1 Kings 3:1-15

Solomon Asks for Wisdom

1 Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the LORD, and the wall around Jerusalem.
2 The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD.
3 Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.
4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
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,
12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.
13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.
14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”
15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he gave a feast for all his court.

1 Kings 3:1-15 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST KINGS 3

This chapter relates the marriage of Solomon with Pharaoh's daughter, 1Ki 3:1; his piety and devotion, 1Ki 3:2-4; his prayer for wisdom and understanding, which was acceptable to God, who promised to grant his request, with an addition to it, 1Ki 3:5-15; an instance and proof of the wisdom given him in determining a case between two harlots brought before him, which greatly raised his reputation, and gave him reverence among his people, 1Ki 3:16-28.

1 Kings 3:1-15 In-Context

1 Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the LORD, and the wall around Jerusalem.
2 The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD.
3 Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.
4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
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,
12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.
13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.
14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”
15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he gave a feast for all his court.
16 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
17 One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me.
18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
19 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him.

Cross References 36

  • 1. 1 Kings 7:8; 1 Kings 11:1-13
  • 2. 1 Kings 9:24; 2 Chronicles 8:11
  • 3. 2 Samuel 5:7; 1 Kings 2:10
  • 4. S 2 Samuel 7:2; 1 Kings 9:10; 1 Kings 7:1; 1 Kings 9:15,19
  • 5. Leviticus 17:3-5; S Leviticus 26:30; Deuteronomy 12:14; Dt 12:2,4-5; 1 Kings 15:14; 1 Kings 22:43
  • 6. S Deuteronomy 14:23
  • 7. Deuteronomy 6:5; Psalms 31:23; Psalms 145:20; 1 Corinthians 8:3
  • 8. S Deuteronomy 10:12; S Joshua 1:7
  • 9. S Deuteronomy 17:19; S 1 Kings 14:8; 1 Kings 2:3; 1 Kings 9:4; 1 Kings 11:4,6,38
  • 10. S ver 2; Leviticus 17:3-5; 2 Kings 12:3; 2 Kings 15:4,35; 2 Kings 16:4; 2 Kings 21:3
  • 11. S Joshua 9:3; 1 Chronicles 16:39
  • 12. 1 Kings 9:2; 1 Kings 11:9
  • 13. S Matthew 27:19; Numbers 12:6; Matthew 1:20
  • 14. S Matthew 7:7
  • 15. S Genesis 17:1; 1 Kings 2:4; 1 Kings 9:4
  • 16. 1 Kings 1:48
  • 17. Numbers 27:17; 1 Chronicles 22:5; 1 Chronicles 29:1; Jeremiah 1:6
  • 18. S Deuteronomy 7:6
  • 19. S Genesis 12:2; Genesis 15:5; S 1 Chronicles 27:23
  • 20. S 2 Samuel 14:17; James 1:5
  • 21. S Deuteronomy 1:16; Proverbs 2:3-9; Hebrews 5:14
  • 22. Psalms 72:1-2; 2 Corinthians 2:16
  • 23. James 4:3
  • 24. 1 Chronicles 22:12
  • 25. 1 John 5:14-15
  • 26. S 2 Samuel 14:20; 1Ki 4:29,30,31; 1 Kings 5:12; 1 Kings 10:23; Ecclesiastes 1:16
  • 27. Matthew 6:33; Ephesians 3:20
  • 28. 1 Kings 4:21-24; Pr 3:1-2,16; Proverbs 8:18
  • 29. 1 Kings 10:23; 2 Chronicles 9:22; Nehemiah 13:26
  • 30. ver 6; 1 Kings 9:4; Psalms 25:13; Psalms 101:2; Psalms 128:1; Pr 3:1-2,16
  • 31. Psalms 61:6; Psalms 91:16
  • 32. S Genesis 28:16; Genesis 41:7
  • 33. ver 5
  • 34. Leviticus 6:8-13; 1 Kings 8:65
  • 35. Leviticus 7:11-21; Mark 6:21
  • 36. Esther 1:3,9; Esther 2:18; Esther 5:8; Esther 6:14; Esther 9:17; Daniel 5:1
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