1 Kings Chapter 3  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Kng 3
Solomon Asks for Wisdom

1Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into the city of David until he had made an end of building his own house and the house of Yahweh, and the wall of Jerusalem all around.
  2Only the people sacrificed in the high places, because there was no house built for the name of Yahweh until those days.
  3Solomon loved Yahweh, walking in the statutes of David his father; only he sacrificed and turned incense into smoke-perfume in the high places.

4The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon offered 1,000 burnt offerings on that altar.
  5In Gibeon Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.”

6Solomon said, “You have shown to your servant David my father great covenant faithfulness, according as he walked before you in truth and in righteousness and in uprightness of heart with you. You have kept for him this great covenant faithfulness, that you have given him a son to sit on his throne as it is this day.

7“Now, Yahweh my God, you have made your servant king instead of David my father, yet I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in.
  8Your servant is in the midst of your people that you have chosen, a great people that are too many to be numbered or counted.
  9Give your servant therefore an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this great people of yours?”

10The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
  11God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for understanding for yourself to discern justice,
  12behold, I have done according to your word. Behold, I have given you a wise and an understanding heart so that there has been none like you before you, neither after you will any arise like you.
  13I have also given you what you have not asked for, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days.
  14If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

15Then Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of Yahweh and offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

Solomon’s Wisdom

16Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
  17The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in one house. I delivered a child while she was in the house.
  18And it came to pass the third day after I gave birth that this woman gave birth also. We were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, just the two of us in the house.
  19And this woman’s child died in the night because she lay on him.
  20So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your servant slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.
  21When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I had looked at him in the morning, behold, he was not my son whom I had borne.”

22But the other woman said, “No! The living one is my son and the dead one is your son.”

But this one kept on saying, “No! For the dead one is your son and the living one is my son.” And they continued speaking that way before the king.

23Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son who is alive and your son is the dead one;’ and the other says, ‘No, but your son is the dead one and my son is the living one.’”
  24The king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king.
  25The king said, “Divide the living child in two and give half to the one and half to the other.”

26Then the woman whose son was alive spoke to the king, for her heart yearned for her son, and she said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child and do not kill him!”

But the other said, “He will be neither mine nor yours. Divide it.”

27Then the king answered, “Give the first woman the living child and do not kill him. She is his mother.”
  28All Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to carry out justice.

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