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And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in

my

bosom. And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear.

And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son: and this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son.

Thus they spake before the king.

Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living.

And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king.

And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.

Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, (for her bowels yearned upon her son) and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: but the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.

Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.

And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged, and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to do judgment.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.

The dispute betwen the two women was of such an intricate nature as to require uncommon penetration to unravel it; for each asserted her right to the living child with equal earnestness, and there were no witnesses to

strengthen

strengthen the claim of either party. Solomon's expedient however effectually discovered the real parent. That careless wretch, who had overlaid her own child, and, to cover her fault, had stolen her neighbour's, readily consented to the proposal of dividing the infant; but parental love abhorred the shocking deed;and the tender mother, solicitous at all events to preserve the life of her little darling, submitted, though not without the severest pangs, to resign it to her adversary. From what a weight of woe was her afficted mind relieved, when she heard the king's gracious commands to deliver the child to her; which she doubtless pressed to her bosom with raptures of delight, whilst her grateful tongue implored blessings on Solomon!

The young king gained great reputation by this wise decision, which procured him the reverence of his subjects, who were afraid of doing an unjust thing, when they saw that the wisdom with which God had promised to endue him was in him; and on this account they both loved and feared him,

SECTION XXXVII.

SOLOMON'S WISDOM-HIS PRINCES--HIS DAILY PROVI

SIONS-THE EXTENT OF HIS KINGDOM.

From 1 Kings, Chap. iv. AND Solomon was king over all Israel. And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding, exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea-shore.

And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east-country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.

For he was wiser than all men ; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of

Mahol: Mahol: and his fame was in all the nations round about.

And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five.

And he spake of trees from the cedar trèe that is in Lebanon, even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.

And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.

And these were the princes which he had. Azariah the son of Zadok the priest. Elihoreph and Ahiah the sons of Shisha, scribes. Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud the recorder.

And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host : and Zadok was high-priest. And Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers: and Zabud the son of Nathan wus principal officer, and the king's friend.

And Ahishar was over the houshold: and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the tribute.

And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king's houshold, and for all that came to king Solomon's table; each man his month in a year. Barley and straw also forthe horses and dromedaries, brought they unto the place where the officers were, each man according to his charge.

And Solomon's provision for one day, was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal.

Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts and roe-bucks, fallowdeer, and fatted fowl.

Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry.

And

And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig-tree, from Dan even to Beersheba all the days of Solomon.

And Solomon reigned over all kingdems, from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents and served Solomon all the days of his life. And he had peace on all side round about him.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS,

The Egyptians and Chaldeans were, in the days of Solomon renowned for wisdom, and yet he excelled them all; for the LORD enabled him, without the usual toil of study, to understand every branch of knowledge to which he applied his mind. He had likewise an extraordinary power of judging in respect to matters of prudence and policy, which he displayed in the arrangement of his domestic affairs, and the regulation of his kingdom. By having purveyors in every division of it, who provided for the king's houshold in regular rotation, industry was encouraged, and wealth diffused amongst his subjects, because all had their turn in respect to the sale of their different commodities; and every man dwelt safely, for the king invaded no one's property.

The number of kings, who were tributaryto Solomon, added also to the riches and grandeur of his kingdom none of them offered to give him disturbance, but were happy in their dependance on such a monarch. His native subjects rejoiced in the ample performance of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for they were multiplied to an astonishing degree, and put in possession of every means of happiness this world could afford; so that they had no cause to be solicitous for any thing, but to secure the blessing of the LORD, which they

had

had been repeatedly assured would reward their obedi

and this blessing included the promise of everLASTING FELICITY. Happy were the people who were in such a case ; yea, blessed were the people who had the LORD for their God.

ence;

SECTION XXXVIII.

HIRAM KING OF TYRE SENDETH TO CONGRATULATE

SOLOMON-THEY MAKE AN ALLIANCE TOGETHER.

From 1 Kings, Chap. v. 2 Chron. Chap. ii.

And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; (for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father) for Hiram was ever a lover of David.

And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, Behold I build an house for the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to him.

Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the Lord his God, for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet.

But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent.

And behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the Lord spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy rooin, he shall build an house unto my

And the house which I build is great: for great is our

od above all gods. But who is able to build him a house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am

name.

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