2 Chronicles: God desires loyal people

Solomon rules *Israel

An EasyEnglish Bible Version and Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on 2 Chronicles chapters 1 to 9

www.easyenglish.info

Ian Mackervoy

This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.

Words in boxes are from the Bible.

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

About this book

The two books of Chronicles were one book ≠until there was a translation into the *Greek language. The men who translated the book divided it into two. This was because the length of it would fit more easily on two *scrolls. That ancient translation is called the Septuagint; its date is about 280 *BC.

We do not know who wrote the book of Chronicles. But the writer lived after the *exile. Probably he lived at the same time as Ezra. This was in the 5th century *BC.

The purpose

The *Israelites had come back to their country after 70 years in *exile. The writer wanted to encourage them. He wanted to give them hope for the future. So, in his book, he showed how the *LORD was in control through all their history. And now the *LORD had brought them back to their own country. The *LORD wanted them to rebuild his *temple and to serve him. Then the *LORD would establish again the *kingdom called Israel. This *kingdom would include people from all 12 *tribes of Israel.

Contents

This second book continues the history of Israel through the rule of King Solomon. It carefully describes how Solomon built the *temple. Israel split into two *kingdoms during the rule of Solomonís son, Rehoboam. Two *tribes accepted Rehoboam as their king. They became the *kingdom called Judah. The other 10 *tribes refused to accept Rehoboam as their king. They became the *kingdom called Israel. This book records the history of Judah until the time of the *exile in Babylon. It finishes with the return of the *Jews to Jerusalem after the *exile.

(The notes at the start of our commentary on 1 Chronicles explain more about the books.)

The structure of 2 Chronicles

 

Solomon rules *Israel

1:1-9:31

The start of Solomonís rule

1:1-17

Solomon builds the *temple

2:1-7:22

Preparations for the *temple

2:1-18

Construction of the *temple

3:1-4:22

The *dedication of the *temple

5:1-7:22

Solomonís *kingdom

8:1-9:31

What Solomon did

8:1-18

The fame and wealth of Solomon

9:1-31

The *Kingdom called Judah

10:1-36:23

The division of the *kingdom

10:1-11:23

The rulers of Judah

12:1-36:16

Rehoboam

12:1-16

Abijah

13:1-14:1a

Asa

14:1b-16:14

Jehoshaphat

17:1-20:37

Jehoram

21:1-20

Ahaziah

22:1-9

Athaliah

22:10-23:21

Joash

24:1-27

Amaziah

25:1-28

Uzziah

26:1-23

Jotham

27:1-9

Ahaz

28:1-27

Hezekiah

29:1-32:33

Manasseh

33:1-20

Amon

33:21-25

Josiah

34:1-35:27

Jehoahaz

36:1-4

Jehoiakim

36:5-8

Jehoiachin

36:9-10

Zedekiah

36:11-16

The *exile

36:17-23

Solomon rules *Israel Ė 2 Chronicles 1:1-9:31

Chapter 1

The start of Solomonís rule Ė 2 Chronicles 1:1-17

v1 Davidís son Solomon made himself strong over his *kingdom. The *LORD his God was with him. And the *LORD made him very great.

v2 Solomon spoke to all the people in *Israel. He spoke to the officers who were over groups of 1000 men. He spoke to the officers who were over groups of 100 men. He spoke to the judges and to all the leaders in *Israel. And he spoke to the heads of the families. v3 Then Solomon and all these people went to the town called Gibeon. They went to the place for *worship there. The tent where God met with his people was there. Moses, the *LORDís servant, had made this tent in the desert. v4 But David had brought Godís *ark from Kiriath Jearim to Jerusalem. David had made a place for it and he had set up a tent for it in Jerusalem. v5 However, the *bronze *altar that Bezalel had made was in Gibeon in front of the *LORDís tent. (Bezalel was the son of Uri. Uri was the son of Hur.) So Solomon and the people inquired of the *LORD there. v6 Solomon went up to the *bronze *altar in front of the *LORD. The *altar was in front of the holy tent. And he burnt 1000 *sacrifices on the *altar.

v7 That night, God appeared to Solomon and he spoke to Solomon. ĎAsk for whatever you want me to give to youí, he said.

v8 Solomon answered, ĎYou have been very kind to my father David. And you have made me king in his place. v9 Now, *LORD God, do as you promised to my father David. You have made me king over a group of people who seem as many as the dust of the earth. v10 Give to me wisdom and knowledge so that I can lead these people. Nobody can govern this great nation without your help, because these people belong to you.í

v11 God said to Solomon, ĎYou have not asked for wisdom and knowledge. You have not asked for wealth or riches. You have not asked for honour or for the death of your enemies. You have not asked for a long life. But you have asked for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people, because I have made you king over them. And that is what you wanted. v12 Therefore, I will give to you wisdom and knowledge. Also, I will give to you wealth, riches and honour. You will have more of these than any king who has lived before you. And you will have more of these than any king who will live after you.í

v13 So, Solomon left the place for *worship at Gibeon. He went from the tent where God met with his people. And he went back to Jerusalem. There he ruled over *Israel.

v14 Solomon gathered *chariots and horses. He had 1400 *chariots and 12 000 horses. He kept them in special *chariot cities and with him in Jerusalem. v15 Solomon made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones. He made *cedar as plentiful as *sycamore trees in the low country. v16 He imported horses from Egypt and from Kue. His merchants bought them in Kue at a good price. v17 The *chariots came from Egypt. A *chariot cost 600 *shekels of silver and a horse cost 150 *shekels of silver. Also they sold horses and *chariots to all the kings of the people called Hittites and the people from Aram.

Verse 1 King David died in 970 *BC. A short time before his death, he made Solomon king of all *Israel. David made sure that all the leaders of *Israel would support the new king (1 Chronicles 29:22-24).

So, when his father died, Solomon established his rule. God had chosen him to be king. And God made him to be a great king.

Verses 2-6 In the second year of his rule, Solomon spoke to the leaders of all *Israel. Then they went with him to Gibeon. Gibeon was about 7 miles (11 kilometres) to the north and west of Jerusalem. They went to give *sacrifices to the *LORD.

The holy tent that Moses made for the *worship of God was there. That tent was where the *LORD met with his people. In front of that tent, there was the *bronze *altar (Exodus 25:40 and Exodus chapter 26). God told Moses to make the tent while the *Israelites were in the desert. The *temple that Solomon built had the same basic design as that tent.

A man called Bezalel had made the *bronze *altar. God chose him to make many things for the holy tent. Bezalel had the skill to work with all kinds of metals, stone and wood. He made this *altar with a hard wood and he covered it with *bronze (Exodus 38:1-2).

Godís *ark had been in the holy tent. Later, the *Israelites took the *ark with them into a battle against the *Philistines. The *Israelites lost the ark in the battle. The *Philistines took the *ark to their own country. But the *LORD punished the *Philistines because they had taken the *ark. So, they sent it back to *Israel. The *ark remained in the town called Kiriath Jearim for a long time. Then King David brought the *ark to Jerusalem. There, he made a special place and a tent for the *ark. So, at that time, there were two places for the *worship of God. These were at the *ark in Jerusalem and at the holy tent in Gibeon.

Solomon came to Gibeon. There he burnt 1000 *sacrifices on the *altar. Solomon probably used the priests to give the *sacrifices on his behalf. Zadok was the chief priest in Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39).

Verse 7 After Solomon gave the *sacrifices, he stayed for the night in Gibeon. God appeared to him in a dream. And God told him to ask for what he wanted.

Verses 8-9 God had made promises to David about Solomon. He promised that a son of David would be the next king (1 Chronicles 17:11). And God chose Solomon as that king (1 Chronicles 28:5). Solomon knew that he was king because of Godís kindness to his father David. But that was just a part of Godís promises to David. So, Solomon asked God to complete those promises. God promised to make Solomonís *kingdom strong. God promised that always there would be a king from Davidís family. The *throne (rule) of Solomon would last for all time. (That would happen by means of Davidís *descendants who would rule Godís people Ė especially the *Lord Jesus.) And God promised to be as a father to Davidís son (1 Chronicles 17:11-14).

God gave to Solomon a special relationship like that of a son to his father. God called *Israel his son (Exodus 4:22-23). In that passage, it meant that God considered *Israelís people as a son. Now the relationship was with a person in the family of David. In the Psalms, there is the promise of the Son of God who would come in the future (Psalm 2:7; Psalm 89:27). That Son of God is the *Lord Jesus. And because of Jesus, all people who believe in him become children of God (John 1:12).

Verse 10 Solomon asked God to give wisdom and knowledge to him. This was what David had asked the *LORD to give to Solomon. Davidís prayer was that Solomon would obey Godís law (1 Chronicles 22:12). But Solomon asked for these gifts so that he could lead *Israel. It seems that he was very aware of his lack of experience. And his responsibility as king of *Israel was too much for him. He realised that he could not do it without the help of the *LORD.

Verses 11-13 Solomon had not asked for the things that one would expect. He did not ask for wealth or for possessions. He did not ask for honour or for fame. He did not ask for the strength to defeat his enemies. His desire was to rule well.

God gave to Solomon what he had asked. Solomon became famous because of his knowledge and his wisdom. In addition, God gave to Solomon what he had not requested. Solomon became extremely rich. His fame spread through the world that he knew at that time.

Also, God promised to give a long life to Solomon. But that promise depended on how he obeyed Godís laws (1 Kings 3:14). The writer of this book does not mention this promise. He records only what was good about this great king. Solomon did not continue to obey Godís laws all of his life. He was not as loyal to the *LORD as David had been (1 Kings 11:1-13).

Solomon returned to Jerusalem and from there he ruled over all *Israel.

Verses 14-15 The writer put these verses here to show the wealth of Solomon. The *LORD promised to make him wealthy. And Solomon did become wealthy. His military power showed something of this wealth. He had 1400 *chariots and 12 000 horses. Also, he caused precious metals to be common in Jerusalem. The people in that city were rich. *Cedar was an expensive wood that came from Lebanon. This wood had become as common as the wood that grew in the local forests.

Verses 16-17 Much of Solomonís wealth came from trade with other countries. An example of that trade was the import and export of horses and *chariots. Solomonís agents bought horses from Egypt and Kue. We are not certain where Kue was. But it was probably in the southern part of the country that we call Turkey. Solomonís agents imported *chariots from Egypt. Then they sold horses and *chariots to the kings of two nations. The two nations were the people called Hittites and the people from Aram.

The horses from Egypt were especially large and strong. They were the most suitable type of horse to pull *chariots.

Solomon builds the *temple Ė 2 Chronicles 2:1-7:22

Chapter 2

Preparations for the *temple Ė 2 Chronicles 2:1-18

v1 Solomon gave orders for the construction of a *temple for the name of the *LORD. Also, he decided to build a palace for himself. v2 He chose 70 000 men to carry loads. He chose 80 000 men to cut stone in the hill country. And he appointed 3600 men to control these workers.

v3 Solomon sent a message to Hiram. Hiram was the king of the city called Tyre. Solomon said, ĎYou traded with my father David. You sent him *cedar wood to build a house for him to live in. In the same way, trade with me. v4 I will build a *temple for the name of the *LORD my God. And I will *dedicate it to him. In front of him, we will burn *incense for a sweet smell. And there we will set out the holy bread each week. We will give *sacrifices by fire each morning and each evening. Also, we will give these *sacrifices on the *Sabbath days, at the new moon and on the *LORDís special days. *Israelís people must continue to do this for all time.

v5 The *temple that I build will be great. It will be great because our God is greater than all other gods. v6 Nobody can really build a *temple for him. The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him. I can only build a *temple as a place to give *sacrifices by fire in front of him.

v7 So, send to me a man who has the skill to work with metals and cloth. He will work with gold, silver, *bronze and iron. Also, he will work with purple, red and blue materials. He must be able to cut patterns. He will work in Judah and Jerusalem with the skilled men whom my father David provided.

v8 Also, send me *cedar, *pine and *algum wood from Lebanon. I know that your men have the skill to cut down trees in Lebanon. My men will come and help them. v9 They need to send plenty of wood to me for the *temple that I will build. The *temple must be large and magnificent. v10 I will give to your men who cut the wood 20 000 *cors of wheat and 20 000 *cors of *barley. Also, I will give to them 20 000 *baths of wine and 20 000 *baths of oil.í

v11 Then King Hiram of Tyre replied by letter to Solomon, ĎThe *LORD loves his people. Therefore, he has made you their king.í v12 Also, Hiram said, 'Praise the *LORD, the God of *Israel. He made heaven and the earth. He has given a wise son to King David. His son is intelligent and he understands things well. This son will build a *temple for the *LORD and a palace for himself.

v13 I have sent to you Huram-Abi, who is a skilful and wise man. v14 His mother was from the *tribe of Dan, and his father was from Tyre. He is a skilled worker in gold, silver, *bronze, iron, stone and wood. He knows how to work with purple, blue and red materials, and with good *linen. He can cut all kinds of patterns. He will make any design that you show to him. He will work with your skilled men. They are the skilled men of my *lord, your father David.

v15 Now my *lord, please send to us the wheat, *barley, oil and wine that you promised. v16 We will cut all the wood from Lebanon that you need. And we will float it by sea to Joppa. Then you can carry it to Jerusalem.í

v17 Solomon counted all the foreigners who were in *Israel. This was after the count that his father David had done. There were 153 600 of these foreigners. v18 Solomon chose 70 000 foreigners to carry loads. And he chose 80 000 to cut stone in the mountains. He chose 3600 to control the workers. They must make sure that the people worked.

Verses 1-2

The author wrote for the *Jews who had just come back from *exile to their own country. In their opinion, the most important thing that Solomon did was to build the *temple. Like Solomon, those *Jews built a new *temple. But their *temple could not be as great as the one that Solomon built (Haggai 2:3). Solomonís *temple is the main subject of the first 7 chapters of 2 Chronicles.

The *LORD told David that his son would build the *temple. So, the *LORD gave this task to Solomon even before he was born. His father David encouraged him to build the *temple. And David provided all that he could for the work. As soon as he became king, Solomon started work on this *temple.

There was a total of 153 600 foreigners in *Israel (2:17). Solomon made them do much of the heavy work. 70 000 foreigners had to carry heavy loads. 80 000 worked in the hill country where they cut stone. 3600 controlled the other workers. In addition to these workers, Solomon forced 30 000 *Israelites to be workers. These *Israelites worked one month in each period of three months. So, 10 000 Israelites were working each month (1 Kings 5:13-14). Originally, they were pleased about these arrangements. They worked willingly for the *LORD, for the king, and for their country. But later, these arrangements caused problems. The *Israelites complained and in the end the *kingdom divided (2 Chronicles 10:4, 19).

In addition to the *temple, Solomon built a palace for himself. He built the *temple and the palace during a period of 20 years (8:1).

Verse 3 Tyre was a port on the Mediterranean Sea. It had the best harbour in the area. The people there made ships and they were famous because of their commerce. Tyre was north of the country called *Israel. It was a very important city in the country called Phoenicia. Hiram was the king of Tyre.

Hiram had been a friend of David. When Solomon became king, Hiram sent some of his officials to Solomon. They came to greet Solomon on behalf of King Hiram. So, Solomon sent a message to Hiram. Hiram had traded with David. He had sent to David *cedar wood and skilled workers to help to build Davidís palace (1 Chronicles 14:1). Now Solomon asked Hiram to trade with him.

Verse 4 Solomon told Hiram why he wanted the *cedar wood. Solomon had decided to build a *temple for God. It must be a strong and permanent building. So, he wanted to build with the best materials. In the *temple, there would be constant *worship to the *LORD. Solomon would *dedicate the *temple to *Israelís God.

In the *temple, the priests would burn *incense twice a day (Exodus 30:6-8). There would be a special *altar for the *incense. The priests would put the holy bread on the special table each week. They would take the old bread. Only the priests could eat the old bread (Leviticus 24:8-9).

There would be daily *sacrifices by fire. And there would be extra *sacrifices on the *Sabbath days and at the new moon. (That is, at the beginning of each month.)

There would be *sacrifices by fire on the *LORDís special days. There were at least 5 periods of these special days. There were the *Passover and *Pentecost. Then there was the week when the people had to live in shelters. There was the day to sound *trumpets. And there was the day for people to remember that God forgives *sin (Numbers 28:9-29:39).

Verses 5-6 Solomon told Hiram that *Israelís God is greater than all other gods. Hiram was not an *Israelite but he did respect the *LORD (2:12). Because God is so great, the *temple had to be magnificent. However, God is so great that the earth is not big enough to contain him. Even the heavens are too small for him. Heaven is the *throne of his *glory. So of course, God would not live in a mere building on the earth. ĎThis is what the *LORD says: ďHeaven is my *throne. The earth acts as a place to rest my feet. You cannot build a house for me where I can live. With my own hands, I made all these things.Ē í (See Isaiah 66:1-2.)

God does not need a place to live on earth. The only reason to build a *temple is in order to make a place where his people can *worship him. So the *temple was a place to *sacrifice to the *LORD. And the *LORD said that he would meet with his people there.

Verse 7 The workers from *Israel did not have the skill of the workers from the country called Phoenicia. In every way, the men from Phoenicia were better builders than the *Israelites. Phoenicia was the country to the north of *Israel. Hiram was the king of Tyre in Phoenicia. So, Solomon asked Hiram to send to him a man who had the right skills. This man would be the master of the work. He would lead the team of men who were working on the *temple.

Solomon wanted a man who had the skills to work with metals and with special types of cloth. King David had used workers from Phoenicia whose skills were with wood and stone (1 Chronicles 14:1). These workers may have stayed in Jerusalem. But they may have trained *Israelites to be able to do the work in wood and stone (1 Chronicles 22:15).

Verses 8-10 Solomon asked for *cedar wood from Lebanon. The *cedar trees in Lebanon were famous. They were very large trees. *Cedar wood was much better to build with than the wood from any trees in *Israel.

Also, he asked for *pine and *algum wood. We do not know what the *algum tree was. It was probably the same as the tree called almug. Hiram imported the wood from that tree. Solomon used that wood in both the *temple and in his palace (1 Kings 10:11-12).

Hiramís men had the skill to cut down the *cedar trees in Lebanon. Solomon would send his men to help in the task. He needed a vast quantity of wood for the *temple.

Solomon said that he would pay Hiramís men. He would pay them with wheat, *barley, wine and oil.

The amount of wheat and *barley was 20 000 *cors of each. This is an amount equal to 1 150 000 gallons (4400 *kilolitres). There would be 20 000 *baths each of the wine and the oil. This is equal to 115 000 gallons (440 *kilolitres).

Verses 11-12 King Hiram sent his reply to Solomon. Hiram had seen how the *LORD had been with David. He saw how the *LORD loved *Israel. Because of that, the *LORD had made Solomon to be the king of *Israel.

Solomon was a more powerful king than Hiram was. So, we do not know how much of this letter shows Hiramís real beliefs. His words may be very polite because he was writing to a more important king. But he does agree that the God of *Israel is greater than any other god.

Hiram praised the *LORD, the God of *Israel. He wrote that the *LORD created heaven and earth. The name *LORD was a special name for the God of *Israel.

Verses 13-14 Hiram sent Huram-Abi who was a skilled workman. His mother was an *Israelite but his father came from Tyre. His mother came from the *tribe of Dan. But she was the widow of a man from the *tribe of Naphtali (1 Kings 7:14).

Huram-Abiís skills included work with precious metals, wood, stone and cloth.

People made purple cloth from a deep red colour. This colour came from a kind of shellfish (a fish with a shell). That fish lives near the coast of Tyre. They called this material Ďroyal purpleí because of its quality and its cost.

Verses 15-16 Then Hiram asked Solomon to send what he had promised to send. Hiramís men would cut the wood. They would then float it on the sea. And they would bring it to the port called Joppa. Joppa was the nearest port to Jerusalem. The distance between Joppa and Jerusalem was about 40 miles (64 kilometres).

Verses 17-18 David had counted the foreigners in *Israel. He appointed some foreigners to cut stones ready for the *temple (1 Chronicles 22:2). Now Solomon counted the foreigners and he organised their work. He gave responsibility to 3600 foreigners. Those 3600 leaders had authority over the other foreigners.

Construction of the *temple Ė 2 Chronicles 3:1-4:22

Chapter 3

Solomon began to build the *temple Ė 2 Chronicles 3:1-17

v1 Then Solomon began to build the *LORDís *temple in Jerusalem on the mountain called Moriah. This was where the *LORD had appeared to his father David. David had provided that place. Previously, it was the yard where Araunah used to prepare his grain. (Araunah belonged to the people called Jebusites.) v2 Solomon began to build in his 4th year as king. It was the 2nd day of the 2nd month.

v3 Solomon laid the base for Godís *temple. It was 60 *cubits long and 20 *cubits wide. He used the old measurement. v4 There was an entrance hall at the front of the *temple. It was 20 *cubits long, across the width of the *temple, and it was 20 *cubits high. He covered the inside with pure gold. v5 He covered the walls of the main hall with *pine. And he covered the *pine with pure gold. Then he put designs of *palm trees and chains in the gold. v6 He used precious stones to make the *temple beautiful. And the gold was gold from Parvaim. v7 He covered the *temple with gold. He put gold on the beams, the entrances, the walls and the doors. And he cut designs of *cherubim on the walls.

v8 Then he made the most holy place. Its length was the width of the *temple. It was 20 *cubits long and 20 *cubits wide. He covered its inner walls with 600 *talents of pure gold. v9 The gold nails weighed 50 *shekels. Also, he covered the upper parts with gold.

v10 In the most holy place, he made two wooden models of *cherubim. He covered these *cherubim with gold. v11 Together, the wings of the *cherubim were 20 *cubits across. One wing of the first *cherub was 5 *cubits long and it touched the *temple wall. The *cherubís other wing was also 5 *cubits long. This wing touched the wing of the other *cherub. v12 One wing of the second *cherub touched the wall on the other side of the room. This wing was also 5 *cubits long. This *cherubís other wing touched the wing of the first *cherub. This wing was also 5 *cubits long. v13 The wings of these *cherubim were 20 *cubits across. They stood on their feet and their faces were toward the main room.

v14 He made the curtain of blue, purple and red cloth, and good *linen. In the curtain, he put designs of the *cherubim.

v15 He made two columns to stand in front of the *temple. They were 35 *cubits high plus a top piece of 5 *cubits high. v16 He made a net of chains and he put them on the tops of the columns. He made models of a hundred *pomegranates and he put them on the chains. v17 Then he put the columns up in front of the *temple. One column stood on the right side and the other column stood on the left side. He named the right column Jachin and he named the left column Boaz.

Verses 1-2 Solomon began to build the *temple in the 4th year of his rule. This was in the spring of 966 *BC. He built the *temple on the mountain called Moriah. Moriah was a hill in the area called Zion. They used Zion as another name for Jerusalem.

Moriah was in the region where God had asked Abraham to *sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:2). Abraham was willing to do what God asked him to do. But God did not let him kill Isaac. It was a test to see how much Abraham trusted the *LORD. This was about 1000 years before the time when Solomon was alive.

The yard where Araunah used to prepare his grain was on Moriah. The *LORD met with David there (2 Samuel 24:16). Then David bought that place from Araunah and he built an *altar to God there. David said that the *temple of the *LORD would be there (1 Chronicles 21:18Ė22:1). David had prepared the area but the *LORD would not allow him to build the *temple.

Verse 3 The base for the *temple was 60 *cubits long and 20 *cubits wide. The old *cubit was about three inches (about 7.5 centimetres) shorter than the usual *cubit. The usual *cubit was about 21 inches (53 centimetres). The old *cubit was slightly less than 18 inches (46 centimetres). So, the base was about 90 feet (27 metres) long and 30 feet (9 metres) wide. The direction of the length was east to west. The width was north to south.

The writer had to say that the measurement was in old *cubits. His first readers had come back from Babylon. They were familiar with the measurement that people in Babylon used for the *cubit. This became the usual *cubit and it was about 3 inches (7.5 centimetres) longer than the old *cubit.

Verses 4-7 The entrance hall was the width of the *temple. This was 20 *cubits (about 30 feet or 9 metres). The height of this hall was the same as its width. The length of this hall was 10 *cubits (about 15 feet or 4.5 metres) (1 Kings 6:3). The measurement of the base of the *temple does not include the base of the entrance hall.

Solomon covered the inside walls with pure gold. It seems that this means both the entrance hall and the main hall.

The main hall refers to the room between the entrance hall and the most holy place. The main hall is often called 'the holy placeí. It was 40 *cubits long (about 60 feet or 18 metres). Beneath the gold, Solomon had covered the walls with *pine. Also, Solomon used *cedar wood on the walls. He made the floor out of *pine and the ceiling had *cedar beams.

Solomon covered the inside of the *temple with designs of *palm trees and chains. There were designs of *cherubim on the walls. Solomon added to the colour of the *temple with precious stones.

The gold came from a place called Parvaim. We do not know where that place was. But this was the best gold that Solomon could get.

Verses 8-9 The length of the most holy place was 20 *cubits (about 30 feet or 9 metres). And the width was the same as the length. Also, it was 20 *cubits high. Solomon covered the walls of the most holy place with 600 *talents of gold. The nails that fixed the gold to the walls were gold. They weighed 50 *shekels (about 1.25 pounds or 0.6 kilos). Also, Solomon covered the upper parts of the *temple with gold.

Verses 10-13 A cherub was a kind of *angel. Here, as in the holy tent, two models of them covered the *ark of Godís special promise. The two cherubim in the holy tent were gold (Exodus 25:18). Here in the *temple, the workmen made the cherubim out of *olive wood. Then they covered the wood with gold.

The *cherubim had two wings each. These wings were 5 *cubits (about 7.5 feet or 2.3 metres) long. So, the 4 wings were the whole width of the most holy place. Each *cherub touched a wall at the side and they touched each other in the centre. They had their backs to the end wall and their faces were toward the main hall. The *cherubim were 10 *cubits (about 15 feet or 4.5 metres) tall.

Verse 14 The curtain separated the most holy place from the holy place (5:7). The holy place was the main hall. The most holy place was for the *ark. The colours of the curtain were the same as the curtain in the holy tent (Exodus 26:31). And the design was the same. The curtain kept the most holy place private. Only the chief priest could go into this room to meet with God. Even he had to obey certain rules before he could enter it. The chief priest could go into the most holy place on only one day in the year. And then, he had to take with him the blood of a special *sacrifice. On that day, people remembered that God forgives *sin (Leviticus chapter 16).

Also, there were doors between these two rooms. The workmen made the doors out of *olive wood. On the doors, there were designs of *cherubim, *palm trees and flowers. The workmen covered the designs with gold (1 Kings 6:31-32).

Verses 15-17 The columns were each 18 *cubits (about 27 feet or 8.1 metres) high. And they were 12 *cubits (18 feet or 5.4 metres) round. On the top of each column, there was a top piece of 5 *cubits (about 7.5 feet or 2.3 metres). They stood in front of the entrance hall, which was 20 *cubits (about 30 feet or 9 metres) high.

The size of 35 *cubits seems to be an error in copies of the text. But it might be that 35 *cubits was the total height of the two columns.

Huram made these columns out of *bronze because Solomon asked him to do that. Also, he made the top pieces out of *bronze.

The columns were called Jachin and Boaz. Jachin probably means ĎHe (God) establishes.í And Boaz probably means ĎHe (God) gives strength.í The columns would remind the people that God established their nation. And they must trust God to make it strong.

Chapter 4

Solomon makes various objects for use in the *temple Ė 2 Chronicles 4:1-22

v1 Solomon made a *bronze *altar 20 *cubits long, 20 *cubits wide and 10 *cubits high. v2 Then he melted metal in order to make a large round basin called Ďthe seaí. It was 10 *cubits from edge to edge and 5 *cubits high. The measurement round its edge was 30 *cubits. v3 There were images of *bulls under the edge round the large basin. There were 10 *bulls to each *cubit. The *bulls were in two rows and they were part of the same piece of metal as the large basin.

v4 The large basin stood on the models of 12 *bulls. Three *bulls looked to the north. Three *bulls looked to the west. Three *bulls looked to the south. And three *bulls looked to the east. The large basin rested on their backs and their tails were in the centre. v5 The large basin was as thick as the width of a hand. Its edge was like the edge of a cup or like the flower of a *lily. The large basin held 3000 *baths.

v6 Also, he made 10 smaller basins to wash in. He put 5 basins on the right side and 5 basins on the left side. These basins were the places to wash the things that were for the *sacrifices by fire. But the large basin was for the priests to wash in.

v7 He made 10 gold *lampstands as in the plans. He put them in the *temple, 5 on the right side and 5 on the left.

v8 He made 10 tables and he put them in the *temple. He put 5 tables on the right side and 5 on the left. And he made 100 bowls out of gold. v9 He made the area for the priests, and the great open area. He made doors for the open area. He covered the doors with *bronze. v10 He placed the large basin on the south side at the south and east corner of the *temple.

v11 Also, he made the pots, spades and bowls. So, Huram finished the work that he did for King Solomon in Godís *temple. v12 He made the two columns and the top pieces on the columns. The tops were in the shape of bowls. He made the nets of chains that were on the tops of the columns. v13 And he made models of 400 *pomegranates for the two nets. There were two rows of *pomegranates for each net on the top pieces of the columns. v14 He made the carts and the smaller basins that stood on the carts. v15 He made the large basin and the 12 *bulls under it. v16 He made the pots, spades, meat forks and all the other tools for use with them. Huram-Abi made all these things for King Solomon and for the *LORDís *temple. He made them all out of *bronze which his men polished well. v17 The king arranged for him to make them in the plain of the river Jordan between Succoth and Zeredah. His men made the shapes of these things out of *clay. Then they poured the hot metal into the shapes. v18 Solomon made vast quantities of all these things. Nobody could know the total weight of the *bronze that he used.

v19 So, Solomon made all the things that were in Godís *temple. He made the gold *altar and the tables that the priests put the special bread on. v20 He made the *lampstands and their lamps out of pure gold. As the rules say, these lamps must burn in front of the most holy place. v21 The flowers, the lamps and the tools were pure gold. v22 The tools for the lamps, the bowls, the spoons and the dishes for *incense were pure gold. He made the doors of the *temple out of gold. These were the doors of the most holy place and the doors of the main room.

Verses 1-3 The *bronze *altar was 20 *cubits (about 30 feet or 9 metres) in length and width. It was 10 *cubits (about 15 feet or 4.5 metres) high. The diameter of the large basin was 10 *cubits (about 15 feet or 4.5 metres). It was 5 *cubits (about 7.5 feet or 2.3 metres) high.

The *altar was in the *temple area in front of the *temple. It showed that the way to God was by means of *sacrifice. For us, that *sacrifice is the *Lord Jesus Christ. So, we do not now need to *sacrifice animals because Jesus died as a *sacrifice for us all (Hebrews 10:8-12).

The large basin was between the *altar and the south and east corner of the *temple. The large basin had two rows of *bullís images round it. It seems that these images were perhaps *bullís heads. These images were part of the same piece of metal as the large basin. The priests washed in the large basin (see Exodus 30:17-21). The large basin shows that to approach God we must be clean from *sin. So we need God to forgive our *sins. And Jesus died so that God can forgive our *sins.

Verses 4-5 The 12 *bulls stood under the large basin and they supported it. They were in groups of three. Their tails were toward the centre. And with their heads, they looked out. It may be that the 12 *bulls represented (were for) the 12 *tribes of *Israel. In the desert, the 12 *tribes camped on the 4 sides of the holy tent. There were three *tribes on each side.

The walls of the large basin were as thick as a manís hand. This means that it was the width of 4 fingers. This is a little over three inches (7.5 centimetres).

The large basin could hold 3000 *baths (about 17 500 gallons or 66 *kilolitres) of water. The record in 1 Kings is different (1 Kings 7:26). It says that the large basin could hold 2000 *baths (about 11 500 gallons or 44 *kilolitres). We do not know why there is this difference. However, there are several possible explanations. For example, the two authors may have used different methods to measure the large basin.

Verse 6 There were 10 smaller basins. Like the large basin, these were also *bronze. Five small basins were on the right side and five were on the left side. Each basin could hold 40 *baths (about 230 gallons or 880 litres). Each basin was on a cart with wheels. The priests took water from the large basin into the smaller basins. The water in the basins was to wash the *sacrifices.

Verse 7 There was only one gold *lampstand in the holy tent but here there were 10 gold *lampstands. Each *lampstand had 6 branches so it had 7 lamps on it. The pattern for the *lampstands was the same as for the one in the holy tent (see Exodus 25:31-40).

Verses 8-10 In the holy tent, there was only one table. Here there were 10 tables. But it seems that the priests used one table to display the holy bread (13:11). They had to put 12 loaves of fresh bread on the table each *Sabbath day (Leviticus 24:5-8).

The light of the lamps and the loaves of bread were to show that the *LORD was there. While in the desert, the lamps had to burn through the night (Exodus 27:21). This taught the *Israelites that God brings light.

The holy tent had just one open area. The *temple had an open area for the priests and a larger open area for the people. Between these open areas, there were doors. The workmen made the doors out of *olive wood and they covered them with *bronze. The open area for the priests was higher than the larger area. So the priestsí area was the upper area. The larger area was the outer area.

Verses 11-13 Huram finished all the work that Solomon had asked him to do. He made the two *bronze columns and their top pieces. He put 7 chains and two rows of *pomegranates on each top piece. The tops of the columns were in the shape of *lilies.

Verses 14-16 Here is a list of some other things that Huram made. All the objects in verses 12-16 were *bronze. They were for the outside area that surrounded the *temple building.

Verses 17-18 To make each *bronze object, Huram first made a model of it. From this model, the workers would press the shape in the *clay. After the clay was in the right shape, the workmen would take the model out of the clay. They dried the clay, perhaps by fire. They melted the metal and they poured it into the dry clay. When the metal cooled, it was in the shape of the model.

The *clay that they used was in the plain to the east of the Jordan River. The place was between the towns called Succoth and Zeredah. These towns were between Galilee and the Dead Sea.

Verses 19-22 This is a list of some gold objects which were inside the *temple. Solomon used only *bronze outside the *temple. But he saved the gold (which was the most precious metal) for inside the building.

Solomon made 10 tables but the priests put the bread on one table. The flowers were like cups on the tops of the *lampstands. They held *olive oil which burned to provide light. Solomon made the gold doors out of *olive wood and he covered them with gold.

The *dedication of the *temple Ė 2 Chronicles 5:1-7:22

Chapter 5

Solomon brings the *ark into the *temple Ė 2 Chronicles 5:1-10

v1 Then Solomon had finished all his work for the *LORDís *temple. So Solomon brought into the *temple all the things that his father David had given for the *temple. Solomon put all the silver, gold and other things into the *storerooms of Godís *temple.

v2 Then Solomon called for all the leaders of *Israel to come to him in Jerusalem. He called for all the heads of the *tribes to come. And he called for the leaders of the families to come. He called them to bring the *ark of the *LORDís special promise from Zion, the city of David. v3 And all the men in *Israel came together to the king. It was during the holy holiday in the 7th month.

v4 When all the leaders of *Israel had arrived, the *Levites lifted up the *ark. v5 They brought the *ark. And they brought the tent where God met with his people. Also, they brought all the holy things that were in the tent. The priests and the *Levites brought all these things. v6 King Solomon and all the *Israelites came together in front of the *ark. They *sacrificed so many sheep and *bulls that nobody could count them.

v7 And the priests brought the *ark of the *LORDís special promise to its place. They put it in the inner room of the *temple, that is, the most holy place. They put it beneath the wings of the *cherubim. v8 The *cherubim spread their wings over the place of the *ark. They covered it and the poles that the *Levites carried it by. v9 The poles were very long. A person in the holy place, in front of the most holy place, could see their ends. But nobody could see the poles from outside the holy place. The poles are still there today. v10 There was nothing in the *ark except the two stones that Moses put there. He put them there at the mountain called Horeb. That was where the *LORD told the *Israelites about his special promise to them. That was after the *Israelites had come out of Egypt.

Verse 1 The next three chapters are about the *dedication of the *temple.

Solomon finished the *temple. Then he brought into the *temple the things that David had provided. These things included the gifts from Tou, king of Hamath (1 Chronicles 18:10-11). Also, David provided a vast amount of precious metals, in addition to his gifts of wood and stone (1 Chronicles 22:14; 26:26; 29:2-5). The workers probably used a lot of these gifts in order to make things for the *temple. But Solomon put whatever things they had not used into *storerooms at the *temple.

Verses 2-3 Solomon called for all the nationís leaders to come to him in Jerusalem. They would bring the *ark of the *LORDís special promise to the *temple. So, the *temple on the mountain called Moriah replaced the holy places from before that time. Since the time when David was king, the *ark was in the special tent. David made that tent for it (1 Chronicles 16:1). The tent was in Zion, the city of David. For 40 years, the *ark had been in that tent. The other holy place was in the town called Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39).

Solomon had completed the *temple. He finished the work in the 8th month of his 11th year as king. That was in September or October 960 *BC. The *dedication of the *temple was in the autumn of the next year. That was in the 7th month of the year 959 *BC. At that time, there was a special week when the *Jews lived in shelters. They did this to remember the time when God led them through the desert. Solomon *dedicated the *temple to God on the 8th day during this special time.

Verses 4-6 The priests and the *Levites brought the *ark to the *temple. It was the duty of the *Levites to carry the *ark to its new place. Also, they brought the holy tent. It had been in the town called Gibeon. With the tent, they brought all the holy things that were in it.

Solomon and the people came in front of the *ark. There they *sacrificed a large number of animals. This was before the priests put the *ark out of sight in the most holy place.

Verses 7-10 Then the priests took the *ark into the holy place. Only priests could go into that place. They put the *ark beneath the *cherubim at the end of the room. There were curtains between the holy place and the most holy place. But the priests could see the poles from the holy place.

In the *ark, there were the two stones that Godís 10 commands were on. But the other original contents of the *ark were not there. These objects were the gold pot of *manna and Aaronís stick (Exodus 16:32-34; Numbers 17:10-11).

The cloud of Godís *glory fills the *temple Ė 2 Chronicles 5:11-14

v11 The priests came out of the holy place. (All those priests had prepared themselves to serve in the holy place. For this event, they did not keep in their groups.) v12 All the *Levite musicians stood on the east side of the *altar. These musicians were Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, their sons and relatives. They wore clothes of white *linen. And they played *cymbals, *harps and *lyres. With them were 120 priests who sounded their *trumpets. v13 The priests who sounded the *trumpets were in perfect harmony with the singers. They praised the *LORD and they gave thanks to him. The singers sang to the sound of the *trumpets, *cymbals and other instruments. They praised the *LORD and they sang these words: ĎGod is good. His love continues for all time.í

Then a cloud filled the *LORDís *temple. v14 The priests could not continue their work because of the cloud. And the *LORDís *glory filled Godís *temple.

Verses 11-14 After the priests had put the *ark in the most holy place, they came out to the people. These priests were not just the group who should have been on duty at that time. They came from all the groups for this special event.

The *Levite musicians stood on the east side of the *altar. They sang to the *LORD and they played their musical instruments. 120 priests with *trumpets stood in their place. These priests sounded their *trumpets to join in the music of the *Levites. All this music was in perfect harmony. The priests and the *Levites praised the *LORD and they gave thanks to the *LORD. They sang that God is good. They sang about his love that is always the same. The words of this song appear often in the Psalms, for example, Psalm 136.

Then the *LORDís *glory filled the *temple area like a cloud. The *LORD was there among his people.

Chapter 6

Solomon blesses the people Ė 2 Chronicles 6:1-11

v1 Then Solomon spoke. ĎThe *LORD said that he would live in the dark cloud. v2 *LORD, I have built a wonderful *temple for you. It is a place for you to live for all time.í

v3 All the *Israelites were standing there. King Solomon turned to them and he blessed them. v4 Then he said, 'Praise the *LORD, the God of *Israel. With his mouth, he made a promise to my father David. With his hands, he has done it. v5 He said, ďI brought my people out of the country called Egypt. There is one thing that I have not done since then. I have not chosen a city in any *tribe of *Israel where they should build a *temple for my name. And I did not choose a man as ruler over my people *Israel. v6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my name to be there. And I have chosen David to rule my people *Israel.Ē

v7 It was the desire of my fatherís heart to build a *temple. He desired to build it for the name of the *LORD, the God of *Israel. v8 But the *LORD spoke to my father David. ďIt was good that you wanted to build a *temple for me. It was good that this desire was in your heart. v9 But you are not the right person to build the *temple. Your son, who shall be born to you, will build the *temple for my name.Ē

v10 The *LORD has done what he promised to do. I am the king since my father David died. I sit on the *throne and I rule *Israel. This is what the *LORD promised. And I have built the *temple for the name of the *LORD, the God of *Israel. v11 I have put the *ark there. In the *ark is the *LORDís special promise that he made with the *Israelites.í

Verses 1-2 Many times the *glory of the *LORD came as a cloud. At the mountain called Sinai, the *LORD said that he would come to the people in a dark cloud. Then the people would hear him when he spoke to Moses (Exodus 19:9; 20:21). That cloud covered the mountain for 6 days while God spoke to Moses (Exodus 24:16). When Moses had completed the construction of the holy tent, God came to it in a cloud (Exodus 40:34; Numbers 9:15). The *LORD told Moses that he would appear in the cloud over the *ark in the holy tent (Leviticus 16:2). And when Solomon put the *ark in the *temple, the *glory of God came like a cloud. That cloud filled the *temple (2 Chronicles 5:14).

Solomon saw the cloud. He believed that the *LORD was in that cloud. The cloud showed to him that the *LORD accepted the *temple. Solomon had built a wonderful *temple. He built it as a place for the *LORD to live in for all time. But for this to happen, the people must be loyal to God. In the end, Godís people were not loyal to God so his *glory left the *temple (Ezekiel chapter 10). The army from Babylon destroyed this *temple in 586 *BC.

Verses 3-6 Solomon turned from the cloud to speak to the people. He told them how God had made a promise to David. And God had done as he had said. God chose Jerusalem as his city and he chose David as the king over his people.

Verses 7-9 David had said that it was in his heart and his mind to build a *temple for the *LORD. He made plans to build it. But God did not allow him to begin its construction. God promised to David that his son Solomon would build the *temple (1 Chronicles 28:2-7).

Verses 10-11 The *LORD had done as he had promised. Solomon became the king of *Israel. He built the *temple and he put the *ark in the *temple.

Solomonís prayer of *dedication Ė 2 Chronicles 6:12-42

v12 Then Solomon stood in front of the *LORDís *altar. He was in front of all the *Israelites. And he spread out his hands. v13 He had made a *bronze platform. The size of the platform was 5 *cubits long, 5 *cubits wide and three *cubits high. He had placed it in the centre of the area outside the *temple building. He stood on the platform. Then he kneeled down in front of all the *Israelites. And he spread out his hands toward the sky. v14 He said, Ď*LORD, God of *Israel, there is no god like you in heaven or on earth. As you have promised, you continue to love your servants. You love those who follow you with all their hearts and with all their minds. v15 You have done what you promised to your servant, my father David. With your mouth, you have promised it. And today with your hand, you have done it.

v16 Now *LORD, God of *Israel, do what you said to your servant David, my father. You said to him. ďYour sons must be loyal to me. They must live for me as you have done. And they must be careful to obey my laws. Then there will always be a king from your family. He will sit for me on the *throne of *Israel.Ē v17 *LORD, God of *Israel, you made this promise to your servant David. Now, let this happen.

v18 But, God, you will not really live here on the earth with people. Even heaven and the highest heavens are too small to contain you. So this *temple that I have built for you is certainly much too small! v19 But listen to the prayer of me, your servant, and hear my appeal. *LORD, my God, answer the cry and the prayer that I, your servant, am praying to you. v20 Open your eyes day and night to watch over this *temple. You said that you would put your name in this *temple. As I look toward this place, hear the prayer of me, your servant. v21 Hear my prayers and the prayers of your people *Israel. Hear us when we pray in front of this place. Hear us from your home in heaven. And when you hear us, then forgive us.

v22 If someone does wrong deeds to another person, he will come to the *altar in this *temple. There he will insist that he is not guilty. v23 Then hear from heaven and be the judge. If he is guilty, punish him. Punish him, as he deserves. But if he is not guilty, then show it. Declare that he is innocent.

v24 When your people, *Israel, *sin against you, their enemies will defeat them. Then your people will *turn back to you and they will declare your name. They will pray and they will appeal to you in this *temple. v25 Then listen from heaven and forgive the *sin of your people, *Israel. Bring them back to the country that you gave to them and to their *ancestors.

v26 When your people *sin against you, you will shut up the skies. And there will be no rain. Then they will look toward this place and they will pray. They will declare your name and they will *turn from their *sin. They will *turn from their *sin because you punished them. v27 When this happens, hear their prayer in heaven. And forgive the *sin of your servants, the *Israelites. Teach them the right way to live. And send rain upon the land that you gave to your people. You gave that land to them for a permanent home.

v28 Sometimes, the land may be so dry that no food crops will grow. A great disease may spread among the people. Troubles may cause serious damage to their crops or to their possessions. Insects such as *locusts or *grasshoppers may eat the crops. Enemies may attack your people in any town. *Disasters and diseases may come to your people. v29 When any *Israelite prays to you, hear that prayer. Or when all the *Israelites appeal to you, answer them. Each man or woman knows what they suffer and their pain. They will spread their hands toward this *temple. v30 Then hear their prayers from your home in heaven. Forgive them. Deal with each person in the manner that is right for that person. Only you know what is in peopleís hearts and in their minds. v31 Then the people will be afraid not to obey you. They will obey you all the days that they live in this country. You gave this country to our *ancestors.

v32 Foreigners who are not *Israelites will come from distant countries. They will come because they have heard about the greatness of your name. They have heard about the great deeds that you have done. They will come because they have seen your power. They will come and they will pray toward this *temple. v33 When they pray to you, hear from your home in heaven. Do what those foreigners ask you to do. Do that, so that people from all the nations in the world will know your name. They will be afraid of you even as the *Israelites are afraid of you. They will know that I have built this *temple for your name.

v34 Your people may go to war against their enemies. They will go the way that you send them. They will pray to you towards this city that you have chosen. They will pray towards the *temple that I have built for your name. v35 Then hear from heaven their prayer and appeal and help them to win.

v36 There is nobody who does not *sin against you. When your people *sin, you will be angry with them. You will let their enemies defeat them. Their enemies will make them prisoners. Their enemies will take them away to a country, which may be a long way away or near. v37 When they change the attitude of their hearts and their minds there, they will *repent of their *sins. In the country where they are *exiles, they will pray to you. They will say to you, ďWe have *sinned. What we have done is wrong. We have been wicked.Ē v38 They will *turn back to you in the country where they are *exiles. They will *turn to you with all their hearts and with all their minds. Then they will pray towards this country that you gave to their *ancestors. They will pray towards the city that you have chosen. And they will pray towards the *temple that I have built for your name. v39 Then hear their prayers and appeals from your home in heaven. Help them. And forgive your people, who have *sinned against you.

v40 Now, my God, please watch what happens in this place. Please listen to the prayers that we pray in this place.

v41 Now, rise, *LORD God, and come to your resting place. Come with the *ark that shows your strength. *LORD God, dress your priests with *salvation. And cause your holy people to have delight because of your goodness.

v42 *LORD God, do not refuse the person that you appointed. Remember the love that you had for your servant David.í

Verses 12-15 Solomon stood on a platform so that the people could see him more easily. He had made the platform out of *bronze. It was about 7.5 feet (2.3 metres) square and about 4.5 feet (1.3 metres) high. At first, he stood and he spread his hands out. Then he went down on his knees in an attitude of prayer. And he raised his hands towards the sky.

Then Solomon prayed to the *LORD. He started to praise the *LORD. The God of *Israel is the only real God. There is no other god like him. The *LORD had done what he had promised to David. Solomon had become the king of *Israel. And he had built the *temple for the *LORD.

Verses 16-17 Solomon then asked the *LORD to continue to do what he had promised to David. But the *LORD had only promised to do these things if Solomon and the people were loyal to him. If they obeyed the *LORD, then a *descendant of David would rule *Israel.

Verses 18-21 Solomon had built the *temple for the *LORD. But he knew that the *LORD was too big to live in any building on earth. Space and time cannot contain God. He is larger than the heavens. But we should not think that he is a long way away. He is everywhere at the same time. Therefore, he is always near. The *templeís function was for people to find God; not to contain him. So, the *temple was the place where the people came to *worship God.

Solomon asks the *LORD to guard the *temple day and night. It belonged to the *LORD and his name was there.

Solomon asks the *LORD to hear the prayers of his people, that is, *Israel. They would make their prayers towards the *temple. The *temple was the place where they expected the *LORD to meet with them. But the *LORD was in heaven and there he would hear their prayers. He would answer them from heaven.

Verses 22-23 Now Solomon describes to the *LORD 7 problems that may happen (6:22-40). Each problem follows the same pattern. First, there is the situation or the problem. Then there is the prayer or statement in the *temple. Then there is the request for God to hear. At the end, Solomon asks God to solve the situation or problem.

Situation 1: A difficult legal problem

A person may do wrong deeds to another person but sometimes nobody has seen it. Then there would be no way to discover the truth. Then both people would come into the *temple. There they would both insist in front of God that they are not guilty. Only God knows which person is speaking the truth. So Solomon asks that God will be the judge. Let God say whether a person is guilty or not guilty.

Verses 24-25

Situation 2: Defeat because of the *sin of *Israelís people

If *Israelís people *sinned against God then their enemies would defeat them. Then they may *turn back again to the *LORD their God. If they did so then they would pray to God in the *temple. Solomon asks that God would forgive his people. Maybe they had gone into *exile. Solomon asks God to bring them back to the country called *Israel.

Verses 26-27

Situation 3: No rain because of *sin

When the *LORD brought the *Israelites into their country, he warned them about false gods. He told them not to serve other gods. If they did that, then he would be angry with them. And he would stop the rain. Then their crops could not grow (Deuteronomy 11:16-17).

If *Israelís people *sinned against the *LORD, he would stop the rain. Maybe they would confess their *sin and they would *turn back to the *LORD. Then they would look towards the *temple and they would pray to the *LORD. Solomon asks the *LORD in heaven to hear such prayers. He asks God to forgive them and to teach them how they should live. And he asks the *LORD to send rain on the land again.

Verses 28-31

Situation 4: *Disasters and diseases

*Disasters and diseases may come to the *Israelites. And enemies may attack their towns. Solomon knows that these things may happen because of the *sin of the people (Deuteronomy 28:21-22). They will pray to the *LORD, and their hands will point toward the *temple.

Solomon asks the *LORD to hear their prayers from his home in heaven. He asks that the *LORD will forgive them. And he asks that the *LORD will do good things on their behalf. Then the people will be afraid not to obey the *LORD. And they will live in the country that the *LORD gave to them.

Only the *LORD knows what is in peopleís hearts and in their minds (John 2:24-25). He knows peopleís real attitudes. So he will know whether their prayers are sincere.

Verses 32-33

Situation 5: A foreignerís prayer

The *temple was to be a house of prayer for all nations (Isaiah 56:6-7). It was not only for the *Israelites to *worship their God. Godís power and his greatness would attract people from all parts of the world. They would come to the *temple to pray to the God of heaven. Godís great name would attract them. They will hear what he has done. They will know about his power.

Solomon asks God to answer the prayers of these foreigners. They will know fear for God, who created the whole world. And they will know that this is his *temple.

Verses 34-35

Situation 6: God orders *Israel to go to war

There may be occasions when the *LORD sends his people to war. In particular, this might happen because an enemy is attacking them. Then they will pray to the *LORD to give them success. They will make their prayers toward Jerusalem and to the *temple. Solomon asks the *LORD to help them in the battle.

Verses 36-39

Situation 7: *Exile because of *sin by *Israelís people

Nobody is perfect. Nobody is without *sin (Romans 3:23). And the *LORD is always angry against *sin. When *Israelís people *turn from the *LORD, he will allow their enemies to defeat them. And he will cause their enemies to take them from their country into *exile (Leviticus 26:33).

In the countries of their *exile, they will *repent of their *sin. They will *turn again to the *LORD, their God. They will pray towards the country that the *LORD gave to their *ancestors. They will pray in the direction of Jerusalem. Their prayers will be toward the *LORDís *temple.

Solomon asks the *LORD to hear their prayers from his home in heaven. He asks the *LORD to forgive them. He asks the *LORD to do what is right for them.

The problems that Solomon prayed about here happened. This book records the way that the people in *Israel and Judah *turned away from the *LORD. It tells how the people went into *exile (36:16-21). And it ends when Cyrus king of Persia calls them to return to their country (36:23).

Verse 40 The record of this prayer of Solomon has a longer end in 1 Kings 8:50-51. But here he asks again that the *LORD will hear the prayers of the people.

Verse 41 These words are the same as in Psalm 132:8-9. David was probably the author of that Psalm. He may have written it when he brought the *ark to Jerusalem. That was about 40 years before this. At that time, David brought the *ark from the house of Obed Edom. He put it in the tent that he had prepared for it (1 Chronicles 16:1).

The Ďplaceí of the *LORD in the *temple was the most holy place. That was the place where the *ark remained. And that was where the *LORD would meet with the chief priest. Psalm 132:14 tells us that the *LORD chose to live there. It would be his resting place.

Solomon then asks God to dress the priests with *salvation (Psalm 132:9). (In other words, to make his priests completely holy.) The priests had special clothes. They made these clothes out of pure white *linen. But here Solomon does not mean the actual clothes. Instead, he uses those clothes as a word picture for the priestsí inner thoughts and attitudes. As the clothes are completely clean and pure, so the priests should give themselves completely to the *LORD. Solomon asks that the priests will be completely holy as priests to the *LORD. Then they could serve the *LORD properly. They would then bring *salvation to the people. So, the people would have delight in the goodness of the *LORD.

Verse 42 Solomon now prays on his own behalf. He is the king whom God appointed to rule over his (Godís) people, *Israel. Solomon refers to the promises that God made to David. He asks God to be kind to him because of David his father (Psalm 132:10-12).

Chapter 7

Fire comes down from heaven Ė 2 Chronicles 7:1-3

v1 When Solomon had finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven. The fire burned up the *sacrifice by fire and the other *sacrifices. And the *LORDís *glory filled the *temple. v2 The priests could not enter the *LORDís *temple, because the *LORDís *glory filled it. v3 All the *Israelites saw the fire that came down from heaven. And they saw the *LORDís *glory above the *temple. They bent down on the footpath with their faces to the ground. They *worshipped and they gave thanks to the *LORD. They said, ĎThe *LORD is good. His love continues for all time.í

Verse 1 The priests had prepared *sacrifices for the *LORD. As Solomon ended his prayer, the *LORD sent fire to burn all the *sacrifices. This included both those that would be by fire and other *sacrifices. This showed that the *LORD had heard the prayers of Solomon and the people. The *LORD accepted the *temple. He came in his *glory, and he filled it.

It was the same when Moses *dedicated the special tent in the desert. The *glory of the *LORD appeared to the people. And fire came from the *LORD and it burned the *sacrifices (Leviticus 9:24). Later David built an *altar at the place where Araunah used to prepare his grain. There David prayed to the *LORD. And the *LORD answered him with fire on the *altar (1 Chronicles 21:26).

The *LORD answered by fire to show that he approved of the tent. He answered by fire to show that he approved of the *altar. Now he answered by fire to show that he approved of the *temple. He accepted the prayers and the *worship of his people.

Verse 2 The *glory of the *LORD filled the *temple. Even the priests could not remain in the *temple. It was the same when they brought the *ark into the *temple. The priests had to go out of the holy place because the cloud of Godís *glory filled the place. (See 2 Chronicles 5:11-14; 1 Kings 8:10-11.)

Verse 3 The people stood in the areas round the *temple. They all saw the fire as it came down from heaven. Also, they saw the *glory of the *LORD above the *temple. The *glory of the *LORD was probably like a bright cloud over the *temple.

They all bent down with their faces to the ground. This is the way that the *Israelites *worshipped God.

Solomon and the people give *sacrifices and they praise the *LORD Ė 2 Chronicles 7:4-10

v4 Then the king and all the people gave *sacrifices to the *LORD. v5 King Solomon gave a *sacrifice of 22 000 *oxen and 120 000 sheep. So, the king and all the people *dedicated the *temple to God. v6 The priests stood ready to do their work. The *Levites stood with the instruments for music to the *LORD. King David had made these instruments for them. When he praised, they gave thanks to the *LORD. They said, ĎHis love continues for all time.í Opposite the *Levites, the priests sounded their *trumpets. And all the *Israelites stood.

v7 Solomon made holy the middle part of the area in front of the *LORDís *temple. Here he gave *sacrifices by fire and he burnt the fat of *sacrifices for peace. He *sacrificed there because the *bronze *altar was too small. The *bronze *altar, which Solomon had made, could not hold all the *sacrifices by fire, grain *sacrifices and fat parts.

v8 At that time, Solomon and all the *Israelites obeyed the rules of the *feast for 7 days. There was a vast crowd of people. Some people even came from places a long way away, like Lebo Hamath and the Valley of Egypt. v9 On the 8th day, they met together for a special *feast. For 7 days, they had *dedicated the *altar. And for 7 days, they had obeyed the rules of the *feast. v10 On the 23rd day of the 7th month, Solomon sent the people to their homes. They went with joy and their hearts were glad. They were happy because of the good things that the *LORD had done. He did those things for David, for Solomon, and for his people, the *Israelites.

Verses 4-6 The king and all the people brought their *sacrifices to the priests. The priests gave these *sacrifices to the *LORD.

The large number of animals that Solomon gave provided meat for the people. They had a great *feast to *dedicate the *temple to the *LORD. This *feast lasted for two weeks. The second week was the *feast when the people lived in shelters.

The priests and *Levites performed the duties that David had appointed for them. The priests gave the *sacrifices on behalf of the king and of the people. The *Levite musicians made music. They played the instruments that David had made for them. And they sang about Godís love for them. They led the people as they praised the *LORD. Also, the priests sounded their *trumpets.

Verse 7 In this middle area in front of the *temple was the *altar. But because of the number of *sacrifices, it seems that Solomon made the whole area holy. There may have been several *altars for this special event. Solomon gave *sacrifices by fire to the *LORD. The priests burned these *sacrifices on the *altars. Also, Solomon gave *sacrifices for peace. On the *altars, the priests burned the fat and certain pieces of the *sacrifices for peace. The rest of the animal was meat for the people to eat.

Verses 8-10 The *dedication of the *temple happened just before a special *feast. The *feast for the *dedication of the *temple was from the 8th to the 14th day of the month called Tisri. Tisri was the 7th month; it is about our month of October.

Each year the *Israelites came to Jerusalem for the special *feast. This *feast was from the 15th day to the 22nd day of Tisri. And they lived in shelters for that week. They had this *feast to remember how God brought their families out of Egypt. The *Israelites lived in tents for 40 years in the desert (Leviticus 23:34).

Lebo Hamath was in the extreme north of *Israel. The Valley of Egypt was in the extreme south of *Israel. So, people came from all over the country called *Israel. They gathered in Jerusalem every year for the special *feast. But this year, they came a week earlier for the *dedication of the *temple.

The special *feast ended with an extra special day (Leviticus 23:36; Numbers 29:35). This 8th day of the *feast was the 22nd day of Tisri. After the *feast, on the 23rd day of Tisri, Solomon sent the people to their homes.

There was another special day on the 10th day of Tisri. On this day, the chief priest went into the most holy place. He took some blood from a *sacrifice for his own *sins. Then he took blood from a *sacrifice for the *sins of the people. He asked the *LORD to forgive their *sins. On this day they believed that the *LORD removed the *Israelitesí *sins (Leviticus chapter 16).

The *LORDís answer to Solomonís prayer Ė 2 Chronicles 7:11-22

v11 So, Solomon finished the *LORDís *temple and his own royal palace. He had done all that he had intended to do in both the *LORDís *temple and in his own palace. v12 Then the *LORD appeared to Solomon during the night. The *LORD said, ĎI have heard your prayer. I have chosen this place for myself to be a *temple for *sacrifices.

v13 I may close the skies so that there will be no rain. I may order the *locusts to ruin the land. I may cause the spread of a disease among my people. v14 My people are called by my name. They must be humble and they must pray. They must look to me and they must stop their evil behaviour. If they do these things, then I will hear from heaven. I will forgive their *sin. And I will cure their land. v15 Now my eyes will be open to see. My ears will listen to the prayers that people pray in this place. v16 I have chosen this *temple and I have made it holy. So, my name will be there for all time. I will always watch this place, and my thoughts will always be there.

v17 But you must serve me as your father David did. You must do all that I order you. And you must obey my laws and my rules. v18 Then I will establish your *kingdom. This is the promise that I made to your father David. I said that someone from your family would always rule over *Israel.

v19 But you (and your people) must not *turn away from me. You must not neglect the laws and commands that I have given to you. You must not serve or *worship other gods. v20 If you do *turn to other gods, I will send the *Israelites out of my country. I had given this country to them. Also, I will leave this *temple, which I have made holy for my name. And all the nations will laugh at it. They will speak evil things about it. v21 Now this *temple is magnificent. But then it will be a shock to everybody who passes by. They will ask, ďWhy did the *LORD do this terrible thing to this country and to this *temple?Ē v22 People will answer them, ďThe *LORD did this because his people *turned from him. The *LORD is the God of their *ancestors; he brought them out of Egypt. But his people have *turned to other gods. They serve those gods and they *worship them. So, the *LORD caused all this *disaster to happen to his people.Ē í

Verses 11-12 After the *dedication of the *temple, Solomon built his palace. It took him 13 years to complete the palace (1 Kings 7:1). After he had finished the work, the *LORD appeared to him. This was in Solomonís 24th year as king (947 or 946 *BC).

Although it was 13 years later, this was an answer to the *dedication prayer (6:14-42). The *LORD appeared to Solomon during the night. He told Solomon that he had accepted the *temple. It would be a place for *sacrifices to the *LORD. God chose this place for that purpose. The *Israelites must come here to *worship him (Deuteronomy 12:5-7).

This was the second time that the *LORD appeared to Solomon (1 Kings 9:2). The first time was at the town called Gibeon at the start of his rule as king (2 Chronicles 1:7).

Verses 13-16 Solomon had prayed about the effects of *sin in *Israel. Because of their *sins, maybe God would stop the rain (6:26). Here God says that he may stop the rain. Also, he may send *locusts and he may make his people sick. God would allow these terrible things to happen in order to punish his people for their *sins. But Godís purpose is not to hurt his people. His purpose is to persuade them to stop their *sin. They must become loyal to him again. If they do that, he will show his kindness to them again.

Of course, such troubles are not always the result of *sin (John 9:1-3). But this passage is about the occasions when such troubles happen because of *sin.

These people were Godís people. He had chosen them to be special to himself. In a similar way, he has chosen us in Christ to be his special people. So, the attitude in prayer that the *LORD desires here is for us as well.

This attitude consists of 4 parts. Those who pray must be humble. They must trust in the *LORD. They must confess that they have *sinned. And they must stop their evil behaviour. Then the *LORD will hear their prayer. And he will forgive their *sins.

When a nation *turns to the *LORD in this way, he will cure their land. Here the subject is the nation called *Israel. When they *turn to the *LORD, he will rescue them from the effects of their *sin. He will send the rain. He will remove the *locusts. He will cure the people.

The prayers of *Israelís people must be in or towards the *temple.

Verses 17-18 The *LORD made promises to David. But the promises depended on the actions of people. The *LORD would establish Solomonís *kingdom if Solomon obeyed him. Solomon had to serve the *LORD as David had done. Solomon had to do all that the *LORD said. He had to obey the laws and the rules of the *LORD.

Solomon started well but afterwards, he chose to do wrong things. Solomon and several kings who ruled after him *turned from the *LORD. The *LORD had promised to support them, but only if they remained loyal to him. So, the *LORD could not do as he had promised. Instead, as the judge of the king and his people, the *LORD had to punish them.

Verses 19-22 The *Israelites neglected to obey the laws of the *LORD. Instead, they *turned to other gods. They *worshipped and served those other gods. Then the *LORD did as he had said. He had given this country to them. However, the *LORD sent the *Israelites away from the country. They went into *exile in Babylon (36:20).

So in the end, the *LORD left the *temple (Ezekiel 10:18). The *temple was magnificent but soldiers from Babylon destroyed it.

Solomonís *kingdom Ė 2 Chronicles 8:1-9:31

Chapter 8

What Solomon did Ė 2 Chronicles 8:1-18

v1 By the end of 20 years, Solomon had built the *LORDís *temple. Also, he had built his own royal palace. v2 Solomon built again the towns that Hiram had given to him. And he sent *Israelites to live in these towns. v3 Then Solomon went to the town called Hamath Zobah. And he defeated it. v4 Also, Solomon built the town called Tadmor in the desert. And he built all the towns in Hamath as towns to store grain and supplies. v5 He built again Upper Beth Horon and Lower Beth Horon. He made them strong towns with walls, gates and bars in the gates. v6 Also, he built again the town called Baalath. He built other towns to keep supplies in. And he built towns where he kept his *chariots and his horses. He built all that he wanted to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon and in his entire *kingdom.

v7 There were people in *Israel who were not *Israelites. These were the people called Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. v8 They were *descendants of the people from those nations whom the *Israelites had not killed. Solomon forced them to be slave workers, as they are to this day. v9 But Solomon did not make slaves of the *Israelites. They were his soldiers and his officers. And they controlled his *chariots and his horsemen. v10 These men were the chief officers of King Solomon. There were 250 officers to direct the people.

v11 Solomon brought the king of Egyptís daughter from Davidís city. He took her to the palace that he had built for her. He said, ĎMy wife shall not live in the palace of David, the king of *Israel. The places where the *LORDís *ark has been are holy.í

v12 Then Solomon gave *sacrifices by fire to the *LORD. He *sacrificed them on the *altar that he had built for the *LORD in front of the *temple. v13 He gave *sacrifices each day as Moses had ordered. There were *sacrifices on the *Sabbath days, at the new moon and at the three special *feasts in the year. These special *feasts were the *feast of *unleavened bread, the *feast of weeks and the *feast of shelters. v14 As his father David had ordered, Solomon appointed the groups of priests for their work. He appointed the *Levites to do their work. They led the people to praise and they helped the priests. The priests and *Levites had tasks to do each day. Also, he appointed the *temple guards to guard the gates. This is what David, the man of God, had ordered. v15 The priests and *Levites did all that the king ordered. Also, they obeyed him in the control of the valuable things in the *temple.

v16 Solomon had done all the work on the *LORDís *temple. He worked from the day that he laid its base. He worked until he had completed the task. So, he finished the *LORDís *temple.

v17 Then Solomon went to the towns called Ezion Geber and Eloth. These towns were on the coast in the country called Edom. v18 And Hiram sent ships to him. Hiramís own men were the captains because they knew the sea. They sailed with Solomonís men to the region called Ophir. They brought back 450 *talents of gold from there. They delivered the gold to King Solomon.

Verses 1-2 Solomon had completed all this work in 20 years. This was the year 946 *BC. He had built the *temple and his royal palace. It took him about 7Ĺ years to build the *temple. Then he took about 13 years to build his own house.

Solomon had given 20 towns to Hiram. These towns were in Galilee. Solomon may have given them to Hiram in payment of debts. These towns were in *Israel but *Israelites did not live in them. When Hiram came to see these towns, he was not happy with them (1 Kings 9:11-13). It seems that Solomon took back the towns from Hiram. Then Solomon improved the towns and he sent *Israelites to live in them.

Verse 3 Solomon was powerful and he had a large army. But there is a record of only one battle. He fought against the region called Hamath Zobah. This region was to the north of *Israel. Hamath and Zobah had been separate regions. The two regions had become one. King Tou of Hamath had been a friend of David. David defeated their enemy, who was the king of Zobah (1 Chronicles 18:9). It seems that the people in Hamath Zobah decided to oppose Solomon. So, he sent his army to bring that region under his control.

Verses 4-6 Tadmor was on the trade route between the sea and Babylon. It was about 125 miles (200 kilometres) to the north and east of Damascus city. Solomon built this town. Therefore, he had control of the trade that passed along this route. Many centuries later, Tadmor had a new name: Palmyra.

Solomon built the towns in the region called Hamath to store his goods.

The two Beth Horons were on the border between the areas of Ephraim and Benjamin. They were on a main road. It led to the port called Joppa. Therefore, from these towns, Solomon had control of the trade route.

Baalath was in the area that the *tribe of Dan originally received (Joshua 19:44). It is also called Kiriath Jearim (Joshua 15:9).

Verses 7-10 The people called Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites were in the country years before. They were there before the *Israelites came. Those people who remained after the *Israelites came became slave workers under Solomon. But he did not make any *Israelites into slaves.

Verse 11 Early in his rule, Solomon married a daughter of the king of Egypt. While Solomon built the *temple and his own palace, he kept this wife in Jerusalem. Then he built a palace for her and he took her there.

This wife brought her own maids and servants with her from Egypt. She and they probably did not *worship the *LORD. They had their own gods. Perhaps that is why Solomon kept them away from Davidís palace and from the *LORDís *temple. There is a tradition that gives her name as Bithiah. That name means Ďa daughter of the *LORD who *worships himí. So if the tradition is correct, this wife did *worship the *LORD. But we do know that many of Solomonís later wives *worshipped false gods.

Verses 12-13 Solomon gave *sacrifices Ė in other words, he provided the animals. It was the priestsí duty to offer these *sacrifices to God. Solomon would not burn the *sacrifices on the *altar. He arranged for the *sacrifices that Moses had ordered.

There were the daily *sacrifices. The *Israelites had to *sacrifice a young sheep each morning. And they had to *sacrifice another young sheep each evening (Exodus 29:38).

Then there were the *sacrifices for the *Sabbaths and the new moon. The *Israelites had to *sacrifice two young sheep each *Sabbath day. The new moon was at the start of each month. On that occasion, they had to *sacrifice two *bulls, one male sheep and 7 young sheep (Numbers 28:9-15).

There were rules about the *sacrifices at the three special *feasts (Numbers 28:16Ė29:40).

Verses 14-15 David had arranged the priests and *Levites into 24 groups. There was always one group on duty (1 Chronicles chapters 23 to 25). Solomon did as his father had done. He appointed the priests and *Levites for their work. Also, he appointed the *temple guards as David had done.

David did this as the Ďman of Godí. In all these affairs, he acted as the *LORD directed him.

The priests and *Levites obeyed all that the king ordered. The king here probably means David. He had told them the tasks that each group must do.

Verse 16 It took Solomon about 7 years to complete the *LORDís *temple (1 Kings 6:37-38).

Verses 17-18 Ezion Geber and Eloth were ports at the north end of the gulf (bay) called the Gulf of Aqaba. The Gulf of Aqaba leads into the Red Sea. The nation called Tyre was famous because of its ships and its sailors. Hiram, who was the king of Tyre, sent ships and sailors to Solomon at these ports. At that time, there was no way to sail ships from Tyre to the Gulf of Aqaba. Therefore, we think that Hiram had ships already in that region. Or perhaps he sent materials by land to make ships at these ports. Or maybe he built ships at these ports. Also, Solomon built ships at Ezion Geber (1 Kings 9:26).

*Israelites sailed in the ships with Hiramís sailors. They went to the region called Ophir. We do not know where Ophir was. But the sailors brought back to Solomon 450 *talents of gold.

Chapter 9

The fame and wealth of Solomon Ė 2 Chronicles 9:1-31

The visit of the queen of Sheba Ė 2 Chronicles 9:1-12

v1 The queen of the country called Sheba heard about Solomonís fame. And she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. She came with a large group of officials and servants. They had many camels that carried *spices, a lot of gold and precious stones. She came to Solomon. And she talked with him about everything that she was thinking about. v2 Solomon answered all her questions. Nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. v3 The queen of Sheba saw that Solomon was very wise. She saw the palace that he had built. v4 She saw all the food on his table. She saw his many officers and the palace servants. They all had good clothes. Even the servants who served Solomonís wine had good clothes. She saw all the *sacrifices by fire that he gave in the *LORDís *temple. All these things impressed her so much that she felt weak.

v5 She said to the king, ĎIn my own country, I heard a report about you. I heard about what you have done and about your wisdom. And all that I heard was true. v6 I did not believe the report until I came here. Now I have seen with my own eyes that it was true. The report did not tell me about even half of your wisdom. You are much greater than what I have heard. v7 Your men are very happy! Your servants are very happy! They are always in front of you and they hear your wisdom. v8 I praise the *LORD your God. It pleased him to make you the king of *Israel. He has made you the king to rule for the *LORD your God. Your God loves *Israel and he desires to support the *Israelites for all time. Therefore, he has placed you on his *throne to rule as king over them. You will be a good judge. And you will do what is right.í

v9 Then she gave 120 *talents of gold to the king. And she gave a large quantity of *spices and precious stones to him. There had never been such *spices as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

v10 Hiramís men and Solomonís men brought gold from Ophir. Also they brought to him *algum wood and precious stones. v11 The king used *algum wood to make steps for the *LORDís *temple and for his own palace. Also, he used *algum wood to make *harps and *lyres for the musicians. Nobody in Judah had ever seen such things as these.

v12 King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired. He gave to her all that she asked for. He gave to her more than she had brought to him. Then she left him. With her officers and servants, she returned to her own country.

Verses 1-4 Sheba was a country near Israel. It was on both sides of the Red Sea where it joins the Gulf (bay) of Arabia. It was in the modern countries called Yemen, Djibouti and east Ethiopia. The *kingdom called Sheba was famous because of its trade in gold and *spices.

The visit of the queen of Sheba was perhaps for the purposes of trade. Perhaps she wanted to protect the trade from Sheba to *Israel. The ships of Hiram and Solomon were perhaps trading with Sheba.

But the main reason for the queenís visit was that she had heard about Solomonís wisdom. She had many questions that she wanted to ask him. She discussed with him all the difficult problems that she had. And he was able to answer all her questions. Solomon was very wise (1 Kings 4:29-34). People then considered that wisdom was very important. This wisdom was not just knowledge about facts. It was also practical wisdom about such matters as life and politics. We can read examples of such wisdom in the Book of Proverbs.

The queen saw all that Solomon had done. She saw how wealthy he was. The amount and the luxury of the food on his table impressed her. The clothes that even his servants wore astonished her. She saw the ceremonies in the *temple. The result of all this made her feel so small.

Verses 5-8 The queen had to admit how great Solomon was. Solomon was much greater than she had heard in her own country. His wisdom was greater than the reports that had come to Sheba. Also, she believed that the *LORD was the cause of Solomonís greatness. She believed that the *LORD had put Solomon on the *throne to rule *Israel. She could see that the *LORD loved *Israel. And the *LORD had made Solomon able to be a good king over his people.

Verse 9 Before the queen left *Israel, she gave gifts to Solomon. She gave to him 120 *talents of gold. In addition to this, she gave to him *spices and precious stones.

Verses 10-11 The queen of Sheba gave gold and precious stones to Solomon. And Hiramís men with Solomonís men brought more gold and precious stones to him. They went every three years to trade for these. Also, these men brought this *algum wood to Solomon. We do not know what this wood was. But clearly, it was special and expensive. The trees that supplied this wood did not grow in *Israel.

Verse 12 King Solomon gave gifts to the queen of Sheba. He gave her even more gifts than she had brought to him. In addition, he gave to her all that she desired. This may have included a good trade agreement.

The wealth of Solomon Ė 2 Chronicles 9:13-28

v13 Solomon received 666 *talents of gold each year. v14 In addition to that, he received more from merchants and traders. Also all the kings of Arabia and the rulers of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon.

v15 King Solomon made 200 large gold *shields. His workmen hammered 600 *shekels of gold to make each large *shield. v16 Also, he made 300 smaller *shields. The workmen hammered 300 *shekels of gold to make each small *shield. The king put all these *shields in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.

v17 The king built a large *throne of *ivory and he covered it with pure gold. v18 The *throne had 6 steps and on top of them was a gold shelf for the kingís feet. On both sides of the *throne were places for his arms to rest. Also, at each side of the *throne, there stood a model of a lion. v19 And 12 models of lions stood on the 6 steps. That is, one model of a lion stood at each end of each step. Nobody had made anything like this for any other *kingdom. v20 All Solomonís cups were gold. And all the dishes in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Nothing was silver. In Solomonís time, people did not think that silver was valuable. v21 The kingís ships of Tarshish sailed with the servants of Hiram. Every three years, the ships of Tarshish came back. They brought gold, silver, *ivory, *apes and monkeys.

v22 King Solomon had more riches and wisdom than all the other kings in the world. v23 All the kings in the world wanted to meet Solomon. They wanted to listen to the wisdom that God had given to him. v24 Each year, everyone who came brought a gift to him. They brought silver, gold, clothes, *weapons, *spices, horses and *mules.

v25 Solomon had places to keep 4000 horses and *chariots. He had 12 000 horses. These were in the *chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. v26 He ruled over all the kings from the river Euphrates to the country of the *Philistines. His rule reached even to the border of the country called Egypt. v27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone. He made *cedar trees as plentiful as the *sycamore trees that grow in the low country. v28 And Solomonís horses came from Egypt and from all other countries.

Verses 13-14 Solomonís annual income of gold was 666 *talents. This did not include the wealth that he received from the trade of merchants. Also, rulers of other countries paid taxes to Solomon in gold and silver.

Verses 15-16 From the *Hebrew text, the amount of gold in each *shield is not certain. Most translations of the Bible say that it was in *shekels. However, some translations say that it was *bekas. A *beka is half a *shekel. So, the large *shields were perhaps 15 pounds weight (7Ĺ kilos) of gold. And the small *shields were perhaps 7Ĺ pounds weight (3Ĺ kilos) of gold. Or perhaps they were half of these weights.

Verses 17-21 Solomon had so much gold that he made all kinds of things from it. He covered his *throne with pure gold. He made the models of lions with gold. His cups and dishes were gold. There was so much gold that people did not consider silver to be valuable.

The phrase Ďships of Tarshishí appears several times in the Bible. It probably refers to a type of ship rather than a ship from the place called Tarshish. They were ships that went to trade even to Tarshish.

We do not know where this Tarshish was. There was a Tarshish that Jonah tried to go to (Jonah 1:3). That Tarshish was probably in Spain or Sardinia. The ships of Hiram and Solomon sailed from Ezion Geber and the Red Sea (8:17-18). So these ships did not sail across the Mediterranean Sea. But probably, Solomon had other ships that sailed the Mediterranean. We can be sure that to get to Tarshish was a long journey.

Verses 22-28 Because of the wisdom that God gave to him, Solomon was famous. Kings from many countries wanted to benefit from that wisdom. Therefore, they came to Solomon and they brought their gifts to him.

Horses were evidence of wealth. Someone who owned many horses was rich. Solomon was very rich and he had 12 000 horses. Also, the number of *chariots showed that he was powerful.

Solomon ruled over a vast area. This area was from the river Euphrates to the country of the *Philistines and to the border of Egypt. God promised this area to Abrahamís *descendants (Genesis 15:18).

Solomonís death Ė 2 Chronicles 9:29-31

v29 There are records of the rest of Solomonís deeds. These show what he did from the beginning to the end of his rule. Nathan the *prophet wrote some records. The *prophecy of Ahijah from Shiloh shows several acts of Solomon. And some records are in the *visions of Iddo the *prophet. Iddo wrote about Jeroboam who was Nebatís son. v30 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all *Israel for 40 years. v31 Then Solomon died and the people buried him in Jerusalem, the city of David his father. And Solomonís son Rehoboam became king after Solomon.

Verses 29-31 The *prophet Iddo seems to have been the author of three books. He wrote about Jeroboam and Solomon. Then he wrote about Rehoboam and his family history (12:15). After that, he wrote about Abijah (13:22).

People were careful to record the major events in the lives of the kings such as Solomon.

Solomon had ruled for 40 years in Jerusalem. He died and the people buried him in the city of David.

Word List

algum ~ a tree and the wood from that tree. It was an especially precious kind of wood.

altar ~ the special table that someone made out of stone or wood or metal; on it they burnt animals or they offered other gifts to God or to false gods.

ancestors ~ people in history that your family has come from.

angel ~ a servant who brings messages from heaven. God made angels to serve him and to take his messages.

apes ~ animals like monkeys.

ark ~ the ark of the *LORD or the ark of God; the Bible also calls it the ark of Godís special promise. It was a wooden box with gold all over the outside and over the inside. It had two gold *cherubim on the top. (See Exodus 25:10-22.) The *Israelites kept the ark in the most holy place, first in the *LORDís tent and then in the *temple. The ark was a sign that God was with them (Exodus 25:22).

barley ~ a grain.

bath ~ a quantity of liquid equal to 5.75 gallons (about 22 litres).

BC ~ years before Christ was born.

beka ~ equal to half a *shekel.

bronze ~ a metal that glows when it is in a fire. When a person polishes it, it shines in the light. And it is very strong.

bull ~ the male animal that mates with a cow.

cedar ~ a kind of tree; or the wood from that tree.

chariot ~ a kind of cart that soldiers used to fight. Horses pulled it.

cherub ~ a special *angel. Images of these angels were in the most holy place where they were over the *ark. Isaiah and Ezekiel saw cherubim when they saw Godís *glory.

cherubim ~ special *angels. Images of these were in the most holy place where they were over the *ark. Isaiah and Ezekiel saw cherubim when they saw Godís *glory.

clay ~ earth, heavy and firm when dry, stiff and soft when wet.

cor ~ a quantity of grain equal to 57.5 gallons (220 litres).

cubit ~ The usual cubit was about 21 inches (53 centimetres). The old cubit was a little less than 18 inches (46 centimetres).

cymbal ~ a musical instrument. A person hits two of them together and they make a loud noise.

dedicate ~ to give to God in a special way.

dedication ~ the ceremony when you *dedicate something to God.

descendant ~ a future member of a family or of a nation.

disaster ~ when something very bad happens.

exile ~ people who have to live in a foreign country are in exile. Such a person is an exile. The exile means the time when the *Jews were in exile.

feast ~ a large meal; but, in this book, a feast is often a special time when the people came together to *worship God.

feast of unleavened bread ~ the week after the *Passover when the *Israelites ate flat bread. ĎUnleavenedí means Ďwithout yeastí. (Yeast causes bread to rise as it bakes.)

glory ~ great honour and beauty.

grasshopper ~ an insect.

Greek ~ the language of the country called Greece. There is an ancient translation of the *Old Testament in the Greek language.

harp ~ a musical instrument that has many strings.

Hebrew ~ the language of *Israel. The *Jews wrote most of the *Old Testament in Hebrew.

incense ~ something that gives a sweet smell when it burns. The priests burned it when they praised God in the *temple.

Israel ~ Israel is the special name that God gave to Jacob. The people were called Israel because of him. So, Israel is the nation whose *ancestors were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The country that they live in is called Israel.

Israelites ~ the people whose *ancestors are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Sometimes in the text, it refers to the 10 *tribes in the north. Sometimes it refers to the two *tribes in the south. And often it refers to the 12 *tribes of *Israel.

ivory ~ a hard, white, bony material. It is precious and it comes from elephants.

Jews ~ another name for the *Israelites.

kilolitre ~ a quantity of liquid equal to 1000 litres. It is about 260 gallons.

kingdom ~ the place or territory where a king rules; or, the people that a king rules over; or the time for which a king rules.

lampstand ~ a special thing that holds lamps. There were 7 lamps on the lampstand in the *temple. The lamps burnt oil.

Levite ~ a person who belongs to the *tribe of Levi. They helped the priests.

lily/lilies ~ a kind of flower.

linen ~ a type of material that is like cotton. Linen is a very good quality material.

locust ~ an insect that eats agricultural crops.

LORD ~ ĎLORDí is the special name that God gave to himself. It means that God has always been.

Lord ~ a title for God, to show that he is over all people and things.

lord ~ someone with authority, such as the king.

lyre ~ a musical instrument with strings.

manna ~ the Ďbreadí that God provided to feed the *Israelites in the desert.

mules ~ animals like horses.

Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible; the holy things that the writers wrote before Jesusí birth.

olive ~ a fruit from which we get olive oil. It grows on an olive tree.

oxen ~ large and strong animals that farmers used to pull the plough. Another word for oxen is bulls.

palm ~ a tree.

Passover ~ a special *feast when the *Jews remember how God brought them out of Egypt.

Pentecost ~ a special *feast to thank God for the harvest of grain.

Philistines ~ people who lived to the south and west of Judah. They were a nation that fought against the *Israelites.

pine ~ a tree.

pomegranate ~ a fruit which had lots of seeds in it.

prophecy ~ a message from God; a gift of the Holy Spirit.

prophet ~ person who speaks on behalf of God. He or she can sometimes say what will happen in the future. Some prophets *worshipped false gods. So, not all prophets spoke words from God.

repent ~ to change the mind; to turn away from *sin and to *turn to God.

Sabbath ~ The Sabbath was the 7th day of the week, that is, Saturday. God told the *Israelites to keep this day as a special day. He said that they must not work on that day. They should *worship God instead.

sacrifice ~ something that people give to God. If it was an animal, the priests would burn all or part of it on an *altar. That was to say thank you to God. People also offered sacrifices when they asked God to forgive their *sins. Jesus died as a sacrifice for our *sins. To sacrifice is to give a sacrifice.

salvation ~ rescue from *sin or from enemies.

scroll ~ a very long piece of paper or other material that people wrote on; they fixed it round two pieces of wood.

shekel ~ equal to 0.4 ounces (11 grams) in weight.

shield ~ soldiers carried shields in their hands for protection in battle; they were like covers to protect the body from swords or from other *weapons. Solomonís shields of gold were probably not for use in war.

sin ~ when we do not obey God. To sin is to do wrong, bad or evil deeds and not to obey God. Those who sin are called sinners.

spice ~ a vegetable substance with a sweet flavour or a strong smell. People use spices in food or in *incense.

storeroom ~ a room that people keep stores in.

sycamore ~ a tree.

talent ~ equal to 75 pounds or 34 kilos in weight.

temple ~ a special building for the *worship of God or other gods. The *Jews had one in Jerusalem for the *worship of the real God.

throne ~ the special chair for the king. Sometimes this word is a word picture for the rule of that king and his *descendants.

tribe ~ The 12 families of the sons of Jacob became the 12 tribes of *Israel.

trumpet ~ a musical instrument; it makes a sound when a person blows into it.

turn ~ to decide to support someone. Or, to decide to oppose someone. If a person Ďturns away from Godí, that person decides not to be loyal to God. If a person Ďturns to Godí, that person decides to be loyal to God.

unleavened bread ~ people do not use yeast to make this kind of bread. (Yeast causes bread to rise as it bakes.)

vision ~ a sort of dream that God shows to someone but they may not be asleep.

weapon ~ a tool of war; people use it in attack or in defence when in a fight (like a sword or a gun).

worship ~ to praise God and to give thanks to him; to show honour to God; to say that we love him very much; or, what we do when we worship. But some people worship false gods instead of the real God.

Book List

Albert Barnesís Notes on the Bible ~ www.swordsearcher.com

John Gillís Exposition of the Entire Bible

Adam Clarkeís Commentary on the Bible

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary ~ Zondervan Classic Reference Series

Martin J Selman ~ 2 Chronicles: An Introduction and Survey ~ Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries

H G M Williamson ~ 1 And 2 Chronicles ~ The New Century Bible Commentary

J Barton Payne ~ The Expositorís Bible Commentary

William Wilson ~ Old Testament Word Studies

Dr William Smith ~ Concise Dictionary of the Bible

John Bright ~ A History of Israel

Bernhard W Anderson ~ The Living World of the Old Testament

Bibles ~ NIV, RSV, NRSV, NCV, ASV, CEV, GNB, GW, KJV, LITV, MKJV.

 

© 2011-2012, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).

June 2012

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