The queen of Sheba heard about Solomon's fame connected with the name of the LORD and came to test him with difficult questions.
She came to Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels bearing spices, gold in great abundance, and precious stones. She came to Solomon and spoke to him about everything that was on her mind.
So Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too difficult for the king to explain to her.
When the queen of Sheba observed all of Solomon's wisdom, the palace he had built,
the food at his table, his servants' residence, his attendants' service and their attire, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he offered at the LORD's temple, it took her breath away.
She said to the king, "The report I heard in my own country about your words and about your wisdom is true.
But I didn't believe the reports until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, I was not even told half. Your wisdom and prosperity far exceed the report I heard.
How happy are your men. How happy are these servants of yours, who always stand in your presence hearing your wisdom.
May the LORD your God be praised! He delighted in you and put you on the throne of Israel, because of the LORD's eternal love for Israel. He has made you king to carry out justice and righteousness."
Then she gave the king four and a half tons of gold, a great quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never again did such a quantity of spices arrive as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
In addition, Hiram's fleet that carried gold from Ophir brought from Ophir a large quantity of almug wood and precious stones.
The king made the almug wood into steps for the LORD's temple and the king's palace and into harps and lyres for the singers. Never [before] had such almug wood come, and [the like] has not been seen [again] even to this very day.
King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba her every desire-- whatever she asked-- besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she, along with her servants, returned to her own country.
The weight of gold that came to Solomon annually was 25 tons,
besides what came from merchants, traders' merchandise, and all the Arabian kings and governors of the land.
King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold; 15 pounds of gold went into each shield.
He made 300 small shields of hammered gold; about four pounds of gold went into each shield. The king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
The king also made a large ivory throne and overlaid it with fine gold.
The throne had six steps; there was a rounded top at the back of the throne, armrests on either side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the armrests.
Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps, one at each end. Nothing like it had ever been made in any other kingdom.
All of King Solomon's drinking cups were gold, and all the utensils of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. There was no silver, since it was considered as nothing in Solomon's time,
for the king had ships of Tarshish at sea with Hiram's fleet, and once every three years the ships of Tarshish would arrive bearing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the world in riches and in wisdom.
The whole world wanted an audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom that God had put in his heart.
Every man would bring his annual tribute: items of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, and horses and mules.
Solomon accumulated 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen and stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.
The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar as abundant as sycamore in the Judean foothills.
Solomon's horses were imported from Egypt and Kue. The king's traders bought them from Kue at the going price.
A chariot was imported from Egypt for 15 pounds [of silver], and a horse for about four pounds. In the same way, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Aram through their agents.
King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh's daughter: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women
from the nations that the LORD had told the Israelites about, "Do not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you, because they will turn you away [from Me] to their gods." Solomon was deeply attached to these women and loved [them].
He had 700 wives who were princesses and 300 concubines, and they turned his heart away [from the LORD].
When Solomon was old, his wives seduced him [to follow] other gods. His heart was not completely with the LORD his God, as his father David's heart had been.
Solomon followed Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the detestable idol of the Ammonites.
Solomon did what was evil in the LORD's sight, and unlike his father David, he did not completely follow the LORD.
At that time, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the detestable idol of Moab, and for Milcom, the detestable idol of the Ammonites on the hill across from Jerusalem.
He did the same for all his foreign wives, who were burning incense and offering sacrifices to their gods.
The LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.
He had commanded him about this, so that he would not follow other gods, but Solomon did not do what the LORD had commanded.
Then the LORD said to Solomon, "Since you have done this and did not keep My covenant and My statutes, which I commanded you, I will tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.
However, I will not do it during your lifetime because of your father David; I will tear it out of your son's hand.
Yet, I will not tear the entire kingdom away from him. I will give one tribe to your son because of my servant David and because of Jerusalem that I chose."
So the LORD raised up Hadad the Edomite as an enemy against Solomon. He was of the royal family in Edom.
Earlier, when David was in Edom, Joab, the commander of the army, had gone to bury the dead and had struck down every male in Edom.
For Joab and all Israel had remained there six months, until he had killed every male in Edom.
Hadad fled to Egypt, along with some Edomites from his father's servants. At the time Hadad was a small boy.
Hadad and his men set out from Midian and went to Paran. They took men with them from Paran and went to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave Hadad a house, ordered that he [be given] food, and gave him land.
Pharaoh liked Hadad so much that he gave him a wife, the sister of his own wife, Queen Tahpenes.
Tahpenes' sister gave birth to Hadad's son Genubath. Tahpenes [herself] weaned him in Pharaoh's palace, and Genubath [lived] there along with Pharaoh's sons.
When Hadad heard in Egypt that David rested with his fathers and that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, "Let me leave, so I can go to my own country."
But Pharaoh asked him, "What do you lack here with me for you to want to go back to your own country?" "Nothing," he replied, "but please let me leave."
God raised up Rezon son of Eliada as an enemy against Solomon. Rezon had fled from his master Hadadezer king of Zobah
and gathered men to himself. He became captain of a raiding party when David killed the Zobaites. He went to Damascus, lived there, and became king in Damascus.
Rezon was Israel's enemy throughout Solomon's reign, adding to the trouble Hadad [had caused]. He ruled over Aram, but he loathed Israel.
Now Solomon's servant, Jeroboam son of Nebat, was an Ephraimite from Zeredah. His widowed mother's name was Zeruah. Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon,
and this is the reason he rebelled against the king: Solomon had built the supporting terraces [and] repaired the opening in the wall of the city of his father David.
Now the man Jeroboam was capable, and Solomon noticed the young man because he was getting things done. So he appointed him over the entire labor force of the house of Joseph.
During that time, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met Jeroboam on the road as Jeroboam came out of Jerusalem. Now Ahijah had wrapped himself with a new cloak, and the two of them were alone in the open field.
Then Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he had on, tore it into 12 pieces,
and said to Jeroboam, "Take 10 pieces for yourself, for this is what the LORD God of Israel says: 'I am about to tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hand. I will give you 10 tribes,
but one tribe will remain his because of my servant David and because of Jerusalem, the city I chose out of all the tribes of Israel.
For they have abandoned Me; they have bowed the knee to Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, to Chemosh, the god of Moab, and to Milcom, the god of the Ammonites. They have not walked in My ways to do right in My eyes and to carry out My statutes and My judgments as his father David did.
" 'However, I will not take the whole kingdom from his hand but will let him be ruler all the days of his life because of My servant David, whom I chose and who kept My commandments and My statutes.
I will take 10 tribes of the kingdom from his son's hand and give them to you.
I will give one tribe to his son, so that My servant David will always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city I chose for Myself to put My name there.
I will appoint you, and you will reign as king over all you want, and you will be king over Israel.
" 'After that, if you obey all I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight in order to keep My statutes and My commandments as My servant David did, I will be with you. I will build you a lasting dynasty just as I built for David, and I will give you Israel.
I will humble David's descendants, because of [their unfaithfulness], but not forever.'"
Therefore, Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but he fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, where he remained until Solomon's death.
The rest of the events of Solomon's [reign], along with all his accomplishments and his wisdom, are written about in the Book of Solomon's Events.
The length of Solomon's reign in Jerusalem over all Israel totaled 40 years.
Solomon rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam became king in his place.
Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king.
When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard [about it], for he was still in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon's presence, Jeroboam stayed in Egypt.
They summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam:
"Your father made our yoke harsh. You, therefore, lighten your father's harsh service and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you."
Rehoboam replied, "Go home for three days and then return to me." So the people left.
Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon when he was alive, asking, "How do you advise me to respond to these people?"
They replied, "Today if you will be a servant to these people and serve them, and if you respond to them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever."
But he rejected the advice of the elders who had advised him and consulted with the young men who had grown up with him and served him.
He asked them, "What message do you advise that we send back to these people who said to me, 'Lighten the yoke your father put on us'?"
Then the young men who had grown up with him told him, "This is what you should say to these people who said to you, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, but you, make it lighter on us!' This is what you should tell them: 'My little finger is thicker than my father's loins!
Although my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with barbed whips.'"
So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had ordered: "Return to me on the third day."
Then the king answered the people harshly. He rejected the advice the elders had given him
and spoke to them according to the young men's advice: "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 barbed whips."
The king did not listen to the people, because the turn of events came from the LORD to carry out His word, which the LORD had spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.
When all Israel saw that the king had not listened to them, the people answered him: What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Israel, return to your tents; David, now look after your own house! So Israel went to their tents,
but Rehoboam reigned over the Israelites living in the cities of Judah.
Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to get into the chariot and flee to Jerusalem.
Israel is in rebellion against the house of David until today.
When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had come back, they summoned him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. No one followed the house of David except the tribe of Judah alone.
When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mobilized 180,000 choice warriors from the entire house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin to fight against the house of Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam son of Solomon.
But a revelation from God came to Shemaiah, the man of God:
"Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, to the whole house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people,
'This is what the LORD says: You are not to march up and fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Each of you must return home, for I have done this.' " So they listened to what the LORD said and went back as He had told them.
Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built Penuel.
Jeroboam said to himself, "[The way things are going] now, the kingdom might return to the house of David.
If these people regularly go to offer sacrifices in the LORD's temple in Jerusalem, the heart of these people will return to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will murder me and go back to the king of Judah."
So the king sought advice. Then he made two gold calves, and he said to the people, "Going to Jerusalem is too difficult for you. Israel, here is your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt."
He set up one in Bethel, and put the other in Dan.
This led to sin; the people walked [in procession] before one of the calves all the way to Dan.
Jeroboam also built shrines on the high places and set up priests from every class of people who were not Levites.
Jeroboam made a festival in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the festival in Judah. He offered sacrifices on the altar; he made this offering in Bethel to sacrifice to the calves he had set up. He also stationed in Bethel the priests for the high places he had set up.
He offered sacrifices on the altar he had set up in Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, the month he had decided on his own. He made a festival for the Israelites, offered sacrifices on the altar, and burned incense.