2 Chronicles 8
Solomon’s Accomplishments
8 At the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the house of the Lord and his own house, 2 Solomon rebuilt the cities that Hiram had given to him, and settled the people of Israel in them.
3 And Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and took it. 4 He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the store cities that he built in Hamath. 5 He also built Upper Beth-horon and Lower Beth-horon, fortified cities with walls, gates, and bars, 6 and Baalath, and all the store cities that Solomon had and all the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 7 All the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, 8 from their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the people of Israel had not destroyed—these Solomon drafted as forced labor, and so they are to this day. 9 But of the people of Israel Solomon made no slaves for his work; they were soldiers, and his officers, the commanders of his chariots, and his horsemen. 10 And these were the chief officers of King Solomon, 250, who exercised authority over the people.
11 Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the city of David to the house that he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not live in the house of David king of Israel, for the places to which the ark of the Lord has come are holy.”
12 Then Solomon offered up burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of the Lord that he had built before the vestibule, 13 as the duty of each day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses for the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths. 14 According to the ruling of David his father, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, and the Levites for their offices of praise and ministry before the priests as the duty of each day required, and the gatekeepers in their divisions at each gate, for so David the man of God had commanded. 15 And they did not turn aside from what the king had commanded the priests and Levites concerning any matter and concerning the treasuries.
16 Thus was accomplished all the work of Solomon from the day the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid until it was finished. So the house of the Lord was completed.
17 Then Solomon went to Ezion-geber and Eloth on the shore of the sea, in the land of Edom. 18 And Hiram sent to him by the hand of his servants ships and servants familiar with the sea, and they went to Ophir together with the servants of Solomon and brought from there 450 talents of gold and brought it to King Solomon. [1]
Proverbs 25-29
More Proverbs of Solomon
25 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.
2    It is the glory of God to conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to search things out.
3    As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
so the heart of kings is unsearchable.
4    Take away the dross from the silver,
and the smith has material for a vessel;
5    take away the wicked from the presence of the king,
and his throne will be established in righteousness.
6    Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence
or stand in the place of the great,
7    for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.
       What your eyes have seen
8        do not hastily bring into court,
       for what will you do in the end,
when your neighbor puts you to shame?
9    Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another’s secret,
10    lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
and your ill repute have no end.
11    A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12    Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
13    Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14    Like clouds and wind without rain
is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
15    With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.
16    If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
17    Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house,
lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
18    A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
19    Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
20    Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
and like vinegar on soda.
21    If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
22    for you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
23    The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24    It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
25    Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
so is good news from a far country.
26    Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
27    It is not good to eat much honey,
nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.
28    A man without self-control
is like a city broken into and left without walls.
26 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
so honor is not fitting for a fool.
2    Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
a curse that is causeless does not alight.
3    A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the back of fools.
4    Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
5    Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.
6    Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
7    Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless,
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8    Like one who binds the stone in the sling
is one who gives honor to a fool.
9    Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10    Like an archer who wounds everyone
is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.
11    Like a dog that returns to his vomit
is a fool who repeats his folly.
12    Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13    The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
There is a lion in the streets!”
14    As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
15    The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16    The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven men who can answer sensibly.
17    Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18    Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
19    is the man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I am only joking!”
20    For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
21    As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22    The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23    Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24    Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
25    when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26    though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27    Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28    A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.
27 Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.
2    Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.
3    A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
4    Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?
5    Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6    Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
7    One who is full loathes honey,
but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
8    Like a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.
9    Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
10    Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,
and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity.
       Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.
11    Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
that I may answer him who reproaches me.
12    The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
13    Take a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.
14    Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.
15    A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
16    to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.
17    Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
18    Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and he who guards his master will be honored.
19    As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
20    Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
21    The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and a man is tested by his praise.
22    Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
along with crushed grain,
yet his folly will not depart from him.
23    Know well the condition of your flocks,
and give attention to your herds,
24    for riches do not last forever;
and does a crown endure to all generations?
25    When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
26    the lambs will provide your clothing,
and the goats the price of a field.
27    There will be enough goats’ milk for your food,
for the food of your household
and maintenance for your girls.
28 The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but the righteous are bold as a lion.
2    When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,
but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
its stability will long continue.
3    A poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.
4    Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law strive against them.
5    Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.
6    Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
7    The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
8    Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit
gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
9    If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.
10    Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
will fall into his own pit,
but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
11    A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
12    When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
13    Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
14    Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15    Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16    A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
17    If one is burdened with the blood of another,
he will be a fugitive until death;
let no one help him.
18    Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
19    Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20    A faithful man will abound with blessings,
but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
21    To show partiality is not good,
but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.
22    A stingy man hastens after wealth
and does not know that poverty will come upon him.
23    Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue.
24    Whoever robs his father or his mother
and says, “That is no transgression,”
is a companion to a man who destroys.
25    A greedy man stirs up strife,
but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.
26    Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
27    Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
28    When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,
but when they perish, the righteous increase.
29 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
2    When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
3    He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
4    By justice a king builds up the land,
but he who exacts gifts tears it down.
5    A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads a net for his feet.
6    An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
7    A righteous man knows the rights of the poor;
a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
8    Scoffers set a city aflame,
but the wise turn away wrath.
9    If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
10    Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless
and seek the life of the upright.
11    A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.
12    If a ruler listens to falsehood,
all his officials will be wicked.
13    The poor man and the oppressor meet together;
the Lord gives light to the eyes of both.
14    If a king faithfully judges the poor,
his throne will be established forever.
15    The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
16    When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
17    Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.
18    Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
19    By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
for though he understands, he will not respond.
20    Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
21    Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
will in the end find him his heir.
22    A man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.
23    One’s pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
24    The partner of a thief hates his own life;
he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
25    The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
26    Many seek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice.
27    An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked. [2]
Ecclesiates 1-2
All Is Vanity
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2    Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3    What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
4    A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
5    The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.
6    The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
       around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
7    All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
       to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
8    All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
       the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
9    What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
10    Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
       It has been already
in the ages before us.
11    There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
       of later things yet to be
among those who come after.
The Vanity of Wisdom
12 I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 14 I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.
15    What is crooked cannot be made straight,
and what is lacking cannot be counted.
16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.
18    For in much wisdom is much vexation,
and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
The Vanity of Self-Indulgence
2 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. 2 I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” 3 I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. 4 I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. 5 I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. 6 I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.
9 So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
The Vanity of Living Wisely
12 So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done. 13 Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. 14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! 17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.
The Vanity of Toil
18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? 23 For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? 26 For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. [3]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), 2 Ch 8:1–18.
[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Pr 25:1–29:27.
[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ec 1:1–2:26.

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