1 Kings 3-5
New International Version
Solomon Asks for Wisdom(A)
3 Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married(B) his daughter.(C) He brought her to the City of David(D) until he finished building his palace(E) and the temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places,(F) because a temple had not yet been built for the Name(G) of the Lord. 3 Solomon showed his love(H) for the Lord by walking(I) according to the instructions(J) given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.(K)
4 The king went to Gibeon(L) to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared(M) to Solomon during the night in a dream,(N) and God said, “Ask(O) for whatever you want me to give you.”
6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful(P) to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son(Q) to sit on his throne this very day.
7 “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child(R) and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen,(S) a great people, too numerous to count or number.(T) 9 So give your servant a discerning(U) heart to govern your people and to distinguish(V) between right and wrong. For who is able(W) to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked(X) for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment(Y) in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked.(Z) I will give you a wise(AA) and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not(AB) asked for—both wealth and honor(AC)—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal(AD) among kings. 14 And if you walk(AE) in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”(AF) 15 Then Solomon awoke(AG)—and he realized it had been a dream.(AH)
A Wise Ruling
16 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
19 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”
22 The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”
But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.
23 The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”
24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
26 The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved(AL) out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”
But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”
27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”
28 When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom(AM) from God to administer justice.
Solomon’s Officials and Governors
4 So King Solomon ruled over all Israel. 2 And these were his chief officials:(AN)
Azariah(AO) son of Zadok—the priest;
3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha—secretaries;(AP)
Jehoshaphat(AQ) son of Ahilud—recorder;
4 Benaiah(AR) son of Jehoiada—commander in chief;
Zadok(AS) and Abiathar—priests;
5 Azariah son of Nathan—in charge of the district governors;
Zabud son of Nathan—a priest and adviser to the king;
6 Ahishar—palace administrator;(AT)
7 Solomon had twelve district governors(AW) over all Israel, who supplied provisions for the king and the royal household. Each one had to provide supplies for one month in the year. 8 These are their names:
Ben-Hur—in the hill country(AX) of Ephraim;
11 Ben-Abinadab—in Naphoth Dor(BC) (he was married to Taphath daughter of Solomon);
13 Ben-Geber—in Ramoth Gilead (the settlements of Jair(BH) son of Manasseh in Gilead(BI) were his, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan and its sixty large walled cities(BJ) with bronze gate bars);
14 Ahinadab son of Iddo—in Mahanaim;(BK)
15 Ahimaaz(BL)—in Naphtali (he had married Basemath daughter of Solomon);
16 Baana son of Hushai(BM)—in Asher and in Aloth;
17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah—in Issachar;
18 Shimei(BN) son of Ela—in Benjamin;
Solomon’s Daily Provisions
20 The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand(BQ) on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy.(BR) 21 And Solomon ruled(BS) over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River(BT) to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt.(BU) These countries brought tribute(BV) and were Solomon’s subjects all his life.
22 Solomon’s daily provisions(BW) were thirty cors[a] of the finest flour and sixty cors[b] of meal, 23 ten head of stall-fed cattle, twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks and choice fowl.(BX) 24 For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah(BY) to Gaza, and had peace(BZ) on all sides. 25 During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba,(CA) lived in safety,(CB) everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree.(CC)
27 The district governors,(CE) each in his month, supplied provisions for King Solomon and all who came to the king’s table. They saw to it that nothing was lacking. 28 They also brought to the proper place their quotas of barley and straw for the chariot horses and the other horses.
29 God gave Solomon wisdom(CF) and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand(CG) on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East,(CH) and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.(CI) 31 He was wiser(CJ) than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs(CK) and his songs(CL) numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop(CM) that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings(CN) of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.[e]
Preparations for Building the Temple(CO)
5 [f]When Hiram(CP) king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with David. 2 Solomon sent back this message to Hiram:
3 “You know that because of the wars(CQ) waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build(CR) a temple for the Name of the Lord his God until the Lord put his enemies under his feet.(CS) 4 But now the Lord my God has given me rest(CT) on every side, and there is no adversary(CU) or disaster. 5 I intend, therefore, to build a temple(CV) for the Name of the Lord my God, as the Lord told my father David, when he said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.’(CW)
6 “So give orders that cedars(CX) of Lebanon be cut for me. My men will work with yours, and I will pay you for your men whatever wages you set. You know that we have no one so skilled in felling timber as the Sidonians.”
7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was greatly pleased and said, “Praise be to the Lord(CY) today, for he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.”
8 So Hiram sent word to Solomon:
“I have received the message you sent me and will do all you want in providing the cedar and juniper logs. 9 My men will haul them down from Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea(CZ), and I will float them as rafts by sea to the place you specify. There I will separate them and you can take them away. And you are to grant my wish by providing food(DA) for my royal household.”
10 In this way Hiram kept Solomon supplied with all the cedar and juniper logs he wanted, 11 and Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand cors[g] of wheat as food(DB) for his household, in addition to twenty thousand baths[h][i] of pressed olive oil. Solomon continued to do this for Hiram year after year. 12 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom,(DC) just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.(DD)
13 King Solomon conscripted laborers(DE) from all Israel—thirty thousand men. 14 He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram(DF) was in charge of the forced labor. 15 Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills, 16 as well as thirty-three hundred[j] foremen(DG) who supervised the project and directed the workers. 17 At the king’s command they removed from the quarry(DH) large blocks of high-grade stone(DI) to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple. 18 The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram(DJ) and workers from Byblos(DK) cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple.
- 1 Kings 4:22 That is, probably about 5 1/2 tons or about 5 metric tons
- 1 Kings 4:22 That is, probably about 11 tons or about 10 metric tons
- 1 Kings 4:26 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 2 Chron. 9:25); Hebrew forty
- 1 Kings 4:26 Or charioteers
- 1 Kings 4:34 In Hebrew texts 4:21-34 is numbered 5:1-14.
- 1 Kings 5:1 In Hebrew texts 5:1-18 is numbered 5:15-32.
- 1 Kings 5:11 That is, probably about 3,600 tons or about 3,250 metric tons
- 1 Kings 5:11 Septuagint (see also 2 Chron. 2:10); Hebrew twenty cors
- 1 Kings 5:11 That is, about 120,000 gallons or about 440,000 liters
- 1 Kings 5:16 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 2 Chron. 2:2,18) thirty-six hundred