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1 Raja-raja 9:10--10:29

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Foreign Affairs and Building Projects

9:10 After twenty years, during which Solomon built the Lord’s temple and the royal palace, 1  9:11 King Solomon gave King Hiram of Tyre 2  twenty cities in the region of Galilee, because Hiram had supplied Solomon with cedars, evergreens, and all the gold he wanted. 9:12 When Hiram went out from Tyre to inspect the cities Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. 3  9:13 Hiram asked, 4  “Why did you give me these cities, my friend 5 ?” He called that area the region of Cabul, a name which it has retained to this day. 6  9:14 Hiram had sent to the king one hundred twenty talents 7  of gold.

9:15 Here are the details concerning the work crews 8  King Solomon conscripted 9  to build the Lord’s temple, his palace, the terrace, the wall of Jerusalem, 10  and the cities of 11  Hazor, 12  Megiddo, 13  and Gezer. 9:16 (Pharaoh, king of Egypt, had attacked and captured Gezer. He burned it and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city. He gave it as a wedding present to his daughter, who had married Solomon.) 9:17 Solomon built up Gezer, lower Beth Horon, 9:18 Baalath, Tadmor in the wilderness, 14  9:19 all the storage cities that belonged to him, 15  and the cities where chariots and horses were kept. 16  He built whatever he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and throughout his entire kingdom. 17  9:20 Now several non-Israelite peoples were left in the land after the conquest of Joshua, including the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 18  9:21 Their descendants remained in the land (the Israelites were unable to wipe them out completely). Solomon conscripted them for his work crews, and they continue in that role to this very day. 19  9:22 Solomon did not assign Israelites to these work crews; 20  the Israelites served as his soldiers, attendants, officers, charioteers, and commanders of his chariot forces. 21  9:23 These men were also in charge of Solomon’s work projects; there were a total of 550 men who supervised the workers. 22  9:24 Solomon built the terrace as soon as Pharaoh’s daughter moved up from the city of David 23  to the palace Solomon built for her. 24 

9:25 Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings 25  on the altar he had built for the Lord, burning incense along with them before the Lord. He made the temple his official worship place. 26 

9:26 King Solomon also built ships 27  in Ezion Geber, which is located near Elat in the land of Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea. 9:27 Hiram sent his fleet and some of his sailors, who were well acquainted with the sea, to serve with Solomon’s men. 28  9:28 They sailed 29  to Ophir, took from there four hundred twenty talents 30  of gold, and then brought them to King Solomon.

Solomon Entertains a Queen

10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon, 31  she came to challenge 32  him with difficult questions. 33  10:2 She arrived in Jerusalem 34  with a great display of pomp, 35  bringing with her camels carrying spices, 36  a very large quantity of gold, and precious gems. She visited Solomon and discussed with him everything that was on her mind. 10:3 Solomon answered all her questions; there was no question too complex for the king. 37  10:4 When the queen of Sheba saw for herself Solomon’s extensive wisdom, 38  the palace 39  he had built, 10:5 the food in his banquet hall, 40  his servants and attendants, 41  their robes, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings which he presented in the Lord’s temple, she was amazed. 42  10:6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your wise sayings and insight 43  was true! 10:7 I did not believe these things until I came and saw them with my own eyes. Indeed, I didn’t hear even half the story! 44  Your wisdom and wealth 45  surpass what was reported to me. 10:8 Your attendants, who stand before you at all times and hear your wise sayings, are truly happy! 46  10:9 May the Lord your God be praised because he favored 47  you by placing you on the throne of Israel! Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he made you king so you could make just and right decisions.” 48  10:10 She gave the king 120 talents 49  of gold, a very large quantity of spices, and precious gems. The quantity of spices the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon has never been matched. 50  10:11 (Hiram’s fleet, which carried gold from Ophir, also brought from Ophir a very large quantity of fine timber and precious gems. 10:12 With the timber the king made supports 51  for the Lord’s temple and for the royal palace and stringed instruments 52  for the musicians. No one has seen so much of this fine timber to this very day. 53 ) 10:13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she requested, besides what he had freely offered her. 54  Then she left and returned 55  to her homeland with her attendants.

Solomon’s Wealth

10:14 Solomon received 666 talents 56  of gold per year, 57  10:15 besides what he collected from the merchants, 58  traders, Arabian kings, and governors of the land. 10:16 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; 600 measures 59  of gold were used for each shield. 10:17 He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold; three minas 60  of gold were used for each of these shields. The king placed them in the Palace of the Lebanon Forest. 61 

10:18 The king made a large throne decorated with ivory and overlaid it with pure gold. 10:19 There were six steps leading up to the throne, and the back of it was rounded on top. The throne had two armrests with a statue of a lion standing on each side. 62  10:20 There were twelve statues of lions on the six steps, one lion at each end of each step. There was nothing like it in any other kingdom. 63 

10:21 All of King Solomon’s cups were made of gold, and all the household items in the Palace of the Lebanon Forest were made of pure gold. There were no silver items, for silver was not considered very valuable in Solomon’s time. 64  10:22 Along with Hiram’s fleet, the king had a fleet of large merchant ships 65  that sailed the sea. Once every three years the fleet 66  came into port with cargoes of 67  gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. 68 

10:23 King Solomon was wealthier and wiser than any of the kings of the earth. 69  10:24 Everyone 70  in the world wanted to visit Solomon to see him display his God-given wisdom. 71  10:25 Year after year visitors brought their gifts, which included items of silver, items of gold, clothes, perfume, spices, horses, and mules. 72 

10:26 Solomon accumulated 73  chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He kept them in assigned cities and in Jerusalem. 74  10:27 The king made silver as plentiful 75  in Jerusalem as stones; cedar was 76  as plentiful as sycamore fig trees are in the lowlands. 77  10:28 Solomon acquired his horses from Egypt 78  and from Que; the king’s traders purchased them from Que. 10:29 They paid 600 silver pieces for each chariot from Egypt and 150 silver pieces for each horse. They also sold chariots and horses to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Syria. 79 

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[9:10]  1 tn Heb “the two houses, the house of the Lord and the house of the king.”

[9:11]  2 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

[9:12]  3 tn Heb “they were not agreeable in his eyes.”

[9:13]  4 tn Heb “and he said.”

[9:13]  5 tn Heb “my brother.” Kings allied through a parity treaty would sometimes address each other as “my brother.” See 1 Kgs 20:32-33.

[9:13]  6 tn Heb “he called them the land of Cabul to this day.” The significance of the name is unclear, though it appears to be disparaging. The name may be derived from a root, attested in Akkadian and Arabic, meaning “bound” or “restricted.” Some propose a wordplay, pointing out that the name “Cabul” sounds like a Hebrew phrase meaning, “like not,” or “as good as nothing.”

[9:14]  7 tn The Hebrew term כִּכָּר (kikkar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or to a standard unit of weight, generally regarded as a talent. Since the accepted weight for a talent of metal is about 75 pounds, this would have amounted to about 9,000 pounds of gold (cf. NCV, NLT); CEV “five tons”; TEV “4,000 kilogrammes.”

[9:15]  8 sn The work crews. This Hebrew word מַס (mas) refers to a group of laborers conscripted for royal or public service.

[9:15]  9 tn Heb “raised up.”

[9:15]  10 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

[9:15]  11 tn The words “the cities of” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

[9:15]  12 map For location see Map1 D2; Map2 D3; Map3 A2; Map4 C1.

[9:15]  13 map For location see Map1 D4; Map2 C1; Map4 C2; Map5 F2; Map7 B1.

[9:18]  14 tn The Hebrew text has “in the wilderness, in the land.”

[9:19]  15 tn Heb “to Solomon.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

[9:19]  16 tn Heb “the cities of the chariots and the cities of the horses.”

[9:19]  17 tn Heb “and the desire of Solomon which he desired to build in Jerusalem and in Lebanon and in all the land of his kingdom.”

[9:20]  18 tn Heb “all the people who were left from the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not from the sons of Israel.”

[9:21]  19 tn Heb “their sons who were left after them in the land, whom the sons of Israel were unable to wipe out, and Solomon raised them up for a crew of labor to this day.”

[9:22]  20 sn These work crews. The work crews referred to here must be different than the temporary crews described in 5:13-16.

[9:22]  21 tn Heb “officers of his chariots and his horses.”

[9:23]  22 tn Heb “these [were] the officials of the governors who were over the work belonging to Solomon, five hundred fifty, the ones ruling over the people, the ones doing the work.”

[9:24]  23 sn The phrase city of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.

[9:24]  24 tn Heb “As soon as Pharaoh’s daughter went up from the city of David to her house which he built for her, then he built the terrace.”

[9:25]  25 tn Or “tokens of peace”; NIV, TEV “fellowship offerings.”

[9:25]  26 tn Heb “and he made complete the house.”

[9:26]  27 tn Or “a fleet” (in which case “ships” would be implied).

[9:27]  28 tn Heb “and Hiram sent with the fleet his servants, men of ships, [who] know the sea, [to be] with the servants of Solomon.”

[9:28]  29 tn Heb “went.”

[9:28]  30 tn The Hebrew term כִּכָּר (kikkar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or to a standard unit of weight, generally regarded as a talent. Since the accepted weight for a talent of metal is about 75 pounds, this would have amounted to about 31,500 pounds of gold (cf. NCV); CEV, NLT “sixteen tons”; TEV “more than 14,000 kilogrammes.”

[10:1]  31 tn Heb “the report about Solomon.” The Hebrew text also has, “to the name of the Lord,” which fits very awkwardly in the sentence. If retained, perhaps it should be translated, “because of the reputation of the Lord.” The phrase, which is omitted in the parallel passage in 2 Chr 9:1, may be an addition based on the queen’s declaration of praise to the Lord in v. 9.

[10:1]  32 tn Or “test.”

[10:1]  33 tn Or “riddles.”

[10:2]  34 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

[10:2]  35 tn Heb “with very great strength.” The Hebrew term חַיִל (khayil, “strength”) may refer here to the size of her retinue (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV) or to the great wealth she brought with her.

[10:2]  36 tn Or “balsam oil.”

[10:3]  37 tn Heb “Solomon declared to her all her words; there was not a word hidden from the king which he did not declare to her.” If riddles are specifically in view (see v. 1), then one might translate, “Solomon explained to her all her riddles; there was no riddle too complex for the king.”

[10:4]  38 tn Heb “all the wisdom of Solomon.”

[10:4]  39 tn Heb “house.”

[10:5]  40 tn Heb “the food on his table.”

[10:5]  41 tn Heb “the seating of his servants and the standing of his attendants.”

[10:5]  42 tn Heb “there was no breath still in her.”

[10:6]  43 tn Heb “about your words [or perhaps, “deeds”] and your wisdom.”

[10:7]  44 tn Heb “the half was not told to me.”

[10:7]  45 tn Heb “good.”

[10:8]  46 tn Heb “How happy are your men! How happy are these servants of yours, who stand before you continually, who hear your wisdom!”

[10:9]  47 tn Or “delighted in.”

[10:9]  48 tn Heb “to do justice and righteousness.”

[10:10]  49 tn The Hebrew term כִּכָּר (kikkar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or to a standard unit of weight, generally regarded as a talent. Since the accepted weight for a talent of metal is about 75 pounds, this would have amounted to about 9,000 pounds of gold (cf. NCV, NLT); CEV “five tons”; TEV “4,000 kilogrammes.”

[10:10]  50 tn Heb “there has not come like those spices yet for quantity which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.”

[10:12]  51 tn This Hebrew architectural term occurs only here. The meaning is uncertain; some have suggested “banisters” or “parapets”; cf. TEV, NLT “railings.” The parallel passage in 2 Chr 9:11 has a different word, meaning “tracks,” or perhaps “steps.”

[10:12]  52 tn Two types of stringed instruments are specifically mentioned, the כִּנּוֹר (kinnor, “zither” [?]), and נֶבֶל (nevel, “harp”).

[10:12]  53 tn Heb “there has not come thus, the fine timber, and there has not been seen to this day.”

[10:13]  54 tn Heb “besides what he had given her according to the hand of King Solomon.”

[10:13]  55 tn Heb “turned and went.”

[10:14]  56 tn The Hebrew term כִּכָּר (kikkar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or to a standard unit of weight, generally regarded as a talent. Since the accepted weight for a talent of metal is about 75 pounds, this would have amounted to about 50,000 pounds of gold (cf. NCV); CEV, NLT “twenty-five tons”; TEV “almost 23,000 kilogrammes.”

[10:14]  57 tn Heb “the weight of the gold which came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold.”

[10:15]  58 tn Heb “traveling men.”

[10:16]  59 tn The Hebrew text has simply “six hundred,” with no unit of measure given.

[10:17]  60 sn Three minas. The mina was a unit of measure for weight.

[10:17]  61 sn The Palace of the Lebanon Forest. This name was appropriate because of the large amount of cedar, undoubtedly brought from Lebanon, used in its construction. The cedar pillars in the palace must have given it the appearance of a forest.

[10:19]  62 tn Heb “[There were] armrests on each side of the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the armrests.”

[10:20]  63 tn Heb “nothing like it had been made for all the kingdoms.”

[10:21]  64 tn Heb “there was no silver, it was not regarded as anything in the days of Solomon.”

[10:22]  65 tn Heb “a fleet of Tarshish [ships].” This probably refers to large ships either made in or capable of traveling to the distant western port of Tarshish.

[10:22]  66 tn Heb “the fleet of Tarshish [ships].”

[10:22]  67 tn Heb “came carrying.”

[10:22]  68 tn The meaning of this word is unclear. Some suggest “baboons.”

[10:23]  69 tn Heb “King Solomon was greater than all the kings of the earth with respect to wealth and with respect to wisdom.”

[10:24]  70 tc The Old Greek translation and Syriac Peshitta have “all the kings of the earth.” See 2 Chr 9:23.

[10:24]  71 tn Heb “and all the earth was seeking the face of Solomon to hear his wisdom which God had placed in his heart.”

[10:25]  72 tn Heb “and they were bringing each one his gift, items of silver…and mules, the matter of a year in a year.”

[10:26]  73 tn Or “gathered.”

[10:26]  74 tn Heb “he placed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.”

[10:26]  map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

[10:27]  75 tn The words “as plentiful” are added for clarification.

[10:27]  76 tn Heb “he made.”

[10:27]  77 tn Heb “as the sycamore fig trees which are in the Shephelah.”

[10:28]  78 sn From Egypt. Because Que is also mentioned, some prefer to see in vv. 28-29 a reference to Mutsur. Que and Mutsur were located in Cilicia/Cappadocia (in modern southern Turkey). See HALOT 625 s.v. מִצְרַיִם.

[10:29]  79 tn Heb “and a chariot went up and came out of Egypt for six hundred silver [pieces], and a horse for one hundred fifty, and in the same way to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Aram by their hand they brought out.”



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