1The time it took Solomon to build the Lord’s temple and his own house was 20 years. 2Then Solomon built again the towns that Hiram gave him. And Solomon allowed some of the people of Israel to live in those towns. 3After this Solomon went to Hamath of Zobah and captured it. 4Solomon also built the town of Tadmor in the desert. He built all the towns in Hamath to store things in. 5Solomon built again the towns of Upper Beth Horon and Lower Beth Horon. He made those towns into strong forts. Those towns had strong walls, gates, and bars in the gates. 6Solomon also built again the town of Baalath and all the other towns where he stored things. He built all the cities where the chariots were kept and all the cities where the horse riders lived. Solomon built all he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and in all the country where he was king. 7- 8There were many strangers left in the country where the people of Israel were living. There were the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Solomon forced all those foreigners to be slave workers. Those people were not from the people of Israel. Those people were the descendants of the people that were left in the land and not yet destroyed by the people of Israel. This still continues today. 9Solomon did not force any of the people of Israel to be slave workers. The people of Israel were Solomon’s fighting men. They were the commanders of Solomon’s army officers. They were commanders of Solomon’s chariots and commanders of Solomon’s chariot drivers. 10And some of the men of Israel were leaders of Solomon’s important officials. There were 250 of those leaders to supervise the people. 11Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the City of David to the house he built for her. Solomon said, “My wife must not live in King David’s house because the places where the Box of the Agreement has been are holy places.” 12Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the Lord on the Lord’s altar. Solomon built that altar in front of the temple porch. 13Solomon offered sacrifices every day the way Moses commanded. Sacrifices were to be offered on Sabbath days, on the New Moon celebrations, and on the three yearly holidays. The three yearly holidays were the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Shelters. 14Solomon followed his father David’s instructions. Solomon chose the groups of priests for their service. Solomon also chose the Levites for their duties. The Levites were to lead the praise and help the priests from day to day to do the things that needed to be done in the temple service. And Solomon chose the gatekeepers by their groups to serve at each gate. This is the way David, the man of God, instructed. 15The people of Israel did not change or disobey any of Solomon’s instructions to the priests and Levites. They did not change any of the instructions, even in the way they should keep the valuable things. 16All Solomon’s work was done. It was well planned from the day the Lord’s temple was begun until the day it was finished. So the Lord’s temple was finished. 17Then Solomon went to the towns of Ezion Geber and Elath. Those towns were near the Red Sea in the country of Edom. 18Hiram sent ships to Solomon. Hiram’s own men sailed the ships. Hiram’s men were skilled at sailing on the sea. Hiram’s men went with Solomon’s servants to Ophir and brought back 17 tons of gold to King Solomon.
2 Chronicles 8