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 ceiling.
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 married. 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 the LORD, 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 the LORD 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 lived.
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 the LORD, 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.
Let us love one another, for love comes from God and every one who loves is a child of God and knows God. He who loves not man does not know God, for God is love. God showed his love for us, for he sent his only Son into the world that through him we might have life. Love ye therefore the stranger.
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He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, saith the Lord. These are the words of Christ; and they direct us to imitate his life and character. The Imitation of Christ is guide to following the example of Jesus Christ. Let it be our most earnest study to dwell upon the life and example of Jesus.
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