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Solomon’s Walk with Yahweh

Solomon intermarried with Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and he took the daughter of Pharaoh and brought her to the city of David until he finished building his house, the house of Yahweh, and the walls of Jerusalem all around. But the people were sacrificing on the high places, for the house for the name of Yahweh had not yet been built in those days. Solomon loved Yahweh, by walking in the statutes of David his father; only he was sacrificing and offering incense on the high places. So the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice, for the great high place was there. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.

Solomon’s Request for Wisdom

Yahweh appeared to Solomon at Gibeon in a dream at night, and God said, “Ask what I should give to you.” Then Solomon said, “You have shown great loyal love with your servant David my father, as he walked before you in faithfulness and in righteousness and in uprightness of heart with you. You have shown for him this great loyal love, and you have given a son to him who is sitting on his throne as it is this day. So then, O Yahweh, you are my God. You have made your servant king in place of David my father though I am a young boy. I do not know going out or coming in. Your servant is in the middle of your people whom you have chosen; a great people who cannot be counted or numbered because of abundance. Give to your servant a listening heart to judge your people, to discern between good and bad, because who is able to judge this, your difficult people?”

10 The word was good in the eyes of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and you did not ask for yourself a long life[a] and you did not ask riches for yourself and you did not ask for the life of your enemies, but you have asked for yourself the ability to make wise judgments;[b] 12 behold, I do hereby do according to your word. I hereby give you a wise and discerning heart; there was no one like you before you, nor afterwards will one like you arise. 13 Too, what you have not asked I give to you: both riches and honor, so that no man among the kings will be like you all of your days. 14 If you will walk in my ways by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David your father walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 15 Then Solomon awoke, and look, it was a dream, and he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and he offered burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings, and he held a feast for all of his servants.

Solomon’s Wisdom Tested: The Two Prostitutes

16 Then two prostitutes came to the king, and they stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Please my lord, I and this woman are living in one house, and I gave birth, with her in the house. 18 It happened on the third day after my giving birth, this woman also gave birth, and we were together. There was not anyone with us in the house, only the two of us were in the house. 19 Then the son of this woman died in the night because she laid on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night, and she took my son from beside me while your servant was asleep, and she put him in her lap, and she put her dead son in my lap. 21 When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead! When I looked closely at him in the morning, behold, it was not my son whom I had borne.” 22 Then the other woman said, “No, for my son is the living one, and your son is the dead one.” The other kept on saying, “No, for your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one,” and so they argued in front of the king. 23 Then the king said, “This one is saying, ‘This is my son, the living one, but your son is the dead one,’ and the other one keeps saying, ‘But no! Your son is the dead one, and my son is living!’” 24 So the king said, “Bring me a sword,” and they brought the sword before the king. 25 Then the king said, “Divide the living child into two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 26 Then the woman whose son was the living one spoke to the king because her compassion was aroused for her son, and she said, “Please, my lord, give her the living child, but certainly do not kill him!” The other one was saying, “As for me, so for you! Divide him!” 27 Then the king answered and said, “Give the living child to her, and do not kill him; she is his mother.” 28 When all of Israel heard the judgment that the king had rendered, they stood in awe[c] of the king, because they realized that the wisdom of God was in him to execute justice.


  1. 1 Kings 3:11 Literally “many days”
  2. 1 Kings 3:11 Literally “understanding to hear judgment”
  3. 1 Kings 3:28 Literally “feared the face”