SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
1 Kings 9:1-11:43
9:1 After Solomon finished building the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and all the other construction projects he had planned, 2 the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, in the same way he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 The Lord said to him, “I have answered your prayer and your request for help that you made to me. I have consecrated this temple you built by making it my permanent home; I will be constantly present there. 4 You must serve me with integrity and sincerity, just as your father David did. Do everything I commanded and obey my rules and regulations. 5 Then I will allow your dynasty to rule over Israel permanently, just as I promised your father David, ‘You will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’
6 “But if you or your sons ever turn away from me, fail to obey the regulations and rules I instructed you to keep, and decide to serve and worship other gods, 7 then I will remove Israel from the land I have given them, I will abandon this temple I have consecrated with my presence, and Israel will be mocked and ridiculed among all the nations. 8 This temple will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by it will be shocked and will hiss out their scorn, saying, ‘Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple?’ 9 Others will then answer, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God, who led their ancestors out of Egypt. They embraced other gods whom they worshiped and served. That is why the Lord has brought all this disaster down on them.’”
10 After 20 years, during which Solomon built the Lord’s temple and the royal palace, 11 King Solomon gave King Hiram of Tyre 20 towns in the region of Galilee, because Hiram had supplied Solomon with cedars, evergreens, and all the gold he wanted. 12 When Hiram went out from Tyre to inspect the towns Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. 13 Hiram asked, “Why did you give me these towns, my friend?” He called that area the region of Cabul, a name which it has retained to this day. 14 Hiram had sent to the king 120 talents of gold.
15 Here are the details concerning the work crews King Solomon conscripted to build the Lord’s temple, his palace, the terrace, the wall of Jerusalem, and the cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16 (Pharaoh, king of Egypt, had attacked and captured Gezer. He burned it and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city. He gave it as a wedding present to his daughter, who had married Solomon.) 17 Solomon built up Gezer, lower Beth Horon, 18 Baalath, Tadmor in the wilderness, 19 all the storage cities that belonged to him, and the cities where chariots and horses were kept. He built whatever he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and throughout his entire kingdom. 20 Now several non-Israelite peoples were left in the land after the conquest of Joshua, including the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 21 Their descendants remained in the land (the Israelites were unable to wipe them out completely). Solomon conscripted them for his work crews, and they continue in that role to this very day. 22 Solomon did not assign Israelites to these work crews; the Israelites served as his soldiers, attendants, officers, charioteers, and commanders of his chariot forces. 23 These men were also in charge of Solomon’s work projects; there were a total of 550 men who supervised the workers. 24 Solomon built the terrace as soon as Pharaoh’s daughter moved up from the City of David to the palace Solomon built for her.
25 Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar he had built for the Lord, burning incense along with them before the Lord. He made the temple his official worship place.
26 King Solomon also built ships in Ezion Geber, which is located near Elat in the land of Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea. 27 Hiram sent his fleet and some of his sailors, who were well acquainted with the sea, to serve with Solomon’s men. 28 They sailed to Ophir, took from there 420 talents of gold, and then brought them to King Solomon.
10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon, she came to challenge him with difficult questions. 2 She arrived in Jerusalem with a great display of pomp, bringing with her camels carrying spices, a very large quantity of gold, and precious gems. She visited Solomon and discussed with him everything that was on her mind. 3 Solomon answered all her questions; there was no question too complex for the king. 4 When the queen of Sheba saw for herself Solomon’s extensive wisdom, the palace he had built, 5 the food in his banquet hall, his servants and attendants, their robes, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings which he presented in the Lord’s temple, she was amazed. 6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your wise sayings and insight was true! 7 I did not believe these things until I came and saw them with my own eyes. Indeed, I didn’t hear even half the story! Your wisdom and wealth surpass what was reported to me. 8 Your attendants, who stand before you at all times and hear your wise sayings, are truly happy! 9 May the Lord your God be praised because he favored you by placing you on the throne of Israel! Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he made you king so you could make just and right decisions.” 10 She gave the king 120 talents of gold, a very large quantity of spices, and precious gems. The quantity of spices the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon has never been matched. 11 (Hiram’s fleet, which carried gold from Ophir, also brought from Ophir a very large quantity of fine timber and precious gems. 12 With the timber the king made supports for the Lord’s temple and for the royal palace and stringed instruments for the musicians. No one has seen so much of this fine timber to this very day.) 13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she requested, besides what he had freely offered her. Then she left and returned to her homeland with her attendants.
14 Solomon received 666 talents of gold per year, 15 besides what he collected from the merchants, traders, Arabian kings, and governors of the land. 16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold; 600 measures of gold were used for each shield. 17 He also made 300 small shields of hammered gold; three minas of gold were used for each of these shields. The king placed them in the Palace of the Lebanon Forest.
18 The king made a large throne decorated with ivory and overlaid it with pure gold. 19 There were six steps leading up to the throne, and the back of it was rounded on top. The throne had two armrests with a statue of a lion standing on each side. 20 There were 12 statues of lions on the six steps, one lion at each end of each step. There was nothing like it in any other kingdom.
21 All of King Solomon’s cups were made of gold, and all the household items in the Palace of the Lebanon Forest were made of pure gold. There were no silver items, for silver was not considered very valuable in Solomon’s time. 22 Along with Hiram’s fleet, the king had a fleet of large merchant ships that sailed the sea. Once every three years the fleet came into port with cargoes of gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
23 King Solomon was wealthier and wiser than any of the kings of the earth. 24 Everyone in the world wanted to visit Solomon to see him display his God-given wisdom. 25 Year after year visitors brought their gifts, which included items of silver, items of gold, clothes, perfume, spices, horses, and mules.
26 Solomon accumulated chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He kept them in assigned cities and in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones; cedar was as plentiful as sycamore fig trees are in the foothills. 28 Solomon acquired his horses from Egypt and from Que; the king’s traders purchased them from Que. 29 They paid 600 silver pieces for each chariot from Egypt and 150 silver pieces for each horse. They also sold chariots and horses to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Syria.
11:1 King Solomon fell in love with many foreign women (besides Pharaoh’s daughter), including Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. 2 They came from nations about which the Lord had warned the Israelites, “You must not establish friendly relations with them! If you do, they will surely shift your allegiance to their gods.” But Solomon was irresistibly attracted to them.
3 He had 700 royal wives and 300 concubines; his wives had a powerful influence over him. 4 When Solomon became old, his wives shifted his allegiance to other gods; he was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his father David had been. 5 Solomon worshiped the Sidonian goddess Astarte and the detestable Ammonite god Milcom. 6 Solomon did evil in the Lord’s sight; he did not remain loyal to the Lord, as his father David had. 7 Furthermore, on the hill east of Jerusalem Solomon built a high place for the detestable Moabite god Chemosh and for the detestable Ammonite god Milcom. 8 He built high places for all his foreign wives so they could burn incense and make sacrifices to their gods.
9 The Lord was angry with Solomon because he had shifted his allegiance away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him on two occasions 10 and had warned him about this very thing, so that he would not follow other gods. But he did not obey the Lord’s command. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you insist on doing these things and have not kept the covenantal rules I gave you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 However, for your father David’s sake I will not do this while you are alive. I will tear it away from your son’s hand instead. 13 But I will not tear away the entire kingdom; I will leave your son one tribe for my servant David’s sake and for the sake of my chosen city Jerusalem.”
14 The Lord brought against Solomon an enemy, Hadad the Edomite, a descendant of the Edomite king. 15 During David’s campaign against Edom, Joab, the commander of the army, while on a mission to bury the dead, killed every male in Edom. 16 For Joab and the entire Israelite army stayed there six months until they had exterminated every male in Edom. 17 Hadad, who was only a small boy at the time, escaped with some of his father’s Edomite servants and headed for Egypt. 18 They went from Midian to Paran; they took some men from Paran and went to Egypt. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, gave him a house and some land and supplied him with food. 19 Pharaoh liked Hadad so well he gave him his sister-in-law (Queen Tahpenes’ sister) as a wife. 20 Tahpenes’ sister gave birth to his son, named Genubath. Tahpenes raised him in Pharaoh’s palace; Genubath grew up in Pharaoh’s palace among Pharaoh’s sons. 21 While in Egypt Hadad heard that David had passed away and that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead. So Hadad asked Pharaoh, “Give me permission to leave so I can return to my homeland.” 22 Pharaoh said to him, “What do you lack here that makes you want to go to your homeland?” Hadad replied, “Nothing, but please give me permission to leave.”
23 God also brought against Solomon another enemy, Rezon son of Eliada who had run away from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah. 24 He gathered some men and organized a raiding band. When David tried to kill them, they went to Damascus, where they settled down and gained control of the city. 25 He was Israel’s enemy throughout Solomon’s reign and, like Hadad, caused trouble. He loathed Israel and ruled over Syria.
26 Jeroboam son of Nebat, one of Solomon’s servants, rebelled against the king. He was an Ephraimite from Zeredah whose mother was a widow named Zeruah. 27 This is what prompted him to rebel against the king: Solomon built a terrace, and he closed up a gap in the wall of the city of his father David. 28 Jeroboam was a talented man; when Solomon saw that the young man was an accomplished worker, he made him the leader of the work crew from the tribe of Joseph. 29 At that time, when Jeroboam had left Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the road; the two of them were alone in the open country. Ahijah was wearing a brand new robe, 30 and he grabbed the robe and tore it into 12 pieces. 31 Then he told Jeroboam, “Take 10 pieces, for this is what the Lord God of Israel has said: ‘Look, I am about to tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hand and I will give 10 tribes to you. 32 He will retain one tribe, for my servant David’s sake and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 33 I am taking the kingdom from him because they have abandoned me and worshiped the Sidonian goddess Astarte, the Moabite god Chemosh, and the Ammonite god Milcom. They have not followed my instructions by doing what I approve and obeying my rules and regulations, as Solomon’s father David did. 34 I will not take the whole kingdom from his hand. I will allow him to be ruler for the rest of his life for the sake of my chosen servant David who kept my commandments and rules. 35 I will take the kingdom from the hand of his son and give 10 tribes to you. 36 I will leave his son one tribe so my servant David’s dynasty may continue to serve me in Jerusalem, the city I have chosen as my home. 37 I will select you; you will rule over all you desire to have and you will be king over Israel. 38 You must obey all I command you to do, follow my instructions, do what I approve, and keep my rules and commandments, as my servant David did. Then I will be with you and establish for you a lasting dynasty, as I did for David; I will give you Israel. 39 I will humiliate David’s descendants because of this, but not forever.’” 40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam escaped to Egypt and found refuge with King Shishak of Egypt. He stayed in Egypt until Solomon died.
41 The rest of the events of Solomon’s reign, including all his accomplishments and his wise decisions, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of Solomon. 42 Solomon ruled over all Israel from Jerusalem for 40 years. 43 Then Solomon passed away and was buried in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam replaced him as king.