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3 Solomon demonstrated his loyalty to the Lord by following the practices of his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.
4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for it had the most prominent of the high places. Solomon would offer up a thousand burnt sacrifices on the altar there. 5 One night in Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream. God said, “Tell me what I should give you.” 6 Solomon replied, “You demonstrated great loyalty to your servant, my father David, as he served you faithfully, properly, and sincerely. You have maintained this great loyalty to this day by allowing his son to sit on his throne. 7 Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in my father David’s place, even though I am only a young man and am inexperienced. 8 Your servant stands among your chosen people; they are a great nation that is too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning mind so he can make judicial decisions for your people and distinguish right from wrong. Otherwise no one is able to make judicial decisions for this great nation of yours.” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon made this request. 11 God said to him, “Because you asked for the ability to make wise judicial decisions, and not for long life, or riches, or vengeance on your enemies, 12 I grant your request, and give you a wise and discerning mind superior to that of anyone who has preceded or will succeed you. 13 Furthermore, I am giving you what you did not request—riches and honor so that you will be the greatest king of your generation. 14 If you follow my instructions by obeying my rules and regulations, just as your father David did, then I will grant you long life.” 15 Solomon then woke up and realized it was a dream. He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant, offered up burnt sacrifices, presented peace offerings, and held a feast for all his servants.
16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of the women said, “My master, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was with me in the house. 18 Then three days after I had my baby, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one else in the house except the two of us. 19 This woman’s child suffocated during the night when she rolled on top of him. 20 She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your servant was sleeping. She put him in her arms, and put her dead son in my arms. 21 I got up in the morning to nurse my son, and there he was, dead! But when I examined him carefully in the morning, I realized it was not my baby.” 22 The other woman said, “No! My son is alive; your son is dead!” But the first woman replied, “No, your son is dead; my son is alive.” Each presented her case before the king.
23 The king said, “One says, ‘My son is alive; your son is dead,’ while the other says, ‘No, your son is dead; my son is alive.’” 24 The king ordered, “Get me a sword!” So they placed a sword before the king. 25 The king then said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one and half to the other!” 26 The real mother spoke up to the king, for her motherly instincts were aroused. She said, “My master, give her the living child! Whatever you do, don’t kill him!” But the other woman said, “Neither one of us will have him! Let them cut him in two!” 27 The king responded, “Give the first woman the living child; don’t kill him. She is the mother.” 28 When all Israel heard about the judicial decision which the king had rendered, they respected the king, for they realized that he possessed supernatural wisdom to make judicial decisions.
4 King Solomon ruled over all Israel. 2 These were his officials:
Azariah son of Zadok was the priest.
3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, wrote down what happened.
Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of the records.
4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was commander of the army.
Zadok and Abiathar were priests.
5 Azariah son of Nathan was supervisor of the district governors.
Zabud son of Nathan was a priest and adviser to the king.
6 Ahishar was supervisor of the palace.
Adoniram son of Abda was supervisor of the work crews.
7 Solomon had twelve district governors appointed throughout Israel who acquired supplies for the king and his palace. Each was responsible for one month in the year. 8 These were their names:
Ben Hur was in charge of the hill country of Ephraim.
9 Ben Deker was in charge of Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan.
10 Ben Hesed was in charge of Arubboth; he controlled Socoh and all the territory of Hepher.
11 Ben Abinadab was in charge of Naphath Dor. (He was married to Solomon’s daughter Taphath.)
12 Baana son of Ahilud was in charge of Taanach and Megiddo, as well as all of Beth Shean next to Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth Shean to Abel Meholah and on past Jokmeam.
13 Ben Geber was in charge of Ramoth Gilead; he controlled the villages of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead, as well as the region of Argob in Bashan, including sixty large walled cities with bronze bars locking their gates.
14 Ahinadab son of Iddo was in charge of Mahanaim.
15 Ahimaaz was in charge of Naphtali. (He married Solomon’s daughter Basemath.)
16 Baana son of Hushai was in charge of Asher and Aloth.
17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah was in charge of Issachar.
18 Shimei son of Ela was in charge of Benjamin.
19 Geber son of Uri was in charge of the land of Gilead (the territory which had once belonged to King Sihon of the Amorites and to King Og of Bashan). He was sole governor of the area.
20 The people of Judah and Israel were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore; they had plenty to eat and drink and were happy. 21 (5:1) Solomon ruled all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These kingdoms paid tribute as Solomon’s subjects throughout his lifetime. 22 Each day Solomon’s royal court consumed thirty cors of finely milled flour, sixty cors of cereal, 23 ten calves fattened in the stall, twenty calves from the pasture, and a hundred sheep, not to mention rams, gazelles, deer, and well-fed birds. 24 His royal court was so large because he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River from Tiphsah to Gaza; he was at peace with all his neighbors. 25 All the people of Judah and Israel had security; everyone from Dan to Beer Sheba enjoyed the produce of their vines and fig trees throughout Solomon’s lifetime. 26 Solomon had 4,000 stalls for his chariot horses and 12,000 horses. 27 The district governors acquired supplies for King Solomon and all who ate in his royal palace. Each was responsible for one month in the year; they made sure nothing was lacking. 28 Each one also brought to the assigned location his quota of barley and straw for the various horses.
29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment; the breadth of his understanding was as infinite as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon was wiser than all the men of the east and all the sages of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than any man, including Ethan the Ezrahite or Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. He was famous in all the neighboring nations. 32 He composed 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. 33 He produced manuals on botany, describing every kind of plant, from the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows on walls. He also produced manuals on biology, describing animals, birds, insects, and fish. 34 People from all nations came to hear Solomon’s display of wisdom; they came from all the kings of the earth who heard about his wisdom.
6 Now in those days, when the disciples were growing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Greek-speaking Jews against the native Hebraic Jews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the twelve called the whole group of the disciples together and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to wait on tables. 3 But carefully select from among you, brothers, seven men who are well-attested, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this necessary task. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 The proposal pleased the entire group, so they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Gentile convert to Judaism from Antioch. 6 They stood these men before the apostles, who prayed and placed their hands on them. 7 The word of God continued to spread, the number of disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly, and a large group of priests became obedient to the faith.
8 Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9 But some men from the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, as well as some from Cilicia and the province of Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. 10 Yet they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 11 Then they secretly instigated some men to say, “We have heard this man speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 They incited the people, the elders, and the experts in the law; then they approached Stephen, seized him, and brought him before the council. 13 They brought forward false witnesses who said, “This man does not stop saying things against this holy place and the law. 14 For we have heard him saying that Jesus the Nazarene will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.” 15 All who were sitting in the council looked intently at Stephen and saw his face was like the face of an angel.
1 When the Lord restored the well-being of Zion,
we thought we were dreaming.
2 At that time we laughed loudly
and shouted for joy.
At that time the nations said,
“The Lord has accomplished great things for these people.”
3 The Lord did indeed accomplish great things for us.
We were happy.
4 O Lord, restore our well-being,
just as the streams in the arid south are replenished.
5 Those who shed tears as they plant
will shout for joy when they reap the harvest.
6 The one who weeps as he walks along, carrying his bag of seed,
will certainly come in with a shout of joy, carrying his sheaves of grain.
26 A laborer’s appetite works on his behalf,
for his hunger urges him to work.
27 A wicked scoundrel digs up evil,
and his slander is like a scorching fire.