The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Third Book of Kings
When Solomon had finished building temple and palace, and achieved all his purpose,
the Lord appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him once at Gabaon.
I have listened to thy prayer, the Lord told him, to the suit thou hast preferred before me; and this temple thou hast built I myself have hallowed, to be the everlasting shrine of my name; never a day but my eyes shall be watching, my heart attentive here.
Do thou guide thy steps, like thy father, as in my presence, with an undivided heart and steadfastly; do thou fulfil all that I command, hold true to my observances and my decrees;
and I will grant to thy line dominion over Israel eternally. Such was my promise to thy father David, that he should always have an heir to sit on the throne of Israel.
But if you and your children are content to turn your backs on me, following me no more, neglecting the commands and observances I have enjoined on you, betaking yourselves to the service and worship of alien gods,
then I will sweep Israel away from the land I gave them, and this temple which I have hallowed as the shrine of my name, shall be thrust away out of my sight. Israel shall become a proverb and a by-word among all the nations,
and this house shall be the monument of its fall. The passer-by will stand wondering, and hiss in derision; What means it, he will ask, that the Lord has treated this land, this house so cruelly?
And the answer will come, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who rescued their fathers from the land of Egypt, and betook themselves to the worship and service of alien gods; that is why the Lord brought all this ruin upon them.
It was twenty years after Solomon had finished the two buildings, temple and palace,
that Hiram, king of Tyre, who had sent him the cedar and the fir-wood and the gold he needed for his undertaking, received twenty townships from him, belonging to the land of Galilee.
And when he came on a visit from Tyre to see the townships Solomon had allotted to him, he liked them but little;
What, brother, he cried, were these the only cities thou couldst spare me? And he gave that region the name of Chabul,✻ which it bears to this day.
It was twenty thousand talents’ weight of gold that Hiram sent to king Solomon.
As for the reasons why king Solomon made such heavy disbursements, they were these; he must build the temple, and the palace, and Mello, and Jerusalem wall, and Heser, and Mageddo, and Gazer.
Gazer had been taken and burnt by the invading army of Pharao, king of Egypt; its inhabitants, who were Chanaanites, he put to the sword, and later gave it by way of dowry when his daughter married king Solomon.
It was for Solomon, therefore, to rebuild it,
together with Lower Bethoron, and Baalath, and Palmyra out in the desert.
And in general he fortified the unwalled towns in his dominions; he must have cities, too, in which his chariots and horsemen could be quartered. Much else, too, he had the whim to build in Jerusalem, and on Lebanon, and in all parts of his kingdom.
(Many of the former inhabitants still remained, not of Israelite stock, Amorrhites, Hethites, Pherezites, Hevites, and Jebusites;
and these descendants of the races which Israel could never exterminate, king Solomon made into bondservants, as they are to this day.
Among the Israelites, he would make no man his slave; it was from these that he drew his warriors and his courtiers, his princes and his captains, the commanders of his chariots and horsemen.
Five hundred and fifty overseers king Solomon had, to hold the people to their appointed tasks.)
And no sooner had Pharao’s daughter removed from the Keep of David to her new palace, than Solomon set about building up Mello.
Three times a year Solomon offered burnt-sacrifice and welcome-offerings on the altar he had made in the Lord’s honour, and burned incense in the Lord’s presence; and he kept the temple in repair.✻
King Solomon also built a fleet at Asion-Gaber, near Ailath on the shore of the Red Sea, in the territory of Edom.
In this fleet, Hiram sent men of his own, mariners that had long experience of the sea, to serve with king Solomon’s men.
They sailed as far as Ophir, and thence brought back to Solomon four hundred and twenty talents’ weight of gold.
The Holy Bible