A Humanist perspective on what we can learn about what is morality from the Bible.
1 Kings 3: Solomon is granted the gift of wisdom
Solomon further consolidates his power by making a pact with Egypt and marries the Pharoah’s daughter. They live in the city of David until Solomon’s house is built in Jeruselum. Sacrifices are still being made in high places because there is no house for God. One day Solomon is in Gibeon to sacrifice there and God comes to him in a dream and asks Solomon what he wants. Solomon says, well, I’m a newbie at this whole being king thing, therefore grant me an understanding heart to judge they people that I may discern between good and bad. The Lord really liked this and gave Solomon a wise and understanding heart AND riches and honour, even though Solomon didn’t ask for that. 2 harlots who lived together came before him. Both had had babies, but one of them had died. So the woman whose baby died, switched babies with the one who was living. The woman who now had the dead baby recognized, it was not hers. King Solomon asks for a sword to divide the living child in two. The woman whose child it was became hysterical. The woman whose child it was not – didn’t care either way. All Israel heard of the judgement and feared king Solomon because the wisdom of God was in him.
In other words:
Solomon asks God for wisdom and threatens to split a child in two to figure out who the real mother is. This makes the people rather afraid of him. Brilliant but scary.
1 Kings 3:28 – “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.” Obviously – King Solomon and the splitting of the baby is a really famous story – but upon reading it – I realize how terrifying word of this would have been. Don’t come to this guy with nonsense. He is willing to kill a child to call you out as a liar. There is a reason why they feared him.
2nd favorite bit:
1 Kings 3: 9 – Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” What a wise thing to ask for!
Most interesting bit:
God doesn’t yet have a house for sacrifice – so sacrifices are being done in high places. (1 Kings 2) I suppose the height and being on a mountain makes them closer to God.