Catholic News Service
Solomon asks God to give him wisdom.
Catholic News Service
Solomon asks God to give him wisdom.
David, who had been king of Israel for 40 years, was now a very sick old man. As David neared death, his eldest son, Adonijah, son of Haggith, began to brag, "I shall be king!" Adonijah even began acting as if he were king, although his father was still alive.

Some people thought that Adonijah should be king, but others liked David's younger son Solomon, the son of Bathsheba, better. As a matter of fact, David had once promised Bathsheba that Solomon would be the next ruler of Israel.

When David heard that Adonijah thought he would be king just because he was the older brother, David remembered the promise he had made and named Solomon king instead.

After Solomon became king, God came to him in a dream. The Lord wanted to let Solomon know that whatever he wanted would be given to him.

"Now, Lord, my God," Solomon answered, "you have made me, your servant, king to succeed David, my father; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. ... Give your servant, therefore, a listening heart to judge your people and to distinguish between good and evil."

God was very happy with Solomon's answer. He knew that Solomon could have been selfish and asked for lots of money or to live a long time. Instead, Solomon wanted to be the best king possible for God's people.

"Because you asked for this -- you did not ask for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies -- but you asked for discernment to know what is right -- I now do as you request," God told Solomon. "I give you a heart so wise and discerning that there has never been anyone like you until now, nor after you will there be anyone to equal you."

When Solomon woke up, he went to Jerusalem and made offerings before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. Then he gave a feast for all his servants.

From that day on, Solomon became famous throughout the land as a man who had the wisdom of God in him.