1 Kings chapter 3

Solomon’s kingdom begins. Solomon settles a dispute over a baby.

 


 

SOLOMON’S KINGDOM BEGINS

 

VERSE 1. Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into David’s city until he had finished building his own house, the LORD’s house, and the wall around Jerusalem.

He took Pharaoh’s daughter. The Law of Moses prohibited a Jewish man from marrying a non-Jewish woman.

So even as his kingdom begins, Solomon is gravely transgressing the Law of Moses.

In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »

 

VERSE 2. However, the people sacrificed in the high places, because there was not yet a house built for the LORD’s name.

 

VERSE 3. Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father, except that he sacrificed and burned incense in the high places.

Solomon loved the LORD. This isa wonderful thing. But what does it mean? How does the author know that Solomon loves the LORD God?

walking in the statutes of David his father. Solomon lived according to the dictates of David.

However, the text does NOT say Solomon lived according to the Law of Moses.

he sacrificed and burned incense. This was forbidden by the Law of Moses.

So even as his kingdom begins, Solomon is gravely transgressing the Law of Moses.

In the Book of Kings, the leaders exhibit narcissistic behaviors. They demand subservience. They commit idolatry and murder. They disobey sexual laws. Read more »

 

VERSE 4. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.

the great high place. Why was Gibeon the “great” high place?

Was it folklore that it was the greatest? Was there some official declaration that it was the greatest?

 

VERSE 5. In Gibeon, the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask for what I should give you.”

Ask for what I should give you. We are to commanded to ask! Read more »

 

VERSE 6. Solomon said, “You have shown to your servant David my father great loving kindness, because he walked before you in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with you. You have kept for him this great loving kindness, that you have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today.

your servant. Solomon refers to David in two ways. First, David is a servant of the LORD God.

my father. Second, David is Solomon’s father.

he walked before you. How does Solomon gauge that David walked with the LORD God? He mentions three factors:

First, Solomon says David walked in truth. That was often true. But not always. For example, when David’s son Amnon raped his sister Tamar, David refused to prosecute Amnon.

Second, Solomon says David walked in righteousness. But what did “righteousness” mean to people back then? What was the standard? Solomon does not mention the Law of Moses.

Third, Solomon says David walked in uprightness of heart. Again, what did “uprightness of heart” mean to people back then? What was the standard? Solomon does not mention the Law of Moses.

 

VERSE 7. Now, LORD my God, you have made your servant king instead of David my father. I am just a little child. I don’t know how to go out or come in.

I am just a little child. This was not true. When he became king, Solomon was around 20 years old.

 

VERSE 8. Your servant is among your people which you have chosen, a great people, that can’t be numbered or counted for multitude.

 

VERSE 9. Give your servant therefore an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this great people of yours?”

In other words, Solomon asks to be a good leader.

Being a good leader is a different thing altogether from being a good person. Or a holy person. Or a Man of God.

 

VERSE 10. This request pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

 

VERSE 11. God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have you asked for riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice,

 

VERSE 12. behold, I have done according to your word. Behold, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, and after you none will arise like you.

there has been no one like you before you. In the prior history of the world, nobody ever had as much wisdom as Solomon.

after you none will arise like you. In the future history of the world, nobody will ever have as much wisdom as Solomon.

 

VERSE 13. I have also given you that which you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you for all your days.

there will not be any among the kings like you. In his day, Solomon was the richest king alive.

 

VERSE 14. If you will walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

I will lengthen your days. Solomon will have a long life.

 

VERSE 15. Solomon awoke; and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the LORD’s covenant, and offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

it was a dream. The LORD God communicated to Solomon in a dream.

 

SOLOMON SETTLES A DISPUTE OVER A BABY

 

VERSE 16. Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king, and stood before him.

who were prostitutes. Apparently this fact is known about them. But they are not arrested. Perhaps prostitution was legal?

 

VERSE 17. The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house. I delivered a child with her in the house.

 

VERSE 18. The third day after I delivered, this woman delivered also. We were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, just us two in the house.

 

VERSE 19. This woman’s child died in the night, because she lay on it.

 

VERSE 20. She arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me while your servant slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.

 

VERSE 21. When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead; but when I had looked at him in the morning, behold, it was not my son whom I bore.”

 

VERSE 22. The other woman said, “No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” The first one said, “No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” They argued like this before the king.

 

VERSE 23. Then the king said, “One says, ‘This is my son who lives, and your son is the dead;’ and the other says, ‘No! But your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’ ”

 

VERSE 24. The king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king.

 

VERSE 25. The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.”

Divide the living child. The word “living” places an emphasis on the gravity of what Solomon is saying.

 

VERSE 26. Then the woman whose the living child was spoke to the king, for her heart yearned over her son, and she said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and in no way kill him!” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours. Divide him.”

 

VERSE 27. Then the king answered, “Give the first woman the living child, and definitely do not kill him. She is his mother.”

 

VERSE 28. All Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.

the wisdom of God was in him. This is a wonderful thing. However, it does not mean divine endorsement. Rather …

to do justice. Solomon was given wisdom in order to do justice for the nation.

 


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1 KINGS

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize, Corrupt Leaders, Miracles

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