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First Reading: 2 Chronicles Chapter 9 and 10
2 Chronicles 9
9:1 When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame, she came to Jerusalem
to test him with hard questions. Arriving with a very great caravan-with camels
carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones-she came to Solomon
and talked with him about all she had on her mind. 2 Solomon answered all her
questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. 3 When the queen
of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built, 4 the
food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their
robes, the cupbearers in their robes and the burnt offerings he made at the
temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed.
5 She said to the king, "The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 6 But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard. 7 How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 8 Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the LORD your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness."
9 Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. There had never been such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
10(The men of Hiram and the men of Solomon brought gold from Ophir; they also brought algumwood and precious stones. 11 The king used the algumwood to make steps for the temple of the LORD and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nothing like them had ever been seen in Judah.)
12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for; he gave her more than she had brought to him. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.
13 The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents, 14 not including the revenues brought in by merchants and traders. Also all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land brought gold and silver to Solomon.
15 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred bekas of hammered gold went into each shield. 16 He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold, with three hundred bekas of gold in each shield. The king put them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
17 Then the king made a great throne inlaid with ivory and overlaid with pure gold. 18 The throne had six steps, and a footstool of gold was attached to it. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. 19 Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom. 20 All King Solomon's goblets were gold, and all the household articles in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Nothing was made of silver, because silver was considered of little value in Solomon's day. 21 The king had a fleet of trading ships manned by Hiram's men. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.
22 King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. 23 All the kings of the earth sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 24 Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift-articles of silver and gold, and robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.
25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. 26 He ruled over all the kings from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. 28 Solomon's horses were imported from Egypt and from all other countries.
29 As for the other events of Solomon's reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Nathan the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat? 30 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 31 Then he rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.
2 Chronicles 10
10:1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all the Israelites had gone there to make
him king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was in Egypt, where he
had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. 3 So they sent for Jeroboam,
and he and all Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: 4 "Your father
put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he
put on us, and we will serve you."
5 Rehoboam answered, "Come back to me in three days." So the people went away.
6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. "How would you advise me to answer these people?" he asked.
7 They replied, "If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants."
8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 9 He asked them, "What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, 'Lighten the yoke your father put on us'?"
10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, "Tell the people who have said to you, 'Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter'-tell them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's waist. 11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.'"
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, "Come back to me in three days." 13 The king answered them harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, "My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions." 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from God, to fulfill the word the LORD had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.
16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:
"What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse's son? To your tents, O Israel! Look after your own house, O David!"
So all the Israelites went home. 17 But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.
18 King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but the Israelites stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
1:1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times
and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,
whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his
being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification
for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became
as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
"You are my Son; today I have become your Father"?
"I will be his Father, and he will be my Son"?
6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
"Let all God's angels worship him."
7 In speaking of the angels he says,
"He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire."
8 But about the Son he says,
"Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy."
10 He also says,
"In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end."
13 To which of the angels did God ever say,
"Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"?
14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 1 of 3
The author of Hebrews is not given. Many scholars believe that Paul wrote Hebrews but no one really knows. It was probably written about 63 A.D.
The letter persuasively presents the distinctiveness of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. The letter is primarily written to Jewish Christians who were wavering between Judaism and Christianity. Its primary message was to prove that Jesus Christ is the the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecy and symbol. With Christ as the fulfillment, there was no longer a need to make the animal sacrifices, etc. required under the Mosaic Law. Christ is the High Priest and mediator of all believers in all ages who look for the redemption of God.
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