The First Book of The Kings

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The First Book of The Kings

  • Author: Jeremiah
  • Place Written: Jerusalem and Judah
  • When Written: c. 560 B.C.E.

CHAPTER 1

David and Abishag

Now King David was old and advanced in years.[1] And although they covered him with garments, he could not get warm. So his servants said to him, “Let them seek a young woman, a virgin for my lord the king and let her attend the king and become his nurse; and let her lie in your bosom, that my lord the king may get warm.” So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The young woman was unbelievably beautiful, and she served the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not.

Adonijah Seeks the Throne

Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. His father had never rebuked him[2] at any time[3] by asking, “Why have you done so?” And he was also a very handsome man, and he was born after Absalom. He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest. And they followed Adonijah and helped him. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.

Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fatlings by the stone of Zoheleth,[4] which is beside En-rogel; and he invited all his brothers, the sons of king,[5] and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants. 10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men, and Solomon his brother.

Nathan and Bathsheba Before David

11 Then Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, “Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and David our lord does not know it? 12 Now therefore come, let me give you counsel, that you may save your own soul and the soul of your son Solomon. 13 Go in at once to King David, and say to him, ‘Did you not, my lord the king, swear to your slave girl, saying, “Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne”? Why then is Adonijah king?’ 14 Look, while you are still there speaking with the king, I will come in after you and confirm your words.”

15 So Bathsheba went in to the king in the private room. Now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was ministering to the king. 16 Then Bathsheba bowed and prostrated herself before the king. And the king said, “What is your request?” 17 She said to him, “My lord, you swore to your slave girl by Jehovah your God, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.’ 18 And now, look, Adonijah is king, and my lord the king does not know it. 19 He has sacrificed oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance and has invited all the sons of the king and Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army, but Solomon your servant he has not invited. 20 And now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king sleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.”

22 And, look! while she was yet speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet himself came in. 23 And they told the king, saying, “Here is Nathan the prophet.” And when he came in before the king, he prostrated himself before the king with his face to the ground. 24 And Nathan said, “My lord the king, have you said, ‘Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne’? 25 For he has gone down this day and has sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king, the commanders[6] of the army, and Abiathar the priest. And behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and saying, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But me, even me your servant, and Zadok the priest and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and your servant Solomon, he has not invited. 27 Has this thing been done by my lord the king, and you have not shown to your servants[7] who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”

David Orders That Solomon Be Anointed King

28 Then King David answered, “Call Bathsheba to me.” And she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king. 29 And the king swore, and said, “As Jehovah lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity, 30 surely as I swore to you by Jehovah, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ I will indeed do so this day.” 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and prostrated herself before the king and said, “May my lord King David live forever.”

32 The King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” So they came before the king. 33 And the king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule and bring him down to Gihon. 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet there anoint him king over Israel, and blow the horn and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne and be king in my place; for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah.” 36 At once Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king and said, “Amen! Thus, may Jehovah the God of my lord the king say.[8] 37 As Jehovah has been with my lord the king, even so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.”

38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule and brought him to Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the horn, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 After that all the people came up after him, and the people were playing on flutes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by their noise.

Adonijah Flees to the Altar

41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished feasting. And when Joab heard the sound of the horn, he said, “What does this uproar in the city mean?” 42 While he was still speaking, look, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came. And Adonijah said, “Come in, for you are a worthy man and bring good news.” 43 Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, “No, for our lord King David has made Solomon king, 44 and the king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and they had him ride on the king’s mule. 45 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon, and they have gone up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise that you have heard. 46 And, besides, Solomon has sat down upon the throne of the kingship. 47 Moreover, the king’s servants came to bless our lord King David, saying, ‘May your God[9] make the name of Solomon better than your name and his throne greater than your throne!’ And the king bowed himself on the bed. 48 And the king also said, ‘Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, who has granted one[10] to sit on my throne this day, my own eyes seeing it.’”

49 Then all the guests of Adonijah trembled and rose up and went each one on his own way. 50 And Adonijah was afraid of Solomon, and he arose, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 Then it was told Solomon, “Look, Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon, for look, he has laid hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me first that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’” 52 And Solomon said, “If he will show himself a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.” 53 So King Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and paid homage to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.”

CHAPTER 2

David’s Instructions to Solomon

When the days of the death of David drew near, he instructed Solomon, saying, “I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. You must keep your obligation to Jehovah your God to walk in his ways and to keep his statutes, his commandments, his judgments, and his testimonies as are written in the Law of Moses; then you will succeed in all that you do and everywhere you turn, that Jehovah may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness[11] with all their heart and with all their soul, there will not be cut off from you a man on the throne of Israel.’

“Now you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed; he also shed the blood of war in peace. And he put the blood of war on his belt about his waist, and on his sandals on his feet. Act therefore according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. But show loyal love to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite and let them be among those who eat at your table; for they let me when I fled from Absalom your brother. And there is also with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day when I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by Jehovah, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man. You will know what you ought to do to him, and you will bring his gray hair down to Sheol with blood.”

The Death of David – Solomon on the Throne

10 Then David slept in death[12] with his forefathers and was buried in the city of David. 11 And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years he reigned in Hebron and thirty-three years he reigned in Jerusalem. 12 And Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.

Solomon’s Reign Established – The schemes of Adonijah lead to his death

13 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “Do you come peacefully?” He said, “Peacefully.” 14 Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” And she said, “Speak.” 15 So he said, “You know that the kingdom was mine and that all Israel had set their faces on me to be king; however, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, for it was his from Jehovah. 16 And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me.” She said to him, “Speak.” 17 And he said, “Please say to Solomon the king, for he will not turn your face away, that he should give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife.” 18 Bathsheba said, “Very well; I will speak for you to the king.”

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat on his throne; then he had a throne set for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, “I have one small request to make of you. Do not turn my face away.” So the king said to her: “Make it, my mother; for I shall not turn your face away.” 21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as a wife.” 22 King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him also the kingdom, for he is my older brother, even for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.”[13] 23 Then King Solomon swore by Jehovah, saying, “May God do so to me and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own soul. 24 Now therefore as Jehovah lives, who has established me and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.” 25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him so that he died.[14]

Abiathar Banished – Joab killed

26 And to Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go to Anathoth, to your fields, for you deserve death.[15] But on this day I shall not put you to death, because you carried the ark of the Lord Jehovah before David my father, and because you shared in all my father’s affliction.” 27 So Solomon drove out Abiathar from being priest to Jehovah, thus fulfilling the word which Jehovah had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

28 When the news came to Joab, for Joab had supported Adonijah, although he had not supported Absalom.[16] And Joab fled to the tent of Jehovah and took hold of the horns of the altar. 29 And it was told King Solomon that Joab had fled to the tent of Jehovah, and look, he is beside the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, fall upon him.” 30 So Benaiah came to the tent of Jehovah and said to him, “Thus the king has said, ‘Come out.’” But he said, “No, for I will die here.” And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, “Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.” 31 The king said to him, “Do as he has spoken and fall upon him and bury him, that you may remove from me and from the house of my father the blood which Joab shed without cause. 32 Jehovah will return his blood on his own head, because he fell upon two men more righteous and better than he and killed them with the sword, while my father David did not know it: Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 So shall their blood return on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever; but to David and his descendants and his house and his throne, shall there be peace forever from Jehovah.” 34 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and fell upon him and put him to death, and he was buried at his own house in the wilderness. 35 The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in his place, and Zadok the priest the king put in the place of Abiathar.

Shimei Killed

36 Then the king sent and summoned Shimei and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there to any place. 37 For on the day you go out and cross the brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall die. Your blood shall be on your own head.” 38 And Shimei said to the king, “What you say is good; as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” So Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.

39 But it came about at the end of three years, that two of the slaves of Shimei ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, “Look, your slaves are in Gath.” 40 Then Shimei arose and saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish to look for his slaves. And Shimei went and brought his slaves from Gath. 41 It was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned. 42 So the king sent and called for Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by Jehovah and solemnly warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you go out and go anywhere, you shall surely die’? And you said to me, ‘The word which I have heard is good.’ 43 Why then have you not kept the oath of Jehovah, and the command with which I commanded you?” 44 The king also said to Shimei, “You know all the evil which you acknowledge in your heart, which you did to my father David; therefore Jehovah shall return your evil on your own head. 45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before Jehovah forever.” 46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and fell upon him so that he died.

Thus the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

CHAPTER 3

Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom

3 Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of Jehovah and the wall around Jerusalem. The people were still sacrificing on the high places, because there was no house built for the name of Jehovah until those days. Solomon loved Jehovah, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. 

Jehovah Appears to Solomon in a Dream

And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon Jehovah appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God[17] said, “Ask what I shall give you.” Then Solomon said, “You have shown great loyal love to your servant David my father, according as he walked before you in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward you; and you have kept for him this great loyal love, that you have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Jehovah my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a young boy. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this numerous[18] people of yours?”

10 And the word was pleasing in the eyes of Jehovah[19] that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God[20] said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself many days[21] or riches or the soul of your enemies but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Look, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

15 And Solomon awoke, and look, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah,[22] and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

Solomon’s Wisdom As He Judges Between Two Mothers

16 Then there came two women who were prostitutes, unto the king, and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. 18 And it came about on the third day after I gave birth, that this woman gave birth also, and we were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, only the two of us in the house. 19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your slave girl slept, and laid him at her bosom, and laid her dead son at my bosom. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, look, he was dead; but when I looked at him carefully in the morning, behold, he was not my son, whom I had borne.” 22 Then the other woman said, “No, for the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” But the first woman said, “No, for the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” Thus, they spoke before the king.

23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son, the living one, and your son is the dead one;’ and that one says, ‘No, your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” 24 And the king said, “Bring me a sword,” and they brought the sword before the king. 25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 26 Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her compassions were stirred for her son, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.” 27 Then the king answered and said, “Give her the living child, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother.” 28 And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had handed down, and they feared the king,[23] for they saw that the wisdom of God was with him to do justice.

CHAPTER 4

Solomon’s Government

King Solomon was king over all Israel, and these were his officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was the priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha were secretaries; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the army; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; and Azariah the son of Nathan was over the deputies; and Zabud the son of Nathan, a priest, was the king’s friend; and Ahishar was over the household; and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the men subject to forced labor.

Solomon had twelve deputies over all Israel, who provided for the king and his household; each man had to make provision for a month in the year. These are their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim; Ben-deker in Makaz and Shaalbim and Beth-shemesh and Elonbeth-hanan; 10 Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (to him belonged Socoh and all the land of Hepher); 11 Ben-abinadab, in all the height of Dor (Taphath the daughter of Solomon was his wife); 12 Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah as far as the other side of Jokmeam; 13 Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (he had the villages of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and he had the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and copper bars); 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also took Basemath the daughter of Solomon); 16 Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; 17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18 Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19 Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only deputy who was in the land.[24]

Solomon’s Wealth and Wisdom Brought Prosperity

20 Judah and Israel were as many as the sand by the sea. They were eating and drinking and rejoicing. 21 Now Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.

22 Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty cors[25] of fine flour and sixty cors of meal, 23 ten fat oxen, and twenty pasture-fed cattle, a hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl. 24 For he had dominion over everything west of the River,[26] from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all the kings west of the River; and he had peace on all sides around about him. 25 So Judah and Israel dwelt in safety, every man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. 26 Solomon had forty thousand[27] stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27 And those deputies provided provisions for king Solomon, and for all that came to the table of king Solomon, every man in his month; they let nothing be lacking. 28 Barley also and straw for the horses and swift steeds they brought to the place where it was needed, each one according to his duty.

The Wisdom and Proverbs of Solomon

29 And God[28] gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of heart,[29] like the sand that is on the seashore. 30 so Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was known in all the surrounding nations. 32 And he spoke three thousand proverbs; and his songs were one thousand and five.[30] 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that grows on the wall; he spoke also of animals and birds and creeping things and fish. 34 They came from all the nations to hear the wisdom of Solomon; from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.

CHAPTER 5

Preparations for Building the Temple

Now Hiram, king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram always loved David. And Solomon sent word to Hiram, “You know that David my father could not build a house for the name of Jehovah his God because of the wars with which his enemies surrounded him, until Jehovah put them under the soles of his feet. But now Jehovah my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune. And look, I intend to build a house for the name of Jehovah my God, as Jehovah spoke to David my father, saying, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he will build the house for my name.’ Now therefore, command that they cut for me cedars of Lebanon, and my servants will be with your servants; and I will give you wages for your servants according to all that you say, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”

And it came about, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, “Blessed be Jehovah this day, who has given to David a wise son over this great people.” And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message which you have sent to me. I will do all you desire concerning the cedar and cypress timber. My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon to the sea; and I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place that you shall appoint me. And I will have them broken up there, and you shall receive them. And you shall accomplish my desire, by giving food for my household.” 10 So Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand cors[31] of wheat for food to his household, and twenty cors[32] of beaten oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year. 12 And Jehovah gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made[33] a covenant.

Solomon’s Conscripted Laborers

13 Then King Solomon conscripted men for forced labor out of all Israel, and the draft was thirty thousand men. 14 And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts. They would be a month in Lebanon and two months at home. And Adoniram was over those conscripted for forced labor. 15 Solomon had seventy thousand burden bearers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the mountains, 16 besides Solomon’s three thousand three hundred[34] chief deputies who were over the project and who ruled over the people who were doing the work. 17 And the king commanded, and they quarried great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with hewn stone. 18 So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites cut them and prepared the timber and the stones to build the house.

CHAPTER 6

Solomon Builds the Temple

Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year[35] after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of Jehovah. And the house which King Solomon built for Jehovah was sixty cubits[36] in its length, and twenty cubits in its width, and its height was thirty cubits. And the porch in front of the temple of the house was twenty cubits in its length,[37] equal to the width of the house, and ten cubits was its depth in front of the house. And for the house he went on to make windows of narrowing frames. And against the wall of the house he built a side structure; it went around the walls of the house, those of the temple and the innermost room, and he made side chambers all around. The lowest structure[38] was five cubits wide, and the middle was six cubits wide, and the third was seven cubits wide; for on the outside, he made offsets in the wall of the house all around in order that the beams would not be inserted in the walls of the house.

The house, while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built.

The entrance for the lowest[39] side chamber was on the right[40] side of the house, and one went up by stairs to the middle story, and from the middle story to the third. So he built the house and finished it; and he covered the house with beams and planks of cedar. 10 He also built the stories against the whole house, each five cubits high; and they were joined to the house by timbers of cedar.

11 Now the word of Jehovah came to Solomon, saying, 12 “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my regulations and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. 13 And I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will not forsake my people, Israel.”

14 So Solomon built the house and finished it. 15 He lined the walls of the house on the inside with boards of cedar; from the floor of the house to the walls of the ceiling, he covered them on the inside with wood, and he covered the floor of the house with boards of cypress. 16 He built twenty cubits on the rear part of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the ceiling; he built them for it on the inside as an inner sanctuary, even as the Most Holy Place. 17 The house, that is, the temple in front of the inner sanctuary, was forty cubits long. 18 There was cedar on the house within, carved in the shape of gourds and open flowers; all was cedar, there was no stone seen. 

Innermost Room

19 And he prepared an inner sanctuary in the innermost part of the house in order to place there the ark of the covenant[41] of Jehovah. 20 The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the altar with cedar. 21 And Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold, and he drew chains of gold across, in front of the inner sanctuary, and overlaid it with gold. 22 And he overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.

Cherubs

23 And in the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24 Five cubits was the one wing of the cherub and five cubits the other wing of the cherub; from the end of one wing to the end of the other wing were ten cubits. 25 And the other cherub was ten cubits; both the cherubim were of the same measure and the same form. 26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was that of the other cherub. 27 And he put the cherubim in the inner house;[42] and the wings of the cherubim were stretched out, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the middle of the house. 28 And he overlaid the cherubim with gold.

Engravings, Doors, Inner Courtyard

29 And all the walls of the house round about he carved with engraved carvings of cherubim and palm-trees and engravings of open flowers, inside and outside. 30 And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, inside and outside.

31 And for the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood, the lintel, and the doorposts, as a fifth part. 32 So he made two doors of olive wood, and he carved on them carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread the gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees.

33 So also he made for the entrance of the temple doorposts of olivewood, in a fourth part, 34 and two doors of cypress wood. The two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding. 35 And he carved on it cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers; and he overlaid them with gold evenly applied on the engraved work. 36 And he built the inner court with three rows of cut stone, and a row of cedar beams.

Temple Completed in about Seven Years

37 In the fourth year the foundation of the house of Jehovah was laid, in the month Ziv. 38 In the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished to all its details and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it.

CHAPTER 7

Solomon Builds His Palace

And Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house.

He built the House of the Forest of Lebanon; its length was a hundred cubits[43] and its breadth fifty cubits and its height thirty cubits, and it was built on four rows[44] of cedar pillars, with cedar beams on the pillars. And it was covered with cedar above the chambers that were on the forty-five pillars, fifteen to a row. There were three rows of framed windows, and each window was opposite another window in three tiers. All the doorways and doorposts[45] had square frames, and window was opposite window in three tiers.

And he made the Hall of Pillars; its length was fifty cubits, and its breadth thirty cubits. There was a porch in front with pillars, and a canopy in front of them.

And he made the Hall of the Throne where he was to judge, the hall of judgment, and it was paneled with cedar from the floor to the rafters.[46]

His own house where he was to dwell, in the other court back of the hall, was of like workmanship. Solomon also made a house like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter whom he had taken as a wife.

All these were of costly stones, of stone cut according to measure, sawed with saws, inside and outside; even from the foundation to the coping, and so on the outside to the great court. 10 And the foundation was laid with exceptionally large, expensive stones, stones of ten cubits and stones of eight cubits. 11 And above were costly stones, stone cut according to measure, and cedar. 12 So the great court all around had three rows of cut stone and a row of cedar beams even as the inner court of the house of Jehovah, and the porch of the house.

Skilled Hiram to Assist Solomon

13 And King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre. 14 He was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze; and he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill for doing any work in copper. So he came to King Solomon and did all his work.

15 He cast the two pillars of copper; each pillar was eighteen cubits high, and a line of twelve cubits measured the circumference of each of the two pillars.[47] 16 He also made two capitals of molten copper to set on the tops of the pillars; the height of the one capital was five cubits and the height of the other capital was five cubits. 17 There were nets in network and wreaths of chainwork for the capitals which were on the top of the pillars; seven[48] for the one capital and seven for the other capital.[49] 18 So he made the pomegranates,[50] and two rows around on the one network to cover the capitals which were on the top of the pillars;[51] and so he did for the other capital. 19 And the capitals that were upon the top of the pillars at the porch were of lily work, of four cubits. 20 The capitals were on the two pillars, just above the rounded portion adjoining the network; and there were two hundred pomegranates in rows all around on each capital. 21 He set up the pillars of the porch of the temple. He set up the right-hand pillar and named it Jachin,[52] and then he set up the left-hand pillar and named it Boaz.[53] 22 And on the tops of the pillars was a lily work. So the work of the pillars was completed.

23 Then he made the Sea of cast metal. It was circular in shape, ten cubits from brim to brim and five cubits high, and a measuring line thirty cubits long to encircle it. 24 Under its brim were gourds, completely encircling it, ten to a cubit all around the Sea, with two rows of the gourds cast with it when it was cast. 25 It stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east; and the sea was set on them, and all their rear parts were inward. 26 And it was a handbreadth[54] thick, and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily; it held two thousand baths.[55]

27 And he made the ten stands of copper; four cubits was the length of each stand, and four cubits the breadth, and three cubits the height. 28 And this was how the carriages were constructed: They had side panels, and the side panels were between the crossbars, 29 and on the panels which were between the crossbars were lions, oxen, and cherubim; and on the crossbars there was a pedestal above; and beneath the lions and oxen were wreaths of hanging work. 30 Now each stand had four copper wheels with copper axles; and the four feet had supports; beneath the basin were cast supports with wreaths at the side of each. 31 And its opening was inside the crown, extending upward one cubit; and its opening was round, like the design of a pedestal, a cubit and a half, and on its opening were engravings. And their side panels were square, not round. 32 The four wheels were underneath the panels, and the axles of the wheels were on the stand. And the height of a wheel was a cubit and a half. 33 And the workmanship of the wheels was like the workmanship of a chariot wheel. Their axles, their rims, their spokes, and their hubs were all cast. 34 There were four supports at the four corners of each stand; its supports were part of the stand itself. 35 And on the top of the stand there was a round band half a cubit high; and on the top of the stand its stays and its panels were of one piece with it. 36 And on the plates of its stays[56] and on its panels, he carved cherubim, lions, and palm trees, according to the space of each, with wreaths all around. 37 After this manner he made the ten stands like this: all of them had one casting, one measure and one form.

38 And he made ten basins of bronze. Each basin held forty bath measures, each basin measured four cubits, and there was a basin for each of the ten stands. 39 And he set the stands, five on the right side of the house and five on the left side of the house; and he set the sea of cast metal on the right side of the house eastward toward the south.

40 Hiram also made the basins, the shovels, and the bowls. So Hiram finished all the work that he did for King Solomon on the house of Jehovah: 41 the two pillars and the two bowls of the capitals which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two networks to cover the two bowls of the capitals which were on the top of the pillars; 42 and the four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, two rows of pomegranates for each network to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the tops of the pillars;[57] 43 and the ten stands, and the ten basins on the stands; 44 and the one sea and the twelve oxen under the sea; 45 and the pails and the shovels and the bowls; even all these utensils which Hiram made for King Solomon in the house of Jehovah were of polished copper. 46 In the plain of the Jordan the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarethan. 47 And Solomon left all the utensils unweighed, because they were too many; the weight of the bronze could not be ascertained.

Furnishings of Gold Completed

48 So Solomon made all the utensils for the house of Jehovah: the altar of gold; the golden table on which to put the showbread; 49 and the lampstands, five on the right side and five on the left, in front of the inner sanctuary, of pure gold; and the flowers and the lamps and the tongs, of gold; 50 and the cups and the snuffers and the bowls and the spoons and the firepans, of pure gold; and the hinges both for the doors of the inner house, the Most Holy Place, and for the doors of the house, that is, of the temple, of gold.

51 Thus all the work that King Solomon did on the house of Jehovah was finished. And Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, the silver, the gold, and the utensils, and put them in the treasuries of the house of Jehovah.

CHAPTER 8

The Ark Brought into the Temple

Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ households of the sons of Israel, before King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of Jehovah out of the city of David, which is Zion. And all the men of Israel assembled to King Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. And they brought up the ark of Jehovah, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the priests and the Levites brought them up. And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered. Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of Jehovah to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. And the poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the holy place before the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day. There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets[58] of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, where Jehovah made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10 And it came about, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of Jehovah, 11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah.

Solomon Blesses Jehovah and Addresses the People

12 Then Solomon said, “Jehovah has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. 13 I have surely built a lofty house for you, a place for you to dwell in forever.” 14 Then the king turned around and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel stood. 15 And he said, “Blessed be Jehovah the God of Israel, who spoke by his own mouth with David my father, and by his hand has fulfilled it, saying, 16 ‘Since the day that I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, that my name might be there, but I chose David to be over my people Israel.’ 17 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel. 18 But Jehovah said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. 19 Nevertheless, you shall not build the house; but your own son who is to be born to you[59] is the one who will build the house for my name.’ 20 Now Jehovah has fulfilled his word that he spoke. For I have risen in the place of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as Jehovah promised, and I have built the house for the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel. 21 And there I have set a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of Jehovah that he made with our forefathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of Jehovah in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven, 23 and he said, “O Jehovah, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing loyal love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart; 24 who have kept with your servant, my father David, that which you have promised him; indeed, you have spoken with your mouth and have fulfilled it with your hand as it is this day. 25 Now therefore, O Jehovah, the God of Israel, keep with your servant David my father that which you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man of yours from before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ 26 And now, O Jehovah the God of Israel,[60] let your word, please, be confirmed which you have spoken to your servant David my father.

27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Look, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! 28 Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Jehovah my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, 29 that your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ to listen to the prayer which your servant shall pray toward this place. 30 And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.

31 “If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath and he comes and swears his oath before your altar in this house, 32 then hear in heaven and act and judge your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing his way on his own head and justifying the righteous by giving to him according to his own righteousness.

33 “When your people Israel are defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against you, if they turn to you again and confess your name and pray and make supplication to you in this house,  34 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them again to the land that you gave to their forefathers.

35 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain, because they have sinned against you, and they pray toward this place and confess your name and turn from their sin when you afflict them, 36 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk, and send rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.

37 “If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper, if their enemy besieges them in the land of their gates,[61] whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, 38 whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each one knows the affliction of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this house; 39 then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart you know, for you yourself alone well know the heart of all the sons of men, 40 that they may fear you all the days that they live in the land which you have given to our forefathers.

41 “Also concerning the foreigner who is not of your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for your name’s sake 42 (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, 43 hear in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, to fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by your name.

44 “If your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to Jehovah toward the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, 45 then hear in heaven their prayer and their plea and maintain their cause.

46 “If they sin against you (for there is no man who does not sin), and you are angry with them and you deliver them to an enemy, and their captors carry them off captive to the land of the enemy, far or near; 47 and they cause a returning to their heart in the land where they were carried off captive, 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 if they repent with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies, who carried them captive, and pray to you toward their land, which you gave to their forefathers, the city that you have chosen, and the house that I have built for your name, 49 then hear their prayer and their pleading in heaven your dwelling place, and maintain their cause, 50 and forgive your people who have sinned against you and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against you, and make them objects of compassion in the sight of those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them 51 (for they are your people, and your heritage, which you brought out of Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace). 52 so that your eyes may be open to the pleading of your servant and to the pleading of your people Israel, to listen to them whenever they call to you. 53 For you have separated them from all the peoples of the earth as your inheritance, as you spoke through Moses your servant, when you brought our forefathers forth from Egypt, O Lord Jehovah.”

Solomon’s Blesses the People

54 When Solomon had finished praying this entire prayer and plea to Jehovah, he stood up from the altar of Jehovah, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread toward heaven. 55 And he stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying, 56 “Blessed be Jehovah who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he promised by Moses his servant. 57 Jehovah our God be with us, as he was with our forefathers, may he not leave us, nor forsake us, 58 that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his regulations, and his judgments, which he commanded our forefathers. 59 And let these words of mine, with which I have pleaded before Jehovah, be near to Jehovah our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires, 60 that all the peoples of the earth may know that Jehovah is God; there is no other. 61 So let your heart be completely devoted to Jehovah our God by walking in his regulations and by keeping his commandments as on this day.”

Solomon’s Sacrifices and Dedication Festival

62 Then the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before Jehovah. 63 And Solomon offered for the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered to Jehovah, twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. So, the king and all the sons of Israel dedicated the house of Jehovah. 64 The same day the king consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of Jehovah, for there he offered the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat pieces of the peace offerings, because the copper altar that was before Jehovah was too small to receive the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat pieces of the peace offerings.

65 So Solomon held the feast at that time, and all Israel with him, a great assembly from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt, before Jehovah our God, for seven days and seven more days, that is, fourteen days.[62] 66 On the eighth day he sent the people away, and they blessed the king and went to their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that Jehovah had shown to David his servant and to Israel his people.

CHAPTER 9

Jehovah Appears to Solomon a Second Time

Now it came about when Solomon had finished building the house of Jehovah, and the king’s house, and all that Solomon desired to do, that Jehovah appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. And Jehovah said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. As for you, if you walk before me as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and with uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep my statutes and my ordinances, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ But if you turn aside from following me, you or your sons, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out[63] of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house shall become a heap of ruins;[64] everyone passing by will be astonished and hiss and say, ‘Why has Jehovah done thus to this land and to this house?’ And they will say, ‘Because they forsook Jehovah their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold other gods and bowed down to them and served them, therefore Jehovah has brought all this adversity on them.’”

Solomon’s Gift to King Hiram

10 Now it came about at the end of twenty years in which Solomon had built the two houses, the house of Jehovah and the king’s house, 11 and Hiram king of Tyre had supplied Solomon with cedar and cypress timber and gold according to all his desire, then King Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. 12 So Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him, and they did not please him. 13 And he said, “What are these cities which you have given me, my brother?” So they were called the land of Cabul to this day. 14 And Hiram sent to the king a hundred and twenty talents[65] of gold.

Different Projects of Solomon

15 And this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon conscripted to build the house of Jehovah, his own house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and killed the Canaanites who dwelt in the city, and had given it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17 So Solomon rebuilt Gezer and the lower Beth-horon, 18 and Baalath and Tamar[66] in the wilderness, in the land of Judah, 19 and all the store cities that Solomon had, and the cities for his chariots, and the cities for his horsemen, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 20 As for all the people who were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of the sons of Israel, 21 their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the sons of Israel were unable to completely destroy, from them Solomon conscripted forced laborers, as they are to this day. 22 But Solomon did not make slaves of the sons of Israel; for they were men of war, his servants, his commanders, his charioteers, his chario commanders, and his horsemen.

23 These were the chief officers who were over Solomon’s work, five hundred and fifty, who ruled over the people doing the work.

24 As soon as Pharaoh’s daughter came up from the city of David to her house which Solomon had built for her, then he built the Millo.

25 Three times in a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar which he built to Jehovah, burning incense with them on the altar which was before Jehovah. So he finished the house.

26 King Solomon also built a fleet of ships in Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom. 27 And Hiram sent with the fleet his servants, sailors who knew the sea, together with the servants of Solomon. 28 And they went to Ophir and took four hundred and twenty talents of gold from there and brought it to King Solomon.

CHAPTER 10

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

10 Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of Jehovah, she came to test him with hard questions. So she came to Jerusalem with an exceptionally large entourage, with camels carrying spices and very much gold and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart. And Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, and the food of his table, the seating of his servants, the attendance of his servants and their attire, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of Jehovah, there was no more breath in her.[67]

Then she said to the king, “The report which I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom. But I did not believe the reports until I came, and my own eyes had seen it. And look, the half was not told me. You have added wisdom and prosperity to[68] the report that I heard. Happy are your men[69] and happy are these your servants who stand before you continually hearing your wisdom. Blessed be Jehovah your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel, because Jehovah loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” 10 Then she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents[70] of gold and a very great quantity of spices and precious stones. Never again came such an abundance of spices as these that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

11 And the ships of Hiram, which brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir a very great number of almug trees and precious stones. 12 The king made from the almug trees supports for the house of Jehovah and for the king’s house, and harps and stringed instruments for the singers; such almug trees have not come in again, nor have they been seen to this day.

13 King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire which she requested, besides what he gave her according to his royal bounty. Then she turned and went to her own land, she together with her servants.

The Great Wealth of Solomon

14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, 15 besides that from the men of the traders, and the profit from the traders and all the kings of the Arabs and the governors of the land. 16 And king Solomon made two hundred shields of beaten gold; six hundred shekels[71] of gold went into each shield. 17 And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three minas[72] of gold went into each shield. And the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with the finest gold. 19 There were six steps to the throne, and the throne had a round canopy behind it, and there were armrests on both sides of the seat, and two lions were standing beside the armrests. 20 And there were twelve lions standing there upon the six steps, on this side and on that side. No other kingdom had any made just like it. 21 All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. None was of silver; it was considered as nothing in the days of Solomon. 22 For the king had a fleet of ships of Tarshish on the sea along with Hiram’s fleet. Once every three years, the fleet of ships of Tarshish would come loaded with gold and silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.

23 So King Solomon was greater than all the other kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. 24 And all the earth[73] was seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart. 25 And they brought every man his gift, articles of silver and gold, garments, weapons, balsam oil, horses, and mules, so much year by year.

26 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, and he stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 27 The king made the silver in Jerusalem as bountiful as the stones, and cedarwood as abundant as the sycamore trees in the Shephelah. 28 And Solomon’s import of horses was from Egypt and from Kue,[74] and the king’s traders received them from Kue at a price. 29 And a chariot was exported from Egypt for six hundred silver pieces, and a horse for a hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria, by means of them they were exported.

CHAPTER 11

Solomon Turns from Jehovah

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which Jehovah had said to the sons of Israel, “You must not go in among them, and they should not come in among you,[75] for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully true to Jehovah his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom[76] the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah and did not fully follow Jehovah, as David his father had done. Then  Solomon built a high place to Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, on the mountain in front of Jerusalem and to Molech,[77] the detestable god of the Ammonites. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made sacrificial smoke and sacrificed to their gods.

Jehovah Raises Adversaries

And Jehovah was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from Jehovah, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what Jehovah commanded. 11 So Jehovah said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. 12 However, I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 Yet, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen.”

Resisters against Solomon

14 And Jehovah raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite. He was of the royal house in Edom. 15 For it came about when David struck down Edom,[78] and Joab the commander of the army went up to bury the slain, he struck down every male in Edom. 16 For Joab and all Israel remained there six months, until he had cut off every male in Edom. 17 But Hadad fled to Egypt, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him, while Hadad was a young boy. 18 So they rose up out of Midian and came to Paran and took men with them from Paran and came to Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt, who gave him a house and bread he assigned to him, and land he gave him. 19 And Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him in marriage the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. 20 And the sister of Tahpenes bore him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house; and Genubath was in Pharaoh’s house among the sons of Pharaoh. 21 But when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers and that Joab the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me depart, that I may go to my own country.” 22 Then Pharaoh said to him, “But what have you lacked with me, that look, you are seeking to go to your own country?” And he answered, “Nothing; but you must surely let me depart.”

23 God also raised up another adversary to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 And he gathered men to himself and became leader of a marauding band, after David killed those of Zobah; and they went to Damascus[79] and dwelt there and reigned in Damascus. 25 So he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, along with the harm done by Hadad; and he abhorred Israel and reigned over Syria.

Jeroboam Promised Ten Tribes

26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, a servant of Solomon, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, he also lifted up his hand against the king. 27 And this was the reason why he lifted up his hand against the king. Solomon built the Millo and closed up the breach of the city of David his father. 28 Now the man Jeroboam was a valiant warrior, and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious, he appointed him over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph. 29 And it came about at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Now Ahijah[80] had clothed himself with a new garment; and both of them were alone in the field. 30 Then Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was on him and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 And he said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces; for thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, ‘Look, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and give you ten tribes; 32 but he shall have one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city that I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, 33 because they have[81] abandoned Me, and have bowed down to Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom[82] the god of the sons of Ammon; and they have not walked in my ways, doing what is right in my eyes and keeping my statutes and my judgments, as his father David did. 34 But I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him ruler all the days of his life, for the sake of my servant David whom I chose, who kept my commandments and my statutes; 35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand and will give it to you, ten tribes. 36 But to his son I will give one tribe, that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name. 37 And I will take you, and you shall reign over all that your soul desires, and you shall be king over Israel. 38 And it shall be, if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you. 39 And I will afflict the offspring of David for this, but not forever.’” 40 Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam; but Jeroboam arose and fled into Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.

Solomon Dies and Rehoboam Is Made King

41 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the Book of the Acts of Solomon? 42 And the days that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. 43 And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father, and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.

CHAPTER 12

The Harsh Response of Rehoboam

12 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. And it came about, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, for he was yet in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt. Then they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” He said to them, “Go away for three days, then come again to me.” So the people went away.

And King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” And they spoke to him, saying: “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and answer them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants always.” But he rejected the counsel that the older men[83] gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. And he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?” 10 And the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus shall you speak to this people who spoke to you: ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us!’ Thus shall you speak to them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”

12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had spoken, “Come to me again the third day.” 13 And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel that the older men had given him, 14 and he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people; for it was a turn of events from Jehovah, that he might establish his word, which Jehovah spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

The Kingdom Divided – Ten Tribe Revolt

16 And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents,[84] O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So Israel went to their tents. 17 But as for the sons of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram,[85] who was over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam managed to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. 20 And it came about when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. There was none that followed the house of David but the tribe of Judah only.

Rehoboam’s Aborted Attack against Israel

21 When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand chosen warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22 But the word of God[86] came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 23 “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin and to the rest of the people, saying, 24 ‘Thus says Jehovah, “You must not go up and fight against your kinsmen the sons of Israel; return every man to his house, for this thing has come from me.’” So they listened to the word of Jehovah, and returned and went their way according to the word of Jehovah.

Jeroboam’s Golden Calves

25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and dwelt there. And he went out from there and built Penuel. 26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. 27 If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of Jehovah in Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king consulted, and he made two golden calves; and he said to the people,[87] “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; look your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” 29 And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. 31 And he made houses on high places, and appointed priests from all the people who were not of the sons of Levi. 32 Jeroboam established a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, the month that he had devised in his own heart;[88] and he established a feast for the sons of Israel and went up to the altar to burn incense.

CHAPTER 13

A Man of God Confronts Jeroboam

13 Now look, there came a man of God from Judah to Bethel by the word of Jehovah, while Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar by the word of Jehovah, and said, “O altar, altar, says Jehovah: ‘Look, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and on you shall he sacrifice the priests of the high places who make sacrificial smoke on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.’”[89] And he gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign that Jehovah has spoken: ‘Look, the altar shall be torn down, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out.’” And when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar at Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Seize him.” And his hand, which he stretched out against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself. The altar also was torn apart, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign that the man of God had given by the word of Jehovah. And the king said to the man of God, “Entreat now the favor of Jehovah your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.” And the man of God entreated Jehovah, and the king’s hand was restored to him and became as it was before. And the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.” And the man of God said to the king, “If you give me half your house, I will not go in with you. And I will not eat bread or drink water in this place, for so was it commanded me by the word of Jehovah, saying, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water nor return by the way that you came.’” 10 So he went another way and did not return by the way that he came to Bethel.

The Man of God is Disobedient

11 Now an old prophet dwelt in Bethel; and his son[90] came and told him all the deeds that the man of God had done that day in Bethel; the words which he had spoken to the king, these also they told to their father. 12 And their father said to them, “Which way did he go?” So his sons showed him[91] the way that the man of the true God from Judah had gone. 13 And he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him and he mounted it. 14 And he went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak. And he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” And he said, “I am.” 15 Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.” 16 And he said, “I may not return with you, or go in with you, neither will I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place, 17 for it was said to me by the word of Jehovah, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by the way that you came.’” 18 And he said to him, “I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of Jehovah, saying, ‘Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water.’ ” But he lied to him. 19 So he went back with him and ate bread in his house and drank water.

20 And it came about as they sat at the table, the word of Jehovah came to the prophet who had brought him back; 21 and he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, “Thus says Jehovah, ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of Jehovah, and have not observed the command which Jehovah your God commanded you, 22 but have come back and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water,” your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’” 23 And It came about after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 And when he had gone, a lion met him on the way and killed him, and his body was thrown on the road, with the donkey standing beside it; the lion also stood beside the body. 25 And look, men passed by and saw the body thrown on the road, and the lion standing beside the body; and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.

26 And when the prophet who had brought him back from the way heard of it, he said, “It is the man of God who disobeyed the word of Jehovah; therefore Jehovah has given him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word that Jehovah spoke to him.” 27 Then he spoke to his sons, saying, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And they saddled it. 28 And he went and found his body thrown on the road, and the donkey and the lion standing beside the body. The lion had not eaten the body or torn the donkey. 29 So the prophet took up the body of the man of God and laid it on the donkey and brought it back,[92] and he came to the city of the old prophet to mourn and to bury him. 30 And he laid the body in his own grave, and they mourned over him, saying, “Alas, my brother!” 31 And after he had buried him, he spoke to his sons, saying, “When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.[93] 32 For the saying that he called out by the word of Jehovah against the altar in Bethel and against all the houses of the high places that are in the cities of Samaria shall surely come to pass.”

33 After this thing Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way but made priests for the high places again from among all the people. He would fill the hand of[94] anyone who so desired, saying: “Let him become one of the priests[95] of the high places. 34 And this thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, so as to cut it off and to destroy it from the face of the earth.

CHAPTER 14

Ahijah’s Prophecy Against Jeroboam

14 At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, “Arise, and disguise yourself, that it not be known that you are the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh. Look, Ahijah the prophet is there, who said of me that I should be king[96] over this people. Take with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what shall happen to the boy.”

Jeroboam’s wife did so, and arose and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah could not see, for his eyes were dim because of his age. 

And Jehovah said to Ahijah, “Look, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to inquire of you concerning her son, for he is sick. You should tell her such and such. When she comes in, she will pretend to be another woman.” 

But when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another? For I am sent to you with a harsh message. Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel: “Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel, and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, but you have done worse than all those who were before to you, and you made for yourself another god and metal images to provoke me to anger, and have cast me behind your back, 10 therefore look, I will bring calamity upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam anyone urinating against a wall,[97] one restrained and one forsaken in Israel, and I will make a clean sweep of the house of Jeroboam, just as one sweeps away dung until it is all gone. 11 Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone who dies in the field the birds of the heavens shall eat, for Jehovah has spoken it.”’ 12 Now rise up; go to your house. When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. 13 And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to Jehovah, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam. 14 Moreover, Jehovah will raise up for himself a king over Israel who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam this day, yes, even now. 15 For Jehovah will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water; and he will uproot Israel from this good land which he gave to their forefathers, and will scatter them beyond the River,[98] because they have made their Asherah poles[99], provoking Jehovah to anger. 16 And he will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned and caused Israel to sin.”

17 Then Jeroboam’s wife arose and departed and came to Tirzah. And as she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. 18 And all Israel buried him and mourned for him, according to the word of Jehovah, which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the prophet.

The Death of Jeroboam

19 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred and how he reigned, look, they are written in the Book of the days of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 20 And the days that Jeroboam reigned was twenty-two years. And he slept with his forefathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his place.

Rehoboam Reigns in Judah

21 Now Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city that Jehovah had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 22 And Judah did what was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins that they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. 23 For they also built for themselves high places and pillars and Asherah poles[100] on every high hill and under every green tree, 24 and there were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations that Jehovah drove out before the sons of Israel.

25 And it came about in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. 26 And he took away the treasures of the house of Jehovah and the treasures of the king’s house, and he took everything; he even took all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 27 So King Rehoboam made in their place shields of copper and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house. 28 Whenever the king came to the house of Jehovah, the guards would carry them, and then they would return them to the guard chamber.

29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 30 And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 31 And Rehoboam slept with his forefathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. His mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. And Abijam[101] his son reigned in his place.

CHAPTER 15

Abijam Reigns in Judah

15 Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam[102] began to reign over Judah. He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. And he walked in all the sins of his father which he had committed before him; and his heart was not completely devoted to Jehovah his God, like the heart of his forefather David. However, for David’s sake Jehovah his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, to raise up his son after him and to establish Jerusalem; because David did what was right in the eyes of Jehovah and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. Now there was war between Rehoboam[103] and Jeroboam all the days of his life. Now the rest of the acts of Abijam[104] and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the days of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. And Abijam[105] slept with his forefathers and they buried him in the city of David; and Asa his son became king in his place.

Asa Reigns In Judah

So in the twentieth year of Jeroboam the king of Israel, Asa began to reign as king of Judah. 10 And he reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 11 And Asa did what was right in the eyes of Jehovah, as David his forefather. 12 He put away the male cult prostitutes out of the land and removed all the idols that his forefathers had made. 13 He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. And Asa cut down her image and burned it at the brook Kidron. 14 But the high places were not taken away; nevertheless, the heart of Asa was completely devoted to Jehovah all his days. 15 And he brought the things that he and his father had made holy into the house of Jehovah: silver, gold, and various utensils.

16 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. 17 Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, to allow no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of Jehovah and the treasures of the king’s house and gave them into the hands of his servants. And King Asa sent them to Ben-hadad the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying, 19 “Let there be a covenant between me and you, as between my father and your father. Look, I have sent you a present of silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.” 20 And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel and conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali. 21 And it came about when Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah, and he dwelt in Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah, none was exempt, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Baasha had been building, and with them King Asa built up Geba in Benjamin, and Mizpah. 23 Now the rest of all the acts of Asa and all his might and all that he did and the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the Kings of Judah? But in the time of his old age, he was diseased in his feet. 24 And Asa slept with his forefathers and was buried with his forefathers in the city of David his father; and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place.

Nadab Reigns in Israel

25 Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26 He did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin which he caused Israel to sin.

27 Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him, and Baasha struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, for Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon. 28 So Baasha killed him in the third year of Asa king of Judah and reigned in his place. 29 And it came about as soon as he was king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not let remain anyone breathing who belonged to Jeroboam, until he had destroyed them, according to the word of Jehovah, which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite, 30 and because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he caused Israel to sin, because of his provocation with which he provoked Jehovah the God of Israel to anger.

31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the Kings of Israel? 32 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

Baasha Reigns in Israel

33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel at Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years. 34 And he did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he caused Israel to sin.

CHAPTER 16

Jehovah judges Baasha

16 And the word of Jehovah came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, “Because I raised you up out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, look, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens shall eat.”

Now the rest of the acts of Baasha and what he did and his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the Kings of Israel? And Baasha slept with his forefathers and was buried at Tirzah, and Elah his son reigned in his place. Moreover, the word of Jehovah came by the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha and his household, both because of all the evil that he did in the sight of Jehovah, provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and also because of his striking him[106] down.

Elah Reigns in Israel

In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha began to reign over Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned two years. And his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him. Now he was at Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was over the household in Tirzah, 10 Zimri came in and struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place.

11 And it came about when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he struck down all the household of Baasha. He did not let anyone of his remain who urinates against a wall[107] or his avengers of blood[108] or his friends. 12 Thus Zimri destroyed all the household of Baasha, according to the word of Jehovah, which he spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet, 13 for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, which they sinned and which they caused Israel to sin, provoking Jehovah God of Israel to anger with their idols. 14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the Kings of Israel?

Zimri Reigns in Israel

15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days in Tirzah. Now the army was encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines. 16 And the army that was encamped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired, and he has killed the king.” Therefore, all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. 17 Then Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah. 18 And when Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned the king’s house over him with fire and died, 19 because of his sins which he sinned, doing evil in the eyes of Jehovah, walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, making Israel sin. 20 Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and the conspiracy which he made, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the Kings of Israel?

Omri Reigns in Israel

21 Then the people of Israel were divided into two parts. Half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king, and half followed Omri.22 But the people who followed Omri prevailed over the people who followed Tibni the son of Ginath. And Tibni died and Omri became king. 23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel, and he reigned for twelve years; six years he reigned in Tirzah. 24 He bought the hill Samaria from Shemer for two talents[109] of silver; and he built on the hill, and named the city which he built Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill.

25 And Omri did that which was evil in the eyes of Jehovah and behaved more wickedly than all that were before him. 26 For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in the sins that he caused Israel to sin, provoking Jehovah, the God of Israel, to anger with their idols. 27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did and his might which he showed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the Kings of Israel? 28 So Omri slept with his forefathers and was buried in Samaria; and Ahab his son reigned in his place.

Ahab Reigns in Israel

29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did that which was evil in the eyes of Jehovah above all who were before him. 31 And it came about as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians and went and served Baal and to bow down to him. 32 And he erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal which he built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab made the Asherah; and Ahab did more to provoke Jehovah, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. 34 In his days Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho; he laid its foundations with the loss of Abiram his firstborn and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of Jehovah, which He spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.

CHAPTER 17

Elijah Predicts a Drought

17 Now Elijah[110] the Tishbite, who was of the settlers[111] of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As Jehovah, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” And the word of Jehovah came to him, saying, “Leave here, and turn eastward and hide at the Valley of Cherith, east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I will command the ravens to supply you food there.” So he went and did according to the word of Jehovah, for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And it came about after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

Elijah Visits the Widow of Zarephath

And the word of Jehovah came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Look, I have commanded a widow there to sustain you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, “Please get me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As Jehovah your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and look, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13 Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. 14 For thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be exhausted, and the jar of oil shall not be empty, until the day that Jehovah sends rain upon the earth.’ ” 15 And she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of flour was not exhausted, neither did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of Jehovah that he spoke by Elijah.

Elijah Raises the Widow’s Son from the Dead

17 And it came about after this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my error to remembrance and to put my son to death!” 19 And he said to her,[112] “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he was dwelling and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to Jehovah, “O Jehovah my God, have you brought harm even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, putting her son to death?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to Jehovah, “O Jehovah my God, let this child’s soul[113] come into him again.” 22 And Jehovah listened to the voice of Elijah. And the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son is alive.” 24 And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of Jehovah in your mouth is truth.”

CHAPTER 18

Elijah Confronts Ahab

18 And it came about after many days the word of Jehovah came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria. And Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared Jehovah greatly, for when Jezebel cut off the prophets of Jehovah, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water.) And Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the valleys. Perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, and not have all our animals die.” So they divided the land between them to pass through it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

And as Obadiah was on the way, look, Elijah met him, and he recognized him and fell on his face and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?” And he answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your lord, ‘Look, Elijah is here.’” But he said, “What sin have I committed that you should put your servant into the hand of Ahab to put me to death? 10 As Jehovah your God lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to look for you. And when they said, ‘He is not here,’ he made the kingdom and the nation swear that they could not find you. 11 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Elijah is here.”’ 12 And it will come about, when I go from you, then the Spirit of Jehovah will carry you away to where I shall not know; and I shall have come to tell Ahab and he will not find you, and he will kill me, although your servant has feared Jehovah from his youth. 13 Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of Jehovah, how I hid a hundred men of the Jehovah’s prophets by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water? 14 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Look, Elijah is here;”’ and he will kill me.” 15 And Elijah said, “As Jehovah of armies lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.” 16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah.

17 And it came about when Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have forsaken the commandments of Jehovah and followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

The God of Elijah Versus the Baal Prophets at Carmel

20 So Ahab sent word among all the sons of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If Jehovah is God, follow him; but if Baal,[114] then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of Jehovah, but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. 24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of Jehovah, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. 29 Noon was past, and they prophesied in a frenzy until the time the evening grain offering is presented, but there was no voice and no one answering, no one was paying attention.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of Jehovah that had been thrown down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of Jehovah came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” 32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of Jehovah. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs[115] of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” 34 And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. 35 And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.

36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Jehovah, 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 that I have done all these things at your word. 37 Answer me, O Jehovah, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Jehovah, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” 38 Then the fire of the Jehovah fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “Jehovah, he is God; Jehovah, he is God.” 40 Then Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape.” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

Jehovah Ends the Three-and-a-Half-Year Drought

41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of a downpour of rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. 43 And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. 44 And it came about at the seventh time he said, “Look, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” 45 And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 46 And the hand of Jehovah was on Elijah, and he girded up his hips[116] and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

CHAPTER 19

Elijah Flees Jezebel’ Wrath

19 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your soul as the soul of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” Then he was afraid,[117] and he arose and ran for his soul and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that his soul might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Jehovah, take away my soul, for I am no better than my forefathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And look, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and look, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of Jehovah came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.

Jehovah Speaks to Elijah at Horeb

And he came there to a cave, and lodged there; and look, the word of Jehovah came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for Jehovah, the God of armies. For the sons of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my soul, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before Jehovah.” And look, Jehovah passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before Jehovah, but Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but Jehovah was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a calm, low voice.[118] 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his garment and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And look, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for Jehovah, the God of armies. For the sons of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my soul, to take it away.” 

Elijah Is to Anoint Hazael, Jehu, Elisha

15 And Jehovah said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi[119] you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And it shall come about the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bent to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

The Call of Elisha to Succeed Elijah

19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his garment upon him. 20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and serve him.

CHAPTER 20

Ahab’s Wars with Syria

20 [120]Now Ben-hadad king of Aram gathered all his army, and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Samaria and fought against it. And he sent messengers to the city to Ahab king of Israel and said to him, “Thus says Ben-hadad, ‘Your silver and your gold are mine, and your wives and your sons, the best are mine.’” And the king of Israel answered, “It is according to your word, my lord, O king; I am yours, and all that I have.” The messengers came again and said, “Thus says Ben-hadad: ‘I sent to you, saying, “You shall deliver to me your silver and your gold, your wives and your sons.” But about this time tomorrow I will send my servants to you, and they will search your house and the houses of your servants; and lay hands on whatever pleases you and take it away.’”

Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land and said, “Mark, now, and see how this man is seeking trouble, for he sent to me for my wives and my sons, and for my silver and my gold, and I did not refuse him.” And all the elders and all the people said to him, “Do not listen or consent.” So he said to the messengers of Ben-hadad, “Tell my lord the king, ‘All that you sent for to your servant at the first I will do, but this thing I cannot do.’” And the messengers departed and brought him word again. 10 Ben-hadad sent to him and said, “The gods do so to me and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me.” 11 And the king of Israel answered, “Tell him, ‘Let not him who puts on his armor boast himself as he who takes it off.’” 12 And it came about that as soon as he heard this word, while he and the kings were drinking in the booths, he said to his servants, “Take your positions!” And they took their positions against the city.

Ahab Defeats Ben-hadad

13 And look, a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel and said, “Thus says Jehovah, ‘Have you seen all this great multitude? Look, I will give it into your hand this day, and you shall know that I am Jehovah.’” 14 Ahab said, “By whom?” So he said, “Thus says Jehovah, ‘By the young men of the rulers of the provinces.’” Then he said, “Who shall begin the battle?” And he answered, “You.” 15 Then he mustered the young men of the rulers of the provinces, and there were two hundred and thirty-two; and after them he mustered all the people, even all the sons of Israel, 7,000.

16 And they went out at noon, while Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the booths, he and the thirty-two kings who helped him. 17 The young men of the rulers of the provinces went out first; and Ben-hadad sent out and they told him, saying, “Men have come out from Samaria.” 18 And he said, “If they have come out for peace, take them alive; or if they have come out for war, take them alive.”

19 So these went out from the city, the young men of the rulers of the provinces, and the army which followed them. 20 And each struck down his man. The Syrians fled, and Israel pursued them, and Ben-hadad king of Syria escaped on a horse with horsemen. 21 And the king of Israel went out and struck the horses and chariots and struck the Syrians with a great slaughter.

22 Then the prophet came near to the king of Israel and said to him, “Go, strengthen yourself and consider what you have to do; for at the start of the next year[121] the king of Aram will come up against you.”

23 And the servants of the king of Syria said to him, “Their gods are gods of the hills, and so they were stronger than we. But let us fight against them in the plain, and surely, we shall be stronger than they. 24 Do this thing: remove the kings each from his post and put governors in their place, 25 and muster an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot. Then we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.” And he listened to their voice and did so.

Ahab Defeats Ben-hadad Again

26 And it came about at the return of the year that Ben-hadad mustered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel. 27 And the sons of Israel were mustered and were provisioned and went against them. The sons of Israel camped before them like two little flocks of goats, but the Syrians filled the country. 28 And a man of God came near and said to the king of Israel, “Thus says Jehovah, ‘Because the Syrians have said, “Jehovah is a god of the hills but he is not a god of the valleys,” therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am Jehovah.’” 29 And they camped opposite each other for seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined; and the sons of Israel struck down the Syrians a hundred-thousand foot soldiers in one day. 30 But the rest fled to Aphek into the city, and the wall fell on twenty-seven thousand men who were left.

And Ben-hadad fled and came into the city into an inner chamber. 31 And his servants said to him, “Look now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. Let us put sackcloth on our loins and ropes on our heads and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps he will save your soul.” 32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel and said, “Your servant Ben-hadad says, ‘Please let me live.’ ” And he said, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.” 33 So the men took it as an omen and quickly took him at his word, and they said, “Ben-hadad is your brother.” Then he said, “Go and bring him.” Then Ben-hadad came out to him, and he caused him to come up into the chariot. 34 Ben-hadad said to him, “The cities which my father took from your father I will restore, and you shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria.”

Ahab said, “And I will let you go with this covenant.” So, he made a covenant with him and let him go.

A Prophecy against Ahab

35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow at the command of Jehovah, “Strike me, please.” But the man refused to strike him. 36 Then he said to him, “Because you have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah, look, as soon as you have departed from me, a lion shall strike you down.” And as soon as he had departed from him, a lion found him and struck him down. 37 Then he found another man and said, “Please strike me.” So the man struck him and wounded him. 38 So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the way and disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes. 39 As the king passed by, he cried to the king and said, “Your servant went out into the midst of the battle; and look, a man turned aside and brought a man to me and said, ‘Guard this man; if for any reason he is missing, then your soul shall be for his soul, or else you shall pay a talent[122] of silver.’ 40 And as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone.” The king of Israel said to him, “So shall your judgment be; you yourself have decided it.” 41 Then he quickly took the bandage away from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him that he was of the prophets. 42 And he said to him, “Thus says Jehovah, ‘Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your soul shall be for his soul, and your people for his people.’” 43 And the king of Israel went to his house sullen and dejected and came to Samaria.

CHAPTER 21

Ahab Desires Naboth’s Vineyard

21 Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “Jehovah forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And Ahab went into his house sullen and dejected because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food.

Jezebel Strategically Plans Naboth’s Death

But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “Why is your spirit so sullen that you eat no food?” And he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money, or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ And he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” And Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now govern Israel? Arise and eat bread and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal and sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who dwelt with Naboth in his city. And she wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people. 10 And seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, ‘You cursed[123] God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.” 11 And the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who dwelt in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people. 13 Then the two worthless men came in and sat before him; and the worthless men testified against him, even against Naboth, before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed[124] God and the king.” So, they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.”

15 And it came about when Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth, the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” 16 And it came about when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

Jehovah Through Elijah Condemns Ahab

17 Then the word of Jehovah came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; look, he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to take possession of it. 19 You shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says Jehovah, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says Jehovah, “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.”’”

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of Jehovah. 21 Look, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab anyone urinating against a wall,[125] both bond and free in Israel. 22 And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have caused Israel to sin. 23 And of Jezebel Jehovah also spoke, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the plot of land at Jezreel.’[126] 24 Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs will eat up, and anyone who dies in the field the birds of the heavens will eat.”

Ahab’s Repentance

25 Truly there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of Jehovah, because Jezebel his wife incited him. 26 He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom Jehovah cast out before the sons of Israel.

27 And it came about when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about despondently. 28 And the word of Jehovah 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 disaster in his days; but in the days of his son I will bring the disaster upon his house.”

CHAPTER 22

Ahab and the False Prophets

22 And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel. But it came about in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. And the king of Israel said to his servants, “You know that Ramoth-gilead is ours, and we are hesitating to take it out of the hand of the king of Syria?” And he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”

And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of Jehovah.” Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for Jehovah[127] will give it into the hand of the king.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no prophet of Jehovah here that we may inquire of him?” And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of Jehovah, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah son of Imlah.” 10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron and said, “Thus says Jehovah, ‘With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.’” 12 And all the prophets prophesied so and said, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed; Jehovah will give it into the hand of the king.”

Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab

13 And the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Look now, the words of the prophets are unanimously favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” 14 But Micaiah said, “As Jehovah lives, what Jehovah says to me, that I will speak.” 15 And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” And he answered him, “Go up and succeed; Jehovah will give it into the hand of the king.” 16 Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of Jehovah?” 17 And he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And Jehovah said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.’” 18 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” 19 And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of Jehovah: I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne, and all the army of the heavens standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; 20 and Jehovah said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing while another said something else. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before Jehovah and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 And Jehovah said to him, ‘In what manner?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ 23 Now therefore look, Jehovah has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; Jehovah has spoken disaster concerning you.”

24 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “How did the Spirit of Jehovah pass from me to speak to you?” 25 And Micaiah said, “Look, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.” 26 And the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah, and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son, 27 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this fellow in prison and feed him small rations of bread and water, until I come in peace.”’” 28 And Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, Jehovah has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Hear, all you peoples!”

Ahab Killed in Battle at Ramoth-gilead

29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the 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 put on your robes.” And the king of Israel disguised himself and went into[128] battle. 31 Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two commanders of his chariots, “Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel.” 32 And it came about when the commanders of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “Surely it is the king of Israel,” and they turned aside to fight against him, and Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 And it came about when the commanders of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 34 But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the armor and the breastplate. Therefore, he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the camp, for I am wounded.” 35 And the battle continued that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at evening he died. And the blood of the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot. 36 Then a cry passed throughout the army close to sunset, saying, “Every man to his city and every man to his country.”

37 So the king died and was brought[129] to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria. 38 They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves there, according to the word of Jehovah which He spoke. 39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did, and the ivory house that he built and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40 So Ahab slept with his fathers, and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.

Jehoshaphat Reigns in Judah

41 Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 He walked in all the way of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing right in the eyes of Jehovah. However, the high places were not taken away;[130] the people still sacrificed and made sacrificial smoke on the high places. 44 Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.

45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he showed, and how he warred, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the Kings of Judah? 46 And the remnant of the male cult prostitutes who remained in the days of his father Asa, he expelled from the land.

47 Now there was no king in Edom; a deputy was king. 48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they did not go for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber. 49 Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat was not willing. 50 And Jehoshaphat slept with his forefathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father, and Jehoram his son reigned in his place.

Ahaziah Reigns in Israel

51 Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. 52 He did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. 53 He served Baal and bowed down to him and provoked Jehovah God of Israel to anger, according to all that his father had done.

[1] Lit days

[2] Or hurt his feelings

[3] Lit from his days (years)

[4] Or the Sliding Stone

[5] LXX lacks “the sons of the king”

[6] LXX has “Joab the commander” instead of “the commanders”

[7] LXX and some Heb. MSS have “servant” instead of “servants”

[8] MT VG “say” SYR two Heb. MSS “do”

[9] MT “your God” MTmargin LXX VG “God” SYR “Jehovah your God”

[10] LXX adds “of my offspring” after “one”

[11] Or in truth

[12] lit (shakab) slept, that is, slept in death

[13] LXX SYR VG “and on his side are Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah”

[14] LXX “upon him, and Adonijah died on that day”

[15] Lit a man of death

[16] MT LXXB VG “Absalom” LXX SYR VGc “Solomon”

[17] MT SYR “God” AT LXX “Jehovah”

[18] Lit heavy

[19] This is one of the 134 scribal changes from יהוה [JHVH] to אדני [Adonai]. The earliest MSS have the Tetragrammaton.

[20] MT VG “God” LXX SYR VGc “Jehovah”

[21] That is long life

[22] This is one of the 134 scribal changes from יהוה [JHVH] to אדני [Adonai]. The earliest MSS have the Tetragrammaton.

[23] That is they were in awe of the king

[24] LXX adds “of Judah” at the end of the verse

[25] A cor equaled 220 L (200 dry qt).

[26] That is west of the Euphrates River

[27] LXX 2 Ch 9:25 “four thousand” MT SYR VG “forty thousand”

[28] MT SYR VG “God” AT LXX SYRHexapla “Jehovah”

[29] Or breadth of mind; that is a heart of understanding

[30] MT SYR VG “one thousand and five” LXX VG12 MSS “five thousand”

[31] A cor equaled 220 L (200 dry qt).

[32] MT “twenty cors” LXX 2 Ch 2:10 “twenty thousand baths”

[33] Lit cut

[34]  LXX  2 Ch 2:2, 18 “three thousand six hundred”

[35] MT SYR VG “Four hundred and eightieth year” LXX “four hundred and fortieth year.”

[36] A cubit equaled 44.5 cm (17.5 in.).

[37] Or The porch in front of the main room of the house was twenty cubits in length

[38] LXX “chamber” MT “structure”

[39] AT LXX “Lowest” MT SYR VG “middle”

[40] Or south

[41] Ark of the Covenant: (אֶת־אֲר֖וֹן בְּרִ֥ית; berith aron) The original chest made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold, the cover being of solid gold with two cherubs facing each other, which the Israelites kept in the Most Holy of the tabernacle and later in the Most Holy of the temple that Solomon built. It contained the Ten Commandments and was associated with God’s presence. – Deut. 31:26; 1 Ki 6:19; Heb. 9:4.

[42] That is, the Most Holy

[43] A cubit equaled 44.5 cm (17.5 in.).

[44] LXX “three rows” MT “four rows”

[45] MT “doorposts” LXX “windows”

[46] MT “from the floor to the floor” (הַקַּרְקָע haqqarqa) Emendation “from the floor to the rafters” (הַקּוֹרוֹת haqqorot) SYR “ceiling” VG “top”

[47] The LXX adds “even the thickness of the pillar: the hollow work was four fingers wide, and thus was the other pillar formed” at the end of the verse.

[48] MT “seven” LXX “a net”

[49] LXX “a net for one capital and a net for the other capital” MT “seven for the first capital and seven for the other capital”

[50] Few Heb. MSS SYR LXX “pomegranates” MT “pillars”

[51] 50 Heb. MSS SYR “pillars” MT “pomegranates”

[52] Meaning Jehovah will establish

[53] Possibly meaning in strength

[54] About 7.5 cm (3 in.).

[55] A bath equaled 22 L (5.81 gal).

[56] Supports, that is, its framing pieces of furniture

[57] LXX “on the two pillars” SYR VG “on the tops of the pillars” MT “in front of the pillars”

[58] LXX adds “tablets of the covenant”

[59] Lit your son, the one coming out of your loins

[60] MT “O God of Israel” AT LXX SYR VGc and 35 Heb. MSS 2 Ch 6:17 “O Jehovah the God of Israel”

[61] LXX SYR “in one of their cities” MT “in the land of their gates”

[62] LXX lacks “and seven more days, that is, fourteen days”

[63] AT LXX VG 2 Ch 7:20 “cast out” MT “send away”

[64] MT “shall become high” SYR IT “shall become a heap of ruins”

[65] A talent equaled 34.2 kg (1,101 oz t).

[66] MT “Tamar” MTmargin LXX SYR AT 2 Ch 8:4 “Tadmor” VG “Palmyra”

[67] Lit there was no more spirit in her

[68] Or Your wisdom and prosperity surpass

[69] MT VG “men” LXX SYR IT “wives”

[70] A talent equaled 34.2 kg (1,101 oz t).

[71] A shekel equaled 11.4 g (0.367 oz t).

VG “Six hundred shekels” MT  “six hundred” SYR “six hundred minas”

[72] A mina equaled 570 g (18.35 oz t).

[73] Lit And all the earth with the pl. participle “seeking,” so, And all the people of the earth LXX SYR “And all the kings of the earth”

[74] Kue is a place from which Solomon imported horses (1 Kings 10:28; 2 Chron. 1:16), which is identified with Cilicia in southeast Asia Minor.

 

[75] Or You shall not marry them, and they shall not marry you

[76] Malcam (מַלְכָּם) means their king. He is the chief idol god of the Ammonites. (2 Sam. 12:30; 1Ch 20:1, 2; Jer. 49:1, 3) Likely the same as Milcom (מִלְכֹּם Milkom), Molech (מֹלֶךְ Molek), and Moloch (Μολόχ Moloch). (1Ki 11:5, 7; Ac 7:43) The name Malcam is different than Milcom in the MT, only in the vowel points. (1Ki 11:5) The Jews ignored the counsel at Joshua 23:7 and started making sworn oaths by Malcam (Zep 1:5) It is the context that will help the translator to render מַלְכָּם as the name of the god or as “their king.” – Am 1:15.

[77] See 11:5 fn.

[78] With MTemendation we get “when David struck down Edom,” which agrees with the LXX SYR. (See 2 Sam 8:13–14; 1 Ch 18:11–13)

[79] LXX “he went to Damascus” MT “they went to Damascus”

[80] LXX SYR “Ahijah” MT VG “he”

[81] MT “because they have” LXX SYR VG “because he has”

[82] Malcam (מַלְכָּם) means their king. He is the chief idol god of the Ammonites. (2 Sam. 12:30; 1Ch 20:1, 2; Jer. 49:1, 3) Likely the same as Milcom (מִלְכֹּם Milkom), Molech (מֹלֶךְ Molek), and Moloch (Μολόχ Moloch). (1Ki 11:5, 7; Ac 7:43) The name Malcam is different than Milcom in the MT, only in the vowel points. (1Ki 11:5) The Jews ignored the counsel at Joshua 23:7 and started making sworn oaths by Malcam (Zep 1:5) It is the context that will help the translator to render מַלְכָּם as the name of the god or as “their king.” – Am 1:15.

[83] Or the elders

[84] Or to your gods This is one of the Eighteen Emendations of the Sopherim. The original Heb. text is claimed to have used a form of elohim (“gods” here), but by reversing the l and h, the second and third letters of the word, the Jewish Sopherim made the MT read “tents.” See 2 Sam. 20:1 f.n.; 2 Ch 10:16 f.n. Some notes read in the Masoretic text margin: “This is one of the eighteen emendations of the Sopherim” or similar words. The scribe who made these revisions had good intentions as he saw the original reading as though it showed a lack of respect for God or his people.

[85] SYR some LXX MSS “Adoniram” See 4:6 and 5:14.

[86] MT “the word of God” LXX SYR VG “Jehovah”

[87] LXX IT “to the people,” SYR “to all Israel” MT VG “to them”

[88] MT “by himself” MTmargin “in his heart”

[89] LXX SYR VG “he shall burn upon you,” MT “they shall burn upon you”

[90] LXX SYR IT VGc some Heb. MSS “sons” MT VG “son” The versions and the few Heb MSS use the plural to make it more consistent with the plural in the second half of the verse, “they told to their father.” And with vss. 12–13.

[91] LXX SYR AT VG “showed him” MT “had seen”

[92] LXX “brought it back to the city” MT “brought it back”

[93] LXX “lay me by his bones, that my bones may be preserved with his bones”

[94] Or ordain as priests

[95] MT “one of the priests” LXX SYR IT VG “a priest”

[96] LXXA SYR VG “that I should become king” MT “as king”

[97] This is a Heb. idiom for males

[98] That is, the Euphrates River

[99] Asherah poles:  The Hebrew word (אֲשֵׁרָה Asherah) refers to (1) a sacred wooden pole used in the worship of Asherah, a Canaanite goddess of fertility, or (2) an Asherah image of the goddess. These were upright poles made of wood.​ – Deut. 16:21; Judges 6:26; 1Ki 15:13.

[100] Asherah poles:  The Hebrew word (אֲשֵׁרָה Asherah) refers to (1) a sacred wooden pole used in the worship of Asherah, a Canaanite goddess of fertility, or (2) an Asherah image of the goddess. These were upright poles made of wood.​ – Deut. 16:21; Judges 6:26; 1Ki 15:13.

[101] MT VG “Abijam” LXX 12 Heb. MSS 2 Ch 12:16 “Abijah” (also in 15:1, 7, 8)

[102] MT VG “Abijam” LXX 12 Heb. MSS 2 Ch 12:16 “Abijah” (also in 14:31; 15:7, 8)

[103] MT VG “Rehoboam” SYR “Abija the son of Rehoboam” 12 Heb. MSS “Abijam” (Abijah)

[104] MT VG “Abijam” LXX 12 Heb. MSS 2 Ch 12:16 “Abijah” (also in 14:31; 15:1, 8)

[105] MT VG “Abijam” LXX 12 Heb. MSS 2 Ch 12:16 “Abijah” (also in 14:31; 15:1, 7)

[106] That is, Nadab, the son of Jeroboam

[107] This is a Heb. idiom for males

[108] Or his kinsman (a relative that takes vengeance) SYR VG “his relatives”

[109] A talent equaled 34.2 kg (1,101 oz t).

[110] LXX VG “Elias”

[111] MT SYR VG “of the settlers,” LXX MTemendation “of Tishbeh.”

[112] LXX “But Elijah said to the woman”

[113] That is, life

[114] Baal: (בַּעַל baal) The Hebrew means “Owner; Master; Husband.” An ancient Canaanite god: a fertility or nature god, seen as the owner of the sky and giver of rains, worshiped by the Canaanites and the Phoenicians. – 1 Ki 18:21; Rom. 11:4.

[115] One seah equaled 7.33 L (6.66 dry qt).

[116] Or he wrapped his garment around his hips

[117] LXX SYR VG many Heb. MSS “was afraid” MT “got to see”

[118] LXX “voice, and Jehovah was there”

[119] Nimshi is the grandfather of Jehu (2 Kings 9:2, 14), but he is also called his father (9:20; 2 Ch 22:7).

[120] LXX switches chapters 20 and 21; as a result, in the LXX chapter 21 begins here.

[121] That is, next spring

[122] A talent equaled 34.2 kg (1,101 oz t).

[123] MT “cursed” The Sopherim scribes changed to read “blessed.” GinsInt There are “a few passages into which changes have been introduced by the authorised redactors of the text, but which are not expressly mentioned in the official Lists. Foremost amongst these are instances in which the original reading described blasphemy or cursing God. Such profane phrases were deemed offensive to the ears of the devote[d] worshippers when the Scriptures were read publicly before the congregation.” LXX “have thought evil things” SYR “ has reviled” VG “have blasphemed”

[124] See 1Ki 21:10 fn.

[125] This is a Heb. idiom for males

[126] SYR AT VG some Heb. MSS “plot of land at Jezreel” MT “outer rampart of Jezreel” Some LXX MSS have “Israel” for “Jezreel”

[127] This is one of the 134 scribal changes from יהוה [JHVH] to אדני [Adonai]. The earliest MSS have the Tetragrammaton.

[128] MT “disguise yourself and go” AT LXX SYR “I shall completely cover myself and enter” VG “take armor and enter”

[129] VG “he was brought” MT SYR “he came” LXX “they came”

[130] MT “did not disappear” LXX SYR VG “he did not remove”

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