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.
A. M. 2990. B.C. 1014. An. Ex. Is. 477. affinity
Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days.
It was not right to offer sacrifices in any place but where the tabernacle and ark were; and wherever they were, whether on a high place or a plain, sacrifices might be lawfully offered, previously to building of the temple. The tabernacle was now at Gibeon, (2 Ch 1:3,) which was therefore called the great high place; whither we find Solomon, without censure, repaired to sacrifice.
And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.
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.
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
in a dream
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 kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
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.
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.
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?
who is able
And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
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;
Heb. many days. discern. Heb. hear.
Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
I have done
I have given
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.
shall not be
or, hath not been.
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.
I will lengthen
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.
Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him.
The word zanoth, rendered harlots, is here translated by the Targumist, the best judge in this case, pundekon, "tavern-keepers:" see on Jos 2:1.
Judges 11:1 Had these women been harlots, it is not likely that they would have dared to appear before Solomon; nor is it likely that such persons would have been permitted in the reign of David. Their husbands might at this time have been following their necessary occupations in distant parts.
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.
O my lord
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.
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.
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.
And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.
This was apparently a very strange decision; but Solomon saw that the only way to discover the real mother was by the affection and tenderness should would necessarily shew to her offspring. The plan was tried, and succeeded; and it was a proof of his sound judgment, penetration, and acquaintance with the human heart, or rather, of his extraordinary and supernatural wisdom. See ver. 28. The two following instances are in some faint manner to be compared to Solomon's decision, inasmuch as they also work upon the human sympathies. Suetonius, in his Life of the emperor Claudian, tells us, that this emperor discovered a woman to be the real mother of a young man, whom she refused to acknowledge, by commanding her to marry him, the proofs being doubtful on both sides; for, rather than commit incest, she confessed the truth. Diodorus Siculus also informs us, that Ariopharnes, king of Thrace, being appointed to decided between three young men, each of whom professed to be the son of the deceased king of the Cimmerians, and claimed the succession, discovered the real son by ordering each to shoot an arrow into the dead body of the king: two of them did this without hesitation; but the real son of the deceased monarch refused.
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.
Heb. were hot.
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.
Heb. in the midst of him. to do.