SCRIPTURE READING 1 Kings 3:4-28
4The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the principal
high place; Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that
altar.5At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and
God said, “Ask what I should give you.” 6And Solomon said, “You have
shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because
he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness
of heart toward you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast
love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. 7And now, O
Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father
David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or
come in. 8And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have
chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or
counted. 9Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern
your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern
this your great people?”
10It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11God said to him,
“Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life
or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself
understanding to discern what is right, 12I now do according to your
word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has
been before you and no one like you shall arise after you. 13I give you
also what you have not asked, both riches and honor all your life; no
other king shall compare with you. 14If you will walk in my ways,
keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David
walked, then I will lengthen your life.” 15Then Solomon awoke; it had
been a dream. He came to Jerusalem where he stood before the ark of the
covenant of the Lord. He offered up burnt offerings and offerings of
well-being, and provided a feast for all his servants.
16Later, two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood
before him. 17The one woman said, “Please, my lord, this woman and I
live in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house.
18Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We
were together; there was no one else with us in the house, only the two of
us were in the house. 19Then this woman’s son died in the night, because
she lay on him. 20She got up in the middle of the night and took my son
from beside me while your servant slept. She laid him at her breast, and
laid her dead son at my breast. 21When I rose in the morning to nurse my
son, I saw that he was dead; but when I looked at him closely in the
morning, clearly it was not the son I had borne.” 22But the other woman
said, “No, the living son is mine, and the dead son is yours.” The first
said, “No, the dead son is yours, and the living son is mine.” So they
argued before the king.
23Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my
son that is alive, and your son is dead’; while the other says, ‘Not so!
Your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’” 24So the king said,
“Bring me a sword,” and they brought a sword before the king. 25The
king said, “Divide the living boy in two; then give half to the one, and
half to the other.” 26But the woman whose son was alive said to the king
— because compassion for her son burned within her — “Please, my
lord, give her the living boy; certainly do not kill him!” The other said,
“It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it.” 27Then the king responded:
“Give the first woman the living boy; do not kill him. She is his mother.”
28All Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered; and they
stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God
was in him, to execute justice.
Reader: Word of God. Word of Life.
All: Thanks be to God.