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1 Kings



The first book of the Kings commonly called, the third book of the Kings, chapter 3, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 3

New English Translation


   The LORD Gives Solomon Wisdom
   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.

King James Version


   1 And Solomon made affinity 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 the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.
   2 Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days.
   3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.
   4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.
   5 ¶ In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
   6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
   7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
   8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.
   9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
   10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
   11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
   12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
   13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
   14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.
   15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.
   16 ¶ Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him.
   17 And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house.
   18 And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house.
   19 And this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it.
   20 And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.
   21 And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear.
   22 And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king.
   23 Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living.
   24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword 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 spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.
   27 Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.
   28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.
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