Reading 120/341, 2 Chronicles 9-12

...2 Chronicles...

When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great train, and camels that bore spices, and gold in abundance, 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, and there was not anything hid from Solomon which he did not tell her. When the queen of Sheba had seen 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, his cup bearers also, and their clothing, 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 their words, until I came, and my eyes had seen it, and behold, the half of the greatness of your wisdom was not told me, you exceed the fame that I heard. Happy are your men, and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you, and hear your wisdom. Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, to set you on his throne, to be king for the Lord your God, because your God loved Israel, to establish them forever, therefore made he you king over them, to do justice and righteousness. She gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, and spices in great abundance, and precious stones, nor was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. The servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, who brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones. The king made of the algum trees terraces for the house of the Lord, and for the king's house, and harps and stringed instruments for the singers, and there were none like these seen before in the land of Judah. King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, besides what she had brought to the king. 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 and sixty-six talents of gold, besides what the traders and merchants brought, and all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon. King Solomon made two hundred bucklers of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one buckler. he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three hundred shekels 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 pure gold. And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and 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, silver was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. For the king had ships that went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years came the ships of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. All the kings of 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, armor, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he stationed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. He ruled over all the kings from the River to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. The king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance. They brought horses for Solomon out of Egypt, and out of all lands. Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are not they written in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father, and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place. Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. It happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of king Solomon), that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt. They sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all Israel came, and they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, Your father made our yoke grievous, now therefore make you the grievous service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, lighter, and we will serve you. He said to them, Come again to me after three days. The people departed. King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give you me to return answer to this people? They spoke to him, saying, If you are kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever. But he forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. He said to them, What counsel give you, that we may return answer to this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke that your father did put on us lighter? The young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, Thus shall you tell the people who spoke to you, saying, Your father made our yoke heavy, but make you it lighter to us; thus shall you say to them, My little finger is thicker than my father's waist. Now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke, my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come to me again the third day. The king answered them roughly, and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men, and spoke to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto, my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. So the king did not listen to the people; for it was brought about of God, that the Lord might establish his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? nor have we inheritance in the son of Jesse, every man to your tents, Israel, now see to your own house, David. So all Israel departed to their tents. But as for the children of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the men subject to forced labor, and the children of Israel stoned him to death with stones. King Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day. When Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, one hundred eighty thousand chosen men, who were warriors, to fight against Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam. But the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers, return every man to his house; for this thing is of me. So they listened to the words of the Lord, and returned from going against Jeroboam. Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and built cities for defense in Judah. He built Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa, Beth Zur, and Soco, and Adullam, and Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, and Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah, and Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin, fortified cities. He fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and stores of food, and oil and wine. In every city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong. Judah and Benjamin belonged to him. The priests and the Levites who were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their border. For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons cast them off, that they should not execute the priest's office to the Lord, and he appointed him priests for the high places, and for the male goats, and for the calves which he had made. After them, out of all the tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek the Lord, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers. So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years; for they walked three years in the way of David and Solomon. Rehoboam took him a wife, Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse, and she bore him sons, Jeush, and Shemariah, and Zaham. After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom, and she bore him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith. Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines, (for he took eighteen wives, and sixty concubines, and became the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.) Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah to be chief, the prince among his brothers; for he was minded to make him king. He dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his sons throughout all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, to every fortified city, and he gave them food in abundance. He sought for them many wives. It happened, when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established, and he was strong, that he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. It happened in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had trespassed against the Lord, with twelve hundred chariots, and sixty thousand horsemen. The people were without number who came with him out of Egypt, the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Ethiopians. He took the fortified cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem. Now Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, who were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, Thus says the Lord, You have forsaken me, therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak. Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves, and they said, the Lord is righteous. When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them; but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they shall be his servants, that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries. So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house, he took all away, he took away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made. King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. It was so, that as often as the king entered into the house of the Lord, the guard came and bore them, and brought them back into the guard chamber. When he humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned from him, so as not to destroy him altogether, and moreover in Judah there were good things found. So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned, for Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there, and his mother's name was Naamah the Ammonitess. He did what was evil, because he did not set his heart to seek the Lord. Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are not they written in the histories of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, after the manner of genealogies? There were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David, and Abijah his son reigned in his place.

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