Through the Bible – Day 153

Bible text(s)

Solomon dedicates the temple

1As soon as Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and burnt up the offerings. The LORD's dazzling glory then filled the temple, 2and the priests could not go in.

3When the crowd of people saw the fire and the LORD's glory, they knelt down and worshipped the LORD. They prayed:

“The LORD is good,

and his love never ends.”

4-5Solomon and the people dedicated the temple to the LORD by sacrificing twenty-two thousand cattle and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep. 6Everybody stood up during the ceremony. The priests were in their assigned places, blowing their trumpets. And the Levites faced them, playing the musical instruments that David had made for them to use when they praised the LORD for his never-ending love.

7On that same day, Solomon dedicated the courtyard in front of the temple and got it ready to be used for worship. The bronze altar he had made was too small, so he used the courtyard to offer sacrifices to please the LORD and grain sacrifices, and also to send up in smoke the fat from the other offerings.

8For seven days, Solomon and the crowd celebrated the Festival of Shelters, and people came from as far away as the Egyptian Gorge in the south and Lebo-Hamath in the north. 9Then on the next day, everyone came together for worship. They had celebrated a total of fourteen days, seven days for the dedication of the altar and seven more days for the festival. 10Then on the twenty-third day of the seventh month, Solomon sent everyone home. They left very happy because of all the good things the LORD had done for David and Solomon, and for his people Israel.

The LORD appears to Solomon again

11The LORD's temple and Solomon's palace were now finished. In fact, everything Solomon had planned to do was completed.

12Some time later, the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream and said:

I heard your prayer, and I have chosen this temple as the place where sacrifices will be offered to me.

13Suppose I hold back the rain or send locusts to eat the crops or make my people suffer with deadly diseases. 14If my own people will humbly pray and turn back to me and stop sinning, then I will answer them from heaven. I will forgive them and make their land fertile once again. 15I will hear the prayers made in this temple, 16because it belongs to me, and this is where I will be worshipped for ever. I will never stop watching over it.

17Your father David obeyed me, and now, Solomon, you must do the same. Obey my laws and teachings, 18and I will keep my solemn promise to him that someone from your family will always be king of Israel.

19But if you or any of the people of Israel disobey my laws or start worshipping foreign gods, 20I will pull you out of this land I gave you. I will desert this temple where I said I would be worshipped, so that people everywhere will think it is only a joke and will make fun of it. 21This temple is now magnificent. But when these things happen, everyone who walks by it will be shocked and will ask, “Why did the LORD do such a terrible thing to his people and to this temple?” 22Then they will answer, “It was because the people of Israel rejected the LORD their God, who rescued their ancestors from Egypt, and they started worshipping other gods.”

Other events during Solomon's rule

Other things Solomon did

(1 Kings 9.10-28)

1It took twenty years for the LORD's temple and Solomon's palace to be built. 2After that, Solomon's workers rebuilt the towns that Hiram had given him. Then Solomon sent Israelites to live in those towns.

3Solomon attacked and captured the town of Hamath-Zobah. 4He made his workers build the town of Tadmor in the desert and some towns in Hamath where he could keep his supplies. 5He strengthened Upper Beth-Horon and Lower Beth-Horon by adding walls and gates that could be locked. 6He did the same thing to the town of Baalath and to the cities where he kept supplies, chariots, and horses. Solomon made his workers build whatever he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and anywhere else in his kingdom.

7-9Solomon did not force the Israelites to do his work. Instead, they were his soldiers, officers, army commanders, and cavalry troops. But he did make slaves of the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites who were living in Israel. These were the descendants of those foreigners the Israelites did not destroy, and they remained Israel's slaves.

10Solomon appointed two hundred and fifty officers to be in charge of his workers.

11Solomon's wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt, moved from the part of Jerusalem called David's City to her new palace that Solomon had built. The sacred chest had been kept in David's City, which made his palace sacred, and so Solomon's wife could no longer live there.

12Solomon offered sacrifices to the LORD on the altar he had built in front of the temple. 13He followed the requirements that Moses had given for sacrifices offered on the Sabbath, on the first day of each month, the Festival of Thin Bread, the Harvest Festival, and the Festival of Shelters.

14Solomon then assigned the priests and the Levites their duties at the temple, and he followed the instructions that his father David had given him. Some of the Levites were to lead music and help the priests in their duties, and others were to guard the temple gates 15and the storage rooms. The priests and Levites followed these instructions exactly.

16Everything Solomon had planned to do was now finished—from the laying of the temple's foundation to its completion.

17Solomon went to Ezion-Geber and Eloth, two Edomite towns on the Red Sea. 18Hiram sent him ships and some of his experienced sailors. They went with Solomon's own sailors to the country of Ophir and brought back more than fifteen thousand kilogrammes of gold for Solomon.

The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon

1The Queen of Sheba heard how famous Solomon was, so she went to Jerusalem to test him with difficult questions. She took along several of her officials, and she loaded her camels with gifts of spices, jewels, and gold. When she arrived, she and Solomon talked about everything she could think of. 2He answered every question, no matter how difficult it was.

3-4The Queen was amazed at Solomon's wisdom. She was breathless when she saw his palace, the food on his table, his officials, all his servants in their uniforms, and the sacrifices he offered at the LORD's temple. 5She said:

Solomon, in my own country I had heard about your wisdom and all you've done. 6But I didn't believe it until I saw it with my own eyes! And there's so much I didn't hear about. You are greater than I was told. 7Your people and officials are lucky to be here where they can listen to the wise things you say.

8I praise the LORD your God. He is pleased with you and has made you king of Israel. God loves the people of this country and will never desert them, so he has given them a king who will rule fairly and honestly.

9The Queen of Sheba gave Solomon more than four thousand kilogrammes of gold, a large amount of jewels, and the best spices anyone had ever seen.

10-12In return, Solomon gave her everything she wanted—even more than she had given him. Then she and her officials went back to their own country.

Solomon's wealth

Hiram's and Solomon's sailors brought gold, juniper wood, and jewels from the country of Ophir. Solomon used the wood to make steps for the temple and palace, and harps and other stringed instruments for the musicians. Nothing like these had ever been made in Judah.

13Solomon received almost twenty-three thousand kilogrammes of gold each year, 14not counting what the merchants and traders brought him. The kings of Arabia and the leaders of Israel also gave him gold and silver.

15Solomon made two hundred gold shields that weighed over three kilogrammes each. 16He also made three hundred smaller gold shields that weighed almost two kilogrammes, and he put these shields in his palace in Forest Hall.

17His throne was made of ivory and covered with pure gold. 18It had a gold footstool attached to it and arm rests on each side. There was a statue of a lion on each side of the throne, 19and there were two lion statues on each of the six steps leading up to the throne. No other throne in the world was like Solomon's.

20Solomon's cups and dishes in Forest Hall were made of pure gold, because silver was almost worthless in those days.

21Solomon had a lot of seagoing ships. Every three years he sent them out with Hiram's ships to bring back gold, silver, and ivory, as well as monkeys and peacocks.

22Solomon was the richest and wisest king in the world. 23-24Year after year, other kings came to hear the wisdom God had given him. And they brought gifts of silver and gold, as well as clothes, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.

25Solomon had four thousand stalls for his horses and chariots, and he owned twelve thousand horses that he kept in Jerusalem and other towns.

26He ruled all the nations from the River Euphrates in the north to the land of Philistia in the south, as far as the border of Egypt.

27While Solomon was king, there was silver everywhere in Jerusalem, and cedar was as common as the sycamore trees in the western foothills. 28Solomon's horses were brought in from other countries, including Musri.

Solomon dies

29Everything else Solomon did while he was king is written in the records of Nathan the prophet, Ahijah the prophet from Shiloh, and Iddo the prophet who wrote about Jeroboam son of Nebat. 30After Solomon had ruled forty years from Jerusalem, 31he died and was buried in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam then became king.

2 Chronicles 7:1-9:31CEVOpen in Bible reader

The new command

31After Judas had gone, Jesus said:

Now the Son of Man will be given glory, and he will bring glory to God. 32Then, after God is given glory because of him, God will bring glory to him, and God will do it very soon.

33My children, I will be with you for a little while longer. Then you will look for me, but you won't find me. I tell you just as I told the people, “You cannot go where I am going.” 34But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. 35If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.

Peter's promise

36Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?”

Jesus answered, “You can't go with me now, but later on you will.”

37Peter asked, “Lord, why can't I go with you now? I would die for you!”

38“Would you really die for me?” Jesus asked. “I tell you for certain that before a cock crows, you will say three times that you don't even know me.”

Jesus is the way to the Father

1Jesus said to his disciples, “Don't be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me. 2There are many rooms in my Father's house. I wouldn't tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you. 3After I have done this, I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together. 4You know the way to where I am going.”

5Thomas said, “Lord, we don't even know where you are going! How can we know the way?”

6“I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father. 7If you had known me, you would have known the Father. But from now on, you do know him, and you have seen him.”

8Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need.”

9Jesus replied:

Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don't you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father? 10Don't you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn't said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things.

11Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do. 12I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father. 13Ask me, and I will do whatever you ask. This way the Son will bring honour to the Father. 14I will do whatever you ask me to do.

John 13:31-14:14CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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