Solomon asks humbly for a hearing heart and discernment to guide his people
3Solomon loved the Lord, walking [at first] in the statutes and practices of David his father, only he sacrificed and burned incense in the high places.
4The king went to Gibeon [near Jerusalem, where stood the tabernacle and the bronze altar] to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. One thousand burnt offerings Solomon offered on that altar.
5In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night. And God said, [b]Ask what I shall give you.
6Solomon said, You have shown to Your servant David my father great mercy and loving-kindness, according as he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and uprightness of heart with You; and You have kept for him this great kindness and steadfast love, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne this day.
7Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of David my father, and I am [c]but a lad [in wisdom and experience]; I know not how to go out (begin) or come in (finish).
8Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people who cannot be counted for multitude.
9So give Your servant an understanding mind and a hearing heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and bad. For who is able to judge and rule this Your great people?(A)
10It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.
11God said to him, Because you have asked this and have not asked for long life or for riches, nor for the lives of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to recognize what is just and right,
12Behold, I have done as you asked. I have given you a wise, discerning mind, so that no one before you was your equal, nor shall any arise after you equal to you.
13I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings equal to you all your days.
14And if you will go My way, keep My statutes and My commandments as your father David did, then I will lengthen your days.
15Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. He came to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
Solomon Asks for Wisdom
4 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. 5 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."
6 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.
7 "Now, O 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. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 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 riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes 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. [a] Then he gave a feast for all his court.