Solomon Requests Wisdom(A)

Now (B)Solomon made [a]a treaty with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and married Pharaoh’s daughter; then he brought her (C)to the City of David until he had finished building his (D)own house, and (E)the house of the Lord, and (F)the wall all around Jerusalem. (G)Meanwhile the people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days. And Solomon (H)loved the Lord, (I)walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.

Now (J)the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, (K)for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. (L)At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon (M)in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”

(N)And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he (O)walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You (P)have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a (Q)little child; I do not know how (R)to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You (S)have chosen, a great people, (T)too numerous to be numbered or counted. (U)Therefore give to Your servant an [b]understanding heart (V)to judge Your people, that I may (W)discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have (X)not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 (Y)behold, I have done according to your words; (Z)see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. 13 And I have also (AA)given you what you have not asked: both (AB)riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. 14 So (AC)if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, (AD)as your father David walked, then I will (AE)lengthen[c] your days.”

15 Then Solomon (AF)awoke; and indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and (AG)made a feast for all his servants.

Solomon’s Wise Judgment

16 Now two women who were harlots came to the king, and (AH)stood before him. 17 And one woman said, “O my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. 18 Then it happened, the third day after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth. And we were together; [d]no one was with us in the house, except the two of us in the house. 19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. 21 And when I rose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead. But when I had examined him in the morning, indeed, he was not my son whom I had borne.”

22 Then the other woman said, “No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.”

And the first woman said, “No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.”

Thus they spoke before the king.

23 And the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son, who lives, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! But your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’ ” 24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.”

26 Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for (AI)she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!”

But the other said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.

27 So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.”

28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the (AJ)wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.

Solomon’s Administration

So King Solomon was king over all Israel. And these were his officials: Azariah the son of Zadok, the priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, [e]scribes; (AK)Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder; (AL)Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, over the army; Zadok and (AM)Abiathar, the priests; Azariah the son of Nathan, over (AN)the officers; Zabud the son of Nathan, (AO)a priest and (AP)the king’s friend; Ahishar, over the household; and (AQ)Adoniram the son of Abda, over the labor force.

And Solomon had twelve governors over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household; each one made provision for one month of the year. These are their names: [f]Ben-Hur, in the mountains of Ephraim; [g]Ben-Deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan; 10 [h]Ben-Hesed, in Arubboth; to him belonged Sochoh and all the land of Hepher; 11 [i]Ben-Abinadab, in all the regions of Dor; he had Taphath the daughter of Solomon as wife; 12 Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth Shean, which is beside Zaretan below Jezreel, from Beth Shean to Abel Meholah, as far as the other side of Jokneam; 13 [j]Ben-Geber, in Ramoth Gilead; to him belonged (AR)the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, in Gilead; to him also belonged (AS)the region of Argob in Bashan—sixty large cities with walls and bronze gate-bars; 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15 (AT)Ahimaaz, in Naphtali; he also took Basemath the daughter of Solomon as wife; 16 Baanah the son of (AU)Hushai, in Asher and Aloth; 17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18 (AV)Shimei the son of Elah, in Benjamin; 19 Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, in (AW)the country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of Bashan. He was the only governor who was in the land.

Prosperity and Wisdom of Solomon’s Reign

20 Judah and Israel were as numerous (AX)as the sand by the sea in multitude, (AY)eating and drinking and rejoicing. 21 So (AZ)Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from (BA)the[k] River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. (BB)They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.

22 (BC)Now Solomon’s [l]provision for one day was thirty [m]kors of fine flour, sixty kors of meal, 23 ten fatted oxen, twenty oxen from the pastures, and one hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowl.

24 For he had dominion over all the region on this side of [n]the River from Tiphsah even to Gaza, namely over (BD)all the kings on this side of the River; and (BE)he had peace on every side all around him. 25 And Judah and Israel (BF)dwelt[o] safely, (BG)each man under his vine and his fig tree, (BH)from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

26 (BI)Solomon had [p]forty thousand stalls of (BJ)horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27 And (BK)these governors, each man in his month, provided food for King Solomon and for all who came to King Solomon’s table. There was no lack in their supply. 28 They also brought barley and straw to the proper place, for the horses and steeds, each man according to his charge.

29 And (BL)God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. 30 Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men (BM)of the East and all (BN)the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was (BO)wiser than all men—(BP)than Ethan the Ezrahite, (BQ)and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 (BR)He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his (BS)songs were one thousand and five. 33 Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. 34 And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, (BT)came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.


  1. 1 Kings 3:1 an alliance
  2. 1 Kings 3:9 Lit. hearing
  3. 1 Kings 3:14 prolong
  4. 1 Kings 3:18 Lit. no stranger
  5. 1 Kings 4:3 secretaries
  6. 1 Kings 4:8 Lit. Son of Hur
  7. 1 Kings 4:9 Lit. Son of Deker
  8. 1 Kings 4:10 Lit. Son of Hesed
  9. 1 Kings 4:11 Lit. Son of Abinadab
  10. 1 Kings 4:13 Lit. Son of Geber
  11. 1 Kings 4:21 The Euphrates
  12. 1 Kings 4:22 Lit. bread
  13. 1 Kings 4:22 Each about 5 bushels
  14. 1 Kings 4:24 The Euphrates
  15. 1 Kings 4:25 lived in safety
  16. 1 Kings 4:26 So with MT, most other authorities; some LXX mss. four thousand; cf. 2 Chr. 9:25

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