In The Word
Read: 2 Chronicles 9-10
Visit of the Queen of Sheba
9 Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test Solomon with difficult questions. She had a very large retinue, with camels carrying spices and a large amount of gold and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was on her heart.2 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was hidden from Solomon which he did not explain to her. 3 When the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house which he had built, 4 the food at his table, the seating of his servants, the attendance of his ministers and their attire, his cupbearers and their attire, and his stairway by which he went up to the house of the Lord, she was breathless. 5 Then she said to the king, “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. 6 Nevertheless I did not believe their reports until I came and my eyes had seen it. And behold, the half of the greatness of your wisdom was not told me. You surpass the report that I heard. 7 How blessed are your men, how blessed are these your servants who stand before you continually and hear your wisdom. 8 Blessed be the Lord your God who delighted in you, setting you on His throne as king for the Lord your God; because your God loved Israel establishing them forever, therefore He made you king over them, to do justice and righteousness.” 9 Then she gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold and a very great amount of spices and precious stones; there had never been spice like that which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
10 The servants of Huram and the servants of Solomon who brought gold from Ophir, also brought algum trees and precious stones. 11 From the algum trees the king made steps for the house of the Lord and for the king’s palace, and lyres and harps for the singers; and none like that was seen before in the land of Judah.
12 King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire which she requested besides a return for what she had brought to the king. Then she turned and went to her own land with her servants.
Solomon’s Wealth and Power
13 Now the weight of gold which came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 14 besides that which the traders and merchants brought; and all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon.15 King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold, using 600 shekels of beaten gold on each large shield. 16 He made 300 shields of beaten gold, using three hundred shekels of gold on each shield, and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
17 Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with pure gold.18 There were six steps to the throne and a footstool in gold attached to the throne, and arms on each side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the arms. 19 Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps on the one side and on the other; nothing like it was made for any other kingdom. 20 All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; silver was not considered valuable in the days of Solomon. 21 For the king had ships which went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years the ships of Tarshish came bringing gold and silver, ivory and apes and peacocks.
22 So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. 23 And all the kings of the earth were seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart. 24 They brought every man his gift, articles of silver and gold, garments, weapons, spices, horses and mules, so much year by year.
25 Now Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots and 12,000 horsemen, and he stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 26 He was the ruler over all the kings from the Euphrates River even to the land of the Philistines, and as far as the border of Egypt. 27 The king made silver as commonas stones in Jerusalem, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamore trees that are in the lowland. 28 And they were bringing horses for Solomon from Egypt and from all countries.
29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, from first to last, are they not written in the records of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? 30 Solomon reigned forty years in Jerusalem over all Israel.
Death of Solomon
31 And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David; and his son Rehoboam reigned in his place.
Rehoboam’s Reign of Folly
10 Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), Jeroboam returned from Egypt. 3 So they sent and summoned him. When Jeroboam and all Israel came, they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” 5 He said to them, “Return to me again in three days.” So the people departed.
6 Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people?” 7 They spoke to him, saying, “If you will be kind to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”8 But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him. 9 So he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?” 10 The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to the people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us.’ Thus you shall say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! 11 Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”
12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 The king answered them harshly, and King Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the elders. 14 He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of events from God that the Lord might establish His word, which He spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16 When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them the people answered the king, saying,
“What portion do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
Every man to your tents, O Israel;
Now look after your own house, David.”
So all Israel departed to their tents. 17 But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the forced labor, and the sons of Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem.19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
The blessings that the Lord gave to Solomon became well-known throughout the earth. One of those blessings was wisdom. In Matthew 12:38, the Pharisees asked Yahshua for a sign; He reminded them of this account that we read today. He said that the queen recognized godly wisdom and had traveled a very great distance to hear the wisdom of Solomon. However, the Pharisees were standing in the presence of the One who gave Solomon that wisdom, and they still could not see it or submit to it. Solomon’s obedience, trust, and faithfulness in the One True Living God had resulted in the blessings the queen saw. However, even with all that wisdom, Solomon made unwise choices regarding his family. He loved many foreign women even though the Lord had specifically warned him that they would turn his heart away from Him.
Solomon’s unwise choices not only affected his family, but they also affected the people he led. In one generation, Israel went from the most blessed nation on earth to a nation divided against itself. Solomon’s son saw his father’s lack of self-control and his reliance on the ungodly people he placed around him. Rehoboam followed that path instead of the Ancient Path and did not rely on the Lord for wisdom. He sought the counsel of man, and, even in that, he made unwise choices. The consequences of those decisions brought destruction instead of blessings. We must be careful to remember that our choices have consequences, either good or bad.