1 Kings 9-10
Solomon again meets God
9 Now once Solomon finished building the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and everything else he wanted to accomplish, 2 the Lord appeared to him a second time in the same way he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 The Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your cry to me. I have set apart this temple that you built, to put my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. 4 As for you, if you walk before me just as your father David did, with complete dedication and honesty, and if you do all that I have commanded, and keep my regulations and case laws, 5 then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, just as I promised your father David, ‘You will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 6 However, if you or your sons turn away from following me and don’t observe the commands and regulations that I gave you, and go to serve other gods, and worship them, 7 then I will remove Israel from the land I gave them and I will reject the temple that I dedicated for my name. Israel will become a joke, insulted by everyone. 8 Everyone who passes by this temple, so lofty now,[a] will be shocked and will whistle, wondering, Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and this temple? 9 The answer will come: Because they deserted the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt’s land. They embraced other gods, worshipping and serving them. That is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them.”
Solomon’s buildings and prosperity
10 It took twenty years for Solomon to build the two structures, the Lord’s temple and the royal palace. 11 King Hiram of Tyre gave Solomon all the cedar, pinewood, and gold that he wanted. Then King Solomon gave Hiram twenty towns in the region of Galilee. 12 Hiram went from Tyre to inspect the towns Solomon had given him. They didn’t seem adequate in his view. 13 So Hiram remarked, “My brother, are these towns you’ve given me good for anything?” The cities are thus called the land of Cabul to this very day. 14 But Hiram sent the king one hundred twenty gold kikkars, nevertheless.
15 This is the story of the labor gang that King Solomon put together to build the Lord’s temple and his own palace, as well as the stepped structure, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer: (16 Pharaoh, Egypt’s king, had attacked and captured Gezer, setting it on fire. He killed the Canaanites who lived in the city and gave it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife.) 17 Solomon built Gezer, Lower Beth-horon, 18 Baalath, and Tamar in the wilderness (within the land), 19 along with all the storage cities that belonged to Solomon, as well as the cities used for storing chariots and cavalry and whatever he wanted to build in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and throughout his kingdom. 20 Any non-Israelite people who remained of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites— 21 that is, the descendants of such people who were still in the land because the Israelites weren’t able to wipe them out—Solomon forced into the labor gangs that are still in existence today. 22 However, Solomon didn’t force the Israelites to work as slaves; instead, they became warriors, his servants, his leaders, his officers, and those in charge of his chariots and cavalry.
23 These were the chief officers over Solomon’s work: five hundred fifty had charge of the people who did the work. 24 When Pharaoh’s daughter went up from David’s City to the palace he had built for her, Solomon built the stepped structure. 25 Three times a year Solomon would offer entirely burned offerings and well-being sacrifices on the altar that he had built for the Lord. Along with this he would burn incense to the Lord. In this way, he completed the temple.[b] 26 King Solomon built a fleet near Eloth in Ezion-geber, on the coast of the Reed Sea[c] in the land of Edom. 27 Hiram sent his expert sailors on the fleet along with Solomon’s workers. 28 They went to Ophir for four hundred twenty kikkars of gold, which they brought back to King Solomon.
Queen of Sheba
10 When the queen of Sheba heard reports about Solomon, due to the Lord’s name,[d] she came to test him with riddles. 2 Accompanying her to Jerusalem was a huge entourage with camels carrying spices, a large amount of gold, and precious stones. After she arrived, she told Solomon everything that was on her mind. 3 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too difficult for him to answer. 4 When the queen of Sheba saw how wise Solomon was, the palace he had built, 5 the food on his table, the servants’ quarters, the function and dress of his attendants, his cupbearers, and the entirely burned offerings that he offered at the Lord’s temple, it took her breath away.
6 “The report I heard about your deeds and wisdom when I was still at home is true,” she said to the king. 7 “I didn’t believe it until I came and saw it with my own eyes. In fact, the half of it wasn’t even told to me! You have far more wisdom and wealth than I was told. 8 Your people and these servants who continually serve you and get to listen to your wisdom are truly happy! 9 Bless the Lord your God because he was pleased to place you on Israel’s throne. Because the Lord loved Israel with an eternal love, the Lord made you king to uphold justice and righteousness.”
10 The queen gave the king one hundred twenty kikkars of gold, a great quantity of spice, and precious stones. Never again has so much spice come to Israel as when the queen of Sheba gave this gift to King Solomon. 11 Hiram’s fleet went to Ophir and brought back gold, much almug wood, and precious stones. 12 The king used the almug wood to make parapets for the Lord’s temple and for the royal palace as well as lyres and harps for the musicians. To this day, that much almug wood hasn’t come into or been seen in Israel. 13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she wanted and all that she had asked for, in addition to what he had already given her from his own personal funds. Then she and her servants returned to her homeland.
14 Solomon received an annual income of six hundred sixty-six kikkars of gold, 15 not including income from the traders, the merchants and their profits, all the Arabian kings, and the officials of the land. 16 King Solomon made two hundred body-sized shields of hammered gold, using fifteen pounds[e] of gold in each shield, 17 and three hundred small shields of hammered gold, using sixty ounces[f] of gold in each shield. The king placed these in the Forest of Lebanon Palace.
18 The king also made a large ivory throne and covered it with pure gold. 19 Six steps led up to the throne, and the back of the throne was rounded at the top. Two lions stood beside the armrests on both sides of the throne. 20 Another twelve lions stood on both sides of the six steps. No other kingdom had anything like this. 21 All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were made of gold, and all the items in the Forest of Lebanon Palace were made of pure gold, not silver, since even silver wasn’t considered good enough in Solomon’s time! 22 The royal fleet of Tarshish-style ships was at sea with Hiram’s fleet, returning once every three years with gold, silver, ivory, monkeys, and peacocks.[g]
23 King Solomon far exceeded all the earth’s kings in wealth and wisdom, 24 and so the whole earth wanted an audience with Solomon in order to hear his God-given wisdom. 25 Year after year they came with tribute: objects of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
26 Solomon acquired more and more chariots and horses until he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses that he kept in chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 27 In Jerusalem, the king made silver as common as stones and cedar as plentiful as sycamore trees that grow in the foothills. 28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and Kue, purchased from Kue by the king’s agents at the going price. 29 They would import a chariot from Egypt for six hundred pieces of silver and a horse for one hundred fifty, and then export them to all the Hittite and Aramean kings.
14 When word reached the apostles in Jerusalem that Samaria had accepted God’s word, they commissioned Peter and John to go to Samaria. 15 Peter and John went down to Samaria where they prayed that the new believers would receive the Holy Spirit. (16 This was because the Holy Spirit had not yet fallen on any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 So Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 When Simon perceived that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money. 19 He said, “Give me this authority too so that anyone on whom I lay my hands will receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 Peter responded, “May your money be condemned to hell along with you because you believed you could buy God’s gift with money! 21 You can have no part or share in God’s word because your heart isn’t right with God. 22 Therefore, change your heart and life! Turn from your wickedness! Plead with the Lord in the hope that your wicked intent can be forgiven, 23 for I see that your bitterness has poisoned you and evil has you in chains.”
24 Simon replied, “All of you, please, plead to the Lord for me so that nothing of what you have said will happen to me!” 25 After the apostles had testified and proclaimed the Lord’s word, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the good news to many Samaritan villages along the way.
Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch
26 An angel from the Lord spoke to Philip, “At noon, take[a] the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) 27 So he did. Meanwhile, an Ethiopian man was on his way home from Jerusalem, where he had come to worship. He was a eunuch and an official responsible for the entire treasury of Candace. (Candace is the title given to the Ethiopian queen.) 28 He was reading the prophet Isaiah while sitting in his carriage. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Approach this carriage and stay with it.”
30 Running up to the carriage, Philip heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you really understand what you are reading?”
31 The man replied, “Without someone to guide me, how could I?” Then he invited Philip to climb up and sit with him. 32 This was the passage of scripture he was reading:
Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent
so he didn’t open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation justice was taken away from him.
Who can tell the story of his descendants
because his life was taken from the earth?[b]
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, about whom does the prophet say this? Is he talking about himself or someone else?” 35 Starting with that passage, Philip proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him. 36 As they went down the road, they came to some water.
The eunuch said, “Look! Water! What would keep me from being baptized?”[c] 38 He ordered that the carriage halt. Both Philip and the eunuch went down to the water, where Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Lord’s Spirit suddenly took Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip found himself in Azotus. He traveled through that area, preaching the good news in all the cities until he reached Caesarea.
A pilgrimage song.
130 I cry out to you from the depths, Lord—
2 my Lord, listen to my voice!
Let your ears pay close attention to my request for mercy!
3 If you kept track of sins, Lord—
my Lord, who would stand a chance?
4 But forgiveness is with you—
that’s why you are honored.
5 I hope, Lord.
My whole being[a] hopes,
and I wait for God’s promise.
6 My whole being waits for my Lord—
more than the night watch waits for morning;
yes, more than the night watch waits for morning!
7 Israel, wait for the Lord!
Because faithful love is with the Lord;
because great redemption is with our God!
8 He is the one who will redeem Israel
from all its sin.
- Psalm 130:5 Or soul; also in 132:6
2 An insightful servant rules over a disgraceful son
and will divide an inheritance
with the brothers.
3 A crucible is for silver and a furnace for gold,
but the Lord tests the heart.