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1Ki 3:1. SOLOMON MARRIES PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER.
1. Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh--This was a royal title,
equivalent to "sultan," and the personal name of this monarch is said to
have been Vaphres. The formation, on equal terms, of this matrimonial
alliance with the royal family of Egypt, shows the high consideration
to which the Hebrew kingdom had now arisen. Rosellini has given, from
the Egyptian monuments, what is supposed to be a portrait of this
princess. She was received in the land of her adoption with great
eclat; for the Song of Solomon and the forty-fifth Psalm are supposed
to have been composed in honor of this occasion, although they may both
have a higher typical reference to the introduction of the Gentiles
into the church.
1Ki 3:2-5. HIGH PLACES BEING IN USE, HE SACRIFICES AT GIBEON.
3. And Solomon loved the Lord--This declaration, illustrated by what
follows, affords undoubted evidence of the young king's piety; nor is
the word "only," which prefaces the statement, to be understood as
introducing a qualifying circumstance that reflected any degree of
censure upon him. The intention of the sacred historian is to describe
the generally prevailing mode of worship before the temple was built.
4. the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there--The old tabernacle and the brazen altar which Moses had made in the wilderness were there (1Ch 16:39; 21:29; 2Ch 1:3-6). The royal progress was of public importance. It was a season of national devotion. The king was accompanied by his principal nobility (2Ch 1:2); and, as the occasion was most probably one of the great annual festivals which lasted seven days, the rank of the offerer and the succession of daily oblations may help in part to account for the immense magnitude of the sacrifices.
5. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream--It was probably at the close of this season, when his mind had been elevated into a high state of religious fervor by the protracted services. Solomon felt an intense desire, and he had offered an earnest petition, for the gift of wisdom. In sleep his thoughts ran upon the subject of his prayer, and he dreamed that God appeared to him and gave him the option of every thing in the world--that he asked wisdom, and that God granted his request (1Ki 3:9-12). His dream was but an imaginary repetition of his former desire, but God's grant of it was real.
1Ki 3:6-15. HE CHOOSES WISDOM.
6. Solomon said--that is, had dreamed that he said.
10. the speech pleased the Lord--It was Solomon's waking prayers that God heard and requited, but the acceptance was signified in this vision.
15. behold, it was a dream--The vivid impression, the indelible recollection he had of this dream, together with the new and increased energy communicated to his mind, and the flow of worldly prosperity that rushed upon him, gave him assurance that it came by divine inspiration and originated in the grace of God. The wisdom, however, that was asked and obtained was not so much of the heart as of the head--it was wisdom not for himself personally, but for his office, such as would qualify him for the administration of justice, the government of a kingdom, and for the attainment of general scientific knowledge.
1Ki 3:16-28. HIS JUDGMENT BETWEEN TWO HARLOTS.
16. Then came there two women--Eastern monarchs, who generally administer justice in person, at least in all cases of difficulty, often appeal to the principles of human nature when they are at a loss otherwise to find a clue to the truth or see clearly their way through a mass of conflicting testimony. The modern history of the East abounds with anecdotes of judicial cases, in which the decision given was the result of an experiment similar to this of Solomon upon the natural feelings of the contending parties.