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 finished building his palace, the Temple, and the wall around Jerusalem.
2 A Temple had not yet been built for Jehovah. The people were still offering sacrifices at many different altars.
3 Solomon loved Jehovah. He followed the instructions of his father David. He also slaughtered animals and offered them as sacrifices on different altars.
4 One time he went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices because that was where the most used altar was. He offered hundreds of burnt offerings there in the past.
SOLOMON ASKS FOR WISDOM
5 That night Jehovah appeared to him in a dream and asked him: »What do you want me to give you?«
6 Solomon answered: »You always showed great love for my father David, your servant. He was good, loyal, and honest in his relation with you. You have continued to show him your great and constant love by giving him a son who today rules in his place.
7 »O Jehovah God, you allowed me to succeed my father as king, even though I am very young and do not know how to rule.
8 »I am among the people you have chosen to be your own. They are a people who are so many that they cannot be counted.
9 Give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice. Help me know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?«
10 Jehovah was pleased that Solomon asked for this.
11 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. There has never been nor will ever be anyone like you.
13 »I will also give you what you did not ask for. All your life you will have wealth and honor, more than that of any other king.
14 »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 was aware that God had spoken to him in the dream. Then he went to Jerusalem and stood in front of Jehovahs Ark of the Covenant. He offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to Jehovah. Then he gave a feast for all his officials.
SOLOMON JUDGES TWO MOTHERS
16 One day two women who were prostitutes came to the king.
17 One of them said: »Your Majesty, this woman and I live in the same house. 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 there.
19 »One night she accidentally rolled over on her baby and smothered it.
20 »She got up during the night and took my son from my side while I was asleep. She took him to her bed and put the dead child in my bed.
21 »The next morning I woke up and was going to nurse my baby. It was dead. I looked at it more closely and saw that it was not my child.«
22 The other woman said: »The living child is mine, and the dead one is yours!« The first woman answered back: »The dead child is yours, and the living one is mine!« They argued before the king.
23 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. When it arrived,
25 he said: »Cut the living child in two and give each woman half of it.«
26 With a heart full of love for her son the real mother said: »Please, Your Majesty, do not kill the child! Give it to her!« But the other woman said: »Do not give it to either of us cut it in two.«
27 Then Solomon said: »Do not kill the child! Give it to the first woman. She is the real mother.«
28 The people of Israel heard of Solomon's decision and were all filled with deep respect for him. They knew then that God had given him the wisdom to settle disputes fairly.