28Joab heard what had happened. (He had supported Adonijah, but not Absalom.) So he fled to the Tent of the LORD's presence and took hold of the corners of the altar.29When the news reached King Solomon that Joab had fled to the Tent and was by the altar, Solomon sent a messenger to Joab to ask him why he had fled to the altar. Joab answered that he had fled to the LORD because he was afraid of Solomon. So King Solomon sent Benaiah to kill Joab. 30He went to the Tent of the LORD's presence and said to Joab, “The king orders you to come out.”
“No,” Joab answered. “I will die here.”
Benaiah went back to the king and told him what Joab had said.
31“Do what Joab says,” Solomon answered. “Kill him and bury him. Then neither I nor any other of David's descendants will any longer be held responsible for what Joab did when he killed innocent men. 32The LORD will punish Joab for those murders, which he committed without my father David's knowledge. Joab killed two innocent men who were better men than he: Abner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa, commander of the army of Judah. 33The punishment for their murders will fall on Joab and on his descendants for ever. But the LORD will always give success to David's descendants who sit on his throne.”
34So Benaiah went to the Tent of the LORD's presence and killed Joab, and he was buried at his home in the open country. 35The king made Benaiah commander of the army in Joab's place and put Zadok the priest in Abiathar's place.
The Death of Shimei
36Then the king sent for Shimei and said to him, “Build a house for yourself here in Jerusalem. Live in it and don't leave the city. 37If you ever leave and go beyond the brook of Kidron, you will certainly die — and you yourself will be to blame.”
38“Very well, Your Majesty,” Shimei answered. “I will do what you say.” So he lived in Jerusalem a long time.
39Three years later, however, two of Shimei's slaves ran away to the king of Gath, Achish son of Maacah. When Shimei heard that they were in Gath, 40he saddled his donkey and went to King Achish in Gath, to find his slaves. He found them and brought them back home. 41When Solomon heard what Shimei had done, 42he sent for him and said, “I made you promise in the LORD's name not to leave Jerusalem. And I warned you that if you ever did, you would certainly die. Did you not agree to it and say that you would obey me? 43Why, then, have you broken your promise and disobeyed my command? 44You know very well all the wrong that you did to my father David. The LORD will punish you for it. 45But he will bless me and he will make David's kingdom secure for ever.”
46Then the king gave orders to Benaiah, who went out and killed Shimei. Solomon was now in complete control.
1Solomon 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.
1Solomon 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. 21Solomon'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.
26Solomon 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, 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. 31He 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. 32He 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.