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Solomon Asks for Wisdom

1 Solomon became a very strong king because the Lord his God was with him. The Lord made Solomon very great. 2Solomon spoke to the people of Israel. He spoke to the captains, generals, judges, to every leader in all Israel, and to the leaders of the families. 3Then Solomon and all the people gathered together with him went to the high place* at Gibeon. God’s Meeting Tent* was there. The Lord’s servant Moses made that tent when he and the people of Israel were in the desert. 4David had carried God’s Box of the Agreement* from Kiriath Jearim to Jerusalem. David had made a place to put it in Jerusalem. David had set up a tent for God’s Box of the Agreement in Jerusalem. 5Bezalel son of Uri had made a bronze altar. That bronze altar was in Gibeon in front of the Holy Tent. So Solomon and the people went to Gibeon to ask the Lord for advice. 6Solomon went up to the bronze altar in front of the Lord at the Meeting Tent. Solomon offered 1,000 burnt offerings* on the altar. 7That night God came to Solomon. God said, “Solomon, ask me what you want me to give you.” 8Solomon said to God, “You were very kind to my father David. You chose me to be the new king in my father’s place. 9Now, Lord God, keep your promise to my father David. You have chosen me to be king of a very large nation. There are so many people—they are like the dust of the earth! 10Now give me wisdom and knowledge so I can lead these people in the right way. No one can rule these people without your help!” 11God said to Solomon, “You have the right attitude. You didn’t ask for wealth, riches or honor. You didn’t ask for your enemies to be killed. And you didn’t ask for a long life. No, you did not ask for those things. You asked for wisdom and knowledge so you could make wise decisions for my people—the people I chose you to rule over. 12So I will give you wisdom and knowledge. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and honor. No king who lived before you has ever had so much wealth and honor. And no king in the future will have as much wealth and honor.” 13So, Solomon went to the place of worship at Gibeon. Then Solomon left the Meeting Tent* and went back to Jerusalem to rule as king of Israel.

Solomon Builds His Army and Wealth

14Solomon started gathering horses and chariots for his army. Solomon got 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horse soldiers. Solomon put them in the chariot cities.* Solomon also put some of them in Jerusalem where the king’s home was. 15In Jerusalem, Solomon gathered a lot of gold and silver. There was so much gold and silver that it was as common as rocks. Solomon gathered a lot of cedar wood. There was so much cedar that it was as common as sycamore trees in the western hill country. 16Solomon brought in horses from Egypt and Kue.* The king’s businessmen bought the horses in Kue. 17Solomon’s businessmen bought a chariot from Egypt for 600 shekels* of silver, and a horse for 150 shekels* of silver. The businessmen then sold the horses and chariots to all the kings of the Hittite people and to the kings of Aram.

high place(s) Places for worshiping God or false gods. These places were often on the hills and mountains. Meeting Tent The Holy Tent (Tabernacle) where the people of Israel went to meet with God. Box of the Agreement The box containing the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments written on them and the other things that proved God was with the people of Israel during their time in the Sinai Desert. Also called “The Ark of the Covenant.” burnt offerings Gifts to God. Usually these were animals that were killed and completely burned on the altar. chariot cities Cities with special places to keep the horses and chariots. Kue Or Cilicia, a country in what is now southern Turkey. 600 shekels 15 pounds or 6.9kg. 150 shekels 3 3/4 pounds or 1.725kg.

Solomon Plans for Temple and Palace

2 Solomon planned to build a temple* to give honor to the Lord’s name. Solomon also planned to build a king’s house for himself. 2Solomon got 70,000 laborers and 80,000 stonemasons to cut stones in the mountains. Solomon chose 3,600 foremen to supervise the workers. 3Then Solomon sent a message to Hiram. Hiram was the king of the city of Tyre. Solomon said, “Help me like you helped my father David. You sent wood to him from cedar trees so he could build a house for himself to live in. 4I will build a temple* to honor the name of the Lord my God. At the temple we will burn incense* in front of the Lord, and we will always put the holy bread* on the special table. We will offer burnt offerings every morning and evening, every Sabbath day, every New Moon,* and on the other feast days that the Lord our God has commanded us to celebrate. This is a rule for the people of Israel to obey forever. 5“Our God is greater than all the other gods. So I will build a great temple* for him. 6No person can really build a house to put our God in. Not even heaven can hold God—no not even the universe can hold our God! So I cannot build a temple for God. I can only build a place to burn incense* to honor him. 7“Now, I would like you to send me a man who is skilled in working with gold, silver, bronze, and iron. That man must know how to work with purple, red, and blue cloth. That man will work here in Judah and Jerusalem with the craftsmen my father chose. 8Also send me wood from cedar trees, pine trees, and algum trees from the country of Lebanon. I know your servants are experienced at cutting down trees from Lebanon. My servants will help your servants. 9I will need lots of wood because the temple I am building will be very large and beautiful. 10This is what I will pay for your servants to cut down the trees for wood. I will give them 125,000 bushels* of wheat for food, 125,000 bushels of barley, 115,000 gallons* of wine, and 115,000 gallons of oil.” 11Then Hiram answered Solomon. Hiram sent a message to Solomon. This is what that message said: “Solomon, the Lord loves his people. That is why he chose you to be their king.” 12Hiram also said, “Praise the Lord God of Israel! He made heaven and earth. He gave a wise son to King David. Solomon, you have wisdom and understanding. You are building a temple* for the Lord. You are also building a king’s house for yourself. 13I will send you a skilled craftsman named Huram Abi.* 14His mother was from the family group of Dan. And his father was from the city of Tyre. Huram Abi has skill in working with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood. Huram Abi also has skill in working with purple, blue, and red cloth and expensive linen.* Huram Abi can design and build anything you tell him. He will work with your craftsmen and with the craftsmen of your father King David. 15“Now, Sir, you offered to give us wheat, barley, oil, and wine. Give those things to my servants. 16And we will cut wood from the country of Lebanon. We will cut as much wood as you need. We will tie the logs together and float them by sea to the town of Joppa. Then you can carry the wood to Jerusalem.” 17Then Solomon counted all the strangers living in the country of Israel. This was after the time when David counted the people. David was Solomon’s father. They found 153,600 strangers in the country. 18Solomon chose 70,000 strangers to carry things. Solomon chose 80,000 strangers to be cutters of stone in the mountains. And Solomon chose 3,600 strangers to be the supervisors to keep the people working.

temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. incense Special dried tree sap. Burned to make a sweetsmelling smoke, it was offered as a gift to God. holy bread This was the special bread that was put in the Holy Tent. It is also called, “shewbread” or “the bread of the Presence.” See Lev. 24:5–9. New Moon This was the first day of the Hebrew month. There were special meetings on these days to worship God. 125,000 bushels Or, “4,400,000 l.” Literally, “20,000 cors.” 115,000 gallons Literally, “20,000 baths.” I will send ... Huram Abi Or, “I will send one of the craftsmen of my father Hiram.” linen A type of cloth.

Solomon Builds the Temple

3 Solomon began building the Lord’s temple* at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah. Mount Moriah is the place where the Lord came to David, Solomon’s father. Solomon built the temple on the place that David had made ready. This place was at the threshing floor* that had belonged to Araunah* the Jebusite. 2Solomon started the work in the second month of his fourth year as king of Israel. 3These are the measurements Solomon used for building the foundation of God’s temple.* The foundation was 60 cubits* long and 20 cubits* wide. Solomon used the old cubit measure when he measured the temple. 4The porch in front of the temple was 20 cubits* long and 20 cubits high.* Solomon covered the inside of the porch with pure gold. 5Solomon put panels made of cypress wood on the walls of the larger room. Then he put pure gold over the cypress panels. And he put pictures of palm trees and chains on the pure gold. 6Solomon put valuable stones in the temple for beauty. The gold Solomon used was gold from Parvaim.* 7Solomon covered the inside of the temple with the gold. Solomon put the gold on the ceiling beams, doorposts, walls, and doors. Solomon carved Cherub angels on the walls. 8Then Solomon made the Most Holy Place.* The Most Holy Place was 20 cubits* long and 20 cubits* wide. It was as wide as the temple* was. Solomon put pure gold on the walls of the Most Holy Place. The gold weighed about 23 tons.* 9The gold nails weighed 1 1/4 pounds.* Solomon covered the upper rooms with gold. 10Solomon made two Cherub angels* to put in the Most Holy Place. The workers covered the Cherub angels with gold. 11Each wing of the Cherub angels was 5 cubits* long. The total length of the wings was 20 cubits.* One wing of the first Cherub angel touched the wall on one side of the room. The other wing touched one wing of the second Cherub angel. 12And the other wing of the second Cherub angel touched the other wall on the other side of the room. 13The Cherub angels’ wings covered a total of 20 cubits.* The Cherub angels stood looking inside toward the Holy Place.* 14Solomon made the curtain* by using blue, purple, and red materials and expensive linen.* Solomon made Cherub angels on the curtain. 15Solomon put two columns in front of the temple.* The columns were 35 cubits* tall. The top part of the two columns was 5 cubits* long. 16Solomon made chains in a necklace. He put the chains on the tops of the columns. Solomon made 100 pomegranates* and put them on the chains. 17Then Solomon put the columns up in front of the temple. One column stood on the right side. The other column stood on the left side. Solomon named the column on the right side “Jakin.”* And Solomon named the column on the left side “Boaz.”*

temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. threshing floor A place where grain is beaten or walked on to remove the hulls from the grain. Araunah Or, “Ornan.” 60 cubits 103’ 4 3/16” or 31.5m. 20 cubits 34’ 5 3/8” or 10.5m. 20 cubits high 34’ 5 3/8” or 10.5m. Some of the Hebrew texts have “120 cubits high.” Parvaim This was a place where there was much gold. It was probably in the country of Ophir. Most Holy Place The inside room where the Box of the Lord’s Agreement sat. It is also named the “Holy of Holies.” It is the spiritual place where God lives and is worshiped. 23 tons Or, “20,400kg.” Literally, “600 talents.” 1 1/4 pounds Or, “575g.” Literally, “50 shekels.” Cherub angels Special angels from God. Statues of these angels were on top of the Box of the Agreement. 5 cubits 8’ 7 5/16” or 2.625m. Holy Place The room in the Holy Tent and in the temple that was used by the priests to do their daily service to God. curtain This curtain was a large piece of cloth that hung between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place so that no one could see the Lord’s Box of the Agreement and cherub angels that were in there. linen A type of cloth. 35 cubits 60’ 3 7/16” or 18.375m.  pomegranates A fruit that looks like an apple but filled with many seeds. These were not real pomegranates, but were shaped like pomegranates. Jakin In Hebrew, Jakin seems to mean “He establishes.” Boaz In Hebrew, Boaz seems to mean “In him is strength.”

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