Psalm 129

A song of ascents.

“They have greatly oppressed(A) me from my youth,”(B)
    let Israel say;(C)
“they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
    but they have not gained the victory(D) over me.
Plowmen have plowed my back
    and made their furrows long.
But the Lord is righteous;(E)
    he has cut me free(F) from the cords of the wicked.”(G)

May all who hate Zion(H)
    be turned back in shame.(I)
May they be like grass on the roof,(J)
    which withers(K) before it can grow;
a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,(L)
    nor one who gathers fill his arms.
May those who pass by not say to them,
    “The blessing of the Lord be on you;
    we bless you(M) in the name of the Lord.”

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The king went to Gibeon(A) to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared(B) to Solomon during the night in a dream,(C) and God said, “Ask(D) for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful(E) to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son(F) to sit on his throne this very day.

“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child(G) and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen,(H) a great people, too numerous to count or number.(I) So give your servant a discerning(J) heart to govern your people and to distinguish(K) between right and wrong. For who is able(L) 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(M) for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment(N) in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked.(O) I will give you a wise(P) 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(Q) asked for—both wealth and honor(R)—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal(S) among kings. 14 And if you walk(T) in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”(U) 15 Then Solomon awoke(V)—and he realized it had been a dream.(W)

He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings(X) and fellowship offerings.(Y) Then he gave a feast(Z) for all his court.

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(AA) 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(AB) from God to administer justice.

Solomon’s Officials and Governors

So King Solomon ruled over all Israel. And these were his chief officials:(AC)

Azariah(AD) son of Zadok—the priest;

Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha—secretaries;(AE)

Jehoshaphat(AF) son of Ahilud—recorder;

Benaiah(AG) son of Jehoiada—commander in chief;

Zadok(AH) and Abiathar—priests;

Azariah son of Nathan—in charge of the district governors;

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

Ahishar—palace administrator;(AI)

Adoniram(AJ) son of Abda—in charge of forced labor.(AK)

Solomon had twelve district governors(AL) 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. These are their names:

Ben-Hur—in the hill country(AM) of Ephraim;

Ben-Deker—in Makaz, Shaalbim,(AN) Beth Shemesh(AO) and Elon Bethhanan;

10 Ben-Hesed—in Arubboth (Sokoh(AP) and all the land of Hepher(AQ) were his);

11 Ben-Abinadab—in Naphoth Dor(AR) (he was married to Taphath daughter of Solomon);

12 Baana son of Ahilud—in Taanach and Megiddo, and in all of Beth Shan(AS) next to Zarethan(AT) below Jezreel, from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah(AU) across to Jokmeam;(AV)

13 Ben-Geber—in Ramoth Gilead (the settlements of Jair(AW) son of Manasseh in Gilead(AX) were his, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan and its sixty large walled cities(AY) with bronze gate bars);

14 Ahinadab son of Iddo—in Mahanaim;(AZ)

15 Ahimaaz(BA)—in Naphtali (he had married Basemath daughter of Solomon);

16 Baana son of Hushai(BB)—in Asher and in Aloth;

17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah—in Issachar;

18 Shimei(BC) son of Ela—in Benjamin;

19 Geber son of Uri—in Gilead (the country of Sihon(BD) king of the Amorites and the country of Og(BE) king of Bashan). He was the only governor over the district.

Solomon’s Daily Provisions

20 The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand(BF) on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy.(BG) 21 And Solomon ruled(BH) over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River(BI) to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt.(BJ) These countries brought tribute(BK) and were Solomon’s subjects all his life.

22 Solomon’s daily provisions(BL) 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.(BM) 24 For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah(BN) to Gaza, and had peace(BO) on all sides. 25 During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba,(BP) lived in safety,(BQ) everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree.(BR)

26 Solomon had four[c] thousand stalls for chariot horses,(BS) and twelve thousand horses.[d]

27 The district governors,(BT) 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.

Solomon’s Wisdom

29 God gave Solomon wisdom(BU) and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand(BV) on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East,(BW) and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.(BX) 31 He was wiser(BY) 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(BZ) and his songs(CA) numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop(CB) 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(CC) of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.[e]

Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 4:22 That is, probably about 5 1/2 tons or about 5 metric tons
  2. 1 Kings 4:22 That is, probably about 11 tons or about 10 metric tons
  3. 1 Kings 4:26 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 2 Chron. 9:25); Hebrew forty
  4. 1 Kings 4:26 Or charioteers
  5. 1 Kings 4:34 In Hebrew texts 4:21-34 is numbered 5:1-14.

The Choosing of the Seven

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing,(A) the Hellenistic Jews[a](B) among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows(C) were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.(D) So the Twelve gathered all the disciples(E) together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God(F) in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters,(G) choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit(H) and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them(I) and will give our attention to prayer(J) and the ministry of the word.”

This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen,(K) a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit;(L) also Philip,(M) Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed(N) and laid their hands on them.(O)

So the word of God spread.(P) The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly,(Q) and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Stephen Seized

Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs(R) among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene(S) and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia(T) and Asia(U)—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.(V)

11 Then they secretly(W) persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”(X)

12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin.(Y) 13 They produced false witnesses,(Z) who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place(AA) and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place(AB) and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”(AC)

15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin(AD) looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

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Footnotes

  1. Acts 6:1 That is, Jews who had adopted the Greek language and culture

26 The appetite of laborers works for them;
    their hunger drives them on.

27 A scoundrel(A) plots evil,
    and on their lips it is like a scorching fire.(B)

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