1 Kings, 3
1. Solomon became the son-in-law of Pharaoh king of Egypt; he married Pharaoh's daughter, and took her to the City of David until he could complete the building of his palace, the Temple of Yahweh and the ramparts of Jerusalem.
2. The people, however, were still sacrificing on the high places, because at that time a dwelling-place for the name of Yahweh had not yet been built.
3. Solomon loved Yahweh: he followed the precepts of his father David, except that he offered sacrifice and incense on the high places.
4. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, since that was the principal high place -- Solomon presented a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
5. At Gibeon Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream during the night. God said, 'Ask what you would like me to give you.'
6. Solomon replied, 'You showed most faithful love to your servant David, my father, when he lived his life before you in faithfulness and uprightness and integrity of heart; you have continued this most faithful love to him by allowing a son of his to sit on his throne today.
7. Now, Yahweh my God, you have made your servant king in succession to David my father. But I am a very young man, unskilled in leadership.
8. And here is your servant, surrounded with your people whom you have chosen, a people so numerous that its number cannot be counted or reckoned.
9. So give your servant a heart to understand how to govern your people, how to discern between good and evil, for how could one otherwise govern such a great people as yours?'
10. It 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 lives of your enemies but have asked for a discerning judgement for yourself,
12. here and now I do what you ask. I give you a heart wise and shrewd as no one has had before and no one will have after you.
13. What you have not asked I shall give you too: such riches and glory as no other king can match.
14. And I shall give you a long life, if you follow my ways, keeping my laws and commandments, as your father David followed them.'
15. Then Solomon woke up; it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of Yahweh; he presented burnt offerings and communion sacrifices and held a banquet for all those in his service.
16. Later 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 while she was in the house I gave birth to a child.
18. Now it happened on the third day after my delivery that this woman also gave birth to a child. We were alone together; there was no one else in the house with us; just the two of us in the house.
19. Now one night this woman's son died; she overlaid him.
20. And in the middle of the night she got up and took my son from beside me while your servant was asleep; she took him in her arms and put her own dead son in mine.
21. When I got up to suckle my child, there he was, dead. But in the morning I looked at him carefully, and he was not the child I had borne at all.'
22. Then the other woman spoke. 'That is not true! My son is the live one, yours is the dead one'; and the first retorted, 'That is not true! Your son is the dead one, mine is the live one.' And so they wrangled before the king.
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."
24. Bring 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.'
26. At this the woman who was the mother of the living child addressed the king, for she felt acutely for her son. 'I beg you, my lord,' she said, 'let them give her the live child; on no account let them kill him!' But the other said, 'He shall belong to neither of us. Cut him in half!'
27. Then the king gave his decision. 'Give the live child to the first woman,' he said, 'and do not kill him. She is his mother.'
28. All 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.