A Ruler Who Wronged His People

Solomon was building his palace thirteen years before he finished it. He

also built the throne-hall where he judged the people. This room was

the Hall of Judgment; and it was covered with cedar from floor to


His palace where he lived, in another court farther in from the Hall of

Judgment, was of the same workmanship. He made a palace, too, similar to

this hall, for Pharaoh's daughter whom he had
arried. All these

buildings were of costly stones, hewn according to measurements, sawed

with saws, both on the inside and outside.

Solomon also gathered together chariots and horsemen; he had one

thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen that he

placed in the chariot cities and with him at Jerusalem. And Solomon had

twelve officers over all Israel who provided food for him and for his

household: each man had to provide food for a month in the year.

When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to test

him with puzzling questions. So she came to Jerusalem with a very large

number of servants, with camels that carried spices and a great amount

of gold and precious stones. As soon as she came to Solomon, she told

him all that was in her mind. And Solomon answered all her questions:

nothing was too difficult for him to answer.

When the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the palace

that he had built, the food on his table, the housing of his officers,

the way his waiters served him, their clothing, his cup-bearers, and the

burnt-offering which he offered at the temple of Jehovah, she was

greatly surprised. She said to Solomon, "What I heard in my own land of

your acts and of your wisdom was true. But I would not believe the words

until I came and saw with my own eyes; but as it is, the half was not

told me; your wisdom and prosperity are even greater than what was

reported to me."

Now Solomon loved women; and he married many foreign wives--Moabites,

Canaanites, Edomites, Sidonians, Hittites, and Ammonites. He had seven

hundred wives of princely birth, and three hundred concubines. When

Solomon was old, his wives influenced him to worship other gods, and he

was not loyal to Jehovah his God. Solomon built a place of worship for

Chemosh, the god of Moab, on the hill that is opposite Jerusalem, and

for Milcom, the god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his

foreign wives, burning incense and offering sacrifices to their gods.

Then God raised up as a foe against him Rezon, the son of Eliada, who

had fled from his master, Hadadezer, king of Zobah. He gathered men

about him and became commander of a robber band, and he went to Damascus

and lived and reigned there. He was a foe to Israel as long as Solomon


Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, was a man of great ability. When Solomon saw

that the young man was industrious, he placed him over all the men of

the tribe of Joseph who were working for the ruler.

Once upon a time, when Jeroboam went away from Jerusalem, the prophet

Ahijah of Shiloh met him on the way and took him aside. Now Ahijah had

put on a new garment, and while they two were alone in the field, Ahijah

took hold of the new garment he had on and tore it in twelve pieces.

Then he said to Jeroboam, "Take for yourself ten pieces; for Jehovah,

the God of Israel, declares, 'I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of

Solomon and will give ten tribes to you, but he shall have only one

tribe.'" So Jeroboam also rebelled against Solomon.

Solomon, therefore, wanted to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam arose and fled

to Egypt, and he was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.