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1 Kings 3:16-5:14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

16 Later, two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One woman said: “By your leave, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth in the house while she was present. 18 On the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We were alone; no one else was in the house with us; only the two of us were in the house. 19 This woman’s son died during the night when she lay on top of him. 20 So in the middle of the night she got up and took my son from my side, as your servant was sleeping. Then she laid him in her bosom and laid her dead son in my bosom. 21 I rose in the morning to nurse my son, and he was dead! But when I examined him in the morning light, I saw it was not the son I had borne.” 22 The other woman answered, “No! The living one is my son, the dead one is yours.” But the first kept saying, “No! the dead one is your son, the living one is mine!” Thus they argued before the king. 23 Then the king said: “One woman claims, ‘This, the living one, is my son, the dead one is yours.’ The other answers, ‘No! The dead one is your son, the living one is mine.’” 24 The king continued, “Get me a sword.” When they brought the sword before the king, 25 he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other.” 26 [a]The woman whose son was alive, because she was stirred with compassion for her son, said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby—do not kill it!” But the other said, “It shall be neither mine nor yours. Cut it in two!” 27 The king then answered, “Give her the living baby! Do not kill it! She is the mother.” 28 When all Israel heard the judgment the king had given, they were in awe of him, because they saw that the king had in him the wisdom of God for giving right judgment.

Chapter 4

Solomon’s Riches: Domestic Affairs.[b] Solomon was king over all Israel, and these were the officials he had in his service:

Azariah, son of Zadok, the priest;

Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha, scribes;

Jehoshaphat, son of Ahilud, the chancellor;

Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, in charge of the army;

Zadok and Abiathar, priests;

Azariah, son of Nathan, in charge of the governors;

Zabud, son of Nathan, priest and companion to the king;

Ahishar, master of the palace; and

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

[c]Solomon had twelve governors over all Israel who supplied food for the king and his household, each having to provide for one month in the year. Their names were:[d]

the son of Hur in the hill country of Ephraim;

the son of Deker in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon Beth-hanan;

10 the son of Hesed in Arubboth, as well as in Socoh and the whole region of Hepher;

11 the son of Abinadab, in all Naphath-dor; he was married to Taphath, Solomon’s daughter;

12 Baana, son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo and all Beth-shean near Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah to beyond Jokmeam;

13 the son of Geber in Ramoth-gilead, having charge of the villages of Jair, son of Manasseh, in Gilead; and of the district of Argob in Bashan—sixty large walled cities with gates barred with bronze;

14 Ahinadab, son of Iddo, in Mahanaim;

15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali; he was married to Basemath, another daughter of Solomon;

16 Baana, son of Hushai, in Asher and Aloth;

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 land of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and of Og, king of Bashan.

There was one governor besides, in the land of Judah.[e] 20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sands by the sea; they ate and drank and rejoiced.

Chapter 5

Solomon’s Riches: International Affairs. [f]Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River[g] to the land of the Philistines, down to the border of Egypt; they paid Solomon tribute and served him as long as he lived. [h]Solomon’s provisions for each day were thirty kors of fine flour, sixty kors of meal, ten fatted oxen, twenty pasture-fed oxen, and a hundred sheep, not counting harts, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowl. He had dominion over all the land west of the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and all its kings, and he had peace on all his borders round about. Thus Judah and Israel lived in security, everyone under their own vine and fig tree from Dan to Beer-sheba, as long as Solomon lived.

Solomon’s Riches: Chariots and Horses. Solomon had forty thousand stalls for horses for chariots and twelve thousand horsemen. [i]The governors, one for each month, provided food for King Solomon and for all the guests at King Solomon’s table. They left nothing unprovided. For the chariot horses and draft animals also, each brought his quota of barley and straw to the required place.

Solomon’s Renown. Moreover, God gave Solomon wisdom, exceptional understanding, and knowledge, as vast as the sand on the seashore. 10 Solomon’s wisdom surpassed that of all the peoples of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. 11 He was wiser than anyone else—wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, or Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the musicians—and his fame spread throughout the neighboring peoples. 12 Solomon also uttered three thousand proverbs, and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 13 He spoke of plants, from the cedar on Lebanon to the hyssop growing out of the wall, and he spoke about beasts, birds, reptiles, and fishes. 14 People from all nations came to hear Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.

Preparations for the Temple.[j]

Footnotes:

  1. 3:26–27 The true mother reveals herself by an uncommon and tender word for the child, “baby.” With this, and the woman’s willingness to give up her child, Solomon realizes that she is the true mother, and quotes her words exactly in rendering his judgment.
  2. 4:1–5:8 The sub-unit on Solomon’s riches is organized around domestic affairs (4:1–20) and international affairs (5:1–5), with a short appendix on Solomon’s horses and chariots (5:6–8). Compare 9:26–10:29, where comparable elements reappear.
  3. 4:7–19 The administration of the kingdom thus initiated by Solomon continued in its main features for the duration of the monarchy in Israel and Judah. Note the use of “all Israel” to mean only the northern tribes (see also 5:27). Solomon’s exactions did not fall evenly on the whole people, but favored his own southern tribe of Judah. Eventually this inequity would lead to the dissolution of the union of Israel and Judah (12:1–19).
  4. 4:8–19 Several of the governors are identified only by their fathers’ names.
  5. 4:19 One governor…land of Judah: the royal territory of Judah had its own peculiar administration different from that of the twelve northern districts, each of which had to supply the king and his household with a month’s provisions of food each year (v. 7).
  6. 5:1–32 This translation follows the numeration of the Hebrew Bible, rather than the Vulgate; in many English translations, 5:1–14 is 4:21–34, and 5:15 is 5:1.
  7. 5:1 The River: that is, the Euphrates. This claim may be exaggerated, but “from the Euphrates to the border of Egypt” was the traditional description of the extent of the Davidic holdings.
  8. 5:2 The list of Solomon’s supplies may have originally belonged with the list of governors in 4:7–19, but the author has placed it here to imply that Solomon’s vassal kingdoms, not his own citizenry, supplied his vast daily needs. The daily provisions listed could have supported several thousand people. Kors: see note on Ez 45:14.
  9. 5:7 This verse suggests that the governors also saw to the provender for Solomon’s animals (v. 8).
  10. 5:15–32 The fifth major unit of the Solomon story explains the preparations Solomon made for the construction of the Temple. He negotiates with Hiram of Tyre for materiel (5:15–26), and conscripts a labor force for personnel (5:27–32). Compare 9:11–23, which returns to the same two themes after the Temple has been built and dedicated. 2 Chr 2:1–17 presents another version of the same material.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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