3 Kingdoms 4-6
1 So King Solomon ruled over Israel. 2 His officials were the scribes, Azariah the son of Zadok, 3 and Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha; and the recorder, Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud; 4 and the priests, Zadok and Abiathar, the priests; 5 Azariah, the son of Nathan, over the administrators; Zabud the son of Nathan, the king’s companion; 6 Ahishar, over the household; and Eliab, the son of Saph, over the people; and Adoniram the son of Abda, over the tribute.
7 Solomon had twelve governors over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household; each one made provision for one month of the year. 8 They were the son of Hur, in the mountains of Ephraim, one month; 9 the son of Rechab in Makaz and Bethlehem and Beth Shemesh and Elon as far as Beth Hanan, one month; 10 the son of Hesed, in Arubboth; to him belonged Sochoh and all the land of Hepher, one month; 11 the son of Abinadab, in all the regions of Dor; he had Taphath the daughter of Solomon as his wife, one month; 12 Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all the house of Shean, which is beside Zaretan below Jezreel, from Beth Shean and Abel Meholah, as far as the other side of Jokneam, one month; 13 the son of Geber, in Ramoth Gilead; to him belonged the region of Argob in Bashan—sixty large cities with walls and bronze gate-bars, one month; 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim, one month; 15 Ahimaaz in Naphtali; he also took Basemath the daughter of Solomon as wife, one month; 16 Baanah the son of Hushai in Maaleth, one month; 17 Shimei the son of Elahom in Benjamin; 18 Geber the son of Adai, in the land of Gad, in the country of Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, one month; 19 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah in Issachar.
1 In this manner the governors provided everything King Solomon requested for the king’s table, each man in his month. They did not change a thing; even the barley and the grain stalks for the horses and the chariots they brought to the place where the king was, each man according to his appointment. 2 What was needed for Solomon in one day were thirty measures of the finest wheat flour, sixty measures of beaten ground meal, 3 ten chosen calves, twenty pastured oxen, a hundred sheep, and besides this, deer and gazelles, and choice fatted hens, 4 because there was a governor all along the opposite shore of the river. So he had peace in all his territories round about.
The Greatness of Solomon’s Wisdom
5 The Lord gave discernment to Solomon, exceedingly great wisdom and a heart as broad as the sand beside the sea. 6 Thus Solomon increased beyond the understanding of all the ancient men, even beyond all the learned men of Egypt; 7 and he was made wise beyond every man. He was even made wise beyond Ethan, the Ezrahite, and Herman and Chalcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. 8 Solomon spoke three thousand parables, and there were five thousand of his songs. 9 He spoke about wood from the cedars in Lebanon, and the hyssop that grows out through the wall; and he spoke about cattle, birds, reptiles, and fish. 10 So all the people came to hear Solomon’s wisdom, and he received gifts from all the kings of the earth who heard his wisdom.
Solomon Takes a Wife
11 Solomon took the daughter of Pharaoh for his wife, and he brought her into the City of David until he completed the house of the Lord, and his own house and the walls of Jerusalem. 12 Then Pharaoh the king of Egypt went up and conquered Gezer and burned it, along with the Canaanites who were living in Mergab; and Pharaoh gave letters to his daughter, the wife of Solomon, and Solomon rebuilt Gezer.
Preparation for Building the Temple
13 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to anoint Solomon in place of his father David, because Hiram had always loved David. 14 Then Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, 15 “You know how my father David could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the wars that were fought against him on every side, until the Lord put his foes under the soles of his feet. 16 But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side. There is neither adversary nor evil occurrence. 17 Behold, I propose to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spoke to my father David, saying, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he shall build the house for My name.’ 18 Now therefore, command them to cut down cedars for me from Lebanon. My servants will be with your servants, and I will pay you wages for your servants, according to whatever you say; because you know we have no one who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”
19 So when Hiram heard Solomon’s words, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the Lord today, who gave David a wise son over this great people.” 20 Then he sent to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message you sent me, and I will do everything you desire concerning the cedar and pine logs. 21 My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon to the sea; I will float them in rafts by sea to the place you indicate to me, and will have them broken apart there; then you can take them away. You shall fulfill my desire by giving food for my household.” 22 Then Hiram gave Solomon cedar logs and everything he wished. 23 Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat as food for his household, and twenty baths of pure olive oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram every year.
24 So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as He had promised him, and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and the two of them made a treaty together. 25 Then the king raised up a labor force out of all Israel, and the labor force was thirty thousand men. 26 He sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts. They were in Lebanon for one month and at home for two months; and Adoniram was in charge of the labor force. 27 Solomon had seventy thousand who carried burdens, and eighty thousand who quarried stone in the mountain, 28 with an additional three thousand six hundred from the chiefs of Solomon’s deputies, who supervised the people who labored in the work. 29 They prepared the stones and the trees in three years.
Solomon Constructs the Temple
1 In the four hundred fortieth year after the children of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the second month, 2 the king issued a command, and they put great costly stones into the foundation of the house. These stones were not touched by an axe. 3 The sons of Solomon cut them, and the sons of Hiram placed them. 4 In the fourth year, he laid the foundation of the Lord’s house in the month Nisan, the second month. 5 In the eleventh year, in the month Bul, that is, the eighth month, the house was completed according to his every word and his every mandate.
6 Now the house King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits in length, twenty cubits wide, and twenty-five cubits high. 7 The vestibule in front of the sanctuary of the house was twenty cubits long across the width of the house, and the width of the vestibule extended ten cubits from the front of the house. He built the house and completed it. 8 He made hidden windows from which to look from the house. 9 Against the wall of the temple, he placed beams all around—against the walls of the temple, and all around the sanctuary and inner sanctuary. He also made side chambers all around it. 10 The lowest side chamber was five cubits wide, the middle was six cubits wide, and the third was seven cubits wide; for he made a space around the outside of the temple, so the support beams would not be fastened into the walls of the temple.
11 When the temple was being built, it was built with stones finished at the quarry, so no hammer or axe or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built. 12 The doorway for the lower side chamber was on the right side of the temple. They went up by spiraled stairs to the middle story, and from the middle to the third. 13 So he built the temple and finished it, and he gave the temple a ceiling with beams and boards of cedar. 14 He built the bonding of the superstructure to the foundation throughout the entire temple, each five cubits high; they were attached to the temple with cedar beams.
The Holy of Holies
15 Then he framed the inside walls of the temple with cedar boards. From the floor of the temple to the ceiling, he paneled the inside with wood, holding it together with wood from within; and he covered the floor of the temple with planks of pine. 16 Then he built the twenty-cubit room at the rear of the temple, from floor to ceiling beams, with cedar boards; he built it inside as the inner sanctuary, as the holy of holies. 17 The temple sanctuary was forty cubits long in front. 18 He prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple to set the ark of the covenant of the Lord there. 19 The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high. He overlaid it with pure gold, and made an altar at the front of the shrine; 20 and he overlaid it with pure gold. 21 He overlaid the whole temple with gold until he finished gilding the whole temple.
22 Inside the inner sanctuary, he made two cherubim standing majestically, each ten cubits high. 23 One wing of the cherub was five cubits, and the other wing of the cherub, five cubits. It was ten cubits from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. 24 The other cherub was ten cubits; both cherubim were of the same size and shape. 25 The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and so was the other cherub. 26 Then he set both cherubim inside the inner room; and they stretched out the wings of the cherubim, so the wing of one touched one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall. Their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. 27 He also overlaid the cherubim with gold.
28 Then he carved all the walls of the temple all around, both the inner and outer sanctuaries, with carved figures of cherubim and palm trees. 29 He overlaid the floor of the temple with gold, both the inner and outer sanctuaries.
30 For the entrance of the inner sanctuary, he made doors of juniper wood; the lintel and doorposts were one-fifth of the wall. 31 The two doors were of pine wood; and he carved on them figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold. The gold went down over the cherubim and the palm trees. 32 For the door of the sanctuary, he also made doorposts of juniper wood, one-fourth of the wall. 33 And the two doors were of pine; two panels comprised one folding door, and two panels comprised the other folding door. 34 Then he carved cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers on them, and overlaid the figures in relief with gold. 35 He built the inner court with three rows of hewn stone and a row of cedar beams. 36 He built the curtain of the courtyard of the porch of the house at the front of the temple.
1 A prayer by a poor man, when he was depressed and poured out his supplication before the Lord.
2 Hear my prayer, O Lord,
And let my cry come to You.
3 Do not turn Your face from me;
In the day when I am afflicted, incline Your ear to me;
In the day when I call upon You, hear me quickly.
4 For my days vanished like smoke,
And my bones burned up like firewood.
5 I was cut down like grass, and my heart became withered,
For I forgot to eat my bread.
6 Because of the sound of my groaning,
My bones cleaved to my flesh.
7 I have become like a pelican in a desert;
I have become like an owl in a ruined house;
8 I kept watch, and have become
Like a sparrow alone on a housetop.
9 My enemies reproached me all day long,
And those who praised me swore against me.
10 For I ate ashes like bread,
And mixed my drink with weeping
11 Because of the wrath of Your countenance and Your anger;
For You lifted me up and broke me down.
12 My days were far spent like a shadow,
And I am withered like grass.
13 But You, O Lord, remain forever,
And Your remembrance is from generation to generation.
14 When You rise up, You shall have compassion on Zion,
For it is time to have compassion on her, because the time is come;
15 For Your servants took pleasure in her stones,
And they shall have compassion for her dust.
16 A man in need loves merriment,
Loving wine and oil as wealth.
17 A lawless man is the outcast of a righteous man.
18 It is better to live in a desert
Than with a contentious, talkative, and quick-tempered woman.
19 A treasury of desire will rest upon the mouth of a wise man,
But men without discernment shall swallow it.
20 The way of righteousness and mercy shall find life and glory.
1 Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him
2 and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?”
3 But He answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me:
4 “The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?”
5 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
6 “But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
7 So they answered that they did not know where it was from.
8 And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers
(Matt. 21:33–46; Mark 12:1–12)
9 Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time.
10 “Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
11 “Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed.
12 “And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.
13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’
14 “But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’
15 “So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
16 “He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.” And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”
17 Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone’?
18 “Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
19 And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people—for they knew He had spoken this parable against them.
The Pharisees: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?
(Matt. 22:15–22; Mark 12:13–17)
20 So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor.
21 Then they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God in truth:
22 “Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
23 But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Why do you test Me?
24 “Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” They answered and said, “Caesar’s.”
25 And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
26 But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent.