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1 Kings chapter 3

1
Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the LORD, and the wall around Jerusalem.
2
The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD.
3
Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the statutes of his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.
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. Then he gave a feast for all his court.
16
Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
17
One of them said, "My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me.
18
The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
19
"During the night this woman's son died because she lay on him.
20
So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast.
21
The next morning, I got up to nurse my son-- and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn't the son I had borne."
22
The other woman said, "No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours." But the first one insisted, "No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine." And so they argued before the king.
23
The king said, "This one says, 'My son is alive and your son is dead,' while that one says, 'No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.'"
24
Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword for the king.
25
He then gave an order: "Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other."
26
The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!" But the other said, "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"
27
Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother."
28
When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

2 Chronicles chapter 1

1
Solomon son of David established himself firmly over his kingdom, for the LORD his God was with him and made him exceedingly great.
2
Then Solomon spoke to all Israel-- to the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, to the judges and to all the leaders in Israel, the heads of families--
3
and Solomon and the whole assembly went to the high place at Gibeon, for God's Tent of Meeting was there, which Moses the LORD's servant had made in the desert.
4
Now David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place he had prepared for it, because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem.
5
But the bronze altar that Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made was in Gibeon in front of the tabernacle of the LORD; so Solomon and the assembly inquired of him there.
6
Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.
7
That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."
8
Solomon answered God, "You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place.
9
Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth.
10
Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?"
11
God said to Solomon, "Since this is your heart's desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king,
12
therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have."
13
Then Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place at Gibeon, from before the Tent of Meeting. And he reigned over Israel.
14
Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem.
15
The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills.
16
Solomon's horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue--the royal merchants purchased them from Kue.
17
They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty. They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.

Psalm chapter 78

1
A maskil of Asaph. O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.
2
I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old--
3
what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us.
4
We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.
5
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children,
6
so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
7
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
8
They would not be like their forefathers-- a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.
9
The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle;
10
they did not keep God's covenant and refused to live by his law.
11
They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them.
12
He did miracles in the sight of their fathers in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.
13
He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand firm like a wall.
14
He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night.
15
He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas;
16
he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers.
17
But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
18
They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.
19
They spoke against God, saying, "Can God spread a table in the desert?
20
When he struck the rock, water gushed out, and streams flowed abundantly. But can he also give us food? Can he supply meat for his people?"
21
When the LORD heard them, he was very angry; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel,
22
for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.
23
Yet he gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens;
24
he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven.
25
Men ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat.
26
He let loose the east wind from the heavens and led forth the south wind by his power.
27
He rained meat down on them like dust, flying birds like sand on the seashore.
28
He made them come down inside their camp, all around their tents.
29
They ate till they had more than enough, for he had given them what they craved.
30
But before they turned from the food they craved, even while it was still in their mouths,
31
God's anger rose against them; he put to death the sturdiest among them, cutting down the young men of Israel.
32
In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.
33
So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror.
34
Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again.
35
They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer.
36
But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues;
37
their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant.
38
Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath.
39
He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.
40
How often they rebelled against him in the desert and grieved him in the wasteland!
41
Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel.
42
They did not remember his power-- the day he redeemed them from the oppressor,
43
the day he displayed his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders in the region of Zoan.
44
He turned their rivers to blood; they could not drink from their streams.
45
He sent swarms of flies that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them.
46
He gave their crops to the grasshopper, their produce to the locust.
47
He destroyed their vines with hail and their sycamore-figs with sleet.
48
He gave over their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning.
49
He unleashed against them his hot anger, his wrath, indignation and hostility-- a band of destroying angels.
50
He prepared a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death but gave them over to the plague.
51
He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham.
52
But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the desert.
53
He guided them safely, so they were unafraid; but the sea engulfed their enemies.
54
Thus he brought them to the border of his holy land, to the hill country his right hand had taken.
55
He drove out nations before them and allotted their lands to them as an inheritance; he settled the tribes of Israel in their homes.
56
But they put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High; they did not keep his statutes.
57
Like their fathers they were disloyal and faithless, as unreliable as a faulty bow.
58
They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols.
59
When God heard them, he was very angry; he rejected Israel completely.
60
He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent he had set up among men.
61
He sent [the ark of] his might into captivity, his splendor into the hands of the enemy.
62
He gave his people over to the sword; he was very angry with his inheritance.
63
Fire consumed their young men, and their maidens had no wedding songs;
64
their priests were put to the sword, and their widows could not weep.
65
Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, as a man wakes from the stupor of wine.
66
He beat back his enemies; he put them to everlasting shame.
67
Then he rejected the tents of Joseph, he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68
but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loved.
69
He built his sanctuary like the heights, like the earth that he established forever.
70
He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens;
71
from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance.
72
And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.

2 Thessalonians chapter 2

1
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers,
2
not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.
3
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
4
He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
5
Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?
6
And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.
7
For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
8
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
9
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,
10
and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
11
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
12
and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
13
But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
14
He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
17
encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
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