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1 Kings 3 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

1 Solomon taketh Pharaoh’s daughter to wife. 5 The Lord appeareth to him, and giveth him wisdom. 17 The pleading of the two harlots, and Solomon’s sentence therein.

Solomon then made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the [a]city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.

Only the people sacrificed in the [b]high places, because there was no house built unto the Name of the Lord, until those days.

And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the ordinances of David his [c]father: only he sacrificed and offered incense in the high places.

And the King went to [d]Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the chief high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.

And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, [e]when he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee: and thou hast [f]kept for him this great mercy, and hast given him a son, to sit on his throne, as appeareth this day.

And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a young child, and know not how to [g]go out and in.

And thy servant is in the midst of thy people, which thou hast chosen, even a great people, which cannot be told nor numbered for multitude.

Give therefore unto thy servant an [h]understanding heart, to judge thy people: that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy [i]mighty people?

10 And this pleased the Lord well, that Solomon had desired this thing.

11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine [j]enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to hear judgment,

12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart, so that there hath been none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall arise the like unto thee.

13 And I have also given thee that, which thou hast not asked, both riches and honor, so that among the Kings there [k]shall be none like unto thee all thy days.

14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep mine ordinances and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, I will prolong thy days.

15 And when Solomon awoke, behold it was [l]a dream, and he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the Ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered burnt offerings, and made peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

16 ¶ Then came two [m]harlots unto the king, and [n]stood before him.

17 And the one woman said, Oh my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house, and I was delivered of a child with her in the house.

18 And the third day after that I was delivered, this woman was delivered also, and we were in the house together: no stranger was with us in the house save we twain.

19 And this woman’s son died in the night: for she overlay him.

20 And she rose at midnight, and [o]took my son from my side, while thine handmaid slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead son in my bosom.

21 And when I arose in the morning to give my son suck, behold, he was dead: and when I had well considered him in the morning, behold, it was not my son, whom I had borne.

22 Then the other woman said, Nay, but my son liveth, and thy son is dead. Again she said, No, but thy son is dead, and mine alive: thus they spake before the king.

23 Then said the king, She saith, This that liveth is my son, and the dead is thy son: and the other saith, Nay, but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son.

24 Then the King said, [p]Bring me a sword: and they brought out a sword before the king.

25 And the king said, Divide ye the living child in twain, and give the one half to the one, and the other half to the other.

26 Then spake the woman, whose the living child was, unto the king, for her compassion was kindled toward her son, and she said, Oh my lord, give her the living child and [q]slay him not: but the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.

27 Then the king answered, and said, Give her the living child, and slay him not: this is his mother.

28 And all Israel heard the judgment which the king had judged, and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.


  1. 1 Kings 3:1 Which was Bethlehem.
  2. 1 Kings 3:2 Where altars were appointed before the temple was built, to offer unto the Lord.
  3. 1 Kings 3:3 For his father had commanded him to obey the Lord and walk in his ways, 1 Kings 2:3.
  4. 1 Kings 3:4 For there the Tabernacle was, 2 Chron. 1:3.
  5. 1 Kings 3:6 Or, as he walked.
  6. 1 Kings 3:6 Thou hast performed thy promise.
  7. 1 Kings 3:7 That is, to behave himself in executing this charge of ruling.
  8. 1 Kings 3:9 Or, obedient.
  9. 1 Kings 3:9 Which are so many in number.
  10. 1 Kings 3:11 That is, that thine enemy should die.
  11. 1 Kings 3:13 Or, hath been none.
  12. 1 Kings 3:15 He knew that God had appeared unto him in a dream.
  13. 1 Kings 3:16 Or, victuallers.
  14. 1 Kings 3:16 By this example it appeareth that God kept his promise with Solomon in granting him wisdom.
  15. 1 Kings 3:20 She stole the quick child away, because she might both avoid the shame and punishment.
  16. 1 Kings 3:24 Except God give Judges understanding, the impudency of the trespasser shall overthrow the just cause of the innocent.
  17. 1 Kings 3:26 Her motherly affection herein appeareth that she had rather endure the rigor of the Law, than see her child cruelly slain.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

1 Kings 3 New International Version (NIV)

Solomon Asks for Wisdom

Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem. The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the Lord. Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.

The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.

“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.

He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he gave a feast for all his court.

A Wise Ruling

16 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.

19 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”

22 The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”

But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.

23 The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”

24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”

26 The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”

But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”

27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”

28 When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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