1 Kings Chapter 4 to 5 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Solomon’s Kingdom

4 King Solomon ruled all the people of Israel. 2These are the names of his leading officials that helped him rule: Azariah son of Zadok. Azariah was the priest. 3Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha. Elihoreph and Ahijah had the jobs of writing notes about the things that happened in the courts. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud. Jehoshaphat wrote notes about the history of the people. 4Benaiah son of Jehoiada. Benaiah was the commander of the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests. 5Azariah son of Nathan. Azariah was in charge of the district governors. Zabud son of Nathan. Zabud was a priest and an adviser to King Solomon. 6Ahishar. Ahishar was responsible for everything in the king’s home. Adoniram son of Abda. Adoniram was in charge of the slaves. 7Israel was divided into twelve areas called districts. Solomon chose governors to rule over each district. These governors were ordered to gather food from their districts and give the food to the king and his family. Each of the twelve governors was responsible for giving food to the king one month of each year. 8These are the names of the twelve governors: Ben Hur was governor of the hill country of Ephraim. 9Ben Deker was governor of Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Bethhanan. 10Ben Hesed was governor of Arubboth, Socoh, and Hepher. 11Ben Abinadab was governor of Naphoth Dor. He was married to Taphath, daughter of Solomon. 12Baana son of Ahilud was governor of Taanach and Megiddo and all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan. This was below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah across from Jokmeam. 13Ben Geber was governor of Ramoth Gilead. He was governor of all the towns and villages of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead. He was also governor of the district of Argob in Bashan. In this area there were 60 cities with big walls around them. These cities also had bronze bars on the gates. 14Ahinadab son of Iddo was governor of Mahanaim. 15Ahimaaz was governor of Naphtali. He was married to Basemath the daughter of Solomon. 16Baana son of Hushai was governor of Asher and Aloth. 17Jehoshaphat son of Paruah was governor of Issachar. 18Shimei son of Ela was governor of Benjamin. 19Geber son of Uri was governor of Gilead. Gilead was the country where Sihon the king of the Amorite people lived and the country where Og the king of Bashan lived. But Geber was the only governor of that district. 20There were many, many people in Judah and Israel. The number of people was like sands on the seashore. The people lived happy lives: They ate, drank, and enjoyed themselves. 21Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistine people. His kingdom went as far as the border of Egypt. These countries sent gifts to Solomon and they obeyed him all of his life.* 22–23This is the amount of food that Solomon needed each day {for himself and for all of the people that ate at his table}: 150 bushels* of fine flour, 300 bushels* of flour, 10 cows that were fed good grain, 20 cows that were raised in the fields, 100 sheep, wild animals such as deer, gazelles, roebucks,* and game birds. 24Solomon ruled over all the countries west of the Euphrates River. This was the land from Tiphsah to Gaza. And Solomon had peace on all sides of his kingdom. 25During Solomon’s life all of the people in Judah and Israel, all the way from Dan to Beersheba, lived in peace and security. The people were at peace sitting under their own fig trees and grape vines. 26Solomon had places to keep 4,000* horses for his chariots and he had 12,000 horse soldiers. 27And each month one of the twelve district governors gave King Solomon all those things that he needed. This was enough for every person that ate at the king’s table. 28The district governors also gave the king enough straw and barley for the chariot horses and the riding horses. Each person brought this grain to required places.

Solomon’s Wisdom

29God made Solomon very wise. Solomon could understand many, many things. His wisdom was too great to imagine. 30Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men in the East. And his wisdom was greater than all the men in Egypt. 31He was wiser than any of the men on earth. He was even wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite. He was wiser than Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. King Solomon became famous in all of the countries around Israel and Judah. 32During his life, King Solomon wrote* 3,000 wise teachings and 1,005 songs. 33{Solomon also knew very much about nature.} Solomon taught about many different kinds of plants—everything from the great cedar trees of Lebanon to the little vines that grow out of the walls. King Solomon also taught about animals, birds, and snakes.* 34People from all nations came to listen to King Solomon’s wisdom. The kings of all nations sent their wise men to listen to King Solomon.

sent gifts … life This showed that these countries had made peace agreements with Solomon because of his great power. 150 bushels Or, “6,600 l.” Literally, “30 kors.” 300 bushels Or, “13,200 l.” Literally, “60 kors.” deer, gazelles, roebucks Different kinds of wild deer. 4,000 Hebrew and Latin have 40,000. But see 2 Chron. 9:25. wrote Literally, “spoke.” snakes Literally, “creeping things.” These can be anything from insects, to lizards or snakes, and fish.

Solomon Builds the Temple

5 Hiram was the king of Tyre. Hiram had always been David’s friend. So when Hiram heard that Solomon had become the new king after David, he sent his servants to Solomon. 2This is what Solomon said to king Hiram: 3“You remember that my father, King David, had to fight many wars all around him. So he was never able to build a temple to honor the Lord his God. King David was waiting until the Lord allowed him to defeat all his enemies. 4But now the Lord my God has given me peace on all sides of my country. Now I have no enemies. My people are in no danger. 5“The Lord made a promise to my father David. The Lord said, ‘I will make your son king after you. And your son will build a temple to honor me.’ Now, I plan to build that temple to honor the Lord my God. 6And so I ask you to help me. Send your men to Lebanon. There, they should cut down cedar trees for me. My servants will work with yours. I will pay you any price that you decide as your servants’ wages. But I need your help. Our carpenters* are not as good as the carpenters of Sidon.” 7When Hiram heard what Solomon asked, he was very happy. King Hiram said, “I thank the Lord today for giving David a wise son to rule this great nation!” 8Then Hiram sent a message to Solomon. The message said, “I heard the thing that you asked. I will give you all the cedar trees and the fir trees you want. 9My servants will bring them down from Lebanon to the sea. Then I will tie them together and float them down the shore to the place you choose. There I will separate the logs, and you can take the trees. As payment, I would be satisfied if every year you gave me enough food for everyone in my house” 10–11Solomon gave Hiram about 120,000 bushels* of wheat and about 120,000 gallons* of pure olive oil every year for his family. 12The Lord gave wisdom to Solomon as he had promised. And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon. These two kings made a treaty between themselves. 13King Solomon forced 30,000 men of Israel to help in this work. 14King Solomon chose a man named Adoniram to be the boss. Solomon divided the men into three groups. There were 10,000 men in each group. Each group worked one month in Lebanon and then went home for two months. 15Solomon also forced 80,000 men to work in the hill country. These men had the job of cutting rocks. And there were 70,000 men to carry the rocks. 16There were also 3,300 men who were the bosses over the people who did the work. 17King Solomon commanded them to cut out big, expensive stones to be the foundation for the temple. These stones were carefully cut. 18Then Solomon’s and Hiram’s builders and the men from Byblos* carved the stones. They prepared the stones and the logs for building the temple.

carpenters People who work with wood. In ancient times, this also meant that they cut the trees. 120,000 bushels Literally, “20,000 kors” (4,400,000 l). 120,000 gallons Literally, “20,000 baths” (440,000 l).  Byblos Or, “Gebal.”

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