'Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who has this day seated one of my sons upon my throne, so that I see it with my own eyes.'"
All the guests of Adonijah left in terror, each going his own way.50 Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, also left; he went and seized the horns of the altar. 51 It was reported to Solomon that Adonijah, in his fear of King Solomon, had seized the horns of the altar and said, "Let King Solomon first swear that he will not kill me, his servant, with the sword."52 Solomon answered, "If he proves himself worthy, not a hair shall fall from his head. But if he is found guilty of crime, he shall die."53 King Solomon sent to have him brought down from the altar, and he came and paid homage to the king. Solomon then said to him, "Go to your home."

David's Instruction to Solomon

2 1 When the time of David's death drew near, he gave these instructions to his son Solomon: 2 "I am going the way of all mankind. Take courage and be a man.3 Keep the mandate of the LORD, your God, following his ways and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do, wherever you turn,4 and the LORD may fulfill the promise he made on my behalf when he said, 'If your sons so conduct themselves that they remain faithful to me with their whole heart and with their whole soul, you shall always have someone of your line on the throne of Israel.'
You yourself know what Joab, son of Zeruiah, did to me when he slew the two generals of Israel's armies, Abner, son of Ner, and Amasa, son of Jether. He took revenge for the blood of war in a time of peace, and put bloodshed without provocation on the belt about my waist and the sandal on my foot.6 Act with the wisdom you possess; you must not allow him to go down to the grave in peaceful old age.7 "But be kind to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and have them eat at your table. For they received me kindly when I was fleeing your brother Absalom.8 "You also have with you Shimei, son of Gera, the Benjaminite of Bahurim, who cursed me balefully when I was going to Mahanaim. Because he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD that I would not put him to the sword.9 But you must not let him go unpunished. You are a prudent man and will know how to deal with him to send down his hoary head in blood to the grave."

Death of David

10 David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David.11 The length of David's reign over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.
When Solomon was seated on the throne of his father David, with his sovereignty firmly established,

Solomon Consolidates His Reign

13 Adonijah, son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. "Do you come as a friend?" she asked. "Yes," he answered,14 and added, "I have something to say to you." She replied, "Say it."15 So he said: "You know that the kingdom was mine, and all Israel expected me to be king. But the kingdom escaped me and became my brother's, for the LORD gave it to him.16 But now there is one favor I would ask of you. Do not refuse me." And she said, "Speak on."17 He said, "Please ask King Solomon, who will not refuse you, to give me Abishag the Shunamite for my wife." 18 "Very well," replied Bathsheba, "I will speak to the king for you."
Then Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, and the king stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king's mother, who sat at his right.20 "There is one small favor I would ask of you," she said. "Do not refuse me." "Ask it, my mother," the king said to her, "for I will not refuse you."21 So she said, "Let Abishag the Shunamite be given to your brother Adonijah for his wife."22 "And why do you ask Abishag the Shunamite for Adonijah?" King Solomon answered his mother. "Ask the kingdom for him as well, for he is my elder brother and has with him Abiathar the priest and Joab, son of Zeruiah."23 And King Solomon swore by the LORD: "May God do thus and so to me, and more besides, if Adonijah has not proposed this at the cost of his life.24 And now, as the LORD lives, who has seated me firmly on the throne of my father David and made of me a dynasty as he promised, this day shall Adonijah be put to death."25 Then King Solomon sent Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, who struck him dead.
The king said to Abiathar the priest: "Go to your land in Anathoth. Though you deserve to die, I will not put you to death this time, because you carried the ark of the Lord GOD before my father David and shared in all the hardships my father endured."27 So Solomon deposed Abiathar from his office of priest of the LORD, thus fulfilling the prophecy which the LORD had made in Shiloh about the house of Eli.
When the news came to Joab, who had sided with Adonijah, though not with Absalom, he fled to the tent of the LORD and seized the horns of the altar.29 King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the tent of the LORD and was at the altar. He sent Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, with the order, "Go, strike him down."30 Benaiah went to the tent of the LORD and said to him, "The king says, 'Come out.'" But he answered, "No! I will die here." Benaiah reported to the king, "This is what Joab said to me in reply."31 The king answered him: "Do as he has said, Strike him down and bury him, and you will remove from me and from my family the blood which Joab shed without provocation.32 The LORD will hold him responsible for his own blood, because he struck down two men better and more just than himself, and slew them with the sword without my father David's knowledge: Abner, son of Ner, general of Israel's army, and Amasa, son of Jether, general of Judah's army.33 Joab and his descendants shall be responsible forever for their blood. But there shall be the peace of the LORD forever for David, and his descendants, and his house, and his throne."34 Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, went back, struck him down and killed him; he was buried in his house in the desert.
The king appointed Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, over the army in his place, and put Zadok the priest in place of Abiathar.
Then the king summoned Shimei and said to him: "Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there. Do not go anywhere else.37 For if you leave, and cross the Kidron Valley, be certain you shall die without fail. You shall be responsible for your own blood."38 Shimei answered the king: "I accept. Your servant will do just as the king's majesty has said." So Shimei stayed in Jerusalem for a long time.39 But three years later, two of Shimei's servants ran away to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath, and Shimei was informed that his servants were in Gath.40 So Shimei rose, saddled his ass, and went to Achish in Gath in search of his servants, whom he brought back.41 When Solomon was informed that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had returned,42 the king summoned Shimei and said to him: "Did I not have you swear by the LORD to your clear understanding of my warning that, if you left and went anywhere else, you should die without fail? And you answered, 'I accept and obey.'43 Why, then, have you not kept the oath of the LORD and the command that I gave you?"44 And the king said to Shimei: "You know in your heart the evil that you did to my father David. Now the LORD requites you for your own wickedness.45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and David's throne shall endure before the LORD forever."46 The king then gave the order to Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, who struck him dead as he left.

Solomon's Prayer for Wisdom

3 1 With the royal power firmly in his grasp, Solomon allied himself by marriage with Pharaoh, king of Egypt. The daughter of Pharaoh, whom he married, he brought to the City of David, until he should finish building his palace, and the temple of the LORD, and the wall around Jerusalem.
However, the people were sacrificing on the high places, for up to that time no temple had been built to the name of the LORD.3 Solomon loved the LORD, and obeyed the statutes of his father David; yet he offered sacrifice and burned incense on the high places.4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, because that was the most renowned high place. Upon its altar Solomon offered a thousand holocausts.
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, "Ask something of me and I will give it to you."6 Solomon answered: "You have shown great favor to your servant, my father David, because he behaved faithfully toward you, with justice and an upright heart; and you have continued this great favor toward him, even today, seating a son of his on his throne.7 O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act.8 I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted.9 Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?"10 The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request.11 So God said to him: "Because you have asked for this-- not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right-- 12 I do as you requested. I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you.13 In addition, I give you what you have not asked for, such riches and glory that among kings there is not your like.14 And if you follow me by keeping my statutes and commandments, as your father David did, I will give you a long life."15 When Solomon awoke from his dream, he went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, offered holocausts and peace offerings, and gave a banquet for all his servants.

Solomon's Wisdom in Judgment

16 Later, two harlots came to the king and stood before him.17 One woman said: "By your leave, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth in the house while she was present.18 On the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We were alone in the house; there was no one there but us two.19 This woman's son died during the night; she smothered him by lying on him.20 Later that night she got up and took my son from my side, as I, your handmaid, was sleeping. Then she laid him in her bosom, after she had laid her dead child in my bosom.21 I rose in the morning to nurse my child, and I found him dead. But when I examined him in the morning light, I saw it was not the son whom I had borne."22 The other woman answered, "It is not so! The living one is my son, the dead one is yours." But the first kept saying, "No, the dead one is your child, the living one is mine!" Thus they argued before the king.23 Then the king said: "One woman claims, 'This, the living one, is my child, and the dead one is yours.' The other answers, 'No! The dead one is your child; the living one is mine.'"24 The king continued, "Get me a sword." When they brought the sword before him,25 he said, "Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other."26 The woman whose son it was, in the anguish she felt for it, said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living child-- please do not kill it!" The other, however, said, "It shall be neither mine nor yours. Divide it!"27 The king then answered, "Give the first one the living child! By no means kill it, for she is the mother."28 When all Israel heard the judgment the king had given, they were in awe of him, because they saw that the king had in him the wisdom of God for giving judgment.

41 Solomon was king over all Israel,2
and these were the officials he had in his service: Azariah, son of Zadok, priest;3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat, son of Ahilud, chancellor;4 (Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, commander of the army; Zadok and Abiathar, priests;)5 Azariah, son of Nathan, chief of the commissaries; Zabud, son of Nathan, companion to the king;6 Ahishar, major-domo of the palace; and Adoniram, son of Abda, superintendent of the forced labor.7 Solomon had twelve commissaries for all Israel who supplied food for the king and his household, each having to provide for one month in the year. 8 Their names were: the son of Hur in the hill country of Ephraim;9 the son of Deker in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, Elon and Beth-hanan;10 the son of Hesed in Arubboth, as well as in Socoh and the whole region of Hepher;11 the son of Abinadab, who was married to Solomon's daughter Taphath, in all the Naphath-dor;12 Baana, son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and beyond Jokmeam, and in all Beth-shean, and in the country around Zarethan below Jezreel from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah;13 the son of Geber in Ramoth-gilead, having charge of the villages of Jair, son of Manasseh, in Gilead; and of the district of Argob in Bashan-- sixty large walled cities with gates barred with bronze;14 Ahinadab, son of Iddo, in Mahanaim;15 Ahimaaz, who was married to Basemath, another daughter of Solomon, in Naphtali;16 Baana, son of Hushai, in Asher and along the rocky coast;17 Jehoshaphat, son of Paruah, in Issachar;18 Shimei, son of Ela, in Benjamin;19 Geber, son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the land of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and of Og, king of Bashan. There was one prefect besides, in the king's own land. 20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sands by the sea; they ate and drank and made merry.

51 Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, down to the border of Egypt; they paid Solomon tribute and were his vassals as long as he lived.2
Solomon's supplies for each day were thirty kors of fine flour, sixty kors of meal,3 ten fatted oxen, twenty pasture-fed oxen, and a hundred sheep, not counting harts, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowl.4 He ruled over all the land west of the Euphrates, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and over all its kings, and he had peace on all his borders round about.5 Thus Judah and Israel lived in security, every man under his vine or under his fig tree from Dan to Beer-sheba, as long as Solomon lived.6 Solomon had four thousand stalls for his twelve thousand chariot horses.7 These commissaries, one for each month, provided food for King Solomon and for all the guests at the royal table. They left nothing unprovided.8 For the chariot horses and draft animals also, each brought his quota of barley and straw to the required place. 9 Moreover, God gave Solomon wisdom and exceptional understanding and knowledge, as vast as the sand on the seashore.10 Solomon surpassed all the Cedemites and all the Egyptians in wisdom.11 He was wiser than all other men-- than Ethan the Ezrahite, or Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the musicians-- and his fame spread throughout the neighboring nations.12 Solomon also uttered three thousand proverbs, and his songs numbered a thousand and five.13 He discussed plants, from the cedar on Lebanon to the hyssop growing out of the wall, and he spoke about beasts, birds, reptiles, and fishes.14 Men came to hear Solomon's wisdom from all nations, sent by all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.15 When Hiram, king of Tyre, heard that Solomon had been anointed king in place of his father, he sent an embassy to him; for Hiram had always been David's friend.16 Solomon sent back this message to Hiram:17 "You know that my father David, because of the enemies surrounding him on all sides, could not build a temple in honor of the LORD, his God, until such a time as the LORD should put these enemies under the soles of his feet.18 But now the LORD, my God, has given me peace on all sides. There is no enemy or threat of danger.19 So I purpose to build a temple in honor of the LORD, my God, as the LORD predicted to my father David when he said: 'It is your son whom I will put upon your throne in your place who shall build the temple in my honor.'20 Give orders, then, to have cedars from the Lebanon cut down for me. My servants shall accompany yours, since you know that there is no one among us who is skilled in cutting timber like the Sidonians, and I will pay you whatever you say for your servants' salary."21 When he had heard the words of Solomon, Hiram was pleased and said, "Blessed be the LORD this day, who has given David a wise son to rule this numerous people."22 Hiram then sent word to Solomon, "I agree to the proposal you sent me, and I will provide all the cedars and fir trees you wish.23 My servants shall bring them down from the Lebanon to the sea, and I will arrange them into rafts in the sea and bring them wherever you say. There I will break up the rafts, and you shall take the lumber. You, for your part, shall furnish the provisions I desire for my household."24 So Hiram continued to provide Solomon with all the cedars and fir trees he wished;25 while Solomon every year gave Hiram twenty thousand kors of wheat to provide for his household, and twenty thousand measures of pure oil.26 The LORD, moreover, gave Solomon wisdom as he promised him, and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, since they were parties to a treaty.27 King Solomon conscripted thirty thousand workmen from all Israel.28 He sent them to the Lebanon each month in relays of ten thousand, so that they spent one month in the Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the draft.29 Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the mountain,30 in addition to three thousand three hundred overseers, answerable to Solomon's prefects for the work, directing the people engaged in the work.31 By order of the king, fine, large blocks were quarried to give the temple a foundation of hewn stone.32 Solomon's and Hiram's builders, along with the Gebalites, hewed them out, and prepared the wood and stones for building the temple.

61 In the four hundred and eightieth year from the departure of the Israelites from the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, the construction of the temple of the LORD was begun. 2
The temple which King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty wide, and twenty-five high.3 The porch in front of the temple was twenty cubits from side to side, along the width of the nave, and ten cubits deep in front of the temple.4 Splayed windows with trellises were made for the temple,5 and adjoining the wall of the temple, which enclosed the nave and the sanctuary, an annex of several stories was built.6 Its lowest story was five cubits wide, the middle one six cubits wide, the third seven cubits wide, because there were offsets along the outside of the temple so that the beams would not be fastened into the walls of the temple.7 (The temple was built of stone dressed at the quarry, so that no hammer, axe, or iron tool was to be heard in the temple during its construction.)8 The entrance to the lowest floor of the annex was at the right side of the temple, and stairs with intermediate landings led up to the middle story and from the middle story to the third.9 When the temple was built to its full height, it was roofed in with rafters and boards of cedar.10 The annex, with its lowest story five cubits high, was built all along the outside of the temple, to which it was joined by cedar beams.11 This word of the LORD came to Solomon: 12 "As to this temple you are building-- if you observe my statutes, carry out my ordinances, keep and obey all my commands, I will fulfill toward you the promise I made to your father David.13 I will dwell in the midst of the Israelites and will not forsake my people Israel."14 When Solomon finished building the temple,15 its walls were lined from floor to ceiling beams with cedar paneling, and its floor was laid with fir planking.16 At the rear of the temple a space of twenty cubits was set off by cedar partitions from the floor to the rafters, enclosing the sanctuary, the holy of holies.17 The nave, or part of the temple in front of the sanctuary, was forty cubits long.18 The cedar in the interior of the temple was carved in the form of gourds and open flowers; all was of cedar, and no stone was to be seen.19 In the innermost part of the temple was located the sanctuary to house the ark of the LORD'S covenant, 20 twenty cubits long, twenty wide, and twenty high. 21 Solomon overlaid the interior of the temple with pure gold. He made in front of the sanctuary a cedar altar, overlaid it with gold, and looped it with golden chains.22 The entire temple was overlaid with gold so that it was completely covered with it; the whole altar before the sanctuary was also overlaid with gold.23 In the sanctuary were two cherubim, each ten cubits high, made of olive wood.24 Each wing of a cherub measured five cubits so that the space from wing tip to wing tip of each was ten cubits.25 The cherubim were identical in size and shape,26 and each was exactly ten cubits high.27 The cherubim were placed in the inmost part of the temple, with their wings spread wide, so that one wing of each cherub touched a side wall while the other wing, pointing toward the middle of the room, touched the corresponding wing of the second cherub.28 The cherubim, too, were overlaid with gold.29 The walls on all sides of both the inner and the outer rooms had carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers.30 The floor of both the inner and the outer rooms was overlaid with gold.31 At the entrance of the sanctuary, doors of olive wood were made; the doorframes had beveled posts.32 The two doors were of olive wood, with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. The doors were overlaid with gold, which was also molded to the cherubim and the palm trees.33 The same was done at the entrance to the nave, where the doorposts of olive wood were rectangular.34 The two doors were of fir wood; each door was banded by a metal strap, front and back,35 and had carved cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, over which gold was evenly applied.36 The inner court was walled off by means of three courses of hewn stones and one course of cedar beams.37 The foundations of the LORD'S temple were laid in the month of Ziv38 in the fourth year, and it was completed in all particulars, exactly according to plan, in the month of Bul, the eighth month, in the eleventh year. Thus it took Solomon seven years to build it.

71 His own palace Solomon completed after thirteen years of construction.2
He built the hall called the Forest of Lebanon one hundred cubits long, fifty wide, and thirty high; it was supported by four rows of cedar columns, with cedar capitals upon the columns.3 Moreover, it had a ceiling of cedar above the beams resting on the columns; these beams numbered forty-five, fifteen to a row.4 There were three window frames at either end, with windows in strict alignment.5 The posts of all the doorways were rectangular, and the doorways faced each other, three at either end.6 The porch of the columned hall he made fifty cubits long and thirty wide. The porch extended the width of the columned hall, and there was a canopy in front.7 He also built the vestibule of the throne where he gave judgment-- that is, the tribunal; it was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling beams.8 His living quarters were in another court, set in deeper than the tribunal and of the same construction. A palace like this tribunal was built for Pharaoh's daughter, whom Solomon had married.9 All these buildings were of fine stones, hewn to size and trimmed front and back with a saw, from the foundation to the bonding course.10 (The foundation was made of fine, large blocks, some ten cubits and some eight cubits.11 Above were fine stones hewn to size, and cedar wood.)12 The great court was enclosed by three courses of hewn stones and a bonding course of cedar beams. So also were the inner court of the temple of the LORD and the temple porch.13 King Solomon had Hiram brought from Tyre.14 He was a bronze worker, the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali; his father had been from Tyre. He was endowed with skill, understanding, and knowledge of how to produce any work in bronze. He came to King Solomon and did all his metal work.15 Two hollow bronze columns were cast, each eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits in circumference; their metal was of four fingers' thickness. 16 There were also two capitals cast in bronze, to place on top of the columns, each of them five cubits high.17 Two pieces of network with a chainlike mesh were made to cover the (nodes of the) capitals on top of the columns, one for each capital.18 Four hundred pomegranates were also cast; two hundred of them in a double row encircled the piece of network on each of the two capitals.19 The capitals on top of the columns were finished wholly in a lotus pattern20 above the level of the nodes and their enveloping network.21 The columns were then erected adjacent to the porch of the temple, one to the right, called Jachin, and the other to the left, called Boaz.22 Thus the work on the columns was completed.23 The sea was then cast; it was made with a circular rim, and measured ten cubits across, five in height, and thirty in circumference. 24 Under the brim, gourds encircled it, ten to the cubit all the way around; the gourds were in two rows and were cast in one mold with the sea.25 This rested on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east, with their haunches all toward the center, where the sea was set upon them.26 It was a handbreadth thick, and its brim resembled that of a cup, being lily-shaped. Its capacity was two thousand measures.27 Ten stands were also made of bronze, each four cubits long, four wide, and three high.28 When these stands were constructed, panels were set within the framework.29 On the panels between the frames there were lions, oxen, and cherubim; and on the frames likewise, above and below the lions and oxen, there were wreaths in relief.30 Each stand had four bronze wheels and bronze axles.31 This was surmounted by a crown one cubit high within which was a rounded opening to provide a receptacle a cubit and a half in depth. There was carved work at the opening, on panels that were angular, not curved.32 The four wheels were below the paneling, and the axletrees of the wheels and the stand were of one piece. Each wheel was a cubit and a half high.33 The wheels were constructed like chariot wheels; their axles, fellies, spokes, and hubs were all cast. The four legs of each stand had cast braces, which were under the basin; they had wreaths on each side.34 These four braces, extending to the corners of each stand, were of one piece with the stand.35 On top of the stand there was a raised collar half a cubit high, with supports and panels which were of one piece with the top of the stand.36 On the surfaces of the supports and on the panels, wherever there was a clear space, cherubim, lions, and palm trees were carved, as well as wreaths all around.37 This was how the ten stands were made, all of the same casting, the same size, the same shape.38 Ten bronze basins were then made, each four cubits in diameter with a capacity of forty measures, one basin for the top of each of the ten stands.39 The stands were placed, five on the south side of the temple and five on the north. The sea was placed off to the southeast from the south side of the temple.40 When Hiram made the pots, shovels, and bowls, he therewith completed all his work for King Solomon in the temple of the LORD:41 two columns, two nodes for the capitals on top of the columns, two pieces of network covering the nodes for the capitals on top of the columns,42 four hundred pomegranates in double rows on both pieces of network that covered the two nodes of the capitals where they met the columns,43 ten stands, ten basins on the stands,44 one sea, twelve oxen supporting the sea,45 pots, shovels, and bowls. All these articles which Hiram made for King Solomon in the temple of the LORD were of burnished bronze.46 The king had them cast in the neighborhood of the Jordan, in the clayey ground between Succoth and Zarethan.47 Solomon did not weigh all the articles because they were so numerous; the weight of the bronze, therefore, was not determined.48 Solomon had all the articles made for the interior of the temple of the LORD: the golden altar; the golden table on which the showbread lay;49 the lampstands of pure gold, five to the right and five to the left before the sanctuary, with their flowers, lamps, and tongs of gold;50 basins, snuffers, bowls, cups, and fire pans of pure gold; and hinges of gold for the doors of the inner room, or holy of holies, and for the doors of the outer room, the nave.51 When all the work undertaken by King Solomon in the temple of the LORD was completed, he brought in the dedicated offerings of his father David, putting the silver, gold, and other articles in the treasuries of the temple of the LORD.

81 At the order of Solomon, the elders of Israel and all the leaders of the tribes, the princes in the ancestral houses of the Israelites, came to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD'S covenant from the city of David (which is Zion).2
All the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon during the festival in the month of Ethanim (the seventh month).3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark;4 they carried the ark of the LORD and the meeting tent with all the sacred vessels that were in the tent. (The priests and Levites carried them.)5 King Solomon and the entire community of Israel present for the occasion sacrificed before the ark sheep and oxen too many to number or count.6 The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place beneath the wings of the cherubim in the sanctuary, the holy of holies of the temple. 7 The cherubim had their wings spread out over the place of the ark, sheltering the ark and its poles from above.8 The poles were so long that their ends could be seen from that part of the holy place adjoining the sanctuary; however, they could not be seen beyond. (They have remained there to this day.)9 There was nothing in the ark but the two stone tablets which Moses had put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites at their departure from the land of Egypt.10 When the priests left the holy place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD11 so that the priests could no longer minister because of the cloud, since the LORD'S glory had filled the temple of the LORD.12 Then Solomon said, "The LORD intends to dwell in the dark cloud;13 I have truly built you a princely house, a dwelling where you may abide forever."14 The king turned and greeted the whole community of Israel as they stood.15 He said to them: "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who with his own mouth made a promise to my father David and by his hand has brought it to fulfillment. It was he who said,16 'Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city out of any tribe of Israel for the building of a temple to my honor; but I choose David to rule my people Israel.'17 When my father David wished to build a temple to the honor of the LORD, the God of Israel,18 the LORD said to him, 'In wishing to build a temple to my honor, you do well.19 It will not be you, however, who will build the temple; but the son who will spring from you, he shall build the temple to my honor.'20 And now the LORD has fulfilled the promise that he made: I have succeeded my father David and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD foretold, and I have built this temple to honor the LORD, the God of Israel.21 I have provided in it a place for the ark in which is the covenant of the LORD, which he made with our fathers when he brought them out of the land of Egypt."22 Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of the whole community of Israel, and stretching forth his hands toward heaven,23 he said, "LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below; you keep your covenant of kindness with your servants who are faithful to you with their whole heart.24 You have kept the promise you made to my father David, your servant. You who spoke that promise, have this day, by your own power, brought it to fulfillment.25 Now, therefore, LORD, God of Israel, keep the further promise you made to my father David, your servant, saying, 'You shall always have someone from your line to sit before me on the throne of Israel, provided only that your descendants look to their conduct so that they live in my presence, as you have lived in my presence.'26 Now, LORD, God of Israel, may this promise which you made to my father David, your servant, be confirmed.27 "Can it indeed be that God dwells among men on earth? If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, how much less this temple which I have built!28 Look kindly on the prayer and petition of your servant, O LORD, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant, utter before you this day.29 May your eyes watch night and day over this temple, the place where you have decreed you shall be honored; may you heed the prayer which I, your servant, offer in this place.30 Listen to the petitions of your servant and of your people Israel which they offer in this place. Listen from your heavenly dwelling and grant pardon.31 "If a man sins against his neighbor and is required to take an oath sanctioned by a curse, when he comes and takes the oath before your altar in this temple,32 listen in heaven; take action and pass judgment on your servants. Condemn the wicked and punish him for his conduct, but acquit the just and establish his innocence.33 "If your people Israel sin against you and are defeated by an enemy, and if then they return to you, praise your name, pray to you, and entreat you in this temple, 34 listen in heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave their fathers.35 "If the sky is closed, so that there is no rain, because they have sinned against you and you afflict them, and if then they repent of their sin, and pray, and praise your name in this place,36 listen in heaven and forgive the sin of your servant and of your people Israel, teaching them the right way to live and sending rain upon this land of yours which you have given to your people as their heritage.37 "If there is famine in the land or pestilence; or if blight comes, or mildew, or a locust swarm, or devouring insects; if an enemy of your people besieges them in one of their cities; whatever plague or sickness there may be,38 if then any one (of your entire people Israel) has remorse of conscience and offers some prayer or petition, stretching out his hands toward this temple,39 listen from your heavenly dwelling place and forgive. You who alone know the hearts of all men, render to each one of them according to his conduct; knowing their hearts, so treat them40 that they may fear you as long as they live on the land you gave our fathers.41 "To the foreigner, likewise, who is not of your people Israel, but comes from a distant land to honor you42 (since men will learn of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this temple,43 listen from your heavenly dwelling. Do all that the foreigner asks of you, that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, may fear you as do your people Israel, and may acknowledge that this temple which I have built is dedicated to your honor.44 "Whatever the direction in which you may send your people forth to war against their enemies, if they pray to you, O LORD, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built in your honor,45 listen in heaven to their prayer and petition, and defend their cause.46 "When they sin against you (for there is no man who does not sin), and in your anger against them you deliver them to the enemy, so that their captors deport them to a hostile land, far or near,47 may they repent in the land of their captivity and be converted. If then they entreat you in the land of their captors and say, 'We have sinned and done wrong; we have been wicked';48 if with their whole heart and soul they turn back to you in the land of the enemies who took them captive, pray to you toward the land you gave their fathers, the city you have chosen, and the temple I have built in your honor,49 listen from your heavenly dwelling.50 Forgive your people their sins and all the offenses they have committed against you, and grant them mercy before their captors, so that these will be merciful to them.51 For they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, from the midst of an iron furnace.52 "Thus may your eyes be open to the petition of your servant and to the petition of your people Israel. Hear them whenever they call upon you,53 because you have set them apart among all the peoples of the earth for your inheritance, as you declared through your servant Moses when you brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD."54 When Solomon finished offering this entire prayer of petition to the LORD, he rose from before the altar of the LORD, where he had been kneeling with his hands outstretched toward heaven.55 He stood and blessed the whole community of Israel, saying in a loud voice:56 "Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not a single word has gone unfulfilled of the entire generous promise he made through his servant Moses.57 May the LORD, our God, be with us as he was with our fathers and may he not forsake us nor cast us off.58 May he draw our hearts to himself, that we may follow him in everything and keep the commands, statutes, and ordinances which he enjoined on our fathers.59 May this prayer I have offered to the LORD, our God, be present to him day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and of his people Israel as each day requires,60 that all the peoples of the earth may know the LORD is God and there is no other.61 You must be wholly devoted to the LORD, our God, observing his statutes and keeping his commandments, as on this day."62 The king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the LORD.63 Solomon offered as peace offerings to the LORD twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. Thus the king and all the Israelites dedicated the temple of the LORD.64 On that day the king consecrated the middle of the court facing the temple of the LORD; he offered there the holocausts, the cereal offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar before the LORD was too small to hold these offerings.65 On this occasion Solomon and all the Israelites, who had assembled in large numbers from Labo of Hamath to the Wadi of Egypt, celebrated the festival before the LORD, our God, for seven days.66 On the eighth day he dismissed the people, who bade the king farewell and went to their homes, rejoicing and happy over all the blessings the LORD had given to his servant David and to his people Israel.

91 After Solomon finished building the temple of the LORD, the royal palace, and everything else that he had planned,2
the LORD appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him in Gibeon.3 The LORD said to him: "I have heard the prayer of petition which you offered in my presence. I have consecrated this temple which you have built; I confer my name upon it forever, and my eyes and my heart shall be there always.4 As for you, if you live in my presence as your father David lived, sincerely and uprightly, doing just as I have commanded you, keeping my statutes and decrees,5 I will establish your throne of sovereignty over Israel forever, as I promised your father David when I said, 'You shall always have someone from your line on the throne of Israel.'6 But if you and your descendants ever withdraw from me, fail to keep the commandments and statutes which I set before you, and proceed to venerate and worship strange gods,7 I will cut off Israel from the land I gave them and repudiate the temple I have consecrated to my honor. Israel shall become a proverb and a byword among all nations,8 and this temple shall become a heap of ruins. Every passerby shall catch his breath in amazement, and ask, 'Why has the LORD done this to the land and to this temple?'9 Men will answer: 'They forsook the LORD, their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt; they adopted strange gods which they worshiped and served. That is why the LORD has brought down upon them all this evil.'"10 After the twenty years during which Solomon built the two houses, the temple of the LORD and the palace of the king-- 11 Hiram, king of Tyre, supplying Solomon with all the cedar wood, fir wood, and gold he wished-- King Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.12 Hiram left Tyre to see the cities Solomon had given him, but was not satisfied with them.13 So he said, "What are these cities you have given me, my brother?" And he called them the land of Cabul, as they are called to this day.14 Hiram, however, had sent king Solomon one hundred and twenty talents of gold. 15 This is an account of the forced labor which King Solomon levied in order to build the temple of the LORD, his palace, Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer 16 (Pharaoh, king of Egypt, had come up and taken Gezer and, after destroying it by fire and slaying all the Canaanites living in the city, had given it as dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife;17 Solomon then rebuilt Gezer), Lower Beth-horon,18 Baalath, Tamar in the desert of Judah,19 all his cities for supplies, cities for chariots and for horses, and whatever else Solomon decided should be built in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in the entire land under his dominion.20 All the non-Israelite people who remained in the land, descendants of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites21 whose doom the Israelites had been unable to accomplish, Solomon conscripted as forced laborers, as they are to this day.22 But Solomon enslaved none of the Israelites, for they were his fighting force, his ministers, commanders, adjutants, chariot officers, and charioteers.23 The supervisors of Solomon's works who policed the people engaged in the work numbered five hundred and fifty.24 As soon as Pharaoh's daughter went up from the City of David to her palace, which he had built for her, Solomon built Millo.25 Three times a year Solomon used to offer holocausts and peace offerings on the altar which he had built to the LORD, and to burn incense before the LORD; and he kept the temple in repair.26 King Solomon also built a fleet at Ezion-geber, which is near Elath on the shore of the Red Sea in the land of Edom. 27 In this fleet Hiram placed his own expert seamen with the servants of Solomon.28 They went to Ophir, and brought back four hundred and twenty talents of gold to King Solomon.

1Rois (NAB) 1