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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
1 Kings 3

 

 


Verses 1-28


Solomon's Choice

This chapter relates how Solomon, out of various gifts offered to him by the Almighty, chose wisdom, and adds an illustration of the use he made of the gift with which he was endowed.

1. Pharaoh] probably one of the immediate predecessors of the Shishak (Sheshonk) mentioned in 1 Kings 11:40 is intended. His own house.. Lord] see 1 Kings 7, 6. Both of these buildings were outside the limits of the city of David.

2. High places] Both the Canaanites (see Numbers 33:52; Deuteronomy 12:2) and the early Israelites (see 1 Samuel 9:12; 2 Samuel 15:30, 2 Samuel 15:32) use(i to worship on hill-tops, possibly as being nearer heaven, the dwelling-place of the Deity, or perhaps (more probably) as being the best sites for burning the victims that were offered in sacrifice. In Deuteronomy 12:10 f. the worship of the Lord is ordered to be restricted to a single sanctuary; though the history shows that religious practices at the high places were permitted even by the best of kings (see 1 Kings 15:14; 1 Kings 22:43) until the reign of Hezekiah(see 2 Kings 18:4).

4. Gibeon] in the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:25). To sacrifice there] in 2 Chronicles 13 it is stated that the Tabernacle of the congregation was at Gibeon; if so, it must have been removed thither from Shiloh when the latter place was destroyed (Jeremiah 7:12), or from Nob, to which it may have been conveyed from Shiloh. The ark which it had originally contained, was not restored to it when brought back by the Philistines (Is6), but put by David in a tent at Jerusalem.

7. I am but a little child] The words seem to imply that Solomon was quite youthful when he came to the throne; but the politic measures by which he secured his crown, as described in 1 Kings 2, suggest that he had attained to full manhood, and according to 1 Kings 14:21 he left, after a reign of 40 years, a son who was 41 when his father died, and who therefore must have been born before his father became king (but see note there). Josephus gives Solomon's age at the beginning of his reign as

14. Go out or come in] i.e. pursue the active life of a man in his prime: cp. Numbers 27:17; 1 Samuel 18:13; Deuteronomy 31:2.

9. Solomon's prayer exhibits (a) a strong sense of responsibility and a conviction that high position involves corresponding duties; (b) a consciousness that truth and falsehood, right and wrong, are not always easy to distinguish, and that to discern between them there are needed special gifts of the heart and understanding; (c) that such gifts are derived from God, who bestows them in answer to prayer.

14. I will lengthen thy days] The promise was made on conditions which Solomon did not observe: see 1 Kings 11:18.

15. The ark of the covenant] This had been placed by David in a tent at Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:12-17). Solomon fitly inaugurated his reign by acts of religious worship at his capital as well as at Gibeon (1 Kings 3:4). Burnt offerings.. peace offerings] see on 1 Kings 8:12.

26. Her bowels] i.e. her heart. 27. Give her the living child] The pronounrefers not to the last speaker but to her rival (as LXX explains).

28. The wisdom of God] Solomon's wisdom was divine not only in its source but in its quality.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/1-kings-3.html. 1909.

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Friday, December 4th, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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