Luke 1:26–38; Ephesians 1:15–23; Psalm 119:9–16; 1 Kings 2–3

Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month the angel xGabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named yNazareth, 27 zto a virgin betrothed1 to a man whose name was Joseph, aof the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, Greetings, bO favored one, cthe Lord is with you!2 29 But dshe was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for eyou have found favor with God. 31 And behold, fyou will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and gyou shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of hthe Most High. And the Lord God iwill give to him the throne of jhis father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob kforever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.

34 And Mary said to the angel, How will this be, since I am a virgin?3

35 And the angel answered her, lThe Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of hthe Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born4 will be called mholynthe Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her owho was called barren. 37 For pnothing will be impossible with God. 38 And Mary said, Behold, I am the servant5 of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. And qthe angel departed from her.


Thanksgiving and Prayer

15 For this reason, mbecause I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love1 toward all the saints, 16 I ndo not cease to give thanks for you, oremembering you in my prayers, 17 that pthe God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, qmay give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 rhaving the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is sthe hope to which he has called you, what are tthe riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, uaccording to the working of vhis great might 20 that he worked in Christ wwhen he raised him from the dead and xseated him at his right hand yin the heavenly places, 21 zfar above aall rule and authority and power and dominion, and above bevery name that is named, not only in cthis age but also in the one to come. 22 And dhe put all things under his feet and gave him as ehead over all things to the church, 23 fwhich is his body, gthe fullness of him hwho fills iall in all.


Beth

How can va young man keep his way pure?

By guarding it according to your word.

10  wWith my whole heart I seek you;

let me not xwander from your commandments!

11  I have ystored up your word in my heart,

that I might not sin against you.

12  Blessed are you, O Lord;

zteach me your statutes!

13  With my lips I adeclare

all the rules1 of your mouth.

14  In the way of your testimonies I bdelight

as much as in all criches.

15  I will dmeditate on your precepts

and fix my eyes on your eways.

16  I will fdelight in your statutes;

I will not forget your word.


David’s Instructions to Solomon

nWhen David’s time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, oI am about to go the way of all the earth. pBe strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, qthat you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the Lord may restablish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, sIf your sons pay close attention to their way, tto walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, uyou shall not lack1 a man on the throne of Israel.

Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah vdid to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, wAbner the son of Ner, xand Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, avenging2 in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of war3 on the belt around his4 waist and on the sandals on his feet. Act therefore yaccording to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. But deal loyally with the sons of zBarzillai the Gileadite, and let them be aamong those who eat at your table, bfor with such loyalty5 they met me when I fled from Absalom your brother. And there is also with you cShimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day dwhen I went to Mahanaim. eBut when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, saying, I will not put you to death with the sword. Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, ffor you are a wise man. You will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall gbring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.

The Death of David

10 hThen David slept with his fathers and was buried in ithe city of David. 11 And the time that David reigned over Israel was jforty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12 kSo Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.

Solomon’s Reign Established

13 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, lDo you come peacefully? He said, Peacefully. 14 Then he said, I have something to say to you. She said, Speak. 15 He said, You know that mthe kingdom was mine, and that all Israel fully expected me to reign. However, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, nfor it was his from the Lord. 16 And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me. She said to him, Speak. 17 And he said, Please ask King Solomonhe will not refuse youto give me oAbishag the Shunammite as my wife. 18 Bathsheba said, Very well; I will speak for you to the king.

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king’s mother, pand she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me. And the king said to her, Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you. 21 She said, Let oAbishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as his wife. 22 King Solomon answered his mother, And why do you ask oAbishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also, qfor he is my older brother, and on his side rare Abiathar6 the priest and Joab the son of Zeruiah. 23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, sGod do so to me and more also if this word does not cost Adonijah his life! 24 Now therefore tas the Lord lives, who has established me and placed me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house, uas he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today. 25 So King Solomon sent vBenaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he struck him down, and he died.

26 And to Abiathar the priest the king said, Go to wAnathoth, to your estate, for you deserve death. But I will not at this time put you to death, xbecause you carried the ark of the Lord God before David my father, yand because you shared in all my father’s affliction. 27 zSo Solomon expelled Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, thus fulfilling athe word of the Lord that he had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

28 When the news came to Joabfor Joab bhad supported Adonijah although che had not supported AbsalomJoab fled to the tent of the Lord and caught hold of the dhorns of the altar. 29 And when it was told King Solomon, Joab has fled to the tent of the Lord, and behold, he is beside the altar, Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, strike him down. 30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and said to him, The king commands, Come out. But he said, No, I will die here. Then Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me. 31 The king replied to him, eDo as he has said, strike him down and bury him, fand thus take away from me and from my father’s house the guilt for the blood that Joab shed without cause. 32 The Lord will gbring back his bloody deeds on his own head, because, without the knowledge of my father David, he attacked and killed with the sword two men hmore righteous and better than himself, iAbner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and jAmasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 gSo shall their blood come back on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever. But for David and for his descendants and for his house and for his throne there shall be peace from the Lord forevermore. 34 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and struck him down and put him to death. And he was buried in his own house in the wilderness. 35 kThe king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in place of Joab, and the king put lZadok the priest min the place of Abiathar.

36 Then the king sent and summoned nShimei and said to him, Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there to any place whatever. 37 For on the day you go out and cross othe brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall die. pYour blood shall be on your own head. 38 And Shimei said to the king, What you say is good; as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do. So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.

39 But it happened at the end of three years that two of Shimei’s servants ran away to qAchish, son of Maacah, king of Gath. And when it was told Shimei, Behold, your servants are in Gath, 40 Shimei arose and saddled a donkey and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants. Shimei went and brought his servants from Gath. 41 And when Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and returned, 42 the king sent and summoned Shimei and said to him, Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, Know for certain that on the day you go out and go to any place whatever, you shall die? And you said to me, What you say is good; I will obey. 43 Why then have you not kept your oath to the Lord and the commandment with which I commanded you? 44 The king also said to Shimei, You know in your own heart rall the harm that you did to David my father. So the Lord will sbring back your harm on your own head. 45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, tand the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever. 46 Then the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck him down, and he died.

uSo the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom

vSolomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into wthe city of David until he had finished xbuilding his own house yand the house of the Lord zand the wall around Jerusalem. aThe people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord.

Solomon bloved the Lord, cwalking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, dfor that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. eAt Gibeon fthe Lord appeared to Solomon gin a dream by night, and God said, Ask what I shall give you. And Solomon said, You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because hhe walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and ihave given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, jyou have made your servant king in place of David my father, kalthough I am but a little child. I do not know lhow to go out or come in. mAnd your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, ntoo many to be numbered or counted for multitude. oGive your servant therefore an understanding mind pto govern your people, that I may qdiscern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?

10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, rI now do according to your word. Behold, sI give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 tI give you also what you have not asked, uboth riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, vas your father David walked, then wI will lengthen your days.

15 And Solomon xawoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

Solomon’s Wisdom

16 Then two prostitutes came to the king yand stood before him. 17 The one woman said, Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. 18 Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house. 19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne. 22 But the other woman said, No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours. The first said, No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine. Thus they spoke before the king.

23 Then the king said, The one says, This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead; and the other says, No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one. 24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. So a sword was brought before the king. 25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other. 26 Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because zher heart yearned for her son, Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death. But the other said, He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him. 27 Then the king answered and said, Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother. 28 And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that athe wisdom of God was in him to do justice.