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1 And Solomon made affinitie with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and tooke Pharaohs daughter, and brought her into the citie of Dauid, vntill he had made an end of building his owne house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Ierusalem round about.

2 Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built vnto the Name of the Lord vntill those dayes.

3 And Solomon loued the Lord, walking in the statutes of Dauid his father: onely 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 vp on that Altar.

5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dreame by night: and God sayd, Aske what I shall giue thee.

6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed vnto thy seruant Dauid my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in trueth, and in righteousnesse, and in vprightnesse of heart with thee, and thou hast kept for him this great kindnesse, that thou hast giuen him a sonne to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

7 And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy seruant King in stead of Dauid my father: and I am but a litle childe: I know not how to goe out or come in.

8 And thy seruant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbred, nor counted for multitude.

9 Giue therefore thy seruant an understanding heart, to iudge thy people, that I may discerne betweene good and bad: for who is able to iudge this thy so great a people?

10 And the speach pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

11 And God said vnto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thy selfe long life, neither hast asked riches for thy selfe, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thy selfe vnderstanding to discerne iudgement;

12 Behold, I haue done according to thy word: loe, I haue giuen thee a wise and an vnderstanding heart, so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like vnto thee.

13 And I haue also giuen thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the Kings like vnto thee, all thy dayes.

14 And if thou wilt walke in my wayes, to keepe my Statutes and my Commandements, as thy father Dauid did walke, then I will lengthen thy dayes.

15 And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dreame: and he came to Ierusalem, and stood before the Arke of the Couenant of the Lord, and offered vp burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his seruants.

16 Then came there two women that were harlots, vnto 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 deliuered of a childe, with her in the house.

18 And it came to passe the third day after that I was deliuered, that this woman was deliuered also: and wee were together; there was no stranger with vs in the house, saue we two in the house.

19 And this womans childe died in the night: because she ouerlaid it.

20 And shee arose at midnight, and tooke my sonne from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and layd it in her bosome, and layd her dead childe in my bosome.

21 And when I rose in the morning to giue my childe sucke, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, beholde, it was not my sonne, which I did beare.

22 And the other woman said, Nay, but the liuing is my sonne, and the dead is thy sonne: And this said, No, but the dead is thy sonne, and the liuing is my sonne. Thus they spake before the king.

23 Then said the King, The one saith, This is my sonne, that liueth, and thy sonne is the dead: and the other saith Nay: but thy sonne is the dead, and my sonne is the liuing.

24 And the King said, Bring mee a sword. And they brought a sword before the king:

25 And the king said, Diuide the liuing childe in two, and giue halfe to the one, and halfe to the other.

26 Then spake the woman whose the liuing childe was, vnto the king, (for her bowels yerned vpon her sonne) and she said, O my lord, giue her the liuing childe, and in no wise slay it: But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but diuide it.

27 Then the King answered and said, Giue her the liuing child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.

28 And all Israel heard of the Iudgement which the king had iudged, and they feared the King: for they saw that the wisedome of God was in him, to doe Iudgement.

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Commentary for 1 Kings 3

Solomon's marriage. (1-4) His vision, His prayer for wisdom. (5-15) The judgment of Solomon. (16-28)1-4 He that loved the Lord, should, for his sake, have fixed his love upon one of the Lord's people. Solomon was a wise man, a rich man, a great man; yet the brightest praise of him, is that which is the character of all the saints, even the poorest, "He loved the Lord." Where God sows plentifully, he expects to reap accordingly; and those that truly love God and his worship, will not grudge the expenses of their religion. We must never think that wasted which is laid out in the service of God.

5-15 Solomon's dream was not a common one. While his bodily powers were locked up in sleep, the powers of his soul were strengthened; he was enabled to receive the Divine vision, and to make a suitable choice. God, in like manner, puts us in the ready way to be happy, by assuring us we shall have what we need, and pray for. Solomon's making such a choice when asleep, and the powers of reason least active, showed it came from the grace of God. Having a humble sense of his own wants and weakness, he pleads, Lord, I am but a little child. The more wise and considerate men are, the better acquainted they are with their own weakness, and the more jealous of themselves. Solomon begs of God to give him wisdom. We must pray for it, #Jas 1:5|, that it may help us in our particular calling, and the various occasions we have. Those are accepted of God, who prefer spiritual blessings to earthly good. It was a prevailing prayer, and prevailed for more than he asked. God gave him wisdom, such as no other prince was ever blessed with; and also gave him riches and honour. If we make sure of wisdom and grace, these will bring outward prosperity with them, or sweeten the want of it. The way to get spiritual blessings, is to wrestle with God in prayer for them. The way to get earthly blessings, is to refer ourselves to God concerning them. Solomon has wisdom given him, because he did ask it, and wealth, because he did not.

16-28 An instance of Solomon's wisdom is given. Notice the difficulty of the case. To find out the true mother, he could not try which the child loved best, and therefore tried which loved the child best: the mother's sincerity will be tried, when the child is in danger. Let parents show their love to their children, especially by taking care of their souls, and snatching them as brands out of the burning. By this and other instances of the wisdom with which God endued him, Solomon had great reputation among his people. This was better to him than weapons of war; for this he was both feared and loved.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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