FIRST KINGS CHAPTER THREE

FIRST KINGS CHAPTER THREE

1 Solomon signed a treaty with the king

Of Egypt and he wed his daughter. She

Lived in Jerusalem, the older part,

Until the palace, the LORD’s temple, and

The wall around Jerusalem were done.

2 At that time, people had no temple where

They’d worship God,  and everybody offered

Their sacrifices at the local shrines.

3 Solomon loved the LORD and followed what

His father David said, but Solomon

Offered his sacrifices and burned incense

At shrines, too, 4 and the most important shrine

Was placed in Gibeon, and Solomon

Offered more than a thousand sacrifices

Upon that altar. 5 One night Solomon

Had stayed in Gibeon and the LORD God

Appeared to him within a dream and said,

“Solomon, ask for anything you want,

And I will give it to you.” 6 Solomon

Replied: “Your servant, my own father David,

Was honest and did what you ordered. You

Were always loyal to him, and you gave

A son to him who’s now the king. 7 LORD God,

I am your servant, and you’ve made me king

In my own father’s place, but I am young

And don’t know much of leadership, 8 and now

I have to rule your chosen people, even

Though they’re too numerous to count; 9 please make

Me wise; teach me the difference between

Both right and wrong, then I will know how I

Shall rule your people. If you don=t, there

Is no way I could rule your splendid nation.”

10-11 God stated: “Solomon, I’m pleased you asked

For this. You could have asked to live a long

Time or 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 a wise man, wiser than

Anyone who has ever lived or ever

Will live. 13 I’ll also give you what you did

Not ask for. You’ll be rich and well-respected

As long as you live, and you will be greater

Than any other king. 14 If you obey

Me and you follow my commands, as your

Own father David did, I’ll let you live

A long time. 15 Solomon woke up and knew

That God had talked to him within the dream.

He went back to Jerusalem and stood

Before the sacred chest, where he did offer

Sacrifices to please the Lord and other        

Sacrifices to ask his blessing, then

Solomon gave a feast for his officials.

16 One day two women saw King Solomon,

17 And one of them told him: “Your Majesty,

This woman and I live in the same house.

Not long ago I had my baby at

My home, 18 and three days later she had hers.

Nobody else was there with us. 19 One night

While we were all asleep, she rolled upon

Her baby, and he died. 20 While I was still

Asleep, she got up and she took my son

Out of my bed, put him in her bed, then

Put her dead baby next to me. 21 When morning

Came, I got up to feed my son and saw         

That he was dead, but when I looked at him

In light, I knew he wasn’t my son.” 22 “No!”

The other woman shouted. “He was your

Son, and my baby is alive!” “The dead

One is yours,” the first woman yelled. “Mine is

Alive!” They argued back and forth in front

Of Solomon, 23 until at last he said,

“Each of you say that this live baby’s yours.

Solomon Judging by James Tissot

24 Someone bring me a sword.” A sword was brought,

And Solomon commanded, 25 “Cut the baby

In half! That way you each can have a part

Of him.” 26 The baby’s mother screamed, “Please do

Not kill my son! Your Majesty, I love

Him very much, but give him to her. Just

Don’t kill him,” but the other woman shouted,

“Go on; cut him in half. Then neither one

Of us will have the baby.” Solomon

Said, “Do not kill the baby,” then he pointed

To the first woman, “She is his real mother.

Give her the baby.” 28 Everyone who lived

In Israel was awe-struck when they heard

How Solomon had made his ruling; and

They realized that the Lord God had cared

For him by giving wisdom to judge fairly.

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