Exit Parallel Mode
 
3
Solomon Asks God for Wisdom
1Solomon and Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, agreed to help each other. So Solomon got married to Pharaoh's daughter. He brought her to the City of David. She stayed there until he finished building his palace, the Lord's temple, and the wall that was around Jerusalem.
2But the people continued to offer sacrifices at the high places where they worshiped. That's because a temple hadn't been built yet where the Lord would put his Name.
3Solomon showed his love for the Lord. He did it by obeying the laws his father David had taught him. But Solomon offered sacrifices at the high places. He also burned incense there.
4King Solomon went to the city of Gibeon to offer sacrifices. That's where the most important high place was. He offered 1,000 burnt offerings on the altar that was there.
5The Lord appeared to Solomon at Gibeon. He spoke to him in a dream during the night. God said, "Ask for anything you want me to give you."
6Solomon answered, "You have been very kind to my father David, your servant. That's because he was faithful to you. He did what was right. His heart was honest. And you have continued to be very kind to him. You have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
7"Lord my God, you have now made me king. You have put me in the place of my father David. But I'm only a little child. I don't know how to carry out my duties. 8I'm here among the people you have chosen. They are a great nation. They are more than anyone can count. 9So give me a heart that understands. Then I can rule over your people. I can tell the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Who can possibly rule over this great nation of yours?"
10The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for that. 11So God said to him, "You have not asked to live for a long time. You have not asked to be wealthy. You have not even asked to have your enemies killed. Instead, you have asked for understanding. You want to do what is right and fair when you judge people. Because that is what you have asked for, 12I will give it to you. I will give you a wise and understanding heart. So here is what will be true of you. There has never been anyone like you. And there never will be.
13"And that is not all. I will give you what you have not asked for. I will give you riches and honor. As long as you live, no other king will be as great as you are. 14Live the way I want you to. Obey my laws and commands, just as your father David did. Then I will let you live for a long time."
15Solomon woke up. He realized he had been dreaming.
He returned to Jerusalem. He stood in front of the ark of the Lord's covenant. He sacrificed burnt offerings and friendship offerings. Then he gave a big dinner for all of his officials.
Solomon Judges Wisely
16Two prostitutes came to the king. They stood in front of him. 17One of them said, "My master, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. 18Three days after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone. There wasn't anyone in the house but the two of us.
19"During the night this woman's baby died. It happened because she was lying on top of him. 20So she got up in the middle of the night. She took my son from my side while I was asleep. She put him by her breast. Then she put her dead son by my breast. 21The next morning, I got up to nurse my son. But he was dead! I looked at him closely in the morning light. And I saw that it wasn't my baby."
22The other woman said, "No! The living baby is my son. The dead one belongs to you."
But the first woman said, "No! The dead baby is yours. The living one belongs to me." So they argued in front of the king.
23The king said, "One of you says, 'My son is alive. Your son is dead.' The other one says, 'No! Your son is dead. Mine is alive.' "
24He continued, "Bring me a sword." So a sword was brought to him. 25Then he gave an order. He said, "Cut the living child in two. Give half to one woman and half to the other."
26The woman whose son was alive was filled with deep concern for her son. She said to the king, "My master, please give her the living baby! Don't kill him!"
But the other woman said, "Neither one of us will have him. Cut him in two!"
27Then the king made his decision. He said, "Give the living baby to the first woman. Don't kill him. She's his mother."
28All of the people of Israel heard about the decision the king had given. That gave them great respect for him. They saw that God had given him wisdom. They knew that Solomon would do what was right and fair when he judged people.
3
Solomon Asks for Wisdom
1Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and married one of his daughters. He brought her to live in the City of David until he could finish building his palace and the Temple of the Lord and the wall around the city. 2At that time the people of Israel sacrificed their offerings at local places of worship, for a temple honoring the name of the Lord had not yet been built.
3Solomon loved the Lord and followed all the decrees of his father, David, except that Solomon, too, offered sacrifices and burned incense at the local places of worship. 4The most important of these places of worship was at Gibeon, so the king went there and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings. 5That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
6Solomon replied, “You showed great and faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you. And you have continued to show this great and faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne.
7“Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. 8And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! 9Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. 11So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—12I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! 13And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! 14And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”
15Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem and stood before the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, where he sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. Then he invited all his officials to a great banquet.
Solomon Judges Wisely
16Some time later two prostitutes came to the king to have an argument settled. 17“Please, my lord,” one of them began, “this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a baby while she was with me in the house. 18Three days later this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there were only two of us in the house.
19“But her baby died during the night when she rolled over on it. 20Then she got up in the night and took my son from beside me while I was asleep. She laid her dead child in my arms and took mine to sleep beside her. 21And in the morning when I tried to nurse my son, he was dead! But when I looked more closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t my son at all.”
22Then the other woman interrupted, “It certainly was your son, and the living child is mine.”
“No,” the first woman said, “the living child is mine, and the dead one is yours.” And so they argued back and forth before the king.
23Then the king said, “Let’s get the facts straight. Both of you claim the living child is yours, and each says that the dead one belongs to the other. 24All right, bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought to the king.
25Then he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!”
26Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, “Oh no, my lord! Give her the child—please do not kill him!”
But the other woman said, “All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us!”
27Then the king said, “Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!”
28When all Israel heard the king’s decision, the people were in awe of the king, for they saw the wisdom God had given him for rendering justice.