Solomon became the son-in-law of Pharaoh (the king of Egypt). After marrying Pharaoh's daughter, Solomon brought her to the City of David until he finished building his own house, the LORD's house, and the wall around Jerusalem.
The people were still sacrificing at other worship sites because a temple for the name of the LORD had not yet been built.
Solomon loved the LORD and lived by his father David's rules. However, he still sacrificed and burned incense at these other worship sites.
King Solomon went to Gibeon to sacrifice because it was the most important place of worship. Solomon sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings on that altar.
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. He said, "What can I give you?"
Solomon responded, "You've shown great love to my father David, who was your servant. He lived in your presence with truth, righteousness, and commitment. And you continued to show him your great love by giving him a son to sit on his throne today.
"LORD my God, although I'm young and inexperienced, you've made me king in place of my father David.
I'm among your people whom you have chosen. They are too numerous to count or record.
Give me a heart that listens so that I can judge your people and tell the difference between good and evil. After all, who can judge this great people of yours?"
The LORD was pleased that Solomon asked for this.
God replied, "You've asked for this and not for a long life, or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies. Instead, you've asked for understanding so that you can do what is right.
So I'm going to do what you've asked. I'm giving you a wise and understanding heart so that there will never be anyone like you.
I'm also giving you what you haven't asked for--riches and honor--so that no other king will be like you as long as you live.
And if you follow me and obey my laws and commands as your father David did, then I will also give you a long life."
Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. He went to Jerusalem and stood in front of the ark of the LORD's promise. He sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings and held a banquet for all his officials.
A short time later two prostitutes came to the king and stood in front of him.
One woman said to him, "Sir, this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth [to a son] while she was with me in the house.
Two days later this woman also gave birth [to a son]. We were alone. No one else was with us. Just the two of us were in the house.
That night this woman's son died because she rolled over on top of him.
So she got up during the night and took my son, who was beside me, while I was asleep. She held him in her arms. Then she laid her dead son in my arms.
When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, he was dead! I took a good look at him and realized that he wasn't my son at all!"
The other woman said, "No! My son is alive--your son is dead." The first woman kept on saying, "No! Your son is dead--my son is alive." So they argued in front of the king.
The king said, "This one keeps saying, 'My son is alive--your son is dead,' and that one keeps saying, 'No! Your son is dead--my son is alive.'"
So the king told his servants to bring him a sword. When they brought it,
he said, "Cut the living child in two. Give half to the one and half to the other."
Then the woman whose son was still alive was deeply moved by her love for the child. She said to the king, "Please, sir, give her the living child. Please don't kill him!" But the other woman said, "He won't be mine or yours. Cut him [in two]."
The king replied, "Give the living child to the first woman. Don't kill him. She is his mother."
All Israel heard about the decision the king made. They respected the king very highly, because they saw he possessed wisdom from God to do what was right.