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Solomon at Gibeon.
v. l And Solomon, the son of David, was strengthened in his kingdom, he was generally and gladly acknowledged as the ruler of the nation, and the Lord, his God, was with him and magnified him exceedingly, giving him a distinction and a splendor which set him apart and made for proper reverence on the part of his subjects.
v. 2. Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, as represented in the usual way, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the rulers of the tribes, the hereditary chieftains, the chief of the fathers, that is, of the father-houses.
v. 3. So Solomon and all the congregation with him, in the second year of his reign, 1 Kings 3:4, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the Tabernacle of the Congregation of God, which Moses, the servant of the Lord, had made in the wilderness, Exodus 25, 26. This was still the official Sanctuary of the people, although the place for the Temple had been selected and the ark was resting under the Tabernacle of David in Jerusalem.
v. 4. But the ark of God, which for many years had not been at Gibeon, had David brought up from Kirjath-jearim to the place which David had prepared for it, 2 Samuel 6:2-17; for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.
v. 5. Moreover, the brazen altar that Bezaleel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, Exodus 31:2, he put before the Tabernacle of the Lord, it still had its position before this legal Sanctuary of the nation; and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it, considering it their duty to present their offerings on the legally appointed altar.
v. 6. And Solomon went up thither to the brazen altar before the Lord which was at the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it, this great sacrifice being made, of course, by the hands of the priests.
v. 7. In that night did God appear unto Solomon, in a dream or vision, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. Cf 1 Kings 3:5.
v. 8. And Solomon said unto God, the chief points of his prayer only being given here, Thou hast showed great mercy unto David, my father, a free acknowledgment of God's unmerited grace and mercy, and hast made me to reign in his stead.
v. 9. Now, O Lord God, let Thy promise unto David, my father, be established; for Thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude, a task of ruling which was beyond any man's natural ability.
v. 10. Give me, now, wisdom and knowledge, the latter including a deep and correct insight and understanding of affairs and business of the nation, that I may go out and come in before this people, in his entire public activity, in his relation to them as ruler; for who can judge this Thy people that is so great? Such a spirit of meekness and humility in a prayer, appealing to our heavenly Father as ignorant, inexperienced children. is well-pleasing to Him. At the same time, our prayer may rightly remind the Lord of all His promises.
v. 11. And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honor, all gifts which the average Oriental monarch would have placed ahead of all others, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life, but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself that thou mayest judge My people, over whom I have made thee king, and who were in a very particular sense God's own people,
v. 12. wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee, and I will give thee riches and wealth and honor such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like. God granted Solomon much more than he had asked for, thus giving him a proof of His merciful bounty. The Lord hears the prayers of His children if they are made according to His will, especially such as pertain to spiritual gifts and benefits. Moreover, He often blesses His children also in temporal things, in matters pertaining to this life. If we but first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all other things shall be added to us, Matthew 6:33.
Solomon's Immense Wealth
v. 13. Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the Tabernacle of the Congregation, where he had served the Lord by his special act of worship, and reigned over Israel, after having publicly offered praise and thanks to the Lord before the Ark of the Covenant.
v. 14. And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, who were trained to fight in chariots as well as on horseback, which he placed in the chariot cities, such as were especially designated for that purpose, and with the king at Jerusalem.
v. 15. And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, on account of the great masses of the precious metals which he acquired in the course of time, and cedar-trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the vale for abundance, the sycamore-fig tree being one of the most common in the valleys toward the southeast.
v. 16. And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, for the horses of that country were very highly valued, being as fine as Arabian steeds, but larger and more powerful, and linen yarn, the fine, silklike byssus of Egypt; the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price, or, "they fetched a troop for a certain price," delivered to certain established markets.
v. 17. And they fetched up and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver (almost four hundred dollars) and an horse for an hundred and fifty (not quite one hundred dollars); and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites and for the kings of Syria, thereby establishing a lucrative business, by their means. Thus the gracious promises of God to Solomon were literally fulfilled, even as they invariably are to this day. It is but for us to trust in Him with childlike confidence, and we shall not be ashamed.
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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 1". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany