I Kings

Chapter 3

"First Appearance of Yehovah to Solomon [2-15]."
"Promise of Wisdom and Riches [16-28]."

This Bible Study was written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by https://theseason.org

God had established that the king of Israel would now be Solomon, and those that made their attempt to place Adonijah on the throne were dead. Peace had now come over the land of Israel and we see that Solomon kept the ways of the Lord.

I Kings 3:1 "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."

"Affinity" is to "create a binding friendship through marriage". King Solomon bound a peaceful relationship with Egypt by taking the daughter of the Pharaoh to be one of his wives. Solomon took his new bride to Jerusalem and kept her in his own house. That house or palace was being completed, as well as the walls that were to protect Jerusalem.

Many people say automatically that Solomon married a heathen, an Ishmaelite, which was unlawful at that time to do for Solomon. However, once you understand the history of the "Hyksos", the shepherd kings, it becomes clear that the wife of Solomon was not heathen. Egypt was divided into two separate nations at this time, and though the Northern kingdom were indeed heathen kings, the ruling of the Southern kingdom were the Shepherd kings. The Shepherd kings were kin to the Israelites, and it was from these people that Solomon took his wife.

Though the Israelites tried to keep the seed line pure for the coming Messiah, Jacob's twin brother Esau did not give the seed line a second thought. He took wives of the heathen, and allowed his lineage to be polluted with these heathen women. Esau had three wives and two of them were heathen of the Hittites and the Hivites. They were from the women of grove and Baal worship.

Genesis 36:1 "And these are THE GENERATIONS OF ESAU who is Edom."

Genesis 36:2 "Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zebeon the Hivite;"

Genesis 36:3 "And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nabajoth."

Genesis 36:4 "And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;"

We see this "hykoso" shepherd king line in verse 17 of this chapter; "And these are the sons of Reuel Esau's son; duke Nahath, duke Zerah, duke Shammah, duke Mizzah: These are the dukes that came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Bashemath Esau's wife."

This is why God allowed Esau to be dethroned from receiving the blessing promises of the first born of Abraham.  However the genetic line of Solomon's bride was from this other of Esau's wives, "Beshemath the Ishmaelite" [Isaac's brother Ishmael], and through her son Reuel. The word "Pharaoh" means "king".

However it is also important to understand that Solomon was not in the genealogy of Christ anyway, but the Lord came through Solomon's brother Nathan. This is recorded in Luke 3:31; "Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David." The expression "which was", in the Hebrew tongue meant "which was by law". We use this same expression today in reference to our spouse's family members. We call them our "father in law", "mother in law", "brother in law", and so on. So this lineage of Joseph's was that of his in-laws, that of Mary's mother.

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

At this time the people went to the mountain tops to do their worship, because there was no Temple built at this time. It is important that you understand that all worship was done in high places, and on mountain tops, especially the heathen practices. As you travel around the world, you see that the religious symbols of whatever worship is practiced, is placed on the mountain tops and the high places of the land. Throughout the scriptures we have seen that worshipping in high places is associated with idolatry. However in this case, these Israelites worshipped there because their place of worship had not been built yet.

I Kings 3:3 "And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places."

This "burning incense in high places" would really disturb many religious people, however, let's read on.

I Kings 3:4 "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."

So why go to Gibeon, and what happened there? "Gibeon" was the place where the tent of the Lord was, it was the place of worship where the tabernacle of God was and of the Levitical priests. So we see that there was no sin in Solomon doing what he did. It is explained in II Chronicles 1:3 the reason for Solomon going to Gibeon.

II Chronicles 1:3 "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."

I Kings 3:5 "In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee." 

God was pleased with Solomon because he had fulfilled all of the instructions that his father David had given to him. He followed the instructions to the letter of the law, and those that did evil were cleansed from off the land. Solomon used good judgment in what he did, and did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. God is now going to repay Solomon for his good deeds.

I Kings 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 [mind] 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."

This is what you must do, if you ever want to be blessed by God. This tells us what pleases God.

Solomon was thanking God for being so kind to his father David in all the hardships of his life. Solomon wasn't thinking of himself, but of his father, and how good God had been to him.

I Kings 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 go out or come in."

Solomon at this time was not a child, but a young man. Solomon acknowledges to God that he is unsure of himself in the position he is in. Here Solomon sits as king over all Israel, and he is still in his youth. Solomon felt inadequate in handling the affairs of the people.

I Kings 3:8 "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."

Solomon knows the great number of Israelites that this nation has grown into, and he is concerned for each one of these people that are under him. We see here that God has kept his promise to Abraham, in that his seed is becoming numerous as the sands of the sea, and the stars of the heaven.

I Kings 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 great a people?" 

Solomon is asking God for a mind that can both hear and understand the needs of his people, and make the right judgments. Solomon wanted to be a good judge over his people. That is the purpose of the any king, judge the people and defend the faith.

Remember back in I Samuel where the priests had violated their trust with the people, and ripped off the people with their big three pronged hooks. They became greedy in their judgments, to the point that God separated the duties of the priest, from the judges. The priest no longer was the one to judge, but that duty fell on the monarchy, and there became a separation of church and state. Solomon knew that his duty was that of the judge for all the land, and he wanted to be fair in all his judgments. He wanted to be able to see through the lies and deceptions that people might pull on him, and discern the good from the bad.

Solomon is not asking for something for himself, but for the people. When Solomon is judging fairly, the people have gained from his wisdom. Solomon is asking to be a good leader. Solomon put his father David, his people, and God's will before himself.

I Kings 3:10 "And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing."

Friend, this is how to please the Lord. If you want your prayers answered, then think on this.

I Kings 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 enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;"

God liked this unselfishness in Solomon's request. It documents that Solomon was a humble person before the Lord. Serving the people's will was foremost on his mind.

I Kings 3:12 "Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart [mind]; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee."

This is why it is so important that we read and understand the wisdom of Solomon, as he writes to us in the Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. God is talking about man in the flesh, and not comparing him to Christ, for Jesus Christ was God incarnate in the flesh.

I Kings 3:13 "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."

This is in addition to wisdom that Solomon shall receive. Solomon did not ask for these things, but God is going to give them to him also. When you please God and do his work and earn it first, then God will repay you beyond what you have earned. Many don't like the word, "works" mentioned when speaking of God, but your works are very important in this life. Your "works" are the only thing that can be taken with you out of this life, and be rewarded for in the life here-after.

This has nothing to do with salvation, for salvation is the saving of your soul, the eternal condition and right standing before the Father. That is based on your faith in Jesus Christ, and your repentive heart and mind before the Father. However, works have to do with the rewards that your eternal soul will receive throughout eternity.

Revelation 14:13 "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labours: and their works do follow them. "

When you die, your soul leaves this dispensation, and goes to be with the Father that sent it at conception. The only thing that you can take from this age of the flesh, is the record of your labor done for the Lord while you lived in this dispensational age in your flesh body. The good things that you did in the name of the Lord, will determine your rewards that will stay with you throughout all eternity.

God loves to bless His children for those things they do in His name. Don't ever complain that your prayers are not answered, but try to understand that God answers prayers according to His will. He knows what is best for you, and He gives according to what you can take care of. Be mature in your prayers, as Solomon was, and pray that God's will be done. The problem with many Christians is that they simply do not know what is the will of God. Their prayers are full of "give me's", with very little thanks and considerations of others.

l 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." 

Their is a condition ["if"] to the answering of prayers, and God is spelling those conditions out here. "And If thou wilt walk in my ways, and keep my statutes and my commandments..." In chapter two we discussed what the difference was between the statutes, the commandments, the Judgments and the testimonies, and how that each of these are important. David walked in those ways all the days of his life and God blessed him. So here God is making a promise to Solomon, that if he also keeps those same guidelines for his life, God will lengthen his life, and bless him well also.

This is a promise that God gives to each of us even in our generation. God will not only accomplish those other things, but he will give you a good life. Included in the statutes are the health laws, those things that God warned us from eating, to keep a good health physical body. When you violate the health laws you can expect to have sickness. Solomon didn't even ask for these added things, but God gave them to him anyway.

God gave Solomon the wisdom to write how to live in these flesh bodies. The book of Ecclesiastes is all about how we should live our lives in these flesh bodies. How to have health, and still be happy with peace of mind. How to be assured that we will have God blessing in our lives and for our families. Solomon was a great counselor, and he used his great gift of wisdom.

I Kings 3:15 "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."

Solomon received this great promise from God, and the first thing that Solomon did after he awoke, was to go to Jerusalem, and go in before the ark of the covenant of the Lord and give God the thanks by offering his sacrifices. He thanked God for giving him the wisdom for knowing right from wrong, and discerning all matters rightfully. Notice that Solomon did not wait to see if God would keep His promise, but he took God at His promise, and trusted in God's Word. When God makes a promise, you can count on it so thank Him for it. When you read of a promise in His Word, claim that promise, thank God for that promise, and act on it. It is yours only if you claim it. Never forget to thank God when He gives you something.

I Kings 3:16 "Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him."

I Kings 3:17 "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."

I Kings 3:18 "And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; thee was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house."

These two women lived in the same house, and they had their babies three days apart. This all happened with no witness, but only the two women and their two babies. There is no one else that could have done the thing that was done, for they were alone.

I Kings 3:19 "And this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it."

The word "overlaid" in the Hebrew text is "shakab", # 7901; "Shakab, a prime root; to lie down (for rest, sexual connection, or any other purpose):-cast down, lie down to sleep..." This word Shikab deals with being so close to the child that she smothered it with her own body in the night. In the spiritual sense it is to be so close that you take something into your being. Solomon has these two women standing before him, with only one baby. Both claim that the living child is theirs, so only one of these women is lying.

I Kings 3:20 "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."

What other thing happened at midnight? Of course that was the time in the parable that the ten virgins were to light their lamps and go in to the wedding feast. The wedding was taking place, and Christ had returned.

This mother of the dead child switched the babies in the night while that mother of the living child was asleep. The one mother had smothered her own child, and now she is trying to steal the living baby.

I Kings 3:21 "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." 

It is obvious that both these children were male children, and being three days apart in birth, it was obvious to the mother of the living child that there was a switch that had taken place. She had three days to love that child, hold it, and become very familiar with the body features of her child. There is something about any mother that she would know all the little details of her child, especially by the third day. Her motherly instinct lets her know her child from all others. It's part of nature.

I Kings 3:22 "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."

This argument went back and forth so that nothing was being accomplished. So by now judge Solomon had to get to the bottom of it all, and come up with the truth.

I Kings 3:23 "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."

Solomon started out by stating that fact of what the conflict was, that both of these women are claiming that the living son was theirs and the dead son was the other woman's.

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

I suppose that it was a big and wicked looking sword. There could be no doubt in the world what Solomon was intending to show both these women.

I Kings 3:25 "And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other."

Solomon was telling these women that he was going to kill the child, divide him, and give half of the child's body to each of them.

I Kings 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 in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it." 

The mother of the living child, knew that her son was alive, and she wanted the child to stay living. She spoke up immediately to stop Solomon from allow the killing of her son to happen. She would rather have the other woman raise the child, than have her baby dead. By this time Solomon knew exactly who the living child belonged to, for the love of a mother for her child seeks to protect it.

I Kings 3:27 "Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof. "

It is obvious that the true mother cared enough for the child that she would rather give it up than to have the child harmed. That's why good mothers are so precious.

I Kings 3:28 "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."

"Feared" as used here is "revered", for when the people heard of the judgment Solomon gave in this case, a great respect for their king spread throughout all Israel. So where did this wisdom come from? Of course, it was God's wisdom that the Spirit of God placed with him. The credit goes to God, not Solomon, for it is a gift of God. God places the gifts within each of us, for whatever our gifts may be, it is God working those gifts though our lives and we are to thank Him and pass the credit on to Him.

There hast to be more to this little story of the two harlot mothers than is on the surface, for the wisdom that Solomon used here is a matter of simple logic. That is the first level of understanding, but God expects you to think deeper on this subject than what is obvious. Remember that Paul said that everything that is written in God's Word is an "ensample" to us, even to the end times.

We are living in the end times, and the harlot of the end times, is sister Babylon, the mystery religion of our day from the book of Revelation. Both of these women were harlots, they fell short, and were lacking in their lives. Switch in your thoughts from the flesh into the spiritual, for in the Word of God, harlotry is used as a symbol for idolatry. It is to worship something other than the True Father.

God blessed Solomon because he cared more about God's children, than he did for himself. This mother, even though she was a harlot, cared more for the child than for her on desires. In the spiritual aspect, this woman put the child's welfare before her own. This woman was rewarded for placing the spiritual condition of one of God's children over her own pleasures. If you see the truth of God's Word while living in this generation, concerning the old harlot of the end times, and you when you speak out against that old harlot it may make you unpopular. To teach the truth of God's Word concerning the Antichrist coming first, is simply not being accepted in many churches, however if you care for God's children as this mother did, that simply will not matter to you.

When you teach the truth and believe the truth even when it is unpopular, you will put their spiritual well being over whatever hurt it may cause you in the end. Your faithfulness to God will be well rewarded, for it is all part of those works that will follow you into the eternity. All things come from God, even Solomon's wisdom, and this wicked woman in this chapter smothered the precious thing that God gave her, her child. This is a type spiritually speaking, whereby men and women take the little precious truth from God's Word and smother it with all the traditions and things from the world around them, to the point that this small precious truth that God gave them becomes dead.

That Word "overlaid" in the Hebrew had a far deeper meaning, than just smothered. It has a spiritual meaning also. If God gives you a little wisdom, don't smother it to where when you get into the real world, that the truth is smothered in the world's traditions, and that truth dies a spiritual death. Then once that spiritual truth is dead, just like the woman with the dead child, she would rather see the spiritual truth dead in another person, than face the fact that she killed the spiritual insight that she once had.

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