2 Chronicles 9

The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon

1 The Queen of Sheba heard news that Solomon was a great king. So she came to ask Solomon some difficult questions to see how wise he was. She arrived at Jerusalem with a big group of servants. She had many camels that carried spices. They also carried a lot of gold and valuable jewels. When she came to Solomon, she talked to him about everything that was in her mind. 2 Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing that was too difficult for him to explain to her. 3 The Queen of Sheba saw that Solomon was very wise. She saw the palace that he had built. 4 She saw all the food that he ate in his palace. She saw all his servants and officers and their beautiful clothes. She saw the servants who prepared his food and wine. She saw the burnt offerings that he offered in the Lord's temple. All these things caused her to hold her breath in surprise.

9:3See 1 Kings 3:9.

5 She said to the king, ‘In my own country I heard news about your wisdom and about all the things that you had done. Everything that I heard was true! 6 But I did not believe those things until I came here. Now I have seen everything with my own eyes, and it is true! Really, they told me less than half of what was true! You are even wiser than the report that people told me. 7 God has blessed your people and your officers! They are always with you, and they can listen to your wise words. 8 So we should praise the Lord your God! He is happy with you and he has chosen you to rule Israel on his behalf. Your God will continue to love Israel for ever, and he will always make them strong. So he has made you king to rule them in a fair and honest way.’

9 The Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon more than four tons of gold, a lot of spices and many valuable jewels. Nobody has ever brought such a great number of spices as she gave to the king.

10 King Hiram's men had brought gold from Ophir. King Solomon's men had helped them to do this. They also brought very good wood, and valuable jewels. 11 The king used the wood to make steps for the Lord's temple and for the king's palace. He also used it to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nobody had ever seen things like those in Judah.

12 King Solomon gave to the Queen of Sheba everything that she wanted. He gave more things to her than she had brought to him. Then she left with all her servants and she returned to her own country.

Solomon's riches

13 Solomon received 25 tons of gold each year. 14 He also received money from traders and from people who travelled to buy things. The kings of Arabia and the rulers of each region in Israel also brought gold and silver to Solomon.

15 King Solomon's workers used gold to make 200 large shields. They hit the gold with hammers to make it flat. They used about four kilograms of gold to cover each shield. 16 They also made 300 small shields in the same way. They used about 2 kilograms of gold to cover each shield. He put these shields in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.

9:16See 1 Kings 7:2-5.

17 The king used ivory to make a large throne. He covered it with pure gold. 18 There were six steps up to the throne. They fixed a gold box to the throne for the king to put his feet on. On both sides of the seat there were places to put his arms. An image of a lion stood on each side of the throne. 19 There were 12 more images of lions on the six steps. There was one lion at each end of every step. There was no throne like it in any other kingdom. 20 They used gold to make all King Solomon's cups that he drank from. In the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon, all the dishes and other things were made with gold. They used pure gold. They did not make anything with silver. In Solomon's time, people did not think that silver was very valuable. 21 The king had many large ships that King Hiram's men could sail across the seas. Every three years they returned to Solomon with their loads. They brought to him gold, silver and ivory. They also brought apes and monkeys.

9:21There was no sea at Jerusalem, so Solomon kept his ships with King Hiram. Hiram lived in Tyre, on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea.
9:21‘monkeys’ or ‘peacocks’. ‘Apes’ are animals like big monkeys. Peacocks are beautiful birds.

22 King Solomon was richer and wiser than any other king in the world. 23 The kings of every nation in the world wanted to talk to Solomon. They wanted to listen to the wisdom that God had given to him. 24 Every year, people who came to visit Solomon brought him gifts. They brought things that were made from silver and gold, as well as clothes, weapons, spices, horses and mules.

25 Solomon had places to keep 4,000 horses that pulled his chariots. He also had 12,000 horses. He kept them in the cities that he had chosen for this and also in Jerusalem where he lived. 26 He ruled over all the kings around Israel, from the Euphrates river as far as the Philistines' country and the border of Egypt. 27 While Solomon ruled as king, there was as much silver in Jerusalem as stones! There was as much wood from cedar trees as there were fig trees that grew in the low hills in the west. 28 People brought horses to Solomon from Egypt and from all the other countries.

Solomon dies

29 People wrote down everything else that Solomon did while he ruled as king, from the beginning to the end. The prophet Nathan wrote them down in his book. The prophet Ahijah who came from Shiloh also wrote them down. The prophet Iddo also wrote about them in his book of the visions that he saw about Nebat's son Jeroboam. 30 Solomon ruled over all Israel for 40 years while he lived in Jerusalem. 31 Then he died. They buried him with his ancestors, in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam became king after him.