1 Kings 3-5 Bible in Basic English

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Solomon Marries Pharaoh's Daughter

3 1  Solomon became the son-in-law of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter as his wife, keeping her in the town of David, till the house he was building for himself, and the house of the Lord and the wall round Jerusalem, were complete. 2  But all this time the people were making their offerings in the high places, because no house had been put up to the name of the Lord till those days.

Solomon's Prayer for Wisdom

3  And Solomon, in his love for the Lord, kept the laws of David his father; but he made offerings and let them go up in smoke on the high places. 4  And the king went to Gibeon to make an offering there, because that was the chief high place: it was Solomon's way to make a thousand burned offerings on that altar.

5  In Gibeon, Solomon had a vision of the Lord in a dream by night; and God said to him, Say what I am to give you. 6  And Solomon said, Great was your mercy to David my father, as his life before you was true and upright and his heart was true to you; and you have kept for him this greatest mercy, a son to take his place this day. 7  And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in the place of David my father; and I am only a young boy, with no knowledge of how to go out or come in. 8  And your servant has round him the people of your selection, a people so great that they may not be numbered, and no account of them may be given. 9  Give your servant, then, a wise heart for judging your people, able to see what is good and what evil; for who is able to be the judge of this great people? 10  Now these words and Solomon's request were pleasing to the Lord. 11  And God said to him, Because your request is for this thing, and not for long life for yourself or for wealth or for the destruction of your haters, but for wisdom to be a judge of causes; 12  I have done as you said: I have given you a wise and far-seeing heart, so that there has never been your equal in the past, and never will there be any like you in the future. 13  And with this I have given you what you made no request for: wealth and honour, so that no king was ever your equal. 14  And if you go on in my ways, keeping my laws and my orders as your father David did, I will give you a long life. 15  And Solomon, awakening, saw that it was a dream; then he came to Jerusalem, where he went before the ark of the agreement of the Lord, offering burned offerings and peace-offerings; and he made a feast for all his servants.

Solomon's Wisdom and Prosperity

16  Then two loose women of the town came and took their places before the king; 17  And one of them said, O my lord, I and this woman are living in the same house; and I gave birth to a child by her side in the house. 18  And three days after the birth of my child, this woman had a child: we were together, no other-person was with us in the house but we two only. 19  In the night, this woman, sleeping on her child, was the cause of its death. 20  And she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your servant was sleeping; and she took it in her arms and put her dead child in my arms. 21  And when I got up to give my child the breast, I saw that it was dead; but in the morning, looking at it with care, I saw that it was not my son. 22  And the other woman said, No; but the living child is my son and the dead one yours. But the first said, No; the dead child is your son and the living one mine. So they kept on talking before the king. 23  Then the king said, One says, The living child is my son, and yours is the dead: and the other says, Not so; but your son is the dead one and mine is the living. 24  Then he said, Get me a sword. So they went and put a sword before the king. 25  And the king said, Let the living child be cut in two and one half given to one woman and one to the other. 26  Then the mother of the living child came forward, for her heart went out to her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the child; do not on any account put it to death. But the other woman said, It will not be mine or yours; let it be cut in two. 27  Then the king made answer and said, Give her the child, and do not put it to death; she is the mother of it. 28  And news of this decision which the king had made went through all Israel; and they had fear of the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to give decisions.

4 1  Now Solomon was king over all Israel. 2  And these were his chief men: Azariah, the son of Zadok, was the priest; 3  Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, were scribes; Jehoshaphat, the son of Ahilud, was the recorder; 4  Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, was head of the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 5  Azariah, the son of Nathan, was over those in authority in the different divisions of the country; Zabud, the son of Nathan, was priest and the king's friend; 6  Ahishar was controller of the king's house; Adoniram, the son of Abda, was overseer of the forced work. 7  And Solomon put twelve overseers over all Israel, to be responsible for the stores needed for the king and those of his house; every man was responsible for one month in the year. 8  And these are their names: ... the son of Hur in the hill country of Ephraim; 9  ... the son of Deker in Makaz and Shaalbim and Beth-shemesh and Elonbeth-hanan; 10  ... the son of Hesed in Arubboth; Socoh and all the land of Hepher were under his control; 11  ... the son of Abinadab in all Naphath-dor; his wife was Taphath, the daughter of Solomon. 12  Baana, the son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is by the side of Zarethan, under Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as the far side of Jokmeam; 13  ... the son of Geber in Ramoth-gilead; he had the towns of Jair, the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and the country of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great towns with walls and locks of brass. 14  Ahinadab, the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15  Ahimaaz in Naphtali; he took Basemath, the daughter of Solomon, as his wife; 16  Baana, the son of Hushai, in Asher and Aloth; 17  Jehoshaphat, the son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18  Shimei, the son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19  Geber, the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan; and one overseer had authority over all the overseers who were in the land.

20  Judah and Israel were as great in number as the sand by the seaside, and they took their food and drink with joy in their hearts. 21  And Solomon was ruler over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, and as far as the edge of Egypt; men gave him offerings and were his servants all the days of his life. 22  And the amount of Solomon's food for one day was thirty measures of crushed grain and sixty measures of meal; 23  Ten fat oxen and twenty oxen from the fields, and a hundred sheep, in addition to harts and gazelles and roes and fat fowls. 24  For he had authority over all the country on this side of the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, over all the kings on this side of the River; and he had peace round him on every side. 25  So Judah and Israel were living safely, every man under his vine and his fig-tree, from Dan as far as Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon. 26  And Solomon had four thousand boxed-off spaces for horses for his carriages, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27  And those overseers, every man in his month, saw that food was produced for Solomon and all his guests, they took care that nothing was overlooked. 28  And they took grain and dry grass for the horses and the carriage-horses, to the right place, every man as he was ordered.

29  And God gave Solomon a great store of wisdom and good sense, and a mind of wide range, as wide as the sand by the seaside. 30  And Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31  For he was wiser than all men, even than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman and Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and he had a great name among all the nations round about. 32  He was the maker of three thousand wise sayings, and of songs to the number of a thousand and five. 33  He made sayings about all plants, from the cedar in Lebanon to the hyssop hanging on the wall; and about all beasts and birds and fishes and the small things of the earth. 34  People came from every nation to give ear to the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had word of his wisdom.

Solomon's Agreement with King Hiram

5 1  Now Hiram, king of Tyre, hearing that Solomon had been made king in place of his father, sent his servants to him; for Hiram had ever been a friend to David. 2  And Solomon sent back word to Hiram, saying, 3  You have knowledge that David my father was not able to make a house for the name of the Lord his God, because of the wars which were round him on every side, till the Lord put all those who were against him under his feet. 4  But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; no one is making trouble, and no evil is taking place. 5  And so it is my purpose to make a house for the name of the Lord my God, as he said to David my father, Your son, whom I will make king in your place, will be the builder of a house for my name. 6  So now, will you have cedar-trees from Lebanon cut down for me, and my servants will be with your servants; and I will give you payment for your servants at whatever rate you say; for it is common knowledge that we have no such wood-cutters among us as the men of Zidon. 7  And these words of Solomon made Hiram glad, and he said, Now may the Lord be praised who has given to David a wise son to be king over this great people. 8  Then Hiram sent to Solomon, saying; The words you sent have been given to me: I will do all your desire in the question of cedar-wood and cypress-wood. 9  My men will take them down from Lebanon to the sea, where I will have them corded together to go by sea to whatever place you say, and I will have them cut up there so that you may take them away; as for payment, it will be enough if you give me food for my people.

10  So Hiram gave Solomon all the cedar-wood and cypress-wood he had need of; 11  And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of grain, as food for his people, and twenty measures of clear oil; this he did every year. 12  Now the Lord had given Solomon wisdom, as he had said to him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and they made an agreement together. 13  Then King Solomon got together men for the forced work through all Israel, thirty thousand men in number; 14  And sent them to Lebanon in bands of ten thousand every month: for a month they were working in Lebanon and for two months in their country, and Adoniram was in control of them. 15  Then he had seventy thousand for the work of transport, and eighty thousand stone-cutters in the mountains; 16  In addition to the chiefs of the responsible men put by Solomon to oversee the work, three thousand and three hundred in authority over the workmen. 17  By the king's orders great stones, stones of high price, were cut out, so that the base of the house might be made of squared stone. 18  Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did the work of cutting them, and put edges on them, and got the wood and the stone ready for the building of the house.

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