Well as chapter three begins, we see a couple of things that could be of concern.
First is his marriage to Pharaoh’s daughter. Jews were not to marry non Jews, or they might draw them away from God. Many scholars believe that she must have embraced Judaism. In addition, some think that this is the bride that Solomon wrote about in the Song of Solomon, which we read in episodes 287, 290 and 293.
The other thing that was not quite right was his offering sacrifices at places that were not officially sanctioned. The reason given is that the temple had not yet been built, but it would have been better if he had gone to the place where the Ark of the Covenant was, which is what David had done. Solomon seems to be given a bit of latitude though, because he truly did love the Lord and followed David’s rules, which were of course based on God’s Law.
Now, we see that God loved Solomon by what he did for him. God asked what He could give Solomon, and of course Solomon’s answer was the best possible answer. It demonstrated his love for God and the children of Israel. He asked for wisdom so that he would be able to lead them well. And God was so pleased with this that He gave Solomon a supernatural wisdom, plus riches and honor, with the promise that if he continued to obey His laws and commands, He would give him a long life.
And it’s interesting to see what Solomon did next. He went to where the Ark of the Covenant was and offered sacrifices there.
Next we see a demonstration of Solomon’s wisdom. As we read the account, we look back and say, “Yes, that was very insightful of him.” But put yourself there, without the benefit of knowing how the story ends up. What a quandary that was! Imagine the horror of everyone there when he asked for the baby to be cut in two! Everyone was horrified, except for the woman who was lying. Solomon knew that the true mother would never let her baby be killed like that.
So we’re told that Solomon was wiser than anyone. How marvelous it must have been to have a king with such wisdom.
What do you think?