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The Story of the ddtisdom of Solomon.
(From the 3d Chapter of 1 Kings.)
SOLOMON loved the Lord. And the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and said, “ Ask what I shall give thee.” And Solomon said, “Give unto thy servant an understanding heart, that I may discern between good and bad.” And the speech pleased the Lord. And God said unto him, “Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life: neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
There came two women to king Solomon, and stood before him. And one woman said, “O my Lord, I and this woman dwell in one house together; and there was no one save we two in the house; and this woman's child died in the night,
because she overlaid it. 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 arose 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.” 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 into 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 she loved her son, and she said, “ () 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 the living child to the woman who said, “In no wise slay it :' she is the mother thereof.” And all Israel feared the king; for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him.
The Story of Elijah Fed by Ravens, and the
Widow's Cruse of Oil.
(From the 17th Chapter of 1 Kings.)
Now there was a famine in the land; and the Lord said unto Elijah, the prophet, “Go and hide thyself by the brook that is before Jordan. And thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So Elijah went, and did according to the word of the Lord : for he went and dwelt by the brook; and the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
And it came to pass after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. And the word of the Lord came unto him saying, “ Arise ; get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks : and he called to her, and said, "Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, “Bring me, I pray thee,
a morsel of bread in thine hand.” And she said, “ As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse : and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in, and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.” And Elijah said unto her, “Fear not; go and do as thou hast said : but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and forthy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.” And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah : and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.
And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, “What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son ?” And he said unto her, “Give me thy son.” And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the Lord, and said, “O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son ?" And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, “ O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.” And the THE WIDOW'S CRUSE OF OIL.
Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came i into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and ? brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, “See, thy son liveth." And the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.