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1 Kings 3:3-4:34

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]. 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. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask [Me] what I shall give you.”

Solomon’s Prayer

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. 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 [[a]in wisdom and experience]; I do not know how to go out or come in [that is, how to conduct business as a king]. Your servant is among Your people whom You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. 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?”

God’s Answer

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 [b]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.

Solomon’s Officials

King Solomon was king over all [the people of] Israel. These were his [chief] officials: Azariah the [c]son of Zadok was the high priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha, were scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder [of important events]; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 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]; Ahishar was in charge of the household (palace); and Adoniram the son of Abda was in charge of the forced labor.

Solomon had twelve deputies over all Israel, who [d]secured provisions for the king and his household; each man had to provide for a month in the year. These were their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of [the tribe of] Ephraim; 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 [e]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 [f]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 [g]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 [h]than all [other] men, [wiser] than [i]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.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 3:7 Solomon was already a father (see 11:42; 14:21).
  2. 1 Kings 3:14 Lit walked.
  3. 1 Kings 4:2 Here as in other passages, the Hebrew word son may refer to a grandson or more distant descendant, just as father is also used of grandfathers and other ancestors.
  4. 1 Kings 4:7 Lit provided.
  5. 1 Kings 4:21 In the Hebrew text ch 5 begins with this verse.
  6. 1 Kings 4:22 This was the largest unit of volume, but the actual amount varied because it was based on the volume of an egg, the basic Jewish standard of volume. The kor was equivalent to the homer and was supposed to equal 4,320 eggs. Modern estimates of the volume range between seven and twelve bushels.
  7. 1 Kings 4:26 One ms reads 4,000; cf 2 Chr 9:25.
  8. 1 Kings 4:31 “Wiser than all [other] men,” until Christ came. Jesus said, “Someone more and greater than Solomon is here” (Matt 12:42).
  9. 1 Kings 4:31 Together with Zimri (1 Chr 2:6), these men were reputed to be the wisest in the world.
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Acts 6

Choosing of the Seven

Now about this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, a complaint was made by the [a]Hellenists (Greek-speaking Jews) against the [[b]native] Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the [c]Twelve called the disciples together and said, “It is not appropriate for us to neglect [teaching] the word of God in order to serve tables and manage the distribution of food. Therefore, brothers, choose from among you seven men with good reputations [men of godly character and moral integrity], full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will [continue to] devote ourselves [steadfastly] to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The suggestion pleased the whole congregation; and they selected [d]Stephen, a man full of faith [in Christ Jesus], and [filled with and led by] the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas (Nikolaos), a proselyte (Gentile convert) from Antioch. They brought these men before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them [to dedicate and commission them for this service].

And the message of God kept on growing and spreading, and the number of disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem; and a large number of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith [accepting Jesus as Messiah and acknowledging Him as the Source of eternal salvation].

Now Stephen, full of grace (divine blessing, favor) and power, was doing great wonders and signs (attesting miracles) among the people. However, some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (freed Jewish slaves), both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and [the province of] Asia, rose up and questioned and argued with Stephen. 10 But they were not able to successfully withstand and cope with the wisdom and the intelligence [and the power and inspiration] of the Spirit by whom he was speaking. 11 Then [to attack him another way] they secretly instructed men to say, “We have heard this man [Stephen] speak blasphemous (slanderous, sacrilegious, abusive) words against Moses and against God.” 12 And they provoked and incited the people, as well as the elders and the scribes, and they came up to Stephen and seized him and brought him before the Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court). 13 They presented false witnesses who said, “This man never stops speaking against this holy place and the Law [of Moses]; 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus the Nazarene will tear down this place and will change the traditions and customs which Moses handed down to us.” 15 Then all those who were sitting in the Council, stared [intently] at him, and they saw that Stephen’s face was like the face of an angel.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 6:1 Jews born outside the Holy Land who spoke the Greek language and had adopted much of the Greek culture.
  2. Acts 6:1 Native-born Jews who spoke Hebrew and/or Aramaic and lived according to Jewish custom.
  3. Acts 6:2 See note Matt 10:2.
  4. Acts 6:5 These seven men had Greek names, so they may have been Greek in ancestry, language, or way of life; however, Stephen, in his defense before the Sanhedrin (ch 7), exhibited an extensive knowledge of Jewish history.
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Psalm 126

Thanksgiving for Return from Captivity.

A Song of [a]Ascents.

126 When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion (Jerusalem),
We were like those who dream [it seemed so unreal].

Then our mouth was filled with laughter
And our tongue with joyful shouting;
Then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”

The Lord has done great things for us;
We are glad!


Restore our [b]captivity, O Lord,
As the stream-beds in the South (the Negev) [are restored by torrents of rain].

They who sow in tears shall reap with joyful singing.

He who goes back and forth weeping, carrying his bag of seed [for planting],
Will indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 126:1 See Psalm 120 title note.
  2. Psalm 126:4 I.e. the remaining exiles.
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Proverbs 16:26-27

26 
The appetite of a worker works for him,
For his hunger urges him on.
27 
A worthless man devises and digs up evil,
And the words on his lips are like a scorching fire.

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