God’s Promise and Warning

Now it happened when Solomon had finished building the house (temple) of the Lord and the king’s house (palace), and all else which he was pleased to do, that the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, just as He had appeared to him [a]at Gibeon. The Lord told him, “I have heard your prayer and supplication which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My Name and My Presence there forever. My eyes and My heart shall be there perpetually. As for you, if you walk (live your life) before Me, as David your father walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, acting in accordance with everything that I have commanded you, and will keep My statutes and My precepts, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised your father David, saying, ‘You shall not be without a man (descendant) on the throne of Israel.’

“But if you or your sons turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and I will cast out of My sight the house which I have consecrated for My Name and Presence. Then Israel will become a proverb (a saying) and a byword (object of ridicule) among all the peoples. This house (temple) will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be appalled and [b]sneer and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this house?’ And they [who know] will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and they have chosen other gods and have worshiped and served them; that is the reason the Lord has brought on them all this adversity.’”

Cities Given to Hiram

10 Now at the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the two houses, the temple of the Lord and the palace of the king 11 (Hiram king of Tyre had supplied Solomon with as much cedar and cypress timber [from Lebanon] and gold as he desired), at that time King Solomon gave Hiram [c]twenty cities in the land of Galilee (northern Israel). 12 So Hiram came from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him, and they [d]did not please him. 13 He said, “What are these cities [good for] which you have given me, my brother?” So they have been called the land of Cabul (like nothing, unproductive) to this day. 14 And Hiram sent to the king 120 talents of gold.

15 Now this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon conscripted to build the house of the Lord, his own house, the [e]Millo (fortification), the wall of Jerusalem, [and the fortress cities of] Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and taken Gezer, burned it with fire and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and he had given it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17 So Solomon rebuilt [and fortified] Gezer and Lower Beth-horon, 18 Baalath and [f]Tamar in the wilderness, in the land of Judah, 19 and all the storage cities [for surplus provisions] which Solomon had, and the cities for his chariots and cities for his horsemen, and whatever it pleased Solomon to build [g]in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land under his rule. 20 As for all the people who were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who were not of the sons (descendants) of Israel, 21 their children who were left after them in the land, whom the Israelites were unable to completely destroy, from them Solomon levied (conscripted) forced laborers, even to this day (the date of this writing). 22 But Solomon did not make slaves of the sons of Israel; for they were men of war (soldiers), his servants, his officers, his captains, his chariot commanders, and his horsemen.

23 These were the chief officers who were over Solomon’s work, five hundred and fifty, who ruled over the people doing the work.

24 As soon as Pharaoh’s daughter came up from the City of David to her house which Solomon had built for her, then he built the Millo (fortification).

25 Three times a year [during the [h]major annual festivals] Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar he had built to the Lord, and he burned incense with them before the Lord. So he finished the house [of the Lord].

26 King Solomon built a fleet of ships in Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds), in the land of Edom. 27 And Hiram [king of Tyre] sent his servants with the fleet, sailors who knew the sea, along with the servants of Solomon. 28 They came to [i]Ophir and took four hundred and twenty talents of gold from there, and brought it to King Solomon.


  1. 1 Kings 9:2 See 3:4-15.
  2. 1 Kings 9:8 Or hiss.
  3. 1 Kings 9:11 These cities were either sold to Hiram in exchange for the gold or used as collateral for a loan of the gold (v 14).
  4. 1 Kings 9:12 Lit were not right in his eyes.
  5. 1 Kings 9:15 The exact nature of the Millo is unclear, but most scholars believe it was some sort of military fortification such as a tower, a citadel, a significant part of a wall or even an earth-fill or terraced hillside. It was located on the eastern side of the City of David. It was later repaired by King Hezekiah.
  6. 1 Kings 9:18 In 2 Chr 8:4 Tadmor.
  7. 1 Kings 9:19 Because of Solomon’s extensive building program and his extravagant expenditures, he resorted to forced labor and heavy taxation. These oppressive policies, combined with his son’s lack of good judgment contributed to the division of Solomon’s kingdom. Shortly after his death, his son King Rehoboam rebuffed the people’s appeal for relief and declared his intention to add to their burdens (12:11).
  8. 1 Kings 9:25 I.e. the Feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Booths.
  9. 1 Kings 9:28 The location of this wealthy trading port is a subject of debate among scholars and archeologists. Possible sites considered include Pakistan, India, Zimbabwe, Yemen, and other ports in Arabia and Africa.