Good News Translation (GNB)
3

Solomon Prays for Wisdom

(2 Chr 1.3–12)

31Solomon made an alliance with the king of Egypt by marrying his daughter. He brought her to live in David's City until he had finished building his palace, the Temple, and the wall round Jerusalem. 2A temple had not yet been built for the LORD, and so the people were still offering sacrifices at many different altars. 3Solomon loved the LORD and followed the instructions of his father David, but he also slaughtered animals and offered them as sacrifices on various altars.

4On one occasion he went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices because that was where the most famous altar was. He had offered hundreds of burnt offerings there in the past. 5That night the LORD appeared to him in a dream and asked him, “What would you like me to give you?”

6Solomon answered, “You always showed great love for my father David, your servant, and he was good, loyal, and honest in his relations with you. And you have continued to show him your great and constant love by giving him a son who today rules in his place. 7O LORD God, you have let me succeed my father as king, even though I am very young and don't know how to rule. 8Here I am among the people you have chosen to be your own, a people who are so many that they cannot be counted. 9So give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?”

10The LORD was pleased that Solomon had asked for this, 11and so he said to him, “Because you have asked for the wisdom to rule justly, instead of long life for yourself or riches or the death of your enemies, 12I will do what you have asked. I will give you more wisdom and understanding than anyone has ever had before or will ever have again. 13I will also give you what you have not asked for: all your life you will have wealth and honour, more than that of any other king. 14And if you obey me and keep my laws and commands, as your father David did, I will give you a long life.”

15Solomon woke up and realized that God had spoken to him in the dream. Then he went to Jerusalem and stood in front of the LORD's Covenant Box and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the LORD. After that he gave a feast for all his officials.

Solomon Judges a Difficult Case

16One day two prostitutes came and presented themselves before King Solomon. 17One of them said, “Your Majesty, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a baby boy at home while she was there. 18Two days after my child was born she also gave birth to a baby boy. Only the two of us were there in the house — no one else was present. 19Then one night she accidentally rolled over on her baby and smothered it. 20She got up during the night, took my son from my side while I was asleep, and carried him to her bed; then she put the dead child in my bed. 21The next morning, when I woke up and was going to feed my baby, I saw that it was dead. I looked at it more closely and saw that it was not my child.”

22But the other woman said, “No! The living child is mine, and the dead one is yours!”

The first woman answered, “No! The dead child is yours, and the living one is mine!”

And so they argued before the king.

23Then King Solomon said, “Each of you claims that the living child is hers and that the dead child belongs to the other one.” 24He sent for a sword, and when it was brought, 25he said, “Cut the living child in two and give each woman half of it.”

26The real mother, her heart full of love for her son, said to the king, “Please, Your Majesty, don't kill the child! Give it to her!”

But the other woman said, “Don't give it to either of us; go ahead and cut it in two.”

27Then Solomon said, “Don't kill the child! Give it to the first woman — she is its real mother.”

28When the people of Israel heard of Solomon's decision, they were all filled with deep respect for him, because they knew then that God had given him the wisdom to settle disputes fairly.

4

Solomon's Officials

41Solomon was king of all Israel, 2and these were his high officials:

The priest: Azariah son of Zadok

3The court secretaries: Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha

In charge of the records: Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud

4Commander of the army: Benaiah son of Jehoiada

Priests: Zadok and Abiathar

5Chief of the district governors: Azariah son of Nathan

Royal adviser: the priest Zabud son of Nathan

6In charge of the palace servants: Ahishar

In charge of the forced labour: Adoniram son of Abda.

7Solomon appointed twelve men as district governors in Israel. They were to provide food from their districts for the king and his household, each man being responsible for one month out of the year. 8The following are the names of these twelve officers and the districts they were in charge of:

Benhur: the hill country of Ephraim

9Bendeker: the cities of Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, Elon, and Beth Hanan

10Benhesed: the cities of Arubboth and Socoh and all the territory of Hepher

11Benabinadab, who was married to Solomon's daughter Taphath: the whole region of Dor

12Baana son of Ahilud: the cities of Taanach, Megiddo, and all the region near Beth Shan, near the town of Zarethan, south of the town of Jezreel, as far as the city of Abel Meholah and the city of Jokmeam

13Bengeber: the city of Ramoth in Gilead, and the villages in Gilead belonging to the clan of Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, and the region of Argob in Bashan, sixty large towns in all, fortified with walls and with bronze bars on the gates

14Ahinadab son of Iddo: the district of Mahanaim

15Ahimaaz, who was married to Basemath, another of Solomon's daughters: the territory of Naphtali

16Baana son of Hushai: the region of Asher and the town of Bealoth

17Jehoshaphat son of Paruah: the territory of Issachar

18Shimei son of Ela: the territory of Benjamin

19Geber son of Uri: the region of Gilead, which had been ruled by King Sihon of the Amorites and King Og of Bashan.

Besides these twelve, there was one governor over the whole land.

Solomon's Prosperous Reign

20The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore; they ate and drank, and were happy. 21

4.21:
Gen 15.18
2 Chr 9.26
Solomon's kingdom included all the nations from the River Euphrates to Philistia and the Egyptian border. They paid him taxes and were subject to him all his life.

22The supplies Solomon needed each day were 5,000 litres of fine flour and 10,000 litres of meal; 23ten stall-fed cattle, twenty pasture-fed cattle, and a hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and poultry.

24Solomon ruled over all the land west of the River Euphrates, from Tiphsah on the Euphrates as far west as the city of Gaza. All the kings west of the Euphrates were subject to him, and he was at peace with all the neighbouring countries. 25As long as he lived, the people throughout Judah and Israel lived in safety, each family with its own grapevines and fig trees.

26

4.26:
1 Kgs 10.26
2 Chr 1.14
9.25
Solomon had 40,000 stalls for his chariot horses and 12,000 cavalry horses. 27His twelve governors, each one in the month assigned to him, supplied the food King Solomon needed for himself and for all who ate in the palace; they always supplied everything needed. 28Each governor also supplied his share of barley and straw, where it was needed,4.28 where it was needed; or wherever King Solomon was. for the chariot horses and the draught animals.

29God gave Solomon unusual wisdom and insight, and knowledge too great to be measured. 30Solomon was wiser than the wise men of the East or the wise men of Egypt. 31

4.31:
Ps 89
He was the wisest of all men: wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame spread throughout all the neighbouring countries. 32
4.32:
Prov 1.1
10.1
25.1
Song 1.1
He composed 3,000 proverbs and more than a thousand songs. 33He spoke of trees and plants, from the Lebanon cedars to the hyssop that grows on walls; he talked about animals, birds, reptiles, and fish. 34Kings all over the world heard of his wisdom and sent people to listen to him.

5

Solomon Prepares to Build the Temple

(2 Chr 2.1–18)

51King Hiram of Tyre had always been a friend of David's, and when he heard that Solomon had succeeded his father David as king he sent ambassadors to him. 2Solomon sent back this message to Hiram: 3“You know that because of the constant wars my father David had to fight against the enemy countries all round him, he could not build a temple for the worship of the LORD his God until the LORD had given him victory over all his enemies. 4But now the LORD my God has given me peace on all my borders. I have no enemies, and there is no danger of attack. 5

5.5:
2 Sam 7.12–13
1 Chr 17.11–12
The LORD promised my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will make king after you, will build a temple for me.’ And I have now decided to build that temple for the worship of the LORD my God. 6So send your men to Lebanon to cut down cedars for me. My men will work with them, and I will pay your men whatever you decide. As you well know, my men don't know how to cut down trees as well as yours do.”

7Hiram was extremely pleased when he received Solomon's message, and he said, “Praise the LORD today for giving David such a wise son to succeed him as king of that great nation!” 8Then Hiram sent Solomon the following message: “I have received your message and I am ready to do what you ask. I will provide the cedars and the pine trees. 9My men will bring the logs down from Lebanon to the sea, and will tie them together in rafts to float them down the coast to the place you choose. There my men will untie them, and your men will take charge of them. On your part, I would like you to supply the food for my men.”

10So Hiram supplied Solomon with all the cedar and pine logs that he wanted, 11and Solomon provided Hiram with 2,000 tonnes of wheat and 400,000 litres5.11 Some ancient translations (and see 2 Chr 2.10) 400,000 litres; Hebrew 4,000 litres. of pure olive oil every year to feed his men.

12The LORD kept his promise and gave Solomon wisdom. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and they made a treaty with each other.

13King Solomon drafted 30,000 men as forced labour from all over Israel, 14

5.14:
1 Kgs 12.18
and put Adoniram in charge of them. He divided them into three groups of 10,000 men, and each group spent one month in Lebanon and two months back home. 15Solomon also had 80,000 men in the hill country quarrying stone, with 70,000 men to carry it, 16and he placed 3,300 foremen in charge of them to supervise their work. 17At King Solomon's command they quarried fine large stones for the foundation of the Temple. 18Solomon's and Hiram's workmen and men from the city of Byblos prepared the stones and the timber to build the Temple.