1 Kings 3; 1 Kings 4; 1 Kings 5

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1 Kings 3

1 Solomon made an agreement with the king of Egypt by marrying his daughter and bringing her to Jerusalem. At this time Solomon was still building his palace and the Temple of the Lord, as well as a wall around Jerusalem.
2 The Temple for the worship of the Lord had not yet been finished, so people were still sacrificing at altars in many places of worship.
3 Solomon showed he loved the Lord by following the commands his father David had given him, except many other places of worship were still used to offer sacrifices and to burn incense.
4 King Solomon went to Gibeon to offer a sacrifice, because it was the most important place of worship. He offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
5 While he was at Gibeon, the Lord appeared to him in a dream during the night. God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."
6 Solomon answered, "You were very kind to your servant, my father David. He obeyed you, and he was honest and lived right. You showed great kindness to him when you allowed his son to be king after him.
7 Lord my God, now you have made me, your servant, king in my father's place. But I am like a little child; I don't know how to do what must be done.
8 I, your servant, am here among your chosen people, and there are too many of them to count.
9 I ask that you give me an obedient heart so I can rule the people in the right way and will know the difference between right and wrong. Otherwise, it is impossible to rule this great people of yours."
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked this.
11 So God said to him, "You did not ask for a long life, or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies. Since you asked for wisdom to make the right decisions,
12 I will do what you asked. I will give you wisdom and understanding that is greater than anyone has had in the past or will have in the future.
13 I will also give you what you did not ask for: riches and honor. During your life no other king will be as great as you.
14 If you follow me and obey my laws and commands, as your father David did, I will also give you a long life."
15 After Solomon woke up from the dream, he went to Jerusalem. He stood before the Ark of the Agreement with the Lord, where he made burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. After that, he gave a feast for all his leaders and officers.
16 One day two women who were prostitutes came to Solomon. As they stood before him,
17 one of the women said, "My master, this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a baby while she was there with me.
18 Three days later this woman also gave birth to a baby. No one else was in the house with us; it was just the two of us.
19 One night this woman rolled over on her baby, and he died.
20 So she took my son from my bed during the night while I was asleep, and she carried him to her bed. Then she put the dead baby in my bed.
21 The next morning when I got up to feed my baby, I saw that he was dead! When I looked at him more closely, I realized he was not my son."
22 "No!" the other woman cried. "The living baby is my son, and the dead baby is yours!" But the first woman said, "No! The dead baby is yours, and the living one is mine!" So the two women argued before the king.
23 Then King Solomon said, "One of you says, 'My son is alive and your son is dead.' Then the other one says, 'No! Your son is dead and my son is alive.'"
24 The king sent his servants to get a sword. When they brought it to him,
25 he said, "Cut the living baby into two pieces, and give each woman half."
26 The real mother of the living child was full of love for her son. So she said to the king, "Please, my master, don't kill him! Give the baby to her!" But the other woman said, "Neither of us will have him. Cut him into two pieces!"
27 Then King Solomon said, "Don't kill him. Give the baby to the first woman, because she is the real mother."
28 When the people of Israel heard about King Solomon's decision, they respected him very much. They saw he had wisdom from God to make the right decisions.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Kings 4

1 King Solomon ruled over all Israel.
2 These are the names of his lead- ing officers: Azariah son of Zadok was the priest;
3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha, recorded what happened in the courts; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud recorded the history of the people;
4 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was commander of the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests;
5 Azariah son of Nathan was in charge of the district governors; Zabud son of Nathan was a priest and adviser to the king;
6 Ahishar was responsible for everything in the palace; Adoniram son of Abda was in charge of the labor force.
7 Solomon placed twelve governors over the districts of Israel, who gathered food from their districts for the king and his family. Each governor was responsible for bringing food to the king one month of each year.
8 These are the names of the twelve governors: Ben-Hur was governor of the mountain country of Ephraim.
9 Ben-Deker was governor of Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Bethhanan.
10 Ben-Hesed was governor of Arubboth, Socoh, and all the land of Hepher.
11 Ben-Abinadab was governor of Naphoth Dor. (He was married to Taphath, Solomon's daughter.)
12 Baana son of Ahilud was governor of Taanach, Megiddo, and all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan. This was below Jezreel from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah across from Jokmeam.
13 Ben-Geber was governor of Ramoth in Gilead. (He was governor of all the towns of Jair in Gilead. Jair was the son of Manasseh. Ben-Geber was also over the district of Argob in Bashan, which had sixty large, walled cities with bronze bars on their gates.)
14 Ahinadab son of Iddo was governor of Mahanaim.
15 Ahimaaz was governor of Naphtali. (He was married to Basemath, Solomon's daughter.)
16 Baana son of Hushai was governor of Asher and Aloth.
17 Jehoshaphat son of Paruah was governor of Issachar.
18 Shimei son of Ela was governor of Benjamin.
19 Geber son of Uri was governor of Gilead. Gilead had been the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and Og king of Bashan. But Geber was the only governor over this district.
20 There were as many people in Judah and Israel as grains of sand on the seashore. The people ate, drank, and were happy.
21 Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought Solomon the payments he demanded, and they were under his control all his life.
22 Solomon needed much food each day to feed himself and all the people who ate at his table: one hundred ninety-five bushels of fine flour, three hundred ninety bushels of grain,
23 ten cows that were fed on good grain, twenty cows that were raised in the fields, one hundred sheep, three kinds of deer, and fattened birds.
24 Solomon controlled all the countries west of the Euphrates River -- the land from Tiphsah to Gaza. And he had peace on all sides of his kingdom.
25 During Solomon's life Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, also lived in peace; all of his people were able to sit under their own fig trees and grapevines.
26 Solomon had four thousand stalls for his chariot horses and twelve thousand horses.
27 Each month one of the district governors gave King Solomon all the food he needed -- enough for every person who ate at the king's table. The governors made sure he had everything he needed.
28 They also brought enough barley and straw for Solomon's chariot and work horses; each person brought this grain to the right place.
29 God gave Solomon great wisdom so he could understand many things. His wisdom was as hard to measure as the grains of sand on the seashore.
30 His wisdom was greater than any wisdom of the East, or any wisdom in Egypt.
31 He was wiser than anyone on earth. He was even wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, as well as Heman, Calcol, and Darda -- the three sons of Mahol. King Solomon became famous in all the surrounding countries.
32 During his life he spoke three thousand wise sayings and also wrote one thousand five songs.
33 He taught about many kinds of plants -- everything from the great cedar trees of Lebanon to the weeds that grow out of the walls. He also taught about animals, birds, crawling things, and fish.
34 People from all nations came to listen to King Solomon's wisdom. The kings of all nations sent them to him, because they had heard of Solomon's wisdom.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Kings 5

1 Hiram, the king of Tyre, had always been David's friend. When Hiram heard that Solomon had been made king in David's place, he sent his messengers to Solomon.
2 Solomon sent this message back to King Hiram:
3 "You remember my father David had to fight many wars with the countries around him, so he was never able to build a temple for worshiping the Lord his God. David was waiting until the Lord allowed him to defeat all his enemies.
4 But now the Lord my God has given me peace on all sides of my country. I have no enemies now, and no danger threatens my people.
5 "The Lord promised my father David, 'I will make your son king after you, and he will build a temple for worshiping me.' Now, I plan to build that temple for worshiping the Lord my God.
6 So send your men to cut down cedar trees for me from Lebanon. My servants will work with yours, and I will pay them whatever wages you decide. We don't have anyone who can cut down trees as well as the people of Sidon."
7 When Hiram heard what Solomon asked, he was very happy. He said, "Praise the Lord today! He has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation!"
8 Then Hiram sent back this message to Solomon: "I received the message you sent, and I will give you all the cedar and pine trees you want.
9 My servants will bring them down from Lebanon to the sea. There I will tie them together and float them along the shore to the place you choose. Then I will separate the logs there, and you can take them away. In return it is my wish that you give food to all those who live with me."
10 So Hiram gave Solomon as much cedar and pine as he wanted.
11 And Solomon gave Hiram about one hundred twenty-five thousand bushels of wheat each year to feed the people who lived with him. Solomon also gave him about one hundred fifteen thousand gallons of pure olive oil every year.
12 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom as he had promised. And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; these two kings made a treaty between themselves.
13 King Solomon forced thirty thousand men of Israel to help in this work.
14 He sent a group of ten thousand men each month to Lebanon. Each group worked in Lebanon one month, then went home for two months. A man named Adoniram was in charge.
15 Solomon forced eighty thousand men to work in the hill country, cutting stone, and he had seventy thousand men to carry the stones.
16 There were also thirty-three hundred men who directed the workers.
17 King Solomon commanded them to cut large blocks of fine stone to be used for the foundation of the Temple.
18 Solomon's and Hiram's builders and the men from Byblos carved the stones and prepared the stones and the logs for building the Temple.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.