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I Kings 3-4; II Chronicles 1; Psalm 72 Listen
I Kings 3
II Chronicles 1
|1 And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.
2 Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days.
3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.
4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.
|1 And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.
2 Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.
3 So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, 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.
4 But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjathjearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.
5 Moreover the brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.
6 And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it.
I Kings 3 starts out with the marriage of Solomon to the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt. This was a common practice among government leaders during this period as a way to seal a treaty between nations. I mean...are you going to attack your son-in-law? In Solomon's life, he participated in many weddings...not as the best man or a groomsman, but as the groom himself. His 1,000 women became a significant weakness in his life, especially since he had taken wives from the heathen nations forbidden by God in Deuteronomy 7:1-3 (see notes). However, Egypt is not one of those forbidden nations found in the list.
I Kings 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
I Kings 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
I Kings 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
It would appear that this Egyptian princess was not Solomon's first wife when a comparison is done between I Kings 14:21 (see notes) and I Kings 11:42-43. Since I Kings 14:21 tells us that Rehoboam was 41 years old when he began to reign, that puts him at one-year old when Solomon's forty-year reign began (I Kings 11:42). Rehoboam's birth must have taken place before Solomon's ascension to the throne from a woman who was an Ammonite. Rehoboam became the next King of Judah. Interestingly, the Bible does not record Solomon having ever taken a Jewish woman as a wife, nor do we have a record of any other son except Rehoboam.
One more item of interest regarding marriages to foreigners is worth noting here. After the return of the exiles from captivity beginning in 535 B.C., the returning Jews were very motivated to recapture their former favorable status with God. In the process, we see in Ezra 9-10 (see notes) that they not only enforced the ban on foreign marriages, they agreed to banish those women in their midst who were on the forbidden-marriage list. Funny thing though: They included Egyptians on their no-no list. Why? We aren't told; it appears that they were striving for an ethnic purity which superseded the command of God.
Solomon was a big sacrificer to the Lord. It's not clear whether I Kings 3:3 is a criticism of Solomon's practice of sacrifice or not when it says, "And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: ONLY he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places." We do know that the "high places" are later clear references to altars for pagan gods, although that does not seem to be necessarily so here. The real question here is whether or not God approved of sacrifices being made at numerous locations, or should they have been restricted to a single location as in the past. You may recall that Israel almost engaged in civil war over a second altar erected by the tribes east of the Jordan River in Joshua 22:10-34 (see notes). At that point in time, Israel was convinced that God would not tolerate sacrificing at multiple altar locations.
David had brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and pitched a tent for it there. However, the Tabernacle built by Moses was still erected also. Solomon, after assuming his role as King of Israel, heads to Gibeon to make sacrifices there on the brazen altar - a thousand of them. That's where God appears to Solomon in a dream. For additional information regarding the two tabernacles and the Ark of the Covenant, click here.
I Kings 3
II Chronicles 1
|5 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.
9 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?
10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
14 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.
15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.
|7 In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.
8 And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.
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.
10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?
11 And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, 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:
12 Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.
13 Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle of the congregation, and reigned over Israel.
14 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
15 And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the vale for abundance.
16 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price.
17 And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means.
While dreaming, Solomon received a wild-card answer to any prayer from God - just ask away. So...what did Solomon ask God for? More gold or silver? A bigger kingdom? A bigger army? No! He asked God to give him lots and lots of wisdom. That's right...wisdom. God was pleased that Solomon did not pray that God would line his pockets (so to speak), "but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people." He got the riches too.
Note (II Chronicles 1:10) the specific kind of wisdom Solomon received from God - wisdom to "judge my people." It certainly wasn't wisdom in choosing a new bride - or should I say "brides." It was wisdom to judge the people of Israel fairly; that's the attribute for which he became famous. As a matter of fact, when Ezra wrote Chronicles for the returning exiles, he did not mention the promise to Solomon of I Kings 3:14, "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." Why? Well, it was probably because, at that point in time, Ezra knew that Solomon had not fulfilled his end of that conditional covenant. We see that clearly in I Kings 11:10 (see notes); he did not "keep my [God's] statutes and my commandments." In fact, Solomon's days were not lengthened, and his insatiable appetite for heathen women resulted in the destruction of his united kingdom.
II Chronicles 1:14-17 emphasizes the extreme wealth of Solomon's reign in Israel. There's no doubt that Solomon knew how to go first class. We see this in less detail at the end of I Kings 4. It is worth noting, however, that Solomon's lifestyle had been addressed several hundred years earlier in Deuteronomy 17:14-17 (see notes):
Deuteronomy 17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
Deuteronomy 17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
Deuteronomy 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
Deuteronomy 17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
Solomon's lifestyle, without question, violated the principles found in this passage of the Law of Moses.
Solomon test drives his wisdom (I Kings 3:16-28)
16 Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him.
17 And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house.
18 And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house.
19 And this woman’s child died in the night; because she overlaid it.
20 And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.
21 And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear.
22 And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king.
23 Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living.
24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king.
25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.
26 Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.
27 Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.
28 And 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 judgment.
This story is probably placed here to demonstrate the kind of wisdom to judge that God had given to Solomon. Two prostitutes who lived together came to Solomon with a dispute; one had taken the living baby of the other and substituted it with her dead baby. Solomon's solution to the dispute (dividing the living baby) horrified the true mama, but satisfied the phony mama. Notice verse 28, "And 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 judgment." People marveled at how wise in judgment Solomon was.
Again, let it be emphasized, Solomon's gift of wisdom from God was for the purpose of judging his people.
1 So king Solomon was king over all Israel.
2 And these were the princes which he had; Azariah the son of Zadok the priest,
3 Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder.
4 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests:
5 And Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers: and Zabud the son of Nathan was principal officer, and the king’s friend:
6 And Ahishar was over the household: and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the tribute.
7 And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king and his household: each man his month in a year made provision.
8 And these are their names: The son of Hur, in mount Ephraim:
9 The son of Dekar, in Makaz, and in Shaalbim, and Bethshemesh, and Elonbethhanan:
10 The son of Hesed, in Aruboth; to him pertained Sochoh, and all the land of Hepher:
11 The son of Abinadab, in all the region of Dor; which had Taphath the daughter of Solomon to wife:
12 Baana the son of Ahilud; to him pertained Taanach and Megiddo, and all Bethshean, which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel, from Bethshean to Abelmeholah, even unto the place that is beyond Jokneam:
13 The son of Geber, in Ramothgilead; to him pertained the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead; to him also pertained the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, threescore great cities with walls and brasen bars:
14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo had Mahanaim:
15 Ahimaaz was in Naphtali; he also took Basmath the daughter of Solomon to wife:
16 Baanah the son of Hushai was in Asher and in Aloth:
17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar:
18 Shimei the son of Elah, in Benjamin:
19 Geber the son of Uri was in the country of Gilead, in the country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only officer which was in the land.
20 Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry.
21 And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life.
22 And Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal,
23 Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallowdeer, and fatted fowl.
24 For he had dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace on all sides round about him.
25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.
26 And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.
27 And those officers provided victual for king Solomon, and for all that came unto king Solomon’s table, every man in his month: they lacked nothing.
28 Barley also and straw for the horses and dromedaries brought they unto the place where the officers were, every man according to his charge.
29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.
30 And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.
31 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.
32 And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five.
33 And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.
34 And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.
You will notice that both Zadok and Abiathar are listed here as priests. That was true at the very beginning of Solomon's reign, but Abiathar was relieved from his duties in I Kings 2:27 (see notes), leaving only Zadok as the high priest after that time.
Solomon's leadership style seemed to differ from that of his Dad, King David. He had distributed the responsibility out into 12 districts with apparently a looser hold by the monarchy over these districts. These 12 districts took a month each in providing for the needs of the monarch. Solomon's kingdom extended from Egypt all the way north up to the Euphrates River (referred to as "the river" in verse 24). It was short of Dad's kingdom on the western border, probably because of Solomon's treaty with the Pharaoh of Egypt. Remember in Genesis 15:18 when God promised Abraham, "Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:" The fulfillment of this promise seems to have taken place during David's reign and is the reality during Solomon's reign as specified here. That, of course, discounts the bit of land between where ever the border of Egypt was designated then to the Nile River...per the treaty with Pharaoh.
If you're interested, look at the following two links for more details on the fulfillment of this promise that God had made to Abraham regarding the Land of Israel:
Just one more point about this chapter. We see some detail here regarding Solomon's accumulation of things. That, coupled with his one thousand wives/concubines makes him a big-time violator of Deuteronomy 17:14-17 (see notes). Let it be noted once again, Solomon's wisdom from God was specifically to "judge my people," emphasized again in verses 29-34. Quite frankly, over his 40 years as king, Solomon nearly destroyed what his father, David, had built...but he was a very wise judge of the people.
David has big hopes for his kingdom (Psalm 72)
A Psalm for Solomon.
1 Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son.
2 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.
4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
5 They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.
7 In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.
8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.
10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.
12 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.
13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.
15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised.
16 There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.
17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.
18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.
19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.
20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.
The superscript indicates that David is writing this with regard to Solomon, though some have taken the superscript to mean that Solomon wrote this Psalm. Actually, the superscript contains two words in Hebrew: the preposition "el" followed by "Solomon." In the Old Testament, "el" has been variously translated as follows: to, at, in, in reference to, of and by. As you can see, based upon strict translation of the Hebrew text, the author of this Psalm may be David or may be Solomon. However, note verse 20, the conclusion, "The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended." Hmmm...seems as though David's the author to me...indisputably!
The scope of this writing would indicate that David is looking way beyond his immediate heir, both in time and real estate. That being the case, many have felt comfortable viewing these verses as also applying to the fulfillment of the Davidic Kingdom through Christ, the Messiah. Realistically, when you analyze the world conditions outlined in this Psalm, you must agree that this scenario has not historically been realized at any point in time. Therefore, a fulfillment of this passage certainly must look to the future.