1Solomon became the son-in-law of Pharaoh king of Egypt; he married Pharaoh's daughter, and took herto the City of David until he could complete the building of his palace, the Temple of Yahweh and the ramparts ofJerusalem. 2The people, however, were stil sacrificing on the high places, because at that time a dwel ing-place forthe name of Yahweh had not yet been built. 3Solomon loved Yahweh: he fol owed the precepts of his father David, except that he offered sacrificeand incense on the high places. 4The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, since that was the principal high place -- Solomon presenteda thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5At Gibeon Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream during the night. God said, 'Ask what you wouldlike me to give you.' 6Solomon replied, 'You showed most faithful love to your servant David, my father, when he lived his lifebefore you in faithfulness and uprightness and integrity of heart; you have continued this most faithful love to himby al owing a son of his to sit on his throne today. 7Now, Yahweh my God, you have made your servant king in succession to David my father. But I am avery young man, unskilled in leadership. 8And here is your servant, surrounded with your people whom you have chosen, a people so numerousthat its number cannot be counted or reckoned. 9So give your servant a heart to understand how to govern your people, how to discern between goodand evil, for how could one otherwise govern such a great people as yours?' 10It pleased Yahweh that Solomon should have asked for this. 11'Since you have asked for this,' God said, 'and not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the livesof your enemies but have asked for a discerning judgement for yourself, 12here and now I do what you ask. I give you a heart wise and shrewd as no one has had before and noone will have after you. 13What you have not asked I shal give you too: such riches and glory as no other king can match. 14And I shal give you a long life, if you fol ow my ways, keeping my laws and commandments, as yourfather David followed them.' 15Then Solomon woke up; it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem and stood before the ark ofthe covenant of Yahweh; he presented burnt offerings and communion sacrifices and held a banquet for allthose in his service. 16Later two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17'If it please you, my lord,' one of the women said, 'this woman and I live in the same house, and whileshe was in the house I gave birth to a child. 18Now it happened on the third day after my delivery that this woman also gave birth to a child. We werealone together; there was no one else in the house with us; just the two of us in the house. 19Now one night this woman's son died; she overlaid him. 20And in the middle of the night she got up and took my son from beside me while your servant wasasleep; she took him in her arms and put her own dead son in mine. 21When I got up to suckle my child, there he was, dead. But in the morning I looked at him carefully, andhe was not the child I had borne at al .' 22Then the other woman spoke. 'That is not true! My son is the live one, yours is the dead one'; and thefirst retorted, 'That is not true! Your son is the dead one, mine is the live one.' And so they wrangled before theking. 23'This one says,' the king observed, ' "My son is the one who is alive; your son is dead," while the other says, "That is not true! Your son is the dead one, mine is the live one." 24Bring me a sword,' said the king; and a sword was brought into the king's presence. 25'Cut the living child in two,' the king said, 'and give half to one, half to the other.' 26At this the woman who was the mother of the living child addressed the king, for she felt acutely for herson. 'I beg you, my lord,' she said, 'let them give her the live child; on no account let them kil him!' But the othersaid, 'He shal belong to neither of us. Cut him in half!' 27Then the king gave his decision. 'Give the live child to the first woman,' he said, 'and do not kill him.She is his mother.' 28Al Israel came to hear of the judgement which the king had pronounced and held the king in awe,recognising that he possessed divine wisdom for dispensing justice.
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