1 Kings 3-5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Solomon’s Rule Consolidated
3 Now Solomon became a son-in-law to Pharaoh king of Egypt [and formed an alliance] by [a]taking Pharaoh’s daughter [in marriage]. He brought her to the [b]City of David [where she remained temporarily] until he had finished building his own house (palace) and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 But [in the meantime] the people were still sacrificing [to God] on the high places (hilltops) [as the pagans did to their idols], for there was no [permanent] house yet built for the [c]Name of the Lord.
3 Now Solomon loved the Lord, walking [at first] in the statutes of David his father, except [for the fact that] he sacrificed and burned incense in the high places [ignoring the law that required all sacrifices to be offered at the tabernacle]. 4 The king went to Gibeon [near Jerusalem, where the tabernacle and the bronze altar stood] to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask [Me] what I shall give you.”
6 Then Solomon said, “You have shown Your servant David my father great lovingkindness, because he walked before You in faithfulness and righteousness and with uprightness of heart toward You; and You have kept for him this great lovingkindness, in that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today. 7 So now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of David my father; and as for me, I am but a little boy [[d]in wisdom and experience]; I do not know how to go out or come in [that is, how to conduct business as a king]. 8 Your servant is among Your people whom You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. 9 So give Your servant an understanding mind and a hearing heart [with which] to judge Your people, so that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge and rule this great people of Yours?”
10 Now it pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 God said to him, “Because you have asked this and have not asked for yourself a long life nor for wealth, nor for the lives of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to recognize justice, 12 behold, I have done as you asked. I have given you a wise and discerning heart (mind), so that no one before you was your equal, nor shall anyone equal to you arise after you. 13 I have also given you what you have not asked, both wealth and honor, so that there will not be anyone equal to you among the kings, for all your days. 14 If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and My commandments, as your father David [e]did, then I will lengthen your days.”
15 Then Solomon awoke, and he realized that it was a dream. He came [back] to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; he offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and he prepared a feast for all his servants.
Solomon Wisely Judges
16 Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 And the one woman said, “O my lord, this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. 18 And on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were [alone] together; no one else was with us in the house, just we two. 19 Now this woman’s son died during the night, because she lay on him [and smothered him]. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from [his place] beside me while your maidservant was asleep, and laid him on her bosom, and laid her dead son on my bosom. 21 When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead. But when I examined him carefully in the morning, behold, it was not my son, the one whom I had borne.” 22 Then the other woman said, “No! For my son is the one who is living, and your son is the dead one.” But the first woman said, “No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.” [This is how] they were speaking before the king.
23 Then the king said, “This woman says, ‘This is my son, the one who is alive, and your son is the dead one’; and the other woman says, ‘No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the one who is alive.’” 24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25 Then the king said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to the one [woman] and half to the other.” 26 Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply moved over her son, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; cut him!” 27 Then the king said, “Give the first woman [who is pleading for his life] the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” 28 When all [the people of] Israel heard about the judgment which the king had made, they [were in awe and reverently] feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was within him to administer justice.
4 King Solomon was king over all [the people of] Israel. 2 These were his [chief] officials: Azariah the [f]son of Zadok was the high priest; 3 Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha, were scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder [of important events]; 4 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 5 Azariah the son of Nathan was in charge of the deputies; Zabud the son of Nathan was priest and was the king’s friend [and trusted advisor]; 6 Ahishar was in charge of the household (palace); and Adoniram the son of Abda was in charge of the forced labor.
7 Solomon had twelve deputies over all Israel, who [g]secured provisions for the king and his household; each man had to provide for a month in the year. 8 These were their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of [the tribe of] Ephraim; 9 Ben-deker in Makaz and Shaalbim and Beth-shemesh and Elon-beth-hanan; 10 Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (to him belonged Socoh and all the land of Hepher); 11 Ben-abinadab, in all the hills of Dor (Taphath, Solomon’s daughter, was his wife); 12 Baana the 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 beyond Jokmeam; 13 Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (the villages of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead belonged to him, also the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars); 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15 Ahimaaz, in [the tribe of] Naphtali (he also married Basemath, Solomon’s daughter); 16 Baana the son of Hushai, in [the tribe of] Asher and Bealoth; 17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in [the tribe of] Issachar; 18 Shimei the son of Ela, in [the tribe of] Benjamin; 19 Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only officer who was in the land.
Solomon’s Power, Wealth and Wisdom
20 [The people of] Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand that is in abundance by the sea; they were eating and drinking and rejoicing.
21 [h]Now Solomon reigned over all the kingdoms from the [Euphrates] River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute (money) and served Solomon all the days of his life.
22 Solomon’s food [for the royal household] for one day was thirty [i]kors of finely milled flour, sixty kors of wheat flour, 23 ten fat oxen, twenty pasture-fed oxen, a hundred sheep not counting fallow deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl. 24 For he was ruling over everything west of the [Euphrates] River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, over all the kings west of the [Euphrates] River; and he had peace on all sides around him. 25 Judah and Israel lived in security, every man under his vine and fig tree [in peace and prosperity], from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south], during all the days of Solomon. 26 Solomon also had [j]40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. 27 Those deputies provided food for King Solomon and for all [the staff] who came to King Solomon’s table, each in his month; they let nothing be lacking. 28 They also brought the barley and straw for the horses and swift steeds (warhorses, chargers) to the place where it was needed, each man according to his assignment.
29 Now God gave Solomon [exceptional] wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand of the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser [k]than all [other] men, [wiser] than [l]Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. His fame was known in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar which is in Lebanon to the hyssop [vine] that grows on the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and fish. 34 People came from all the peoples (nations) to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.
Alliance with King Hiram
5 Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always been a friend of David. 2 Then Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying, 3 “You know that David my father could not build a house (temple) for the Name (Presence) of the Lord his God because of the wars which surrounded him, until the Lord put his enemies under his feet. 4 But now that the Lord my God has given me rest [from war] on every side, there is neither adversary nor misfortune [confronting me]. 5 Behold, I intend to build a house (temple) to the Name of the Lord my God, just as the Lord said to my father David: ‘Your son whom I will put on your throne in your place shall build the house for My Name and Presence.’ 6 So now, command that they cut cedar trees from Lebanon for me, and my servants will join your servants, and I will give you whatever wages you set for your servants. For you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the men of Sidon.”
7 When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the Lord this day, who has given David a wise son [to be king] over this great people.” 8 So Hiram sent word to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message which you sent to me; I will do everything you wish concerning the cedar and cypress timber. 9 My servants will bring the logs down from Lebanon to the [Mediterranean] sea, and I will have them made into rafts to go by sea to the place (port) that you direct me; then I will have them broken up there, and you shall carry them away. Then you shall [m]return the favor by providing food for my household.” 10 So Hiram gave Solomon all the cedar and cypress timber he desired, 11 and Solomon gave Hiram 20,000 [n]kors of wheat as food for his household, and 20 kors of pure [olive] oil. Solomon gave all these to Hiram each year. 12 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, just as He promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.
Conscription of Laborers
13 King Solomon levied forced laborers from all Israel; and the forced laborers numbered 30,000 men. 14 He sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in shifts; one month they were in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced laborers. 15 Solomon had 70,000 burden bearers (transporters) and 80,000 stonemasons in the hill country [of Judah], 16 besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief deputies who were in charge of the project and who were in charge of the people doing the work. 17 The king gave orders, and they quarried great [o]stones, valuable stones, to lay the foundation of the house (temple) with cut stones. 18 So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the men of [p]Gebal cut and chiseled the stones, and prepared the timber and the stones to build the house (temple).
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