Solomon asks for wisdom
1Solomon son of David established himself firmly over his kingdom, for the Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great.
2Then Solomon spoke to all Israel – to the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, to the judges and to all the leaders in Israel, the heads of families – 3and Solomon and the whole assembly went to the high place at Gibeon, for God’s tent of meeting was there, which Moses the Lord’s servant had made in the wilderness. 4Now David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place he had prepared for it, because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. 5But the bronze altar that Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made was in Gibeon in front of the tabernacle of the Lord; so Solomon and the assembly enquired of him there. 6Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the Lord in the tent of meeting and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.
7That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’
8Solomon answered God, ‘You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. 9Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?’
11God said to Solomon, ‘Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honour, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honour, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.’
13Then Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place at Gibeon, from before the tent of meeting. And he reigned over Israel.
14Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses,1:14 Or charioteers which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. 15The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. 16Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue1:16 Probably Cilicia – the royal merchants purchased them from Kue at the current price. 17They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels1:17 That is, about 6.9 kilograms of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty.1:17 That is, about 1.7 kilograms They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.
Solomon Asks God for Wisdom
1Solomon was the son of David. Solomon made his position secure over his kingdom. The Lord his God was with him. He made Solomon very great.
2Solomon spoke to the whole community of Israel. He spoke to the commanders of thousands of men and commanders of hundreds. He spoke to the judges and all the leaders in Israel. He spoke to the leaders of Israel’s families. 3Solomon and the whole community went to the high place at Gibeon. That’s because God’s tent of meeting was there. The Lord’s servant Moses had made the tent in the desert. 4David had carried up the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim. He had it brought to the place he had prepared for it. He had set up a tent for it in Jerusalem. 5But the bronze altar that Bezalel had made was in Gibeon. Bezalel was the son of Uri. Uri was the son of Hur. The altar was in front of the Lord’s holy tent. So Solomon and the whole community asked the Lord for advice in Gibeon. 6Solomon went up to the bronze altar in front of the Lord at the tent of meeting. Solomon sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings on the altar.
7That night God appeared to Solomon. He said to him, “Ask for anything you want me to give you.”
8Solomon answered God, “You were very kind to my father David. Now you have made me king in his place. 9Lord God, let the promise you gave to my father David come true. You have made me king. My people are as many as the dust of the earth. They can’t be counted. 10Give me wisdom and knowledge. Then I’ll be able to lead these people. Without your help, who would be able to rule this great nation of yours?”
11God said to Solomon, “I am glad that those are the things you really want. You have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor. You have not even asked to have your enemies killed. You have not asked to live for a long time. Instead, you have asked for wisdom and knowledge. You want to be able to rule my people wisely. I have made you king over them. 12So wisdom and knowledge will be given to you. I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor. You will have more than any king before you ever had. And no king after you will have as much.”
13Then Solomon left the high place at Gibeon. He went from the tent of meeting there to Jerusalem. And he ruled over Israel.
14Solomon had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He kept some of them in the chariot cities. He kept others with him in Jerusalem. 15The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones. He made cedar wood as common there as sycamore-fig trees in the western hills. 16Solomon got horses from Egypt and Kue. The king’s buyers purchased them from Kue at the current price. 17They could get a chariot from Egypt for 15 pounds of silver. They could get a horse for less than four pounds of silver. They sold horses and chariots to all the Hittite and Aramean kings.