This is Episode #133 and today we’ll read 2 Chronicles chapters 9-12 together. The queen of Sheba was officially wowed. Rehoboam listened to the wrong advice. And God did not abandon Judah to the king of Egypt.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #133 and today we’ll read 2 Chronicles chapters 9-12 together. The queen of Sheba was officially wowed, Rehoboam listened to the wrong advice, and God did not abandon Judah to the king of Egypt.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
2 Chronicles Chapter 9
The Queen of Sheba
The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, so she came to test Solomon with difficult questions at Jerusalem with a very large entourage, with camels bearing spices, gold in abundance, and precious stones. She came to Solomon and spoke with him about everything that was on her mind. So Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too difficult for Solomon to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba observed Solomon’s wisdom, the palace he had built, the food at his table, his servants’ residence, his attendants’ service and their attire, his cupbearers and their attire, and the burnt offerings he offered at the Lord’s temple, it took her breath away.
She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your words and about your wisdom is true. But I didn’t believe their reports until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, I was not even told half of your great wisdom! You far exceed the report I heard. How happy are your men. How happy are these servants of yours, who always stand in your presence hearing your wisdom. Blessed be the Lord your God! He delighted in you and put you on his throne as king for the Lord your God. Because your God loved Israel enough to establish them forever, he has set you over them as king to carry out justice and righteousness.”
Her Every Desire
Then she gave the king four and a half tons of gold, a great quantity of spices, and precious stones. There never were such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. In addition, Hiram’s servants and Solomon’s servants who brought gold from Ophir also brought algum wood and precious stones. The king made the algum wood into walkways for the Lord’s temple and for the king’s palace and into lyres and harps for the singers. Never before had anything like them been seen in the land of Judah.
King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba her every desire, whatever she asked — far more than she had brought the king. Then she, along with her servants, returned to her own country.
The weight of gold that came to Solomon annually was twenty-five tons, besides what was brought by the merchants and traders. All the Arabian kings and governors of the land also brought gold and silver to Solomon.
King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; 15 pounds of hammered gold went into each shield. He made three hundred small shields of hammered gold; 7½ pounds of gold went into each shield. The king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
The king also made a large ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold. The throne had six steps; there was a footstool covered in gold for the throne, armrests on either side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the armrests. Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps, one at each end. Nothing like it had ever been made in any other kingdom.
All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were gold, and all the utensils of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. There was no silver, since it was considered as nothing in Solomon’s time, for the king’s ships kept going to Tarshish with Hiram’s servants, and once every three years the ships of Tarshish would arrive bearing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the world in riches and wisdom. All the kings of the world wanted an audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. Each of them would bring his own gift — items of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, and horses and mules — as an annual tribute.
Common in Jerusalem
Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. He stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. He ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines and as far as the border of Egypt. The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar as abundant as sycamore in the Judean foothills. They were bringing horses for Solomon from Egypt and from all the countries.
The remaining events of Solomon’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the Events of the Prophet Nathan, the Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and the Visions of the Seer Iddo concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat. Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. Solomon rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam became king in his place.
2 Chronicles Chapter 10
The Kingdom Divided
Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard about it — for he was in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon’s presence — Jeroboam returned from Egypt. So they summoned him. Then Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam: “Your father made our yoke harsh. Therefore, lighten your father’s harsh service and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
Rehoboam replied, “Return to me in three days.” So the people left.
Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had attended his father Solomon when he was alive, asking, “How do you advise me to respond to this people?”
They replied, “If you will be kind to this people and please them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever.”
But he rejected the advice of the elders who had advised him, and he consulted with the young men who had grown up with him, the ones attending him. He asked them, “What message do you advise we send back to this people who said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”
Then the young men who had grown up with him told him, “This is what you should say to the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you, make it lighter on us! ’ This is what you should say to them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! Now therefore, my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I, with barbed whips.’”
Look After Your Own House
So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had ordered, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” Then the king answered them harshly. King Rehoboam rejected the elders’ advice and spoke to them according to the young men’s advice, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I, with barbed whips.”
The king did not listen to the people because the turn of events came from God, in order that the Lord might carry out his word that he had spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.
When all Israel saw that the king had not listened to them, the people answered the king:
What portion do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
Israel, each to your tent;
David, look after your own house now!
So all Israel went to their tents. But as for the Israelites living in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was in charge of the forced labor, but the Israelites stoned him to death. However, King Rehoboam managed to get into his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. Israel is in rebellion against the house of David until today.
2 Chronicles Chapter 11
Rehoboam in Jerusalem
When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mobilized the house of Judah and Benjamin — one hundred eighty thousand fit young soldiers — to fight against Israel to restore the reign to Rehoboam. But the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, the man of God: “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: You are not to march up and fight against your brothers. Each of you return home, for this incident has come from me.’”
So they listened to what the Lord said and turned back from going against Jeroboam.
Judah’s King Rehoboam
Rehoboam stayed in Jerusalem, and he fortified cities in Judah. He built up Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin. He strengthened their fortifications and put leaders in them with supplies of food, oil, and wine. He also put large shields and spears in each and every city to make them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were his.
Took Their Stand with Rehoboam
The priests and Levites from all their regions throughout Israel took their stand with Rehoboam, for the Levites left their pasturelands and their possessions and went to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons refused to let them serve as priests of the Lord. Jeroboam appointed his own priests for the high places, the goat-demons, and the golden calves he had made. Those from every tribe of Israel who had determined in their hearts to seek the Lord their God followed the Levites to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years, because they walked in the ways of David and Solomon for three years.
Rehoboam married Mahalath, daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. She bore sons to him: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. After her, he married Maacah daughter of Absalom. She bore Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith to him. Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than all his wives and concubines. He acquired eighteen wives and sixty concubines and was the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as chief, leader among his brothers, intending to make him king. Rehoboam also showed discernment by dispersing some of his sons to all the regions of Judah and Benjamin and to all the fortified cities. He gave them plenty of provisions and sought many wives for them.
2 Chronicles Chapter 12
When Rehoboam had established his sovereignty and royal power, he abandoned the law of the Lord — he and all Israel with him. Because they were unfaithful to the Lord, in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, King Shishak of Egypt went to war against Jerusalem with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 cavalrymen, and countless people who came with him from Egypt — Libyans, Sukkiim, and Cushites. He captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem.
They Humbled Themselves
Then the prophet Shemaiah went to Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah who were gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak. He said to them, “This is what the Lord says: You have abandoned me; therefore, I have abandoned you to Shishak.”
So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is righteous.”
When the Lord saw that they had humbled themselves, the Lord’s message came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves; I will not destroy them but will grant them a little deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak. However, they will become his servants so that they may recognize the difference between serving me and serving the kingdoms of other lands.”
So King Shishak of Egypt went to war against Jerusalem. He seized the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and the treasuries of the royal palace. He took everything. He took the gold shields that Solomon had made. King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and committed them into the care of the captains of the guards who protected the entrance to the king’s palace. Whenever the king entered the Lord’s temple, the guards would carry the shields and take them back to the armory. When Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger turned away from him, and he did not destroy him completely. Besides that, conditions were good in Judah.
Rehoboam’s Last Days
King Rehoboam established his royal power in Jerusalem. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord had chosen from all the tribes of Israel to put his name. Rehoboam’s mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite. Rehoboam did what was evil, because he did not determine in his heart to seek the Lord.
The events of Rehoboam’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the Events of the Prophet Shemaiah and of the Seer Iddo concerning genealogies. There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam throughout their reigns. Rehoboam rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David. His son Abijah became king in his place.
Is it just me, or does 2 Chronicles infer a little more innuendo between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba than we saw in 1 Kings? Now, we know that Solomon loved the ladies. No one would commit to 700 wives otherwise. But look at verse 12 of the 9th chapter: King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba her every desire, whatever she asked… Why? A quick Google search reveals a lot of gossip about a son. And she apparently stayed for about six months. If you know anything about this history, please share at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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