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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
1 Kings 3

 

 

Verses 1-28

2. Jehovah Appears to Solomon His Prayer and the Answer

CHAPTER 3

1. Affinity with Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s daughter (1 Kings 3:1)

2. Solomon loved the LORD (1 Kings 3:2-4)

3. Jehovah appears to Solomon (1 Kings 3:5-15)

4. The wisdom granted and exemplified (1 Kings 3:16-28)

We shall now see how the Lord kept His promise He made unto David in the establishment of his kingdom. After the execution of the demanded judgment Solomon entered into affinity with Pharaoh King of Egypt (probably the last King of the 21 Tanitic dynasty) and married his daughter. She was with him in David’s city until he made an end of building his own house, the house of the LORD and the wall of Jerusalem round about.” She was a Gentile and Jewish tradition states that she became a Jewish proselyte. This union was prophetic of the blessing Gentiles were to receive in union with Him whom Solomon typifies. It was grace which took up Pharaoh’s daughter and made her share the riches and honors of Solomon. And Solomon loved the LORD. At Gibeon he offered a thousand burnt offerings. Gibeon was one of the high places where the priests performed their functions (1 Chronicles 16:36-40). The tabernacle and the brazen altar were there, but not the ark of the covenant. However, he also approached the ark and stood before it to render thanks unto Jehovah. (Another application may be made to the Jewish remnant of the end of the age the same way as Ruth typified that remnant. See Annotations on Ruth. That remnant is called through grace; the Jews through unbelief are in the same place as the Gentiles. The grace which saved and called the Gentiles will draw and call them and bring them into union with the King.)

A most blessed incident followed. As stated before Solomon was a youth when he was anointed king. Eusebius states that he was only 12 years old; Josephus gives his age as 15 years. He was probably not yet 20 years old when he became King. He felt deeply two things, his own littleness and his great responsibility in governing the multitude of people. It was while still at Gibeon that Jehovah appeared unto him in a dream and said: “Ask what I shall give you.” What grace this was, but it also searched his inner-most soul. And this offer was not made exclusively to Solomon. He who appeared unto Solomon and put this gracious question to him, when He was on earth clothed in the garb of a servant, yet greater than Solomon in all his glory, said: “Ask, and it shall be given you” (Matthew 7:7). And again He said: “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do” (John 14:13). It is faith’s prerogative to hear Him speak thus to our hearts and to make use of His great offer. Solomon’s answer is beautiful. He acknowledged God’s great mercy and kindness. Then he confessed his own weakness and helplessness. “I am but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in.” He speaks of his responsibility and duty towards God’s people and then utters his request: “Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad, for who is able to judge this Thy so great a people?” It pleased the Lord as it always pleases Him when His people confess their littleness and expect help from Him. The request is granted. “So there was none like thee before thee, neither shall any arise like unto thee.” Wisdom from above filled his soul. The book of Proverbs bears witness to this great understanding the Lord gave to him. But He added much more; He gave him riches and honour. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). And the same Lord does still, to all who put their trust in Him, exceeding abundantly above all they ask or think. “He giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). Then there was a conditional promise. “And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes, and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days” (verse 14). Alas! Solomon did not fulfill the condition. He forsook the Lord and died when he was not quite 60 years of age. He awoke and behold it was a dream. But it was more than a dream. That the prayer had been answered and that the wisdom of God was in him to do judgment is evidenced in the incident which follows and which needs no further comment. In his wisdom he is a type of our Lord Jesus who is the wisdom of God. And the justice he administered in his kingdom is typical of the righteous judgment of our Lord when He rules as king over the earth. “He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears, but with righteousness shall He judge the poor” (Isaiah 11:1-4).

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/1-kings-3.html. 1913-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, June 1st, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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