1 Kings 3:16-28

Solomon Wisely Judges

Then two women who were harlots came to the king and stood before him. The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, [a]this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. It happened on the third day after I gave birth, that this woman also gave birth to a child, and we were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, only the two of us in the house. This woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on it. So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead son in my bosom. When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead; but when I looked at him carefully in the morning, behold, he was not my son, whom I had borne.” Then the other woman said, “No! For the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” But [b]the first woman said, “No! For the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” Thus they spoke before the king.

Then the king said, “[c]The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one’; and [d]the other says, ‘No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” The king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for [e]she was deeply stirred over her son and said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!” Then the king said, “Give [f]the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had [g]handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to [h]administer justice.

  1. 1 Kings 3:17 Lit I and this woman
  2. 1 Kings 3:22 Lit this one was saying
  3. 1 Kings 3:23 Lit this one
  4. 1 Kings 3:23 Lit this one
  5. 1 Kings 3:26 Lit her compassion grew warm
  6. 1 Kings 3:27 Lit her the living child
  7. 1 Kings 3:28 Lit judged
  8. 1 Kings 3:28 Lit do

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1 Kings 4

Solomon’s Officials

Now King Solomon was king over all Israel. These were his officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was the priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha were secretaries; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the army; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; and Azariah the son of Nathan was over the deputies; and Zabud the son of Nathan, a priest, was the king’s friend; and Ahishar was over the household; and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the men subject to forced labor.

Solomon had twelve deputies over all Israel, who [a]provided for the king and his household; each man had to [b]provide for a month in the year. These are their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim; Ben-deker in Makaz and Shaalbim and Beth-shemesh and Elonbeth-hanan; Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (Socoh was his and all the land of Hepher); Ben-abinadab, in all [c]the height of Dor (Taphath the daughter of Solomon was his wife); Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah as far as the other side of Jokmeam; Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (the towns of Jair, the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead were his: the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars were his); Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also married Basemath the daughter of Solomon); Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and [d]Bealoth; Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin; Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only deputy who was in the land.

Solomon’s Power, Wealth and Wisdom

Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand that is on the [e]seashore in abundance; they were eating and drinking and rejoicing.

[f]Now Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the [g]River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.

Solomon’s [h]provision for one day was thirty [i]kors of fine flour and sixty [j]kors of meal, ten fat oxen, twenty [k]pasture-fed oxen, a hundred sheep besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl. For he had dominion over everything [l]west of the [m]River, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all the kings [n]west of the [o]River; and he had peace on all sides around about him. So Judah and Israel lived in safety, every man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. Solomon had [p]40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. Those deputies [q]provided for King Solomon and all who came to King Solomon’s table, each in his month; they left nothing lacking. They also brought barley and straw for the horses and swift steeds to the place where it should be, each according to his charge.

Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of [r]mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Calcol and [s]Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his [t]fame was known in all the surrounding nations. He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that grows on the wall; he spoke also of animals and birds and creeping things and fish. [u]Men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.

  1. 1 Kings 4:7 Lit nourished
  2. 1 Kings 4:7 Lit nourish
  3. 1 Kings 4:11 Or Naphoth-dor
  4. 1 Kings 4:16 Or in Aloth
  5. 1 Kings 4:20 Lit sea
  6. 1 Kings 4:21 Ch 5:1 in Heb
  7. 1 Kings 4:21 I.e. Euphrates
  8. 1 Kings 4:22 Lit bread
  9. 1 Kings 4:22 I.e. One kor equals approx 10 bu
  10. 1 Kings 4:22 I.e. One kor equals approx 10 bu
  11. 1 Kings 4:23 Lit oxen of the pasture
  12. 1 Kings 4:24 Lit beyond
  13. 1 Kings 4:24 I.e. Euphrates
  14. 1 Kings 4:24 Lit beyond
  15. 1 Kings 4:24 I.e. Euphrates
  16. 1 Kings 4:26 One ms reads 4000, cf 2 Chr 9:25
  17. 1 Kings 4:27 Or nourished
  18. 1 Kings 4:29 Lit heart
  19. 1 Kings 4:31 In 1 Chr 2:6, Dara
  20. 1 Kings 4:31 Lit name
  21. 1 Kings 4:34 Lit they

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1 Kings 5

Alliance with King Hiram

[a]Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had [b]always been a friend of David. Then Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying, “You know that David my father was unable to build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the wars which surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor [c]misfortune. Behold, I [d]intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spoke to David my father, saying, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he will build the house for My name.’ Now therefore, command that they cut for me cedars from Lebanon, and my servants will be with your servants; and I will give you wages for your servants according to all that you say, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”

When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the Lord today, who has given to David a wise son over this great people.” So Hiram sent word to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message which you have sent me; I will do [e]what you desire concerning the cedar and cypress timber. My servants will bring them down from Lebanon to the sea; and I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place where you [f]direct me, and I will have them broken up there, and you shall carry them away. Then you shall accomplish my desire by giving food to my household.” So [g]Hiram [h]gave Solomon [i]as much as he desired of the cedar and cypress timber. Solomon then gave Hiram 20,000 [j]kors of wheat as food for his household, and twenty [k]kors of beaten oil; thus Solomon would give Hiram year by year. The Lord gave wisdom to Solomon, just as He [l]promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a covenant.

Conscription of Laborers

Now King Solomon [m]levied forced laborers from all Israel; and the forced laborers [n]numbered 30,000 men. He sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in relays; they were in Lebanon a month and two months at home. And Adoniram was over the forced laborers. Now Solomon had 70,000 [o]transporters, and 80,000 hewers of stone in the mountains, besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief deputies who were over the [p]project and who ruled over the people who were doing the work. Then the king commanded, and they quarried great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with cut stones. So Solomon’s builders and [q]Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites [r]cut them, and prepared the timbers and the stones to build the house.

  1. 1 Kings 5:1 Ch 5:15 in Heb
  2. 1 Kings 5:1 Lit all the day
  3. 1 Kings 5:4 Lit evil occurrence
  4. 1 Kings 5:5 Lit say
  5. 1 Kings 5:8 Lit all your pleasure
  6. 1 Kings 5:9 Lit send
  7. 1 Kings 5:10 Heb Hirom
  8. 1 Kings 5:10 Lit was giving
  9. 1 Kings 5:10 Lit all his desire
  10. 1 Kings 5:11 I.e. One kor equals approx 10 bu
  11. 1 Kings 5:11 I.e. One kor equals approx 10 bu
  12. 1 Kings 5:12 Lit spoke to
  13. 1 Kings 5:13 Lit raised up
  14. 1 Kings 5:13 Lit was
  15. 1 Kings 5:15 Or burden bearers
  16. 1 Kings 5:16 Lit work
  17. 1 Kings 5:18 Heb Hirom’s
  18. 1 Kings 5:18 Or chiseled

Read More of 1 Kings 5