1 Kings 3:9

9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

1 Kings 3:9 in Other Translations

KJV
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?
ESV
9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?"
NLT
9 Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
MSG
9 "Here's what I want: Give me a God-listening heart so I can lead your people well, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading your glorious people?"
CSB
9 So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"

1 Kings 3:9 Meaning and Commentary

1 Kings 3:9

Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart, to judge thy
people
Not an understanding of things spiritual, nor of things natural, though both were given him, but of things political, what related to the civil government, that he might be able to judge or rule the people of Israel in the best manner:

that I may discern between good and bad;
not merely between moral good and evil, of which he had a discernment; but between right and wrong in any case or controversy that came before him between man and man, that so he might be able to pass a right sentence, and do justice to every one:

for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
who are so very numerous, and have so many causes to be heard and and those many of them very intricate and difficult; so that no man is equal to such arduous work, unless he has more than an ordinary capacity given him by the Lord.

1 Kings 3:9 In-Context

7 “Now, LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.
8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.
9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.
11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice,

Cross References 3

  • 1. S 2 Samuel 14:17; James 1:5
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 1:16; Proverbs 2:3-9; Hebrews 5:14
  • 3. Psalms 72:1-2; 2 Corinthians 2:16