1Ki 3:1. Solomon Marries Pharaoh's Daughter.
1. Solomon made affinity with
Pharaoh—This was a royal title, equivalent to "sultan," and
the personal name of this monarch is said to have been Vaphres. The
formation, on equal terms, of this matrimonial alliance with the royal
family of Egypt, shows the high consideration to which the Hebrew
kingdom had now arisen. Rosellini has given, from the Egyptian
monuments, what is supposed to be a portrait of this princess. She was
received in the land of her adoption with great eclat; for the Song of
Solomon and the forty-fifth Psalm are supposed to have been composed in
honor of this occasion, although they may both have a higher typical
reference to the introduction of the Gentiles into the church.
and brought her into the city of
David—that is, Jerusalem. She was not admissible into the
stronghold of Zion, the building where the ark was (De 23:7, 8). She seems to have been lodged at first
in his mother's apartments (So 3:4; 8:2), as a suitable residence was not yet
provided for her in the new palace (1Ki 7:8; 9:24; 2Ch 8:11).
building … the wall of Jerusalem round
about—Although David had begun (Ps 51:18), it was, according to Josephus, reserved for Solomon to extend and
complete the fortifications of the city. It has been questioned whether
this marriage was in conformity with the law (see Ex 34:16; De 7:3; Ezr 10:1-10; Ne 13:26). But it is nowhere censured in
Scripture, as are the connections Solomon formed with other foreigners
11:1-3); whence it may be
inferred that he had stipulated for her abandonment of idolatry, and
conforming to the Jewish religion (Ps 45:10, 11).
High Places Being in Use, He Sacrifices at
3. And Solomon loved the Lord—This
declaration, illustrated by what follows, affords undoubted evidence of
the young king's piety; nor is the word "only," which prefaces the
statement, to be understood as introducing a qualifying circumstance
that reflected any degree of censure upon him. The intention of the
sacred historian is to describe the generally prevailing mode of
worship before the temple was built. The
high places were altars erected on natural
or artificial eminences, probably from the idea that men were brought
nearer to the Deity. They had been used by the patriarchs, and had
become so universal among the heathen that they were almost identified
with idolatry. They were prohibited in the law (Le 17:3, 4; De 12:13, 14; Jer 7:31; Eze 6:3, 4; Ho
10:8). But, so long as the
tabernacle was migratory and the means for the national worship were
merely provisional, the worship on those high places was tolerated.
Hence, as accounting for their continuance, it is expressly stated
3:2) that God had not yet
chosen a permanent and exclusive place for his worship.
4. the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice
there—The old tabernacle and the brazen altar which Moses had
made in the wilderness were there (1Ch 16:39; 21:29; 2Ch
1:3-6). The royal progress
was of public importance. It was a season of national devotion. The
king was accompanied by his principal nobility (2Ch 1:2); and, as the occasion was most probably
one of the great annual festivals which lasted seven days, the rank of
the offerer and the succession of daily oblations may help in part to
account for the immense magnitude of the sacrifices.
5. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a
dream—It was probably at the close of this season, when his
mind had been elevated into a high state of religious fervor by the
protracted services. Solomon felt an intense desire, and he had offered
an earnest petition, for the gift of wisdom. In sleep his thoughts ran
upon the subject of his prayer, and he dreamed that God appeared to him
and gave him the option of every thing in the world—that he asked
wisdom, and that God granted his request (1Ki 3:9-12). His dream was but an imaginary
repetition of his former desire, but God's grant of it was real.
He Chooses Wisdom.
6. Solomon said—that is, had dreamed
that he said.
7. I am but a little child—not in age,
for he had reached manhood (1Ki 2:9) and
must have been at least twenty years old; but he was raw and
inexperienced in matters of government.
10. the speech pleased the Lord—It was
Solomon's waking prayers that God heard and requited, but the
acceptance was signified in this vision.
15. behold, it was a dream—The vivid
impression, the indelible recollection he had of this dream, together
with the new and increased energy communicated to his mind, and the
flow of worldly prosperity that rushed upon him, gave him assurance
that it came by divine inspiration and originated in the grace of God.
The wisdom, however, that was asked and obtained was not so much of the
heart as of the head—it was wisdom not for himself personally,
but for his office, such as would qualify him for the administration of
justice, the government of a kingdom, and for the attainment of general
1Ki 3:16-28. His Judgment
between Two Harlots.
16. Then came there two women—Eastern
monarchs, who generally administer justice in person, at least in all
cases of difficulty, often appeal to the principles of human nature
when they are at a loss otherwise to find a clue to the truth or see
clearly their way through a mass of conflicting testimony. The modern
history of the East abounds with anecdotes of judicial cases, in which
the decision given was the result of an experiment similar to this of
Solomon upon the natural feelings of the contending parties.