1 Kings 3 part 3

 

Last week we finished up with Solomon cleaning up his kingdom by removing the rebels and tonight as begin in chapter 3 we will start looking at the begging of his reign as King.

 

1 Kings 3:1 Now Solomon made a treaty with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and married Pharaoh's daughter; then he brought her to the City of David until he had finished building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall all around Jerusalem.2 Meanwhile the people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the LORD until those days.3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.

 

The first thing we must deal with is the marriage between Solomon and this Egyptian princess. Now we already know that one of Solomonís big down falls was the foreign women that he married. Notice Nehemiah talks about this.

 

Nehemiah 13:23 In those days I also saw Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab.24 And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the language of Judah, but spoke according to the language of one or the other people.25 So I contended with them and cursed them, struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, "You shall not give your daughters as wives to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or yourselves.26 "Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin.27 "Should we then hear of your doing all this great evil, transgressing against our God by marrying pagan women?"

 

Now the reason Nehemiah said he sinned was because he was marrying women from nation that was specifically forbidden by God.

 

Deuteronomy 7:1"When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you,2 "and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.3 "Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son.4 "For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the LORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. (See also Ex. 34:10ff)

 

These specific nations of Canaan are the ones that God prohibited them from marrying and as far as I can tell no other nations are excluded. God reason for this was so that these women would not covert his people over to their idolatry. Again I want to point out that these specific nation were to be destroyed and not married to but now look at this command in,

 

Deuteronomy 21:10 " When you go out to war against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hand, and you take them captive,11 "and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and desire her and would take her for your wife,12 "then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails.13 "She shall put off the clothes of her captivity, remain in your house, and mourn her father and her mother a full month; after that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.

 

Now this is general statement concerning war time and the enemies of Israel. Now based on what just about those 7 great nations that they could not and would be considered in what Moses says here. Instead this would include their enemies outside these 7 nations. It was permissible for them to take this foreign woman as the wife under this circumstance and Egypt was not listed as one of those nations.

 

According to several commentaries I looked at they suggested that another way a Jew could marry a foreigner was if she renounced her Gods and became a proselyte. Several of these writer suggested that this Egyptian princess had done this very thing which they would answer that yes it was lawful for him to marry her. Now they make this assumption based on the Bible not specifically condemning his marriage to her and the fact that he married early on when he was still walking in Godís commandments. They also suggest that you donít read of any Egyptian idols that were put into place. They also note the distinction made in the following verse.

 

1 Kings 11:1 But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites Ė

Here we see the Pharaohís daughter singled out and we also see that there was something special about this particular women in the fact that Solomon build her a house in 1 Kings 7:8. Because so much attention is paid to this women it believed that this was the women that that Solomon writes about in the Song of Solomon and it believe that she is the one described in Psalm 45.

 

Psalm 45:10-11 Listen, O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your father's house;11 So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him.

Here is where they believe it describes how this Egyptian princess changed her Egyptians ways and became a proselyte. Now I will say that this is plausible but their isnít really any hard evidence that she became a proselyte. It is just as plausible that this women kept her Gods and was just one of the many foreign women that lead to Solomon downfall. The reason I say this is because of what,

 

1 Kings 11:2 from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, "You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods." Solomon clung to these in love.3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David.5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.6 Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David.7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon.8 And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

 

Now we need to keep in mind that even though Solomon was doing is his best to walk the statues of the Lord in the beginning doesnít mean he didnít unlawfully marry this women as we saw David make many mistakes in life even when it was said of him that he was following after God. Besides all this we need to remember that Godís Law also stated specifically that a King was not to multiply wives for himself lest they turn his heart in Deut 17:17. We can put 2 and 2 together and see that this daughter of Pharaoh was not his first wife. Please note the following verse.

 

1 Kings 14:21 And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king. He reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there. His mother's name was Naamah, an Ammonitess.

 

We know that Solomon ruled for 40 years and since his son was 41 this means that he was married to this women Naamah and had a son by her before his reign as king which puts her before the Pharaohs daughter.

 

Now that I have said all this my personal thought on this matter is that Solomon married her unlawfully as being a foreigner and for marrying multiple wives.

 

God tolerated many things in the OT times that were not in accordance with his law showing His true mercy upon his people.

 

2 Meanwhile the people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the LORD until those days.3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.

 

Here find out one more time that Solomon wasnít exactly keeping Godís Word all the way because he was offering sacrifices and burning incense at the high places which was prohibited by the law. Their was a specific place this was to be done,

 

Leviticus 17:8"Also you shall say to them: 'Whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice,9 'and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, to offer it to the LORD, that man shall be cut off from among his people.

 

Now there excuse was they didnít have the temple yet but they still had the tabernacle. As we continue in our study in the coming weeks we will see that these high places become a real problem because the people continue to use these places for worship to false Gods.

 

1 Kings 3:4 Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask! What shall I give you?"6 And Solomon said: "You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.7 "Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.8 "And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted.9 "Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"

 

Here where you can see the sincerity of Solomonís heart. First of all he offers up this huge offering before the lord. Then the Lord speaks to him that night asking him what shall I give you? Now at this point in Solomonís life you can see that he was a very humble person and truly cared for the people. He was obviously young and inexperienced at this time this why he says I am but a little child. Now no one knows for sure how old he was at this time but I have seen guesses from 12 Ė 20 years old. No matter what his age may have been he asked for a excellent gift the gift of wisdom. Now notice Godís response.

 

1 Kings 3:10 The speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.11 Then God said to him: "Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice,12 "behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.13 "And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.14 "So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days."15 Then Solomon awoke; and indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

God was very pleased with Solomonís request and because he didnít ask for other things for himself God decides to bless with these other material things as well and I also want you to notice that God speaks about this gift of wisdom already being in place. The only thing that God did not do for Solomon was lengthen his days. Now he would have if Solomon had kept Godís Word but he didnít and Solomon only lived to be some around 60 years old.

 

Another thing I find of interest here is now that he has been given his wisdom this time he offer his sacrifice at the correct place instead upon the high places. This shows to me that he now understands that he was sacrificing in the wrong the place.

 

1 Kings 3:16 Now two women who were harlots came to the king, and stood before him.17 And one woman said, "O my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house.18 "Then it happened, the third day after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth. And we were together; no one was with us in the house, except the two of us in the house.19 "And this woman's son died in the night, because she lay on him.20 "So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.21 "And when I rose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead. But when I had examined him in the morning, indeed, he was not my son whom I had borne."22 Then the other woman said, "No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son." And the first woman said, "No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son." Thus they spoke before the king.

 

Right off the bat Solomon had a very difficult case to judge. How he decided this case would make impact on his people on whether or not he was capable of making such judgment calls. Think about how difficult this would be to decide between two women who were both claiming this baby to be theirs. Of course today we would have the advantage of doing a DNA test but they didnít have that luxury back then. So, lets see what Solomon does.

 

1 Kings 3:23 And the king said, "The one says, 'This is my son, who lives, and your son is the dead one'; and the other says, 'No! But your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.' "24 Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword before the king.25 And the king said, "Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other."26 Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, "O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!" But the other said, "Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him."27 So the king answered and said, "Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother."28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.

 

This truly shows just how much wisdom the young man Solomon had. He knew that the real mother wouldnít allow her child to be cut half and that she would give it up before allowing it to be killed. Because of this great wisdom that Solomon displayed that day all the children of Israel knew that God was with him.

 

 

 

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