1 Solomon entered into a marriage alliance with Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her to the city of David until he had finished building his own palace, Yah weh’s House and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 Mean time, the people were sacrificing at the high places because the house for the Name of Yahweh had not yet been built.
3 This is why Solomon also sacrificed and burnt incense at the high place, although he loved Yahweh and followed the commands of David his father.
4 The king used to sacrifice at Gibeon, the great high place; on the altar there he had offered a thousand burnt offerings. 5 It was in Gibeon, during the night, that Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “Ask what you want me to give you.”
6 Solomon answered, “You have shown your servant David my father a great and steadfast love because he served you faithfully and was righteous and sincere towards you. You have given him proof of your steadfast love in making a son of his sit on his throne this day. 7 And now, O Yahweh my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a young boy who does not know how to undertake anything. 8 Mean time, your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen – a people so great that they can neither be numbered nor counted.
9 Give me, therefore, an understanding mind in governing your peo ple that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to govern this multitude of people of yours?”
10 Yahweh was pleased that Solo mon had made this request. 11 And he told him, “Because you have requested this rather than long life or wealth or even vengeance on your enemies; indeed, because you have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 I shall grant you your request. I now give you a wise and discerning mind such as no one has had before you nor anyone after you shall ever have.
13 “I will also give you what you have not asked for, both wealth and fame; and no king shall be your equal during your lifetime. 14 More over, if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and commands, as your father David did, I shall give you long life.”
15 Solomon awoke and knew that this was a dream. So he went to Jerusalem and, standing before the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, he offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and gave a feast for all his servants.
The judgment of Solomon
16 Then two harlots came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of the two women said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was there with me. 18 Three days after my child was born, this woman also gave birth. We were alone, and there was no one in the house but the two of us. 19 Then this woman’s son died during the night because she lay on him. 20 So during the night, she got up, took my son from my side while I slept, laid it beside her and her dead son beside me. 21 When I got up in the morning to nurse my child, I saw it was dead. But when I looked at it closely in the morning, I saw that it was not my child.”
22 The other woman said, “No, the living child is mine; the dead child is yours.” To this, the first re plied, “Not so, the dead child is yours; the living child is mine.” And they quarreled this way in the king’s presence.
23 Then the king said, “One says: ‘This is my son who is alive; your son is dead’; the other says: ‘That is not so, your son is dead; my son is the live one’.” 24 And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” When they brought the king a sword, 25 he gave this order, “Divide the child in two and give half to one, half to the other.” 26 Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king out of pity for her son, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child but spare its life.” The other woman, however, said, “It shall be neither mine nor yours. Divide it!”
27 Then the king spoke, “Give the living child to the first woman and spare its life. She is its mother.” 28 When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had given, they revered him, seeing that God’s wisdom was in him to render justice.