SOLOMON is a teen-ager when he becomes king. He loves Jehovah, and he follows the good advice that his father David gave him. Jehovah is pleased with Solomon, and so one night he says to him in a dream: ‘Solomon, what would you like me to give you?’
At this Solomon answers: ‘Jehovah my God, I am very young and I don’t know how to rule. So give me the wisdom to rule your people in a right way.’
Jehovah is pleased with what Solomon asks. So He says: ‘Because you have asked for wisdom and not for long life or riches, I will give you more wisdom than anyone who has ever lived. But I will also give you what you did not ask for, both riches and glory.’
A short time later two women come to Solomon with a hard problem. ‘This woman and I live in the same house,’ explains one of them. ‘I gave birth to a boy, and two days later she also gave birth to a baby boy. Then one night her baby died. But while I was asleep, she put her dead child next to me and took my baby. When I woke up and looked at the dead child, I saw that it was not mine.’
At this the other woman says: ‘No! The living child is mine, and the dead one is hers!’ The first woman answers: ‘No! The dead child is yours, and the living one is mine!’ This is the way the women argue. What will Solomon do?
He sends for a sword, and, when it is brought, he says: ‘Cut the living baby in two, and give each woman half of it.’
‘No!’ cries the real mother. ‘Please don’t kill the baby. Give it to her!’ But the other woman says: ‘Don’t give it to either of us; go on and cut it in two.’
Finally Solomon speaks: ‘Don’t kill the child! Give him to the first woman. She is the real mother.’ Solomon knows this because the real mother loves the baby so much that she is willing to give him to the other woman so he won’t be killed. When the people hear how Solomon solved the problem, they are glad to have such a wise king.
During the rule of Solomon, God blesses the people by making the soil grow plenty of wheat and barley, grapes and figs and other foods. The people wear fine clothes and live in good houses. There is more than enough of everything good for everybody.