1 Kings 9

The Lord appears again to Solomon

1 Solomon had finished building the temple of the Lord and the king's palace. He had built everything that he had wanted to build. 2 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon.

9:2The Lord appeared to Solomon the first time in 1 Kings 3:5.

3 The Lord said to Solomon,

‘I have heard what you have prayed to me. And what you have asked me. I have made this temple special, which you have built. I have put my Name on it for all time. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

9:3‘Put my Name on it’ means ‘I will be there’. ‘For all time’ means ‘for always’. Perhaps ‘my eyes’ means ‘I will watch it’. And perhaps ‘my heart’ means ‘I will think about it’.

4 I will do good things for you, if you will do these things:

Be my servant, as your father David was my servant.

Do everything that I ask you to do.

5 Then I will make someone from your family king over Israel for all time. This is what I promised to your father David. “You will never fail to have a man from your family on the throne of Israel.” 6 But you and your sons must not turn away from me. You must not become servants of other gods and you must not worship them. You must not refuse to obey the laws and rules that I have given you. 7 If you do, I will remove Israel from their country. It is the country that I have given to them. Also, I will destroy this temple that I have made special for my Name. Israel will then become something that people say bad things about. They will all laugh at Israel. 8 This temple now is really beautiful. Then, everyone that sees it will be surprised. They will think that it seems very bad to look at. They will laugh about it! They will ask, “Why has the Lord done this to this country and to this temple?” 9 And people will answer, “He has done it because they have not obeyed the Lord their God. He brought their ancestors out of Egypt. But they have chosen other gods. They have become their servants and they worship them. That is why the Lord has caused such bad things to happen to them and to their temple.” ’

9:5‘On the throne’ means ‘to be king’.

Other things that Solomon did

10 Solomon was building the temple of the Lord and the king's palace for 20 years. After this, 11 he gave 20 towns in Galilee to Hiram, the king of Tyre. He did this because Hiram had given him all that he needed. Solomon had given him cedar and pine wood and gold. 12 So Hiram went from Tyre to Galilee, to see the towns that Solomon had given to him. But Hiram was not happy with them. 13 ‘These are not very good towns that you have given to me, my dear friend!’ he said. Hiram called them the Land of Cabul. They are still called that today. 14 Hiram had sent to king Solomon 120 talents of gold.

9:13‘Cabul’ sounds like a Hebrew word that means ‘like nothing’. The towns were near Tyre. Maybe Solomon was deciding the border between Israel and Tyre. Hiram thought that the towns were ‘like nothing’, or ‘they had no worth’. We do not know why Hiram thought that.

15 Solomon caused slaves to work for him. They built the Lord's temple, Solomon's palace, the Millo and the wall round Jerusalem. They also built the towns called Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. 16 Pharaoh was the king of Egypt. He had attacked Gezer and it had become his. He had burnt it. He had killed the Canaanites that lived there. He gave it as a gift to his daughter, when she married Solomon. 17 So Solomon built Gezer again. He also built the town called Lower Beth Horon. 18 He also built Baalath and Tadmor. They were in his country, in places where there was much sand. 19 And Solomon built cities and towns where he could store things. He also kept his chariots and horses in them. He built everything that he wanted to build, in Jerusalem, Lebanon and everywhere in his kingdom. 20 Some people who were not Israelites lived in Israel. They were called Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 21 The Israelites had not been able to remove all of these people. So Solomon made them his slaves, as they still are today. 22 But Solomon did not make any of the Israelites into slaves. They became his soldiers, and they became the people in his government. Some of the soldiers were army leaders. Other soldiers told the people that drove chariots what to do.

9:16The Canaanites were the people that lived in Israel many years before. The other people who were living in Israel are in verse 20. Joshua did not kill all the people that lived in Canaan. Canaan was the old name for Israel. We can read about that in the Book of Joshua.

23 And 550 people were leaders of the people that built things for Solomon. They told the men that did the work what to do.

24 Pharaoh's daughter came up from where she lived in the City of David. She came up to the palace that Solomon had built for her. After this, he built walls round it. People could walk on the walls.

25 Three times every year Solomon offered sacrifices. He offered sacrifices that he burned and friendly sacrifices. He did this on the altar that he had built for the Lord. He burned incense to the Lord with everybody else. In this way, he did what he had to do in the temple of the Lord.

9:25The sacrifices are in the first few chapters of Leviticus.

26 King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber. This place is near Elath in Edom. It is by the Red Sea. 27 Hiram had sailors who knew about the sea. He sent these men to sail with Solomon's sailors. 28 They sailed to Ophir and they brought back 420 talents of gold. They gave it to King Solomon.