1Solomon made an agreement with Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, by marrying his daughter. Solomon brought her to the City of David. At this time, Solomon was still building his palace and the temple of the Lord. Solomon was also building a wall around Jerusalem. 2The temple had not yet been finished. So people were still making animal sacrifices on altars at the high places. 3Solomon showed that he loved the Lord. He did this by obeying all the things his father David had told him to do. ˻But Solomon did something David did not tell him to do.˼ Solomon still used the high places to offer sacrifices and to burn incense. 4King Solomon went to Gibeon to offer a sacrifice. He went there because that was the most important high place. Solomon offered 1,000 offerings on that altar. 5While Solomon was at Gibeon, the Lord came to him during the night in a dream. God said, “Ask for anything you want. I will give it to you.” 6Solomon answered, “You were very kind to your servant, my father David. He followed you. He was good and lived right. And you showed the greatest kindness to him when you allowed his son to rule on his throne ˻after him˼. 7Lord my God, you have allowed me to be the king in my father’s place. But I am like a little child. I do not have the wisdom I need to do the things I must do. 8I, your servant, am here among your chosen people. There are many, many people. There are too many to count. ˻So a ruler must make many decisions among them.˼ 9So I ask that you give me wisdom so that I can rule and judge the people in the right way. This will allow me to know the difference between right and wrong. Without this great wisdom, it is impossible to rule these great people.” 10The Lord was happy that Solomon asked him for this. 11So God said to him, “You did not ask for long life for yourself. And you did not ask for riches for yourself. You did not ask for the death of your enemies. You asked for the wisdom to listen and make the right decisions. 12So, I will give you the thing you asked. I will make you wise and intelligent. I will make your wisdom so great, that there has never in the past been anyone like you. And in the future, there will never be anyone like you. 13Also, to reward you, I will give you those things that you did not ask for. All your life, you will have riches and honor. There will be no other king in the world as great as you. 14I ask you to follow me and obey my laws and commands. Do this the way your father David did. If you do this, then I will also give you a long life.” 15Solomon woke up. He knew that God had talked to him in the dream. Then Solomon went to Jerusalem and stood before the Box of the Lord’s Agreement. Solomon offered a burnt offering for the Lord. And he made fellowship offerings to the Lord. After that, he gave a party for all of the leaders and officials that helped him rule. 16One day two women that were prostitutes came to Solomon. They stood before the king. 17One of the women said, “Sir, this woman and I live in the same house. We were both pregnant and almost ready to give birth to our babies. I gave birth to my baby while she was there with me. 18Three days later, this woman also gave birth to her baby. There was no other person in the house with us. There were only the two of us. 19One night, while this woman was asleep with her baby, the baby died. 20So, during the night, she took my son from my bed while I was asleep. She carried him to her bed. Then she put the dead baby in my bed. 21The next morning, I woke up and was ready to feed my baby. But I saw that the baby was dead. Then I looked at it more closely. I saw that it was not my baby.” 22But the other woman said, “No! The living baby is mine. The dead baby is yours!” But the first woman said, “No! You are wrong! The dead baby is yours and the living baby is mine!” So the two women argued in front of the king. 23Then King Solomon said, “Each of you says that the living baby is your own. And each of you says that the dead baby belongs to the other woman.” 24Then King Solomon sent his servant to get a sword. 25And King Solomon said, “This is what we will do. Cut the living baby in two pieces. Give each woman half of the baby.” 26The second woman said, “That is fine. Cut the baby into two pieces. Then neither of us will have him.” But the first woman, the real mother, was full of love for her son. She said to the king, “Please, Sir, don’t kill the baby! Give it to her.” 27Then King Solomon said, “Don’t kill the baby! Give it to the first woman. She is the real mother.” 28The people of Israel heard about King Solomon’s decision. They respected and honored him very much because he was wise. They saw that he had the wisdom of God in making the right decisions.
1 Kings 3