1 Kings 3 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of 1 Kings 3)
3:1 And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the a 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.

(a) Which was Bethlehem.

3:2 Only the people sacrificed in b high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days.

(b) Where altars were appointed before the temple was built, to offer to the Lord.

3:3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his c father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.

(c) For his father had commanded him to obey the Lord and walk in his ways, (1 Kings 2:3).

3:4 And the king went to d Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that [was] the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

(d) For there the tabernacle was (2 Chronicles 1:3).

3:6 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 e kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as [it is] this day.

(e) You have performed your promise.

3:7 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 f go out or come in.

(f) That is, to behave himself in executing this charge of ruling.

3:9 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 g great a people?

(g) Which are so many in number.

3:11 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 h enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;

(h) That is, that their enemy would die.

3:15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, [it was] i 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.

(i) He knew that God had appeared to him in a dream.

3:16 Then came there two women, [that were] harlots, unto the king, and k stood before him.

(k) By this example it appears that God kept his promise to Solomon in granting him wisdom.

3:20 And she arose at midnight, and l took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.

(l) She stole the living child to avoid both the shame and punishment.

3:24 And the king said, m Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king.

(m) Unless God gives judges understanding, the impudency of the trespasser will overthrow the just cause of the innocent.

3:26 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 n in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, [but] divide [it].

(n) Her motherly affection appears in that she would rather endure the rigor of the law than see her child cruelly slain.