The Lord Appears to Solomon

Solomon made an alliance[a] with Pharaoh king of Egypt by marrying Pharaoh’s daughter.(A) Solomon brought her to the city of David(B) until he finished building his palace,(C) the Lord’s temple,(D) and the wall surrounding Jerusalem.(E) However, the people were sacrificing on the high places,(F) because until that time a temple for the Lord’s name(G) had not been built. Solomon loved the Lord(H) by walking in the statutes of his father David,(I) but he also sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.

The king went to Gibeon(J) to sacrifice there because it was the most famous high place. He offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.(K) At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon(L) in a dream at night.(M) God said, “Ask.(N) What should I give you?”

And Solomon replied, “You have shown great and faithful love to your servant, my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity.[b] You have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne,(O) as it is today.(P)

Lord my God, you have now made your servant king in my father David’s place.(Q) Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership.[c](R) Your servant is among your people you have chosen,(S) a people too many to be numbered or counted.(T) So give your servant a receptive heart to judge(U) your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of yours?” (V)

10 Now it pleased the Lord that Solomon had requested this. 11 So God said to him, “Because you have requested this and did not ask for long life[d] or riches for yourself,(W) or the death[e] of your enemies, but you asked discernment for yourself to administer justice,(X) 12 I will therefore do what you have asked.(Y) I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again.(Z) 13 In addition, I will give you what you did not ask for: both riches and honor,(AA) so that no king will be your equal during your entire life.(AB) 14 If you walk in my ways and keep my statutes and commands just as your father David did, I will give you a long life.”(AC)

15 Then Solomon woke up(AD) and realized it had been a dream.(AE) He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant,(AF) and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.(AG) Then he held a feast(AH) for all his servants.

Solomon’s Wisdom

16 Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.(AI) 17 One woman said, “Please, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was in the house. 18 On the third day after I gave birth, she also had a baby and we were alone. No one else[f] was with us in the house; just the two of us were there. 19 During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your servant was asleep. She laid him in her arms, and she put her dead son in my arms. 21 When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, I discovered he was dead. That morning, when I looked closely at him I realized that he was not the son I gave birth to.”

22 “No,” the other woman said. “My son is the living one; your son is the dead one.”

The first woman said, “No, your son is the dead one; my son is the living one.” So they argued before the king.

23 The king replied, “This woman says, ‘This is my son who is alive, and your son is dead,’ but that woman says, ‘No, your son is dead, and my son is alive.’” 24 The king continued, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought the sword to the king. 25 And the king said, “Cut the living boy in two and give half to one and half to the other.”

26 The woman whose son was alive spoke to the king because she felt great compassion[g](AJ) for her son. “My lord, give her the living baby,” she said, “but please don’t have him killed!”

But the other one said, “He will not be mine or yours. Cut him in two!”

27 The king responded, “Give the living baby to the first woman, and don’t kill him. She is his mother.” 28 All Israel heard about the judgment the king had given, and they stood in awe of the king because they saw that God’s wisdom(AK) was in him to carry out justice.

Solomon’s Officials

King Solomon reigned over all Israel,(AL) and these were his officials:(AM)

Azariah son of Zadok, priest;

Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha, secretaries;

Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud, court historian;

Benaiah son of Jehoiada, in charge of the army;

Zadok and Abiathar, priests;

Azariah son of Nathan, in charge of the deputies;

Zabud son of Nathan, a priest and adviser to the king;

Ahishar, in charge of the palace;

and Adoniram son of Abda, in charge of forced labor.

Solomon had twelve deputies for all Israel. They provided food for the king and his household; each one made provision for one month out of the year.(AN) These were their names:

Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim;

Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan;

10 Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (he had Socoh and the whole land of Hepher);

11 Ben-abinadab, in all Naphath-dor (Taphath daughter of Solomon was his wife);

12 Baana son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as the other side of Jokmeam;

13 Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (he had the villages of Jair son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and he had the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars);

14 Ahinadab son of Iddo, in Mahanaim;

15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also had married a daughter of Solomon—Basemath);

16 Baana son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth;

17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah, in Issachar;

18 Shimei son of Ela, in Benjamin;

19 Geber son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of King Sihon of the Amorites and of King Og of Bashan.

There was one deputy in the land of Judah.[h]

Solomon’s Provisions

20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea;(AO) they were eating, drinking, and rejoicing. 21 Solomon ruled all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines and as far as the border of Egypt.(AP) They offered tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.(AQ)

22 Solomon’s provisions for one day were 180 bushels[i] of fine flour and 360 bushels[j] of meal, 23 ten fattened cattle, twenty range cattle, and a hundred sheep and goats, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and pen-fed poultry,[k](AR) 24 for he had dominion over everything west of the Euphrates from Tiphsah to Gaza and over all the kings west of the Euphrates. He had peace on all his surrounding borders. 25 Throughout Solomon’s reign, Judah and Israel lived in safety from Dan to Beer-sheba,(AS) each person under his own vine and his own fig tree.(AT) 26 Solomon had forty thousand[l] stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.(AU) 27 Each of those deputies for a month in turn provided food for King Solomon and for everyone who came to King Solomon’s table. They neglected nothing. 28 Each man brought the barley and the straw for the chariot teams and the other horses(AV) to the required place according to his assignment.[m]

Solomon’s Wisdom and Literary Gifts

29 God gave Solomon wisdom, very great insight, and understanding(AW) as vast as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East,(AX) greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.(AY) 31 He was wiser than anyone(AZ)—wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite,(BA) and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, sons of Mahol.(BB) His reputation extended to all the surrounding nations.(BC)

32 Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs,(BD) and his songs numbered 1,005.(BE) 33 He spoke about trees, from the cedar in Lebanon to the hyssop growing out of the wall. He also spoke about animals, birds, reptiles, and fish. 34 Emissaries of all peoples, sent by every king on earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom.(BF)

Footnotes

  1. 3:1 Lit Solomon made himself a son-in-law
  2. 3:6 Lit and uprightness of heart with you
  3. 3:7 Lit am a little youth and do not know to go out or come in
  4. 3:11 Lit for many days
  5. 3:11 Lit life
  6. 3:18 Lit No stranger
  7. 3:26 Lit because her compassion grew hot
  8. 4:19 LXX; MT omits of Judah
  9. 4:22 Lit 30 cors
  10. 4:22 Lit 60 cors
  11. 4:23 Hb obscure
  12. 4:26 2Ch 9:25 reads 4,000 stalls
  13. 4:28 Lit judgment

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