Prophet Pearls #10 – Mikeitz (1 Kings 3:15-4:1)

Prophet Pearls Mikeitz (1 Kings 3:15-4:1)In this week's Prophet PearlsMikeitz (1 Kings 3:15-4:1), Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson provide context, past and present, for the quintessential wisdom-of-Solomon story where a birth mother is determined faster than you can say DNA. “Deeply stirred” like the mother in the story, Johnson compares the fight-at-any-cost spirit to the battles for the Land today—where a two-baby solution is still no solution. To have a clearer understanding of the gift of divine wisdom, Gordon compares the Chronicles version of Solomon’s dream with this Portion’s account. We learn the divisions of knowledge in the Tanakh and in what section the writings of Solomon appear. We learn the main function of the ancient kings of Israel and that you don’t have to be perfect for Yehovah to call you friend. Gordon closes with a prayer that God’s chosen son, the Messiah King of Israel, soon will bring an end to fighting—peace to Israel and the world.

"...for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to carry out judgement."
1 Kings 3:28

I look forward to reading your comments!

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Prophet Pearls #10 - Mikeitz (1 Kings 3:15-4:1)

You are listening to Prophet Pearls with Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at

Keith: Shalom chaverim shelanu. You guys already know what that means. It’s peace to you our friends in Hebrew. This is Keith Johnson with Nehemia Gordon, ready to take another peek into the Prophets to see if we can find some pearls to share with you. Shalom chaver sheli ata muchan? Are you ready?

Nehemia: Ani muchan, Keith. I am ready to plunge down deep into the water, into the depths to find the pearls.

Keith: Hey there, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. It’s really... I love these stories. You know, I’m a Bible story reading pastor. That’s just the bottom line. So whenever we get to a story, I always get really excited. We’re going to be reading a story today that is really well-known, a lot of people know about it. It’s funny Nehemia, there are a lot of stories in Scripture that I’ll mention to people that have even been long-term people in the church, and they won’t know anything about the story. I’ve always been surprised by that. But then when I think about what’s happening in most churches on Sunday morning… They did a survey not long ago that said that most preachers don’t even preach out of the Gospels as much, but they mostly preach from the letters of Paul. You think about that - there’s something like 80 percent or something, and the Old Testament, quote unquote, is used for the really well-known stories like Noah and the Ark and Adam and Eve.

But a story like this is so crucial to understanding, and I think a lot of it just has to do for me what I call again is context. We actually addressed the first part of the story - we didn’t get to this part - the first part of this story where David was on his deathbed. You remember, we did that Prophet Pearls. If you have not heard the entire series so far, you really should take a Sabbath and just sit down and listen. I think it really gives people a great chance to kind of understand those passages that aren’t so popular. That aren’t ones that are least preached… in the tradition I come from, you heard these passages every year.

Nehemia: I mean, so, you know, having said that, I was having a conversation… You know, a lot of times what Orthodox Jews will do - not just Orthodox Jews, Jews, in general - is these things will be read in the synagogue and they’re read in Hebrew. Even if you’re a Hebrew speaker, it’s not the Hebrew you speak, it’s the old Hebrew. So it’s like, imagine if your pastor got up and started reading from the King James, so you might zone out. I was actually speaking to this Orthodox Jew, someone very close to me. When we were talking, I said something about Yiftach, which in Hebrew is Jephthah, and I could tell from looking at his face, he didn’t know who Jephthah was. I said, “Have you ever read the book of Judges?” He said “I don’t read Scripture. I study it.” I said, “Okay, smarty, have you ever studied the book of Judges?” This was a man who was a gabai. He was the… I don’t know what you call that in English, like the beadle of the synagogue, I mean he ran all the administrative side of the synagogue. For example, if someone was going to read from the Prophets portion, he would assign that to someone to read. There is a Prophets portion on Jephthah. But he had never studied it. He had never paid attention to what was being read, even though he assigned the portion, and he literally didn’t know the story.

Keith: That kind of happens in both cases…

Nehemia: Yes, in both traditions.

Keith: Did I ever tell you that I didn’t understand… This was a long time ago, Nehemia, it was 2002 when I went to Israel, I would ask someone about - and these are Jewish people that I would be talking to - and I would ask them something about, you know, well, how do you read this passage? Or how do you see this passage? There were a lot of people that I met that actually I just kind of thought that they would be always opening up the Tanakh and reading. Instead it was, they were in the synagogue, they were hearing it read, there was sort of the things that they were doing from a religious standpoint, but in terms of having the available Bible that’s sitting around that they would open up, a lot of them didn’t. Then the other thing that surprised me is how many rabbis were primarily, it seemed, were studying the oral law, the Mishnah and those kinds of things. That was surprising for me.

Nehemia: Absolutely. That’s actually changing even in the Orthodox Jewish world. But historically, and really even in some circles today, Rabbis will study Talmud and they will not study the Tanakh. They may actually read through it, but they’re not actually paying attention to what they’re reading. And they’re kind of like doing their duty and getting through the portions. So what we really want to challenge people to do is to stop and listen and think about what is it that we’ve just read. What does this mean? What does it mean in its context? And it’s really tragic; the Talmud will talk about a certain verse and they’ll know that verse and every letter of the verse. But what does it say one verse before, one verse after? They’ve got no idea, because they never bothered looking.

Keith: Sounds familiar. Well, can we jump right in here? We’re dealing in the 1st Kings chapter 3. What’s really interesting about the portion is we start in verse, I think it’s 15. We start in verse 15, but there’s no way you can start in 15.

Nehemia: You can’t. You’ve got to go to verse 1.

Keith: You’ve got to go to verse 1. And so, let’s do this. I’ll have you read first. Why don’t you take a stab at the first part of it for context, and then I’ll add a little bit?

Nehemia: So basically, the section we’re talking about is the famous story. This you’ve got to know, even if you’ve been falling asleep in your synagogue or churches that, you know, these two women come before - and we’ll talk in more detail - these two women come before Solomon and there’s a dispute whose baby it is. And he says, “Okay, cut the baby in half.”

Keith: You’re giving away the story before we give the context!

Nehemia: Okay. Oh, so I want to give the context…

Keith: We’re about to give them the context.

Nehemia: So I’ll give you the context, of the context. So Solomon knows who’s the real mother because she says, “No, give it to the other woman. Just don’t cut the baby in half.”

Keith: You know, you remind me of the people that would go and watch a movie. I’d say, “I really gotta go see that movie.”

Nehemia: Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert!

Keith: And they’d say, “Oh, it’s a great movie. There’s this part where you think it’s him and it’s…” What are you doing?! Let’s go. I’ll take over. 1st Kings chapter 3.

Nehemia: So why is the context important? Because this story of the two women and the baby is an illustration of Solomon’s wisdom as a judge. Well, what we’re about to read is where Solomon gets his wisdom. That’s what’s important.

Okay. All right, so we are in… I wonder if there are different verse numbers in the English because in Hebrew it’s the same verse number. So really it starts in verse 2, not in verse 1. Verse 1 is about Solomon marrying the daughter of Pharaoh, nothing to do with our story.

Okay? Let’s see, verse 2, I’ll read the JPS, “The people, however, continued to offer sacrifices...” it says in the JPS “to open shrines” but that’s misleading. It’s the high places. “…because up to that time, no house had been built for the name of Yehovah.” You don’t get excited by that, Keith? “And Solomon”, or Shlomo in Hebrew, “Shlomo, though he loved Yehovah and followed the practices of his father David, also sacrificed and offered at the bamot, at the high places. The king went to Givon, to Gibeon, to sacrifice there for that was the largest bama. On that altar Solomon presented a thousand burnt offerings. At Givon, Yehovah appeared to Solomon in a dream by night and God said, ‘Ask what shall I grant you?’ And Shlomo said ‘You dealt most graciously with Your servant, my father David, because he walked before You in faithfulness and righteousness and in integrity of heart. You have continued this great kindness to him by giving him a son to occupy his throne as is now the case. And now, oh Yehovah, my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David. But I am a young lad with no experience in leadership. Your servant finds himself in the midst of the people. You have chosen a people too numerous to be numbered or counted. Grant then Your servant an understanding mind to judge Your people to distinguish between good and bad, for who could judge this vast people of Yours.’ Yehovah was pleased that Solomon asked for this and God said to him, ‘Because you asked for this, you did not ask for long life, you did not ask for riches, you did not ask for the life of your enemies, but you asked for discernment in dispensing justice. I now do as you have spoken, I grant you a wise and discerning mind. There has never been anyone like you before nor will anyone like you arise again. And I also grant you what you did not ask for - both riches and glory, all your life, the life of which no king has ever had. And I will further grant you long life if you will walk in My ways and observe My laws and commandments as did your father David.’”

And now begins our section, which is really in the middle of a thought. It’s actually the end of this section. “Then Shlomo awoke, it was a dream. He went to Jerusalem, stood before the Ark of the covenant…”

Keith: So you don’t have a comment about the context?

Nehemia: Oh I have lots of comments.

Keith: Comment!

Nehemia: So one of the things that’s really exciting about Kings is that there’s a parallel in Chronicles, and you cannot read Kings really completely without looking at the parallel in Chronicles. This is 2 Chronicles chapter 1 verses 1 to 13, and we won’t read the whole thing, but I will bring some of the interesting… one of the controversies…

So it says there’s these high places where he went to sacrifice and they’re forbidden to sacrifice at that high places. Where do we know about that? From Leviticus 17 and Deuteronomy 12, that you’re forbidden to sacrifice at the high places. But then 2 Chronicles throws… What do they call it - a monkey wrench in the works?

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: Let’s look at that real quick. So basically, the same thing happens. They go to the bama and it says in verse 3 of 2 Chronicles 1, “Then Solomon and all the assemblage with him went to the shrine,” And again, it’s bama in Hebrew “went to the bama, the high place at Gibeon,” and it says, “for the Tent of Meeting, which Moses, the Servant of Yehovah had made in the Wilderness, was there.”

And then it says in verse 4, “But the Ark of God David had brought up from Kiryat Ya’arim to the place which David had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem.” So we’ve got this split - the Ark of the covenant, the “Aron”, is in Jerusalem in a tent, and the Tent of Meeting the “Ohel Mo’ed” that Moses made is in Givon, Gibeon, at a high place. Now, wait a minute - many people will tell you, and this isn’t such a crazy assumption, that the Ohel Mo’ed, the Tent of the Meeting, was destroyed after the battle of Afek. That’s the story where the Ark was taken. Eli was sitting on the chair and he fell back and broke his neck, and the next thing we hear is in Jeremiah, about how God abandoned the Tabernacle of Shilo, of Shiloh.

So wait a minute, but it survived Shilo was brought to - or least something of it survived - and was brought to Givon, to Gibeon. And then it goes on in verse 5 and it says, “The bronze altar, which Bezalel the son of Uri son of Hur had made was also there before the Tabernacle of Yehovah, and Solomon and the assemblage resorted to it. There Solomon assembled the bronze altar before Yehovah, which was at the Tent of Meeting and on it sacrificed a thousand burnt offerings.” What on Earth is going on? The way it sounded in Kings is that Solomon was sinning because he was sacrificing at the bamot. It says he followed Yehovah except he did this one thing, and here it’s like this little piece of information which is confusing. The altar of Bezalel from the book of Exodus was there, and the Tent of the Meeting that Moses made? So what’s going on?

Keith: Personally when I was reading that I thought to myself, “Wow, Solomon is trying,” and I think the key for me was when we read a little bit further in the beginning of the context, but Solomon is trying to do what he thinks he’s supposed to do. So whether this was what everyone did before, or this is the place to go, what’s interesting about it is when he says this, if we can go to this in 3 verse 2. I’m sorry, in 1 Kings 3. And it says, “Now Solomon,” and I’m reading from the NASB, we can also check the Hebrew. “Now Solomon loved Yehovah, walking in the statutes of his father David, except...”

Nehemia: Exactly. Meaning it’s clearly a sin, there’s no question about it. Here’s the really shocking thing that we get from Chronicles, and taking it together with Kings… the Tabernacle of Moses was there, the altar of Bezalel the son of Uri from the book of Exodus was there, but it was still a sin to sacrifice there because God had said only at the place where I put My name and where His name was put is at the Ark, and the Ark was in Jerusalem. So even though it had all the trappings - I mean, people there could say, “But Moses built this. You’re going to bring me a verse from Leviticus 17 and Deuteronomy 12? Like, what are you talking about? Moses built this Tabernacle and Bezalel, who had the wisdom, he also had the wisdom of Yehovah put in his heart. He built this altar.” But it was still a sin. And what really is amazing to me about this whole story is that Yehovah still accepted his sacrifice. Yehovah still came to him and spoke to him. He didn’t say, “Okay, now I cast you out. You’re evil, you’re going to hell because you didn’t do all of the stipulations that you’re supposed to do and you did sin. Okay, I’m acknowledging that. But you love Yehovah and your heart’s in the right place.” Wow is Yehovah amazing!

Keith: So it says here that… and Nehemia, I don’t know about the issue of whether he accepted the sacrifice or not. We know that He showed up.

Nehemia: He responded.

Keith: Well, it says that He appeared to him in a dream at night and God said...

Nehemia: I want to dwell on this for one more minute, because a lot of people I interact with today, I call them the Shabbat Police or the Torah police. We have this phrase in Hebrew that they’re going to be checking your tzitzit. They’re checking your fringes to make sure that they’re according to all the stipulations, and if the tzitzit checkers or the Torah Police had shown up here, they would have said, “Whoa, Whoa, God, you can’t be talking to Solomon, he just sinned.” And instead, Yehovah said, “I’m bigger than what you think I am.”

Keith: Yeah, and again, the point is that He met with him, and I think the thing that kind of threw me that I liked, if I can go to 1 Kings 3:6, it says, “And Solomon said, ‘You’ve shown great loving kindness to your servant, David.’” That’s a statement that we can go and look further into, “according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart towards You and You have reserved for him this great loving-kindness.” He says, “You have made Your servant king in place of my father David yet…” And then in different phrases, in the NASB it says “yet, but I am a little child.” And this is something that really caught my attention, because we don’t know exactly how old Solomon was. No one can say “in verse, Kings 14, verse 5, it says Solomon was 12.”

Nehemia: Right. Well, you know, I’m…

Keith: Hold on, Nehemia.

Nehemia: Bevakasha.

Keith: Thank you. So anyway, it doesn’t say exactly how old he is. We don’t have that like we have statements over and over in Kings. So and so was this age. So and so was this age. So and so was this age. With Solomon, we don’t get an age, but we get this phrase that he was “na’ar katon.” So he’s a small child, little child, et cetera. We don’t know how old he is. And then this small child, however old he is, prays this prayer.

The reason this caught me is because when he says it, he says, “I’m in the midst of your people and have chosen a great people.” He said, “So give your servant…” in English it says an “understanding heart,” but what it says in Hebrew, it says “to give your servant a heart - lev shome’ah.” It’s almost like a heart that’s listening. The idea that Solomon is at this young age saying, “Okay, I don’t know it all,” and what if more people did this? “I don’t know it all. I’m in the process. I love You, I definitely love You, but I don’t know it all and I really need Your help.” And so I want to listen and I don’t know what it is about this. It’s like a heart that’s listening versus a heart that’s speaking. He’s basically saying, “Here I am, speak to me and I’ll do it.” It’s like my heart is ready. It’s attentive. It’s ready to be.

And then, of course, he prays this prayer. He says “Who is able to judge this great people of Yours? It was pleasing…” What was pleasing? “…that he asked this thing.” And what thing did he ask? “that his heart would listen?” I mean, even as we do these Prophet Pearls, we don’t know it all. You know, we might have our computers. I mean, I think, let’s see, one, two, three, four books and computers and even at David’s prayer, he says, “Open my eyes that I might…” what?

Nehemia: That I might see…

Keith: “…these wonderful things.” And his son comes along and he says, “Make my heart listen.” And really, that’s what I love about doing these studies, is that here’s this young child, however old he is, how he knew to pray this prayer. We don’t know how he knew it, but he prayed it, and then God answered that prayer. So that was the thing that…

Nehemia: And about his age, I don’t know that we can really assume that he’s 12.

Keith: We don’t know. We don’t know.

Nehemia: Because you know, think about it, in the U.S. Constitution, the president has to be 45 years old to be president. So imagine you’re king of Israel. Maybe he’s… I’m 41 years old and I feel like Solomon, I’m a young man. I’m a young boy and there’s a lot I don’t know.

Keith: Absolutely. So it goes on in verse 3:14, before we get to verse 15, and this is the other thing, the connection with what you just said. He says, “If You walk in My ways,” boy, that sounds familiar. “If you walk in My ways and keeping My statutes and commands as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.” And of course, you can read what those statues are, and over and over it’ll talk about doing this prolongs your days, honoring your father and mother prolongs your days, doing this... You know what I mean? Over and over.

And then this is the verse that I like, and this is the beginning of the actual portion, 3:15 if you guys, I hope you’ve got your bibles open, at least more than one, because you’ve got to catch up to us here. “Then Solomon awoke and behold it was a dream and then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the Ark.” And then what does he do? He offers more burnt offerings and makes pizza offerings.

Nehemia: Did you just say pizza offerings?

Keith: Peace offerings.

Nehemia: He went to Pizza Hut?

Keith: “And made a feast for all the servants.” Some people, I just want to stop right here and I want to be, I’m not taking a deeper look. You know, it would be really easy if when you see the word feast, you could think, “Oh, this must be one of the feasts.” You could do a whole message and say, “Maybe this is one of the feasts.” In fact, it’s not one of the feasts, but it’s an example where the same word can be used, but two different meanings. “Feast of the Lord.” What is the Hebrew word behind that?

Nehemia: Oh, you’re doing the word mishteh?

Keith: Yes, mishteh. No, I’m saying…

Nehemia: Oh, mishteh is not a mo’ed. Mo’ed is a point in time, chag is a pilgrimage festival. This is mishteh, a different word altogether. I mean it was a drinking party.

Keith: Yeah, absolutely. So they’re having a time, but he says he stood before the Ark. I want to stop there because let’s just talk just for a second about the significance…

Nehemia: Can you read the whole phrase?

Keith: Yeah, go ahead.

Nehemia: The ark of the… Aron Brit Adonai, the “Ark of the covenant of the Lord.” Actually, it does say Lord, Adonai.

Keith: Yeah, it does say Adonai. So here you have the Ark place… I honestly don’t even know how to start talking about it.

Nehemia: Well, I think it’s interesting before he got the divine wisdom, he went and he offered offerings at Givon, at Gibeon, and after he got the divine wisdom he said, “Ooh, maybe I need to go to Jerusalem and offer these offerings.”

Keith: Which I think is also a part… We call it the joy of the journey. And the joy of the journey says God meets Solomon as a young, whatever the age is, He meets him at this place, whatever it is.

Nehemia: 41.

Keith: He brings him to the next place. I think that’s another picture that I like about this story, is that our Father in heaven would meet him at a high place and then bring him to this place, and then we get a chance to see what happens. So if you want to, Nehemia, we can get right into this…

Nehemia: I’m not done with Solomon, the wise… I think we’re really… The story is a great story and everybody knows the story, come on. And we’ll talk about…

Keith: No, a lot of people don’t know the story. We’re going to tell the story.

Nehemia: I want to talk about why it was so important for him to ask for wisdom. And it wasn’t just wisdom. Let’s go back to the exact verse, which I think is verse 9. It says, “And may you give to your servant, a listening heart,” and it says “lishpot” “to judge your people”, to discern between good and evil, or literally to know between good and evil, to understand between good and evil, because who could judge this heavy people? That’s what he says.

So what judge… you know, we have in American law, and I say American because that’s where I grew up. We have this concept of separation of powers. And we have… you know, it’s funny, I asked my Chinese students how does the American government work? And they said, “Oh, there’s three sections there.” And they actually knew this. They said, “There’s the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive.” And I said, “How does your government work?” And they said, “We have no idea.” They literally said that. So everyone knows this, even Chinese people - the American has three… and there’s separation of powers and each is separate.

Well in biblical Israel, it wasn’t quite so simple. Meaning that the main function of the king, after ruling, one of his main functions was to be a judge. That actually goes way back, and I just want… if we could spend a couple minutes on this, I think it’s really important - that the role of the king of Israel is to be a judge, and to be a righteous judge. That’s really what he was asking; to have the discernment to be a righteous Judge.

Deuteronomy 17 talks about if you don’t know what to do in a matter of judgment, you go up to the Temple and you can ask two different groups of people there. One is the Levitical priests and the other is the judge, and it actually says hashofet the judge, he’s the high judge. He is the head of the Supreme Court. We see in the book of Judges, there’s a whole era of judges, and we have judges like… who is the top judge in all of Israel. And that judge is also a leader by default. Meaning, that’s the Hebrew thinking, a judge - the high judge is a leader.

So we have Jephtah and we have a whole bunch of judges. Gideon. Anyway, the era of judges gives way to the era of kings, and explicitly the people come and say, “Look, this judge system, we’re not happy with it. We want a commander-in-chief to come and be our king and also judge.” And that’s exactly what they say to Saul in 1 Samuel chapter 8 verse 5. It says… sorry, this is not Saul, it’s Samuel the prophet. “And they said to Samuel, ‘You have grown old and your sons have not followed your ways, therefore appoint a king for us.’” And then the JPS says, “to govern us like all the other nations.” But in the Hebrew, it doesn’t say govern us, it says “to judge us like all the nations.” So the role of the king is to be a judge, and that’s what he’s thinking.

And then one more verse, which I think is a really important one. It’s talking about the future King Messiah; may he come soon and bring world peace. Isaiah chapter 11. Can we read that? All right, Isaiah 11, I’ll read it in the JPS, “But a shoot shall grow out of the stump of Jesse, a twig shall sprout from his stock.” A very famous passage, “The spirit of Yehovah shall light upon him, a spirit of wisdom and insight, a spirit of counsel and valor, a spirit of devotion and reverence for Yehovah.”

In verse 3, “He shall sense the truth by his reverence for Yehovah. He shall not judge by what his eyes behold, nor decide by what his ears perceive. Thus he shall judge the poor with equity…” Remember, this isn’t the head of the Supreme Court, this is the king of Israel who’s going to reign on the throne and rule the entire world. But one of his main functions will be to judge. “He will judge the poor with equity and decide with justice for the lowly of the land. He shall strike down a land with the rod of his mouth and slay the wicked with the breath of his lips. Justice shall be girdle, the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness, the girdle of his waist,” et cetera. “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,” et cetera.

Okay, so we have this image of the king as a judge, and I think when we read this story about Solomon, we can think about Solomon, but can I say this? That he’s a type of the Messiah. He is a messiah, but he’s the type of the future Messiah. From the line of David.

Keith: That’s what we read earlier, when we were talking about the line of David. And that was, I think it was almost three episodes ago. So if people didn’t get a chance to listen to that, they can actually go to that Prophet Pearls. Do you have that verse off the top of your head…?

Nehemia: Which one?

Keith: The Prophet Pearls that we read about David? It was in 1 Kings chapter 1, the 1 Kings chapter 1, is where we were about talking about David and how this whole thing set up for Solomon to be…

Nehemia: The king in there somewhere.

Keith: It’s 1 Kings chapter 1. Okay. So now that, now here comes the circumstance, the situation, the story, the story that you say everyone knows, that we don’t need to read it then.

Nehemia: I’m just saying. I think it’s important to get the context…

Keith: Absolutely. I’m 100 percent with you on that. 1 Kings chapter 3 verse 16. And then it says, “And then two women,” and it says “who were harlots” in the NAS translation.

Nehemia: It says in Hebrew “zonot.” They’re prostitutes.

Keith: They’re prostitutes it says there. You know what’s really interesting, Nehemia? There are sometimes where you’ll read something in Scripture, and I know there are different historic… people that will do interpretations. And what’s really, really interesting, there was an interpretation that these weren’t actually harlots.

Nehemia: Oh really?

Keith: Yeah. And that the interpretation was that they were… no, listen…

Nehemia: It just says they were.

Keith: Here’s what the issue was. The issue was whether or not harlots, actual prostitutes, would be able to go before the king, before the righteous king, and come in with this issue. So the issue was they were trying to figure out how to get around it. So can I give you one of the interpretations?

Nehemia: Sure, I haven’t heard this.

Keith: So one of the interpretations is no, they weren’t actually prostitutes, they were actually people who were… what do they call it? Tavern runners? They’re running the tavern?

Nehemia: Oh, okay that I’m familiar with.

Keith: So you’re sandbagging us. You know there’s a tradition where there’s a different...

Nehemia: Like wherever there’s a prostitute you want to say is righteous, in some of the Jewish sources they’ll say she was “pundaka’it” which is a tavern…

Keith: Folks, here’s what’s happening here. I’m trying to draw him out...

Nehemia: For example, Rachav, Rahab the prostitute, they’ll say, “Well no, she was just an innkeeper. That’s really the word - innkeeper.”

Keith: And so the point is, they were saying, “Well, no, the husbands were gone. They got in a situation, these were actually two innkeepers.” Let’s just go with the word.

Nehemia: And here’s where they’re getting at. In the Aramaic translation, it does say for Rahab that she was a “pundaka’it”, an innkeeper. But that’s because it was kind of like in the old West where the inn was also the brothel, because where else do you have a bed that you can rent by the hour? So that’s in the inn. But these obviously are prostitutes, and Rahab was a prostitute, and that was the whole point of the story. But I think the point of them being prostitutes here is that even these lowly prostitutes can get justice from the king.

Keith: And so that’s what happens. They come before him, and one woman says, “O my Lord, this woman and I live in the same house and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. It happened on the third day.” I could do a sermon on this. “It happened on the third day I gave birth that this woman also gave birth to a child and we were together. There was no stranger.” She makes sure to let you know the circumstance - there was no other person in the house, “Only the two of us in the house. This woman’s son died in the night because she laid on it. So she rose in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your maidservant slept and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead son in my bosom.”

And then 3:21, if I can continue. “When I arose in the morning to nurse my son, behold he was dead. But when I looked at him carefully in the morning, behold he was not my son whom I had borne.” You know, it’s really interesting when I read that - and this is what happens for me - I try to slow down in the passages and get the picture that’s happening here. So the picture is, maybe it’s early in the morning, those women who nursed their children, sometimes they wake up at four o’clock, 4:30 in the morning and you can’t see. So she’s trying to nurse the child, she comes to find out that the child is dead. But then later she looks in the light of day. And she says, “Wait.” So maybe at first, when this happens, at first she’s thinking, “My son is dead,” because she can’t see him. It’s not like you can just flip a light on where they’re living. It’s dark. I don’t know if you know this, these children, they wake up like four o’clock. They woke up in nighttime.

Nehemia: It’s so immature of them.

Keith: Yeah. So they wake up at nighttime, so she’s feeding your child. Maybe it’s the time that she’s doing this. And then when the morning light comes, she notices this is not her son. So it says, “Behold he was not my son whom I had borne.” Then the other woman... now, this is where things get interesting. The other woman comes in and begins to do her thing. 3:22, and I think I liked, I mean, I shouldn’t say I liked, but the way that this is, I’m trying to scroll at the same time. And the other woman, she said; “‘No! For the dead one is your son and the living one is my son.’ Thus they spoke before the king.” And so we have a legitimate argument happening before the king.

Nehemia: They don’t have DNA tests. So there’s no way, there’s no scientific way to determine…

Keith: And there are no witnesses. They can’t… there’s no father that can come in talk on one’s behalf or the other’s behalf.

Nehemia: Right.

Keith: Or whoever.

Nehemia: Well because the father doesn’t even know he has a child.

Keith: Yeah, who knows? But, one of the things that came to me was this, I was thinking about, so what is this happening? So you have the one who’s coming and bringing her case. Then you have the other one that’s saying hastily, “I’m going to bring my case.” I thought immediately of Proverbs 25:8. It says, “Do not go out hastily to argue your case. Otherwise, what will you do in the end when your neighbor humiliates you?” In other words, she’s coming and she’s saying, “Look, I’m ready to bring my case. The other one’s going to bring her case.” They’re battling back and forth before the king. Now I don’t know what you would do, but for me, I would think, let me bring this down to one of the lower judges.

Nehemia: Yeah. And maybe it did go to one of the lower judges, and they said, “We don’t know what to do,” and it ended up with the king; we don’t know the background of the case.

Keith: Amazing. Yeah. It’s amazing. So when this actually happens… unless you want to say anything about the…

Nehemia: So when I read this, here’s where my Rabbinical background and culture comes in. The first thing that I think, when I read it - and how far did you get there?

Keith: Only just to… this is just the end of the story of them talking. You can…

Nehemia: Yes, let’s finish the story and I’ll tell you the Rabbinical background, because it immediately pops into my head, and it’s obviously based on this story. I would venture to say… I’m going to share it. So there’s the section that every Orthodox Jew, every Orthodox Jewish male, studies in the Talmud, and it’s the beginning of the tractate of Bava Metzia in the Talmud. And it’s actually something that I had to memorize as a child, this is one of the only passages in the Talmud that… actually, it was several pages.

Keith: How old were you when you had to memorize it?

Nehemia: Oh man, I think I was like in fourth grade or fifth grade, something like that. And it starts out, Shnayim ochazim betallit. Zeh omer ani matzati aval zeh omer ani matzati. Ze omer kula sheli vezeh omer kula sheli. Zeh yishavah sheh ein lo pachot michetzi aval zeh yishavah sheh ein lo pachot michetzi veyachaloku. Ze omer…et cetera. And I can show off and go on. But isn’t it amazing that, what is it over 20 years later - oh my gosh, am I that old - and I still remember this?

And it really is, it’s a section about two people walk into the court and they’re both holding onto a tallit, which is, you know, the garment, that’s the main garment people wore. And one says, “I found it”, and the other says, “I found it”. In other words, they’re not claiming prior ownership. And then the owner, the person who found it, it’s his if there’s no owner, and so then he says, “all of its mine”, the other says, “all of it’s mine” and one has to swear. Well, they basically come before the court and the court figures out, how do we do it? And the end, the court decides we split it in half, and they obviously got this from Solomon. And what they did is they took the principle in the story of Solomon and they’ve now applied it. Now the interesting thing is if you come from the Rabbinical perspective, you get a different answer here. You say, “Oh wait minute. That’s why Solomon was going to cut it in half - because he knew the Talmudic tractate of Bava Metzia.” And this is what the rabbis will tell you. No, this is what they say. And so just like the tallit was cut in half, he was going to cut the baby in half. Well actually, it’s the other way around. Solomon knew the Talmud. That’s what they’ll tell you.

Keith: Can I segue here? There’s just concern that I have sometimes - I think I brought it up a little bit earlier. I never memorized that tractate, I never knew anything about it…

Nehemia: You memorized the Epistle of James instead.

Keith: Yeah, I memorized the Epistle of James. But what’s interesting is that sometimes there’s an assumption that for those who do have access to the Talmud and the Mishnah and those kinds of things, that their answer, because it will be at the deeper level, will be the right level.

Nehemia: That’s why Solomon was going to cut the baby in half. Because that’s what you do with the tallit. Wowww!

Keith: Exactly. No. And so the reason I bring this up though, that makes me a little bit sad, is that we have this ability to get to the Scripture and to see it in the original language and history and context. And then there’s always the - I don’t want to call it a shortcut, I would just say another way around it, a man’s interpretation. And so in this interpretation, sometimes it can go so far and so far off what the original purpose of the Scripture is, and again, that’s where I get so concerned when people tend to push that.

And can I say this? This is probably going to get me in a lot of trouble. When they say, “Well look, we have access to the rabbi, and the rabbi’s got the Rabbinic interpretation, so therefore we know we’re right now.” And I’ve sat down with some rabbis, and actually the blessing of it is, been able to talk about passages in language, history, and context. And I’ve had rabbis say, “You know what? I didn’t think of it that way because I’ve been so conditioned to read… this is the oral tradition, this is the Rabbinic tradition.” So it’s something that I want people to be aware of.

Nehemia: And imagine my background; so I know this section by heart, but maybe I don’t know the section in Kings by heart. And I’m sitting there in the synagogue, bored out of my mind and they’re reading the prayers. And I open up the Haftorah, the Prophet portion. I say, “Oh wow. That, wow, he was going to apply the law of a Tallit,” when really come on - it was the exact opposite, meaning, he came up with this and that’s why he’s so smart. They say the really brilliant things in history are the things that you look back and you say, “Those things were obvious.”

And so Solomon came up, you know, it’s like a lot of things Einstein said, we look back and say, “Oh yeah, well why didn’t somebody think of that before that?” And so that’s what… that was the brilliance of Solomon - that he came up with something that afterwards you can look back and say that was so obvious. And here’s a really powerful example, I think where the Jewish history, language and context isn’t the original biblical history, language, and context. That Jewish tradition has taken this biblical concept in this biblical story and derived something from it, which is wonderful. But then to take that derivative and read it back into the original is a complete distortion of the biblical story.

Keith: And with that, we’ll move on, if that’s okay. So we have the story, Nehemia, we’ve got them battling back and forth and then we get to this sentence of the king, and Solomon says that in verse number, let’s see if I can get there real quick. Okay. Verse number 23. “Then the king said,” he kind of repeats them, “the one says, ‘This is my son who was living and your son is the dead one,’ and the other one says, ‘No, for your son is the dead one. And my son is the living one.’ The king then said, get me a sword.” And at this point, the game is about to change. Because he says, “Get me a sword.” And - Get you a sword? What do you mean? “So they brought a sword before the king, the king said,” and if you could read this in the Hebrew, I think it would be really nice. Just act like you’re Solomon. Okay. I want you to be Solomon for a minute and I want you to quote what Solomon said when he said it.

Nehemia: “Vayomer Hamelech”, “and the King said “Gizru at hayeled achad l’shanayim u’tnu et hachetzi l’achat ve’et hachatzi l’achat.” “Cut the living child into two and give half to one and half to one.”

Keith: Now let me go ahead and tell you what I really want to say.

Nehemia: What’s that?

Keith: I feel like I hear these words today.

Nehemia: Oh really?

Keith: I feel like when I hear Solomon say that, I hear these words from many leaders around the United States and the world, that literally say this, “One says it’s theirs and the other one says it’s theirs. So here’s what we’re going to do. Let’s come up with a two-state solution. Let’s cut the baby in half. You have your half, you have your half.” And in fact what they’re really saying - and I want to give a little promo here - because when I read this story Nehemia, I’ve read the story all the time. But this year I’ve really been struck by what’s happening, and I’ve kind of stayed out of it, but I’ve really been struck by what’s happening in the land of Israel regarding the politics of the land of Israel. And specifically, when it comes to what I call the cut-the-baby-in-half idea that somehow, let’s just have you take this part and have you take this part - the simple solution. You do this over here, you do this over here and everybody will be fine. When in fact what I believe is happening is they’re killing the baby. The baby, if I can use this carefully, the baby is Israel. Okay? This is the living baby. And there’s someone who has birthrights to the land to Israel. And then there are others who would say, “Look, we may not have birthrights but this is our land too.”

Now that sounds like a simple, simple parallel, but I want to bring this up because I’ve really been struggling, specifically I’ve been struggling with the United States’ position regarding Israel, and the simple answers that keep coming out. 1960, we can talk about this, I actually think there’s room to talk about this. You know, Israel does what it does, it gets attacked, tries to defend itself, gets attacked, tries to defend itself, and then you’ve got sort of these people on the outside who come up with these simple answers. “Well, you know what? Just go back to the 1967 lines. Just do this, go back…”

And what would it always ends up doing is it doesn’t bring life to the people, even in Israel, in my humble opinion, it actually brings death. And I think staying on that… If the story ended right here, if the story ended right here, people could say, “Well, you know, Keith, you know, you’ve gone too far.” But what do we find in this story? We find out that by asking the question, “Who loves the land?” and I would say something, now I want you to challenge me. I feel like sometimes - and maybe we should get to the verse - but that even the President… Many Jews in Israel would say, “Well, okay, rather than causing major, major issues, let’s keep giving. Let’s keep doing… We want to keep…” I mean, there’s just more and more… I mean, you bend over backward sometimes, and I feel like eventually you’ve got to come to the place where you say, “Okay, enough is enough and let’s have a judgment.” I think that judgment ultimately in Scripture is going to come. So that’s my…

Nehemia: And just to extend your analogy, it’s almost like they’re saying, “Let’s give the ears and the arms, to one part and we’ll give the legs and the torso to the other.” And what ends up is we’re fighting over the head now, and it’s killing the baby. It’s a powerful analogy, wow.

Keith: Let me tell you what I did, and this is actually if we can take a moment here just to do a little Ministry Minute. One of the things I did this year was I was invited to write for Breaking Israel News, and this was one of the first couple of articles I wrote. And the title of the article, and I’m actually going to post it again when we put this up on, I’m going to post the article when we do Prophet Pearls. It was called Don’t Cut the Baby In Two, and I was addressing this whole issue of what they call the two-state solution, which I think is not a solution at all. We can go into depth about that. But what I am committed to doing is continuing, when the doors open, effective doors for ministry, you want to walk through them. And one of the effective doors for ministry was to be able to write, and I think there’s probably seven or eight articles. And one of the things that’s really interesting. There might be eight or nine or 10 people that are writing for Breaking Israel News, but one of the things happens is when I’ll write an article, the social media aspect of it is amazing. The people that will hear it and they’ll share it and they’ll hear it and they’ll share it. And like literally, this is humbling. Like that article, I think there’s like 700 plus shares on one article. And again, it’s the power of social media.

Now at the same time Nehemia, I just have to say that there are also challenges with social media, and one of the things that you and I have been trying to do, individually with our separate ministries but also together, is to get that information out to people so that they can share it with their friends and share it with their friends. And that’s why Prophet Pearls are so exciting. That’s why with BFA International, at least for us, this has been a great opportunity because we have got a chance to every week bring the word of God which is in line with the mission - inspiring people around the world to build a biblical foundation for their faith.

And what Breaking Israel News is, it says, “Breaking Israel News - News From a Biblical Perspective”. So that again fits in with the mission. Most of what you’re going to hear, hopefully all of it, is somehow connected to helping people understand the Bible better. So that’s Go there, sign up as a free member, and if you’re really so moved before the end of the year, consider being a part of the Premium Content Library. That’s going to help us produce even more information that’s going to be coming out, if we can get the people that will support it.

Nehemia: Of course, my ministry is Makor Hebrew Foundation, and my website is I want to invite people to head over to and join what I call the Support Team. By becoming a member of the Support Team, it allows me to continue my ministry of empowering people with information to defend the word of God and build their faith based on ancient Hebrew sources. It also gives you access to my Support Team Studies, that are already changing people’s lives. I actually put one out - by the time this is aired - a couple of months ago, called the Fundamental Flaw of Judaism. I was sharing there this revelation I had driving to Roswell, New Mexico, and it had nothing to do with aliens. I got this really touching email I wanted to share from this woman named Ann, and she wrote, “Life-changing? That’s an understatement. Wow. That explains everything.” This was after listening to Fundamental Flaw of Judaism. She says, “It’s these types of revelations and teachings that give me an extreme personal confirmation that Yah is giving Himself and making Himself known. Thanks for being the vessel this time.”

So I really want to encourage people to go over to There are literally hundreds of hours of free information there, and free teachings, but also if you really want to go to the next level, then please consider joining the Support Team, and that will give you access to these Support Team Studies.

And then also, both Keith and I have got podcasts on iTunes. And actually, I found out that there are these other websites that kind of mirror iTunes, if you’re not an Apple person – like, I’ve gone over to the Samsung Android side, and I can now go with my Samsung and access these things that are like iTunes, and it has the same exact thing. But it really does help - if you go to iTunes, if you’re an Apple person, and give us a rating to podcast and podcast.

And really, really important - please share these Prophet Pearls every week. We need the people to stand with us on the wall and share it, get the information out there. I don’t know if you realize this, Keith, well, I know you do, but I don’t know if the people realize this - but if you have a large number of people who are following your information on Facebook, Facebook actually charges you money to put your information in front of those people. Like they first tell you it’s free, and then when it actually comes time to send a message out, they’ll say, “If you really want people to see this, you’ve got to pay us.” It’s like kind of like this bait and switch thing that Facebook does.

And can we talk about the Facebook controversy?

Keith: Well, I’m still vexed by it, Nehemia…

Nehemia: Can you please… I mean, it happened just this morning, and obviously this is going to be broadcast sometime down the road, but we’re prerecording. I need you to talk about it.

Keith: To be honest with you, I really want to stick on this right now, because it’s just really, it’s really frustrating to me - what you’ve talked about - bait and switch and what happens in social media.

Nehemia: And now they’ve graduated to essentially censorship, like something I would expect from a fascist regime in the third world. That’s what Facebook is doing now.

Keith: Yeah. Okay. So if we can go to 3:26…

Nehemia: On that note…

Keith: No, this is the key verse - 3:26, “Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, ‘Oh my Lord, give her the living child. And by no means kill him.’” And Nehemia, I have to just tell you when I read that phrase, I was reminded of a really interesting thing that happened. And I you to consider this as the Word of the Week. This is really interesting. I want us to go to Genesis…

Nehemia: Three weeks in a row you’re choosing.

Keith: No. Well, you know what…

Nehemia: It’s fine, go ahead.

Keith: If this one is too much, Genesis 43:30. I want you to go to Genesis 43:30. We see the same phrase in Genesis 43 30 that we see in 1 Kings. When it says, “deeply stirred”, I mean, we could pass over that really quickly. I want to give what the meaning of the word, not the second word, racham, I want to give the first word, which basically… and if you would be willing to look at the whole word, okay? And in fact, why don’t we do this? 43:30 - would you read 43:30 in Hebrew? Then I want you to read 1 Kings 3:26 in Hebrew and see if we can hear the same kind of phrase.

Nehemia: Okay. And the verse in Genesis you want? It says, “Vayamher Yosef”, and Joseph hurried, “ki nichmeru rachamav el achiv.”

Keith: There it is right there. Now read 1 Kings 3:26.

Nehemia: His mercies were nichmeru to his brother. 26?

Keith: Yep. 3:26.

Nehemia: Okay, it says, “ki nichmeru rachameha” for her mercy was, again, nichmeru, nichmar.

Keith: Okay, so what is the word “nichmeru”? So let’s talk about what this word is, because I got kind of excited about this word.

Nehemia: Do you have an answer?

Keith: Well, no, I wanted to do the Word of the Week. I mean... Is that really too much?

Nehemia: I think that’s really too advanced. I’ll tell people what it means, and what I love is where we have these words and you get to see the literal meaning. Like, there’s often a derived, what we call it abstract meaning, and if you look at the literal meaning, you understand what the abstract meaning is. And so we have a verse in Lamentations 5:10, and there it says “Our skin glows like an oven.” Let’s see, in the King James, it says, “Our skin was black like an oven,” which I don’t know where they got that. They just made that up. “Our skin is hot as an oven,” in the NIV, and that’s probably the closest. Nichmeru comes from the word “to be hot”, and the literal meaning is like an oven. So nichmeru rachamav, or rachameha for the feminine, is her mercy. Her compassion got hot.

Keith: So I don’t know if people have experiences. I actually experienced this, and I actually experienced this somewhat, Nehemia, even in discussing this issue about the social media, where there’s a physical reaction to something that’s taking place outside of your body. And in this situation, when she said she was deeply stirred, it’s like - you ever get that part where you get warm?

Nehemia: So you’re saying Facebook is making you warm.

Keith: I’m feeling very, very warm about it today.

Nehemia: And not in a warm, fuzzy way, in a bad way.

Keith: And not in a good way, she said she was deeply stirred. And so again, with Joseph, what happens? He sees his brothers, and he can’t play the role anymore, and he can’t be the guy that’s behind Pharaoh’s government. He’s looking at his flesh and blood, and it moves him. It moves him, it brings him physically… he physically feels it. And when I think about this, I think about that he runs from the room, and then I think about this woman who’s hearing her baby, her child is going to be cut in half. And the response - and this is why I go back to the political issue - the response of the one that’s not the mother, let’s blow it up and let’s have more terror. Let’s knock it down. Let’s… You know, it’s the same spirit. What does she say?

Nehemia: So basically, so you’re saying Hamas, that has a war, and Gaza is flattened, and they say that’s a victory?

Keith: It’s a victory because they’re saying, “Look, we’d rather that Gaza be destroyed than the child live.” And so what does she say? She says, “Oh Lord, give her the living child and by no means kill him,” but the other one says, “he shall be neither mine nor yours.” Give us the two-state solution. Divide them. We know it’s not going to work.

Nehemia: Destroy it.

Keith: Destroy it. And so this is why I wanted to bring up that verse, because the response that we see of Joseph running out of the room, is… We don’t see her running out of the room, but it’s the same response - a deep, hot feeling of compassion. And I believe lastly, when I look at some people, when I hear their responses of what’s happening in Israel, in their eyes, and in their voice, I hear that compassion for the land of Israel and for the people of Israel. And they don’t want the child to die, and they’re willing to sacrifice so the child doesn’t die.

Nehemia: Right. And what’s the image here of this growing hot… like what physiologically, what’s happening? I’m not a doctor, so I hope this is right, but it’s my understanding that what’s happening is basically there’s some kind of release of… I don’t know if it’s adrenaline or something like that, but then you get blush on your face, your face turns… blood rushes to your face and you feel this warmth in your face. And that’s actually this great image in Lamentations 5:10, again, which is our skin glows like an oven or grows hot like an oven. What’s happening is the blood is rushing to the face, and this is what’s happening with the woman. It’s not even a voluntary reaction. It’s a completely involuntary physiological reaction to where her mercy is stirred - that’s the word verachameha. And actually, the word mercy comes from the word for womb. And here, literally, the baby came out of the womb. And so… You’re going to force me to do this as our Word of the Week.

Keith: No, we did this one already.

Nehemia: No, nichmeru, we’re going to do. So this is the word that means to glow or to grow hot.

Keith: Oh, nichmeru, go ahead. We got him, folks, we got him, folks.

Nehemia: Okay. So this is a little advanced. So bear with me, people. Every word in Hebrew has a three-letter root. The three-letter root here is Kaf-Mem-Resh, not Koof -Kaf, like the backward C, Kaf-Mem-Resh, and it’s nichmeru. The U in nichmeru is they, the Nun is the nifal which is one of the seven conjugations of Hebrew, it’s a verb form. So it says nichmeru - that they were made hot or to glow rachameha, her mercy. So that’s the Word of the Week.

Keith: Awesome. And I will say this, Nehemia, I really appreciate you doing that. It is a little bit advanced, but you know what? People are getting the information, and they can take their time and little by little… just like you mentioned the seven verbal stems. It’s like, that’s something that people can actually learn. We’ve got to figure out how, and I guess I won’t say it or we’ll ended up doing another whole project. We don’t have the resources for it right now, but let’s do this.

Nehemia: Ain’t that the truth?

Keith: So she has this warm, she has this hot red, whatever we want to call it, feeling. And then what does the king say in 27? “Then the king said, ‘Give the first woman to the living child and by no means kill him.’”

Nehemia: Whoa, whoa, whoa. No, I’m reading it in English. You have “the first woman”. What? What?

Keith: “Give the first woman the living child and by no means kill him. She is his mother.”

Nehemia: Now can you read it in a different translation?

Keith: What? What translation would you like?

Nehemia: That’s the NIV, right?

Keith: That’s the NASB.

Nehemia: Let’s try the NIV, see if it gets closer.

Keith: Okay, 3:27 it says, “Then the king gave this ruling. ‘Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him. She is his mother.’”

Nehemia: Okay, so you can read Hebrew. Show me the word in Hebrew that says, “first woman”.

Keith: Let’s see, 3:27. “The king said, ‘Give us…’” Oh boy. This is not good. Oh boy.

Nehemia: So what it literally says is, “And the king answered and he said, ‘Give her the living child but don’t kill him for she is his mother.’” Who is his mother? It doesn’t say, and that’s the beauty of Solomon’s solution of saying he’s going to cut the baby in half. Anybody who hears this story knows that… doesn’t even need Solomon to tell us. Once he does what he does and says, “cut the baby in half” and the woman responds, we don’t even need it to tell us, “Oh yeah, it was the woman who responded, and her mercy was...”

Keith: These are called English translation helpers, right?

Nehemia: So the English translation thought, “You’re so stupid, I need to tell you that it’s the first woman, I’m going to dumb it down for you.” Whereas you read it in the Hebrew and you’re in awe because in the Hebrew you’re thinking, “It doesn’t even say which one, and it doesn’t need to say, because Solomon gave me the answer, and now the answer is obvious.” That’s the really powerful, brilliant things that people come up with, are the things that afterwards you look back and it’s just completely obvious. Wow.

Keith: Well, I will tell you this, I mean, I don’t know if you know it or not, Nehemia, I’m really a little bit concerned because we’re only at, let’s see here. Oh boy, only at 53 minutes. Supposed to be 45 minutes, but you know, in 45 minutes to an hour. But let’s keep on going, because we get to go to 4:1. And it says, “When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had handed down, they feared,” it says “they feared the king for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him.” To do what?

Nehemia: To do judgment, is what it says.

Keith: To do judgment.

Nehemia: So literally it says, “And all Israel heard the judgment which the king had judged, and they feared the king,” or, “were in awe of the king for they saw that the chochmat Elohim, the wisdom of God, was in him to do judgment.” So this again is this idea of the king is the judge. That’s one of the main roles of the king.

Can I talk for a minute about this idea of chochmat Elohim, the wisdom of God?

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: That’s a really powerful statement. That Solomon had the wisdom of God. And let’s jump ahead real quick, and I’ll try to go through this quickly. 1 Kings 5:9-14. We have this great description of Solomon’s wisdom, and it says there... here we go. It says, “Yehovah endowed Solomon with wisdom and discernment in great measure, with understanding as vast as the sands on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the Kedamites.” That’s the people of the east. “And greater than all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He was the wisest of all men. Wiser than Eitan the Ezrachite and Heman and Chakol and Darda and,” a bunch of other smart people. “His fame spread among all the surrounding nations. He composed 3,000 proverbs and his songs numbered 1,005.” Now, that’s not 3,000 books of proverbs, but single- or two-sentence little statements that are proverbs. “His songs numbered 1,005, he discoursed about trees from the Cedar in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall, and he discoursed about beasts, birds, creeping things, and fishes.”

And people hear that and they’re like, what? He was talking about animals? And what happened in ancient Israel is people would give these parables having to do with animals. We have a great example of the parable of Jotham, where Jotham wants to talk about political leadership, and instead he talks about cedars and bushes and things like that. So Solomon did thousands of those. “Men of all peoples came to hear Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.”

So Solomon is this really, really wise guy, it’s telling us in 1 Kings 5, and he’s really a unique character in the Bible. The reason I say that is Solomon is involved in one, two, three, four, five, six, let’s see, seven different books, and he’s mentioned in more. So we have him obviously in 1 Kings and the parallel 1 Chronicles. But then we also have the book of Proverbs. Now, I don’t know if people realize this; Solomon didn’t write the entire book of Proverb., Chapter 30 and 31 are from different sages whose names are given, so we know who they are. But chapters one through nine is one collection of the writings of the proverbs of Solomon. Chapters 10 to 24 is a second collection of the proverbs of Solomon. I’m not making this up - look, it actually will tell you the proverbs of Solomon Chapter 10. And then 25 to 29 is a third collection, which was collected at the time of Hezekiah, we’re told, of the proverbs of Solomon. Then we had the book of Ecclesiastes, which doesn’t mention Solomon by name, but is usually understood to be referring to Solomon, and the reason that it’s understood to be Solomon is that he’s the king over Jerusalem and he’s the richest and he is the wisest and, well, who else could it be? And Kohelet actually isn’t a name. Kohelet is a title, and it means the preacher or the one who gathers a community to preach. You’re the Kohelet here.

And then we have Song of Songs which we’re told explicitly is Solomon. And then we have two psalms that he wrote, or are at least attributed to him, Psalm 72 and 127. So think about it - other than Moses, who do we have that is such a prolific writer in the Bible? Where’s the book that David wrote? We don’t have it. Off the top of my head, I’m pretty sure that he is the most prolific writer of someone whose name we know after Moses. So that really makes him a unique character.

And it’s interesting, because we talked about the division of knowledge into three realms. We talked about this in Jeremiah and Ezekiel and it talks about in ancient Israel, there were three realms of knowledge. There was Torah, which was taught by the Kohen, meaning instruction; there was a word, or vision, which is taught by the prophet, we call it prophecy, and the third one is wisdom, which is taught by the elder or the sage. And Solomon is of the third category, the sage. And that’s why Kohelet, Ecclesiastes in English, and Song of Songs and Proverbs, three of his books, and the two psalms he wrote, are all in this section, the third section of the Prophets, what they call today the writings. But really, it’s a section of the wisdom. Divine wisdom.

Keith: It’s interesting. First Kings 4:1 says, “Now King Solomon was king over all Israel.” That’s how it ends. But what’s interesting to me when I read that, I’m actually reminded of Prophet Pearls, of Torah Pearls, I’m sorry. I get these things so confused. I think other people get it confused too. There’s confusion about season one and season two in Prophet Pearls and Torah Pearls. But when we did it, the Original Torah Pearls, that section that we talked about, why was it selected? It’s talking about Joseph, who also became one who was very wise.

And it’s really interesting, you know, the story of Solomon - he’s having this dream and God speaks to him and the story of Joseph. There was basically the dream with pharaoh, and he goes and he interprets it and ends up being the one who has the wisdom to know how to not only extend the life of those that were in Egypt, but for all of Israel. And when I read those parallels, and I hope people will do this, they’ll go to, they’ll go to and listen to the Original Torah Pearls, listen to Prophet Pearls if you haven’t listened to the ones before. And then every once in a while, we’ll do something special. Like, I’m going to add this article that got me into major trouble, called Don’t Cut the Baby in Two. I’m actually going to put that at the listing of Prophet Pearls.

Nehemia: Yeah, and we’ll post that on

Keith: But if there’s anything else Nehemia, I mean… We are... oh boy. One hour. Exactly.

Nehemia: Wow.

Keith: Anything else?

Nehemia: Can I just end with… No, I do have to share some other things. So, Solomon really is a special character that… Did you know that Solomon is the son of God? Can I share that with people? I did something really controversial… for me, it wasn’t controversial, but people came up to me after and said, “What did you do? Did you convert to Christianity?” I prayed a prayer. We were preaching in a tent in the high desert of California, and I’d actually literally preached through a pair of shoes.

Keith: I’m going to get him to stop here. I mean, Nehemia, you’re going to really tell what happened?

Nehemia: I’m going to share what happened. I was preaching in the high desert of California, and you were there too, you were also preaching. I prayed a prayer and I asked Yehovah to… I said, “Yehovah, I want to know who the one you’ve chosen as the Messiah. I want to know his name.” And I asked Yehovah to reveal to me his son. I have no problem praying that prayer, because to me the King of Israel will be the son of God. There’s no question about that in my mind. And I can bring you chapter and verse that the King of Israel is the son of God, 1 Chronicles 28:6 and here God says, “He said to me, it will be your son…” This is actually David telling Solomon what Yehovah revealed to him. Yehovah said to David or you know, “He said to me, it will be your son Solomon, who will build My house and My courts, for I have chosen him to be a son to Me and I will be a father to him.”

I look forward to the time, very soon, when the King of Israel, who will be Yehovah’s son, and Yehovah will be his Father, will sit on his throne, and the people will beat their swords into plowshares and bring peace to the whole world. And that man, Solomon, we were told in 2 Samuel 12:25, he was Yedidya, the friend of Yah, the one who was friends, beloved of Yehovah. This is my prayer, Yehovah. I’ll end in prayer. Avinu shebashamayim, Father in heaven, You chose Israel as a nation to be Your son, and You are our Father and as our chosen role. Our role, our duty is to teach Your word to the nations, to be a nation of priests, a holy nation, mamlechet kohanim vegoi kadosh, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Yehovah, we look forward to the time, may it be very soon, when the one You’ve chosen as Your son, he sits on the throne of David and he brings peace to the world and he ends this conflict. He ends the conflict of the two people who come before You and say, “This is my land.” And the other says, “This is my land,” and the one wants to cut the land in half, and the other doesn’t even know what to do. He didn’t want that, okay, let them cut it. We’re not going to kill it, Yehovah, please give us that time when the wolf will lie down with the lamb and there’ll be peace, peace for Your city, Jerusalem, for Your people, Israel, and for all of those who You’ve gathered to Your covenant, for that remnant, the remnant from the fire that will remain, that will be loyal among the nations to Your name and to Your word. Amen.

Keith: Amen.

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  • Excellent signed mi Keitz

  • Thomas Garza says:

    I don’t see the Solomon-Baby analogy applying to the Two State issue. The U.N. is not seeking to unite the Child with it’s true Mother. The U.N. has prejudged both Women as equals which in any Court, is a miscarriage of Justice. The U.N. is totally disregarding Birth Records ( World History/ Archaeology ) and DNA evidence ( Judeo -Christian History/Archaeology ) so as not to offend a psychotic woman ( false Mother ) with a history of Child Abuse. To compare Solomon with the U.N. in this regard is stretching it a bit. Shalom

  • Jan says:

    Yes, this is parable for what will happen when the nations come to divide Jerusalem; the King (Yeshovah) brings a sword to the land. War comes.

  • So Solomon is let off the hook but Nadab, Abihu, Uzzah, Korah and his men and their families were not?
    Something is missing……….

  • UKJ says:

    Joseph to Solomon ;
    The comparison Keith is making is compelling —
    May I add my two pence worth of thoughts and comments?

    Joseph and Solomon as types: Jehovah communicates in dreams…

    The Son of Jehovah therefore must have direct communication to his Father, as he is the Son. Anybody can claim anything, how do we know which will be the true future messiah ?

    In the time of Moses even the magical men of Pharaohs court could produce miracles.
    What they couldn’t do was to stop the plagues.
    They also couldn’t stop the heavenly Father rescue his children.

    The future messiah also needs to have the qualities of Moses, by leading the children of Israel to safety..but Moses is only the type…

    In my view , The rescue needs to be more than just physical, as all physical things die, I think the story of the people dying in the wilderness make the case. Moses too died there.

    In my biblical understanding, the messiah has got to be the good shepherd just like David, who risked his life for his sheep, though David wasn’t killed, but he could have been…

    Also someone like Isaac who followed his Father to the place of sacrifice, willingly…

    • UKJ says:

      PS. And the true future messiah has to have greater wisdom than Solomon; he has to be perfect in all his ways, as he is the Son of Jehovah..

  • Lisa Jacob says:

    The age to be eligible to be elected President of the United States is 35 not 45. JFK and Barack Obama were both younger than 45 when they were elected.

    Your comparison of the baby and the land of Israel being divided is intriguing. I never thought of that before. Thank you.

  • Brian Horn says:

    Wow wow and wow. Praise be to YHVH! This was very very enlightening and refreshing. I remember this story having been spewed from a pulpit, when I was young, and there was no true core spiritual and historical relevance such as you and Keith have conveyed. I love YHVH and how He continues to reveal His sovereignty justice and tender care for those of us choosing to be grafted in to His being.

  • Paul Lopez says:

    Nehemia & Keith

    You stated in this Prophet Pearls: “Solomon offered at the wrong site, thus the High Place and yet God accepted, but the correct site was where the Ark of the Covenant was placed in Jerusalem?”,

    2 questions about this Prophet Portion:

    1. about the Phrase: 1 Kings 3:3 “except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places”…

    Since this is at the start of his reign is this not the same as Josiah:
    2 Kings 22:2 “And he (Josiah) did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked IN ALL THE WAYS of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

    Both are starting out and the Phrases seem to be a ‘Pre-Summary’ or a ‘Prophetic Statement’?

    2. WHERE I PUT MY NAME or High Places:

    The Context in the days of Samuel is that the Ark of the Covenant was not at the Tabernacle. Taken since the days of Eli’s sons, it does not return until David becomes King or for about 70 years – all of the LIFE of SAMUEL. So when Samuel offer sacrifices, and if other than the Tabernacle, were they accepted by Yehovah?

    When Samuel offers at Mizpeh (1 Sam 7) is he offering at a High Place (not at the Tabernacle (Shiloh) or where the Ark is (Ekron)?

    Deut 12:5-6
    5 But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to PUT HIS NAME there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:
    6 And thither ye shall bring your BURNT OFFERING, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:

    Reference: PUT MY NAME
    Num 6: PRIESTLY BLESSING – They will put MY SHEM upon the people. (Ark not included)
    1 Kings 9:3 SOLOMON’s TEMPLE – I have consecrated this BEIT which you have BUILT to put MY NAME there forever… (Ark is in it but already built)
    1 Kings 11:36 JERUSALEM – “And to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I HAVE CHOSEN for Myself, to put MY NAME there.

    I ask in respect for both Keith & your knowledge of the Hebrew and the Tanakh.

    Your Support-Servant,
    Paul Lopez

    • PWautier says:

      He, Yehovah (The Word) Himself – wrapped His Glory around flesh (Yahusha) and came to us. The last place where He placed His Name is outside the gate, where He died on (Aaron’s rod — a branch from the Tree of Life — planted on the Mount of Olives at the place of sin sacrifice, by King David) and He rose and will return again on the Mount of Olives, the ultimate sacrifice (Atonement) on the altar of the Red Heffer. and nothing more is required from us except to keep Torah, His Commands, Feasts, and Sabbaths Gen 12 the narrow road if you love Him. We are the Temple made without hands and He lives in us where He places His SEAL, YHVH His Name; Creator is His Title; the Heavens and the Earth is His Territory. This is placed on our foreheads (minds, what we think goes into our hearts) hands (what we do and who we serve) ABBA Father, Yehovah, it is only by Your unfailing agape (unconditional) ahava (love) and by Your Mercy (withheld deserved judgment) and by Your Grace, (unmerited Favor) that we are made whole and sustained. WE ARE THE TEMPLE IN WHICH HE LAST PLACED HIS NAME!!! HE WILL RETURN TO THE MOUNT OF OLIVES FOR US!!!

      • Alf & Libby Fisher says:

        I have just read your comments as above twice …those words have resonated in me I thought they were marvellous and how very very true. Thank you for the above and may YeHoVaH and Yeshua Bless You Abundantly!

    • UKJ says:

      Lamentations 2:7-9, reads: …The Lord has spurned His altar, He has abandoned His sanctuary…The Lord has purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion…her gates have sunk in the ground…”

      Solomon’s temple is clearly at Zion but what does the wreckage indicate?

  • Janice says:

    Can a person make an accusation against another without evidence? If I bring an accusation against another, and I have no evidence; then what would be done to them will be done to me. (see Yesuah on the woman caught in adultrey) Both women are prostitues, (they have no Covenant Wedding Agreement with Yehovah) ; this is illegitamate PA and Non Torah gov’t Greek democracy (neither child has a Father, Torah, Covenant with YeHovah) when the King draws his sword it is upon the baby (land) that brings a war. Don’t get to caught up with emotional issues of having a baby; that is how the world judges. The issue should be evidence of birth; a certificate, a Covenant. When the bible is regarded as a “religious” book; we go astray in the judgement; that’s what happens when you regard “religious freedom” has no place in His Legal Covenant Document; Hebrew text shows HaShem’s governance is covenant (not religion) is a book of Covenants, legal documents. The Land belongs to the King, it is Holy unto Him; to do harm to the land, people of the Covenant; He brings war on the offenders. Hense, the judgement of the nations, Zechariah 12,14. How many times was Solomon told by King David to follow the Covenant? How many times did YeHovah ajure Soloman to follow the Covenant? 3 times each; check the law of Kings; was he in compliance or not? What was Yehovah’s last statement of Solomon?

  • Karen Powell says:

    Paul 2 Samuel 7:12 And when they days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his Kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took away before thee. and thine house and thy Kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. 2 Chronicles 6:2 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel. Also look in Dedication prayer of Solomon. Whether a physical temple is there or not it is a place identified. He made a promise.

  • Joyfull Day says:

    Keep praying ! Yes keep on praying for the Messiah to be revealed to you !The truth The Facts and no B.S.-PhD Rhetoric.!We serve a Big Yehovah God and I have faith he will answer the prayers of so many !for the Messiah to show Himself to the ones who earnestly seek HIM! Remember however the counterfeit comes in with peace and safety he will look like the saviour he may even seem fit old testement prophetic criteria .It might even seem to appear to provide wealth and health for all. It will look like the true of Yehovah God’s people faithful remnant will be the wrong .Many will be fooled .
    May Yehovah bless you all with true clear vision & revelation .May He give you True peace, safety,health,wealth, and fresh anoiting of inspired enlightenment! In Yeshuas name I pray Amein.

  • Actually, of course, the land belongs nether to the Jews or Muslims, but to Yahweh. May it soon be trusted in stewardship to those with clean hands and a pure heart; who do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with their Elohim. When the “weeds” are pulled from this garden, it will be difficult for all concerned…

  • Paul Lopez says:

    This question is more for CONTEXT than theology or debate.


    Did that mean the WHERE the ARK WAS or where HIS NAME is worshipped.

    The Ark of the Covenant was gone for 70 years after Eli’s sons were killed. If the ARK was the needed for fulfilling of sacrifices, then for 70 years none were offered.

    The context is that during this time (later years), David is recruiting the Levites and setting the Divisions while making preparations for the Temple. If no sacrifices, tithes or offerings are given, then who is providing for them?

    I know the Prophets mention the Ark as having the “NAME of YEHOVAH”.

    All that to say that after the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, the ARK is no more and Jeremiah mentions in 3:16 that the ARK will be no more.

    A greater question then would be “Without the ARK, then Yehovah’s Name” is no more and sacrifices w/o it would not be accepted?

    But, Malachi (w/o the Ark) is stating that following the TORAH “Instructions” will lead to acceptable sacrifices, tithes & offerings.

    Hopefully I made the issue clear and looking forward to some clarity?

    Be Blessed…

    • Paul Lopez says:

      The Ark of the Covenant: for Atonement of Sins of a Nation – once a year – Yom Kippor?
      The Altar of Incense: for personal Sin – Daily?

  • I too loved the prayer at the end. Thank you both for this study

  • Paul Lopez says:

    Is it Possible that the Phrase “offered incense at the High Places”

    is much like an overall view since He cannot have served God like his father David since he just started reigning? A Futuristic or Prophetic phrase. We know that He build temples to the gods of his wives.

    If not then we have to believe that even if we offer wrong, God will still accept/
    According to Malachi, God cannot accept “w/o Instructions – Torah” or you both have to change the audio in the Levitical Pearls… LOL just kidding.

    Be blessed as you have already blessed me with these insights…

  • Asher says:

    Was the king of Israel permitted to write new laws, or only to interpret Torah?

  • Frank P says:

    Solomon wrote 3000 proverbs. I counted 650 in the book of proverbs.
    Solomon’s songs were 1005. I counted one in the Bible.
    What happened to the missing proverbs and songs?

  • Jarvin says:

    Shabbat Shalom, Thank you both, I waited until this morning to listen to this, I just wanted to start the day with a right mind, the prayer at the end could not be better, I hope our king comes soon, YEHOVAH bless you !

  • Deborah Venter says:

    Thank you for each weeks’ enthralling session! The most enlightening study of the WORD of our GOD!! Blessings to the both of you!!

  • Karen Powell says:

    If someone doesn’t read they may feel that they will not be accountable. But there are examples where even if someone is lied to 🙁 They are still held accountable in the Bible. The old saying: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”. Better to read and try one’s best to avoid the consequence even if one fails. Solomon is reported to have loved the Lord, walking in his statutes of David. Even when or though he was in locations that where becoming or had been sites of corrupted worship. Solomon at the beginning was clean among the unclean. At that time,he believed and looked to God.He wanted to serve the people and dispense merciful justice. Son’s of God defer to God. They let the YHVH God be the real King. While leading and intercessing like Noah,Enoch,Moses. The wisdom of God walked in Solomon’s court when Solomon was on David’s throne. It’s not about power,rule,self (vanity) that happens later to Solomon. Irony:) The man who was so smart when he loved and obeyed God actions caused Israel to be cut apart. When Solomon became more and more entrenched in man’s ways of foreign wives, worship, warfare, his own power, and away from God’s ways. Solomon himself had also been like a living child on the verge of death in YHVH’s Court as two ways wanted him.Eventually, Solomon got his head back on straight. Ecc 12:13