Good News Translation (GNB)

Solomon's Achievements

(1 Kgs 9.10–28)

81It took Solomon twenty years to build the Temple and his palace. 2He also rebuilt the cities that King Hiram had given him, and sent Israelites to settle in them. 3He captured the territory of Hamath and Zobah 4and fortified the city of Palmyra in the desert. He rebuilt all the cities in Hamath that were centres for storing supplies. 5Solomon also rebuilt the following cities: Upper Beth Horon and Lower Beth Horon (fortified cities with gates that could be barred), 6the city of Baalath, all the cities where he stored supplies, and the cities where his horses and chariots were stationed. He carried out all his plans for building in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and throughout the territory that he ruled over. 7-8Solomon employed in forced labour all the descendants of the people of Canaan whom the Israelites had not killed when they took possession of the land. These included Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, whose descendants continue to be slaves down to the present time. 9Israelites were not used in forced labour, but served as soldiers, officers, chariot commanders, and horsemen. 10There were 250 officials in charge of the forced labour working on the various building projects.

11Solomon moved his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt, from David's City to a house he built for her. He said, “She must not live in the palace of King David of Israel, because any place where the Covenant Box has been is holy.”

12Solomon offered sacrifices to the LORD on the altar which he had built in front of the Temple. 13

Ex 23.14–17
Num 28.9
Deut 16.16
He offered burnt offerings according to the requirements of the Law of Moses for each holy day: Sabbaths, New Moon Festivals, and the three annual festivals — the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Harvest Festival, and the Festival of Shelters. 14Following the rules laid down by his father David, he organized the daily work of the priests and of the Levites who assisted the priests in singing hymns and in doing their work. He also organized the temple guards in sections for performing their daily duties at each gate, in accordance with the commands of David, the man of God. 15The instructions which David had given the priests and the Levites concerning the storehouses and other matters were carried out in detail.

16By this time all Solomon's projects had been completed. From the laying of the foundation of the LORD's Temple to its completion, all the work had been successful.

17Then Solomon went to Eziongeber and Elath, ports on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba, in the land of Edom. 18King Hiram sent him ships under the command of his own officers and crewed by experienced sailors. They sailed with Solomon's officers to the land of Ophir and brought back to Solomon more than fifteen tonnes of gold.


The Visit of the Queen of Sheba

(1 Kgs 10.1–13)


Mt 12.42
Lk 11.31
The queen of Sheba heard of King Solomon's fame, and she travelled to Jerusalem to test him with difficult questions. She brought with her a large group of attendants, as well as camels loaded with spices, jewels, and a large amount of gold. When she and Solomon met, she asked him all the questions that she could think of. 2He answered them all; there was nothing too difficult for him to explain. 3The queen of Sheba heard Solomon's wisdom and saw the palace he had built. 4She saw the food that was served at his table, the living quarters for his officials, the organization of his palace staff and the uniforms they wore, the clothing of the servants who waited on him at feasts, and the sacrifices he offered9.4 Probable text (see 1 Kgs 10.5) sacrifices he offered; Hebrew his upper rooms. in the Temple. It left her breathless and amazed.

5She said to the king, “What I heard in my own country about you9.5 you; or your deeds. and your wisdom is true! 6I did not believe what they told me until I came and saw for myself. I had not heard of even half your wisdom. You are even wiser than people say. 7How fortunate are those who serve you, who are always in your presence and are privileged to hear your wise sayings! 8Praise the LORD your God! He has shown how pleased he is with you by making you king, to rule in his name. Because he loves his people Israel and wants to preserve them for ever, he has made you their king so that you can maintain law and justice.”

9She presented to King Solomon the gifts she had brought: more than four tonnes of gold and a very large amount of spices and jewels. There have never been any other spices as fine as those that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

10(The men of King Hiram and of King Solomon who brought gold from Ophir also brought juniper wood and jewels. 11Solomon used the wood to make stairs for the Temple and for his palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nothing like that had ever been seen before in the land of Judah.)

12King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she asked for. This was in addition to what he gave her in exchange for the gifts9.12 Probable text he gave her in exchange for the gifts; Hebrew unclear. she brought to him. Then she and her attendants returned to the land of Sheba.

King Solomon's Wealth

(1 Kgs 10.14–25)

13Every year King Solomon received almost 23 tonnes of gold, 14in addition to the taxes paid by the traders and merchants. The kings of Arabia and the governors of the Israelite districts also brought him silver and gold. 15Solomon made 200 large shields, each of which was covered with about seven kilogrammes of beaten gold, 16and 300 smaller shields, each covered with about three kilogrammes of beaten gold. He had them all placed in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon.9.16 Hall of the Forest of Lebanon: A large ceremonial hall in the palace, probably so called because it was panelled in cedar.

17The king also had a large throne made. Part of it was covered with ivory and the rest of it was covered with pure gold. 18Six steps led up to the throne, and there was a footstool attached to it, covered with gold. There were arms on each side of the throne, and the figure of a lion stood at each side. 19Twelve figures of lions were on the steps, one at either end of each step. No throne like this had ever existed in any other kingdom.

20All King Solomon's cups were made of gold, and all the utensils in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. Silver was not considered valuable in Solomon's day. 21He had a fleet of ocean-going ships sailing with King Hiram's fleet. Every three years his fleet would return, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.

22King Solomon was richer and wiser than any other king in the world. 23They all consulted him, to hear the wisdom that God had given him. 24Each of them brought Solomon gifts — articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons, spices, horses, and mules. This continued year after year.


1 Kgs 4.26
King Solomon also had 4,000 stalls for his chariots and horses, and had 12,000 cavalry horses. Some of them he kept in Jerusalem and the rest he stationed in various other cities. 26
Gen 15.18
1 Kgs 4.21
He was supreme ruler of all the kings in the territory from the River Euphrates to Philistia and the Egyptian border. 27During his reign silver was as common in Jerusalem as stone, and cedar was as plentiful as ordinary sycomore in the foothills of Judah. 28
Deut 17.16
Solomon imported horses from Musri9.28 Probable text (see 1.16) Musri; Hebrew Egypt. and from every other country.

Summary of Solomon's Reign

(1 Kgs 11.41–43)

29The rest of the history of Solomon from beginning to end is recorded in The History of Nathan the Prophet, in The Prophecy of Ahijah of Shiloh, and in The Visions of Iddo the Prophet, which also deal with the reign of King Jeroboam of Israel. 30Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 31He died and was buried in David's City, and his son Rehoboam succeeded him as king.


The Northern Tribes Revolt

(1 Kgs 12.1–20)

101Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all the people of northern Israel had gathered to make him king. 2When Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had gone to Egypt to escape from King Solomon, heard this news, he returned home. 3The people of the northern tribes sent for him, and they all went together to Rehoboam and said to him, 4“Your father placed heavy burdens on us. If you make these burdens lighter and make life easier for us, we will be your loyal subjects.”

5Rehoboam replied, “Give me three days to consider the matter. Then come back.” So the people left.

6King Rehoboam consulted the older men who had served as his father Solomon's advisers. “What answer do you advise me to give these people?” he asked.

7They replied, “If you are kind to these people and try to please them by giving a considerate answer, they will always serve you loyally.”

8But he ignored the advice of the older men and went instead to the young men who had grown up with him and who were now his advisers. 9“What do you advise me to do?” he asked. “What shall I say to the people who are asking me to make their burdens lighter?”

10They replied, “This is what you should tell them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father's waist.’ 11Tell them, ‘My father placed heavy burdens on you; I will make them even heavier. He beat you with a whip; I'll flog you with a horsewhip!’ ”

12Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to King Rehoboam, as he had instructed them. 13The king ignored the advice of the older men and spoke harshly to the people, 14as the younger men had advised. He said, “My father placed heavy burdens on you; I will make them even heavier. He beat you with a whip; I'll flog you with a horsewhip!” 15It was the will of the LORD God to bring about what he had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh. This is why the king did not pay any attention to the people.


2 Sam 20.1
When the people saw that the king would not listen to them, they shouted, “Down with David and his family! What have they ever done for us? People of Israel, let's go home! Let Rehoboam look out for himself!”

So the people of Israel rebelled, 17leaving Rehoboam as king only of the people who lived in the territory of Judah.

18Then King Rehoboam sent Adoniram, who was in charge of the forced labour, to go to the Israelites, but they stoned him to death. At this, Rehoboam hurriedly got into his chariot and escaped to Jerusalem. 19Ever since that time the people of the northern kingdom of Israel have been in rebellion against the dynasty of David.