Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus

Part 9 out of 26

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 3.1 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

their crimes." So Benaiah, on the king's command, slew Shimei.


Concerning The Wife Of Solomon; Concerning His Wisdom And Riches;
And Concerning What He Obtained Of Hiram For The Building Of The

1. Solomon having already settled himself firmly in his kingdom,
and having brought his enemies to punishment, he married the
daughter of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and built the walls of
Jerusalem much larger and stronger than those that had been
before, (2) and thenceforward he managed public affairs very
peaceably. Nor was his youth any hinderance in the exercise of
justice, or in the observation of the laws, or in the remembrance
of what charges his father had given him at his death; but he
discharged every duty with great accuracy, that might have been
expected from such as are aged, and of the greatest prudence. He
now resolved to go to Hebron, and sacrifice to God upon the
brazen altar that was built by Moses. Accordingly he offered
there burnt-offerings, in number a thousand; and when he had done
this, he thought he had paid great honor to God; for as he was
asleep that very night God appeared to him, and commanded him to
ask of him some gifts which he was ready to give him as a reward
for his piety. So Solomon asked of God what was most excellent,
and of the greatest worth in itself, what God would bestow with
the greatest. joy, and what it was most profitable for man to
receive; for he did not desire to have bestowed upon him either
gold or silver, or any other riches, as a man and a youth might
naturally have done, for these are the things that generally are
esteemed by most men, as alone of the greatest worth, and the
best gifts of God; but, said he, "Give me, O Lord, a sound mind,
and a good understanding, whereby I may speak and judge the
people according to truth and righteousness." With these
petitions God was well pleased; and promised to give him all
those things that he had not mentioned in his option, riches,
glory, victory over his enemies; and, in the first place,
understanding and wisdom, and this in such a degree as no other
mortal man, neither kings nor ordinary persons, ever had. He also
promised to preserve the kingdom to his posterity for a very long
time, if he continued righteous and obedient to him, and imitated
his father in those things wherein he excelled. When Solomon
heard this from God, he presently leaped out of his bed; and when
he had worshipped him, he returned to Jerusalem; and after he had
offered great sacrifices before the tabernacle, he feasted all
his own family.

2. In these days a hard cause came before him in judgment, which
it was very difficult to find any end of; and I think it
necessary to explain the fact about which the contest was, that
such as light upon my writings may know what a difficult cause
Solomon was to determine, and those that are concerned in such
matters may take this sagacity of the king for a pattern, that
they may the more easily give sentence about such questions.
There were two women, who were harlots in the course of their
lives, that came to him; of whom she that seemed to be injured
began to speak first, and said, "O king, I and this other woman
dwell together in one room. Now it came to pass that we both bore
a son at the same hour of the same day; and on the third day this
woman overlaid her son, and killed it, and then took my son out
of my bosom, and removed him to herself, and as I was asleep she
laid her dead son in my arms. Now, when in the morning I was
desirous to give the breast to the child, I did not find my own,
but saw the woman's dead child lying by me; for I considered it
exactly, and found it so to be. Hence it was that I demanded my
son, and when I could not obtain him, I have recourse, my lord,
to thy assistance; for since we were alone, and there was nobody
there that could convict her, she cares for nothing, but
perseveres in the stout denial of the fact." When this woman had
told this her story, the king asked the other woman what she had
to say in contradiction to that story. But when she denied that
she had done what was charged upon her, and said that it was her
child that was living, and that it was her antagonist's child
that was dead, and when no one could devise what judgment could
be given, and the whole court were blind in their understanding,
and could not tell how to find out this riddle, the king alone
invented the following way how to discover it. He bade them bring
in both the dead child and the living child; and sent one of his
guards, and commanded him to fetch a sword, and draw it, and to
cut both the children into two pieces, that each of the women
might have half the living and half the dead child. Hereupon all
the people privately laughed at the king, as no more than a
youth. But, in the mean time, she that was the real mother of the
living child cried out that he should not do so, but deliver that
child to the other woman as her own, for she would be satisfied
with the life of the child, and with the sight of it, although it
were esteemed the other's child; but the other woman was ready to
see the child divided, and was desirous, moreover, that the first
woman should be tormented. When the king understood that both
their words proceeded from the truth of their passions, he
adjudged the child to her that cried out to save it, for that she
was the real mother of it; and he condemned the other as a wicked
woman, who had not only killed her own child, but was endeavoring
to see her friend's child destroyed also. Now the multitude
looked on this determination as a great sign and demonstration of
the king's sagacity and wisdom, and after that day attended to
him as to one that had a divine mind.

3. Now the captains of his armies, and officers appointed over
the whole country, were these: over the lot of Ephraim was Ures;
over the toparchy of Bethlehem was Dioclerus; Abinadab, who
married Solomon's daughter, had the region of Dora and the
sea-coast under him; the Great Plain was under Benaiah, the son
of Achilus; he also governed all the country as far as Jordan;
Gabaris ruled over Gilead and Gaulanitis, and had under him the
sixty great and fenced cities [of Og]; Achinadab managed the
affairs of all Galilee as far as Sidon, and had himself also
married a daughter of Solomon's, whose name was Basima; Banacates
had the seacoast about Arce; as had Shaphat Mount Tabor, and
Carmel, and [the Lower] Galilee, as far as the river Jordan; one
man was appointed over all this country; Shimei was intrusted
with the lot of Benjamin; and Gabares had the country beyond
Jordan, over whom there was again one governor appointed. Now the
people of the Hebrews, and particularly the tribe of Judah,
received a wonderful increase when they betook themselves to
husbandry, and the cultivation of their grounds; for as they
enjoyed peace, and were not distracted with wars and troubles,
and having, besides, an abundant fruition of the most desirable
liberty, every one was busy in augmenting the product of their
own lands, and making them worth more than they had formerly

4. The king had also other rulers, who were over the land of
Syria and of the Philistines, which reached from the river
Euphrates to Egypt, and these collected his tributes of the
nations. Now these contributed to the king's table, and to his
supper every day (3) thirty cori of fine flour, and sixty of
meal; as also ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures,
and a hundred fat lambs; all these were besides what were taken
by hunting harts and buffaloes, and birds and fishes, which were
brought to the king by foreigners day by day. Solomon had also so
great a number of chariots, that the stalls of his horses for
those chariots were forty thousand; and besides these he had
twelve thousand horsemen, the one half of which waited upon the
king in Jerusalem, and the rest were dispersed abroad, and dwelt
in the royal villages; but the same officer who provided for the
king's expenses supplied also the fodder for the horses, and
still carried it to the place where the king abode at that time.

5. Now the sagacity and wisdom which God had bestowed on Solomon
was so great, that he exceeded the ancients; insomuch that he was
no way inferior to the Egyptians, who are said to have been
beyond all men in understanding; nay, indeed, it is evident that
their sagacity was very much inferior to that of the king's. He
also excelled and distinguished himself in wisdom above those who
were most eminent among the Hebrews at that time for shrewdness;
those I mean were Ethan, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the
sons of Mahol. He also composed books of odes and songs a
thousand and five, of parables and similitudes three thousand;
for he spake a parable upon every sort of tree, from the hyssop
to the cedar; and in like manner also about beasts, about all
sorts of living creatures, whether upon the earth, or in the
seas, or in the air; for he was not unacquainted with any of
their natures, nor omitted inquiries about them, but described
them all like a philosopher, and demonstrated his exquisite
knowledge of their several properties. God also enabled him to
learn that skill which expels demons, (4) which is a science
useful and sanative to men. He composed such incantations also by
which distempers are alleviated. And he left behind him the
manner of using exorcisms, by which they drive away demons, so
that they never return; and this method of cure is of great force
unto this day; for I have seen a certain man of my own country,
whose name was Eleazar, releasing people that were demoniacal in
the presence of Vespasian, and his sons, and his captains, and
the whole multitude of his soldiers. The manner of the cure was
this: He put a ring that had a Foot of one of those sorts
mentioned by Solomon to the nostrils of the demoniac, after which
he drew out the demon through his nostrils; and when the man fell
down immediately, he abjured him to return into him no more,
making still mention of Solomon, and reciting the incantations
which he composed. And when Eleazar would persuade and
demonstrate to the spectators that he had such a power, he set a
little way off a cup or basin full of water, and commanded the
demon, as he went out of the man, to overturn it, and thereby to
let the spectators know that he had left the man; and when this
was done, the skill and wisdom of Solomon was shown very
manifestly: for which reason it is, that all men may know the
vastness of Solomon's abilities, and how he was beloved of God,
and that the extraordinary virtues of every kind with which this
king was endowed may not be unknown to any people under the sun
for this reason, I say, it is that we have proceeded to speak so
largely of these matters.

6. Moreover Hiram, king of Tyre, when he had heard that Solonion
succeeded to his father's kingdom, was very glad of it, for he
was a friend of David's. So he sent ambassadors to him, and
saluted him, and congratulated him on the present happy state of
his affairs. Upon which Solomon sent him an epistle, the contents
of which here follow:

Solomon To King Hiram.

"(5)Know thou that my father would have built a temple to God,
but was hindered by wars, and continual expeditions; for he did
not leave off to overthrow his enemies till he made them all
subject to tribute. But I give thanks to God for the peace I at
present enjoy, and on that account I am at leisure, and design to
build a house to God, for God foretold to my father that such a
house should he built by me; wherefore I desire thee to send some
of thy subjects with mine to Mount Lebanon to cut down timber,
for the Sidonians are more skillful than our people in cutting of
wood. As for wages to the hewers of wood, I will pay whatsoever
price thou shalt determine."

7. When Hiram had read this epistle, he was pleased with it; and
wrote back this answer to Solomon.

Hiram To King Solomon.

"It is fit to bless God that he hath committed thy father's
government to thee, who art a wise man, and endowed with all
virtues. As for myself, I rejoice at the condition thou art in,
and will be subservient to thee in all that thou sendest to me
about; for when by my subjects I have cut down many and large
trees of cedar and cypress wood, I will send them to sea, and
will order my subjects to make floats of them, and to sail to
what place soever of thy country thou shalt desire, and leave
them there, after which thy subjects may carry them to Jerusalem.
But do thou take care to procure us corn for this timber, which
we stand in need of, because we inhabit in an island."

8. The copies of these epistles remain at this day, and are
preserved not only in our books, but among the Tyrians also;
insomuch that if any one would know the certainty about them, he
may desire of the keepers of the public records of Tyre to show
him them, and he will find what is there set down to agree with
what we have said. I have said so much out of a desire that my
readers may know that we speak nothing but the truth, and do not
compose a history out of some plausible relations, which deceive
men and please them at the same time, nor attempt to avoid
examination, nor desire men to believe us immediately; nor are we
at liberty to depart from speaking truth, which is the proper
commendation of an historian, and yet be blameless: but we insist
upon no admission of what we say, unless we be able to manifest
its truth by demonstration, and the strongest vouchers.

9. Now king Solomon, as soon as this epistle of the king of Tyre
was brought him, commended the readiness and good-will he
declared therein, and repaid him in what he desired, and sent him
yearly twenty thousand cori of wheat, and as many baths of oil:
now the bath is able to contain seventy-two sextaries. He also
sent him the same measure of wine. So the friendship between
Hiram and Solomon hereby increased more and more; and they swore
to continue it for ever. And the king appointed a tribute to be
laid on all the people, of thirty thousand laborers, whose work
he rendered easy to them by prudently dividing it among them; for
he made ten thousand cut timber in Mount Lebanon for one month;
and then to come home, and rest two months, until the time when
the other twenty thousand had finished their task at the
appointed time; and so afterward it came to pass that the first
ten thousand returned to their work every fourth month: and it
was Adoram who was over this tribute. There were also of the
strangers who were left by David, who were to carry the stones
and other materials, seventy thousand; and of those that cut the
stones, eighty thousand. Of these three thousand and three
hundred were rulers over the rest. He also enjoined them to cut
out large stones for the foundations of the temple, and that they
should fit them and unite them together in the mountain, and so
bring them to the city. This was done not only by our own country
workmen, but by those workmen whom Hiram sent also.


Of The Building Of This Temple

1. Solomon began to build the temple in the fourth year of his
reign, on the second month, which the Macedonians call
Artemisius, and the Hebrews Jur, five hundred and ninety-two
years after the Exodus out of Egypt; but one thousand and twenty
years from Abraham's coming out of Mesopotamia into Canaan, and
after the deluge one thousand four hundred and forty years; and
from Adam, the first man who was created, until Solomon built the
temple, there had passed in all three thousand one hundred and
two years. Now that year on which the temple began to be built
was already the eleventh year of the reign of Hiram; but from the
building of Tyre to the building of the temple, there had passed
two hundred and forty years.

2. Now, therefore, the king laid the foundations of the temple
very deep in the ground, and the materials were strong stones,
and such as would resist the force of time; these were to unite
themselves with the earth, and become a basis and a sure
foundation for that superstructure which was to be erected over
it; they were to be so strong, in order to sustain with ease
those vast superstructures and precious ornaments, whose own
weight was to be not less than the weight of those other high and
heavy buildings which the king designed to be very ornamental and
magnificent. They erected its entire body, quite up to the roof,
of white stone; its height was sixty cubits, and its length was
the same, and its breadth twenty. There was another building
erected over it, equal to it in its measures; so that the entire
altitude of the temple was a hundred and twenty cubits. Its front
was to the east. As to the porch, they built it before the
temple; its length was twenty cubits, and it was so ordered that
it might agree with the breadth of the house; and it had twelve
cubits in latitude, and its height was raised as high as a
hundred and twenty cubits. He also built round about the temple
thirty small rooms, which might include the whole temple, by
their closeness one to another, and by their number and outward
position round it. He also made passages through them, that they
might come into on through another. Every one of these rooms had
five cubits in breadth, (7) and the same in length, but in height
twenty. Above these there were other rooms, and others above
them, equal, both in their measures and number; so that these
reached to a height equal to the lower part of the house; for the
upper part had no buildings about it. The roof that was over the
house was of cedar; and truly every one of these rooms had a roof
of their own, that was not connected with the other rooms; but
for the other parts, there was a covered roof common to them all,
and built with very long beams, that passed through the rest, and
rough the whole building, that so the middle walls, being
strengthened by the same beams of timber, might be thereby made
firmer: but as for that part of the roof that was under the
beams, it was made of the same materials, and was all made
smooth, and had ornaments proper for roofs, and plates of gold
nailed upon them. And as he enclosed the walls with boards of
cedar, so he fixed on them plates of gold, which had sculptures
upon them; so that the whole temple shined, and dazzled the eyes
of such as entered, by the splendor of the gold that was on every
side of them, Now the whole structure of the temple was made with
great skill of polished stones, and those laid together so very
harmoniously and smoothly, that there appeared to the spectators
no sign of any hammer, or other instrument of architecture; but
as if, without any use of them, the entire materials had
naturally united themselves together, that the agreement of one
part with another seemed rather to have been natural, than to
have arisen from the force of tools upon them. The king also had
a fine contrivance for an ascent to the upper room over the
temple, and that was by steps in the thickness of its wall; for
it had no large door on the east end, as the lower house had, but
the entrances were by the sides, through very small doors. He
also overlaid the temple, both within and without, with boards of
cedar, that were kept close together by thick chains, so that
this contrivance was in the nature of a support and a strength to
the building.

3. Now when the king had divided the temple into two parts, he
made the inner house of twenty cubits [every way], to be the most
secret chamber, but he appointed that of forty cubits to be the
sanctuary; and when he had cut a door-place out of the wall, he
put therein doors of Cedar, and overlaid them with a great deal
of gold, that had sculptures upon it. He also had veils of blue,
and purple, and scarlet, and the brightest and softest linen,
with the most curious flowers wrought upon them, which were to be
drawn before those doors. He also dedicated for the most secret
place, whose breadth was twenty cubits, and length the same, two
cherubims of solid gold; the height of each of them was five
cubits (8) they had each of them two wings stretched out as far
as five cubits; wherefore Solomon set them up not far from each
other, that with one wing they might touch the southern wall of
the secret place, and with another the northern: their other
wings, which joined to each other, were a covering to the ark,
which was set between them; but nobody can tell, or even
conjecture, what was the shape of these cherubims. He also laid
the floor of the temple with plates of gold; and he added doors
to the gate of the temple, agreeable to the measure of the height
of the wall, but in breadth twenty cubits, and on them he glued
gold plates. And, to say all in one word, he left no part of the
temple, neither internal nor external, but what was covered with
gold. He also had curtains drawn over these doors in like manner
as they were drawn over the inner doors of the most holy place;
but the porch of the temple had nothing of that sort.

4. Now Solomon sent for an artificer out of Tyre, whose name was
Hiram; he was by birth of the tribe of Naphtali, on the mother's
side, (for she was of that tribe,) but his father was Ur, of the
stock of the Israelites. This man was skillful in all sorts of
work; but his chief skill lay in working in gold, and silver, and
brass; by whom were made all the mechanical works about the
temple, according to the will of Solomon. Moreover, this Hiram
made two [hollow] pillars, whose outsides were of brass, and the
thickness of the brass was four fingers' breadth, and the height
of the pillars was eighteen cubits and their circumference twelve
cubits; but there was cast with each of their chapiters lily-work
that stood upon the pillar, and it was elevated five cubits,
round about which there was net-work interwoven with small palms,
made of brass, and covered the lily-work. To this also were hung
two hundred pomegranates, in two rows. The one of these pillars
he set at the entrance of the porch on the right hand, and called
it Jachin (9) and the other at the left hand, and called it Booz.

5. Solomon also cast a brazen sea, whose figure was that of a
hemisphere. This brazen vessel was called a sea for its
largeness, for the laver was ten feet in diameter, and cast of
the thickness of a palm. Its middle part rested on a short pillar
that had ten spirals round it, and that pillar was ten cubits in
diameter. There stood round about it twelve oxen, that looked to
the four winds of heaven, three to each wind, having their hinder
parts depressed, that so the hemispherical vessel might rest upon
them, which itself was also depressed round about inwardly. Now
this sea contained three thousand baths.

6. He also made ten brazen bases for so many quadrangular lavers;
the length of every one of these bases was five cubits, and the
breadth four cubits, and the height six cubits. This vessel was
partly turned, and was thus contrived: There were four small
quadrangular pillars that stood one at each corner; these had the
sides of the base fitted to them on each quarter; they were
parted into three parts; every interval had a border fitted to
support [the laver]; upon which was engraven, in one place a
lion, and in another place a bull, and an eagle. The small
pillars had the same animals engraven that were engraven on the
sides. The whole work was elevated, and stood upon four wheels,
which were also cast, which had also naves and felloes, and were
a foot and a half in diameter. Any one who saw the spokes of the
wheels, how exactly they were turned, and united to the sides of
the bases, and with what harmony they agreed to the felloes,
would wonder at them. However, their structure was this: Certain
shoulders of hands stretched out held the corners above, upon
which rested a short spiral pillar, that lay under the hollow
part of the laver, resting upon the fore part of the eagle and
the lion, which were adapted to them, insomuch that those who
viewed them would think they were of one piece: between these
were engravings of palm trees. This was the construction of the
ten bases. He also made ten large round brass vessels, which were
the lavers themselves, each of which contained forty baths; (10)
for it had its height four cubits, and its edges were as much
distant from each other. He also placed these lavers upon the ten
bases that were called Mechonoth; and he set five of the lavers
on the left side of the temple (11) which was that side towards
the north wind, and as many on the right side, towards the south,
but looking towards the east; the same [eastern] way he also set
the sea Now he appointed the sea to be for washing the hands and
the feet of the priests, when they entered into the temple and
were to ascend the altar, but the lavers to cleanse the entrails
of the beasts that were to be burnt-offerings, with their feet

7. He also made a brazen altar, whose length was twenty cubits,
and its breadth the same, and its height ten, for the
burnt-offerings. He also made all its vessels of brass, the pots,
and the shovels, and the basons; and besides these, the snuffers
and the tongs, and all its other vessels, he made of brass, and
such brass as was in splendor and beauty like gold. The king also
dedicated a great number of tables, but one that was large and
made of gold, upon which they set the loaves of God; and he made
ten thousand more that resembled them, but were done after
another manner, upon which lay the vials and the cups; those of
gold were twenty thousand, those of silver were forty thousand.
He also made ten thousand candlesticks, according to the command
of Moses, one of which he dedicated for the temple, that it might
burn in the day time, according to the law; and one table with
loaves upon it, on the north side of the temple, over against the
candlestick; for this he set on the south side, but the golden
altar stood between them. All these vessels were contained in
that part of the holy house, which was forty cubits long, and
were before the veil of that most secret place wherein the ark
was to be set.

8. The king also made pouring vessels, in number eighty thousand,
and a hundred thousand golden vials, and twice as many silver
vials: of golden dishes, in order therein to offer kneaded fine
flour at the altar, there were eighty thousand, and twice as many
of silver. Of large basons also, wherein they mixed fine flour
with oil, sixty thousand of gold, and twice as many of silver. Of
the measures like those which Moses called the Hin and the
Assaron, (a tenth deal,) there were twenty thousand of gold, and
twice as many of silver. The golden censers, in which they
carried the incense to the altar, were twenty thousand; the other
censers, in which they carried fire from the great altar to the
little altar, within the temple, were fifty thousand. The
sacerdotal garments which belonged to the high priest, with the
long robes, and the oracle, and the precious stones, were a
thousand. But the crown upon which Moses wrote [the name of
God],]was only one, and hath remained to this very day. He also
made ten thousand sacerdotal garments of fine linen, with purple
girdles for every priest; and two hundred thousand trumpets,
according to the command of Moses; also two hundred thousand
garments of fine linen for the singers, that were Levites. And he
made musical instruments, and such as were invented for singing
of hymns, called ,Nablee and Cindree, [psalteries and harps,]
which were made of electrum, [the finest brass,] forty thousand.

9. Solomon made all these things for the honor of God, with great
variety and magnificence, sparing no cost, but using all possible
liberality in adorning the temple; and these things he dedicated
to the treasures of God. He also placed a partition round about
the temple, which in our tongue we call Gison, but it is called
Thrigcos by the Greeks, and he raised it up to the height of
three cubits; and it was for the exclusion of the multitude from
coming into the temple, and showing that it was a place that was
free and open only for the priests. He also built beyond this
court a temple, whose figure was that of a quadrangle, and
erected for it great and broad cloisters; this was entered into
by very high gates, each of which had its front exposed to one of
the [four] winds, and were shut by golden doors. Into this temple
all the people entered that were distinguished from the rest by
being pure and observant of the laws. But he made that temple
which was beyond this a wonderful one indeed, and such as exceeds
all description in words; nay, if I may so say, is hardly
believed upon sight; for when he had filled up great valleys with
earth, which, on account of their immense depth, could not be
looked on, when you bended down to see them, without pain, and
had elevated the ground four hundred cubits, he made it to be on
a level with the top of the mountain, on which the temple was
built, and by this means the outmost temple, which was exposed to
the air, was even with the temple itself. He encompassed this
also with a building of a double row of cloisters, which stood on
high upon pillars of native stone, while the roofs were of cedar,
and were polished in a manner proper for such high roofs; but he
made all the doors of this temple of silver.


How Solomon Removed The Ark Into The Temple How He Made
Supplication To God, And Offered Public Sacrifices To Him.

1. When king Solomon had finished these works, these large and
beautiful buildings, and had laid up his donations in the temple,
and all this in the interval of seven years, and had given a
demonstration of his riches and alacrity therein, insomuch that
any one who saw it would have thought it must have been an
immense time ere it could have been finished; and would be
surprised that so much should be finished in so short a time;
short, I mean, if compared with the greatness of the work: he
also wrote to the rulers and elders of the Hebrews, and ordered
all the people to gather themselves together to Jerusalem, both
to see the temple which he had built, and to remove the ark of
God into it; and when this invitation of the whole body of the
people to come to Jerusalem was every where carried abroad, it
was the seventh month before they came together; which month is
by our countrymen called Thisri, but by the Macedonians
Hyperberetoets. The feast of tabernacles happened to fall at the
same time, which was celebrated by the Hebrews as a most holy and
most eminent feast. So they carried the ark and the tabernacle
which Moses had pitched, and all the vessels that were for
ministration, to the sacrifices of God, and removed them to the
temple. (13) The king himself, and all the people and the
Levites, went before, rendering the ground moist with sacrifices,
and drink-offerings, and the blood of a great number of
oblations, and burning an immense quantity of incense, and this
till the very air itself every where round about was so full of
these odors, that it met, in a most agreeable manner, persons at
a great distance, and was an indication of God's presence; and,
as men's opinion was, of his habitation with them in this newly
built and consecrated place, for they did not grow weary, either
of singing hymns or of dancing, until they came to the temple;
and in this manner did they carry the ark. But when they should
transfer it into the most secret place, the rest of the multitude
went away, and only those priests that carried it set it between
the two cherubims, which embracing it with their wings, (for so
were they framed by the artificer,) they covered it, as under a
tent, or a cupola. Now the ark contained nothing else but those
two tables of stone that preserved the ten commandments, which
God spake to Moses in Mount Sinai, and which were engraved upon
them; but they set the candlestick, and the table, and the golden
altar in the temple, before the most secret place, in the very
same places wherein they stood till that time in the tabernacle.
So they offered up the daily sacrifices; but for the brazen
altar, Solomon set it before the temple, over against the door,
that when the door was opened, it might be exposed to sight, and
the sacred solemnities, and the richness of the sacrifices, might
be thence seen; and all the rest of the vessels they gathered
together, and put them within the temple.

2. Now as soon as the priests had put all things in order about
the ark, and were gone out, there cane down a thick cloud, and
stood there, and spread itself, after a gentle manner, into the
temple; such a cloud it was as was diffused and temperate, not
such a rough one as we see full of rain in the winter season.
This cloud so darkened the place, that one priest could not
discern another, but it afforded to the minds of all a visible
image and glorious appearance of God's having descended into this
temple, and of his having gladly pitched his tabernacle therein.
So these men were intent upon this thought. But Solomon rose up,
(for he was sitting before,) and used such words to God as he
thought agreeable to the Divine nature to receive, and fit for
him to give; for he said, "Thou hast an eternal house, O Lord,
and such a one as thou hast created for thyself out of thine own
works; we know it to be the heaven, and the air, and the earth,
and the sea, which thou pervadest, nor art thou contained within
their limits. I have indeed built this temple to thee, and thy
name, that from thence, when we sacrifice, and perform sacred
operations, we may send our prayers up into the air, and may
constantly believe that thou art present, and art not remote from
what is thine own; for neither when thou seest all things, and
hearest all things, nor now, when it pleases thee to dwell here,
dost thou leave the care of all men, but rather thou art very
near to them all, but especially thou art present to those that
address themselves to thee, whether by night or by day." When he
had thus solemnly addressed himself to God, he converted his
discourse to the multitude, and strongly represented the power
and providence of God to them; - how he had shown all things that
were come to pass to David his father, as many of those things
had already come to pass, and the rest would certainly come to
pass hereafter; and how he had given him his name, and told to
David what he should be called before he was born; and foretold,
that when he should be king after his father's death, he should
build him a temple, which since they saw accomplished, according
to his prediction, he required them to bless God, and by
believing him, from the sight of what they had seen accomplished,
never to despair of any thing that he had promised for the
future, in order to their happiness, or suspect that it would not
come to pass.

3. When the king had thus discoursed to the multitude, he looked
again towards the temple, and lifting up his right hand to the
multitude, he said," It is not possible by what men can do to
return sufficient thanks to God for his benefits bestowed upon
them, for the Deity stands in need of nothing, and is above any
such requital; but so far as we have been made superior, O Lord,
to other animals by thee, it becomes us to bless thy Majesty, and
it is necessary for us to return thee thanks for what thou hast
bestowed upon our house, and on the Hebrew people; for with what
other instrument can we better appease thee when thou art angry
at us, or more properly preserve thy favor, than with our voice?
which, as we have it from the air, so do we know that by that air
it ascends upwards [towards thee]. I therefore ought myself to
return thee thanks thereby, in the first place, concerning my
father, whom thou hast raised from obscurity unto so great joy;
and, in the next place, concerning myself, since thou hast
performed all that thou hast promised unto this very day. And I
beseech thee for the time to come to afford us whatsoever thou, O
God, hast power to bestow on such as thou dost esteem; and to
augment our house for all ages, as thou hast promised to David my
father to do, both in his lifetime and at his death, that our
kingdom shall continue, and that his posterity should
successively receive it to ten thousand generations. Do not thou
therefore fail to give us these blessings, and to bestow on my
children that virtue in which thou delightest. And besides all
this, I humbly beseech thee that thou wilt let some portion of
thy Spirit come down and inhabit in this temple, that thou mayst
appear to be with us upon earth. As to thyself, the entire
heavens, and the immensity of the things that are therein, are
but a small habitation for thee, much more is this poor temple
so; but I entreat thee to keep it as thine own house, from being
destroyed by our enemies for ever, and to take care of it as
thine own possession: but if this people be found to have sinned,
and be thereupon afflicted by thee with any plague, because of
their sin, as with dearth or pestilence, or any other affliction
which thou usest to inflict on those that transgress any of thy
holy laws, and if they fly all of them to this temple, beseeching
thee, and begging of time to deliver them, then do thou hear
their prayers, as being within thine house, and have mercy upon
them, and deliver them from their afflictions. Nay, moreover,
this help is what I implore of thee, not for the Hebrews only,
when they are in distress, but when any shall come hither from
any ends of the world whatsoever, and shall return from their
sins and implore thy pardon, do thou then pardon them, and hear
their prayer. For hereby all shall learn that thou thyself wast
pleased with the building of this house for thee; and that we are
not ourselves of an unsociable nature, nor behave ourselves like
enemies to such as are not of our own people; but are willing
that thy assistance should be communicated by thee to all men in
common, and that they may have the enjoyment of thy benefits
bestowed upon them."

4. When Solomon had said this, and had cast himself upon the
ground, and worshipped a long time, he rose up, and brought
sacrifices to the altar; and when he had filled it with
unblemished victims, he most evidently discovered that God had
with pleasure accepted of all that he had sacrificed to him, for
there came a fire running out of the air, and rushed with
violence upon the altar, in the sight of all, and caught hold of
and consumed the sacrifices. Now when this Divine appearance was
seen, the people supposed it to be a demonstration of God's abode
in the temple, and were pleased with it, and fell down upon the
ground and worshipped. Upon which the king began to bless God,
and exhorted the multitude to do the same, as now having
sufficient indications of God's favorable disposition to them;
and to pray that they might always have the like indications from
him, and that he would preserve in them a mind pure from all
wickedness, in righteousness and religious worship, and that they
might continue in the observation of those precepts which God had
given them by Moses, because by that means the Hebrew nation
would be happy, and indeed the most blessed of all nations among
all mankind. He exhorted them also to be mindful, that by what
methods they had attained their present good things, by the same
they must preserve them sure to themselves, and make them greater
and more than they were at present; for that it was not
sufficient for them to suppose they had received them on account
of their piety and righteousness, but that they had no other way
of preserving them for the time to come; for that it is not so
great a thing for men to acquire somewhat which they want, as to
preserve what they have acquired, and to be guilty of no sin
whereby it may be hurt.

5. So when the king had spoken thus to the multitude, he
dissolved the congregation, but not till he had completed his
oblations, both for himself and for the Hebrews, insomuch that he
sacrificed twenty and two thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty
thousand sheep; for then it was that the temple did first of all
taste of the victims, and all the Hebrews, with their wives and
children, feasted therein: nay, besides this, the king then
observed splendidly and magnificently the feast which is called
the Feast of Tabernacles, before the temple, for twice seven
days; and he then feasted together with all the people.

6. When all these solemnities were abundantly satisfied, and
nothing was omitted that concerned the Divine worship, the king
dismissed them; and they every one went to their own homes,
giving thanks to the king for the care he had taken of them, and
the works he had done for them; and praying to God to preserve
Solomon to be their king for a long time. They also took their
journey home with rejoicing, and making merry, and singing hymns
to God. And indeed the pleasure they enjoyed took away the sense
of the pains they all underwent in their journey home. So when
they had brought the ark into the temple, and had seen its
greatness, and how fine it was, and had been partakers of the
many sacrifices that had been offered, and of the festivals that
had been solemnized, they every one returned to their own cities.
But a dream that appeared to the king in his sleep informed him
that God had heard his prayers; and that he would not only
preserve the temple, but would always abide in it; that is, in
case his posterity and the whole multitude would be righteous.
And for himself, it said, that if he continued according to the
admonitions of his father, he would advance him to an immense
degree of dignity and happiness, and that then his posterity
should be kings of that country, of the tribe of Judah, for ever;
but that still, if he should be found a betrayer of the
ordinances of the law, and forget them, and turn away to the
worship of strange gods, he would cut him off by the roots, and
would neither suffer any remainder of his family to continue, nor
would overlook the people of Israel, or preserve them any longer
from afflictions, but would utterly destroy them with ten
thousand wars and misfortunes; would cast them out of the land
which he had given their fathers, and make them sojourners in
strange lands; and deliver that temple which was now built to be
burnt and spoiled by their enemies, and that city to be utterly
overthrown by the hands of their enemies; and make their miseries
deserve to be a proverb, and such as should very hardly be
credited for their stupendous magnitude, till their neighbors,
when they should hear of them, should wonder at their calamities,
and very earnestly inquire for the occasion, why the Hebrews, who
had been so far advanced by God to such glory and wealth, should
be then so hated by him? and that the answer that should be made
by the remainder of the people should be, by confessing their
sins, and their transgression of the laws of their country.
Accordingly we have it transmitted to us in writing, that thus
did God speak to Solomon in his sleep.


How Solomon Built Himself A Royal Palace, Very Costly And
Splendid; And How He Solved The Riddles Which Were Sent Him By

1. After the building of the temple, which, as we have before
said, was finished in seven years, the king laid the foundation
of his palace, which be did not finish under thirteen years, for
he was not equally zealous in the building of this palace as he
had been about the temple; for as to that, though it was a great
work, and required wonderful and surprising application, yet God,
for whom it was made, so far co-operated therewith, that it was
finished in the forementioned number of years: but the palace,
which was a building much inferior in dignity to the temple, both
on account that its materials had not been so long beforehand
gotten ready, nor had been so zealously prepared, and on account
that this was only a habitation for kings, and not for God, it
was longer in finishing. However, this building was raised so
magnificently, as suited the happy state of the Hebrews, and of
the king thereof. But it is necessary that I describe the entire
structure and disposition of the parts, that so those that light
upon this book may thereby make a conjecture, and, as it were,
have a prospect of its magnitude.

2. This house was a large and curious building, and was supported
by many pillars, which Solomon built to contain a multitnde for
hearing causes, and taking cognizance of suits. It was
sufficiently capacious to contain a great body of men, who would
come together to have their causes determined. It was a hundred
cubits long, and fifty broad, and thirty high, supported by
quadrangular pillars, which were all of cedar; but its roof was
according to the Corinthian order, (14) with folding doors, and
their adjoining pillars of equal magnitude, each fluted with
three cavities; which building as at once firm, and very
ornamental. There was also another house so ordered, that its
entire breadth was placed in the middle; it was quadrangular, and
its breadth was thirty cubits, having a temple over against it,
raised upon massy pillars; in which temple there was a large and
very glorious room, wherein the king sat in judgment. To this was
joined another house that was built for his queen. There were
other smaller edifices for diet, and for sleep, after public
matters were over; and these were all floored with boards of
cedar. Some of these Solomon built with stones of ten cubits, and
wainscoted the walls with other stones that were sawed, and were
of great value, such as are dug out of the earth for the
ornaments of temples, and to make fine prospects in royal
palaces, and which make the mines whence they are dug famous. Now
the contexture of the curious workmanship of these stones was in
three rows, but the fourth row would make one admire its
sculptures, whereby were represented trees, and all sorts of
plants; with the shades that arose from their branches, and
leaves that hung down from them. Those trees anti plants covered
the stone that was beneath them, and their leaves were wrought so
prodigious thin and subtile, that you would think they were in
motion; but the other part up to the roof, was plastered over,
and, as it were, embroidered with colors and pictures. He,
moreover, built other edifices for pleasure; as also very long
cloisters, and those situate in an agreeable place of the palace;
and among them a most glorious dining room, for feastings and
compotations, and full of gold, and such other furniture as so
fine a room ought to have for the conveniency of the guests, and
where all the vessels were made of gold. Now it is very hard to
reckon up the magnitude and the variety of the royal apartments;
how many rooms there were of the largest sort, how many of a
bigness inferior to those, and how many that were subterraneous
and invisible; the curiosity of those that enjoyed the fresh air;
and the groves for the most delightful prospect, for the avoiding
the heat, and covering of their bodies. And, to say all in brief,
Solomon made the whole building entirely of white stone, and
cedar wood, and gold, and silver. He also adorned the roofs and
walls with stones set in gold, and beautified them thereby in the
same manner as he had beautified the temple of God with the like
stones. He also made himself a throne of prodigious bigness, of
ivory, constructed as a seat of justice, and having six steps to
it; on every one of which stood, on each end of the step two
lions, two other lions standing above also; but at the sitting
place of the throne hands came out and received the king; and
when he sat backward, he rested on half a bullock, that looked
towards his back; but still all was fastened together with gold.

3. When Solomon had completed all this in twenty years' time,
because Hiram king of Tyre had contributed a great deal of gold,
and more silver to these buildings, as also cedar wood and pine
wood, he also rewarded Hiram with rich presents; corn he sent him
also year by year, and wine and oil, which were the principal
things that he stood in need of, because he inhabited an island,
as we have already said. And besides these, he granted him
certain cities of Galilee, twenty in number, that lay not far
from Tyre; which, when Hiram went to, and viewed, and did not
like the gift, he sent word to Solomon that he did not want such
cities as they were; and after that time these cities were called
the land of Cabul; which name, if it be interpreted according to
the language of the Phoenicians, denotes what does not please.
Moreover, the king of Tyre sent sophisms and enigmatical sayings
to Solomon, and desired he would solve them, and free them from
the ambiguity that was in them. Now so sagacious and
understanding was Solomon, that none of these problems were too
hard for him; but he conquered them all by his reasonings, and
discovered their hidden meaning, and brought it to light.
Menander also, one who translated the Tyrian archives out of the
dialect of the Phoenicians into the Greek language, makes mention
of these two kings, where he says thus: "When Abibalus was dead,.
his son Hiram received the kingdom from him, who, when he had
lived fifty-three years, reigned thirty-four. He raised a bank in
the large place, and dedicated the golden pillar which is in
Jupiter's temple. He also went and cut down materials of timber
out of the mountain called Libanus, for the roof of temples; and
when he had pulled down the ancient temples, he both built the
temple of Hercules and that of Astarte; and he first set up the
temple of Hercules in the month Peritius; he also made an
expedition against the Euchii, or Titii, who did not pay their
tribute, and when he had subdued them to himself he returned.
Under this king there was Abdemon, a very youth in age, who
always conquered the difficult problems which Solomon, king of
Jerusalem, commanded him to explain. Dius also makes mention of
him, where he says thus: "When Abibalus was dead, his son Hiram
reigned. He raised the eastern parts of the city higher, and made
the city itself larger. He also joined the temple of Jupiter,
which before stood by itself, to the city, by raising a bank in
the middle between them; and he adorned it with donations of
gold. Moreover, he went up to Mount Libanus, and cut down
materials of wood for the building of the temples." He says also,
that Solomon, who was then king of Jerusalem, sent riddles to
Hiram, and desired to receive the like from him, but that he who
could not solve them should pay money to them that did solve
them, and that Hiram accepted the conditions; and when he was not
able to solve the riddles proposed by Solomon, he paid a great
deal of money for his fine; but that he afterward did solve the
proposed riddles by means of Abdemon, a man of Tyre; and that
Hiram proposed other riddles, which, when Solomon could not
solve, he paid back a great deal of money to Hiram." This it is
which Dius wrote.


How Solomon Fortified The City Of Jerusalem, And Built Great
Cities; And How He Brought Some Of The Canaanites Into
Subjection, And Entertained The Queen Of Egypt And Of Ethiopia.

1. Now when the king saw that the walls of Jerusalem stood in
need of being better secured, and made stronger, (for he thought
the wails that encompassed Jerusalem ought to correspond to the
dignity of the city,) he both repaired them, and made them
higher, with great towers upon them; he also built cities which
might be counted among the strongest, Hazor and Megiddo, and the
third Gezer, which had indeed belonged to the Philistines; but
Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had made an expedition against it,
and besieged it, and taken it by force; and when he had slain all
its inhabitants, he utterly overthrew it, and gave it as a
present to his daughter, who had been married to Solomon; for
which reason the king rebuilt it, as a city that was naturally
strong, and might be useful in wars, and the mutations of affairs
that sometimes happen. Moreover, he built two other cities not
far from it, Beth-horon was the name of one of them, and Baalath
of the other. He also built other cities that lay conveniently
for these, in order to the enjoyment of pleasures and delicacies
in them, such as were naturally of a good temperature of the air,
and agreeable for fruits ripe in their proper seasons, and well
watered with springs. Nay, Solomon went as far as the desert
above Syria, and possessed himself of it, and built there a very
great city, which was distant two days' journey from Upper Syria,
and one day's journey from Euphrates, and six long days' journey
from Babylon the Great. Now the reason why this city lay so
remote from the parts of Syria that are inhabited is this, that
below there is no water to be had, and that it is in that place
only that there are springs and pits of water. When he had
therefore built this city, and encompassed it with very strong
walls, he gave it the name of Tadmor, and that is the name it is
still called by at this day among the Syrians, but the Greeks
name it Palmyra.

2. Now Solomon the king was at this time engaged in building
these cities. But if any inquire why all the kings of Egypt from
Menes, who built Memphis, and was many years earlier than our
forefather Abraham, until Solomon, where the interval was more
than one thousand three hundred years, were called Pharaohs, and
took it from one Pharaoh that lived after the kings of that
interval, I think it necessary to inform them of it, and this in
order to cure their ignorance, and to make the occasion of that
name manifest. Pharaoh, in the Egyptian tongue, signifies a king
(15) but I suppose they made use of other names from their
childhood; but when they were made kings, they changed them into
the name which in their own tongue denoted their authority; for
thus it was also that the kings of Alexandria, who were called
formerly by other names, when they took the kingdom, were named
Ptolemies, from their first king. The Roman emperors also were
from their nativity called by other names, but are styled
Caesars, their empire and their dignity imposing that name upon
them, and not suffering them to continue in those names which
their fathers gave them. I suppose also that Herodotus of
Halicarnassus, when he said there were three hundred and thirty
kings of Egypt after Menes, who built Memphis, did therefore not
tell us their names, because they were in common called Pharaohs;
for when after their death there was a queen reigned, he calls
her by her name Nicaule, as thereby declaring, that while the
kings were of the male line, and so admitted of the same nature,
while a woman did not admit the same, he did therefore set down
that her name, which she could not naturally have. As for myself,
I have discovered from our own books, that after Pharaoh, the
father-in-law of Solomon, no other king of Egypt did any longer
use that name; and that it was after that time when the forenamed
queen of Egypt and Ethiopia came to Solomon, concerning whom we
shall inform the reader presently; but I have now made mention of
these things, that I may prove that our books and those of the
Egyptians agree together in many things.

3. But king Solomon subdued to himself the remnant of the
Canaanites that had not before submitted to him; those I mean
that dwelt in Mount Lebanon, and as far as the city Hamath; and
ordered them to pay tribute. He also chose out of them every year
such as were to serve him in the meanest offices, and to do his
domestic works, and to follow husbandry; for none of the Hebrews
were servants [in such low employments]: nor was it reasonable,
that when God had brought so many nations under their power, they
should depress their own people to such mean offices of life,
rather than those nations; while all the Israelites were
concerned in warlike affairs, and were in armor; and were set
over the chariots and the horses, rather than leading the life of
slaves. He appointed also five hundred and fifty rulers over
those Canaanites who were reduced to such domestic slavery, who
received the entire care of them from the king, and instructed
them in those labors and operations wherein he wanted their

4. Moreover, the king built many ships in the Egyptian Bay of the
Red Sea, in a certain place called Ezion-geber: it is now called
Berenice, and is not far from the city Eloth. This country
belonged formerly to the Jews, and became useful for shipping
from the donations of Hiram king of Tyre; for he sent a
sufficient number of men thither for pilots, and such as were
skillful in navigation, to whom Solomon gave this command: That
they should go along with his own stewards to the land that was
of old called Ophir, but now the Aurea Chersonesus, which belongs
to India, to fetch him gold. And when they had gathered four
hundred talents together, they returned to the king again.

5. There was then a woman queen of Egypt and Ethiopia; (16) she
was inquisitive into philosophy, and one that on other accounts
also was to be admired. When this queen heard of the virtue and
prudence of Solomon, she had a great mind to see him; and the
reports that went every day abroad induced her to come to him,
she being desirous to be satisfied by her own experience, and not
by a bare hearing; (for reports thus heard are likely enough to
comply with a false opinion, while they wholly depend on the
credit of the relators;) so she resolved to come to him, and that
especially in order to have a trial of his wisdom, while she
proposed questions of very great difficulty, and entreated that
he would solve their hidden meaning. Accordingly she came to
Jerusalem with great splendor and rich furniture; for she brought
with her camels laden with gold, with several sorts of sweet
spices, and with precious stones. Now, upon the king's kind
reception of her, he both showed a great desire to please her,
and easily comprehending in his mind the meaning of the curious
questions she propounded to him, he resolved them sooner than any
body could have expected. So she was amazed at the wisdom of
Solomon, and discovered that it was more excellent upon trial
than what she had heard by report beforehand; and especially she
was surprised at the fineness and largeness of his royal palace,
and not less so at the good order of the apartments, for she
observed that the king had therein shown great wisdom; but she
was beyond measure astonished at the house which was called the
Forest of Lebanon, as also at the magnificence of his daily
table, and the circumstances of its preparation and ministration,
with the apparel of his servants that waited, and the skillful
and decent management of their attendance: nor was she less
affected with those daily sacrifices which were offered to God,
and the careful management which the priests and Levites used
about them. When she saw this done every day, she was in the
greatest admiration imaginable, insomuch that she was not able to
contain the surprise she was in, but openly confessed how
wonderfully she was affected; for she proceeded to discourse with
the king, and thereby owned that she was overcome with admiration
at the things before related; and said, "All things indeed, O
king, that came to our knowledge by report, came with uncertainty
as to our belief of them; but as to those good things that to
thee appertain, both such as thou thyself possessest, I mean
wisdom and prudence, and the happiness thou hast from thy
kingdom, certainly the same that came to us was no falsity; it
was not only a true report, but it related thy happiness after a
much lower manner than I now see it to be before my eyes. For as
for the report, it only attempted to persuade our hearing, but
did not so make known the dignity of the things themselves as
does the sight of them, and being present among them. I indeed,
who did not believe what was reported, by reason of the multitude
and grandeur of the things I inquired about, do see them to be
much more numerous than they were reported to be. Accordingly I
esteem the Hebrew people, as well as thy servants and friends, to
be happy, who enjoy thy presence and hear thy wisdom every day
continually. One would therefore bless God, who hath so loved
this country, and those that inhabit therein, as to make thee
king over them."

6. Now when the queen had thus demonstrated in words how deeply
the king had affected her, her disposition was known by certain
presents, for she gave him twenty talents of gold, and an immense
quantity of spices and precious stones. (They say also that we
possess the root of that balsam which our country still bears by
this woman's gift.) (17) Solomon also repaid her with many good
things, and principally by bestowing upon her what she chose of
her own inclination, for there was nothing that she desired which
he denied her; and as he was very generous and liberal in his own
temper, so did he show the greatness of his soul in bestowing on
her what she herself desired of him. So when this queen of
Ethiopia had obtained what we have already given an account of,
and had again communicated to the king what she brought with her,
she returned to her own kingdom.


How Solomon Grew Rich, And Fell Desperately In Love With Women
And How God, Being Incensed At It, Raised Up Ader And Jeroboam
Against Him. Concerning The Death Of Solomon.

1. About the same time there were brought to the king from the
Aurea Chersonesus, a country so called, precious stones, and pine
trees, and these trees he made use of for supporting the temple
and the palace, as also for the materials of musical instruments,
the harps and the psalteries, that the Levites might make use of
them in their hymns to God. The wood which was brought to him at
this time was larger and finer than any that had ever been
brought before; but let no one imagine that these pine trees were
like those which are now so named, and which take that their
denomination from the merchants, who so call them, that they may
procure them to be admired by those that purchase them; for those
we speak of were to the sight like the wood of the fig tree, but
were whiter, and more shining. Now we have said thus much, that
nobody may be ignorant of the difference between these sorts of
wood, nor unacquainted with the nature of the genuine pine tree;
and we thought it both a seasonable and humane thing, when we
mentioned it, and the uses the king made of it, to explain this
difference so far as we have done.

2. Now the weight of gold that was brought him was six hundred
and sixty-six talents, not including in that sum what was brought
by the merchants, nor what the toparchs and kings of Arabia gave
him in presents. He also cast two hundred targets of gold, each
of them weighing six hundred shekels. He also made three hundred
shields, every one weighing three pounds of gold, and he had them
carried and put into that house which was called The Forest of
Lebanon. He also made cups of gold, and of [precious] stones, for
the entertainment of his guests, and had them adorned in the most
artificial manner; and he contrived that all his other furniture
of vessels should be of gold, for there was nothing then to be
sold or bought for silver; for the king had many ships which lay
upon the sea of Tarsus, these he commanded to carry out all sorts
of merchandise unto the remotest nations, by the sale of which
silver and gold were brought to the king, and a great quantity of
ivory, and Ethiopians, and apes; and they finished their voyage,
going and returning, in three years' time.

3. Accordingly there went a great fame all around the neighboring
countries, which proclaimed the virtue and wisdom of Solomon,
insomuch that all the kings every where were desirous to see him,
as not giving credit to what was reported, on account of its
being almost incredible: they also demonstrated the regard they
had for him by the presents they made him; for they sent him
vessels of gold, and silver, and purple garments, and many sorts
of spices, and horses, and chariots, and as many mules for his
carriages as they could find proper to please the king's eyes, by
their strength and beauty. This addition that he made to those
chariots and horses which he had before from those that were sent
him, augmented the number of his chariots by above four hundred,
for he had a thousand before, and augmented the number of his
horses by two thousand, for he had twenty thousand before. These
horses also were so much exercised, in order to their making a
fine appearance, and running swiftly, that no others could, upon
the comparison, appear either finer or swifter; but they were at
once the most beautiful of all others, and their swiftness was
incomparable also. Their riders also were a further ornament to
them, being, in the first place, young men in the most delightful
flower of their age, and being eminent for their largeness, and
far taller than other men. They had also very long heads of hair
hanging down, and were clothed in garments of Tyrian purple. They
had also dust of gold every day sprinkled on their hair, so that
their heads sparkled with the reflection of the sun-beams from
the gold. The king himself rode upon a chariot in the midst of
these men, who were still in armor, and had their bows fitted to
them. He had on a white garment, and used to take his progress
out of the city in the morning. There was a certain place about
fifty furlongs distant from Jerusalem, which is called Etham,
very pleasant it is in fine gardens, and abounding in rivulets of
water; (18) thither did he use to go out in the morning, sitting
on high [in his chariot.]

4. Now Solomon had a divine sagacity in all things, and was very
diligent and studious to have things done after an elegant
manner; so he did not neglect the care of the ways, but he laid a
causeway of black stone along the roads that led to Jerusalem,
which was the royal city, both to render them easy for travelers,
and to manifest the grandeur of his riches and government. He
also parted his chariots, and set them in a regular order, that a
certain number of them should be in every city, still keeping a
few about him; and those cities he called the cities of his
chariots. And the king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as
stones in the street; and so multiplied cedar trees in the plains
of Judea, which did not grow there before, that they were like
the multitude of common sycamore trees. He also ordained the
Egyptian merchants that brought him their merchandise to sell him
a chariot, with a pair of horses, for six hundred drachmae of
silver, and he sent them to the kings of Syria, and to those
kings that were beyond Euphrates.

5. But although Solomon was become the most glorious of kings,
and the best beloved by God, and had exceeded in wisdom and
riches those that had been rulers of the Hebrews before him, yet
did not he persevere in this happy state till he died. Nay, he
forsook the observation of the laws of his fathers, and came to
an end no way suitable to our foregoing history of him. He grew
mad in his love of women, and laid no restraint on himself in his
lusts; nor was he satisfied with the women of his country alone,
but he married many wives out of foreign nations; Sidontans, and
Tyrians, and Ammonites, and Edomites; and he transgressed the
laws of Moses, which forbade Jews to marry any but those that
were of their own people. He also began to worship their gods,
which he did in order to the gratification of his wives, and out
of his affection for them. This very thing our legislator
suspected, and so admonished us beforehand, that we should not
marry women of other countries, lest we should be entangled with
foreign customs, and apostatize from our own; lest we should
leave off to honor our own God, and should worship their gods.
But Solomon was Gllen headlong into unreasonable pleasures, and
regarded not those admonitions; for when he had married seven
hundred wives, (19) the daughters of princes and of eminent
persons, and three hundred concubines, and those besides the king
of Egypt's daughter, he soon was governed by them, till he came
to imitate their practices. He was forced to give them this
demonstration of his kindness and affection to them, to live
according to the laws of their countries. And as he grew into
years, and his reason became weaker by length of time, it was not
sufficient to recall to his mind the institutions of his own
country; so he still more and more contemned his own God, and
continued to regard the gods that his marriages had introduced
nay, before this happened, he sinned, and fell into an error
about the observation of the laws, when he made the images of
brazen oxen that supported the brazen sea, (20) and the images of
lions about his own throne; for these he made, although it was
not agreeable to piety so to do; and this he did, notwithstanding
that he had his father as a most excellent and domestic pattern
of virtue, and knew what a glorious character he had left behind
him, because of his piety towards God. Nor did he imitate David,
although God had twice appeared to him in his sleep, and exhorted
him to imitate his father. So he died ingloriously. There came
therefore a prophet to him, who was sent by God, and told him
that his wicked actions were not concealed from God; and
threatened him that he should not long rejoice in what he had
done; that, indeed, the kingdom should not be taken from him
while he was alive, because God had promised to his father David
that he would make him his successor, but that he would take care
that this should befall his son when he :was dead; not that he
would withdraw all the people from him, but that he would give
ten tribes to a servant of his, and leave only two tribes to
David's grandson for his sake, because he loved God, and for the
sake of the city of Jerusalem, wherein he should have a temple.

6. When Solomon heard this he was grieved, and greatly
confounded, upon this change of almost all that happiness which
had made him to be admired, into so bad a state; nor had there
much time passed after the prophet had foretold what was coming
before God raised up an enemy against him, whose name was Ader,
who took the following occasion of his enmity to him. He was a
child of the stock of the Edomites, and of the blood royal; and
when Joab, the captain of David's host, laid waste the land of
Edom, and destroyed all that were men grown, and able to bear
arms, for six months' time, this Hadad fled away, and came to
Pharaoh the king of Egypt, who received him kindly, and assigned
him a house to dwell in, and a country to supply him with food;
and when he was grown up he loved him exceedingly, insomuch that
he gave him his wife's sister, whose name was Tahpenes, to wife,
by whom he had a son; who was brought up with the king's
children. When Hadad heard in Egypt that both David and Joab were
dead, he came to Pharaoh, and desired that he would permit him to
go to his own country; upon which the king asked what it was that
he wanted, and what hardship he had met with, that he was so
desirous to leave him. And when he was often troublesome to him,
and entreated him to dismiss him, he did not then do it; but at
the time when Solomon's affairs began to grow worse, on account
of his forementioned transgressions (21) and God's anger against
him for the same, Hadad, by Pharaoh's permission, came to Edom;
and when he was not able to make the people forsake Solomon, for
it was kept under by many garrisons, and an innovation was not to
be made with safety, he removed thence, and came into Syria;
there he lighted upon one Rezon, who had run away from Hadadezer,
king of Zobah, his master, and was become a robber in that
country, and joined friendship with him, who had already a band
of robbers about him. So he went up, and seized upon that part of
Syria, and was made king thereof. He also made incursions into
the land of Israel, and did it no small mischief, and spoiled it,
and that in the lifetime of Solomon. And this was the calamity
which the Hebrews suffered by Hadad.

7. There was also one of Solomon's own nation that made an
attempt against him, Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had an
expectation of rising, from a prophecy that had been made to him
long before. He was left a child by his father, and brought up by
his mother; and when Solomon saw that he was of an active and
bold disposition, he made him the curator of the walls which he
built round about Jerusalem; and he took such care of those
works, that the king approved of his behavior, and gave him, as a
reward for the same, the charge of the tribe of Joseph. And when
about that time Jeroboam was once going out of Jerusalem, a
prophet of the city Shilo, whose name was Ahijah, met him and
saluted him; and when he had taken him a little aside to a place
out of the way, where there was not one other person present, he
rent the garment he had on into twelve pieces, and bid Jeroboam
take ten of them; and told him beforehand, that "this is the will
of God; he will part the dominion of Solomon, and give one tribe,
with that which is next it, to his son, because of the promise
made to David for his succession, and will have ten tribes to
thee, because Solomon hath sinned against him, and delivered up
himself to women, and to their gods. Seeing therefore thou
knowest the cause for which God hath changed his mind, and is
alienated from Solomon, be thou

8. So Jeroboam was elevated by these words of the prophet; and
being a young man, (22) of a warm temper, and ambitious of
greatness, he could not be quiet; and when he had so great a
charge in the government, and called to mind what had been
revealed to him by Ahijah, he endeavored to persuade the people
to forsake Solomon, to make a disturbance, and to bring the
government over to himself. But when Solomon understood his
intention and treachery, he sought to catch him and kill him; but
Jeroboam was informed of it beforehand, and fled to Shishak, the
king of Egypt, and there abode till the death of Solomon; by
which means he gained these two advantages to suffer no harm from
Solomon, and to be preserved for the kingdom. So Solomon died
when he was already an old man, having reigned eighty years, and
lived ninety-four. He was buried in Jerusalem, having been
superior to all other kings in happiness, and riches, and wisdom,
excepting that when he was growing into years he was deluded by
women, and transgressed the law; concerning which transgressions,
and the miseries which befell the Hebrews thereby, I think proper
to discourse at another opportunity.


How, Upon The Death Of Solomon The People Forsook His Son
Rehoboam, And Ordained Jeroboam King Over The Ten Tribes.

1. Now when Solomon was dead, and his son Rehoboam (who was born
of an Amntonite wife; whose name was Naamah) had succeeded him in
the kingdom, the rulers of the multitude sent immediately into
Egypt, and called back Jeroboam; and when he was come to them, to
the city Shethem, Rehoboam came to it also, for he had resolved
to declare himself king to the Israelites while they were there
gathered together. So the rulers of the people, as well as
Jeroboam, came to him, and besought him, and said that he ought
to relax, and to be gentler than his father, in the servitude he
had imposed on them, because they had borne a heavy yoke, and
that then they should be better affected to him, and be well
contented to serve him under his moderate government, and should
do it more out of love than fear. But Rehoboam told them they
should come to him again in three days' time, when he would give
an answer to their request. This delay gave occasion to a present
suspicion, since he had not given them a favorable answer to
their mind immediately; for they thought that he should have
given them a humane answer off-hand, especially since he was but
young. However, they thought that this consultation about it, and
that he did not presently give them a denial, afforded them some
good hope of success.

2. Rehoboam now called his father's friends, and advised with
them what sort of answer he ought to give to the multitude; upon
which they gave him the advice which became friends, and those
that knew the temper of such a multitude. They advised him to
speak in a way more popular than suited the grandeur of a king,
because he would thereby oblige them to submit to him with
goodwill, it being most agreeable to subjects that their kings
should be almost upon the level with them. But Rehoboam rejected
this so good, and in general so profitable, advice, (it was such,
at least, at that time when he was to be made king,) God himself,
I suppose, causing what was most advantageous to be condemned by
him. So he called for the young men who were brought up with him,
and told them what advice the elders had given him, and bade them
speak what they thought he ought to do. They advised him to give
the following answer to the people (for neither their youth nor
God himself suffered them to discern what was best): That his
little finger should be thicker than his father's loins; and if
they had met with hard usage from his father, they should
experience much rougher treatment from him; and if his father had
chastised them with whips, they must expect that he would do it
with scorpions. (23) The king was pleased with this advice, and
thought it agreeable to the dignity of his government to give
them such an answer. Accordingly, when the multitude was come
together to hear his answer on the third day, all the people were
in great expectation, and very intent to hear what the king would
say to them, and supposed they should hear somewhat of a kind
nature; but he passed by his friends, and answered as the young
men had given him counsel. Now this was done according to the
will of God, that what Ahijah had foretold might come to pass.

3. By these words the people were struck as it were by all iron
hammer, and were so grieved at the words, as if they had already
felt the effects of them; and they had great indignation at the
king; and all cried out aloud, and said, "We will have no longer
any relation to David or his posterity after this day." And they
said further, "We only leave to Rehoboam the temple which his
father built;" and they threatened to forsake him. Nay, they were
so bitter, and retained their wrath so long, that when he sent
Adoram, which was over the tribute, that he might pacify them,
and render them milder, and persuade them to forgive him, if he
had said any thing that was rash or grievous to them in his
youth, they would not hear it, but threw stones at him, and
killed him. When Rehoboam saw this, he thought himself aimed at
by those stones with which they had killed his servant, and
feared lest he should undergo the last of punishments in earnest;
so he got immediately into his chariot, and fled to Jerusalem,
where the tribe of Judah and that of Benjamin ordained him king;
but the rest of the multitude forsook the sons of David from that
day, and appointed Jeroboam to be the ruler of their public
affairs. Upon this Rehoboam, Solomon's son, assembled a great
congregation of those two tribes that submitted to him, and was
ready to take a hundred and eighty thousand chosen men out of the
army, to make an expedition against Jeroboam and his people, that
he might force them by war to be his servants; but he was
forbidden of God by the prophet [Shemaiah] to go to war, for that
it was not just that brethren of the same contry should fight one
against another. He also said that this defection of the
multitude was according to the purpose of God. So he did not
proceed in this expedition. And now I will relate first the
actions of Jeroboam the king of Israel, after which we will
relate what are therewith connected, the actions of Rehoboam, the
king of the two tribes; by this means we shall preserve the good
order of the history entire.

4. When therefore Jeroboam had built him a palace in the city
Shechem, he dwelt there. He also built him another at Penuel, a
city so called. And now the feast of tabernacles was approaching
in a little time, Jeroboam considered, that if he should permit
the multitude to go to worship God at Jerusalem, and there to
celebrate the festival, they would probably repent of what they
had done, and be enticed by the temple, and by the worship of God
there performed, and would leave him, and return to their first
kings; and if so, he should run the risk of losing his own life;
so he invented this contrivance; He made two golden heifers, and
built two little temples for them, the one in the city Bethel,
and the other in Dan, which last was at the fountains of the
Lesser Jordan (24) and he put the heifers into both the little
temples, in the forementioned cities. And when he had called
those ten tribes together over whom he ruled, he made a speech to
the people in these words: "I suppose, my countrymen, that you
know this, that every place hath God in it; nor is there any one
determinate place in which he is, but he every where hears and
sees those that worship him; on which account I do not think it
right for you to go so long a journey to Jerusalem, which is an
enemy's city, to worship him. It was a man that built the temple:
I have also made two golden heifers, dedicated to the same God;
and the one of them I have consecrated in the city Bethel, and
the other in Dan, to the end that those of you that dwell nearest
those cities may go to them, and worship God there; and I will
ordain for you certain priests and Levites from among yourselves,
that you may have no want of the tribe of Levi, or of the sons of
Aaron; but let him that is desirous among you of being a priest,
bring to God a bullock and a ram, which they say Aaron the first
priest brought also." When Jeroboam had said this, he deluded the
people, and made them to revolt from the worship of their
forefathers, and to transgress their laws. This was the beginning
of miseries to the Hebrews, and the cause why they were overcome
in war by foreigners, and so fell into captivity. But we shall
relate those things in their proper places hereafter.

5. When the feast [of tabernacles] was just approaching, Jeroboam
was desirous to celebrate it himself in Bethel, as did the two
tribes celebrate it in Jerusalem. Accordingly he built an altar
before the heifer, and undertook to be high priest himself. So he
went up to the altar, with his own priests about him; but when he
was going to offer the sacrifices and the burnt-offerings, in the
sight of all the people, a prophet, whose name was Jadon, was
sent by God, and came to him from Jerusalem, who stood in the
midst of the multitude, and in the 'hearing of' the king, and
directing his discourse to the altar, said thus: God foretells
that there shall be a certain man of the family of David, Josiah
by name, who shall slay upon thee those false priests that shall
live at that time, and upon thee shall burn the bones of those
deceivers of the people, those impostors' and wicked wretches.
However, that this people may believe that these things shall so
come to pass, I foretell a sign to them that shall also come to
pass. This altar shall be broken to pieces immediately, and all
the fat of the sacrifices that is upon it shall be poured upon
the ground." When the prophet had said this, Jeroboam fell into a
passion, and stretched out his hand, and bid them lay hold of
him; but that hand which he stretched out was enfeebled, and he
was not able to pull it in again to him, for it was become
withered, and hung down, as if it were a dead hand. The altar
also was broken to pieces, and all that was upon it was poured
out, as the prophet had foretold should come to pass. So the king
understood that he was a man of veracity, and had a Divine
foreknowledge; and entreated him to pray to God that he would
restore his right hand. Accordingly the prophet did pray to God
to grant him that request. So the king, having his hand recovered
to its natural state, rejoiced at it, and invited the prophet to
sup with him; but Jadon said that he could not endure to come
into his house, nor to taste of bread or water in this city, for
that was a thing God had forbidden him to do; as also to go back
by the same way which he came, but he said he was to return by
another way. So the king wondered at the abstinence of the man,
but was himself in fear, as suspecting a change of his affairs
for the worse, from what had been said to him.


How Jadon The Prophet Was Persuaded By Another Lying Prophet And
Returned [To Bethel,] And Was Afterwards Slain By A Lion. As Also
What Words The Wicked Prophet Made Use Of To Persuade The King,
And Thereby Alienated His Mind From God.

1. Now there was a certain wicked man in that city, who was a
false prophet, whom Jeroboam had in great esteem, but was
deceived by him and his flattering words. This man was bedrid, by
reason or the infirmities of old age: however, he was informed by
his sons concerning the prophet that was come from Jerusalem, and
concerning the signs done by him; and how, when Jeroboam's right
hand had been enfeebled, at the prophet's prayer he had it
revived again. Whereupon he was afraid that this stranger and
prophet should be in better esteem with the king than himself,
and obtain greater honor from him: and he gave orders to his sons
to saddle his ass presently, and make all ready that he might go
out. Accordingly they made haste to do what they were commanded,
and he got upon the ass and followed after the prophet.; and when
he had overtaken him, as he was resting himself under a very
large oak tree that was thick and shady, he at first saluted him,
but presently he complained of him, because he had not come into
his house, and partaken of his hospitality. And when the other
said that God had forbidden him to taste of any one's provision
in that city, he replied, that "for certain God had not forbidden
that I should set food before thee, for I am a prophet as thou
art, and worship God in the same manner that thou dost; and I am
now come as sent by him, in order to bring thee into my house,
and make thee my guest." Now Jadon gave credit to this lying
prophet, and returned back with him. But when they were at
dinner, and merry together, God appeared to Jadon, and said that
he should suffer punishment for transgressing his commands, - and
he told him what that punishment should be for he said that he
should meet with a lion as he was going on his way, by which lion
he should be torn in pieces, and be deprived of burial in the
sepulchers of his fathers; which things came to pass, as I
suppose, according to the will of God, that so Jeroboam might not
give heed to the words of Jadon as of one that had been convicted
of lying. However, as Jadon was again going to Jerusalem, a lion
assaulted him, and pulled him off the beast he rode on, and slew
him; yet did he not at all hurt the ass, but sat by him, and kept
him, as also the prophet's body. This continued till some
travelers that saw it came and told it in the city to the false
prophet, who sent his sons, and brought the body unto the city,
and made a funeral for him at great expense. He also charged his
sons to bury himself with him and said that all which he had
foretold against that city, and the altar, and priests, and false
prophets, would prove true; and that if he were buried with him,
he should receive no injurious treatment after his death, the
bones not being then to be distinguished asunder. But now, when
he had performed those funeral rites to the prophet, and had
given that charge to his sons, as he was a wicked and an impious
man, he goes to Jeroboam, and says to him, "And wherefore is it
now that thou art disturbed at the words of this silly fellow?"
And when the king had related to him what had happened about the
altar, and about his own hand, and gave him the names of divine
man, and an excellent prophet, he endeavored by a wicked trick to
weaken that his opinion; and by using plausible words concerning
what had happened, he aimed to injure the truth that was in them;
for he attempted to persuade him that his hand was enfeebled by
the labor it had undergone in supporting the sacrifices, and that
upon its resting awhile it returned to its former nature again;
and that as to the altar, it was but new, and had borne abundance
of sacrifices, and those large ones too, and was accordingly
broken to pieces, and fallen down by the weight of what had been
laid upon it. He also informed him of the death of him that had
foretold those things, and how he perished; [whence he concluded
that] he had not any thing in him of a prophet, nor spake any
thing like one. When he had thus spoken, he persuaded the king,
and entirely alienated his mind from God, and from doing works
that were righteous and holy, and encouraged him to go on in his
impious practices (25) and accordingly he was to that degree
injurious to God, and so great a transgressor, that he sought for
nothing else every day but how he might be guilty of some new
instances of wickedness, and such as should be more detestable
than what he had been so insolent as to do before. And so much
shall at present suffice to have said concerning Jeroboam.


Concerning Rehoboam, And How God Inflicted Punishment Upon Him
For His Impiety By Shishak [King Of Egypt].

1. Now Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, who, as we said before, was
king of the two tribes, built strong and large cities, Bethlehem,
and Etare, and Tekoa, and Bethzur, and Shoco, and Adullam, and
Ipan, and Maresha, and Ziph, and Adorlam, and Lachlsh, and
Azekah, and Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron; these he built first
of all in the tribe of Judah. He also built other large cities in
the tribe of Benjamin, and walled them about, and put garrisons
in them all, and captains, and a great deal of corn, and wine,
and oil, and he furnished every one of them plentifully with
other provisions that were necessary for sustenance; moreover, he
put therein shields and spears for many ten thousand men. The
priests also that were in all Israel, and the Levites, and if
there were any of the multitude that were good and righteous men,
they gathered themselves together to him, having left their own
cities, that they might worship God in Jerusalem; for they were
not willing to be forced to worship the heifers which Jeroboam
had made; and they augmented the kingdom of Rehoboam for three
years. And after he had married a woman of his own kindred, and
had by her three children born to him, he married also another of
his own kindred, who was daughter of Absalom by Tamar, whose name
was Maachah, and by her he had a son, whom he named Abijah. He
had moreover many other children by other wives, but he loved
Maachah above them all. Now he had eighteen legitimate wives, and
thirty concubines; and he had born to him twenty-eight sons and
threescore daughters; but he appointed Abijah, whom he had by
Maachah, to be his successor in the kingdom, and intrusted him
already with the treasures and the strongest cities.

2. Now I cannot but think that the greatness of a kingdom, and
its change into prosperity, often become the occasion of mischief
and of transgression to men; for when Rehoboam saw that his
kingdom was so much increased, he went out of the right way unto
unrighteous and irreligious practices, and he despised the
worship of God, till the people themselves imitated his wicked
actions: for so it usually happens, that the manners of subjects
are corrupted at the same time with those of their governors,
which subjects then lay aside their own sober way of living, as a
reproof of their governors' intemperate courses, and follow their
wickedness as if it were virtue; for it is not possible to show
that men approve of the actions of their kings, unless they do
the same actions with them. Agreeable whereto it now happened to
the subjects of Rehoboam; for when he was grown impious, and a
transgressor himself, they endeavored not to offend him by
resolving still to be righteous. But God sent Shishak, king of
Egypt, to punish them for their unjust behavior towards him,
concerning whom Herodotus was mistaken, and applied his actions
to Sesostris; for this Shishak, (26) in the fifth year of the
reign of Rehoboam, made an expedition [into Judea] with many ten
thousand men; for he had one thousand two hundred chariots in
number that followed him, and threescore thousand horsemen, and
four hundred thousand footmen. These he brought with him, and
they were the greatest part of them Libyans and Ethiopians. Now
therefore when he fell upon the country of the Hebrews, he took
the strongest cities of Rehoboam's kingdom without fighting; and
when he had put garrisons in them, he came last of all to

3. Now when Rehoboam, and the multitude with him, were shut up in
Jerusalem by the means of the army of Shishak, and when they
besought God to give them victory and deliverance, they could not
persuade God to be on their side. But Shemaiah the prophet told
them, that God threatened to forsake them, as they had themselves
forsaken his worship. When they heard this, they were immediately
in a consternation of mind; and seeing no way of deliverance,
they all earnestly set themselves to confess that God might
justly overlook them, since they had been guilty of impiety
towards him, and had let his laws lie in confusion. So when God
saw them in that disposition, and that they acknowledge their
sins, he told the prophet that he would not destroy them, but
that he would, however, make them servants to the Egyptians, that
they may learn whether they will suffer less by serving men or
God. So when Shishak had taken the city without fighting, because
Rehoboam was afraid, and received him into it, yet did not
Shishak stand to the covenants he had made, but he spoiled the
temple, and emptied the treasures of God, and those of the king,
and carried off innumerable ten thousands of gold and silver, and
left nothing at all behind him. He also took away the bucklers of
gold, and the shields, which Solomon the king had made; nay, he
did not leave the golden quivers which David had taken from the
king of Zobah, and had dedicated to God; and when he had thus
done, he returned to his own kingdom. Now Herodotus of
Halicarnassus mentions this expedition, having only mistaken the
king's name; and [in saying that] he made war upon many other
nations also, and brought Syria of Palestine into subjection, and
took the men that were therein prisoners without fighting. Now it
is manifest that he intended to declare that our nation was
subdued by him; for he saith that he left behind him pillars in
the land of those that delivered themselves up to him without
fighting, and engraved upon them the secret parts of women. Now
our king Rehoboam delivered up our city without fighting. He says
withal (27) that the Ethiopians learned to circumcise their privy
parts from the Egyptians, with this addition, that the
Phoenicians and Syrians that live in Palestine confess that they
learned it of the Egyptians. Yet it is evident that no other of
the Syrians that live in Palestine, besides us alone, are
circumcised. But as to such matters, let every one speak what is
agreeable to his own opinion.

4. When Shishak was gone away, king Rehoboam made bucklers and
shields of brass, instead of those of gold, and delivered the
same number of them to the keepers of the king's palace. So,
instead of warlike expeditions, and that glory which results from
those public actions, he reigned in great quietness, though not
without fear, as being always an enemy to Jeroboam, and he died
when he had lived fifty-seven years, and reigned seventeen. He
was in his disposition a proud and a foolish man, and lost [part
of his] dominions by not hearkening to his father's friends. He
was buried in Jerusalem, in the sepulchers of the kings; and his
son Abijah succeeded him in the kingdom, and this in the
eighteenth year of Jeroboam's reign over the ten tribes; and this
was the conclusion of these affairs. It must be now our business
to relate the affairs of Jeroboam, and how he ended his life; for
he ceased not nor rested to be injurious to God, but every day
raised up altars upon high mountains, and went on making priests
out of the multitude.


Concerning The Death Of A Son Of Jeroboam. How Jeroboam Was
Beaten By Abijah Who Died A Little Afterward And Was Succeeded In
His Kingdom By Asa. And Also How, After The Death Of Jeroboam
Baasha Destroyed His Son Nadab And All The House Of Jeroboam.

1. However, God was in no long time ready to return Jeroboam's
wicked actions, and the punishment they deserved, upon his own
head, and upon the heads of all his house. And whereas a soil of
his lay sick at that time, who was called Abijah, he enjoined his
wife to lay aside her robes, and to take the garments belonging
to a private person, and to go to Ahijah the prophet, for that he
was a wonderful man in foretelling futurities, it having been he
who told me that I should be king. He also enjoined her, when she
came to him, to inquire concerning the child, as if she were a
stranger, whether he should escape this distemper. So she did as
her husband bade her, and changed her habit, and came to the city
Shiloh, for there did Ahijah live. And as she was going into his
house, his eyes being then dim with age, God appeared to him, and
informed him of two things; that the wife of Jeroboam was come to
him, and what answer he should make to her inquiry. Accordingly,
as the woman was coming into the house like a private person and
a stranger, he cried out, "Come in, O thou wife of Jeroboam! Why
concealest thou thyself? Thou art not concealed from God, who
hath appeared to me, and informed me that thou wast coming, and
hath given me in command what I shall say to thee." So he said
that she should go away to her husband, and speak to him thus:
"Since I made thee a great man when thou wast little, or rather
wast nothing, and rent the kingdom from the house of David, and
gave it to thee, and thou hast been unmindful of these benefits,
hast left off my worship, hast made thee molten gods and honored
them, I will in like manner cast thee down again, and will
destroy all thy house, and make them food for the dogs and the
fowls; for a certain king is rising up, by appointment, over all
this people, who shall leave none of the family of Jeroboam
remaining. The multitude also shall themselves partake of the
same punishment, and shall be cast out of this good land, and
shall be scattered into the places beyond Euphrates, because they
have followed the wicked practices of their king, and have
worshipped the gods that he made, and forsaken my sacrifices. But
do thou, O woman, make haste back to thy husband, and tell him
this message; but thou shalt then find thy son dead, for as thou
enterest the city he shall depart this life; yet shall he be
buried with the lamentation of all the multitude, and honored
with a general mourning, for he was the only person of goodness
of Jeroboam's family." When the prophet had foretold these
events, the woman went hastily away with a disordered mind, and
greatly grieved at the death of the forenamed child. So she was
in lamentation as she went along the road, and mourned for the
death of her son, that was just at hand. She was indeed in a
miserable condition at the unavoidable misery of his death, and
went apace, but in circumstances very unfortunate, because of her
son: for the greater haste she made, she would the sooner see her
son dead, yet was she forced to make such haste on account of her
husband. Accordingly, when she was come back, she found that the
child had given up the ghost, as the prophet had said; and she
related all the circumstances to the king.

2. Yet did not Jeroboam lay any of these things to heart, but he
brought together a very numerous army, and made a warlike
expedition against Abijah, the son of Rehoboam, who had succeeded
his father in the kingdom of the two tribes; for he despised him
because of his age. But when he heard of the expedition of
Jeroboam, he was not affrighted at it, but proved of a courageous
temper of mind, superior both to his youth and to the hopes of
his enemy; so he chose him an army out of the two tribes, and met
Jeroboam at a place called Mount Zemaraim, and pitched his camp
near the other, and prepared everything necessary for the fight.
His army consisted of four hundred thousand, but the army of
Jeroboam was double to it. Now as the armies stood in array,
ready for action and dangers, and were just going to fight,
Abijah stood upon an elevated place, and beckoning with his hand,
he desired the multitude and Jeroboam himself to hear first with
silence what he had to say. And when silence was made, he began
to speak, and told them, - "God had consented that David and his
posterity should be their rulers for all time to come, and this
you yourselves are not unacquainted with; but I cannot but wonder
how you should forsake my father, and join yourselves to his
servant Jeroboam, and are now here with him to fight against
those who, by God's own determination, are to reign, and to
deprive them of that dominion which they have still retained; for
as to the greater part of it, Jeroboam is unjustly in possession
of it. However, I do not suppose he will enjoy it any longer; but
when he hath suffered that punishment which God thinks due to him
for what is past, he will leave off the transgressions he hath
been guilty of, and the injuries he hath offered to him, and
which he hath still continued to offer and hath persuaded you to
do the same: yet when you were not any further unjustly treated
by my father, than that he did not speak to you so as to please
you, and this only in compliance with the advice of wicked men,
you in anger forsook him, as you pretended, but, in reality, you
withdrew yourselves from God, and from his laws, although it had
been right for you to have forgiven a man that was young in age,
and not used to govern people, not only some disagreeable words,
but if his youth and unskilfulness in affairs had led him into
some unfortunate actions, and that for the sake of his father
Solomon, and the benefits you received from him; for men ought to
excuse the sins of posterity on account of the benefactions of
parent; but you considered nothing of all this then, neither do
you consider it now, but come with so great an army against us.
And what is it you depend upon for victory? Is it upon these
golden heifers, and the altars that you have on high places,
which are demonstrations of your impiety, and not of religious
worship? Or is it the exceeding multitude of your army which
gives you such good hopes? Yet certainly there is no strength at
all in an army of many ten thousands, when the war is unjust; for
we ought to place our surest hopes of success against our enemies
in righteousness alone, and in piety towards God; which hope we
justly have, since we have kept the laws from the beginning, and
have worshipped our own God, who was not made by hands out of
corruptible matter; nor was he formed by a wicked king, in order
to deceive the multitude; but who is his own workmanship, (28)
and the beginning and end of all things. I therefore give you
counsel even now to repent, and to take better advice, and to
leave off the prosecution of the war; to call to mind the laws of
your country, and to reflect what it hath been that hath advanced
you to so happy a state as you are now in."

3. This was the speech which Abijah made to the multitude. But
while he was still speaking Jeroboam sent some of his soldiers
privately to encompass Abijab round about, on certain parts of
the camp that were not taken notice of; and when he was thus
within the compass of the enemy, his army was affrighted, and
their courage failed them; but Abijah encouraged them, and
exhorted them to place their hopes on God, for that he was not
encompassed by the enemy. So they all at once implored the Divine
assistance, while the priests sounded with the trumpet, and they
made a shout, and fell upon their enemies, and God brake the
courage and cast down the force of their enemies, and made
Ahijah's army superior to them; for God vouchsafed to grant them
a wonderful and very famous victory; and such a slaughter was now
made of Jeroboam's army (29) as is never recorded to have
happened in any other war, whether it were of the Greeks or of
the Barbarians, for they overthrew [and slew] five hundred
thousand of their enemies, and they took their strongest cities
by force, and spoiled them; and besides those, they did the same
to Bethel and her towns, and Jeshanah and her towns. And after
this defeat Jeroboam never recovered himself during the life of
Abijah, who yet did not long survive, for he reigned but three
years, and was buried in Jerusalem in the sepulchers of his
forefathers. He left behind him twenty-two sons, and sixteen
daughters; and he had also those children by fourteen wives; and
Asa his son succeeded in the kingdom; and the young man's mother
was Michaiah. Under his reign the country of the Israelites
enjoyed peace for ten years.

4. And so far concerning Abijah, the son of Rehoboam, the son of
Solomon, as his history hath come down to us. But Jeroboam, the
king of the ten tribes, died when he had governed them two and
twenty years; whose son Nadab succeeded him, in the second year
of the reign of Asa. Now Jeroboam's son governed two years, and
resembled his father in impiety and wickedness. In these two
years he made an expedition against Gibbethon, a city of the
Philistines, and continued the siege in order to take it; but he
was conspired against while he was there by a friend of his,
whose name was Baasha, the son of Ahijah, and was slain; which
Baasha took the kingdom after the other's death, and destroyed
the whole house of Jeroboam. It also came to pass, according as
God had foretold, that some of Jeroboam's kindred that died in
the city were torn to pieces and devoured by dogs, and that
others of them that died in the fields were torn and devoured by
the fowls. So the house of Jeroboam suffered the just punishment
of his impiety, and of his wicked actions.


How Zerah, King Of The Ethiopians, Was Beaten By Asa; And How
Asa, Upon Baasha's Making War Against Him, Invited The King Of
The Damascens To Assist Him; And How, On The Destruction Of The
House Of Baasha Zimri Got The Kingdom As Did His Son Ahab After

1. Now Asa, the king of Jerusalem, was of an excellent character,
and had a regard to God, and neither did nor designed any thing
but what had relation to the observation of the laws. He made a
reformation of his kingdom, and cut off whatsoever was wicked
therein, and purified it from every impurity. Now he had an army
of chosen men that were armed with targets and spears; out of the
tribe of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of the tribe of
Benjamin, that bore shields and drew bows, two hundred and fifty
thousand. But when he had already reigned ten years, Zerah, king
of Ethiopia, (30) made an expedition against him, with a great
army, of nine hundred thousand footmen, and one hundred thousand
horsemen, and three hundred chariots, and came as far as
Mareshah, a city that belonged to the tribe of Judah. Now when
Zerah had passed so far with his own army, Asa met him, and put
his army in array over against him, in a valley called Zephathah,
not far from the city; and when he saw the multitude of the
Ethiopians, he cried out, and besought God to give him the
victory, and that he might kill many ten thousands of the enemy:
"For," said he, (31) "I depend on nothing else but that
assistance which I expect from thee, which is able to make the
fewer superior to the more numerous, and the weaker to the
stronger; and thence it is alone that I venture to meet Zerah,
and fight him."

2. While Asa was saying this, God gave him a signal of victory,
and joining battle cheerfully on account of what God had foretold
about it, he slew a great many of the Ethiopians; and when he had
put them to flight, he pursued them to the country of Gerar; and
when they left off killing their enemies, they betook themselves
to spoiling them, (for the city Gerar was already taken,) and to
spoiling their camp, so that they carried off much gold, and much
silver, and a great deal of [other] prey, and camels, and great
cattle, and flocks of sheep. Accordingly, when Asa and his army
had obtained such a victory, and such wealth from God, they
returned to Jerusalem. Now as they were coming, a prophet, whose
name was Azariah, met them on the road, and bade them stop their
journey a little; and began to say to them thus: That the reason
why they had obtained this victory from God was this, that they
had showed themselves righteous and religious men, and had done
every thing according to the will of God; that therefore, he
said, if they persevered therein, God would grant that they
should always overcome their enemies, and live happily; but that
if they left off his worship, all things shall fall out on the
contrary; and a time should come, wherein no true prophet shall
be left in your whole multitude, nor a priest who shall deliver
you a true ,answer from the oracle; but your cities shall be
overthrown, and your nation scattered over the whole earth, and
live the life of strangers and wanderers. So he advised them,
while they had time, to be good, and not to deprive themselves of
the favor of God. When the king and the people heard this, they
rejoiced; and all in common, and every one in particular, took
great care to behave themselves righteously. The king also sent
some to take care that those in the country should observe the
laws also.

3. And this was the state of Asa, king of the two tribes. I now
return to Baasha, the king of the multitude of the Israelites,
who slew Nadab, the son of Jeroboam, and retained the government.
He dwelt in the city Tirzah, having made that his habitation, and
reigned twenty-four years. He became more wicked and impious than
Jeroboam or his son. He did a great deal of mischief to the
multitude, and was injurious to God, who sent the prophet Jehu,
and told him beforehand that his whole family should be
destroyed, and that he would bring the same miseries on his house
which had brought that of Jeroboam to ruin; because when he had
been made king by him, he had not requited his kindness, by
governing the multitude righteously and religiously; which
things, in the first place, tended to their own happiness, and,
in the next place, were pleasing to God: that he had imitated
this very wicked king Jeroboam; and although that man's soul had
perished, yet did he express to the life his wickedness; and he
said that he should therefore justly experience the like calamity
with him, since he had been guilty of the like wickedness. But
Baasha, though he heard beforehand what miseries would befall him
and his whole family for their insolent behavior, yet did not he
leave off his wicked practices for the time to come, nor did he
care to appear other than worse and worse till he died; nor did
he then repent of his past actions, nor endeavor to obtain pardon
of God for them, but did as those do who have rewards proposed to
them, when they have once in earnest set about their work, they
do not leave off their labors; for thus did Baasha, when the
prophet foretold to him what would come to pass, grow worse, as
if what were threatened, the perdition of his family, and the
destruction of his house, (which are really among the greatest of
evils,) were good things; and, as if he were a combatant for
wickedness, he every day took more and more pains for it: and at
last he took his army and assaulted a certain considerable city
called Ramah, which was forty furlongs distant from Jerusalem;
and when he had taken it, he fortified it, having determined
beforehand to leave a garrison in it, that they might thence make
excursions, and do mischief to the kingdom of Asa.

4. Whereupon Asa was afraid of the attempts the enemy might make
upon him; and considering with himself how many mischiefs this
army that was left in Ramah might do to the country over which he
reigned, he sent ambassadors to the king of the Damascenes, with
gold and silver, desiring his assistance, and putting him in mind
that we have had a friendship together from the times of our
forefathers. So he gladly received that sum of money, and made a
league with him, and broke the friendship he had with Baasha, and
sent the commanders of his own forces unto the cities that were
under Baasha's dominion, and ordered them to do them mischief. So
they went and burnt some of them, and spoiled others; Ijon, and
Dan, and Abelmain (32) and many others. Now when the king of
Israel heard this, he left off building and fortifying Ramah, and
returned presently to assist his own people under the distresses
they were in; but Asa made use of the materials that were
prepared for building that city, for building in the same place
two strong cities, the one of which was called Geba, and the
other Mizpah; so that after this Baasha had no leisure to make
expeditions against Asa, for he was prevented by death, and was
buried in the city Tirzah; and Elah his son took the kingdom,
who, when he had reigned two years, died, being treacherously
slain by Zimri, the captain of half his army; for when he was at
Arza, his steward's house, he persuaded some of the horsemen that
were under him to assault Elah, and by that means he slew him
when he was without his armed men and his captains, for they were
all busied in the siege of Gibbethon, a city of the Philistines.

5. When Zimri, the captain of the army, had killed Elah, he took
the kingdom himself, and, according to Jehu's prophecy, slew all
the house of Baasha; for it came to pass that Baasha's house
utterly perished, on account of his impiety, in the same manner
as we have already described the destruction of the house of
Jeroboam. But the army that was besieging. Gibbethon, when they
heard what had befallen the king, and that when Zimri had killed
him, he had gained the kingdom, they made Omri their general
king, who drew off his army from Gibbethon, and came to Tirzah,
where the royal palace was, and assaulted the city, and took it
by force. But when Zimri saw that the city had none to defend it,
he fled into the inmost part of the palace, and set it on fire,
and burnt himself with it, when he had reigned only seven days.
Upon which the people of Israel were presently divided, and part
of them would have Tibni to be king, and part Omri; but when
those that were for Omri's ruling had beaten Tibni, Omri reigned
over all the multitude. Now it was in the thirtieth year of the
reign of Asa that Omri reigned for twelve years; six of these
years he reigned in the city Tirzah, and the rest in the city
called Semareon, but named by the Greeks Samaria; but he himself
called it Semareon, from Semer, who sold him the mountain whereon
he built it. Now Omri was no way different from those kings that
reigned before him, but that he grew worse than they, for they
all sought how they might turn the people away from God by their
daily wicked practices; and oil that account it was that God made
one of them to be slain by another, and that no one person of
their families should remain. This Omri also died in Samaria and
Ahab his son succeeded him.

6. Now by these events we may learn what concern God hath for the
affairs of mankind, and how he loves good men, and hates the
wicked, and destroys them root and branch; for many of these
kings of Israel, they and their families, were miserably
destroyed, and taken away one by another, in a short time, for
their transgression and wickedness; but Asa, who was king of
Jerusalem, and of the two tribes, attained, by God's blessing, a
long and a blessed old age, for his piety and righteousness, and
died happily, when he had reigned forty and one years; and when
he was dead, his son Jehoshaphat succeeded him in the government.
He was born of Asa's wife Azubah. And all men allowed that he
followed the works of David his forefather, and this both in
courage and piety; but we are not obliged now to speak any more
of the affairs of this king.


How Ahab WHen He Had Taken Jezebel To Wife Became More Wicked
Than All The Kings That Had Been Before Him; Of The Actions Of
The Prophet Elijah, And What Befell Naboth.

1. Now Ahab the king of Israel dwelt in Samaria, and held the
government for twenty-two years; and made no alteration in the
conduct of the kings that were his predecessors, but only in such
things as were of his own invention for the worse, and in his
most gross wickedness. He imitated them in their wicked courses,
and in their injurious behavior towards God, and more especially
he imitated the transgression of Jeroboam; for he worshipped the
heifers that he had made; and he contrived other absurd objects
of worship besides those heifers: he also took to wife the
daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Tyrians and Sidonians, whose
name was Jezebel, of whom he learned to worship her own gods.
This woman was active and bold, and fell into so great a degree
of impurity and madness, that she built a temple to the god of
the Tyrians, Which they call Belus, and planted a grove of all
sorts of trees; she also appointed priests and false prophets to
this god. The king also himself had many such about him, and so
exceeded in madness and wickedness all [the kings] that went
before him.

2. There was now a prophet of God Almighty, of Thesbon, a country
in Gilead, that came to Ahab, and said to him, that God foretold
he would not send rain nor dew in those years upon the country
but when he should appear. And when he had confirmed this by an
oath, he departed into the southern parts, and made his abode by
a brook, out of which he had water to drink; for as for his food,
ravens brought it to him every day: but when that river was dried
up for want of rain, he came to Zarephath, a city not far from
Sidon and Tyre, for it lay between them, and this at the command

Book of the day: