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.
1 Kings 3
English Standard Version
Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom
1Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. (1Ki 2:10; 1Ki 7:1; 1Ki 7:8; 1Ki 9:15; 1Ki 9:16; 1Ki 9:24; 2Ch 8:11)2The people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord. (De 12:2; 1Ki 22:43)3Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. (De 6:5; De 30:16; De 30:20; 1Ki 3:6; 1Ki 3:14; Ps 31:23)4And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. (1Ch 16:39; 1Ch 21:29; 2Ch 1:3; 2Ch 1:6; 2Ch 1:13)5At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” (Nu 12:6; 1Ki 9:2; 1Ki 11:9; 2Ch 1:7; Mt 1:20; Mt 2:13; Mt 2:19)6And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. (1Ki 1:48; 1Ki 2:4; 1Ki 9:4; Ps 15:2)7And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. (Nu 27:17; 1Ch 28:5; 1Ch 29:1)8And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. (Ge 13:16; Ge 15:5; De 7:6)9Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” (2Sa 14:17; Ps 72:1; Pr 2:6; Pr 2:9; Isa 7:15; Heb 5:14; Jas 1:5)10It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.11And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right,12behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. (1Ki 4:29; 1Ki 5:12; 1Ki 10:23; Ec 1:16; 1Jo 5:14)13I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. (1Ki 4:21; 1Ki 10:23; 1Ki 10:27; Pr 3:16; Mt 6:33)14And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” (1Ki 3:6; 1Ki 15:5; Ps 91:16; Pr 3:2)15And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants. (Ge 41:7)
16Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. (Nu 27:2)17The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house.18Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house.19And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him.20And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast.21When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne.”22But the other woman said, “No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine.” Thus they spoke before the king.23Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; and the other says, ‘No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’”24And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought before the king.25And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.”26Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.” (Ge 43:30; Isa 49:15; Jer 31:20)27Then the king answered and said, “Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother.”28And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice. (1Ki 3:9; 1Ki 3:11; Ezr 7:25)