1 Kings 3The Voice (VOICE)
3 Solomon then arranged a marriage alliance with Pharaoh, Egypt’s king. He married Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her to the city of David. He kept her there while he constructed his own house and the Eternal One’s temple and completed the wall surrounding Jerusalem. 2 However the people were still offering sacrifices at the high places because a temple had not been constructed for the Eternal until then.
3 Solomon’s heart belonged to the Eternal. Solomon abided by the same laws as his father, David. The only difference was that Solomon offered sacrifices and incense at the high places. 4 Solomon went to Gibeon—the great high place—and presented 1,000 burnt offerings at the altar.
Before Israel united as one nation under David, the countryside was inhabited by people who worship other gods. As Solomon prepares to build the temple and centralize worship of the one God—the Lord—in one place—Jerusalem—he finds it necessary to visit the former shrines of local gods and convert them to shrines to God. While this may have worked in the short term by introducing the people outside of Jerusalem to the worship practices of the Eternal, those shrines, called “high places,” will be the undoing of the entire country. By allowing people to worship at local shrines instead of only in Jerusalem, where the priests meticulously follow God’s laws, Solomon and future kings are opening the door to the blending of God worship and pagan worship.
5 The Eternal revealed Himself to Solomon in a dream while he was still in Gibeon.
Eternal One: Tell me, what is your request of Me?
Solomon: 6 You have already revealed Your loyal love to my father, David, for he lived by Your truth and righteousness and honor during the days of his life. You have continued to show this loyal love to him by giving him a son who now reigns upon his throne. 7 Eternal One, my God, You have allowed me to serve as my father David served, but I am still young and inexperienced. I don’t know much about anything, 8 yet I am supposed to lead Your chosen people who are innumerable and even uncountable. 9 Please give Your servant a listening heart for judging Your people and for knowing the difference between what is good and what is evil. Who is capable of judging Your chosen ones, a great people?
10 The Lord was delighted by Solomon’s request.
Eternal One: 11 Since you have asked for wisdom and not for an extended lifetime or for personal wealth or for the annihilation of your enemies, since you have instead asked for the ability to understand justice, 12 I will honor your request. I have planted the deepest human wisdom into your heart. There has never been nor will there ever be a man like you.
13 I have also given you the things for which you have not asked—wealth and an honorable reputation. There will be no other kings like you for as long as you live. 14 If you live a life devoted to Me, if you remain loyal to My laws and commands just as your father David did, then I will add days to your life.
15 Solomon woke up from his dream. He then returned to Jerusalem and visited the Eternal’s covenant chest and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings. Then he prepared a great feast for all those who were in his service.
16 Two prostitutes visited Solomon asking for a judgment.
First Woman (indicating the other): 17 My lord, she and I live under the same roof. She was in the house when my child was born. 18 Three days after my child was born, she had her own child. She and I were alone in the house with our newborns. 19 One night her baby died because she lay on it during her sleep. 20 She woke up, and after seeing her dead baby, she stole my baby out of my arms while I was sleeping and placed her dead baby in my arms. 21 When I woke up the next morning to feed my son, I found him dead. When I took a closer look at him, I saw that it was not the same child who came from my womb.
Second Woman: 22 She lies! My son is alive, and her son is dead!
First Woman: She lies! Her son is dead, and my son is alive!
Solomon: 23 This woman says, “My son is alive, and your son is dead.” The other woman says, “My son is alive, and your son is dead.” 24 Bring me a sword.
25 (receiving a sword) Cut the living child in half, and give each woman one of the halves.
26 The woman who truly was the mother of the living child was overcome with compassion and pleaded with the king.
First Woman: Please don’t cut the child in half! Just give the whole child to her! Please do not kill him!
Second Woman: Nonsense! The child will belong to neither one of us! Cut him in half!
Solomon: 27 The living child belongs to the first woman. Give the boy to her, and do not harm him. She is the true mother.
28 When the news of the king’s wise judgment spread throughout Israel, they all feared him. They respected him because they perceived God’s wisdom in his just judgment.
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