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1 Kings 9

The Lord Gives Solomon a Promise and a Warning

9:1 After Solomon finished building the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and all the other construction projects he had planned, 1  9:2 the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, in the same way he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 2  9:3 The Lord said to him, “I have answered 3  your prayer and your request for help that you made to me. I have consecrated this temple you built by making it my permanent home; 4  I will be constantly present there. 5  9:4 You must serve me with integrity and sincerity, just as your father David did. Do everything I commanded and obey my rules and regulations. 6  9:5 Then I will allow your dynasty to rule over Israel permanently, 7  just as I promised your father David, ‘You will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 8 

9:6 “But if you or your sons ever turn away from me, fail to obey the regulations and rules I instructed you to keep, 9  and decide to serve and worship other gods, 10  9:7 then I will remove Israel from the land 11  I have given them, I will abandon this temple I have consecrated with my presence, 12  and Israel will be mocked and ridiculed 13  among all the nations. 9:8 This temple will become a heap of ruins; 14  everyone who passes by it will be shocked and will hiss out their scorn, 15  saying, ‘Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple?’ 9:9 Others will then answer, 16  ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God, who led their ancestors 17  out of Egypt. They embraced other gods whom they worshiped and served. 18  That is why the Lord has brought all this disaster down on them.’”

Foreign Affairs and Building Projects

9:10 After twenty years, during which Solomon built the Lord’s temple and the royal palace, 19  9:11 King Solomon gave King Hiram of Tyre 20  twenty cities in the region of Galilee, because Hiram had supplied Solomon with cedars, evergreens, and all the gold he wanted. 9:12 When Hiram went out from Tyre to inspect the cities Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. 21  9:13 Hiram asked, 22  “Why did you give me these cities, my friend 23 ?” He called that area the region of Cabul, a name which it has retained to this day. 24  9:14 Hiram had sent to the king one hundred twenty talents 25  of gold.

9:15 Here are the details concerning the work crews 26  King Solomon conscripted 27  to build the Lord’s temple, his palace, the terrace, the wall of Jerusalem, 28  and the cities of 29  Hazor, 30  Megiddo, 31  and Gezer. 9:16 (Pharaoh, king of Egypt, had attacked and captured Gezer. He burned it and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city. He gave it as a wedding present to his daughter, who had married Solomon.) 9:17 Solomon built up Gezer, lower Beth Horon, 9:18 Baalath, Tadmor in the wilderness, 32  9:19 all the storage cities that belonged to him, 33  and the cities where chariots and horses were kept. 34  He built whatever he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and throughout his entire kingdom. 35  9:20 Now several non-Israelite peoples were left in the land after the conquest of Joshua, including the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 36  9:21 Their descendants remained in the land (the Israelites were unable to wipe them out completely). Solomon conscripted them for his work crews, and they continue in that role to this very day. 37  9:22 Solomon did not assign Israelites to these work crews; 38  the Israelites served as his soldiers, attendants, officers, charioteers, and commanders of his chariot forces. 39  9:23 These men were also in charge of Solomon’s work projects; there were a total of 550 men who supervised the workers. 40  9:24 Solomon built the terrace as soon as Pharaoh’s daughter moved up from the city of David 41  to the palace Solomon built for her. 42 

9:25 Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings 43  on the altar he had built for the Lord, burning incense along with them before the Lord. He made the temple his official worship place. 44 

9:26 King Solomon also built ships 45  in Ezion Geber, which is located near Elat in the land of Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea. 9:27 Hiram sent his fleet and some of his sailors, who were well acquainted with the sea, to serve with Solomon’s men. 46  9:28 They sailed 47  to Ophir, took from there four hundred twenty talents 48  of gold, and then brought them to King Solomon.

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1 tn Heb “and all the desire of Solomon which he wanted to do.”

2 sn In the same way he had appeared to him at Gibeon. See 1 Kgs 3:5.

3 tn Heb “I have heard.”

4 tn Heb “by placing my name there perpetually” (or perhaps, “forever”).

5 tn Heb “and my eyes and my heart will be there all the days.”

6 tn Heb “As for you, if you walk before me, as David your father walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, by doing all which I commanded you, [and] you keep my rules and my regulations.” Verse 4 is actually a lengthy protasis (“if” section) of a conditional sentence, the apodosis (“then” section) of which appears in v. 5.

7 tn Heb “I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever.”

8 tn Heb “there will not be cut off from you a man from upon the throne of Israel.”

9 tn Heb “which I placed before you.”

10 tn Heb “and walk and serve other gods and bow down to them.”

11 tn Heb “I will cut off Israel from upon the surface of the land.”

12 tn Heb “and the temple which I consecrated for my name I will send away from before my face.”

sn Instead of “I will send away,” the parallel text in 2 Chr 7:20 has “I will throw away.” The two verbs sound very similar in Hebrew, so the discrepancy is likely due to an oral transmissional error.

13 tn Heb “will become a proverb and a taunt,” that is, a proverbial example of destruction and an object of reproach.

14 tn Heb “and this house will be high [or elevated].” The statement makes little sense in this context, which predicts the desolation that judgment will bring. Some treat the clause as concessive, “Even though this temple is lofty [now].” Others, following the lead of several ancient versions, emend the text to, “this temple will become a heap of ruins.”

15 tn Heb “hiss,” or perhaps “whistle.” This refers to a derisive sound one would make when taunting an object of ridicule.

16 tn Heb “and they will say.”

17 tn Heb “fathers.”

18 tn Heb “and they took hold of other gods and bowed down to them and served them.”

19 tn Heb “the two houses, the house of the Lord and the house of the king.”

20 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

21 tn Heb “they were not agreeable in his eyes.”

22 tn Heb “and he said.”

23 tn Heb “my brother.” Kings allied through a parity treaty would sometimes address each other as “my brother.” See 1 Kgs 20:32-33.

24 tn Heb “he called them the land of Cabul to this day.” The significance of the name is unclear, though it appears to be disparaging. The name may be derived from a root, attested in Akkadian and Arabic, meaning “bound” or “restricted.” Some propose a wordplay, pointing out that the name “Cabul” sounds like a Hebrew phrase meaning, “like not,” or “as good as nothing.”

25 tn The Hebrew term כִּכָּר (kikkar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or to a standard unit of weight, generally regarded as a talent. Since the accepted weight for a talent of metal is about 75 pounds, this would have amounted to about 9,000 pounds of gold (cf. NCV, NLT); CEV “five tons”; TEV “4,000 kilogrammes.”

26 sn The work crews. This Hebrew word מַס (mas) refers to a group of laborers conscripted for royal or public service.

27 tn Heb “raised up.”

28 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

29 tn The words “the cities of” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

30 map For location see Map1 D2; Map2 D3; Map3 A2; Map4 C1.

31 map For location see Map1 D4; Map2 C1; Map4 C2; Map5 F2; Map7 B1.

32 tn The Hebrew text has “in the wilderness, in the land.”

33 tn Heb “to Solomon.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

34 tn Heb “the cities of the chariots and the cities of the horses.”

35 tn Heb “and the desire of Solomon which he desired to build in Jerusalem and in Lebanon and in all the land of his kingdom.”

36 tn Heb “all the people who were left from the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not from the sons of Israel.”

37 tn Heb “their sons who were left after them in the land, whom the sons of Israel were unable to wipe out, and Solomon raised them up for a crew of labor to this day.”

38 sn These work crews. The work crews referred to here must be different than the temporary crews described in 5:13-16.

39 tn Heb “officers of his chariots and his horses.”

40 tn Heb “these [were] the officials of the governors who were over the work belonging to Solomon, five hundred fifty, the ones ruling over the people, the ones doing the work.”

41 sn The phrase city of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.

42 tn Heb “As soon as Pharaoh’s daughter went up from the city of David to her house which he built for her, then he built the terrace.”

43 tn Or “tokens of peace”; NIV, TEV “fellowship offerings.”

44 tn Heb “and he made complete the house.”

45 tn Or “a fleet” (in which case “ships” would be implied).

46 tn Heb “and Hiram sent with the fleet his servants, men of ships, [who] know the sea, [to be] with the servants of Solomon.”

47 tn Heb “went.”

48 tn The Hebrew term כִּכָּר (kikkar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or to a standard unit of weight, generally regarded as a talent. Since the accepted weight for a talent of metal is about 75 pounds, this would have amounted to about 31,500 pounds of gold (cf. NCV); CEV, NLT “sixteen tons”; TEV “more than 14,000 kilogrammes.”

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