1 Kings

From the Greek Septuagint text as was used by First Century Christians.
Covering the period leading up to King David's death (about 1037-BCE)
and ending with the death of king JehoShaphat (around 944-BCE).

Chapter 1

1 King David had grown very old, and even when they wrapped him in [heavy] clothes he couldn't get warm. 2 So his servants said: 'Have them search for a young virgin girl who will wait on the king, treat him well, and lie with him… that will keep him warm.'

3 So they searched for a pretty young woman throughout the borders of IsraEl, and they found AbiSag the Somanite and brought her to the king. 4 The young woman was extremely beautiful, and she treated the king very well and served him; but he never [had sex] with her.

5 Meanwhile, AdoniJah (the son of [David's woman] AgGith) tried to elevate himself, saying, 'I will be the king!' So he prepared himself [by collecting] chariots and horses, and having fifty men run ahead of him. 6 And [David] never discouraged him or asked him why he was doing this.

AdoniJah was a very handsome man, to whom his mother had given birth after AbSalom.

7 Well, he went to meet with JoAb (the son of ZeruJah) and AbiAthar the Priest, and then they became his supporters. 8 However, neither the Priest SaDoc, nor BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda), nor the Prophet Nathan, nor Semei, nor Resi, nor any of David's mighty men supported AdoniJah.

9 Then AdoniJah went to the Rock of ZoeLethi (near RogEl) to sacrifice sheep, calves, and lambs, and he called for [most of] his brothers, the king's servants, and all the adult men of Judah… 10 but he didn't invite the Prophet Nathan, BanaYas, any of the mighty men, or his brother Solomon.

11 So Nathan went to BathSheba (Solomon's mother) and asked: 'Have you heard? AgGith's son AdoniJah has started ruling. However, our lord David doesn't know about it yet. 12 So, please allow me to offer you some council that will save your life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Hurry and go to King David, then say to him: O my lord the king; Didn't you swear to me (your handmaid) that my son Solomon would reign after you and sit on your throne? And if so, why is AdoniJah reigning? 14 Then, while you're still there speaking to the king, I'll come in after you and confirm what you're saying.'

15 As the result, BathSheba went to see the king in his bedroom.

Well, the king was very old, and AbiSag (the Somanite) was there serving him. 16 Then BathSheba bowed low before the king and he asked her: 'What do you want?'

17 And she replied: 'My lord; Didn't you swear to your handmaid by Jehovah your God, saying, Your son Solomon will reign after me and sit on my throne? 18 But look! AdoniJah has now started to rule, though you, my lord the king, don't know anything about this! 19 He has already sacrificed many calves, lambs, and sheep, and he has invited all of the king's sons, as well as AbiAthar the Priest and JoAb (the commander-in-chief of your army) to come with him. Of course, he didn't invite your servant Solomon. 20 So now, O my lord the king; all IsraEl is watching and waiting for you to tell them who will sit on your throne after you. 21 And as it presently stands; after my lord the king goes to sleep with his fathers, my son Solomon and I will be [in great jeopardy].'

22 Then {Look!} while she was still speaking to the king, the Prophet Nathan arrived, which was reported to the king with the words, 23 'Look, the Prophet Nathan has arrived.'

So Nathan went into the king's presence and bowed to him with his face to the ground, 24 then he said: 'My lord; O king; Did you say that AdoniJah will reign after you and sit on your throne? 25 For today he has gone to sacrifice many calves, lambs, and sheep, and he has invited all your sons, the chiefs of the army, and AbiAthar the Priest. Look! They're eating and drinking before him now, saying, Long live King AdoniJah! 26 But he didn't invite me (your servant), or the Priest SaDoc, or BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda), or your servant Solomon. 27 Has this matter been authorized by my lord the king, and have you failed to tell your servant who will succeed you on the throne?'

28 Then King David said: 'Call BathSheba back in.'

So she came in and stood before the king. 29 Then the king swore [an oath to her], saying: 'As Jehovah (who saved my life from all danger) lives, 30 and as I swore to you by Jehovah the God of IsraEl, saying, Your son Solomon will reign after me and sit on my throne after me, I'm saying the same thing today.'

31 And at that, BathSheba bowed low with her face to the ground, and said: 'May my lord King David live through the ages.'

32 Then King David said: 'Call SaDoc the Priest, the Prophet Nathan, and BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda) to me.' So they came in and stood before the king, 33 and the king said to them: 'Take my servants with you and mount my son Solomon on my personal mule, then take him to GiOn. 34 There SaDoc the Priest and the Prophet Nathan should anoint him to be the king over IsraEl. Then you must blow the trumpets and shout, Long live King Solomon! 35 For he will sit on my throne and be the ruler in place of me… I'm giving the order that he will now be the leader over IsraEl and Judah!'

36 Then BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda) said to the king: 'May it be so! May Jehovah, the God of my lord the king, make it so! 37 And as Jehovah was with my lord the king, may He be with Solomon… may He raise his throne even higher than the throne of my lord King David.'

38 So SaDoc the Priest, Nathan the Prophet, BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda), and the Cherethites and Phelethites went and mounted Solomon on King David's mule, and led him away to GiOn. 39 Then SaDoc took the horn of oil from the Sacred Tent, anointed Solomon with it, and blew the trumpets, as all the people started shouting, '[Long] live King Solomon!' 40 And thereafter, so many people came to him dancing and singing in joy that the ground literally shook with the sounds of their voices.

41 Well when AdoniJah and his guests heard all the commotion, they stopped eating. And when JoAb heard the trumpets being blown, he asked, 'Why is the whole city in such an uproar?'

42 Then, while he was still speaking, {Look!} JoNathan (the son of AbiAthar the Priest) came in. And AdoniJah said: 'Welcome! Since you're such a powerful man, you must be bringing good news!'

43 And JoNathan replied: 'It's true! For our lord King David has made Solomon the king! 44 He sent SaDoc the Priest, Nathan the Prophet, BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda), and the Cherethites and Phelethites, and they mounted him on the king's mule; 45 then they anointed him in GiOn. So the sounds that you're hearing from the city are the sounds of rejoicing! 46 For Solomon is now seated on the throne of the kingdom, 47 and the king's servants are going in to praise our lord King David, saying, May God make the name of Solomon even better than your name and his throne greater than your throne!

'Right now, the king is bowing before [God] from his bed and 48 saying: May Jehovah the God of IsraEl be praised, because today He has appointed one of my seed to sit on my throne while my eyes can still see it!'

49 Well at that, all the guests of AdoniJah were shocked… and then they just left. 50 And because AdoniJah was afraid of Solomon, he got up and walked out, then he went and grabbed hold of the horns on the Altar.

51 Well, when it was reported to Solomon that AdoniJah was afraid of him and that he was holding onto the horns of the Altar and saying, 'Let Solomon swear to me today that he won't kill his servant with his sword,' 52 Solomon said: 'If he's an honorable man, not a single hair will fall to the ground; but if he's evil, he will die.' 53 So King Solomon sent and had him brought back from the Altar. Then [AdoniJah] bowed low before King Solomon, and Solomon said to him: 'Now, just go back home!'

Chapter 2

1 Well, the time for David's death drew near, so he spoke to his son Solomon and said, 'I'm going the way of all on the earth. 2 Therefore, you must now be strong and prove that you're a man. 3 Follow the instructions of Jehovah your God, walk in His ways, and follow the Commandments, rules and decisions that are written in the Law of Moses, so you'll understand what you should do when it comes to all the things that I will tell you. 4 If you'll do this, Jehovah will make the thing that He promised come true, when He said, If your children will pay attention to the way that they should walk before Me wholeheartedly and in truth, there will never fail to be a man from you who sits on the throne of IsraEl.

5 'Now, you know all the things that JoAb (the son of ZeruJah) did to me and to the two generals of the army of IsraEl… to AbNer (the son of Ner), and to Amasa (the son of JeTher). He murdered them and shed their blood as in war, although we were at peace… he wrapped his waist and the sandals on his feet in innocent blood. 6 So, deal with him as your wisdom directs, and don't allow him to take his grey hair to the grave in peace.

7 'However, I want you to deal kindly with the sons of BarZelli the Gileadite… they should eat at your table, because they came to my aid when I had to run from your brother AbSalom.

8 'And {Look!} there is also Semei (the son of Gera – a BenJaminite of BaUrim) who is still among us. He had cursed me before he came down to the Jordan to meet me as I was returning to JeruSalem. Back then I swore to him by Jehovah that I wouldn't use the sword to put him to death. 9 However, he isn't free of guilt. Now, you're a wise man, and you know what you must do to him… you must take his grey hair to the grave covered in blood.'

10 Then shortly thereafter, David went to sleep with his ancestors, and was entombed in the city of David. 11 David had reigned over IsraEl for forty years… seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in JeruSalem. 12 But then Solomon came to sit upon the throne of his father David, and his kingdom became very great.

13 Well, [after David had died], AdoniJah (the son of AgGith) went to see BathSheba (Solomon's mother). He bowed before her, and then she asked: 'Have you come in peace?'

And he replied: 'Yes, in peace… 14 for I have some business with you.'

So she said: 'Then speak.'

15 And he said: 'You know that the kingdom was mine, because all IsraEl turned to me as their king. But the kingdom was taken from me and it became my brother's, because it was given to him by Jehovah. 16 So, I just want to ask one thing of you… and don't ignore me.'

Then BathSheba said: 'Keep talking.'

17 And he said to her: 'I beg you to speak to King Solomon, because he won't ignore you. Ask him to give AbiSag the Somanite to me, to be my woman.'

18 And BathSheba said: 'Well, I'll speak to the king for you.'

19 So BathSheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of AdoniJah.

Well, the king arose to meet her, kissed her, then he sat down on his throne and he had a throne placed there for the mother of the king, so she sat down at his right hand. 20 Then she said to him: 'I would like to make one little request… and please don't ignore me.'

So the king said: 'Ask, my mother, and I won't ignore you.'

21 And she said: 'Please give AbiSag the Somanite to your brother AdoniJah as his woman.'

22 At that, King Solomon asked her: 'Why are you asking me to give AbiSag to AdoniJah? You could ask me to give him the kingdom also, because he's my older brother… and his friends are the Priest AbiAthar and my commander-in-chief, JoAb (the son of ZeruJah).'

23 Then King Solomon swore an oath by Jehovah, saying: 'May God curse me and add to it if AdoniJah hasn't spoken these words against his own life. 24 For now, as Jehovah lives (the One who established me, set me on the throne of my father David, and made me a house just as the Lord had promised); AdoniJah will die today!'

25 So King Solomon sent out BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda) to kill him, and AdoniJah died that day.

26 Then the king said to AbiAthar the Priest: 'You must quickly return to your farm in AnathOth, because you also deserve to die today. However, I'm not going to kill you, because you carried Jehovah's Chest of the Sacred Agreement before my father, and because you also shared in all the sufferings of my father.'

27 So Solomon removed AbiAthar as the Priest of Jehovah, which fulfilled the words that the Lord had spoken at Salem concerning the house of Eli.

28 Well, when the news of this reached JoAb (the son of ZeruJah) – because he had supported AdoniJah (not Solomon) – he ran to the Tent of Jehovah and grabbed hold of the horns on the Altar.

29 Then when Solomon was told that JoAb had fled to the Tent of Jehovah and he was hanging onto the horns of the Altar, he sent [a message] to JoAb, asking, 'What's wrong with you? Why have you fled to the Altar?'

And JoAb replied: 'I fled to Jehovah for refuge because I'm afraid of you!'

So Solomon told BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda) to go and kill him, then bury him.

30 Well when BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda) reached JoAb at the Tent of Jehovah, he said to him: ' The king commands you to come away from there!'

But JoAb said: 'I'm not coming… for I'd rather die here!'

Well thereafter, BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda) returned to the king and told him what JoAb said, 31 and the king told him: 'Then go and do what he told you to do… kill him, and then bury him! That way, you'll remove the blood that he shed for no reason from me and from the house of my father. 32 For Jehovah has brought the blood of his unrighteousness down on his own head, because he attacked two men who were more righteous and better than himself, killing them with his sword… though my father David was unaware that he would kill AbNer (the son of Ner) the commander-in-chief of IsraEl, and Amesa (the son of Jether) the commander-in-chief of Judah. 33 Now their blood is on his head and on the head of his seed through the ages. But upon David, his seed, and his house and throne, may there be peace from Jehovah through the ages.

34 So BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda) went back and killed him, and then he turned his house in the desert into his tomb.

35 Thereafter, the king appointed BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda) to be the commander-in-chief of his army, and his kingship became firm in JeruSalem. As for SaDoc the Priest; the king appointed him as the High Priest in place of AbiAthar.

So Solomon (the son of David) reigned over IsraEl and Judah from JeruSalem, and Jehovah gave Solomon as much wisdom, understanding, and greatness of heart as there is sand on the seashores. For the wisdom of Solomon was greater than that of all the ancient peoples, and it was far greater than the wise men of Egypt.

36 Then the king called for Semei and said to him: 'You may build yourself a house in JeruSalem and live there… However, you must not leave it! 37 For I want you to know that on the day you cross the Cedar (Kidron) Valley you're going to die, and your blood will be on your own head.'

38 And Semei said to the king: 'What you've said is good, O my lord the king… and that's what your servant will do.' Then the king made him swear an oath to this.

So Semei lived in JeruSalem for the next three years. 39 But after the three years, two of his slaves ran away (to Anchus, the son of MaAcha, the king of Geth). And when Semei was told that his slaves were in Geth, 40 he saddled his burros and went to Anchus in Geth to bring his slaves back. 41 But when Solomon was told that Semei had left JeruSalem and gone to Geth to bring back his slaves, 42 the king sent for Semei and said to him: 'Didn't you swear by Jehovah, and didn't I warn you that if you left JeruSalem (whether to the right or the left) you will surely die? 43 So, why haven't you kept your oath to Jehovah and followed the instructions that I gave you?'

44 Then the king told Semei: 'In your heart you know of all the bad things you've done, and of the bad things that you did to my father David. So now, Jehovah is bringing your badness down upon your own head, 45 while King Solomon will be blest and the throne of David will be established before Jehovah through the ages.'

46 Then Solomon commanded BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda) to take him out and kill him.

Chapter 3

1 Well under Solomon, the kingdom was united.

Then Solomon contracted a marriage with PharaOh, the king of Egypt. He took the daughter of PharaOh and brought her to the city of David. He did this after he had completed building his palace, the Temple of Jehovah, and after building the wall around JeruSalem.

2 Now, before the Temple was built, the people had been burning incense [to Jehovah] in the high places. 3 And since Solomon loved Jehovah (and because he was following the orders of his father David), he also offered his sacrifices and burnt incense there. 4 So at the time, Solomon got up and went to GibeOn to offer sacrifices (since that was the highest place), where he had a thousand whole burnt offerings placed on the Altar. 5 And there, the Lord appeared to Solomon while he was sleeping that night, and said to him: 'Solomon; Ask for whatever you wish for yourself.'

6 And Solomon replied: 'You've shown great mercy to your servant, my father David, and he walked with You in truth, justice, and with a pure heart. Then You guarded him and showed him great mercy by allowing his son to sit upon his throne, which has come true today. 7 And now, O Jehovah my God; though You have appointed Your servant in place of my father David, I'm still just a boy who doesn't know when to enter or when to leave. 8 Yet Your servant [now rules] in the midst of this mighty [nation] that You've chosen, which has [so many people] that they can't be counted. 9 So, please give your servant a heart to listen, to make [wise] decisions for Your people in justice, and to recognize the difference between what's good and what's bad. For, who can bear the weight of such judgments?

10 Well, this thing that Solomon asked of Jehovah was pleasing to Him, 11 so He replied: 'Because you have asked this thing from Me, and you didn't ask for a long life, or for wealth, or for the lives of your enemies, and all you asked for yourself is the understanding to judge righteously; 12 {Look!} I have done what you asked. {Look!} I'm giving you an intelligent and wise heart… there has never been anyone before you, nor will there ever be anyone who will arise after you that will be like you. 13 And I'm also giving you the things that you didn't ask for… including wealth and glory; for there has never been a king like you. 14 And if you will do things My way and obey My Commandments and instructions, as did your father David, I will also grant you a long life.'

15 Well, after Solomon awoke, he remembered the dream. Then he got up and returned to JeruSalem; and there he went and stood before the Altar, which was in front of the Chest of the Sacred Agreement of Jehovah in Zion. Then he sacrificed whole burnt offerings and peace offerings, and he held a great banquet for himself and all his servants.

16 It was sometime thereafter that two women who were prostitutes came to stand before the king for a [judgment]. 17 One of the women said, 'Hear me, my lord! This woman and I both live in the same house, and we both gave birth to [sons] there. 18 It was three days after I gave birth that this woman also gave birth in the same place while no one else was around… there was just the two of us in the house. 19 Then this woman's son died during the night when she rolled over on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my arms and put him to her breasts; then she took her son that had died and laid him at my breasts. 21 Well, when I got up in the morning to nurse my son, I saw the one that had died; but I studied him and realized that this wasn't my son to whom I had given birth.'

22 But then the other woman shouted: 'That isn't true! My son is the one that's living, and hers is the one that's dead!'

23 Then the king said to her: 'So you're saying that the living son is yours, and the dead one is hers. And she's saying that isn't true; hers is the living son and yours is the one that is dead.' 24 So the king said, 'Bring me a sword!' And they brought him a sword. 25 Then he said, 'Cut this living, nursing child in halves, and give half to this one and the other half to that one!'

26 Well, the real mother of the living son spoke to the king, because she was disturbed to the womb about what was going to happen to her son. So she said: 'Hear me, O lord! Give the child to her… don't kill him!'

But the other [woman] said: 'May he be neither mine nor hers… cut him in two!'

27 Then the king said: 'I'm giving the child to the woman who said, Give it to her, don't kill him, because she's his mother.'

28 Well, all IsraEl soon came to hear of this decision of the king, and they were in fear whenever they were in his presence; for they knew that the intelligence of God was in him, and that justice would prevail.

Chapter 4

1 Back when King Solomon was reigning in IsraEl, 2 these are the men who were with him and who were in charge:
Š AzariAh (the son of ZaDok) was the [High] Priest
Š 3 EliAm and AhiJah (the sons of Saba) were his scribes
Š JehoShaphat (the son AchiLud) was the recorder
Š 4 BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda) was the commander-in-chief of the army
Š ZaDok and AbiAthar were the Priests
Š 5 AzariAh (the son of Nathan) directed his staff
Š ZaboUth (the son of Nathan) was the king's right-hand man
Š 6 AciSar was his manager
Š EliAb (the son of Saph) was over his family
Š AdoniRam (the son of AphDon) was in charge of the tributes.

7 So Solomon assigned twelve men over all IsraEl to handle matters for him and his house.

8 Then there were others who were assigned to [bring the things that Solomon required] for just one month each year, and these are their names:
Š The son of Or was responsible in the mountains of Ephraim
Š 9 The son of DaKar was responsible in MachEmas, SalaBin, BethSamus, AiLon, and BethAnan
Š 10 The son of Esdi was responsible in ArabOth, SochOth, and all the land of Opher
Š 11 The son of AmiNadab (who was married to Solomon's daughter) was responsible in all of NephthaDor and TephAth
Š 12 BaAna (the son of AchiLouth) was responsible in IthAnak, MegidDo, and over the whole house of San near SesaThan and below EsraE, from BethSan to SebelMaula, to MaEber and Lucam
Š 13 The son of Gaber from Gilead was over a piece of measured land around EreGaba (which is in BaShan) and which included sixty great walled cities that were [protected by] bronze bars
Š 14 AchiNadab (the son of SadDo) was responsible in MaAnaim
Š 15 AchimaAs (who was married to Solomon's daughter BasEmath) was responsible in [the land of] NaphTali
Š 16 BaAnah (the son HushAi) was in charge of BaAlOth and [the land of] Asher
Š 17 JehoShaphat (the son ParuAh) was responsible in [the land of] IsSachar
Š 18 Shemei (the son of ElAh) was responsible in [the land of] BenJamin
Š 19 Gaber (the son Adai) was responsible in the land of GileAd, [the land of] Seon (the king of HeshBon), [the land of] Og (the king of BaShan), and [the land of] NaSeb (in the land of Judah).

20 Now, Judah and IsraEl had grown so large that [their people] were as the sands of the seas in number, and they all ate, drank, and rejoiced; 21 for Solomon was the ruler in all their kingdoms from the river in the land of the Philistines to the borders of Egypt. They also brought Solomon many gifts, and they served him throughout all the days of his life.

22 Now, these are the things that Solomon required at his table each day:
Š Two hundred bushels of fine flour,
Š Four hundred bushels of beaten flour,
Š 23 Ten choice calves,
Š Twenty grass-fed oxen,
Š A hundred sheep, as well as well-fed male and female antelope.

24 Solomon was also the ruler of all the land on the [east] side of the [Jordan], and there was peace throughout the whole country. 25 [So, during all the days of Solomon, the people] in Judah and IsraEl (from Dan to BeerSheba) harvested their own grapevines and [lived] under their own fig trees.

26 Now, Solomon had forty thousand breeding horses for his chariots and twelve thousand horsemen.

27 Those whom he put in charge brought the things that were required to the king's table (each one in his own month) did just as they were told and they didn't change a word. 28 They brought barley and hay for the horses, and they took the chariots wherever the king needed them and arranged for them to be.

29 Well, Jehovah gave intelligence and great wisdom to Solomon, and it kept growing in his heart like the sands of the seas. 30 Solomon's intelligence grew greater than that of all the men of ancient times, including all the wise men of Egypt… 31 his understanding was greater than everyone, so he was wiser than GaitThan the Zarite, or AiNan, or ChalKal, or DarDa (the sons of Mal).

32 Solomon spoke three thousand parables and [wrote] five thousand songs. 33 He spoke of the cedars of Lebanon, of the hyssop, and of [plants that grow] through walls. He spoke about cattle, flying creatures, things that crawl, and about things that live in the water… 34 and people everywhere on earth would come to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Also, all their kings, when they heard of his wisdom, would bring him gifts.

Chapter 5

1 Then HiRam, the king of Tyre sent his servants to anoint Solomon in place of his father David; for HiRam loved David throughout his life.

2 And Solomon sent [a message] to HiRam, saying, 3 'You know that my father David was unable to build a [Temple] to the Name of my God Jehovah, because he was fighting the wars that were going on around him, until Jehovah put his enemies under the soles of his feet. 4 And now, my God Jehovah has provided rest for me all around [my land], for there are no more plotters or wicked people near me. 5 So now I'm talking about building a [Temple] to the Name of my God, for He had said to my father David: Your son whom I will put on your throne after you will build a [Temple] to My Name.

6 'Therefore, have your men cut some timber for me from the trees in Lebanon, and I'll pay whatever you ask for their wages. {Look!} I'll also send my servants to go with your servants. For no one understands timber cutting better than the Sidonians.'

7 Well when HiRam received Solomon's message, he was overjoyed and said: 'May the God who gave David such an intelligent son to rule over this great people be praised today!'

8 So he sent [a message] to Solomon replying: 'I've heard everything that you asked of me, and I will send all the pine and cedar lumber that you've requested. 9 My servants will cut it in Lebanon, carry it to the sea, and haul it all on barges to wherever you tell me to drop it off… you can carry it on from there. All I ask in return is that you send some loaves of bread for my house.'

10 So HiRam gave Solomon all the cedars and pines that he wanted. 11 And Solomon sent HiRam one hundred-and-thirty thousand bushels of wheat, and a hundred-and-twenty thousand gallons of beaten olive oil for his house. In fact, he sent that amount to HiRam every year after that.

12 Well, Jehovah gave Solomon all the wisdom that he had asked for, and there was peace between HiRam and Solomon, for they'd concluded a treaty between them. 13 And the king sent him (as a tribute from all IsraEl) thirty thousand men… 14 he would send ten thousand of them to Lebanon each month in rotation, and they would spend a month in Lebanon, then two months at home. AdoniRam was the person whom he'd put in charge of this tribute.

15 Meanwhile, Solomon had seventy thousand laborers and eighty thousand stonecutters [working] in the mountains. 16 And in addition to those whom Solomon placed in charge of his construction project, he had three thousand, six hundred supervisors on the job, 17 whom the king had instructed to set huge, valuable stone blocks in place as the foundations for the building. 18 Also, the sons of Solomon and HiRam [were in charge of] assembling everything after the blocks and timbers were cut (which took three years).

Chapter 6

1 It was four hundred and [eighty] years after the sons of IsraEl left Egypt (in the fourth year and second month of King Solomon's reign over IsraEl) that the Temple of Jehovah [started to be built]. 2 It was ninety feet long, thirty feet wide, and thirty feet tall. 3 The Temple had a columned front entryway that was about thirty feet deep and it was as wide as the building. 4 There was also a window in the Temple that was hidden because it leaned inward, 5 and there was an eve along [the top] of the wall that ran all the way around the building to the entryway.

He then built side [rooms] around the structure. 6 The room at the [top] was seven-and-a-half feet wide, the one in middle was nine feet wide, and the one at the [bottom] was ten-and-a-half feet wide. He built the rooms around the Temple on the outside, but they were not attached to its walls.

7 The Temple was constructed from rough-chiseled stone; for the sound of hammers, axes, and other metal tools wasn't to be heard during its construction. 8 There was a vestibule that was attached to the right side of bottom room of the building, which had a winding stairway in the middle that led to the third story.

9 Then after the [exterior] was built, Solomon had the [interior walls] covered with cedar [panels]. 10 He also built the interior chamber in the middle of the Temple, which stood seven-and-a-half feet high, and it was held together with cedar beams.

11 Thereafter, Jehovah sent word to Solomon, saying, 12 'Regarding this [Temple] that you're building for Me; if you will follow My instructions and decisions, and obey all My Commandments, the thing that I said to your father David will prove true… 13 I will camp in the midst of the sons IsraEl, and I won't abandon My people IsraEl.'

14 Well after that, Solomon went on to finish the Temple. 15 He paneled all its interior walls from its floors to its beams, with cedar. It was vaulted with timbers on the inside, and the walls were ribbed with pine. 16 So inside, the measurement from the floor to the ceiling beams was thirty feet. And inside the entryway, he built the Holy of Holies. 17 However, the front of the Temple rose sixty feet high at the entrance.

18 Now, the interior cedar panels were all carved with decorations of gourds and spread leaves, and none of the stonework could be seen from the inside. 19 Also, in the entryway in the center of the Temple, a place was made to hold the Chest of the Sacred Agreement of Jehovah. 20 The room was thirty feet long, thirty feet wide, and thirty feet tall, and it was totally enclosed and covered in gold.

21 Then he built an Altar in front of the Temple entrance and he covered it with gold. 22 In fact, by the time of its completion the whole building was covered with gold. 23 He also made two wooden cherubs of cypress, which he placed on either side of the entrance. These stood fifteen-feet tall, 24 each of their wings were seven-and-a-half feet long, and the distance from wing-tip to wing-tip was fifteen feet. 25 Both of these cherubs were the same size. 26 He also had two fifteen-foot cherubs built that were placed in the innermost part of the Temple. 27 They too had spread wings that touched each other and ran to the walls on either side of the building's interior. 28 These cherubs were also covered in gold, 29 and the walls around the Temple were engraved with cherubs and palms… both the innermost and outermost portions. 30 And he even covered the floors of the whole building with gold… both the innermost portions and the outermost portions.

31 The Temple's front entrance was made of juniper wood, and there were five doorways. 32 Two of these doors were made of pines that were carved with cherubs and palms. The others were just panels that could be removed to enlarge the entrance. And everything was covered with gold, including the engraved cherubs and palms.

33 The Temple vestibule had juniper doorposts and four columns. 34 Both of the doors were made of pine, and they were hinged into a bi-fold configuration. 35 They also had panels that were carved with cherubs and palm leaves, and then they were entirely covered in gold.

36 Thereafter, [Solomon] built the inner courtyard. It had three rows of uncut stones that were surrounded by cedar posts.

37 So it was in the fourth year [of his reign], during the month of Ziv, that the Temple foundation was laid. 38 And it was in the eleventh year and the eighth month (Bul) that the Temple was finally completed per [Solomon's] instructions and design. So he built it in seven years.

Chapter 7

1 Then over the next thirteen years, Solomon completed the building of his own house. 2 He built the whole house out of wood from the forests of Lebanon. It was a hundred-and-fifty feet long, seventy-five feet wide, forty-feet tall, and it had four rows of cedar columns that ran up to cedar rafters. 3 The whole building was decorated with latticework on the upper parts of the columns, and there were forty-five columns in rows of fives and tens. 4 There were three windows on each of three sides to provide lighting, 5 and the windows and doorways were four-cornered, with arches over the three doorways.

6 The palace had a columned entryway that was seventy-five feet long and forty-feet wide that had a porch in front with columns and thick beams. 7 This was where [Solomon's] throne was located and where he did his judging. There was a [special] columned porch for his judgment seat, 8 and then there was a courtyard in front of the place where he sat that could be expanded whenever there was a need to do so.

He also built a house for the daughter of PharaOh whom he had taken as his woman, which looked a lot like his columned porch. 9 Everything was constructed of valuable stones that had been chiseled at intervals on the insides from the foundations to the windows, and on the outsides to the great courtyard.

10 The foundation was constructed of valuable stones that were each twelve by fifteen feet wide, 11 and the roof was made of valuable stones of the same size over cedar beams. 12 In addition, there was also a large courtyard that was circled by three rows of uncut stones and a row of carved cedar posts. It was constructed similar to the courtyard and the columned porch at the Temple of Jehovah.

13 Solomon had sent for HiRam at Tyre, 14 who was the son of a widow from the tribe of NaphTali, and whose father was a Tyranian man. For he was gifted when it came to working bronze (as well as at other crafts), and he was filled with knowledge on how to do all sorts of metalwork. Thereafter, he was brought to King Solomon, because he was able to do everything that needed to be done.

15 It was [HiRam] who smelted and cast the two columns for the Temple porch. They were both twenty-four feet tall, eighteen feet in circumference, and grooved to a depth of four fingers. 16 He also molded two bronze capitals for the tops of the columns that were each seven-and-a-half feet tall. 17 Then he made bronze decorations for each capital 18 that consisted of rows of hanging pomegranates, 19 and the top of each column was shaped like a lily.

Thereafter, he finished off the columns for the porch with a ridge that ran between the capitals. It was six feet wide 20 and it was covered with two hundred rows of pomegranates.

21 He then erected these columns at the columned porch of the Temple, and he named one column JaKin, and the other Boaz. 22 He also topped [the rest of] the columns with [bronze] lilies. And with that, he finished his work on the columns.

23 Next, he cast the [Sacred] Sea. It was round and fifteen feet wide from rim to rim. It was seven-and-a-half feet tall and about forty-five feet in circumference. 24 The base beneath it was fifteen-feet wide, and it was made of two rows of supports that were cast in a foundry furnace. 25 The Sea itself was supported by twelve metal oxen, three of which faced north, three faced west, three faced south, and three faced east. The Sea was then placed on top of them, 26 and of course, all the posteriors faced inward. The middle of the Sea was shaped like a palm, but its rim was like that of a cup, with lily buds around the top. It had a capacity of about eleven-hundred gallons.

27 Then [HiRam] made ten bronze carts. They were each six feet long, six feet wide, and four-and-a-half feet tall. 28 The carts were made of panels that were joined into frames 29 that were [engraved with] lions, oxen, and cherubs. In fact, lions, oxen, and cherubs covered all parts of the carts, including their bases. 30 Each of the carts had four bronze wheels, and all their fastenings were made of brass. Then, coming from the base were four supports that held washtubs, which were twenty inches long. 31 [The tub supports] were round (two feet wide at the top), and they were covered with engravings. However, the four supports were rectangular, not round.

32 There were bronze wheels mounted at the base of the supports, and the wheels each had spokes that were two feet long… 33 in fact, they looked like chariot wheels. And all the spokes were joined to cast axels.

34 There were supports that stuck out at the corners of each of the cart's bases as handles, 35 which were mounted along the top of each base. They were nine inches around and stood high enough [to serve as] handholds. 36 All the connecting parts [were carved] with cherubs, lions, and palms that were standing next to each other on the front, on the inside, and all around. 37 He made all ten carts exactly alike and to the same dimensions.

38 Then he made the ten bronze washtubs. They each held two hundred-and-thirty gallons [of water], and they were eight feet long. Each of the washtubs was then mounted on a cart. 39 Five were placed on the Temple's right side, and the other five on its left side. The [Sacred] Sea was placed to the right of the Temple, on its southeast corner.

40 Next, HiRam made the cooking pots, the tongs, and the bowls. 41 And soon he had completed making all the things for King Solomon at the Temple of Jehovah… the two columns, the twisted decorations that were put on the capitals of the two columns, the carvings for the tops of the columns, 42 and the pomegranates (four hundred of which were used as decorations). Two rows of [pomegranates] were put on each column, and the rest were used as decorations 43 for the carts, the metal washtubs that were mounted on them, and their axels, rims, and spokes, as well as for 44 the Sea and its twelve oxen that supported it, 45 and for the cooking pots, tongs, and bowls. He [personally] made all these things for King Solomon and for the Temple of Jehovah.

Altogether, he [decorated] forty-eight columns for the palace of the king and for the Temple of Jehovah. And everything that HiRam made for the king was entirely of bronze. 46 He did all his casting near the Jordan River, underground, in a place that was located between SokChoth and ZarEthan. 47 Solomon already had all the materials stored away, since he had received so much bronze.

48 Then Solomon went on to make the rest of the items for the Temple of Jehovah… the gold Altar, the gold table for the showbread, 49 the solid-gold lampstands that were placed at the entrance (five on the right side and five on the left side), with their gold bowls, lamps, and oil funnels; 50 plus the gold thresholds, fasteners, bowls, saucers, and incense pans. And the doorway to the innermost part of the Temple (the Holy of Holies) and the doors to the entrance of the Temple itself were made of gold. 51 So Solomon finally finished his 'house' for Jehovah. And he carried in all the holy things of David his father, as well as all of his own holy things, including silver, gold, and other things for the treasury of the Temple of Jehovah.

Chapter 8

1 Then King Solomon held a meeting of all the elders of IsraEl there on [Mount] Zion, to talk about bringing the Chest of the Sacred Agreement of Jehovah out of the city of David (which was on Mount Zion). 2 This was in the month of Athanim (the seventh month), and because it was a holiday, all the elders of IsraEl were already there.

3 Then the Priests lifted the Chest 4 from the Tent of Proofs (along with all the holy items that were there), 5 and the king and all IsraEl stood before the Chest and sacrificed multitudes of oxen and sheep.

6 Thereafter, the Priests carried the Chest and put it into its place near the entrance of the Temple inside the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the cherubs 7 (for the cherubs had open, spread wings that covered the Chest and the other holy things that were on its cover). 8 And the only parts that stuck out of the Holy [of Holies] were the sacred staves… but even these couldn't be seen from outside [the Temple]. 9 Of course, there was nothing in the Chest except the two stone tablets of the Sacred Agreement that Jehovah made with the sons of IsraEl after they had left the land of Egypt, and which were put there by Moses at the Dry Place (Horeb).

10 Well, as the Priests were coming out of the Holy Place, a mist filled the whole building. 11 So the Priests were unable to stand and officiate before the mist, because the glory of Jehovah filled the whole Temple.

12 Then Solomon said: 'O Jehovah; You spoke of camping in dimness. 13 And now I've built a [Temple] to Your Name, and I've prepared a Holy Place for You. So, this is Your chair and a place for You to camp through the ages.'

14 Then he turned around, and all IsraEl started praising the king; for the whole gathering of IsraEl was standing there. 15 And [the king] said: 'Praise Jehovah, the God of IsraEl, who spoke with His mouth about my father David, and who filled his hands, saying, From the day that I led My people IsraEl out of Egypt, I had never chosen a city [for Myself] in one of the chiefdoms of IsraEl, where a [Temple] would be built to My Name. 16 But now I've chosen JeruSalem as the place to put My Name, and I've chosen David to lead My people IsraEl. 17 And that's why the heart of my father David was moved to build a [Temple] to the Name of Jehovah, the God of IsraEl.

18 'Then, the Lord said to my father David: Because your heart was moved to build a [Temple] to My Name, you've done a good thing, since it came from your heart! 19 However, you may not personally build the [Temple]… it will be built by a son who comes from you. He will build the [Temple] to My Name.'

20 'So Jehovah caused these things that He spoke of, to happen. I replaced my father David and sat down on the throne of IsraEl, just as Jehovah said; and now I've built the [Temple] to the Name of the Lord God of IsraEl. 21 I've also created a place for the Chest that contains the Sacred Agreement that Jehovah made with our ancestors when He led them out of the land of Egypt.'

22 Then Solomon stood before the Altar of Jehovah, there in front of the whole gathering of IsraEl, and he raised his arms toward heaven, 23 and said: 'O Jehovah, God of IsraEl; there are no gods in the sky above or on the earth below that are like You. For You have kept Your Agreement and shown mercy to Your servant… the one who has walked before You with his whole heart, Your servant David, my father. 24 You spoke to him with Your mouth, and with Your hands, today You've fulfilled what [You promised to him]. 25 And now, O Jehovah, God of IsraEl; keep [the promise] that You made with my father David when You said, There will continue be a man who sits before Me on the throne of IsraEl for as long as your children keep following Me as you have followed Me.'

26 'So now, O Jehovah, God of IsraEl; may the words that You said to my father David prove to be true. 27 But will You really live on the earth with men, when the heavens of the heavens can't contain You? Why, how can this [Temple] that I built to Your Name expect to do so?

28 'Please listen to my prayer, O Jehovah, God of IsraEl… hear the prayer that Your servant is praying before You today! 29 May Your eyes watch over this [Temple] both day and night; for it's the place where You said that You would put Your Name.

'From Your home in the heavens, please listen to the prayers that Your servants will pray in this place both day and night, 30 and provide the things that Your servant and all Your people IsraEl will ask for when they pray here… answer them and provide! 31 And if they should sin against their neighbors by vowing an oath to curse them, and then they come and openly declare such a thing before Your Altar in this [Temple]; 32 may You listen from the heavens and act… judge Your people IsraEl! Declare the lawless one lawlessness, and bring his [evil] ways down upon his own head; but give justice to the righteous… treat the righteous with righteousness!

33 'And when Your people IsraEl sin against You; may they fail before their enemies until they return and acknowledge Your Name, and then pray and beg before You in this [Temple]. 34 Then, please listen to them from the heavens and forgive the sins of Your people IsraEl, and return them to this land that You gave to their ancestors.

35 'And when You hold back the sky and don't allow rain to fall because of their sins against You, and then they come to pray in this place and acknowledge Your Name and turn away from their sins after You've humbled them; 36 please listen from the heavens and forgive the sins of Your servants… Your people IsraEl. Show them a better way to act, and then provide rain for this land that You've given to Your people as their inheritance.

37 'And if there should be a famine, a plague, a fire, an infestation of locusts, or a blight [on the crops], or if an enemy should come against one of our cities (no matter what the event or misery); may all the prayers and supplications of every man be heard, so that You will come to know the pain in their hearts. 38 And whenever a man spreads out his arms in this 39 House that has been prepared for You; may You hear him from the heavens, forgive him, and act. Give each man what he deserves according to the way that he behaves; for only You can know what's really in their hearts. Yes, You alone know what's in the hearts of all the sons of men. 40 So, they should fear You all the days of their lives that they spend on this land that You've given to our ancestors.

41 'And as for the aliens who are not from Your people; 42 when they come to this place that has been prepared as Your Home to pray, 43 please listen to them from the heavens and do everything that they ask, so all the people on the earth will know Your Name and come to fear You… just as Your people IsraEl should know that Your Name has been called upon this [Temple] that I built.

44 'And if Your people go to war against their enemies (following Your directions), and if they pray in the Name of the Lord in this city that You've chosen and in this [Temple] that I've built to Your Name; 45 please listen to their prayers and supplications from heaven and bring them justice.

46 'And when they sin against You (for there is no man who doesn't sin) and You hand them over to their enemies who take them away as captives into a land that is nearby or far away; 47 and if, in the land where they are, they turn back and start begging for Your [help], saying, We have sinned; We have done wrong; We have acted lawlessly; 48 and they turn back to You with all their hearts and souls there in the land of their enemies who took them there, and pray to You in the direction of the land that You gave to their ancestors, to the city that You've chosen, and to the [Temple] that I built to Your Name; 49 please listen from heaven and from the home that has been prepared for You. 50 Forgive the wrongs that they did when they sinned against You, and for the wicked ways in which they've disregarded You, then give compassion to the ones who took them as captives, so they will pity them. 51 For they are Your people and Your inheritance… they are the ones whom You led out of the land of Egypt and from the midst of that iron-foundry furnace.

52 'May Your eyes and Your ears [always] be open to the cries of Your servants and to the pleas of Your people, IsraEl. Please listen to them, no matter why they are calling to You; 53 because, You have drawn them and set them apart for Yourself as an inheritance from among all the peoples of the earth, and You spoke to them through Your servant Moses when You led our ancestors out of the land of Egypt, O Lord Jehovah.'

Then Solomon said this concerning the Temple after he had completed its construction: 'When He made the sun in the sky, Jehovah said this:
I will live in a dimly-lit place. So, build a new [Temple] in which I can dwell… and make it beautiful for your own sakes!
{Look!} Isn't this what's written as a song in the scroll?'

54 And after Solomon finished his prayer and his requests to Jehovah, he stood up before the Altar of Jehovah (because he had been kneeling before it), then he raised his arms toward heaven 55 and he blest the whole assembly of IsraEl in a loud voice, saying: 56 'Praise Jehovah, for He has brought rest to His people IsraEl today, just as He promised among all the many things that He said. For, not a word of the many things He said through His servants has failed to come true.

57 'May Jehovah our God be with us, as He has been with our ancestors. May He not abandon us or turn from us. 58 May He move our hearts toward Him, so we will follow in all His ways and keep the Commandments and orders that He gave to our ancestors. 59 And may all the things that I've begged for, here before Jehovah our God, come true today. May they be heard by Jehovah our God day and night, and may He always do the right thing for His servant and for His people IsraEl, day in and day out, 60 so that all the people on the earth will come to know that Jehovah is God, and that there is no other. 61 May our hearts become perfect to Jehovah our God, and may we follow His orders and keep His Commandments in holiness, as we are doing today.'

62 Then the king and all the sons of IsraEl offered sacrifices before Jehovah. 63 King Solomon offered twenty-two thousand oxen and a hundred-and-twenty thousand sheep as a peace offering to Jehovah. Then the king inaugurated the [Temple] of Jehovah before all the sons of IsraEl.

64 And on that holy day, the king stood in the middle of the courtyard (in front of the Temple of Jehovah) and prepared whole burnt offerings as sacrifices. He offered the fat of the peace offerings there, since the bronze Altar that was before Jehovah was just too small and it couldn't handle all the whole burnt-offerings, gift offerings, and peace-offering sacrifices.

65 Then Solomon held a holiday feast that day, and all IsraEl attended. It was a huge gathering, for people had come from as far away as HaMath and the [Nile] River to stand before Jehovah God at the [Temple] that [Solomon] had built. They ate, drank, and rejoiced before Jehovah God for seven days. 66 And on the eighth day, [Solomon] sent the people away, and they offered ages of blessings to the king as they left. So they all returned to their [homes] rejoicing over all the good things that Jehovah had done for His servant David and for His people, IsraEl.

Chapter 9

1 Well, after Solomon had finished building the Temple of Jehovah, his own palace, and all the other things that he wanted to do, 2 the Lord appeared to him a second time (as He had appeared to him in GibeOn), 3 and said to him: 'I heard what you said in your prayer, and of the things that you asked and begged of Me. So now I've done everything that you asked for in your prayer… I've made this [Temple] (which you built to [honor] My Name) holy through the ages, and I will [always] watch over it and keep it in My heart. 4 So if you will continue to follow Me uprightly with holiness in your heart, as did your father David, and do everything that I told him to do, following My orders and Commandments; 5 I will lift the throne of your kingdom over IsraEl through the ages, as I promised to your father. For I told him: There will always be a man [who is descended from you] to lead IsraEl.

6 'However, if you or your descendants should turn away from Me and fail to keep My Commandments and orders that Moses set before you, and then you go and serve other gods and bow before them; 7 I will remove IsraEl from the land that I've given to them, and I will turn My face away from this [Temple] that I've made holy to My Name. Then IsraEl will become extinct and a topic of discussion among all the people. 8 And everyone who passes this lofty [Temple] will be amazed and whistle, asking, Why did Jehovah do such a thing to this land and to this [Temple]? 9 And they will be told, Because they abandoned their God – the God of their ancestors, Jehovah – who led them out of the house of slavery in Egypt. Then they took hold of alien gods, and bowed before them and served them… this is why Jehovah brought all these bad things upon them.'

10 Well, this all took place some twenty years after Solomon had [started] construction of the two houses – the [Temple] of Jehovah and the [palace] of the king.

11 HiRam, the king of Tyre, had helped Solomon by providing the cedar and pine boards, [some of] the gold, and everything else [that Solomon had asked for]. So King Solomon gave HiRam twenty cities in the land of Galilee. 12 But when HiRam traveled from Tyre to Galilee to look at the cities that Solomon had given to him, he wasn't pleased with them. 13 And he asked: 'What kind of cities have you given to your brother?' So from then on, he just referred to them as 'the border lands.'

14 Now, HiRam had sent Solomon four-and-a-half tons of gold 15 that he'd plundered for the construction of the Temple of Jehovah, the king's palace, the walls around JeruSalem (to fortify the city of David), as well as the cities of MegidDo and GeZer.

16 It was PharaOh (the king of Egypt) who first took GeZer. He burned it and killed all the CanaAnites who lived in the city, and then he gave it to Solomon as a dowry for his daughter when she married Solomon.

17 So Solomon rebuilt GeZer, 18 as well as Lower BethHoron, BaAlAth, and Tadmor (which is in the desert). 19 He also built many other fortified cities, as well as forts for his chariots and cavalry; and he had many other construction projects in JeruSalem, Lebanon, and throughout all the land that he ruled.

20 However, the Hittites, Amorites, Pherezites, CanaAnites, Hivites, Jebusites, and Gergesites (all those who weren't sons of IsraEl) 21 and their children remained in the land, because the sons of IsraEl weren't able to wipe them out; so Solomon has forced them pay a tribute down to this day. 22 And many of these non-IsraElites served Solomon as soldiers and as lieutenants over his chariots and cavalry. 23 Many were also put in charge over Solomon's construction projects (some five hundred-and-fifty of them) and they were over the people who were doing the work.

24 Now, the daughter of PharaOh left the city of David and she went to live in the house that Solomon had built for her. And thereafter, he built MilLo.

25 Well, three times each year, Solomon would sacrifice whole burnt offerings and peace offerings on the Altar that he'd built to Jehovah. He also burned incense on it, there before Jehovah, up until he had completed the Temple.

26 Then King Solomon built a ship in GeBer (which is next to the seaport of ElAth on the border of Edom). 27 And HiRam sent some of his servants who were mariners and knew the sea, to do the rowing… as assistants to the servants of Solomon. 28 Then they [attacked] SopheRam and brought back gold to King Solomon – some sixteen tons of it.

Chapter 10

1 Well, the Queen of SheBa had heard of Solomon's fame and of the Name Jehovah; so she came to test him with problems.

2 When she came to JeruSalem, she brought a very large contingent [of servants], as well as camels that were carrying spices, a huge amount of gold, and many valuable gems. So she went to King Solomon and spoke to him about all the things that were in her heart. 3 Then Solomon answered all her questions… he didn't overlook a thing, but explained everything to her. 4 And when the Queen of SheBa saw how knowledgeable Solomon was, as well as the palace that he had built, 5 all the food that he had, the ways that his servants were assigned, the jobs that his officials were given, how they were dressed, all of his wine servers, and the whole burnt offerings that he sacrificed at the Temple of Jehovah, she was beside herself.

6 Then she said to King Solomon: 'Everything that I've heard about you in my land and about your knowledge is true. 7 I had to come here, because I didn't believe the things that I was being told. However, I have found that it's all beyond what was reported in my land! 8 Your wives and servants are blest to be able to stand before you all the time and listen to your wisdom. 9 And your God Jehovah (who chose you and put you on the throne of IsraEl) must love IsraEl and [plan to] watch over it through the ages, since He's the One that set you as king over them and to righteously hear and judge their cases.'

10 Then she gave Solomon a ton-and-a-half of gold, a huge amount of spices, and many precious gems. Never before had anyone brought so many spices as those that the Queen of SheBa brought to King Solomon.

11 Thereafter, HiRam also sent a ship carrying gold from Ophir, as well as cut lumber and valuable stones. 12 The king then used this timber to fortify the Temple of Jehovah and the king's palace, as well as to make stringed instruments and lutes for the musicians. Never before had such wood been seen in the land (or anywhere else, for that matter).

13 Then King Solomon gave the Queen of SheBa everything that she asked for and desired… in addition to all the other gifts that King Solomon gave to her. And thereafter, she returned to her land with all her servants.

14 Well, the weight of the gold that came to Solomon that year was about thirty-two tons… 15 which didn't include the tributes that the people or the merchants brought, or that which was brought by kings on the other side of the Jordan or from the governors of the land.

16 Thereafter, King Solomon had three hundred spears made from hammered gold, each of which was made from six hundred gold coins. 17 And he also had three hundred small shields made of hammered gold that was equal to the weight of three large gold coins. Then the king had them all mounted in his Palace from the forests of Lebanon.

18 The king also had a huge throne made from ivory that was plated with pure gold, 19 which had six stairs leading up to the throne. On the upper part of the throne there were calves on the backside and handrails on each side, with [carved] lions standing beside them… 20 twelve on both sides next to the stairs. There had never been anything like it in the kingdom before.

21 Also, all the [dishes, cups, and bowls] that were used by Solomon were completely made of gold, as were the bathtubs and vases in the Palace from the forests of Lebanon. Nothing there was made of silver, because it was too common in the days of Solomon.

22 In addition, Solomon owned a ship that sailed the sea from TarShish along with the ships of HiRam. And once every three years the ship would carry gold, silver, and cut gems for the king. 23 So Solomon became greater than all the other kings of the earth in both wealth and in intelligence; 24 and all the kings of the earth came to Solomon to hear the wisdom that Jehovah had put into his heart. 25 Each one brought gifts of silver, gold, clothing, balsam, spices, horses, and mules every year.

26 Solomon also obtained chariots and horsemen. He had a thousand, four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, which he kept in forts throughout the land and with himself in JeruSalem.

27 The king's silver was as common as stones in JeruSalem, and his cedars were as common as trees in the plains.

28 Solomon bought his horses from Egypt and Kue, where the king's merchants took items to trade. 29 He also bought chariots from Egypt for which he paid six-hundred silver coins each, and a hundred-and-fifty silver coins for each horse. Then he sold them to the kings of the Hittites and Syrians… but they had to come to him in order to pick them up.

Chapter 11

1 King Solomon was also very fond of women, so he took several foreigners as wives, such as the daughter of PharaOh, as well as some MoAbites, AmMonites, Idumeans, Sidonians, and Hittites… 2 which Jehovah had forbidden the sons of IsraEl to do, for He said: 'You must not [marry] them and they must not come to you, because they will turn your hearts to their idols.'

However, Solomon [was a slave] to love; 3 so before long he had taken seven hundred [wives] as well as three hundred concubines… and these foreign women changed his heart. 4 They quickly turned his heart to bowing before other gods, and his heart was no longer perfect toward his God Jehovah, as was the heart of his father David. 5 For Solomon started serving Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Melchom the disgusting thing of the AmMonites. 6 So Solomon was doing evil things before Jehovah, and he no longer followed Jehovah, as did his father David.

7 Then Solomon built high places to Camus (the idol of MoAb) and to Melchom (the idol of the sons of AmMon) on the mountain across from JeruSalem. 8 And there all his foreign wives were burning incense and sacrificing to their idols. 9 Of course, this made Jehovah very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned from Jehovah the God of IsraEl, who had actually appeared before him twice, 10 warning him not to serve other gods and to be careful to do everything that the Lord God had told him.

11 So the Lord said to Solomon: 'Because you've done these things and you haven't followed My Commandments or the instructions that I gave you; I will take your kingdom from your hands and rip in two, then I will give it to your servant. 12 However, I won't do this during your lifetime [out of respect for] David your father. Rather, I will take it from the hands of your son. 13 I won't take your whole kingdom; I'll leave your son as chief over part of it because of My servant David and because of JeruSalem, the city that I've chosen.'

14 So Jehovah sent an enemy against Solomon under Ader (who was from the seed of the kingdom of the Idumeans). 15 David had wiped out [many of] the Edomites, and when his General JoAb went to [their land] to bury his dead, he also cut down more of their men, 16 because JoAb had stayed there for the next six months. Yet, although JoAb had destroyed all the men there, 17 Ader (who was just a small boy then) got away, along with many of his father's servants, and they headed to Egypt. 18 Then after the men of Media attacked Pharan, the [people there] also went with him as he was on his way to the PharaOh (the king of Egypt).

19 Well when Ader went to PharaOh (possibly Amenemope), he was given a house, food, and some land, because he was well liked by PharaOh. He also gave him his sister-in-law as his woman (the older sister of [Queen] ThekeMina), 20 and she gave birth to GaneBath, whom ThekeMina raised in her house as one of the sons of PharaOh.

21 But when word reached Ader in Egypt that David had gone to sleep with his ancestors and that JoAb (the commander of his army) had been killed, Ader said to PharaOh: 'Please allow me to return to my country.'

22 At that, PharaOh asked him: 'What have I failed to give you that you now wish to return to your country?'

And Ader replied: 'Not a single thing! But please send me away.'

23 Meanwhile, Jehovah had also raised another enemy against [Solomon]; Rezon (the son of EliAdah), who had run away from his master HadadEzer, the king of Zobah. 24 He then gathered an army and became the ruler of a confederation that captured Damascus, where he settled in and started ruling as king, 25 and where he (as the ruler of the land of Edom) remained an enemy to IsraEl during all the days of Solomon.

26 Then one of Solomon's servants, JeroBoam (the son of NaBat the Ephrathite from SariRa), whose mother was a widow, 27 rebelled against King Solomon. This happened after King Solomon had built the Akra (high fort) and 28 after he had completed the outer wall around the city of his father David.

28 Now, JeroBoam was a mighty man, and when Solomon noticed that this young man was someone who could get things done, he put him in charge of the tributes from the house of JoSeph. 29 But one day, as JeroBoam was coming from JeruSalem, he met the Prophet AhiJah the Selonite, who stopped along the road to talk to him.

Well, AhiJah was wearing a new cape and they were alone there in the plain. 30 Then AhiJah took off the cape that he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 And he said to JeroBoam: 'Take ten of these pieces for yourself, because this is what Jehovah the God of IsraEl has said: {Look!} I'm ripping the kingdom from the hands of Solomon and giving ten of its [tribes] to you. 32 However, two of the [tribes] will remain his because of My servant David, and on account of JeruSalem, the city that I have chosen from among all the tribes of IsraEl. 33 [I'm doing this] because [Solomon] has abandoned Me and is now making offerings to Astarte, the disgusting thing of the Sidonians, to Camus the idol of MoAb, and to Melchom the loathsome thing of the sons of AmMon. He is no longer walking in My ways or doing the right things before Me as did his father David. 34 I'm not going to remove the kingdom from him entirely, but I will oppose him throughout the rest of the days of his life. It was only because of My servant David that I chose him. 35 But now I'm going to take the kingdom from the hands of his son and give ten of the [tribes] to you. 36 I will give his son two [tribes], so that a descendant of My servant David will always stand before Me in JeruSalem, the city where I've chosen to put My Name.

37 'Now, you may take and rule over whatever your soul desires, for you'll be the king over IsraEl. 38 And if you'll watch over all that I'm putting you in charge of, walk in My ways, always do the right things before Me, and follow My orders and Commandments (as did My servant David), then I will build you a house that's as sure as the one that I built for David. 39 I'm giving you IsraEl, and I will mistreat the seed of David because of these things [that he's doing]… but not forever.'

40 Well after that, Solomon started looking for ways to kill JeroBoam… but [JeroBoam] got up and ran away to Egypt, to SusAkim the king of Egypt, and he stayed there until Solomon died.

41 {Look!} The rest of the words of Solomon – all the many things [that he said] and did in his wisdom – have been written about in the scrolls of the sayings of Solomon.

42 So Solomon reigned over all IsraEl from JeruSalem for forty years, 43 and then he went to sleep with his ancestors and they buried him in a tomb in the city of David his father. 44 And thereafter, his son RehoBoam started reigning in his place.

Chapter 12

1 Well, King RehoBoam had gone to Sikima (because that's where all IsraEl went to coronate him), 2 and JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) heard about it. At the time, he was still in Egypt, where he had settled after having to run from Solomon. 3 But the people of IsraEl called for him, and JeroBoam came back to them. For the people had spoken to King RehoBoam and told him: 4 'Your father oppressed us and kept our necks in a yoke. So now, lighten the load of our service to you. For your father was a hard taskmaster and he kept us under a heavy load… if you'll do this, we'll always serve you!'

5 And he replied: 'Give me three days [to think about it]!' So they left.

6 Then King RehoBoam went to the elders who used to stand before his father Solomon while he was alive, and he asked for their advice about what he should say to the people. 7 And they told him: 'If you wish to serve [as king] over these people today, do as they ask and they'll always be your servants.'

8 However, he chose not to listen to the advice that the elders had given him, and he took the advice of some young men with whom he'd been raised and whom he had selected to be his advisors. 9 For when he asked them what they advised him to say to those people who came to me and told him to lighten the neck-yoke that his father had put on them, 10 these young men who had been raised with him said, 'You should say this to those people who said that your father put a heavy yoke on them and that you should lighten it. Say: My thinnest part is thicker than the hips of my father. 11 Therefore, as my father saddled you to a heavy yoke, I will add more weight to it. And as my father disciplined you with whips, I will discipline you with scorpions!'

12 So when all IsraEl came before King RehoBoam on the third day (for the king of IsraEl had told them, 'Return to me on the third day'), 13 the king spoke harshly to them and chose not to follow the advice that the older men had given to him. 14 Rather, he said what his young men told him to say: 'Though my father oppressed you with a neck yoke, I will now add to it. And though my father disciplined you with whips, I will discipline you with scorpions!'

15 So the king just wouldn't listen to the people, because Jehovah had moved his heart so that which He had said through the Prophet AhiJah the Selonite concerning JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) would come true.

16 Well, when all IsraEl knew that the king wasn't listening to them, they gave him this reply: 'What do we owe to David? We have no inheritance in the son of JesSe. So, O IsraEl, run to you tents… now! Let the house of David do its own grazing!' And with that, all IsraEl returned to their tents.

17 Therefore, RehoBoam only ruled over the sons of IsraEl who lived in the cities of Judah after that. 18 And when the king sent AdoniRam to collect the tribute there, all IsraEl stoned him to death… even King RehoBoam had to get on his chariot and flee to JeruSalem. 19 So from that day on, IsraEl annulled its allegiance to the house of David.

20 So thereafter, when [the people of] IsraEl heard that JeroBoam had returned from Egypt, they called for him to come to a meeting, where they gave him the rulership over IsraEl. And after that they never again followed the house of David… only the tribes of Judah and BenJamin did so.

21 Well after RehoBoam got back to JeruSalem, he held a meeting with the armies of Judah and the tribe of BenJamin – a hundred-and-twenty thousand young warriors – and he talked about going to war with the house of IsraEl so as to return them to the kingdom of RehoBoam, the son of Solomon. 22 However, Jehovah sent word to His servant ShemaiJah… He told him: 23 'Speak to RehoBoam (the son of Solomon) the king of Judah, as well as to the houses of Judah, BenJamin, and the rest of the people, and tell them that 24 this is what Jehovah has decreed: You must not go to war against your brothers, the sons of IsraEl. Return to your homes, because I'm the One who caused these things to happen.'

So they paid attention to words of Jehovah, for they didn't want to oppose what He said.

25 Thereafter, JeroBoam built Sikima in the hills of Ephraim and ruled from there, and then he built PenuEl. 26 But later, JeroBoam said this in his heart: '{Look!} I'm not going to return the kingdom to the house of David; 27 but if I let these people go to offer sacrifices at the [Temple] of Jehovah in JeruSalem, they will soon turn their hearts toward Jehovah and to RehoBoam the king of Judah, and then they'll kill me.'

28 So the king held a meeting, and after that, he had two gold heifers made. Then he said to the people: 'I don't want you going to JeruSalem anymore. Look, here are your gods that led you out of the land of Egypt, O IsraEl!' 29 Then he put one [of the idols] in BethEl, and the other in Dan. 30 And because of this sin, the people started worshiping the [idol] that he put in Dan, and they no longer went to the Temple of Jehovah.

31 The king also had temples built on the hilltops, and he appointed priests from among those who weren't of the sons of Levi. 32 Then JeroBoam appointed the fifteenth day of the eighth month as a holiday, the same as it had been in the land of Judah.

Then he went to BethEl, where he built an altar for [his people] to offer sacrifices to his heifers. And it was there in BethEl that he appointed the priests to be in charge of the high places that he'd created. 33 And on the fifteenth day of the eighth month (which was the holiday that he'd created in his own heart for the sons of IsraEl), he went up to the altar that he'd created to offer some sacrifices.

Chapter 13

1 Then {Look!} a man of God came to BethEl from Judah with a message from Jehovah. He climbed on top of the sacrificial altar there 2 and shouted these words of the Lord:
'O altar, O altar; Hear what Jehovah has said.
{Look!} In the house of David, a son has been born,
Who has been given the name, JosiAh.
Then on these high places, he'll offer the priests,
Who now lay the sacrifices upon it;
And upon these [same altars], he'll burn up their bones
.'

3 Then he performed a miracle. He said, 'This is what Jehovah told me:
{Look!} The altar has now been torn down, and all the fat that has been placed on it has been spilled [on the ground]!'

4 Well when King JeroBoam heard what the man of God said as he stood there on the altar in BethEl, he reached toward the altar and shouted, 'Seize him!'

But as he said that, the hand that he stuck out started to wither, and he wasn't able to draw it back… 5 and then the altar miraculously cracked and spilled all the fat that had been placed there, just as the man of God had just told them that Jehovah said.

6 So King JeroBoam said to the man of God: 'Go before the face of Jehovah your God and beg Him to return my hand to me!'

And thereafter, the man of God [spoke to] the face of Jehovah, and the king's hand returned to him, becoming as it was before.

7 Then the king said to the man of God: 'Come with me to my palace and dine with me, and I'll give you a gift.'

8 But the man of God said to the king: 'Even if you were to give me half of everything that's [in] your palace, I wouldn't go with you, nor would I eat food or drink water in this place. 9 For this is what the Lord told me:
Don't eat any bread or drink any water,
And don't return by the way that you came
.'

10 So when he left BethEl, he traveled toward home by another route.

11 Well and at the time, there was another prophet living in BethEl (an older man). So when his sons came to him and told him everything that the man of God had done that day in BethEl and of the things that the king had said, the face of their father changed, 12 and he asked them: 'Which way did he go?' So his sons pointed out the way that the man of God was traveling (toward Judah), 13 and he said to his sons: 'Saddle my burro for me!'

14 So they saddled his burro and he mounted it; then he went after the man of God and he found him sitting under an oak tree. Then he asked, 'Are you the man of God who came from Judah?'

And he replied, 'I am.'

15 So [the prophet] said: 'Come with me and have something to eat.'

16 But [the man of God] replied, 'There's no way that I can come with you, nor may I eat bread or drink water in this place. 17 For Jehovah told me:
Don't eat any bread, nor drink any water,
And don't return by the way that you came
.'

18 However, the other man replied: 'But I'm a prophet just like you, and a messenger [of God] came and gave me these words from Jehovah… he said, Take him back to your house and give him some food and water!' (However, he was lying).

19 So [the man of God] went back with him and he ate bread and drank water there in [the prophet's] house. 20 But as they were sitting down at the table, the word of Jehovah came to the prophet who did the inviting. 21 And he said to the man of God who had come from Judah, 'This is what the Lord just told me: Because you disobeyed the Lord's instructions and you didn't do as you were commanded by Jehovah your God 22 when you returned to eat bread and drink water in this place where He told you not to eat any bread or drink any water; there's no way that your body will be buried with your ancestors.'

23 And that's what happened. For after he ate bread, drank water, and saddled his burro for the return, 24 he was found by a lion and killed along the road. Then his body just laid there in the road with the burro standing next to it, as the lion stood nearby.

25 Well, when some men came along the road and found the body starting to decay, they pushed it off the road (but the lion returned to it). Then they went back and reported the matter in the city where the elderly prophet lived. 26 And when the prophet heard what had happened to the man of God along the road, he said: 'This is what happens to those who rebel against the Word of Jehovah. For it was the Lord who sent the lion… it attacked him and killed him, just as Jehovah foretold.'

27 Then he spoke to his sons and said, 'Now, saddle my burro for me!'

So they saddled it 28 and he went and found the body that had been tossed alongside the road next to his burro… and there was the lion standing by the body. However, the lion hadn't eaten the body of the man of God, nor had it attacked his burro. 29 So the prophet picked up the body, placed it on his own burro, and he carried it back to his city to bury him. 30 Thereafter, he put the body in his own tomb, and [the people] beat their chests over him, saying, 'Woe, O brother!'

31 Then, after beating their chests over him, the prophet said this to his sons: 'When I die, I want you to bury me in this tomb where we've put this man of God. Put me next to his bones, so that my bones will be preserved along with his bones. 32 For Jehovah used him to speak against the altar in BethEl and against the temples on the hilltops in Samaria.'

33 Meanwhile, what [the man of God] had said to JeroBoam didn't turn him from his evil ways. For he went and appointed any man who wanted the position to be a priest in the high places, and the posts were filled by all whom he chose. 34 This was the sin that brought the house of JeroBoam to its ruin and its extinction from the face of the earth.

Chapter 14

1 Well after some time, AbiJah (JeroBoam's son) became ill. 2 So JeroBoam said to his woman: 'Get up and make yourself up so people won't recognize you as my woman, then go to ShiLoh and look for AhiJah the Prophet, because he's the one who first spoke to me about ruling over these people. 3 Carry along some bread for this man of God, and some small cakes for his children, as well as some raisins and a jar of honey. Go to him and ask him to him tell you what will happen to our child.'

4 So JeroBoam's woman did as he said. She got up and went the house of AhiJah in ShiLoh.

Now, the man was too old to see well, because he was old and [he had developed cataracts]. 5 But Jehovah said to AhiJah: '{Look!} JeroBoam's woman is coming to you to ask about her son because he's very ill, so this is what you should say to her … '

6 Therefore when she got there (although she couldn't be recognized) and AhiJah heard the sound of her feet coming up to his door, he said: 'Come on in, you woman of JeroBoam. Why are coming as a stranger?' Then he said, 'I have a harsh message for you. 7 Return to JeroBoam and tell him that this is what Jehovah the God of IsraEl has said: I'm the One who elevated you from the midst of your people and appointed you over the sons of IsraEl… 8 yes, I'm the One who tore the kingship from the house of David and gave it to you. Yet you haven't become like My servant David who kept My Commandments and followed me with his whole heart by doing what is right in My eyes. 9 Rather, you've acted wickedly in everything that's before you, and you've gone and made other gods and molded images to anger Me… you've pushed Me aside! 10 And it's because of this that {Look!} I will be bringing evil things upon the house of JeroBoam. For I will destroy all those of JeroBoam who can urinate against a wall… those who are now living in IsraEl and those who are yet to come… they will all be treated like manure! 11 Then those [who come from] JeroBoam that die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and the flying creatures of the sky will eat those who die in the fields. Yes, this is what Jehovah has declared!

12 'So now, get up and go back home! Then, as your feet are entering your city, your child will die. 13 However, [his body] will be put in a tomb and all IsraEl will mourn him. He's the only one of JeroBoam's [children] that will be put in a tomb, because he's the only one in the house of JeroBoam that [would have] said something good about Jehovah the God of IsraEl.

14 'Also today – in fact, right now – Jehovah is raising a king for Himself over IsraEl that will cut down the house of JeroBoam. 15 Then Jehovah will strike IsraEl as someone who stirs water with a reed. He will pluck IsraEl from the good land that He gave to their ancestors and toss them to the other side of the river because of all the sacred poles that they've erected to anger Jehovah!'

16 That's how Jehovah actually showed His [dis]favor upon IsraEl because of the sins of JeroBoam. For, not only had he sinned, but he also led IsraEl into sin.

17 Well after that, JeroBoam's woman got up and returned to SariRa, and as she stepped onto the threshold of her house, her child died. 18 However they put [his body] in a tomb and all IsraEl mourned for him, just as Jehovah had said they would through His servant AhiJah the Prophet.

19 Now, all the other things that JeroBoam did (the wars that he fought and the things that he said during his reign) are written about in the words of the scrolls of the lives of the kings of IsraEl.

20 JeroBoam reigned for twenty-two years, then he went to sleep with his ancestors, and his son NaDab started ruling in his place.

21 And at the time, RehoBoam (the son of Solomon) was reigning over Judah. He was forty-one years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem (the city where Jehovah chose to put His Name for all the tribes of IsraEl) for seventeen years. His mother's name was NaAma, and she was an AmMonite.

22 But during this time, Judah was also acting wickedly before Jehovah and making Him jealous with all the things they were doing, just as their ancestors did when they sinned. 23 The [people] were building high places [of worship] for themselves, and erecting monuments and sacred poles on every high hill and under every shade tree. 24 They got together throughout the land and started doing all the disgusting things that the nations which Jehovah had removed from before the sons of IsraEl were doing.

25 So in the fifth year of the reign of RehoBoam, the king of Egypt attacked JeruSalem 26 and took all the treasures in the Temple of Jehovah, as well as all the treasures in the king's palace. He took the gold spears that David had taken from the children of AdraZar the king of Suba, and carried them [from] JeruSalem. He took everything! He even took the gold shields that Solomon had made and he carried them all back to Egypt.

27 Well after that, King RehoBoam had some shields made of bronze to replace [the gold shields], and they were set in place by the captains of his bodyguards (those who guarded the king's palace). 28 But one day while the king was in the Temple of Jehovah, the bodyguards took them down and mounted them in their own barracks.

29 All the rest of the things that RehoBoam said and did are written about in the scrolls of the words and days of the kings of Judah. 30 And during the entire time there was war between RehoBoam and JeroBoam. 31 Then RehoBoam went to sleep with his ancestors, and they buried him in the tomb of his fathers in the city of David. So his son AbiJah started ruling in place of him.

Chapter 15

1 It was in the eighteenth year of the reign of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) that AbiJah (the son of RehoBoam) started ruling over Judah, 2 but he only reigned in JeruSalem for three years. His mother's name was MaAcha, and she was the daughter of AbSalom. 3 For he followed in the sins that his father had committed before him, and his heart wasn't perfect toward Jehovah his God, as was the heart of his grandfather David. 4 But because of David, Jehovah God allowed him to establish his line of [kings] in JeruSalem. 5 For David did the right things before Jehovah and he didn't turn away from all that he was told to do during his lifetime 6 (except in the matter of UriAh the Hittite). 7 And the rest of the things that AbiJah said and did {Look!} have been written about in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of Judah.

Now, there was always a state of war between AbiJah and JeroBoam. 8 But then AbiJah went to sleep with his ancestors (in the twenty-fourth year of the reign of JeroBoam), and he was buried in the tomb of his fathers in the city of David.

After him, his son Asa started ruling as king over Judah. 9 That was in the twenty-fourth year of the reign of JeroBoam the king of IsraEl. 10 He then reigned in JeruSalem for forty-one years. The name of his mother was Ana, and she was also a daughter of AbSalom.

11 Now, Asa did what was right before Jehovah as his ancestor David had done. 12 For he removed all the mystic rites from the land and drove out all the bad practices that his fathers had established. 13 He also removed his mother Ana after she'd held a meeting in her field of sacred poles and tried to seize power. Asa cut off her retreat and burned [her followers] in a fire next to the Cedar (Kidron) Wadi. 14 And although he failed to remove the high places of worship, the heart of Asa was perfect toward Jehovah all the days of his life. 15 For Asa returned the huge columns of silver and gold to the Temple of Jehovah, as well as its silver and gold utensils.

16 Then there was war between Asa and BaAsha (the king of IsraEl) that lasted as long as they both lived. 17 BaAsha had attacked Judah and built Rama in order to cut off Asa the king of Judah. 18 But then Asa took all the silver and gold that he found in the treasury of the Temple of Jehovah and in the treasuries of the palace of the king (he entrusted them to his servants) and then he sent all the treasure to BenHader (the son of TaberEma) the king of Syria in Damascus. 19 He said, 'May there be a treaty between you and me as there was between your father and my father. Look! I'm sending you gifts of silver and gold. So now, end your treaty with BaAsha the king of IsraEl, then come and drive him away from me!'

20 As the result, BenHader sent his officials along with an army to King Asa, and they attacked Ain in Dan, AbelMa and the house of MaAcah, and all of ChenNereth in the land of NaphTali. 21 Then when BaAsha heard of it, he stopped building Rama and returned to TirZah.

22 Thereafter, King Asa gave instructions to the army of Judah to tear down every stone in Rama and all of its building timbers and to take it to the hills of BenJamin, where they thereafter built a high fortification and a lookout post.

23 {Look!} All the rest of the words and deeds of Asa and his kingdom, and the information about all the cities he built is written in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of Judah. Then in his old age he developed pain in his feet. 24 And thereafter Asa went to sleep with his ancestors and was buried in the tomb of his fathers in the city of David. So his son JehoShaphat started ruling in place of him.

25 NaDab (the son of JeroBoam) had started ruling in IsraEl in the second year of Asa (the king of Judah). He only reigned in IsraEl for two years, 26 for he also acted wickedly before Jehovah and he followed in the steps of his father, committing the same sins and leading IsraEl into sin. 27 Then BaAsha (the son of AhiJah) laid siege against him [because of what he had done to] the house of BelaAn (the son of AhiJah), and he cut him down at the Philistine city of GabaThon… for NaBat and [the army of] IsraEl were then besieging GabaThon. 28 So BaAsha killed him in the third year of the reign of Asa (the son of AbiJah) the king of Judah, and thereafter BaAsha became the ruler [of IsraEl].

29 Well during BaAsha's reign, he murdered the entire house of JeroBoam. He didn't leave anyone alive… he killed them all, just as Jehovah had said through His servant AhiJah the Selonite, 30 because of JeroBoam in leading IsraEl into sin and provoking the anger of Jehovah the God of IsraEl. 31 All the rest of the things that NaDab said and did {Look!} are written about in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of IsraEl.

32 Well, there was war between Asa and BaAsha (the king of IsraEl) for as long as they both lived. 33 It was in the third year of the reign of Asa (the king of Judah) that BaAsha (the son of AhiJah) started ruling over IsraEl from TirZah. He reigned for twenty-four years, and he also acted wickedly before Jehovah, for he followed in the footsteps of JeroBoam (the son NaBat) by sinning and leading IsraEl into sin.

Chapter 16

1 Then Jehovah sent word to BaAsha by Jehu (the son of AnaNi), saying: 2 'Though I elevated you to be over the land and gave you the leadership of My people IsraEl, you have still chosen to follow in ways of JeroBoam and to lead My people IsraEl into sin, provoking Me to anger with your foolishness. 3 So {Look!} I'm arousing enemies against BaAsha and his house, and I'm going to do to your house as I did to the house of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat). 4 For when those of BaAsha die in the city, dogs will eat them; and when they die in the fields, they will be eaten by the flying creatures of the skies.'

5 Well, the rest of the things that BaAsha said and did, and the areas of his conquests {Look!} have been written about in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of IsraEl. 6 Then BaAsha went to sleep with his ancestors and they buried him in a tomb in TirZah; and his son ElAh started reigning after him. 7 For Jehovah had sent a proclamation against BaAsha and his house through Jehu (the son of AnaNi) because of all the bad things he was doing before Jehovah. These things made Jehovah very angry; so BaAsha's house would soon become like the house of JeroBoam, whom he had slaughtered.

8 It was in the twenty-eighth year of the reign of Asa (the king of Judah), after ElAh (BaAsha's son) had ruled IsraEl for two years in TirZah, 9 that ElAh's servants got together with ZimRi (the captain over half of his cavalry) and plotted a coup. And it was while he was in TirZah, drinking and getting drunk in the house of Osa (the Mayor of TirZah), 10 that ZimRi went in and stabbed him to death; and thereafter, he became the ruler [of IsraEl]. 11 Then when he took over, he killed the entire house of BaAsha… he didn't leave anyone who could urinate against a wall alive, including [BaAsha's] friends and relatives. 12 So ZimRi wiped out the whole house of BaAsha, just as Jehovah had foretold through the Prophet Jehu. 13 He did this because of all the sins of BaAsha and of his son ElAh, who had made Jehovah the God of IsraEl angry by leading IsraEl into sin with all their foolishness.

14 The rest of the things that ElAh said and did {Look!} have been written about in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of IsraEl.

15 Well, ZimRi only ruled in TirZah for seven days. For at the time, the army of IsraEl was camped at the Philistine city of GabaThon. 16 And when the people in the camp heard how ZimRi had rebelled and killed their king, they appointed OmRi (the commander of the army of IsraEl) to be the king that day, there in the camp.

17 So OmRi ascended to the throne, and all IsraEl met with him at GabaThon; then they went and besieged TirZah.

18 Now, when ZimRi realized that his city was lost, he went inside the king's palace and set it on fire, burning it down around him, killing himself. 19 This happened because of all the sins that ZimRi had committed. For he also acted wickedly before Jehovah and he followed in the ways of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat), committing the same sins and leading IsraEl into sin.

20 The rest of the story of ZimRi and of the people who supported him {Look!} has been written about in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of IsraEl.

21 Thereafter, the people of IsraEl became divided, for half of them started following TibNi (the son of GoNath), wanting him to be their king, while the other half followed OmRi. 22 However, the people who followed OmRi won out over the followers of TibNi (the son of GiNath). For TibNi died, leaving OmRi as the only remaining ruler. 23 This all happened in the thirty-first year of the reign of king Asa. And thereafter, OmRi reigned over IsraEl for twelve years, six of which were from TirZah. 24 Then he acquired Mount SemerOn from Semer (who owned the mountain) for a hundred-and-fifty pounds of silver. And there he built [his city], which he named Semer (Samaria), after the man who had owned SemerOn.

25 Well, OmRi also acted wickedly before Jehovah. In fact, he was worse than all those who had come before him. 26 He followed in the ways of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) and committed all of his sins by leading IsraEl into foolishness and sin, which made Jehovah the God of IsraEl very angry.

27 The rest of the things that OmRi said and did, and the areas of his rulership {Look!} have been written about in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of IsraEl. 28 Then OmRi went to sleep with his ancestors and they buried him in a tomb in Samaria. So his son Ahab started ruling after him.

29 Ahab (the son of Omri) started his rule over IsraEl in the thirty-eighth year of Judah's King Asa, and he reigned over IsraEl from Samaria for twenty-two years. 30 However, he also acted wickedly before Jehovah… even wickeder than all those who had come before him. 31 For the sins of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) weren't bad enough for him.

Then he took a woman, JezeBel (the daughter of IthoBaAl the king of the Sidonians), and he went and started serving BaAl, bowing before him. 32 He also erected an Altar to BaAl in the disgusting temple that he had built in Samaria, 33 and he set up fields of sacred poles, doing everything that he could to anger Jehovah the God of IsraEl, and to bring about his own destruction. 33 He was much worse than all the other kings of IsraEl who had come before him.

34 It was during Ahab's reign that AchiEl the BethElite rebuilt JeriCho with the loss of his first-born son AbiRon (for laying its foundation), and with the loss of his youngest son Segub for erecting its gates, just as Jehovah had said through JoShua (the son of NaWeh).

Chapter 17

1 Then the Prophet EliJah (the Tishbite from Tishbon of Gilead) went to Ahab and said: 'As Jehovah the Almighty – the God of IsraEl before whom I stand – lives, there won't be any dew or rain in the land for years, unless I call for it.'

2 And then Jehovah told EliJah: 3 'Now, leave here and head east! Hide near the Cherith Wadi at the place where it empties into the Jordan. 4 There you will drink your water from the wadi, and I'll send crows to feed you!'

5 So EliJah did what Jehovah said and he settled in by the Cherith Wadi near the Jordan. 6 There crows brought him bread loaves in the morning and meat in the afternoon, and he drank water from the wadi. 7 However before long the wadi also dried up, because there was no rain in the land. 8 So Jehovah told EliJah: 9 'Now, get up and go to the Sidonian [city of] SarEpta… {Look!} I've instructed a widow woman there to provide food for you.'

10 So he got up and went to SarEpta; and as he neared the city gate, {Look!} he saw a widow woman collecting wood. Then EliJah called out to her and said, 'Please take a little water from your jar and give me something to drink!' 11 However, she just started carrying [her wood] inside. So EliJah shouted at her again, saying: 'May I please have a little bit of your bread to eat!'

12 Then the woman said: 'As Jehovah your God lives; what good is a cake that must be baked in hot ashes? All I have is just a handful of flour in a jar and a little bit of olive oil in a pitcher. Do you see? I've just collected two sticks so I can go home and cook what is left for my children and myself… then we can eat it and die!'

13 But EliJah said: 'Don't get discouraged; just go on ahead and do what you said you're going to do. However, bake a small loaf and bring it to me first. Then afterward, you and your children may eat. 14 For this is what Jehovah the God of IsraEl has said:
The jar of flour will never fail,
Nor will the pitcher of oil,
Until the day that Jehovah appointed
For rain to fall on the ground
.'

15 So the woman went inside and did as EliJah told her… she fed him first, and then she and her children ate. 16 And thereafter, her jar of flour never became empty and her pitcher of olive oil never ran low… just as the Lord had told her through EliJah.

17 But later, the son of the lady of the house became ill, and he kept getting worse until he finally stopped breathing. 18 So she asked EliJah: 'What have I done to you, O man of God, that you should be reminded of all my sins and kill my son?'

19 And EliJah said to the woman: 'Bring your son to me.'

So she picked him up and held him to her breasts, and she carried him to [EliJah's] bed in an upstairs room and laid him there. 20 Then EliJah yelled out and said: 'O Jehovah; Since You have seen how well this widow has treated me, why have You sent evil to kill her son?' 21 And after that, he breathed into the boy's [mouth] three times as he called to Jehovah, saying: 'O my God; Give this boy back his life!' 22 And at that, the boy suddenly shouted aloud! 23 Then EliJah led him downstairs and gave him to his mother, and said: 'See, your son is alive!' 24 And the woman said to EliJah: 'Now I know that you're a man of God, and that the words of Jehovah which come from your mouth are all true.'

Chapter 18

1 After three years, the Lord came to EliJah and said: 'You must now go and speak to Ahab, for I'm going to allow rain to fall on the land once again!' 2 So EliJah went to appear before Ahab. And by then the famine had become very severe in Samaria.

3 Well at the time, Ahab had called for his Prime Minister AbDiu. He was a man who had great respect for Jehovah, 4 for back when JezeBel had many of the Prophets of Jehovah killed, he was the one who gathered a hundred of them and hid them in two caves in groups of fifties, and sent them food and water.

5 Then Ahab said to AbDiu: 'Come! Let's travel throughout the land and search all the streams and springs to see if we can find a pasture with water where I can take my horses and mules, so they don't die in their stalls!'

6 And at that, they parted company along the road, with Ahab going one way and AbDiu going the other.

7 Well, AbDiu was by himself when EliJah arrived. Then AbDiu ran and fell to his face and asked, 'Are you my lord EliJah? 8 And EliJah said: 'I am; go tell your master that EliJah is here!'

9 But AbDiu replied: 'What has your servant done that you would hand me over to Ahab, for he will kill me! As Jehovah your God lives; there isn't a nation or kingdom where my master hasn't searched for you. 10 And when they said you weren't there, he burned the kingdoms and their cities when he couldn't find you. 11 So you just want me to just go and tell my master that EliJah is here? 12 What if, after I leave you, Jehovah sends a wind that picks you up and carries you into an unknown land? Then if I were to go and tell Ahab and he doesn't find you here, he would kill me!

'Now, your servant has feared Jehovah since his youth. 13 And perhaps you haven't been told, my master, what I did when JezeBel killed the Prophets of Jehovah… I took a hundred of them and hid them in caves in groups of fifties. Thereafter, I fed them with bread loaves and provided them with water. 14 But now you say that I should just go and tell my master that EliJah is here? He'll kill me!'

15 And EliJah said: 'As the Almighty Jehovah who stands before me lives, I will appear before him today.'

16 So AbDiu went to find Ahab and he reported what had happened. Then Ahab ran to meet with EliJah, 17 and when he saw him, he asked, 'Are you finally going to [stop plaguing] IsraEl?'

18 But EliJah said: 'No, I'm not going to [stop plaguing] IsraEl; for you and the house of your fathers have left Jehovah your God and started following the BaAls. 19 So now you must gather all IsraEl to Mount CarMel along with all the Prophets of BaAl (all four hundred and fifty of them) and all the Prophets of the sacred poles (all four hundred of them who eat at the table of JezeBel)!'

20 As the result, Ahab sent word throughout all IsraEl to call those prophets to Mount CarMel.

21 [And when they got there] EliJah stood up in front of all the people and said: 'How much longer are you going to be lame on both of your hams? If Jehovah is God, then you should follow Him! But if BaAl is God, he's the one you should follow!'

Well, no one said a word.

22 Then EliJah said: 'I'm the only Prophet of Jehovah that is left. But here are four hundred and fifty prophets of BaAl and four hundred prophets of the sacred poles. 23 So now, have them bring two oxen to us, then let those men choose which one they want and then cut it up and put it on the Altar. Also put some wood there, but don't light the fire. I'll do the same thing to the other ox, and I won't light the fire either. 24 Then they can call in the names of their gods, and I'll call upon the Name of my God Jehovah, and whichever one is able to light the fire [will prove to be] the true God.'

And at that, all the people said: 'What you've proposed is very good!'

25 Then EliJah turned to those prophets of shame and said: 'Now, choose the calf you want and get it ready. There are many of you, so you should all call on the names of your gods and have them light the fire!'

26 So they selected the calf and prepared it for offering, and they started calling on the name of BaAl from morning until noon saying, 'Listen to us, O BaAl! Hear us!' But there was no reply, because there was no one who could hear. So then they started dancing around the Altar that they'd made.

27 Well by noon, EliJah (the Tishbite) had started making fun of them. He was saying: 'Keep on shouting! Perhaps he's just thinking about it or he's off handling some business… or maybe he's sleeping and he hasn't gotten up yet!'

28 But they kept on shouting and cutting themselves with knives and spears (which was their custom) until they were all running with blood… 29 they kept [acting like] prophets until midday. But after their sacrifice had stayed there until noon without any reply, 30 EliJah said to the people: 'Now, come here to me!' And all the people came to him.

Then EliJah rebuilt an old Altar that had been knocked down. 31 He took twelve stones (to represent the tribes of IsraEl), just as Jehovah told him to do. This was the very same place where the Lord had once told [Jacob], 'IsraEl will be your Name.' 32 And these were the same stones that [Jacob himself had] erected in the Name of the Lord… it was the same broken-down Altar of Jehovah that he rebuilt that day.

Then he built a moat around it that was deep enough to hold two sacks of seeds, and he put wood on the Altar that he had erected. 33 He then cut up the whole burnt offering and put it over the wood (he piled it all on the Altar), and said: 'Now, bring four buckets of water and pour them over the offering and the wood!' 34 Then he told them to do it a second time, and they did it again. And he said, 'Now, do it a third time!' And they did it a third time. 35 And thereafter, EliJah filled the moat around the Altar with water. 36 Then he shouted into the sky, saying, 'O Jehovah, God of AbraHam, IsaAc, and IsraEl; hear me today and send fire, so all these people will know that You are Jehovah, the God of IsraEl… [show them] that I'm Your servant and that the things I'm doing are Your works! 37 Hear me, O Jehovah; send fire, so these people will know that You are the Lord God, and so that the hearts of these people will turn back to You!'

38 Well at that, Jehovah sent fire that fell from the sky, and it consumed the whole burnt offering, the wood, the water in the moat, the stones… and even the dirt around [the Altar] was all licked up by the fire. 39 Then all the people fell to their faces and said, 'Jehovah is truly God… The God!'

40 And EliJah said to the people: 'Now, seize all the prophets of BaAl… don't let any of them escape!' So they grabbed them, and EliJah took them down to the Kishon Wadi and killed them all there.

41 Well after that, Ahab headed back [home] to eat and drink. Meanwhile, EliJah had walked up Mount CarMel, and there he bowed to the ground with his face between his knees. 42 Then he said this to his servant: 'Now, climb to the top of the mountain and look toward the sea!'

43 So his servant climbed to the mountaintop and looked toward the sea, and he said: 'I don't see anything.'

And EliJah said: 'Then turn around seven times!'

44 So the servant turned around seven times; and on the seventh time he said, 'Look! A cloud that's as small as the sole of a man's foot arose from the water in the sea, and it said, Go to Ahab and tell him to get his chariot ready and hurry away so that the rain doesn't overtake him.'

45 Well, all of a sudden the sky got dark with clouds, the wind started to blow, and a tremendous rainstorm began.

Meanwhile, Ahab was on his way back to JezreEl (he was crying). 46 Then the hand of Jehovah came over EliJah, so he tightened his belt and he ran to JezreEl ahead of Ahab.

Chapter 19

1 Well [when he got home], Ahab told his woman JezeBel (the one who had the Prophets killed with swords) about everything that EliJah did. 2 So JezeBel sent [a message] to EliJah that said: 'May the gods curse me and add to it if by this time tomorrow your life won't be the same as the lives [of those Prophets whom I had killed].'

3 Well, this frightened EliJah, so he got up and ran for his life. And when he got to BeerSheba, he left his servant there 4 and traveled along the desert road for a day's journey, where [he spent the night] under a broom bush. That's when he prayed for his life to end, saying: 'It's now fitting for You to take my life, O Jehovah, because I'm no better than my ancestors!' 5 And thereafter, he bedded down and slept under that bush.

Then {Look!} someone came and touched him and said, 'Now, get up and eat!' 6 And he looked around and saw a loaf of oat bread that had been baked in ashes lying next to his head, along with a jar of water. So EliJah got up and ate and drank, then he went back to sleep.

7 But the messenger of Jehovah returned a second time and touched him, saying, 'Get up and eat! You'll need this for your long journey!'

8 So he got up and ate and drank again, and he gained enough strength from the food to last the whole trip of forty days and forty nights to the Dry Mountain (Horeb). 9 And when he got there, he went into a cave to rest. But then {Look!} Jehovah sent word to him. He asked: 'Why are you here, EliJah?' 10 And EliJah replied: 'Because of my zeal… because I'm zealous for Jehovah the Almighty. Yet, the sons of IsraEl have abandoned You… they've cut down Your Altars and they've killed Your Prophets with swords, so now I'm the only one left, and they're looking [to kill] me!'

11 Then he was told: 'Go outside and stand on the mountain before Jehovah. There {Look!} the Lord will pass by you in a strong wind that will split the mountain and break its rocks.'

[So he went outside and stood] before Jehovah, and wind blew… but it wasn't wind, it was Jehovah. Then after the wind blew, the ground shook… but it wasn't an earthquake, it was Jehovah. 12 And after the ground shook, there was fire… but it wasn't fire, it was Jehovah. And after the fire, there was a sound that came from a soft breeze, which was Jehovah.

13 Well after that, EliJah covered his face with a sheepskin and he went back inside the cave. But then {Look!} a voice again asked: 'Why are you here, EliJah?' 14 And EliJah once more replied: 'Because of my zeal… because I'm zealous for Jehovah the Almighty. Yet the sons of IsraEl have abandoned Your Sacred Agreement with them… they've demolished Your Altars and they've killed Your Prophets with swords, and now I'm the only one left and they're looking [to kill] me!'

15 Then The Lord said to him: 'Go on with your journey; and when you reach the desert road to Damascus, [I want you to] anoint HazaEl to be the king over Syria. 16 Also, anoint Jehu (the son of NamesSi) to be the king over IsraEl, and anoint EliSha (the son of Shaphat from AbelMaoOla) to replace you as [My] Prophet. 17 Thereafter, all who are saved from the broadsword of HazaEl will be killed by Jehu, and all who are saved from the broadsword of Jehu will be killed by EliSha. 18 However, there are still seven thousand men in IsraEl who haven't bent their knees to BaAl, and none of their mouths have spoken reverently of him.'

19 So he went and found EliSha (the son of Shaphat), who was leading twelve teams of oxen that were pulling a plough. He went up to him and placed his sheepskin over him, 20 then EliSha left his oxen and ran after EliJah, saying: 'First let me kiss my father and mother goodbye… and then I'll follow you!'

But [EliJah] told him: 'Come on… I've already done that for you!'

21 So he went back and took the teams of oxen and sacrificed them, cooked them with the wood [of their yokes], and gave [the meat] to his people, which they ate. Then he got up and ran after EliJah and started serving him.

Chapter 20

1 Thereafter, BenHader (the king of Syria) gathered his whole army along with thirty-two [vassal] kings with all their horses and chariots, and they went to lay siege against Samaria… they all went to Samaria to wage war against it. 2 Then he sent messengers into the city of Ahab (the king of IsraEl), who told him, 'This is what BenHader says: 3 Your silver and your gold are all mine. Also, your wives, children, and all the good things that you have are mine.'

4 And the king of IsraEl replied: 'Just as you have said, O my master, O king; I and all that is mine is yours.'

5 Then BenHader sent his messengers again, that said: 'I sent you the message telling you that you are to give your silver, gold, wives, and children to me. 6 So at this hour tomorrow, I will send my servants to you, and then they will search your palace and the homes of your servants and take anything that their eyes desire… whatever they put in their hands, they can take.'

7 So the king of IsraEl called all the elders of the land and said: 'I want you to know of all the evil that this man intends to do. For although I've offered him all my silver, gold, wives, sons, and daughters, he's now asking for [everything else].'

8 Well, the elders and all the people said: 'Don't listen to him… and don't worry!'

9 So he replied to the messengers of BenHader: 'Tell your master that I will give him all that he asked for at first, but I won't be able to do this [other] thing that he's asking.' And his people carried that message back. 10 But BenHader said this: 'May the gods curse me and add to it if the dirt of the foxes of Samaria and all its people is good enough for the feet of my soldiers.'

11 Then the king of IsraEl replied: 'That's enough! May the hunchback not boast as though he were able to stand erect!'

12 Well, when this message reached [BenHader], he and all the other kings were inside his tent drinking. So he told his servants to build a siege mound around the city, which they did.

13 Then {Look!} a Prophet came to Ahab (the king of IsraEl) and told him, 'This is what Jehovah has said: You have now seen how large an army they have, but {Look!} today I'm giving them all into your hands… and then you will know that I am Jehovah!'

14 So Ahab asked him, 'Who will accomplish this?'

And he was told, 'This is what Jehovah said: It will happen at the hands of the young princes of this region.'

And Ahab asked, 'Then, who will join them in this war?'

And he was told, 'You will!'

15 So Ahab counted the sons of the rulers of his realm and found out that there were two-hundred-and-thirty of them. Then he counted his troops and found that there were seven thousand of them… all mighty men. 16 So he attacked at noon.

Meanwhile, BenHader and the other kings (thirty-two of them) who were his allies, were in SokChoth, and they were all drunk.

17 Then in the first wave, [Ahab] sent the young princes to attack. And when BenHader (the king of Syria) received word that men were coming from Samaria, 18 he said, 'Whether they're coming in peace or for war, let's capture them alive!'

19 Well, the young princes then came out of the city (with the whole army following them), 20 and each one cut down the soldier who faced him. Thereafter, they did it again… each one cut down the soldier who came against him. So then the Syrians turned and ran, and the IsraElites chased after them. But BenHader (the king of Syria) grabbed a cavalryman's horse and he got away.

21 Well after [the battle], the king of IsraEl went and took all their horses and chariots, which was a great calamity for Syria.

22 Then the Prophet went to the king of IsraEl again and said: 'Now, strengthen your forces and consider what you must do, for BenHader (the king of Syria) will attack you once again this year!'

23 So the servants of the king of Syria went to him and said, 'The God of IsraEl is a God of mountains, not a God of valleys, and that's why they beat us. However, if we go to war with them in the straight plains, we can overpower them. 24 So, this is what you should do: Send all the kings home and appoint governors to replace them. 25 Then we will replace the men who were killed, get more horses, build more chariots, and we'll go back and fight them in the plains and overpower them.'

Well, the king listened to them and went along with their proposal. 26 So toward the end of the year, BenHader gathered an army in Syria and marched them toward Apheka to war against IsraEl, 27 and the sons of IsraEl gathered for war and went out to meet them. Then, like two flocks of goats, IsraEl stood opposite them on the right, while Syria literally filled the land on the left side.

28 Then the man of God went to the king of IsraEl once more and told him, 'This is what Jehovah has said: Because Syria says that Jehovah the God of IsraEl is a God of the mountains, not a God of the valleys, I'm going to give his huge army into your hands… and then you will know that I am Jehovah.'

29 Well, both armies just sat there camped against each other for seven days. Then on the seventh day the war started, and IsraEl cut down the Syrians… a hundred-thousand foot soldiers in one day. 30 All the rest retreated to the city of Apheka. But then its walls crumbled, killing twenty-seven thousand of the remaining men, and BenHader ran away and hid in a bedroom in the inner part of a house. 31 There he said to his servants: 'I know that the kings of IsraEl are merciful. So, dress yourselves in sackcloth and wrap your heads with ropes; then go to the king of IsraEl and see if he will allow us to live.'

32 So they wrapped sackcloth around their loins and wrapped ropes around their heads, and went to the king of IsraEl and said, 'Your servant BenHader says: Please allow me to keep my life'

And [IsraEl's king] asked, 'Is my brother still alive?'

33 Then the men quickly got together and discussed what to say, and they replied: 'Yes, BenHader your brother [is still alive].

And he said, 'Well then, go get him.'

So BenHader was brought [to the king] on a chariot. 34 And he said, 'I'm giving back all the cities that my father took from your father, and you may name the streets that my father built in Damascus after yourself, just like my father did in Samaria.'

And [the king said], 'If you'll sign a treaty with me, I'll send you home.' So they signed a treaty, and he was allowed to return home.

35 Then a man who was one of the sons of the Prophets said to his neighbor (by [the inspiration] of Jehovah): 'Strike me!' But his neighbor wouldn't knock him down. 36 So he said to him: 'Because you didn't listen to the voice of Jehovah; {look!} after you leave me, a lion will strike you down!' And after he left him, a lion did in fact kill him.

37 Thereafter, [the Prophet] went and found another man and said: 'Strike me!' And this time the man struck him and wounded him. 38 Then the Prophet went to see the king of IsraEl, and on the way he wrapped gauze around his eyes. 39 So when he got to the king, he shouted this at him: 'Your servant was in the army and I went to war. Then {Look!} someone brought me a prisoner and told me to guard him, and that if he got away, either I would have to pay with my life or I'd have to pay him sixty-pounds of silver. 40 But then when I turned, the prisoner was gone!'

And the king of IsraEl said to him: '{Look!} You were responsible, so you'll have to pay!'

41 And at that, the man removed the gauze from over his eyes, and the king recognized him as one of the Prophets. 42 Then the Prophet said to him, 'This is what Jehovah has said: Because you allowed a man who escaped from you to live, your life will be required for his life, and your people's lives for his people's lives!'

43 Well at that, the king of IsraEl left dumbfounded and shaking, and he went back home to Samaria.

Chapter 21

1 Then there came the matter of the vineyard of NabOth the JezreElite. His vineyard was located near the threshing floor of Ahab (the king of Samaria). 2 And Ahab had spoken to NabOth and asked him to trade vineyards with him, because [NabOth's vineyard] was close to his palace, and he wanted it as a vegetable garden. He said, 'I'll give you another very-good vineyard for it; or if you prefer, we can discuss terms and I'll buy if from you, because I need it for a vegetable garden.'

3 But NabOth replied: 'No, I could never give it to you, because this is the inheritance that my God gave to my ancestors.'

4 Well, this matter bothered Ahab so much that he just went to bed, covered his face, and refused to eat. 5 So his woman JezeBel went to him and asked, 'Why is your spirit so disturbed, and why are you refusing to eat?'

6 And he said, 'I spoke to NabOth (the JezreElite) and asked him to sell me his vineyard… I offered to trade him another good one for it, but he said that he doesn't want to give me the inheritance of his ancestors.'

7 Then his woman JezeBel said: 'Aren't you the king of IsraEl? Get up, eat, and start acting like yourself. I'll give you the vineyard of NabOth the JezreElite!'

8 So she wrote a letter and [forged] Ahab's name to it, put his seal on it, and then she sent it to the elders and free men who lived near NabOth. 9 In it, she wrote: 'I want you to declare a fast, and I want NabOth to be in charge over the people!'

10 Then she assigned two sons of convicted criminals to work with him, who were to accuse him of blaspheming God and the king, and then take him out to be stoned to death. 11 And that's what happened. The men who lived in his city (the elders and free men to whom JezeBel sent the letter) 12 called for a fast, and they appointed NabOth to be in charge. 13 Then the two men who were sons of convicts and who sat right across from him, accused him of blaspheming God and the king, and they led him out of the city to be stoned to death. 14 So they sent a message to JezeBel that said: 'NabOth has been stoned and now he's dead.'

15 Then when JezeBel got the message, she said to Ahab: 'Now, get up and take the vineyard that NabOth (the JezreElite) refused to sell you, because NabOth is dead!'

16 So when Ahab heard that NabOth had died, he went and claimed the field as his own inheritance.

17 Thereafter, the Lord spoke to EliJah (the Tishbite) and said, 'Get up and go to Samaria to meet with Ahab (the king of IsraEl). 18 {Look!} You'll find him in the vineyard of NabOth, where he has gone to claim it as his own inheritance. 19 Speak to him and tell him that Jehovah said this: Because you had to murder someone to inherit this field; everywhere that the pigs and dogs licked the blood of NabOth, they will also lick up your blood, and whores will bathe in your blood!'

20 So EliJah went to Ahab, and Ahab said to him: 'O my enemy, I see that you've found me!'

21 And EliJah replied: 'Yes, I've found you, because you've acted foolishly and sold yourself into wickedness before Jehovah. So, this is what He told me to say: {Look!} I'm bringing all sorts of bad things upon you. I will destroy Ahab and burn away everything that comes after him… all those who can urinate against a wall and all those who serve him that still remain in IsraEl. 22 Then I'll make your house like that of JeroBoam, the son of NaBat, and as that of BaAsha's son AhiJah, because of the ways that you've provoked Me to anger and led IsraEl into sin.'

23 Then [EliJah] told JezeBel, 'Jehovah also said this: Dogs will eat your [body] around the walls of JezreEl. 24 Also, those of [the house of] Ahab who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and those who die in the fields will be eaten by the flying creatures of the skies. 25 For Ahab acted very foolishly when he sold himself into these wicked deeds before Jehovah through the perversions of his woman, JezeBel. 26 All of his actions in this have been disgusting… he's even started worshiping the disgusting thing of the Amorites that Jehovah drove away from before the sons of IsraEl!'

27 Well, after [EliJah] said these things, Ahab became very repentant before Jehovah… he started crying and ripping his clothes; then he tied sackcloth around his body and fasted, and he kept on wearing the sackcloth from the day that NabOth the JezreElite was killed. 28 So Jehovah spoke to EliJah the Tishbite and said: 29 'I see that Ahab is repentant; therefore, I'm not going to bring the evil upon him during his lifetime. However, I will bring it upon his son and upon his house.'

Chapter 22

1 As the result, there was no more war between IsraEl and Syria during the next three years. 2 But in the third year, JehoShaphat (the king of Judah) went to visit the king of IsraEl. 3 [And it so happened that at the time], the king of IsraEl had been talking to his servants about RamOth Gilead, for it really belonged to him and he had yet to take it back from Syria. 4 So the king of IsraEl asked JehoShaphat: 'Will you join us in our war for RamOth Gilead?'

5 And JehoShaphat replied: 'You and I and your people and mine are the same race, so my horses are your horses. However, why don't you go and ask [Jehovah about this] today? You should definitely ask Him first!'

6 Well, the king of IsraEl gathered all his prophets (about four hundred of them), and the king asked them: 'Should I go to war against RamOth Gilead, or should I wait?'

And their reply was: 'Go, and the Lord will give it into the hands of the king!'

7 But then JehoShaphat asked the king of IsraEl: 'Don't you have any Prophets of Jehovah? We should go to them to ask Jehovah about this matter.'

8 And the king of IsraEl said to JehoShaphat: 'Well, there's still one man of Jehovah whom we can ask, however I detest him because he never tells me good things, just bad things. His name is MicaJah the son of JemBlaAh.'

So JehoShaphat (the king of Judah) said to him: 'We should really hear what he has to say.'

9 Therefore, the king of IsraEl called his primary eunuch and told him: 'Quickly, bring MicaJah (the son of JemBlaAh) to me.'

10 So then the king of IsraEl and JehoShaphat the king of Judah both sat down on their thrones, and all the prophets came in and started prophesying before them. 11 ZedekiAh (the son of HanaAn) actually made himself some iron horns, and he said, 'This is what the Lord says: With these you will gore the Syrians until you finish them off!' 12 And all the other prophets agreed, saying, 'Go to war for RamOth Gilead and you will be blest, for [God] will hand the king of Syria over to you.'

13 Meanwhile, the messenger who was sent to call for MicaJah finally found him, and he said to him: '{Look!} All the prophets are telling the king good things, so you must go there and do the same!'

14 But MicaJah replied: 'As Jehovah lives; I'll say whatever He tells me to say.'

15 However, when he went before the king and the king asked, 'Should I go to war for RamOth Gilead, or should I wait?', MicaJah told him, 'Go, and Jehovah will bless the hands of the king!'

16 But the king said to him: 'How often do I have to ask you to promise to speak the truth to me when you're speaking in the Name of the Lord?'

17 And MicaJah replied, 'Well, [what I said really] isn't true; for I saw all IsraEl scattered in the mountains like a flock with no shepherd. Then the Lord said to me: When these people no longer have a lord, they should return to their homes in peace!'

18 Well at that, the king of IsraEl turned to JehoShaphat and said: 'Didn't I tell you that this one would only prophesy bad things?'

19 And MicaJah said to him: 'That isn't true! For all I do is listen to the words of Jehovah… and that's what I've done! I saw Jehovah the God of IsraEl sitting on His throne and the whole army of the heavens was standing around Him on His right and on His left. 20 Then Jehovah asked, Who will fool Ahab the king of IsraEl and make him go to war for RamOth Gilead? And one said this and another said that; 21 but then a spirit came and stood before Jehovah and said, I will deceive him!

22 'So Jehovah asked him: How will you do that?

'And he replied: I'll go and become a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.

'And God said: You will surely deceive him, so go on and do it!

23 'Therefore, {Look!} Jehovah has put a lying spirit into the mouths of all your prophets, and He has really foretold bad things for you.'

24 Well at that, ZedekiAh (the son of HanaAn) came up to MicaJah and hit him in the mouth, then he asked, 'So, what kind of spirit has Jehovah prophesied for you?'

25 And MicaJah replied: '{Look!} You'll know [the answer] when you have to run and hide in the inner chamber of a storeroom!'

26 Then the king of IsraEl told his servants to take MicaJah to AmMon (who was the mayor of the city) and to his son JehoAsh, 27 who should keep him under guard. He told them to say, 'Don't give him anything to eat other than bread and water until after I have returned in peace!'

28 But MicaJah said, 'Since you won't be returning in peace, the Lord told me to say this to you: Listen all you people; 29 The king of IsraEl [will go to war], and JehoShaphat (the king of Judah) will go with him.'

30 Well at that, the king of IsraEl turned to JehoShaphat (the king of Judah) and said: 'Let me disguise myself in the battle, and I want you to put on my clothes.' So the king of IsraEl put on [JehoShaphat's] clothes, and they went to the battle.

31 Meanwhile, the king of Syria had given these instructions to the thirty-two me who were in charge of his chariots. He said: 'Don't attack his foot soldiers or his generals… go catch the king of IsraEl by himself.'

32 So when those who were in charge of the chariots saw the king of Judah [wearing the king of IsraEl's clothes], they shouted, 'That looks like the king of IsraEl!' Then they circled and prepared to attack him. However, JehoShaphat shouted, 33 and when the men in charge realized that it wasn't the king of IsraEl, they turned away.

34 But thereafter, a skilled bowman recognized the king of IsraEl and shot him in the chest between his lungs. And [the king] said to his chariot driver: 'Turn around and take me away from the battle, because I've been hit.'

35 Well, this turned the tide of the battle, and the king sat in his chariot across from the fighting for the rest of the day, as blood poured all over the chariot. Then he died later that evening.

Well, as the blood started running from the chariot toward the enemy camp, 36 a messenger went throughout IsraEl's camp after sundown, shouting: 'Everyone should go back to his city and land, 37 because the king is dead!'

So everyone returned to Samaria, and they carried the king back and buried him in a tomb in Samaria. 38 However, when they started washing the blood off the chariot in the Spring of Samaria, pigs and dogs came and licked up his blood and whores bathed in the bloody water, just as Jehovah had said.

39 Well, {Look!} the rest of the things that Ahab said and did, as well as [a description] of the house of ivory that he had built and of all the cities he created, have been written about in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of IsraEl.

40 So after Ahab went to sleep with his ancestors, his son AhaziJah started ruling in his place.

41 Well, JehoShaphat (the son of Asa) had started his rule over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab the king of IsraEl. 42 He was thirty-five years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem for twenty-five years. His mother's name was Azuba, and she was the daughter of SalAi. 43 He had followed in the path of his father Asa unswervingly, doing what was upright in the eyes of Jehovah. However, he never tore down the high places where the people burned incense and offered sacrifices. 44 But during his reign he was at peace with the king of IsraEl.

45 The rest of the things that JehoShaphat said, as well as the area of his rulership, was written about in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of Judah. 46 And during his reign, he completed everything that had been started or neglected during the reign of his father Asa.

47 Meanwhile, there was no king reigning in Idumea.

48 King JehoShaphat also had a Tharsis-style ship made in order to go to Ophir and bring back gold. But it never [reached Ophir], because it was wrecked at GeBer. 49 So King AhaziJah of IsraEl said to JehoShaphat: 'Your servants can travel there with my servants.' 50 But JehoShaphat didn't want to do that.

51 Finally, JehoShaphat went to sleep with his ancestors, and they buried him in the tomb of his fathers in the city of his ancestor David. So his son JehoRam started to rule.

52 It was in the seventeenth year of the reign of JehoShaphat the king of Judah that AhaziJah (Ahab's son) had started ruling over IsraEl from Samaria. However, he only ruled for two years, 53 because he also acted wickedly before Jehovah, following in the steps of his father Ahab, his mother JezeBel, and of JeroBoam the son of NaBat (who was the first one who led IsraEl into sin)… 54 for he served the BaAls, bowing before them, and this angered Jehovah, the God of IsraEl.

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