Reading 96/341, 1 Kings 8.44-10.29

...1 Kings...

If your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city which you have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for your name; then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. If they sin against you (for there is no man who does not sin), and you are angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near; yet if they shall repent themselves in the land where they are carried captive, and turn again, and make supplication to you in the land of those who carried them captive, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have dealt wickedly; if they return to you 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 fathers, the city which you have chosen, and the house which I have built for your name, then hear you their prayer and their supplication in heaven, your dwelling place, and maintain their cause, and forgive your people who have sinned against you, and all their transgressions in which they have transgressed against you, and give them compassion before those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them (for they are your people, and your inheritance, which you brought forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron); that your eyes may be open to the supplication of your servant, and to the supplication of your people Israel, to listen to them whenever they cry to you. For you did separate them from among all the peoples of the earth, to be your inheritance, as you spoke by Moses your servant, when you brought our fathers out of Egypt, Lord God. It was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread forth toward heaven. He stood, and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying, Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised, there has not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by Moses his servant. The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers, let him not leave us, nor forsake us; that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his ordinances, which he commanded our fathers. Let these my words, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel, as every day shall require; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord, he is God; there is none else. Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day. The king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the Lord. Solomon offered for the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered to the Lord, two and twenty thousand oxen, and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord. The same day did the king make the middle of the court holy that was before the house of the Lord; for there he offered the burnt offering, and the grain offering, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar that was before the Lord was too little to receive the burnt offering, and the grain offering, and the fat of the peace offerings. 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 the Lord our God, seven days and seven days, fourteen days. 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 the Lord had shown to David his servant, and to Israel his people. It happened, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do, that the Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. The Lord said to him, I have heard your prayer and your supplication, that you have made before me, I have made this house holy, which you have built, to put my name there forever, and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually. As for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep my statutes and my ordinances; then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, according as I promised to David your father, saying, There shall not fail you a man on the throne of Israel. But if you shall turn away from following me, you or your children, and not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them, and this house, which I have made holy for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all peoples. Though this house is so high, yet shall everyone who passes by it be astonished, and shall hiss, and they shall say, Why has the Lord done thus to this land, and to this house? and they shall answer, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshiped them, and served them, therefore has the Lord brought all this evil on them. It happened at the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the Lord and the king's house (now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire), that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him, and they did not please him. He said, What cities are these which you have given me, my brother? He called them the land of Cabul to this day. Hiram sent to the king one hundred twenty talents of gold. This is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised, to build the house of the Lord, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer. Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites who lived in the city, and given it for a portion to his daughter, Solomon's wife. Solomon built Gezer, and Beth Horon the lower, and Baalath, and Tamar in the desert, in the land, and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and the cities for his chariots, and the cities for his horsemen, and what Solomon desired to build for his pleasure in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 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 children of Israel; their children who were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel were not able utterly to destroy, of them did Solomon raise a levy of bondservants to this day. But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondservants; but they were the men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and rulers of his chariots and of his horsemen. These were the chief officers who were over Solomon's work, five hundred fifty, who bore rule over the people who labored in the work. But Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the city of David to her house which Solomon had built for her, then did he build Millo. Three times a year did Solomon offer burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar which he built to the Lord, burning incense therewith, on the altar that was before the Lord. So he finished the house. King Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion Geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom. Hiram sent in the navy his servants, sailors who had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon. They came to Ophir, and fetched from there gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon. When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bore spices, and very much gold, and precious stones, and when she was come to Solomon, she talked with him of all that was in her heart. Solomon told her all her questions, there was not anything hidden from the king which he did not tell her. When the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, and the food of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their clothing, and his cup bearers, and his ascent by which he went up to the house of the Lord; there was no more spirit in her. She said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts, and of your wisdom. However I did not believe the words, until I came, and my eyes had seen it, and behold, the half was not told me; your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame which I heard. Happy are your men, happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you, and who hear your wisdom. Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, to set you on the throne of Israel, because the Lord loved Israel forever, therefore made he you king, to do justice and righteousness. She gave the king one hundred twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones, there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. The navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees and precious stones. The king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the Lord, and for the king's house, harps also and stringed instruments for the singers, there came no such almug trees, nor were seen, to this day. King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, besides what Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned, and went to her own land, she and her servants. Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred sixty-six talents of gold, besides what the traders brought, and the traffic of the merchants, and of all the kings of the mixed people, and of the governors of the country. King Solomon made two hundred bucklers of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of gold went to one buckler. he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three minas of gold went to one shield, and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the finest gold. There were six steps to the throne, and the top of the throne was round behind, and there were stays on either side by the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the stays. Twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other on the six steps, there was nothing like it made in any kingdom. 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 were of silver; it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram, once every three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. All the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. They brought every man his tribute, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and clothing, and armor, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen, and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. The king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance. The horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt, and the king's merchants received them in droves, each drove at a price. A chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred fifty, and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.

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