1 Kings 3 [Clear Word]


1 Next, Solomon gave his attention to international affairs by making a political alliance with Egypt. Custom called for such an alliance to be brought about by marriage. While visiting one of the Egyptian strongholds in Palestine, Solomon met Pharaoh's daughter and fell in love with her. He took her to be his wife, and brought her to live with him in the southern section of Jerusalem known as the City of David until he had finished building his palace. He also began to carry out his father's wish to build a Temple for the Lord and a wall around Jerusalem. 2 Now the people were offering sacrifices to the Lord on various altars in high places throughout the country where the Canaanites had worshiped their gods, because, they said, "There is no house for the Lord in Jerusalem." 3 Solomon loved the Lord and did what his father David had told him to do, except he did offer sacrifices and burn incense to the Lord at different high places in the country, which was against God's law. 4 He also went to Gibeon, just a few miles from Jerusalem, where the Sanctuary was and offered a thousand sacrifices and much incense in appreciation for what the Lord had done for him.

5 It was at Gibeon that the God of Israel spoke to Solomon in a dream one night, saying, "Is there something special that you would like me to do for you?" 6 Solomon answered, "Lord, you were very kind to my father who served you with all his heart. He was faithful and loyal to you and accepted your correction without excuse. You even let him live to see his own son sit on his throne.

7 You have chosen me to be king and to rule Israel in my father's place. But I'm so young, I lack the wisdom to do it. 8 I'm supposed to rule these people, but there are so many of them, it's even hard to count them all. 9 What I would like is wisdom to know how to rule and to decide between what's right and what's wrong. Who can rule such a large number of people, especially your people, and make all the right decisions?" 10 The Lord was pleased with Solomon's request. 11 So He said to him, "Since you have asked for wisdom to rule instead of wealth or a long and healthy life or the death of your enemies, 12 I will give you what you have asked for. I will give you wisdom and the ability to decide between right and wrong more than anyone ever has had or ever will have in the future. 13 Besides that, I will give you what you didn't ask for. I will give you such wealth and honor that no king can be compared to you. 14 If you walk in my ways, keep my commandments and obey my laws as your father David did, I will also give you a long and healthy life." 15 Then Solomon woke up and knew that the Lord had spoken to him. So he went back to Jerusalem where the Ark of the Covenant was and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. He also provided another feast of thanksgiving for all his servants. 16 Now one of the first cases that Solomon had to judge was the case of the two prostitutes. 17 As they stood before the king, one of the women said, "Your Majesty, this woman and I live in the same house. She was there when I had my baby boy. 18 I had been there for three days when she had her baby. It also was a boy. After her baby was born, the people who came to help us left, and there was no one in the house but us. 19 During the first night after she had given birth, she rolled over and accidentally smothered her baby.

20 When she woke up and saw what she had done, she quietly took my baby while I was asleep and put hers next to me. 21 In the morning when I woke up to nurse my baby, he was dead! But when I looked at him closely, it wasn't my baby at all!" 22 Then the other mother who had been holding the baby spoke up, "This is my baby! The dead one is yours!" So they stood there and argued over the infant in front of the king. 23 Solomon quieted them down and then said, "One of you says, 'The live baby is mine and yours is dead,' and the other one says, 'No, the live baby is mine and yours is dead.' How can I know who's telling the truth?" 24 Then the king turned to his servant and asked him to bring a sword. The king said to the servant, 25 "Go over and cut the baby in two and give half to each of them. That should settle it." 26 Then the heart of the baby's real mother overflowed with love for her little son and she cried out, "No! Please, my lord! Don't kill the baby! Let her have it!" The woman who was holding the baby said to the first woman, "The king is right. Neither of us should have the baby. Let them cut it in two and give each of us half." And she handed the baby over to the servant with the sword. 27 The king said, "Don't kill the baby. Give it to the other woman. It belongs to her. She's the real mother because she loves the baby and wants to see it live." 28 When the people heard how Solomon had solved this case, they were filled with awe at his insight into human nature and knew that the Lord had given him wisdom to administer justice for all.