A A | V Verses | Listen

Solomon's Wisdom

1 Kings 3:1-28
1 Kings 3:1-28
1 Kings 3:1-28
1 Kings 3:1-28

1 Kings 3

3:1 Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh's daughter and brought her into the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. The people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord.

Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

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

16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Oh, 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 Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house. 19 And this woman's son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne.” 22 But the other woman said, “No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine.” Thus they spoke before the king.

23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; and the other says, ‘No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’” 24 And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought before the king. 25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 26 Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.” 27 Then the king answered and said, “Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother.” 28 And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.

The Lord Makes Solomon Wise

(2 Chronicles 1.1-13)

1 Solomon signed a treaty with the king of Egypt and married his daughter. She lived in the older part of Jerusalem until the palace, the Lord's temple, and the wall around Jerusalem were completed.

2 At that time, there was no temple for worshiping the Lord, and everyone offered sacrifices at the local shrines. 3 Solomon loved the Lord and followed his father David's instructions, but Solomon also offered sacrifices and burned incense at the shrines.

4 The most important shrine was in Gibeon, and Solomon had offered more than 1,000 sacrifices on that altar.

5 One night while Solomon was in Gibeon, the Lord God appeared to him in a dream and said, “Solomon, ask for anything you want, and I will give it to you.”

6 Solomon answered:

My father David, your servant, was honest and did what you commanded. You were always loyal to him, and you gave him a son who is now king. 7 Lord God, I'm your servant, and you've made me king in my father's place. But I'm very young and know so little about being a leader. 8 And now I must rule your chosen people, even though there are too many of them to count.

9 Please make me wise and teach me the difference between right and wrong. Then I will know how to rule your people. If you don't, there is no way I could rule this great nation of yours.

10-11 God said:

Solomon, I'm pleased that you asked for this. You could have asked to live a long time or to be rich. Or you could have asked for your enemies to be destroyed. Instead, you asked for wisdom to make right decisions. 12 So I'll make you wiser than anyone who has ever lived or ever will live.

13 I'll also give you what you didn't ask for. You'll be rich and respected as long as you live, and you'll be greater than any other king. 14 If you obey me and follow my commands, as your father David did, I'll let you live a long time.

15 Solomon woke up and realized that God had spoken to him in the dream. He went back to Jerusalem and stood in front of the sacred chest, where he offered sacrifices to please the Lord and sacrifices to ask his blessing. Then Solomon gave a feast for his officials.

Solomon Makes a Difficult Decision

16 One day two women came to King Solomon, 17 and one of them said:

Your Majesty, this woman and I live in the same house. Not long ago my baby was born at home, 18 and three days later her baby was born. Nobody else was there with us.

19 One night while we were all asleep, she rolled over on her baby, and he died. 20 Then while I was still asleep, she got up and took my son out of my bed. She put him in her bed, then she put her dead baby next to me.

21 In the morning when I got up to feed my son, I saw that he was dead. But when I looked at him in the light, I knew he wasn't my son.

22 “No!” the other woman shouted. “He was your son. My baby is alive!”

“The dead baby is yours,” the first woman yelled. “Mine is alive!”

They argued back and forth in front of Solomon, 23 until finally he said, “Both of you say this live baby is yours. 24 Someone bring me a sword.”

A sword was brought, and Solomon ordered, 25 “Cut the baby in half! That way each of you can have part of him.”

26 “Please don't kill my son,” the baby's mother screamed. “Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just don't kill him.”

The other woman shouted, “Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.”

27 Solomon said, “Don't kill the baby.” Then he pointed to the first woman, “She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.”

28 Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realized that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.

Solomon Prays for Wisdom

(2 Chronicles 1.3-12)

1 Solomon made an alliance with the king of Egypt by marrying his daughter. He brought her to live in David's City until he had finished building his palace, the Temple, and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 A temple had not yet been built for the Lord, and so the people were still offering sacrifices at many different altars. 3 Solomon loved the Lord and followed the instructions of his father David, but he also slaughtered animals and offered them as sacrifices on various altars.

4 On one occasion he went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices because that was where the most famous altar was. He had offered hundreds of burnt offerings there in the past. 5 That night the Lord appeared to him in a dream and asked him, “What would you like me to give you?”

6 Solomon answered, “You always showed great love for my father David, your servant, and he was good, loyal, and honest in his relation with you. And you have continued to show him your great and constant love by giving him a son who today rules in his place. 7 O Lord God, you have let me succeed my father as king, even though I am very young and don't know how to rule. 8 Here I am among the people you have chosen to be your own, a people who are so many that they cannot be counted. 9 So give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?”

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this, 11 and so he said to him, “Because you have asked for the wisdom to rule justly, instead of long life for yourself or riches or the death of your enemies, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you more wisdom and understanding than anyone has ever had before or will ever have again. 13 I will also give you what you have not asked for: all your life you will have wealth and honor, more than that of any other king. 14 And if you obey me and keep my laws and commands, as your father David did, I will give you a long life.”

15 Solomon woke up and realized that God had spoken to him in the dream. Then he went to Jerusalem and stood in front of the Lord's Covenant Box and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. After that he gave a feast for all his officials.

Solomon Judges a Difficult Case

16 One day two prostitutes came and presented themselves before King Solomon. 17 One of them said, “Your Majesty, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a baby boy at home while she was there. 18 Two days after my child was born, she also gave birth to a baby boy. Only the two of us were there in the house—no one else was present. 19 Then one night she accidentally rolled over on her baby and smothered it. 20 She got up during the night, took my son from my side while I was asleep, and carried him to her bed; then she put the dead child in my bed. 21 The next morning, when I woke up and was going to nurse my baby, I saw that it was dead. I looked at it more closely and saw that it was not my child.”

22 But the other woman said, “No! The living child is mine, and the dead one is yours!”

The first woman answered back, “No! The dead child is yours, and the living one is mine!”

And so they argued before the king.

23 Then King Solomon said, “Each of you claims that the living child is hers and that the dead child belongs to the other one.” 24 He sent for a sword, and when it was brought, 25 he said, “Cut the living child in two and give each woman half of it.”

26 The real mother, her heart full of love for her son, said to the king, “Please, Your Majesty, don't kill the child! Give it to her!”

But the other woman said, “Don't give it to either of us; go on and cut it in two.”

27 Then Solomon said, “Don't kill the child! Give it to the first woman—she is its real mother.”

28 When the people of Israel heard of Solomon's decision, they were all filled with deep respect for him, because they knew then that God had given him the wisdom to settle disputes fairly.

The Lord Gives Solomon Wisdom

3:1 Solomon made an alliance by marriage with Pharaoh, king of Egypt; he married Pharaoh’s daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he could finish building his residence and the temple of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 Now the people were offering sacrifices at the high places, because in those days a temple had not yet been built to honor the Lord. 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.

Solomon Demonstrates His Wisdom

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.

The Creation
Adam and Eve
Cain and Abel
The Great Flood
The Tower of Babel
God Calls Abraham
Sodom and Gomorrah
Abraham's Obedience
Isaac Marries Rebekah
Esau's Birthright
Isaac Blesses Jacob
Jacob and Laban
Jacob Wrestles
Revenge against Shechem
Joseph in Prison
Joseph as a Ruler
Family Reunion
Moses' Birth
The Burning Bush
The Ten Plagues
The Exodus
The Red Sea
The Gold Calf
Exploring the Land
Rebellion in the Ranks
Balak and Balaam
Rahab and the Spies
Jericho Falls
Gibeon's Con Artists
Deborah and Barak
Gideon as Judge
Abimelech's Ambition
Samson as Judge
Ruth, Naomi and Boaz
Samuel is Born
Samuel the Prophet
Saul Becomes King
Jonathan's Bravery
Saul's Disobedience
David Kills Goliath
David and Jonathan
Nabal and Abigail
Saul's Death
David's Success
David and Bathsheba
Amnon and Tamar
Absalom
Solomon's Wisdom
Jeroboam and Rehoboam
Elijah's Challenge
God Speaks to Elijah
Micaiah the Prophet
Chariot of Fire
Elisha Heals Naaman
Famine and Unbelief
Joash and Jehoiada
Hezekiah Trusts God
Josiah's Reign
Fall of Jerusalem
David's Power
David's Census
Jehoshaphat and Ahab
Ezra Rebuilds the Altar
Nehemiah Builds the Wall
Enemy Opposition
Nehemiah's Justice
Esther Saves the Jews
Job is Tested
Ezekiel's Vision
The Fiery Furnace
The Lions' Den
Jonah
Jesus is Born
Wise Men and King Herod
Jesus is Tempted
Jesus Feeds 5,000
The Bread of Life
Jesus Walks on Water
The Good Samaritan
The Lost Son
Jesus Raises Lazarus
Jesus and Zacchaeus
The Triumphal Entry
The Last Supper
Jesus' Trial
Jesus' Crucifixion
Jesus' Resurrection
Jesus' Ascension
The Holy Spirit Comes
The Apostles' Courage
Ananias and Sapphira
Philip and the Eunuch
Saul Encounters Jesus
Peter and Cornelius
Paul in Corinth
Paul in Ephesus
Paul Goes to Rome