Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 1 Kings
Book: 1 Kings
Chapter: 3

Solomon's Marriage. (1-4) His Vision, His Prayer for Wisdom.
(5-15) The Judgment of Solomon. (16-28)

1-4 He that loved the Lord, should, for his sake, have fixed
his Love upon one of the Lord's people. Solomon was a Wise Man,
a rich Man, a great Man; yet the brightest praise of him, is
that which is the character of all the saints, even the poorest,
"He loved the Lord." Where God sows plentifully, he expects to
reap accordingly; and those that truly Love God and his Worship,
will not grudge the expenses of their religion. We must never
think that wasted which is laid out in the service of God.

5-15 Solomon's Dream was not a common one. While his bodily
powers were locked up in sleep, the powers of his soul were
strengthened; he was enabled to receive the Divine Vision, and
to make a suitable choice. God, in like manner, puts us in the
ready way to be happy, By assuring us we shall have what we
need, and pray for. Solomon's making such a choice when asleep,
and the powers of reason least active, showed it came from the
Grace of God. Having a humble sense of his own wants and
weakness, he pleads, Lord, I am but a little Child. The more
Wise and considerate men are, the better acquainted they are
with their own weakness, and the more jealous of themselves.
Solomon begs of God to give him Wisdom. We must pray for it,

Jas 1:5, that it may help us in our particular Calling, and
the various occasions we have. Those are accepted of God, who
prefer spiritual blessings to earthly good. It was a prevailing
Prayer, and prevailed for more than he asked. God gave him
Wisdom, such as No other Prince was ever blessed with; and also
gave him riches and honour. If we make sure of Wisdom and Grace,
these will bring outward prosperity with them, or sweeten the
want of it. The way to get spiritual blessings, is to Wrestle
with God in Prayer for them. The way to get earthly blessings,
is to refer ourselves to God concerning them. Solomon has Wisdom
given him, because he did ask it, and wealth, because he did

16-28 An instance of Solomon's Wisdom is given. Notice the
difficulty of the case. To find out the true mother, he could
not try which the Child loved best, and therefore tried which
loved the Child best: the mother's sincerity will be tried, when
the Child is in danger. Let parents show their Love to their
children, especially By taking care of their souls, and
snatching them as brands out of the burning. By this and other
instances of the Wisdom with which God endued him, Solomon had
great reputation among his people. This was better to him than
weapons of War; for this he was both feared and loved.