1 Kings 3

The Book of 1 Kings
Chapter 3

Chapter Overview:

Solomon marries Pharaoh's daughter, ver. 1.
His religion, ver. 2 - 4.
His prayer for wisdom, and the answer, ver. 5 - 15.
He decides the dispute between the two harlots, ver. 16 - 28.
3:1Pharaoh - As being a powerful neighbour, whose daughter doubtless was first instructed in, and proselyted to the Jewish religion. It seems,this was designed by God to be a type of Christ, calling his church tohimself, and to the true religion, not only out of the Jews, but evenout of the Gentile world. City of David - Into David's palacethere. The wall - Which though in some sort built by David, yetSolomon is here said to build, either because he made it higher, andstronger, in which sense Nebuchadnezzar is said to have builtBabylon, Daniel 4:30 , or because he built another wall besides theformer, for after this time Jerusalem was encompassed with more wallsthan one.
3:2Only - This particle is used here, and ver. 3 , as an exception to Solomon's integrity and as a blemish to his government,That he himself both permitted and practised this which was expresslyforbidden, Leviticus 17:3 ,4 Deut 12:13,14.High places - Which were groves, or other convenient places upon hills, inwhich the patriarchs used to offer up their sacrifices to God; and from themthis custom was derived both to the Gentiles and the Jews: and inthem the Gentiles sacrificed to idols, the Hebrews to the true God.Because, &c. - Which reason was not sufficient, for there was atabernacle, to which they were as much confined as to the temple, Exodus 40:34 - 38, &c.
3:3Yet - Although he miscarried in the matter of high places, yet in the general, his heart was right with God. Statutes - According to thestatutes or commands of God, which are here called the statutes ofDavid; not only because they were diligently practised by David,but also because the observation of them was so earnestly pressed uponSolomon, and fortified with David's authority and command.
3:6Truth - In the true worship of God, in the profession, belief, practice and defence of the true religion. So truth here containsall duties to God, as righteousness doth his duties to men, anduprightness the right manner of performing both sorts of duties.With thee - That is, in thy judgment, to whom he often appealed as thewitness of his integrity.
3:7Child - So he was in years: not above twenty years old; and withal (which he principally intends) he was raw and unexperienced, as a child, instate affairs. Go out, &c. - To govern my people, and manage affairs.
3:8In the midst - Is set over them to rule and guide them.A metaphor from the overseer of divers workmen, who usually is in the midstof them, that he may the better observe how each of them discharges hisoffice. Chosen - Thy peculiar people, whom thou takest special care of,and therefore wilt expect a more punctual account of my government of them.
3:9An understanding heart - Whereby I may both clearly discern, and faithfully perform all the parts of my duty: for both these are spoken ofin scripture, as the effects of a good understanding; and he that lives inthe neglect of his duties, or the practice of wickedness, is called afool, and one void of understanding. Discern - Namely in causesand controversies among my people; that I may not through mistake, orprejudice, or passion, give wrong sentences, and call evil good, orgood evil. Absalom, that was a fool, wished himself a judge:Solomon, that was a wise man, trembles at the undertaking. The moreknowing and considerate men are, the more jealous they are of themselves.
3:13All thy days - Whereby he signifies that these gifts of God were not transient, as they were in Saul, but such as should abide with himwhilst he lived.
3:14And if - This caution God gives him, lest his wisdom should make him proud, careless, or presumptuous.
3:15A dream - Not a vain dream, wherewith men are commonly deluded; but a divine dream, assuring him of the thing: which he knew, by a divineimpression after he was awakened: and by the vast alteration which hepresently found within himself in point of wisdom and knowledge.The ark - Which was there in the city of David, 6:17 ,before which he presented himself in a way of holy adoration.Burnt offerings - Chiefly for the expiation of his and his peoples sin,through the blood of Christ, manifestly signified in these sacrifices.Peace offerings - Solemnly to praise God for all his mercies, andespecially for giving him quiet possession of the kingdom, and for hisglorious appearance to him in the dream, and for the promise therein madeto him, and the actual accomplishment of it.
3:16Harlots - Or, victuallers: for the Hebrew words signifies both. Yet that they are unmarried persons, seems probable, both becausethere is no mention of any husbands, whose office it was, if there wereany such, to contest for their wives; and because they lived a solitarylife in one house.
3:19Overlaid it - And so smothered it: which she justly conjectures, because there were evidences of that kind of death, but no appearance ofany other cause thereof.
3:25Said - Though with a design far above the reach of the two women, or of the people present, who probably with horror expected the executionof it.
3:27She is the mother - As is evident from her natural affection to the child, which she had rather have given away from her, than destroyed.
3:28Wisdom of God - Divine wisdom with which God had inspired him for the government of his people.