Abishag Cares for David
1 Now King David was old and well along in years, and though they covered him with blankets, he could not keep warm. 2 So his servants said to him, “Let us search for a young virgin for our lord the king, to attend to him and care for him and lie by his side to keep him warm.”
3 Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful girl, and they found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king. 4 The girl was unsurpassed in beauty; she cared for the king and served him, but he had no relations with her.
Adonijah Usurps the Kingdom
5 At that time Adonijah, David’s son by Haggith, began to exalt himself, saying, “I will be king!” And he acquired chariots and horsemen and fifty men to run ahead of him.
6 (His father had never once reprimanded him by saying, “Why do you act this way?” Adonijah was also very handsome, born next after Absalom.)
7 So Adonijah conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, who supported him. 8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s mighty men would not join Adonijah.
9 And Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened calves near the stone of Zoheleth, a which is next to En-rogel. He invited all his royal brothers and all the men of Judah who were servants of the king. 10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men, or his brother Solomon.
Nathan and Bathsheba before David
11 Then Nathan said to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, “Have you not heard that Adonijah son of Haggith has become king, and our lord David does not know it? 12 Now please, come and let me advise you. Save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go at once to King David and say, ‘My lord the king, did you not swear to your maidservant, “Surely your son Solomon will reign after me, and he will sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ 14 Then, while you are still there speaking with the king, I will come in after you and confirm your words.”
15 So Bathsheba went to see the king in his bedroom. Since the king was very old, Abishag the Shunammite was serving him. 16 And Bathsheba bowed down in homage to the king, who asked, “What is your desire?”
17 “My lord,” she replied, “you yourself swore to your maidservant by the LORD your God: ‘Surely your son Solomon will reign after me, and he will sit on my throne.’ 18 But now, behold, Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, did not know it. 19 And he has sacrificed an abundance of oxen, fattened calves, and sheep, and has invited all the other sons of the king, as well as Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army. But he did not invite your servant Solomon. 20 And as for you, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are upon you to tell them who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise, when my lord the king rests with his fathers, I and my son Solomon will be counted as criminals.”
22 And just then, while Bathsheba was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. 23 So the king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” And Nathan went in and bowed facedown before the king.
24 “My lord the king,” said Nathan, “did you say, ‘Adonijah will reign after me, and he will sit on my throne’? 25 For today he has gone down and sacrificed an abundance of oxen, fattened calves, and sheep, and has invited all the sons of the king, the commanders b of the army, and Abiathar the priest. And behold, they are eating and drinking before him, 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 Has my lord the king let this happen without informing your servant who should sit on the throne after my lord the king?”
David Renews His Oath to Bathsheba
28 Then King David said, “Call in Bathsheba for me.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him.
29 And the king swore an oath, saying, “As surely as the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress, 30 I will carry out this very day exactly what I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel: Surely your son Solomon will reign after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.”
31 Bathsheba bowed facedown in homage to the king and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”
Solomon Anointed King
(1 Chronicles 29:21–25)
32 Then King David said, “Call in for me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” So they came before the king.
33 “Take my servants with you,” said the king. “Set my son Solomon on my own mule and take him down to Gihon. 34 There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet are to anoint him king over Israel. You are to blow the ram’s horn and declare, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then you shall go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. For I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah.”
36 “Amen,” replied Benaiah son of Jehoiada. “May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so declare it. 37 Just as the LORD was with my lord the king, so may He be with Solomon and make his throne even greater than that of my lord King David.”
38 Then Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, along with the Cherethites and Pelethites, went down and set Solomon on King David’s mule, and they escorted him to Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the ram’s horn, and all the people proclaimed, “Long live King Solomon!”
40 All the people followed him, playing flutes and rejoicing with such a great joy that the earth was split by the sound.
Adonijah Learns of Solomon’s Kingship
41 Now Adonijah and all his guests were finishing their feast when they heard the sound of the ram’s horn. “Why is the city in such a loud uproar?” asked Joab.
42 As he was speaking, suddenly Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest arrived. “Come in,” said Adonijah, “for you are a man of valor. You must be bringing good news.”
43 “Not at all,” Jonathan replied. “Our lord King David has made Solomon king. 44 And with Solomon, the king has sent Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, along with the Cherethites and Pelethites, and they have set him on the king’s mule. 45 Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon, and they have gone up from there with rejoicing that rings out in the city. That is the noise you hear.
46 Moreover, Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne.
47 The king’s servants have also gone to congratulate our lord King David, saying, ‘May your God make the name of Solomon more famous than your own name, and may He make his throne greater than your throne.’
51 It was reported to Solomon: “Behold, Adonijah fears King Solomon, and he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon first swear to me not to put his servant to the sword.’ ”
52 And Solomon replied, “If he is a man of character, not a single hair of his will fall to the ground. But if evil is found in him, he will die.”
53 So King Solomon summoned Adonijah down from the altar, and he came and bowed down before King Solomon, who said to him, “Go to your home.”
9 a Or the Serpent’s Stone
25 b Hebrew; LXX Joab the commander
48 c LXX one of my offspring
David Instructs Solomon
1 As the time drew near for David to die, he charged his son Solomon, 2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth. So be strong and prove yourself a man. 3 And keep the charge of the LORD your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statutes, commandments, ordinances, and decrees, as is written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you turn, 4 and so that the LORD may fulfill His promise to me: ‘If your descendants take heed to walk faithfully before Me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’
5 Moreover, you know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—what he did to Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether, a the two commanders of the armies of Israel. He killed them in peacetime to avenge the blood of war. He stained with the blood of war the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet. b 6 So act according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace.
8 Keep an eye on Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim who is with you. He called down bitter curses against me on the day I went to Mahanaim, but when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD: ‘I will never put you to the sword.’ 9 Now therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man. You know what you ought to do to him to bring his gray head down to Sheol in blood.”
David’s Reign and Death
(1 Chronicles 29:26–30)
12 So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his kingdom was firmly established.
The Execution of Adonijah
13 Now Adonijah son of Haggith went to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, and she asked, “Do you come in peace?”
“Yes, in peace,” he replied. 14 Then he said, “I have something to tell you.”
“Say it,” she answered.
15 “You know that the kingship was mine,” he said. “All Israel expected that I should reign, but the kingship has turned to my brother, for it has come to him from the LORD. 16 So now I have just one request of you; do not deny me.”
“State your request,” she told him.
17 Adonijah replied, “Please speak to King Solomon, since he will not turn you down. Let him give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.”
18 “Very well,” Bathsheba replied. “I will speak to the king for you.”
19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. The king stood up to greet her, bowed to her, and sat down on his throne. Then the king had a throne brought for his mother, who sat down at his right hand.
20 “I have just one small request of you,” she said. “Do not deny me.”
“Make your request, my mother,” the king replied, “for I will not deny you.”
21 So Bathsheba said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as his wife.”
22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Since he is my older brother, you might as well request the kingdom for him and for Abiathar the priest and for Joab son of Zeruiah!”
23 Then King Solomon swore by the LORD: “May God punish me, and ever so severely, if Adonijah has not made this request at the expense of his life. 24 And now, as surely as the LORD lives—the One who established me, who set me on the throne of my father David, and who founded for me a dynasty as He promised—surely Adonijah shall be put to death today!”
25 So King Solomon sent the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, who struck down Adonijah, and he died.
26 Then the king said to Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your fields in Anathoth. Even though you deserve to die, I will not put you to death at this time, since you carried the ark of the Lord GOD before my father David, and you suffered through all that my father suffered.” 27 So Solomon banished Abiathar from the priesthood of the LORD and thus fulfilled the word that the LORD had spoken at Shiloh against the house of Eli.
The Execution of Joab
28 When the news reached Joab, who had conspired with Adonijah but not with Absalom, he fled to the tent of the LORD and took hold of the horns of the altar.
29 It was reported to King Solomon: “Joab has fled to the tent of the LORD and is now beside the altar.”
So Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, strike him down!”
30 And Benaiah entered the tent of the LORD and said to Joab, “The king says, ‘Come out!’ ”
But Joab replied, “No, I will die here.”
So Benaiah relayed the message to the king, saying, “This is how Joab answered me.”
31 And the king replied, “Do just as he says. Strike him down and bury him, and so remove from me and from the house of my father the innocent blood that Joab shed. 32 The LORD will bring his bloodshed back upon his own head, for without the knowledge of my father David he struck down two men more righteous and better than he when he put to the sword Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 33 Their blood will come back upon the heads of Joab and his descendants forever; but for David, his descendants, his house, and his throne, there shall be peace from the LORD forever.”
34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up, struck down Joab, and killed him. He was buried at his own home in the wilderness. 35 And the king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada in Joab’s place over the army, and he appointed Zadok the priest in Abiathar’s place.
The Execution of Shimei
36 Then the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem and live there, but do not go anywhere else. 37 On the day you go out and cross the Kidron Valley, know for sure that you will die; your blood will be on your own head.”
38 “The sentence is fair,” Shimei replied. “Your servant will do as my lord the king has spoken.” And Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time.
40 So Shimei saddled his donkey and set out to Achish at Gath in search of his slaves, and he brought them back from Gath.
41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned, 42 the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the LORD and warn you, ‘On the day you leave and go elsewhere, know for sure that you will die’? And you told me, ‘The sentence is fair; I will comply.’ 43 So why have you not kept your oath to the LORD and the command that I gave you?”
44 The king also said, “You know in your heart all the evil that you did to my father David. Therefore the LORD will bring your evil back upon your head. 45 But King Solomon will be blessed and David’s throne will remain secure before the LORD forever.”
46 Then the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down, and he died. Thus the kingdom was firmly established in the hand of Solomon.
5 a Jether is a variant of Ithra ; also in verse 32; see 2 Samuel 17:25.
5 b Hebrew; LXX He stained with innocent blood the belt around my waist and the sandals on my feet.
7 c Forms of the Hebrew chesed are translated here and in most cases throughout the Scriptures as loving devotion ; the range of meaning includes love , goodness , kindness , faithfulness , and mercy , as well as loyalty to a covenant .
39 d Maacah is a variant of Maoch ; see 1 Samuel 27:2.
Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom
(2 Chronicles 1:1–13; Psalm 45:1–17; Psalm 72:1–20)
1 Later, Solomon formed an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt by marrying his daughter. Solomon brought her to the City of David until he had finished building his palace and the house of the LORD, as well as the wall around Jerusalem.
2 The people, however, were still sacrificing on the high places because a house for the Name of the LORD had not yet been built. 3 And Solomon loved the LORD and walked in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.
4 Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for it was the great high place. Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on the altar there.
5 One night at Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “Ask, and I will give it to you!”
6 Solomon replied, “You have shown much loving devotion to Your servant, my father David, because he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and uprightness of heart. And You have maintained this loving devotion by giving him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
7 And now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in my father David’s place. But I am only a little child, not knowing how to go out or come in. 8 Your servant is here among the people You have chosen, a people too numerous to count or number.
9 Therefore give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to govern this great people of Yours?”
10 Now it pleased the Lord a that Solomon had made this request. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this instead of requesting long life or wealth for yourself or death for your enemies—but you have asked for discernment to administer justice— 12 behold, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has never been nor will ever be another like you.
13 Moreover, I will give you what you did not request—both riches and honor—so that during all your days no man in any kingdom will be your equal. 14 So if you walk in My ways and keep My statutes and commandments, just as your father David did, I will prolong your days.”
15 Then Solomon awoke, and indeed it had been a dream. So he returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Then he held a feast for all his servants.
Solomon Judges Wisely
16 At that time two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
17 One woman said, “Please, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth while she was in the house. 18 On the third day after I gave birth, this woman also had a baby. We were alone, with no one in the house but the two of us. 19 During the night this woman’s son died because she rolled over on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I was asleep. She laid him in her bosom and put her dead son at my bosom. 21 The next morning, when I got up to nurse my son, I discovered he was dead. But when I examined him, I realized that he was not the son I had borne.”
22 “No,” said the other woman, “the living one is my son and the dead one is your son.”
But the first woman insisted, “No, the dead one is yours and the living one is mine.” So they argued before the king.
23 Then the king replied, “This woman says, ‘My son is alive and yours is dead,’ but that woman says, ‘No, your son is dead and mine is alive.’ ”
26 Then the woman whose son was alive spoke to the king because she yearned with compassion for her son. “Please, my lord,” she said, “give her the living baby. Do not kill him!”
But the other woman said, “He will be neither mine nor yours. Cut him in two!”
27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. By no means should you kill him; she is his mother.”
28 When all Israel heard of the judgment the king had given, they stood in awe of him, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.
10 a Hebrew Adonai ; also in verse 15
Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the recorder;
4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was in charge of the army;
Zadok and Abiathar were priests;
5 Azariah son of Nathan was in charge of the governors;
6 Ahishar was in charge of the palace;
and Adoniram b son of Abda was in charge of the forced labor.
Solomon’s Twelve Officers
Ben-hur in the hill country of Ephraim;
9 Ben-deker in Makaz, in Shaalbim, in Beth-shemesh, and in Elon-beth-hanan;
10 Ben-hesed in Arubboth (Socoh and all the land of Hepher belonged to him);
12 Baana son of Ahilud in Taanach, in Megiddo, and in all of Beth-shean next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah and on past Jokmeam;
13 Ben-geber in Ramoth-gilead (the villages of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead belonged to him, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan with its sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars);
14 Ahinadab son of Iddo in Mahanaim;
15 Ahimaaz in Naphtali (he had married Basemath, a daughter of Solomon);
16 Baana son of Hushai in Asher and in Aloth;
17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah in Issachar;
18 Shimei son of Ela in Benjamin;
19 Geber son of Uri in the land of Gilead, including the territories of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan.
There was also one governor in the land of Judah. d
20 The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore, and they were eating and drinking and rejoicing. 21 And Solomon reigned over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates e to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These kingdoms offered tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.
22 Solomon’s provisions for a single day were thirty cors of fine flour, f sixty cors of meal, g 23 ten fat oxen, twenty range oxen, and a hundred sheep, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened poultry. 24 For Solomon had dominion over everything west of the Euphrates h —over all the kingdoms from Tiphsah to Gaza—and he had peace on all sides. 25 Throughout the days of Solomon, Judah and Israel dwelt securely from Dan to Beersheba, each man under his own vine and his own fig tree.
26 Solomon had 4,000 i stalls for his chariot horses and 12,000 horses. j 27 Each month the governors in turn provided food for King Solomon and all who came to his table. They saw to it that nothing was lacking. 28 Each one also brought to the required place their quotas of barley and straw for the chariot horses and other horses.
29 And God gave Solomon wisdom, exceedingly deep insight, and understanding beyond measure, like the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than that of all the men of the East, greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than all men—wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and wiser than Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread throughout the surrounding nations.
32 Solomon composed three thousand proverbs, and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar in Lebanon to the hyssop growing in the wall, and he taught about animals, birds, reptiles, and fish.
34 So men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.
3 a Shisha is also called Seraiah , Sheva , and Shavsha ; see 2 Samuel 8:17, 2 Samuel 20:25, and 1 Chronicles 18:16.
6 b Adoniram is a variant of Adoram and Hadoram ; see 2 Samuel 20:24 and 2 Chronicles 10:18.
11 c Or in all the heights of Dor ; Naphath-dor is a variant of Naphoth-dor ; see Joshua 11:2.
19 d Some LXX manuscripts; Hebrew And he was the one governor in the land.
21 e Hebrew the River ; also in verse 24
22 f 30 cors is approximately 187 bushels or 6,600 liters (probably about 5.5 tons or 5 metric tons of flour).
22 g 60 cors is approximately 375 bushels or 13,200 liters (probably about 11 tons or 10 metric tons of meal).
24 h Or beyond the River
26 i Some LXX manuscripts (see also 2 Chronicles 9:25); Hebrew 40,000
26 j Or horsemen or charioteers
Preparations for the Temple
(2 Chronicles 2:1–10)
1 Now when Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king in his father’s place, he sent envoys to Solomon; for Hiram had always been a friend of David.
2 And Solomon relayed this message to Hiram:
3 “As you are well aware, due to the wars waged on all sides against my father David, he could not build a house for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD had put his enemies under his feet. 4 But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or crisis.
5 So behold, I plan to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God, according to what the LORD said to my father David: ‘I will put your son on your throne in your place, and he will build the house for My Name.’
6 Now therefore, order that cedars of Lebanon be cut down for me. My servants will be with your servants, and I will pay your servants whatever wages you set, for you know that there are none among us as skilled in logging as the Sidonians.”
Hiram’s Reply to Solomon
(2 Chronicles 2:11–18)
7 When Hiram received Solomon’s message, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the LORD this day! He has given David a wise son over this great people!” 8 Then Hiram sent a reply to Solomon, saying:
“I have received your message; I will do all you desire regarding the cedar and cypress a timber. 9 My servants will haul the logs from Lebanon to the Sea, b and I will float them as rafts by sea to the place you specify. There I will separate the logs, and you can take them away. And in exchange, you can meet my needs by providing my household with food.”
10 So Hiram provided Solomon with all the cedar and cypress timber he wanted, 11 and year after year Solomon would provide Hiram with 20,000 cors of wheat c as food for his household, as well as 20,000 baths of pure olive oil. d
Solomon’s Labor Force
13 Then King Solomon conscripted a labor force of 30,000 men from all Israel. 14 He sent them to Lebanon in monthly shifts of 10,000 men, so that they would spend one month in Lebanon and two months at home. And Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor.
17 And the king commanded them to quarry large, costly stones to lay the foundation of the temple with dressed stones. 18 So Solomon’s and Hiram’s builders, along with the Gebalites, quarried the stone and prepared the timber and stone for the construction of the temple.
8 a Or pine or juniper or fir ; also in verse 10
9 b That is, the Mediterranean Sea, also called the Great Sea
11 c 20,000 cors is approximately 124,800 bushels or 4.4 million liters (probably about 3,800 tons or 3,400 metric tons of wheat).
11 d LXX (see also 2 Chronicles 2:10); 20,000 baths is approximately 116,000 gallons or 440,000 liters of olive oil; Hebrew twenty cors of pure oil or twenty cors of pressed oil
12 e Forms of the Hebrew berit are translated in most passages as covenant .
16 f Hebrew; some LXX manuscripts 3,600 ; see 2 Chronicles 2:18.
Temple Construction Begins
(2 Chronicles 3:1–2)
1 In the four hundred and eightieth a year after the Israelites had come out of the land of Egypt, in the month of Ziv, b the second month of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, he began to build the house of the LORD.
2 The house that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. c 3 The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple was twenty cubits d long, extending across the width of the temple and projecting out ten cubits e in front of the temple.
4 He also had narrow windows framed high in the temple.
5 Against the walls of the temple and the inner sanctuary, Solomon built a chambered structure around the temple, in which he constructed the side rooms. 6 The bottom floor was five cubits wide, f the middle floor six cubits, g and the third floor seven cubits. h He also placed offset ledges around the outside of the temple, so that nothing would be inserted into its walls.
7 The temple was constructed using finished stones cut at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any other iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built.
9 So Solomon built the temple and finished it, roofing it with beams and planks of cedar. 10 He built chambers all along the temple, each five cubits high and attached to the temple with beams of cedar.
God’s Promise to Solomon
11 Then the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you walk in My statutes, carry out My ordinances, and keep all My commandments by walking in them, I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father David. 13 And I will dwell among the Israelites and will not abandon My people Israel.”
The Temple’s Interior
(2 Chronicles 3:5–9)
16 He partitioned off the twenty cubits at the rear of the temple with cedar boards from floor to ceiling to form within the temple an inner sanctuary, the Most Holy Place. k 17 And the main hall in front of this room was forty cubits long. l
18 The cedar paneling inside the temple was carved with gourds and open flowers. Everything was cedar; not a stone could be seen.
19 Solomon also prepared the inner sanctuary within the temple to set the ark of the covenant of the LORD there. 20 The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold, and he also overlaid the altar of cedar. m
21 So Solomon overlaid the inside of the temple with pure gold, and he extended gold chains n across the front of the inner sanctuary, which was overlaid with gold. 22 So he overlaid with gold the whole interior of the temple, until everything was completely finished. He also overlaid with gold the entire altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary.
(2 Chronicles 3:10–13)
23 In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim, each ten cubits high, out of olive wood. 24 One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long, and the other wing was five cubits long as well. So the full wingspan was ten cubits. 25 The second cherub also measured ten cubits; both cherubim had the same size and shape, 26 and the height of each cherub was ten cubits.
27 And he placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple. Since their wings were spread out, the wing of the first cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the second cherub touched the other wall, and in the middle of the room their wingtips touched. 28 He also overlaid the cherubim with gold.
29 Then he carved the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer sanctuaries, with carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. 30 And he overlaid the temple floor with gold in both the inner and outer sanctuaries.
31 For the entrance to the inner sanctuary, Solomon constructed doors of olive wood with five-sided doorposts. 32 The double doors were made of olive wood, and he carved into them cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers and overlaid the cherubim and palm trees with hammered gold.
33 In the same way he made four-sided doorposts of olive wood for the sanctuary entrance. 34 The two doors were made of cypress wood, and each had two folding panels. 35 He carved into them cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers; and he overlaid them with gold, hammered evenly over the carvings.
36 Solomon built the inner courtyard with three rows of dressed stone and one row of trimmed cedar beams.
37 The foundation of the house of the LORD was laid in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, in the month of Ziv. 38 In his eleventh year and eighth month, the month of Bul, o the temple was finished in every detail and according to every specification. So he built the temple in seven years.
1 a Hebrew; LXX four hundred and fortieth
1 b Ziv was the second month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of April and May; also in verse 37.
2 c The house was approximately 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high (27.4 meters long, 9.1 meters wide, and 13.7 meters high).
3 d 20 cubits is approximately 30 feet or 9.1 meters; also in verses 16 and 20.
3 e 10 cubits is approximately 15 feet or 4.6 meters; also in verses 23–26.
6 f 5 cubits is approximately 7.5 feet or 2.3 meters; also in verses 10 and 24.
6 g 6 cubits is approximately 9 feet or 2.7 meters.
6 h 7 cubits is approximately 10.5 feet or 3.2 meters.
8 i LXX and Targum; Hebrew middle
15 j Or pine or juniper or fir ; also in verse 34
16 k Or the Holy of Holies
17 l 40 cubits is approximately 60 feet or 18.3 meters.
20 m Or with cedar
21 n Or made gold chains to draw (the curtains)
38 o Bul was the eighth month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of October and November.
Solomon’s Palace Complex
1 Solomon, however, took thirteen years to complete the construction of his entire palace.
3 The house was roofed with cedar above the beams that rested on the pillars—forty-five beams, fifteen per row. 4 There were three rows of high windows facing one another in three tiers. 5 All the doorways b had rectangular frames, with the openings facing one another in three tiers.
8 And the palace where Solomon would live, set further back, was of similar construction. He also made a palace like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married.
9 All these buildings were constructed with costly stones, cut to size and trimmed with saws inside and out from the foundation to the eaves, and from the outside to the great courtyard. 10 The foundations were laid with large, costly stones, some ten cubits long e and some eight cubits long. f 11 Above these were high-grade stones, cut to size, and cedar beams.
12 The great courtyard was surrounded by three rows of dressed stone and a row of trimmed cedar beams, as were the inner courtyard and portico of the house of the LORD.
The Pillars and Capitals
(2 Chronicles 3:14–17)
13 Now King Solomon sent to bring Huram g from Tyre. 14 He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a craftsman in bronze. Huram had great skill, understanding, and knowledge for every kind of bronze work. So he came to King Solomon and carried out all his work.
15 He cast two pillars of bronze, each eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits in circumference. h 16 He also made two capitals of cast bronze to set on top of the pillars, each capital five cubits high. i 17 For the capitals on top of the pillars he made a network of lattice, with wreaths of chainwork, seven for each capital. j
18 Likewise, he made the pillars with two rows of pomegranates around each grating to cover each capital atop the pillars. 19 And the capitals atop the pillars in the portico were shaped like lilies, four cubits high. k 20 On the capitals of both pillars, just above the rounded projection next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows encircling each capital.
21 Thus he set up the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jachin, l and the pillar to the north he named Boaz. m 22 And the tops of the pillars were shaped like lilies. So the work of the pillars was completed.
The Molten Sea
(2 Chronicles 4:1–5)
23 He also made the Sea of cast metal. It was circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim, five cubits in height, and thirty cubits in circumference. n 24 Below the rim, ornamental buds encircled it, ten per cubit all the way around the Sea, cast in two rows as a part of the Sea.
25 The Sea stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. The Sea rested on them, with all their hindquarters toward the center. 26 It was a handbreadth thick, o and its rim was fashioned like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It could hold two thousand baths. p
The Ten Bronze Stands
28 This was the design of the stands: They had side panels attached to uprights, 29 and on the panels between the uprights were lions, oxen, and cherubim. On the uprights was a pedestal above, and below the lions and oxen were wreaths of beveled work.
30 Each stand had four bronze wheels with bronze axles and a basin resting on four supports, with wreaths at each side. 31 The opening to each stand inside the crown at the top was one cubit deep, r with a round opening like the design of a pedestal, a cubit and a half wide. s And around its opening were engravings, but the panels of the stands were square, not round.
32 There were four wheels under the panels, and the axles of the wheels were attached to the stand; each wheel was a cubit and a half in diameter. 33 The wheels were made like chariot wheels; their axles, rims, spokes, and hubs were all of cast metal.
34 Each stand had four handles, one for each corner, projecting from the stand. 35 At the top of each stand was a circular band half a cubit high. t The supports and panels were cast as a unit with the top of the stand.
36 He engraved cherubim, lions, and palm trees on the surfaces of the supports and panels, wherever each had space, with wreaths all around. 37 In this way he made the ten stands, each with the same casting, dimensions, and shape.
The Ten Bronze Basins
(2 Chronicles 4:6–8)
39 He set five stands on the south side of the temple and five on the north, and he put the Sea on the south side, at the southeast corner of the temple.
Completion of the Bronze Works
(2 Chronicles 4:11–18)
So Huram finished all the work that he had undertaken for King Solomon in the house of the LORD:
41 the two pillars;
the two bowl-shaped capitals atop the pillars;
the two sets of network covering both bowls of the capitals atop the pillars;
42 the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network covering both the bowl-shaped capitals atop the pillars);
43 the ten stands;
the ten basins on the stands;
44 the Sea;
the twelve oxen underneath the Sea;
45 and the pots, shovels, and sprinkling bowls.
All the articles that Huram made for King Solomon in the house of the LORD were made of burnished bronze. 46 The king had them cast in clay molds in the plain of the Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan. w 47 Solomon left all these articles unweighed, because there were so many. The weight of the bronze could not be determined.
Completion of the Gold Furnishings
(2 Chronicles 4:19–22)
48 Solomon also made all the furnishings for the house of the LORD:
the golden altar;
the golden table on which was placed the Bread of the Presence;
49 the lampstands of pure gold in front of the inner sanctuary, five on the right side and five on the left;
the gold flowers, lamps, and tongs;
50 the pure gold basins, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, ladles, and censers;
and the gold hinges for the doors of the inner temple (that is, the Most Holy Place x) as well as for the doors of the main hall of the temple.
51 So all the work that King Solomon had performed for the house of the LORD was completed.
Then Solomon brought in the items his father David had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the furnishings—and he placed them in the treasuries of the house of the LORD.
2 a The house was approximately 150 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high (45.7 meters long, 22.9 meters wide, and 13.7 meters high).
5 b Literally doorways and doorposts
6 c The colonnade was approximately 75 feet long and 45 feet wide (22.9 meters long and 13.7 meters wide).
7 d Syriac and Vulgate; Hebrew from floor to floor
10 e 10 cubits is approximately 15 feet or 4.6 meters.
10 f 8 cubits is approximately 12 feet or 3.7 meters.
13 g Hebrew Hiram , a variant of Huram ; also in verses 40 and 45; see 2 Chronicles 4:11. Note that this is not Hiram king of Tyre mentioned in 1 Kings 5:1.
15 h Each pillar was approximately 27 feet high and 18 feet in circumference (8.2 meters high and 5.5 meters in circumference).
16 i 5 cubits is approximately 7.5 feet or 2.3 meters.
17 j Hebrew; LXX one for each capital
19 k 4 cubits is approximately 6 feet or 1.8 meters; also in verse 38.
21 l Jachin probably means He establishes .
21 m Boaz probably means in Him is strength .
23 n The Sea was approximately 15 feet from rim to rim, 7.5 feet in height, and 45 feet in circumference (4.6 meters from rim to rim, 2.3 meters in height, and 13.7 meters in circumference).
26 o A handbreadth is approximately 2.9 inches or 7.4 centimeters.
26 p 2,000 baths is approximately 11,600 gallons or 44,000 liters; LXX does not include this sentence.
27 q The stands were approximately 6 feet in length and width, and 4.5 feet high (1.8 meters in length and width, and 1.4 meters high).
31 r One cubit is approximately 18 inches or 45.7 centimeters.
31 s A cubit and a half is approximately 2.25 feet or 68.6 centimeters wide; similarly in verse 32.
35 t Half a cubit is approximately 9 inches or 22.9 centimeters high.
38 u 40 baths is approximately 232 gallons or 880 liters.
40 v Many Hebrew manuscripts, LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate (see also verse 45 and 2 Chronicles 4:11); many other Hebrew manuscripts basins
46 w Zarethan is a variant of Zeredah ; see 2 Chronicles 4:17.
50 x Or the Holy of Holies
The Ark Enters the Temple
(2 Chronicles 5:1–14)
1 At that time Solomon assembled before him in Jerusalem the elders of Israel—all the tribal heads and family leaders of the Israelites—to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from Zion, the City of David. 2 And all the men of Israel came together to King Solomon at the feast in the seventh month, a the month of Ethanim. b
3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark, 4 and they brought up the ark of the LORD and the Tent of Meeting with all its sacred furnishings. So the priests and Levites carried them up.
5 There, before the ark, King Solomon and the whole congregation of Israel who had assembled with him sacrificed so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered.
6 Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, c beneath the wings of the cherubim. 7 For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its poles.
9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, e where the LORD had made a covenant with the Israelites after they had come out of the land of Egypt.
10 And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the house of the LORD 11 so that the priests could not stand there to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.
Solomon Blesses the LORD
(2 Chronicles 6:1–11)
12 Then Solomon declared:
“The LORD f has said that He would dwell
in the thick cloud.
13 I have indeed built You an exalted house,
a place for You to dwell forever.”
“Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who has fulfilled with His own hand what He spoke with His mouth to my father David, saying, 16 ‘Since the day I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house so that My Name would be there. But I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’
17 Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a house for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 18 But the LORD said to my father David, ‘Since it was in your heart to build a house for My Name, you have done well to have this in your heart. 19 Nevertheless, you are not the one to build it; but your son, your own offspring, will build the house for My Name.’
20 Now the LORD has fulfilled the word that He spoke. I have succeeded my father David, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised. I have built the house for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 21 And there I have provided a place for the ark, which contains the covenant of the LORD that He made with our fathers when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication
(2 Chronicles 6:12–42)
“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below, keeping Your covenant of loving devotion with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. 24 You have kept Your promise to Your servant, my father David. What You spoke with Your mouth You have fulfilled with Your hand this day.
25 Therefore now, O LORD, God of Israel, keep for Your servant, my father David, what You promised when You said: ‘You will never fail to have a man to sit before Me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants guard their way to walk before Me as you have done.’ 26 And now, O God of Israel, please confirm what You promised to Your servant, my father David.
27 But will God indeed dwell upon the earth? Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain You, much less this temple I have built. 28 Yet regard the prayer and plea of Your servant, O LORD my God, so that You may hear the cry and the prayer that Your servant is praying before You today.
29 May Your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that You may hear the prayer that Your servant prays toward this place. 30 Hear the plea of Your servant and of Your people Israel when they pray toward this place. May You hear from heaven, Your dwelling place. May You hear and forgive.
31 When a man sins against his neighbor and is required to take an oath, and he comes to take an oath before Your altar in this temple, 32 then may You hear from heaven and act. May You judge Your servants, condemning the wicked man by bringing down on his own head what he has done, and justifying the righteous man by rewarding him according to his righteousness.
33 When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and they return to You and confess Your name, praying and pleading with You in this temple, 34 then may You hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel. May You restore them to the land You gave to their fathers.
35 When the skies are shut and there is no rain because Your people have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and they turn from their sins because You have afflicted them, 36 then may You hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, so that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk. May You send rain on the land that You gave Your people as an inheritance.
37 When famine or plague comes upon the land, or blight or mildew or locusts or grasshoppers, or when their enemy besieges them in their cities, whatever plague or sickness may come, 38 then may whatever prayer or petition Your people Israel make—each knowing his own afflictions and spreading out his hands toward this temple— 39 be heard by You from heaven, Your dwelling place. And may You forgive and act, and repay each man according to all his ways, since You know his heart—for You alone know the hearts of all men— 40 so that they may fear You all the days they live in the land that You gave to our fathers.
41 And as for the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of Your name— 42 for they will hear of Your great name and mighty hand and outstretched arm—when he comes and prays toward this temple, 43 then may You hear from heaven, Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You. Then all the peoples of the earth will know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and they will know that this house I have built is called by Your Name.
44 When Your people go to war against their enemies, wherever You send them, and when they pray to the LORD in the direction of the city You have chosen and the house I have built for Your Name, 45 then may You hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and may You uphold their cause.
46 When they sin against You—for there is no one who does not sin—and You become angry with them and deliver them to an enemy who takes them as captives to his own land, whether far or near, 47 and when they come to their senses in the land to which they were taken, and they repent and plead with You in the land of their captors, saying, ‘We have sinned and done wrong; we have acted wickedly,’ 48 and when they return to You with all their heart and soul in the land of the enemies who took them captive, and when they pray to You in the direction of the land that You gave to their fathers, the city You have chosen, and the house I have built for Your Name, 49 then may You hear from heaven, Your dwelling place, their prayer and petition, and may You uphold their cause. 50 May You forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all the transgressions they have committed against You, and may You grant them compassion in the eyes of their captors to show them mercy.
51 For they are Your people and Your inheritance; You brought them out of Egypt, out of the furnace for iron. 52 May Your eyes be open to the pleas of Your servant and of Your people Israel, and may You listen to them whenever they call to You. 53 For You, O Lord GOD, as Your inheritance, have set them apart from all the peoples of the earth, as You spoke through Your servant Moses when You brought our fathers out of Egypt.”
54 Now when Solomon had finished praying this entire prayer and petition to the LORD, he got up before the altar of the LORD, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven. 55 And he stood and blessed the whole assembly of Israel in a loud voice, saying:
56 “Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel according to all that He promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises He made through His servant Moses.
57 May the LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He never leave us nor forsake us. 58 May He incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways and to keep the commandments and statutes and ordinances He commanded our fathers.
59 And may these words with which I have made my petition before the LORD be near to the LORD our God day and night, so that He may uphold the cause of His servant and of His people Israel as each day requires, 60 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God. There is no other!
61 So let your heart be fully devoted to the LORD our God, as it is this day, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments.”
Sacrifices of Dedication
(2 Chronicles 7:4–10)
62 Then the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the LORD. 63 And Solomon offered as peace offerings to the LORD 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the Israelites dedicated the house of the LORD.
64 On that same day the king consecrated the middle of the courtyard in front of the house of the LORD, and there he offered the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, since the bronze altar before the LORD was too small to contain all these offerings.
65 So at that time Solomon and all Israel with him—a great assembly of people from Lebo-hamath to the Brook of Egypt—kept the feast before the LORD our God for seven days and seven more days—fourteen days in all.
66 On the fifteenth day g Solomon sent the people away. So they blessed the king and went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the good things that the LORD had done for His servant David and for His people Israel.
2 a That is, the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths or Shelters); similarly in verse 65; see Leviticus 23:33–36.
2 b Ethanim was the seventh month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of September and October.
6 c Or the Holy of Holies
8 d Literally not from outside
9 e That is, Mount Sinai, or possibly a mountain in the range containing Mount Sinai
12 f Some LXX manuscripts The Lord has set the sun in the heavens, but
66 g Hebrew On the eighth day , probably referring to the day following the seven-day feast; see 2 Chronicles 7:9–10.
The LORD’s Response to Solomon
(2 Chronicles 7:11–22)
1 Now when Solomon had finished building the house of the LORD and the royal palace, and had achieved all that he had desired to do, 2 the LORD appeared to him a second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 And the LORD said to him:
“I have heard your prayer and petition before Me. I have consecrated this temple you have built by putting My Name there forever; My eyes and My heart will be there for all time.
4 And as for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, with a heart of integrity and uprightness, doing all I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and ordinances, 5 then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised your father David when I said, ‘You will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’
6 But if indeed you or your sons turn away from following Me and do not keep the commandments and statutes I have set before you, and if you go off to serve and worship other gods, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and I will banish from My presence this temple I have sanctified for My Name. Then Israel will become an object of scorn and ridicule among all peoples.
8 And when this temple has become a heap of rubble, a all who pass by it will be appalled and will hiss and say, ‘Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 9 And others will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the LORD their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—because of this, the LORD has brought all this disaster upon them.’ ”
Solomon’s Additional Achievements
(2 Chronicles 8:1–18)
10 Now at the end of the twenty years during which Solomon built these two houses, the house of the LORD and the royal palace, 11 King Solomon gave twenty towns in the land of Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, who had supplied him with cedar and cypress b logs and gold for his every desire. 12 So Hiram went out from Tyre to inspect the towns that Solomon had given him, but he was not pleased with them.
15 This is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon imposed to build the house of the LORD, his own palace, the supporting terraces, e and the wall of Jerusalem, as well as Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer.
16 Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He had set it on fire, killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and given it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17 So Solomon rebuilt Gezer, Lower Beth-horon, 18 Baalath, and Tamar f in the Wilderness of Judah, g 19 as well as all the store cities that Solomon had for his chariots and horses h —whatever he desired to build in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and throughout the land of his dominion.
20 As for all the people who remained of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites (the people who were not Israelites)— 21 their descendants who remained in the land, those whom the Israelites were unable to devote to destruction i—Solomon conscripted these people to be forced laborers, as they are to this day.
22 But Solomon did not consign any of the Israelites to slavery, because they were his men of war, his servants, his officers, his captains, and the commanders of his chariots and cavalry. 23 They were also the chief officers over Solomon’s projects: 550 supervisors over the people who did the work.
24 As soon as Pharaoh’s daughter had come up from the City of David to the palace that Solomon had built for her, he built the supporting terraces.
25 Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar he had built for the LORD, burning incense with them before the LORD. So he completed the temple.
26 King Solomon also assembled a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth j in Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea. k 27 And Hiram sent his servants, men who knew the sea, to serve in the fleet with Solomon’s servants. 28 They sailed to Ophir and imported gold from there—420 talents l—and delivered it to Solomon.
8 a Some LXX manuscripts, Syriac, and Arabic; Hebrew And though this temple is now exalted ; see also 2 Chronicles 7:21.
11 b Or pine or juniper or fir
13 c Cabul sounds like the Hebrew for good-for-nothing .
14 d 120 talents is approximately 4.52 tons or 4.1 metric tons of gold.
15 e Hebrew the Millo ; also in verse 24
18 f Alternate MT reading; the other alternate reads Tadmor
18 g Hebrew in the wilderness in the land
19 h Or horsemen or charioteers
21 i Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
26 j Eloth is a variant of Elath ; see LXX, 2 Kings 14:22, and 2 Kings 16:6.
26 k Or the Sea of Reeds
28 l 420 talents is approximately 15.8 tons or 14.4 metric tons of gold.
The Queen of Sheba
(2 Chronicles 9:1–12)
1 Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with difficult questions. 2 She arrived in Jerusalem with a very large caravan—with camels bearing spices, gold in great abundance, and precious stones.
So she came to Solomon and spoke to him all that was on her mind. 3 And Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too difficult for the king to explain.
4 When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon, the palace he had built, 5 the food at his table, the seating of his servants, the service and attire of his attendants and cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he presented at the house of the LORD, it took her breath away.
6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your words and wisdom is true. 7 But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told to me. Your wisdom and prosperity have far exceeded the report I heard. 8 How blessed are your men! a How blessed are these servants of yours who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom! 9 Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel. Because of the LORD’s eternal love for Israel, He has made you king to carry out justice and righteousness.”
10 Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, b a great quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never again was such an abundance of spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 (The fleet of Hiram that brought gold from Ophir also brought from Ophir a great cargo of almug c wood and precious stones. 12 The king made the almug wood into steps for the house of the LORD and for the king’s palace, and into lyres and harps for the singers. Never before had such almug wood been brought in, nor has such been seen to this day.)
13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired—whatever she asked—besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned to her own country, along with her servants.
Solomon’s Wealth and Splendor
(2 Chronicles 1:14–17; 2 Chronicles 9:13–28)
16 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekels of gold e went into each shield. 17 He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold; three minas of gold f went into each shield. And the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
18 Additionally, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with pure gold. 19 The throne had six steps, and its back had a rounded top. There were armrests on both sides of the seat, with a lion standing beside each armrest. 20 Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like this had ever been made for any kingdom.
21 All King Solomon’s drinking cups were gold, and all the utensils of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. There was no silver, because it was accounted as nothing in the days of Solomon. 22 For the king had the ships of Tarshish g at sea with Hiram’s fleet, and once every three years the ships of Tarshish would arrive bearing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. h
23 So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. 24 The whole world sought an audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom that God had put in his heart. 25 Year after year, each visitor would bring his tribute: articles of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
26 Solomon accumulated i 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses, j which he stationed in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as abundant as sycamore in the foothills. k
28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and Kue; l the royal merchants purchased them from Kue. 29 A chariot could be imported from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, m and a horse for a hundred and fifty. n Likewise, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Aram.
8 a LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate your wives
10 b 120 talents is approximately 4.52 tons or 4.1 metric tons of gold.
11 c Almug is probably a variant of algum ; also in verse 12; see 2 Chronicles 2:8.
14 d 666 talents is approximately 25.1 tons or 22.8 metric tons of gold.
16 e 600 shekels is approximately 15.1 pounds or 6.8 kilograms of gold.
17 f 3 minas is approximately 3.77 pounds or 1.71 kilograms of gold; possibly a reference to double minas, that is, approximately 7.54 pounds or 3.42 kilograms.
22 g Or a fleet of trading ships ; twice in this verse
22 h Or baboons
26 i Literally Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had
26 j Or horsemen or charioteers
27 k Hebrew Shephelah or lowlands ; that is, the western foothills of Judea
28 l Probably an area in Cilicia, a province in the southeast of Asia Minor
29 m 600 shekels is approximately 15.1 pounds or 6.8 kilograms of silver.
29 n 150 shekels is approximately 3.8 pounds or 1.7 kilograms of silver.
Solomon’s Foreign Wives
1 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh—women of Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Sidon, as well as Hittite women. 2 These women were from the nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, for surely they will turn your hearts after their gods.” Yet Solomon clung to these women in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines—and his wives turned his heart away.
4 For when Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and he was not wholeheartedly devoted to the LORD his God, as his father David had been. 5 Solomon followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and Milcom a the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD; unlike his father David, he did not follow the LORD completely.
7 At that time on a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
God’s Anger against Solomon
9 Now the LORD grew angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 Although He had warned Solomon explicitly not to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command.
11 Then the LORD said to Solomon, “Because you have done this and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 Nevertheless, for the sake of your father David, I will not do it during your lifetime; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom away from him. I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”
14 Then the LORD raised up against Solomon an adversary, Hadad the Edomite, from the royal line of Edom.
15 Earlier, when David was in Edom, Joab the commander of the army had gone to bury the dead and had struck down every male in Edom. 16 Joab and all Israel had stayed there six months, until he had killed every male in Edom. 17 But Hadad, still just a young boy, had fled to Egypt, along with some Edomites who were servants of his father.
18 Hadad and his men set out from Midian and went to Paran. They took men from Paran with them and went to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave Hadad a house and land and provided him with food.
19 There Hadad found such great favor in the sight of Pharaoh that he gave to him in marriage the sister of Queen Tahpenes, his own wife. 20 And the sister of Tahpenes bore Hadad a son named Genubath. Tahpenes herself weaned him in Pharaoh’s palace, and Genubath lived there among the sons of Pharaoh.
21 When Hadad heard in Egypt that David had rested with his fathers and that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead, he said to Pharaoh, “Let me go, that I may return to my own country.”
22 But Pharaoh asked him, “What have you lacked here with me that you suddenly want to go back to your own country?”
“Nothing,” Hadad replied, “but please let me go.”
23 And God raised up against Solomon another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah, 24 and had gathered men to himself. When David killed the Zobaites, Rezon captained a band of raiders and went to Damascus, where they settled and gained control.
25 Rezon was Israel’s enemy throughout the days of Solomon, adding to the trouble caused by Hadad. So Rezon ruled over Aram with hostility toward Israel.
26 Now Jeroboam son of Nebat was an Ephraimite from Zeredah whose mother was a widow named Zeruah. Jeroboam was a servant of Solomon, but he rebelled against the king, 27 and this is the account of his rebellion against the king.
Solomon had built the supporting terraces b and repaired the gap in the wall of the city of his father David. 28 Now Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor. So when Solomon noticed that the young man was industrious, he put him in charge of the whole labor force of the house of Joseph.
29 During that time, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met Jeroboam on the road as he was going out of Jerusalem. Now Ahijah had wrapped himself in a new cloak, and the two of them were alone in the open field.
30 And Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing, tore it into twelve pieces, 31 and said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and I will give you ten tribes. 32 But one tribe will remain for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.
33 For they have c forsaken Me to worship Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the Ammonites. They have not walked in My ways, nor done what is right in My eyes, nor kept My statutes and judgments, as Solomon’s father David did.
34 Nevertheless, I will not take the whole kingdom out of Solomon’s hand, because I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of David My servant, whom I chose because he kept My commandments and statutes. 35 But I will take ten tribes of the kingdom from the hand of his son and give them to you. 36 I will give one tribe to his son, so that My servant David will always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to put My Name. 37 But as for you, I will take you, and you shall reign over all that your heart desires, and you will be king over Israel.
38 If you listen to all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight in order to keep My statutes and commandments as My servant David did, then I will be with you. I will build you a lasting dynasty just as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you. 39 Because of this, I will humble David’s descendants—but not forever.’ ”
40 Solomon therefore sought to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, where he remained until the death of Solomon.
The Death of Solomon
(2 Chronicles 9:29–31)
41 As for the rest of the acts of Solomon—all that he did, as well as his wisdom—are they not written in the Book of the Acts of Solomon? 42 Thus the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.
43 And Solomon rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David. And his son Rehoboam reigned in his place.
Rebellion against Rehoboam
(2 Chronicles 10:1–15)
1 Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard about this, he was still a in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon and had been living ever since. 3 So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel came to Rehoboam and said, 4 “Your father put a heavy yoke on us. But now you should lighten the burden of your father’s service and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
5 Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then return to me.” So the people departed.
6 Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How do you advise me to respond to these people?” he asked.
7 They replied, “If you will be a servant to these people and serve them this day, and if you will respond by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever.”
8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders; instead, he consulted the young men who had grown up with him and served him. 9 He asked them, “What message do you advise that we send back to these people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”
10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “This is how you should answer these people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you should make it lighter.’ This is what you should tell them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11 Whereas my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. Whereas my father scourged you with whips, I will scourge you with scorpions.’ ”
12 After three days, Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, since the king had said, “Come back to me on the third day.” 13 And the king answered the people harshly. He rejected the advice of the elders 14 and spoke to them as the young men had advised, saying, “Whereas my father made your yoke heavy, I will add to your yoke. Whereas my father scourged you with whips, I will scourge you with scorpions.”
15 So the king did not listen to the people, and indeed this turn of events was from the LORD, to fulfill the word He had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.
The Kingdom Divided
(2 Chronicles 10:16–19)
16 When all Israel saw that the king had refused to listen to them, they answered the king:
“What portion do we have in David,
and what inheritance in the son of Jesse?
To your tents, O Israel!
Look now to your own house, O David!”
So the Israelites went home, 17 but Rehoboam still reigned over the Israelites living in the cities of Judah.
18 Then King Rehoboam sent out Adoram, b who was in charge of the forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam mounted his chariot in haste and escaped to Jerusalem. 19 So to this day Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David.
(2 Chronicles 11:1–4)
20 When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they summoned him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah followed the house of David.
21 And when Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mobilized the whole house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—180,000 chosen warriors—to fight against the house of Israel and restore the kingdom to Rehoboam son of Solomon.
22 But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God: 23 “Tell Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and the rest of the people 24 that this is what the LORD says: ‘You are not to go up and fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Each of you must return home, for this word is from Me.’ ”
So they listened to the word of the LORD and turned back according to the word of the LORD.
26 Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom might revert to the house of David. 27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, their hearts will return to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah; then they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.”
28 After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves and said to the people, d “Going up to Jerusalem is too much for you. Here, O Israel, are your gods, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”
31 Jeroboam also built shrines on the high places and appointed from every class of people priests who were not Levites. 32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, f like the feast that was in Judah, and he offered sacrifices on the altar; he made this offering in Bethel to sacrifice to the calves he had set up, and he installed priests in Bethel for the high places he had set up.
33 On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, Jeroboam offered sacrifices on the altar he had set up in Bethel. So he ordained a feast for the Israelites, offered sacrifices on the altar, and burned incense.
2 a Or he remained
18 b Hebrew; some LXX manuscripts and Syriac Adoniram ; see 1 Kings 4:6 and 1 Kings 5:14.
25 c Penuel is a variant of Peniel ; see Genesis 32:30.
28 d Hebrew to them
30 e Likely reading of the original Hebrew text; MT the people walked to the one as far as Dan ; LXX the people went to the one at Bethel and to the other as far as Dan
32 f This feast was exactly one month after the annual Feast of Tabernacles in Judah; see Leviticus 23:34.
Jeroboam’s Hand Withers
(2 Kings 23:4–20; 2 Chronicles 34:3–7)
1 Suddenly, as Jeroboam was standing beside the altar to burn incense, there came a man of God from Judah to Bethel by the word of the LORD. 2 And he cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD, “O altar, O altar, this is what the LORD says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David, and upon you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense upon you, and human bones will be burned upon you.’ ” a
3 That day the man of God gave a sign, saying, “The LORD has spoken this sign: ‘Surely the altar will be split apart, and the ashes upon it will be poured out.’ ”
4 Now when King Jeroboam, who was at the altar in Bethel, heard the word that the man of God had cried out against it, he stretched out his hand and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward him withered, so that he could not pull it back. 5 And the altar was split apart, and the ashes poured out, according to the sign that the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.
6 Then the king responded to the man of God, “Intercede with the LORD your God and pray that my hand may be restored.”
So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored to him as it was before.
7 Then the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.”
8 But the man of God replied, “If you were to give me half your possessions, I still would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water in this place. 9 For this is what I was commanded by the word of the LORD: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’ ”
10 So the man of God went another way and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel.
The Old Prophet and the Man of God
11 Now a certain old prophet was living in Bethel, and his sons b came and told him all the deeds that the man of God had done that day in Bethel. They also told their father the words that the man had spoken to the king.
12 “Which way did he go?” their father asked.
“I am,” he replied.
15 So the prophet said to the man of God, “Come home with me and eat some bread.”
16 But the man replied, “I cannot return with you or eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 For I have been told by the word of the LORD: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’ ”
18 Then the prophet replied, “I too am a prophet like you, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, so that he may eat bread and drink water.’ ”
The old prophet was lying to him, 19 but the man of God went back with him, ate bread in his house, and drank water.
20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the prophet who had brought him back, 21 and the prophet cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Because you have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the commandment that the LORD your God gave you, 22 but you went back and ate bread and drank water in the place where He told you not to do so, your body shall never reach the tomb of your fathers.’ ”
23 And after the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the old prophet who had brought him back saddled the donkey for him. 24 As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying in the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it.
25 And there were men passing by who saw the body lying in the road with the lion standing beside it, and they went and reported this in the city where the old prophet lived.
26 When the prophet who had brought him back from his journey heard this, he said, “It is the man of God who disobeyed the command of the LORD. Therefore the LORD has delivered him to the lion, and it has mauled him and killed him, according to the word that the LORD had spoken to him.”
27 Then the old prophet instructed his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled it, 28 and he went and found the body lying in the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had not eaten the body or mauled the donkey. 29 So the old prophet lifted up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back to his own city to mourn for him and bury him. 30 Then he laid the body in his own tomb, and they lamented over him, “Oh, my brother!”
31 After he had buried him, the prophet said to his sons, “When I die, you must bury me in the tomb where the man of God is buried. Lay my bones beside his bones, 32 for the message that he cried out by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the shrines on the high places in the cities of Samaria will surely come to pass.”
33 Even after these events, Jeroboam did not repent of his evil ways, but again he appointed priests for the high places from every class of people. He ordained anyone who desired to be a priest of the high places. 34 And this was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its extermination and destruction from the face of the earth.
Ahijah’s Prophecy against Jeroboam
1 At that time Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill, 2 and Jeroboam said to his wife, “Now get up, disguise yourself so they will not recognize you as my wife, and go to Shiloh. For Ahijah the prophet is there; it was he who spoke about my kingship over this people. 3 Take with you ten loaves of bread, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will become of the boy.”
4 Jeroboam’s wife did as instructed; she arose and went to Shiloh and arrived at Ahijah’s house. Now Ahijah could not see, for his eyes were dim because of his age. 5 But the LORD had said to Ahijah, “Behold, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to ask you about her son, for he is ill. You are to say such and such to her, because when she arrives, she will be disguised.”
6 So when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet entering the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam! Why are you disguised? For I have been sent to you with bad news. 7 Go, tell Jeroboam that this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I raised you up from among the people and appointed you ruler over My people Israel. 8 I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you. But you were not like My servant David, who kept My commandments and followed Me with all his heart, doing only what was right in My eyes.
9 You have done more evil than all who came before you. You have proceeded to make for yourself other gods and molten images to provoke Me, and you have flung Me behind your back. 10 Because of all this, behold, I am bringing disaster on the house of Jeroboam:
I will cut off from Jeroboam every male, a
both slave and free,
I will burn up the house of Jeroboam
as one burns up dung until it is gone!
11 Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city
will be eaten by dogs,
and anyone who dies in the field
will be eaten by the birds of the air.’
For the LORD has spoken.
12 As for you, get up and go home. When your feet enter the city, the child will die. 13 All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. For this is the only one belonging to Jeroboam who will receive a proper burial, b because only in him has the LORD, the God of Israel, found any good in the house of Jeroboam.
14 Moreover, the LORD will raise up for Himself a king over Israel who will cut off the house of Jeroboam. This is the day—yes, even today! 15 For the LORD will strike Israel as a reed is shaken in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land that He gave their fathers, and He will scatter them beyond the Euphrates, c because they have made their Asherah poles, provoking the LORD to anger. 16 So He will give Israel over on account of the sins Jeroboam has committed and has caused Israel to commit.”
17 Then Jeroboam’s wife got up and departed for Tirzah, and as soon as she stepped over the threshold of the house, the boy died. 18 And they buried him, and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word that the LORD had spoken through His servant Ahijah the prophet.
Nadab Succeeds Jeroboam
19 As for the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he waged war and how he reigned, they are indeed written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.
20 And the length of Jeroboam’s reign was twenty-two years, and he rested with his fathers, and his son Nadab reigned in his place.
Rehoboam Reigns in Judah
(2 Chronicles 12:13–14)
21 Meanwhile, Rehoboam son of Solomon reigned in Judah. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the LORD had chosen from all the tribes of Israel in which to put His Name. His mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite.
22 And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and by the sins they committed they provoked Him to jealous anger more than all their fathers had done. 23 They also built for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree. 24 There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land. They imitated all the abominations of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.
Shishak Raids Jerusalem
(2 Chronicles 12:1–12)
25 In the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign, Shishak king of Egypt came up and attacked Jerusalem. 26 He seized the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the royal palace. He took everything, including all the gold shields that Solomon had made.
27 Then King Rehoboam made bronze shields in their place and committed them to the care of the captains of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. 28 And whenever the king entered the house of the LORD, the guards would bear the shields, and later they would return them to the guardroom.
29 As for the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, along with all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?
30 There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam throughout their days. 31 And Rehoboam rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the City of David; his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite. And his son Abijam d reigned in his place.
10 a Literally (all) those who urinate against a wall
13 b Literally who will come to the grave
15 c Hebrew the River
31 d Abijam is a variant of Abijah ; some Hebrew manuscripts and LXX Abijah ; see 2 Chronicles 12:16.
Abijam Reigns in Judah
(2 Chronicles 13:1–3)
3 And Abijam walked in all the sins that his father before him had committed, and his heart was not as fully devoted to the LORD his God as the heart of David his forefather had been. 4 Nevertheless, for the sake of David, the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and to make Jerusalem strong. 5 For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not turned aside from anything the LORD commanded all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
7 As for the rest of the acts of Abijam, along with all his accomplishments, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.
8 And Abijam rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David, and his son Asa reigned in his place.
Asa Reigns in Judah
(2 Chronicles 14:1–15; 2 Chronicles 15:8–19)
11 And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as his father David had done. 12 He banished the male shrine prostitutes from the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 13 He also removed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother because she had made a detestable Asherah pole. Asa chopped down the pole and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
14 The high places were not removed, but Asa’s heart was fully devoted to the LORD all his days. 15 And he brought into the house of the LORD the silver and gold and other articles that he and his father had dedicated.
War between Asa and Baasha
(2 Chronicles 16:1–6)
16 Now there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their days. 17 Baasha king of Israel went to war against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.
18 So Asa withdrew all the silver and gold that remained in the treasuries of the house of the LORD and the royal palace. He entrusted it to his servants and sent them with this message to Ben-hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus: 19 “Let there be a treaty f between me and you, between my father and your father. See, I have sent you a gift of silver and gold. Now go and break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me.”
20 And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, conquering Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and the whole land of Naphtali, including the region of Chinnereth.
21 When Baasha learned of this, he stopped fortifying Ramah and withdrew to Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa summoned all the men of Judah, g with no exceptions, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and the timbers Baasha had used for building. And with these materials King Asa built up Geba of Benjamin, as well as Mizpah.
Jehoshaphat Succeeds Asa
(2 Chronicles 17:1–19)
23 Now the rest of the acts of Asa, along with all his might, all his accomplishments, and the cities he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? In his old age, however, he became diseased in his feet.
24 And Asa rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the city of his father David, and his son Jehoshaphat reigned in his place.
Nadab Reigns in Israel
25 In the second year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Nadab son of Jeroboam became king of Israel, and he reigned two years. 26 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of his father and in his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit.
27 Then Baasha son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar conspired against Nadab, and Baasha struck him down at Gibbethon of the Philistines while Nadab and all Israel were besieging the city. 28 In the third year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Baasha killed Nadab and reigned in his place.
29 As soon as Baasha became king, he struck down the entire household of Jeroboam. He did not leave to Jeroboam anyone that breathed, but destroyed them all according to the word that the LORD had spoken through His servant Ahijah the Shilonite, 30 because of the sins Jeroboam had committed and had caused Israel to commit, and because he had provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger.
31 As for the rest of the acts of Nadab, along with all his accomplishments, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 32 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their days.
Baasha Reigns in Israel
33 In the third year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel, and he reigned in Tirzah twenty-four years.
34 And Baasha did evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit.
1 a Abijam is a variant of Abijah ; some Hebrew manuscripts and LXX Abijah ; also in verses 3, 6, 7, and 8; see 2 Chronicles 12:16.
2 b Abishalom is a variant of Absalom ; also in verse 10; see 2 Chronicles 11:20.
6 c Literally war between Rehoboam (most Hebrew manuscripts); some Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac war between Abijam (that is, Abijah); most LXX texts do not contain this verse.
6 d Literally of his life
10 e Or The queen mother’s ; Hebrew His mother’s ; see verses 2 and 13.
19 f Forms of the Hebrew berit are translated in most passages as covenant ; twice in this verse.
22 g Or Then King Asa made a proclamation throughout all Judah
Jehu’s Prophecy against Baasha
1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu son of Hanani against Baasha, saying: 2 “Even though I lifted you out of the dust and made you ruler over My people Israel, you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have caused My people Israel to sin and to provoke Me to anger by their sins. 3 So now I will consume Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat:
4 Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city
will be eaten by dogs,
and anyone who dies in the field
will be eaten by the birds of the air.”
5 As for the rest of the acts of Baasha, along with his accomplishments and might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 6 And Baasha rested with his fathers and was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah reigned in his place.
7 Moreover, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani against Baasha and his house, because of all the evil he had done in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger with the work of his hands and becoming like the house of Jeroboam, and also because Baasha had struck down the house of Jeroboam.
Elah Reigns in Israel
8 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel, and he reigned in Tirzah two years.
9 However, while Elah was in Tirzah getting drunk in the house of Arza the steward of his household there, Elah’s servant Zimri, the commander of half his chariots, conspired against him. 10 So in the twenty-seventh year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Zimri went in, struck Elah down, and killed him. And Zimri reigned in his place.
11 As soon as Zimri began to reign and was seated on the throne, he struck down the entire household of Baasha. He did not leave a single male, whether a kinsman or friend. 12 So Zimri destroyed the entire household of Baasha, according to the word that the LORD had spoken against Baasha through Jehu the prophet. 13 This happened because of all the sins Baasha and his son Elah had committed and had caused Israel to commit, provoking the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger with their worthless idols.
14 As for the rest of the acts of Elah, along with all his accomplishments, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
Zimri Reigns in Israel
15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Zimri reigned in Tirzah for seven days. Now the troops were encamped against Gibbethon of the Philistines, 16 and the people in the camp heard that Zimri had not only conspired but had also struck down the king. So there in the camp that very day, all Israel proclaimed Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel.
17 Then Omri and all the Israelites marched up from Gibbethon and besieged Tirzah. 18 When Zimri saw that the city was captured, he entered the citadel of the royal palace and burned it down upon himself. So he died 19 because of the sins he had committed, doing evil in the sight of the LORD and following the example of Jeroboam and the sin he had committed and had caused Israel to commit.
20 As for the rest of the acts of Zimri and the treason he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
Omri Reigns in Israel
21 At that time the people of Israel were divided: Half of the people supported Tibni son of Ginath as king, and half supported Omri. 22 But the followers of Omri proved stronger than those of Tibni son of Ginath. So Tibni died and Omri became king.
23 In the thirty-first year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. 24 He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver a and built a city there, calling it Samaria after the name of Shemer, who had owned the hill.
25 But Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD and acted more wickedly than all who were before him. 26 For he walked in all the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and in his sins, which he caused Israel to commit, provoking the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger with their worthless idols.
27 As for the rest of the acts of Omri, along with his accomplishments and the might he exercised, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
28 And Omri rested with his fathers and was buried in Samaria, and his son Ahab reigned in his place.
Ahab Reigns in Israel, Marries Jezebel
29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria twenty-two years.
30 However, Ahab son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. 31 And as if it were not enough for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, he even married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and he then proceeded to serve and worship Baal.
32 First, Ahab set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he had built in Samaria. 33 Then he set up an Asherah pole. Thus Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel before him.
34 In Ahab’s days, Hiel the Bethelite rebuilt Jericho. At the cost of Abiram his firstborn he laid its foundation, and at the cost of Segub his youngest he set up its gates, according to the word that the LORD had spoken through Joshua son of Nun. b
The Ravens Feed Elijah
1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was among the settlers of Gilead, a said to Ahab, “As surely as the LORD lives—the God of Israel before whom I stand—there will be neither dew nor rain in these years except at my word!”
2 Then a revelation from the LORD came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward, and hide yourself by the Brook of Cherith, east of the Jordan. b 4 And you are to drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
5 So Elijah did what the LORD had told him, and he went and lived by the Brook of Cherith, east of the Jordan. 6 The ravens would bring him bread and meat in the morning and evening, and he would drink from the brook. 7 Some time later, however, the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.
The Widow of Zarephath
10 So Elijah got up and went to Zarephath. When he arrived at the city gate, there was a widow gathering sticks. Elijah called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, so that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread.”
12 But she replied, “As surely as the LORD your God lives, I have no bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. Look, I am gathering a couple of sticks to take home and prepare a meal for myself and my son, so that we may eat it and die.”
13 “Do not be afraid,” Elijah said to her. “Go and do as you have said. But first make me a small cake of bread from what you have, and bring it out to me. Afterward, make some for yourself and your son, 14 for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be exhausted and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain upon the face of the earth.’ ”
15 So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and there was food every day for Elijah and the woman and her household. 16 The jar of flour was not exhausted and the jug of oil did not run dry, according to the word that the LORD had spoken through Elijah.
Elijah Raises the Widow’s Son
17 Later, the son of the woman who owned the house became ill, and his sickness grew worse and worse, until no breath remained in him. 18 “O man of God,” said the woman to Elijah, “what have you done to me? Have you come to remind me of my iniquity and cause the death of my son?”
19 But Elijah said to her, “Give me your son.”
So he took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. 20 Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have You also brought tragedy on this widow who has opened her home to me, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, please let this boy’s life return to him!”
22 And the LORD listened to the voice of Elijah, and the child’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Then Elijah took the child, brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. “Look, your son is alive,” Elijah declared.
24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is truth.”
1 a Or who was from Tishbe in Gilead
3 b Or the Cherith Ravine, near the Jordan ; also in verse 5
Elijah’s Message to Ahab
(Now Obadiah greatly feared the LORD, 4 for when Jezebel had slaughtered the prophets of the LORD, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty men per cave, providing them with food and water.)
5 Then Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go throughout the land to every spring and every valley. Perhaps we will find grass to keep the horses and mules alive so that we will not have to destroy any livestock.”
6 So they divided the land to explore. Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went the other way by himself.
7 Now as Obadiah went on his way, Elijah suddenly met him. When Obadiah recognized him, he fell facedown and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?”
8 “It is I,” he answered. “Go tell your master, ‘Elijah is here!’ ”
9 But Obadiah replied, “How have I sinned, that you are handing your servant over to Ahab to put me to death? 10 As surely as the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent someone to search for you. When they said, ‘He is not here,’ he made that kingdom or nation swear that they had not found you. 11 And now you say, ‘Go tell your master that Elijah is here!’
12 I do not know where the Spirit of the LORD may carry you off when I leave you. Then when I go and tell Ahab and he does not find you, he will kill me. But I, your servant, have feared the LORD from my youth. 13 Was it not reported to my lord what I did when Jezebel slaughtered the prophets of the LORD? I hid a hundred prophets of the LORD, fifty men per cave, and I provided them with food and water. 14 And now you say, ‘Go tell your lord that Elijah is here!’ He will kill me!”
15 Then Elijah said, “As surely as the LORD of Hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will present myself to Ahab today.”
Elijah on Mount Carmel
18 “I have not troubled Israel,” Elijah replied, “but you and your father’s house have, for you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon all Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel, along with the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20 So Ahab summoned all the Israelites and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 21 Then Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, follow him.”
But the people did not answer a word.
22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I am the only remaining prophet of the LORD, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get two bulls for us. Let the prophets of Baal choose one bull for themselves, cut it into pieces, and place it on the wood but not light the fire. And I will prepare the other bull and place it on the wood but not light the fire. 24 Then you may call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The God who answers by fire, He is God.”
And all the people answered, “What you say is good.”
25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Since you are so numerous, choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first. Then call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.”
26 And they took the bull that was given them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!”
But there was no sound, and no one answered as they leaped around the altar they had made.
27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them, saying, “Shout louder, for he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or occupied, or on a journey. Perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened!”
28 So they shouted louder and cut themselves with knives and lances, as was their custom, until the blood gushed over them.
29 Midday passed, and they kept on raving until the time of the evening sacrifice. But there was no response; no one answered, no one paid attention.
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people approached him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been torn down.
31 And Elijah took twelve stones, one for each tribe of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come and said, “Israel shall be your name.” 32 And with the stones, Elijah built an altar in the name of the LORD. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. b
“Do it a second time,” he said, and they did it a second time.
“Do it a third time,” he said, and they did it a third time.
35 So the water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36 At the time of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet approached the altar and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and have done all these things at Your command. 37 Answer me, O LORD! Answer me, so that this people will know that You, the LORD, are God, and that You have turned their hearts back again.”
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and it licked up the water in the trench.
39 When all the people saw this, they fell facedown and said, “The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!”
40 Then Elijah ordered them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let a single one escape.” So they seized them, and Elijah brought them down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered them there.
The LORD Sends Rain
41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.”
So the servant went and looked, and he said, “There is nothing there.”
Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”
44 On the seventh time the servant reported, “There is a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising from the sea.”
And Elijah replied, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’ ”
45 Meanwhile, the sky grew dark with clouds and wind, and a heavy rain began to fall. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel.
1 a Literally And the days were many, and in the third year,
32 b 2 seahs is approximately 13.2 dry quarts or 14.6 liters (probably about 25.4 pounds or 11.5 kilograms of seed).
34 c Some texts break verse 33 and begin verse 34 at this point.
46 d Hebrew he girded up his loins
Elijah Flees from Jezebel
1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything that Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “May the gods deal with me, and ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like the lives of those you killed!”
3 And Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself traveled on a day’s journey into the wilderness. He sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
5 Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep.
Suddenly an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”
6 And he looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again.
7 A second time the angel of the LORD returned and touched him, saying, “Get up and eat, or the journey will be too much for you.”
The LORD Speaks to Elijah at Horeb
9 There Elijah entered a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of Hosts,” he replied, “but the Israelites have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I am the only one left, and they are seeking my life as well.” b
11 Then the LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD. Behold, the LORD is about to pass by.”
And a great and mighty wind tore into the mountains and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a still, small voice. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of Hosts,” he replied, “but the Israelites have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I am the only one left, and they are seeking my life as well.”
15 Then the LORD said to him, “Go back by the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you arrive, you are to anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16 You are also to anoint Jehu son c of Nimshi as king over Israel and Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah to succeed you as prophet.
17 Then Jehu will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death whoever escapes the sword of Jehu.
The Call of Elisha
19 So Elijah departed and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve teams of oxen, and he was with the twelfth team. Elijah passed by him and threw his cloak around him.
20 So Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and then I will follow you.”
“Go on back,” Elijah replied, “for what have I done to you?”
21 So Elisha turned back from him, took his pair of oxen, and slaughtered them. With the oxen’s equipment, he cooked the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow and serve Elijah.
8 a That is, Mount Sinai, or possibly a mountain in the range containing Mount Sinai
10 b Cited in Romans 11:3; here and in verse 14
16 c Or grandson ; see 2 Kings 9:14.
18 d Cited in Romans 11:4
Ben-hadad Attacks Samaria
1 Now Ben-hadad king of Aram assembled his entire army. Accompanied by thirty-two kings with their horses and chariots, he marched up, besieged Samaria, and waged war against it. 2 Then he sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel, 3 saying, “This is what Ben-hadad says: a ‘Your silver and gold are mine, and your best wives and children are mine!’ ”
4 And the king of Israel replied, “Just as you say, my lord the king: I am yours, along with all that I have.”
5 The messengers came back and said, “This is what Ben-hadad says: ‘I have sent to you to demand your silver, your gold, your wives, and your children. 6 But about this time tomorrow I will send my servants to search your palace and the houses of your servants. They will seize and carry away all that is precious to you.’ ”
7 Then the king of Israel summoned all the elders of the land and said, “Please take note and see that this man is looking for trouble, for when he demanded my wives, my children, my silver, and my gold, I did not deny him.”
8 And the elders and the people all said, “Do not listen to him or consent to his terms.”
9 So Ahab answered the messengers of Ben-hadad, “Tell my lord the king, ‘All that you demanded of your servant the first time I will do, but this thing I cannot do.’ ”
So the messengers departed and relayed the message to Ben-hadad.
10 Then Ben-hadad sent another message to Ahab: “May the gods deal with me, and ever so severely, if enough dust remains of Samaria for each of my men to have a handful.”
11 And the king of Israel replied, “Tell him: ‘The one putting on his armor should not boast like one taking it off.’ ”
Ahab Defeats Ben-hadad
13 Meanwhile a prophet approached Ahab king of Israel and declared, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Do you see this entire great army? Behold, I will deliver it into your hand this very day, and you will know that I am the LORD.’ ”
14 “By whom?” Ahab asked.
And the prophet replied, “This is what the LORD says: ‘By the young officers of the district governors.’ ”
“Who will start the battle?” asked Ahab.
“You will,” answered the prophet.
15 So Ahab assembled the young officers of the district governors, and there were 232 men. And after them, he assembled the rest of the Israelite troops, 7,000 in all.
Now Ben-hadad had sent out scouts, who reported to him, “Men are marching out of Samaria.”
18 “If they have marched out in peace,” he said, “take them alive. Even if they have marched out for war, take them alive.”
19 Meanwhile, these young officers of the district governors marched out of the city, with the army behind them, 20 and each one struck down his opponent. So the Arameans fled, with the Israelites in pursuit. But Ben-hadad king of Aram escaped on horseback with the cavalry.
21 Then the king of Israel marched out and attacked the horses and chariots, inflicting a great slaughter on the Arameans.
23 Meanwhile, the servants of the king of Aram said to him, “Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they prevailed over us. Instead, we should fight them on the plains; surely then we will prevail. 24 So do this: Dismiss all the kings from their positions and replace them with other officers. 25 And you must raise an army like the one you have lost—horse for horse and chariot for chariot—so we can fight the Israelites on the plain, where we will surely prevail.”
And the king approved their plan and acted accordingly.
Another War with Ben-hadad
The Israelites camped before them like two small flocks of goats, while the Arameans covered the countryside.
28 Then the man of God approached the king of Israel and said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Because the Arameans think the LORD is a god of the hills and not of the valleys, I will deliver all this great army into your hand. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ ”
29 For seven days the armies camped opposite each other, and on the seventh day the battle ensued, and the Israelites struck down the Arameans—a hundred thousand foot soldiers in one day.
30 The rest of them fled into the city of Aphek, where the wall fell on twenty-seven thousand of the remaining men. Ben-hadad also fled to the city and hid in an inner room.
Ahab Spares Ben-hadad
31 Then the servants of Ben-hadad said to him, “Look now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful. Let us go out to the king of Israel with sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our heads. Perhaps he will spare your life.”
32 So with sackcloth around their waists and ropes around their heads, they went to the king of Israel and said, “Your servant Ben-hadad says, ‘Please spare my life.’ ”
And the king answered, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.”
33 Now the men were looking for a sign of hope, and they quickly grasped at this word and replied, “Yes, your brother Ben-hadad.”
“Go and get him!” said the king.
Then Ben-hadad came out, and Ahab had him come up into his chariot.
34 Ben-hadad said to him, “I will restore the cities my father took from your father; you may set up your own marketplaces in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria.”
“By this treaty d I release you,” Ahab replied. So he made a treaty with him and sent him away.
A Prophet Reproves Ahab
35 Meanwhile, by the word of the LORD, one of the sons of the prophets said to his companion, “Strike me, please!”
But the man refused to strike him.
36 Then the prophet said to him, “Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, as soon as you depart from me a lion will kill you.”
And when he left, a lion found him and killed him.
37 Then the prophet found another man and said, “Strike me, please!”
So the man struck him and wounded him, 38 and the prophet went and waited on the road for the king, disguising himself with a bandage over his eyes.
39 As the king passed by, he cried out to the king: “Your servant had marched out into the middle of the battle, when suddenly a man came over with a captive and told me, ‘Guard this man! If he goes missing for any reason, your life will be exchanged for his life, or you will weigh out a talent of silver. e’ 40 But while your servant was busy here and there, the man disappeared.”
And the king of Israel said to him, “So shall your judgment be;you have pronounced it on yourself.”
41 Then the prophet quickly removed the bandage from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets.
42 And the prophet said to the king, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Because you have let slip from your hand the man I had devoted to destruction, f your life will be exchanged for his life, and your people for his people.’ ”
43 Sullen and angry, the king of Israel went home to Samaria.
3 a Some texts break verse 2 and begin verse 3 at this point.
12 b Or in Succoth ; also in verse 16
22 c Literally at the turn of the year ; similarly in verse 26
34 d Forms of the Hebrew berit are translated in most passages as covenant ; twice in this verse.
39 e A talent is approximately 75.4 pounds or 34.2 kilograms of silver.
42 f Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
1 Some time later, Naboth the Jezreelite happened to own a vineyard in Jezreel next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 So Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard to use as a vegetable garden, since it is next to my palace. I will give you a better vineyard in its place—or if you prefer, I will give you its value in silver.”
3 But Naboth replied, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”
4 So Ahab went to his palace, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had told him, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” He lay down on his bed, turned his face away, and refused to eat.
5 Soon his wife Jezebel came in and asked, “Why are you so sullen that you refuse to eat?”
6 Ahab answered, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and told him, ‘Give me your vineyard for silver, or if you wish, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ And he replied, ‘I will not give you my vineyard!’ ”
7 But his wife Jezebel said to him, “Do you not reign over Israel? Get up, eat some food, and be cheerful, for I will get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
“Proclaim a fast and give Naboth a seat of honor among the people. 10 But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them testify, ‘You have cursed both God and the king!’ Then take him out and stone him to death.”
11 So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city did as Jezebel had instructed in the letters she had written to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and gave Naboth a seat of honor among the people.
13 And the two scoundrels came in and sat opposite Naboth, and these men testified against him before the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed both God and the king!”
So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel: “Naboth has been stoned to death.”
15 When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, who refused to give it to you for silver. For Naboth is no longer alive, but dead.”
16 And when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
Elijah Denounces Ahab and Jezebel
17 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 “Get up and go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria. See, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, of which he has gone to take possession.
19 Tell him that this is what the LORD says: ‘Have you not murdered a man and seized his land?’
Then tell him that this is also what the LORD says: ‘In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, there also the dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’ a”
20 When Elijah arrived, Ahab said to him, “So you have found me out, my enemy.”
‘I will bring calamity on you
and consume your descendants;
I will cut off from Ahab every male in Israel,
both slave and free.
22 I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat
and like that of Baasha son of Ahijah,
because you have provoked My anger
23 And the LORD also speaks concerning Jezebel:
‘The dogs will devour Jezebel
by the wall of Jezreel.’ c
24 Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city
will be eaten by dogs,
and anyone who dies in the field
will be eaten by the birds of the air.”
25 (Surely there was never one like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, incited by his wife Jezebel. 26 He committed the most detestable acts by going after idols, just like the Amorites whom the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.)
27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and fasted. He lay down in sackcloth and walked around meekly.
28 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying: 29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity during his days, but I will bring it upon his house in the days of his son.”
19 a See 1 Kings 22:38
21 b See LXX; the source of the quotation is clarified in verses 17 and 23; Hebrew Behold .
23 c Most Hebrew manuscripts; a few Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate, and Syriac (see also 2 Kings 9:36) ‘The dogs will devour Jezebel at the plot of ground at Jezreel.’
Ahab and the False Prophets
(2 Chronicles 18:1–11)
1 Then three years passed without war between Aram and Israel.
2 However, in the third year, Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to visit the king of Israel, 3 who said to his servants, “Do you not know that Ramoth-gilead is ours, but we have failed to take it from the hand of the king of Aram?”
4 So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth-gilead?”
Jehoshaphat answered the king of Israel, “I am like you, my people are your people, and my horses are your horses.”
5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the word of the LORD.”
6 So the king of Israel assembled the prophets, about four hundred men, and asked them, “Should I go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I refrain?”
“Go up,” they replied, “and the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king.”
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not still a prophet of the LORD here of whom we can inquire?”
8 The king of Israel answered, “There is still one man who can ask the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good for me, but only bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
“The king should not say that!” Jehoshaphat replied.
9 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”
10 Dressed in royal attire, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.
11 Now Zedekiah son of Chenaanah had made for himself iron horns and declared, “This is what the LORD says: ‘With these you shall gore the Arameans until they are finished off.’ ”
12 And all the prophets were prophesying the same, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper, for the LORD will deliver it into the hand of the king.”
Micaiah Prophesies against Ahab
(2 Chronicles 18:12–27)
13 Then the messenger who had gone to call Micaiah instructed him, “Behold now, with one accord the words of the prophets are favorable to the king. So please let your words be like theirs, and speak favorably.”
14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the LORD lives, I will speak whatever the LORD tells me.”
15 When Micaiah arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should we refrain?”
“Go up and triumph,” Micaiah replied, “for the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.”
16 But the king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear not to tell me anything but the truth in the name of the LORD?”
17 So Micaiah declared:
“I saw all Israel scattered on the hills
like sheep without a shepherd.
And the LORD said, ‘These people have no master;
let each one return home in peace.’ ”
18 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he never prophesies good for me, but only bad?”
19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left.
20 And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to march up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’
And one suggested this, and another that.
‘By what means?’ asked the LORD.
22 And he replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’
‘You will surely entice him and prevail,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’
23 So you see, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has pronounced disaster against you.”
24 Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah went up, struck Micaiah in the face, and demanded, “Which way did the Spirit of the LORD go when He departed from me to speak with you?”
25 Micaiah replied, “You will soon see, on that day when you go and hide in an inner room.”
26 And the king of Israel declared, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son, 27 and tell them that this is what the king says: ‘Put this man in prison and feed him only bread and water until I return safely.’ ”
28 But Micaiah replied, “If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Take heed, all you people!”
Ahab’s Defeat and Death
(2 Chronicles 18:28–34)
29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
31 Now the king of Aram had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.”
32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “Surely this is the king of Israel!” So they turned to fight against him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 And when the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.
34 However, a certain man drew his bow without taking special aim, and he struck the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. So the king said to his charioteer, “Turn around b and take me out of the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
35 The battle raged throughout that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. And the blood from his wound ran out onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died. 36 As the sun was setting, the cry rang out in the army:
“Every man to his own city,
and every man to his own land!”
37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, where they buried him. 38 And the chariot was washed at the pool of Samaria where the prostitutes bathed, c and the dogs licked up Ahab’s blood, according to the word that the LORD had spoken. d
39 As for the rest of the acts of Ahab, along with all his accomplishments and the ivory palace and all the cities he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
40 And Ahab rested with his fathers, and his son Ahaziah reigned in his place.
Jehoshaphat Reigns in Judah
(2 Chronicles 20:31–34)
41 In the fourth year of Ahab’s reign over Israel, Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.
43 And Jehoshaphat walked in all the ways of his father Asa; he did not turn away from them, but did what was right in the eyes of the LORD.
The high places, however, were not removed; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. 44 Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.
45 As for the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, along with the might he exercised and how he waged war, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 46 He banished from the land the male shrine prostitutes who remained from the days of his father Asa. 47 And there was no king in Edom; a deputy served as king.
48 Jehoshaphat built ships of Tarshish e to go to Ophir for gold, but they never set sail, because they were wrecked at Ezion-geber. 49 At that time Ahaziah son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants sail with your servants,” but Jehoshaphat refused.
50 And Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And his son Jehoram reigned in his place.
Ahaziah Reigns in Israel
(2 Kings 1:1–16)
51 In the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat’s reign over Judah, Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria two years. 52 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the ways of his father and mother and of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin.
53 Ahaziah served and worshiped Baal, provoking the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger, just as his father had done.
21 a Some texts break verse 21 and begin verse 22 at this point.
34 b Literally Turn your hand
38 c Or the pool of Samaria, where they cleaned the weapons
38 d See 1 Kings 21:19.
48 e Or a fleet of trading ships