1 Kings 3 New Life Version (NLV)
Solomon Asks for Wisdom
3 Then Solomon made a marriage agreement with Pharaoh the king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her to the city of David. She stayed there until he had finished building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 The people were still giving their different gifts on altars, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord.
3 Now Solomon loved the Lord. He walked in the Laws of his father David. But he gave gifts and burned special perfume on different altars. 4 The king went to give a gift on the altar in worship at Gibeon, for that was where the most important altar was. Solomon gave a thousand burnt gifts on that altar. 5 The Lord came to Solomon in a special dream in Gibeon during the night. God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” 6 Then Solomon said, “You have shown great loving-kindness to Your servant David my father because he was faithful and right and good and pure in heart before You. And You have kept for him this great and lasting love. You have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child. I do not know how to start or finish. 8 Your servant is among Your people which You have chosen. They are many people. There are too many people to number. 9 So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people and know the difference between good and bad. For who is able to judge Your many people?”
10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 God said to him, “You have asked this, and have not asked for a long life for yourself. You have not asked for riches, or for the life of those who hate you. But you have asked for understanding to know what is right. Because you have asked this, 12 I have done what you said. See, I have given you a wise and understanding heart. No one has been like you before, and there will be no one like you in the future. 13 I give you what you have not asked, also. I give you both riches and honor. So there will be no king like you all your days. 14 And if you walk in My ways and keep My Laws and Word as your father David did, I will allow you to live a long time.”
15 Solomon awoke, and saw it was a dream. He came to Jerusalem and stood before the Lord’s special box of the agreement. There he gave burnt gifts and peace gifts, and made a special supper for all his servants.
16 Then two women who sold the use of their bodies came to the king and stood in front of him. 17 One of the women said, “O my lord, this woman and I live in the same house. And I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. 18 On the third day after I gave birth, this woman gave birth to a child also. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house. There were only the two of us. 19 This woman’s son died during the night, because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the night and took my son from my side while I was asleep. She laid him in her arms, and her dead son in my arms. 21 When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, I saw that he was dead. But when I came nearer and looked, I saw that he was not my son who was born to me.” 22 Then the other woman said, “No! The living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” But the first woman said, “No! The dead one is your son and the living one is my son.” They spoke this way in front of the king.
23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one.’ The other says, ‘No! Your son is the dead one. My son is the living one.’” 24 And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword to the king. 25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two. Give half to the one woman and half to the other.” 26 Then the mother of the living child had much pity for her son and said to the king, “O, my lord, give her the living child. Do not kill him.” But the other woman said, “He will not be mine or yours. Divide him.” 27 Then the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child. Do not kill him. She is his mother.” 28 When all Israel heard how the king had decided, they were afraid of him. For they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do what is right and fair.