1 Kings 3:1
Later, Solomon formed an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt by marrying his daughter. Solomon brought her to the City of David until he had finished building his palace and the house of the LORD, as well as the wall around Jerusalem.
RetributionsJ. Waite

These words give a summary of the life of this king of Judah, and faithfully record, as the Scriptures do to admiration, the good and the bad, as these will be considered in the judgment of the great day. Consider -


1. He came of a good stock.

(1) He was "of the house and lineage of David." The traditions of that house were in many respects a glorious inheritance. David was a "man after God's own heart." In no instance was he found inclining to idolatry.

(2) He was the son of Asa. Of his mother we have this significant mention: "And his mother's name was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. And he walked in the ways of Asa his father, and departed not from it, doing that which was right in the sight of the Lord." This suggests the healthiness of his mothers moral influence. The reference here to Asa, too, is highly honourable.

(3) The blessing of pious parents is inestimable. It works beneficially in example, in precept, in solicitude. This last is most effectual in prayer to God. Those who are favoured with godly parents should praise God evermore. Wicked children of pious parents are doubly culpable.

2. He improved his advantages.

(1) He "walked in the ways of Asa his father." These were ways of righteousness. Let the children of godly parents now ask themselves whether they walk in the good ways of their ancestors.

(2) He "turned not aside from it. He showed no favour to idolatry. The note which follows is no impeachment of the truth of this statement: "Nevertheless the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places." The high places that Jehoshaphat spared were those in which the true God was worshipped in accordance with the usage of patriarchal times (see 2 Chronicles 33:17).

(3) He went farther than Asa in the work of reformation: - "The remnant of the Sodomites which remained in the days of Asa his father he took out of the land." The parallel place to this in the Chronicles is: "And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord: moreover he took away the high places and the groves (אשׁרים) out of Judah" (2 Chronicles 17:6; 2 Chronicles 19:8). By removing the Sodomites we understand that he demolished their shrines, their Asherim, their instruments of pollution. When the nests are destroyed the rooks fly.

3. This was to his praise.

(1) Others, similarly placed, failed to make this good use of their advantages. Jehoram, his own son, may be mentioned in sad contrast to him. Several of his ancestors had scandalously departed from the godly ways of their father David. Men will be justified or condemned in the light of such comparisons in the last great day (see Luke 11:31, 32).

(2) God rewarded him with prosperity (2 Chronicles 17:4, 5). He had an army - probably an enrolled militia - of 1,100,000 men. The Philistines, Arabians, and Edomites were subject to him. The note here, that "there was then no king in Edom: a deputy was king," which prefaces the account of his fleet at Ezion-Geber, was designed to explain how Jehoshaphat was able to have a fleet at a port which belonged to Edom (see 1 Kings 9:26), viz., because he appointed the viceroy in Edom which was tributary to him (see Genesis 27:29, 37; 2 Samuel 8:14).

II. THE BLAME OF JEHOSHAPHAT. This seems all to have been connected with the "peace" which he made "with the king of Israel." It appears to have commenced with -

1. The marriage of his son.

(1) Jehoram, the eldest son of Jehoshaphat, and with his consent, took Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, to be his wife. Jehoshaphat's heart was lifted up with the abundance of his "riches and honour," and "joined affinity with Ahab" (see 2 Chronicles 18:1). He became too great to be content with an humble match for his son, and sacrificed godliness to grandeur. He has many imitators in this.

(2) Unequal yoking has ever been prolific in mischief. Athaliah inherited the evil spirit of both her parents, and she led away the heart of Jehoram from God to his ruin. The object of this marriage was to build up the house of Jehoshaphat, but it well-nigh proved its ruin (see 2 Chronicles 22:10, 11). God is the builder of families (see 2 Samuel 7:11, 27; 1 Kings 2:24; 1 Kings 11:38; Psalm 127:1).

2. His friendship with Ahab.

(1) This evil grew out of the marriage. The peace between Israel and Judah, which in the abstract was a benefit, was probably a condition of the marriage. But the friendship between Jehoshaphat and Ahab which followed, was too intimate for the good of the king of Judah's soul

(2) Evils beget evils. This friendship led to Jehosha. plat helping Ahab in his war against Syria, and had nearly cost Jehoshaphat his life. It also sullied his reputation, for he was persuaded into it by Ahab against the voice of Micaiah. This friendship exposed Jehoshaphat to the reproof of the prophet Jehu (2 Chronicles 19:2).

3. His friendship with Ahaziah.

(1) This son of Ahab was no more a companion fit for Jehoshaphat than Ahab. For Ahaziah "walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin: for he served Baal and worshipped him, and provoked to anger the Lord God of Israel, according to all that his father had done."

(2) Yet Jehoshaphat formed a trade alliance with Ahaziah. They jointly fitted out a fleet at the port of Ezion-Geber, on the Red Sea, to sail to Ophir for gold. But for this God rebuked him, and "the ships were broken" in the port (see 2 Chronicles 20:35-37). Let no money consideration, no gold of Ophir, induce godly young men to enter into trade partnerships with the ungodly.

(3) This judgment of God had a salutary effect upon Jehoshaphat. For when Ahaziah would renew the attempt at Ezion-Geber, Jehoshaphat declined (ver. 49). Let us be careful never to repeat a blunder. - J.A.M.

There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah.
In all the course of my acquaintance with Sir Robert Peel, I never knew a man in whose truth and justice I had a more lively confidence. In the whole course of my communication with him, I never knew an instance in which he did not show the strongest attachment to truth, and I never saw, in the whole course of my life, the smallest reason for suspecting that he stated anything which he did not firmly believe to be the fact.

(The Duke of Wellington.)

I. YOU ARE IN DANGER OF COMMITTING AHAB'S FOLLY, IN THE CHOICE OF YOUR ACQUAINTANCES AND FRIENDS. You find some ready to give you countenance, by their example and conversation, in all the evil which your heart desires; willing, whatever be your besetting sin, to help you in excusing it to your conscience; forward, however unholy be your enterprise, to say with the false prophets of Samaria, "Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king" (Ver. 6) There are others who warn you of evil, who recommend you to desist from sinful courses, whose very example is a reproof to you, though their tongue be silent; Now which sort of friends do you most highly esteem?

II. A LIVELY WARNING AGAINST THE UNWISE CONDUCT OF MANY PERSONS IN THE CHOICE OF THEIR RELIGION. But be ye well assured, that one kind of religion only can be right; and that this must be one which prophesieth evil concerning you, which tells you that you are lost if you sin, and which bids you seek for heaven, not by show of piety, not by dissension one with another, not by resorting to images, and saints, and masses; but by secret wrestling with your own desires, by fervent spiritual prayer, and by painful denial of yourselves, in the faith and by the strength of Jesus Christ your Saviour.

III. TO PROFESS THE RIGHT FAITH IS ONE THING; TO APPLY IT RIGHTLY IN OUR PRACTICE IS ANOTHER. It may be you fall not into the error of running after false systems of faith, and yet regard not as you ought to do the prophets of the truth. And into this error you may fall, either in regard to the public preaching, or to the private exhortations, of the ministers of religion. "He doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil," is a reflection with which you often probably return home from church.

(C. Girdlestone, M. A.)

When Archbishop Abbot was visited by one of James I.'s emissaries, who came to persuade him to do evil to please the court, he stood boldly in defiance of the royal request, and asked: "Shall I, to please King James, and to shelter and satisfy his vile favourites, shall I send my soul to hell? No, I will not do it!" So he stood alone in that unholy court, and sought to be true to the King of kings. The price for becoming traitor to God is too great for us to afford

(H. O. Mackey.).

I hate him, for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil
I. A GUILTY CONSCIENCE MAKES MEN FEAR THE TRUTH. And yet, how senseless and impolitic is this! Whatever the reality of things may be, is it not better that we should know it, rather than live in a fool's paradise of flattering self-delusions, crying, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace? It was a wise and noble spirit that said, "I will seek after the truth, by which no man was ever injured." We have mastered one of the grandest lessons of life when we have learnt to welcome the truth from whatever quarter it may come.

II. FEAR OF TRUTH MAY OFTEN DEVELOP INTO PERSONAL HATE OF HIM WHO IS THE MESSENGER AND MINISTER OF IT. "I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil." There is nothing strange in this. A very subtle connection exists between the conditions of mind here indicated. Fear leads to hate, and is itself a form of hate. The feeling of aversion is readily transferred from the thing dreaded to him who is the means of bringing it upon us; .and when a man hates the light, he is not likely to have much love for the human medium through whom it shines.

III. Divine laws and purposes are surely accomplished, in spite of human fear and hate. The "lying spirit" in the pretended prophets may utter its persuasive flatteries (ver. 22); Zedekiah may add violence to falsity (ver. 24); Micaiah may be imprisoned and fed with "the bread and water of affliction" (ver. 27), — but the fatal decree has gone forth, and must be fulfilled. The king shall return no more from Ramoth-Gilead.

(J. Waite, B. A.)

Many an objector to Christianity in our day, if he said out what he really thinks, would say, "I disbelieve Christianity, because it does not prophecy good concerning me, but evil; it makes such serious demands, it sets up so high a standard, it implies that so much I say and do is a great mistake that I must away with it. I cannot do and be what it enjoins without doing violence to my inclinations, to my fixed habits of life and thought." This, before his conversion, was the case with the great . Augustine tells us in his Confessions how completely he was enchained by his passions, and how, after lie had become intellectually satisfied of the truth of the creed of the Christian Church, he was held back from conversion by the fear that he would have to give up so much to which he was attached. In the end, we know, through God's grace he broke his chains — those chains which held poor Ahab captive. In such cases lasting self-deceit is only too easy. Men treat what is only a warp of the will as if it were a difficulty of the understanding, while the real agent — ought I not to say the real culprit? — is almost always the will. The will sees religion advancing to claim the allegiance of the will, it sees that to admit this claim will oblige it to forego much, and to do much that is unwelcome to flesh and blood, and so it makes an effort to clog or to hinder the direct action of the understanding. Its public language is, "I cannot accept religion because it makes this or that assertion, which to my mind is open to historical or philosophical or moral objections of a decisive character"; but, if it saw deeper into itself, it would say, "I dislike this creed, for it doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil, while I continue to live as I do."

(Canon Liddon.)

"It was an old joke against Lord Islay, who formerly lived at Hounslow, that ordering his gardener to cut an avenue to open a view, the landscape disclosed a gibbet with a thief on it; and several members of the Campbell family having died with their shoes on, the prospect awoke such ominous and unpleasant reminiscences that Lord Islay instantly ordered the avenue to be closed up again with a clump of thick Scotch firs." The amusing incident has a moral side of it. Certain doctrines of the Gospel bear very heavily upon proud human nature, and therefore many are determined to block up the view which they open up. Curiosity impelled them to hear, but perceiving that the truth condemns them they wish to hear no more. The preacher's teaching would be all very well, but it brings sin to remembrance and reveals the hell which will follow it, and therefore the self-convicted hearer cannot abide it. It is, however, no joke to block up our view of eternity. The gibbet is there even if the sinner refuses to see it.

(Sword and Trowel.)

The class of sermons which, according to Mr. Gladstone, is most needed, is the class one of which so offended Lord Melbourne tong ago. He was one day seen coming from a church in the country in a great fume. Meeting a friend, he exclaimed, "It is too bad! I have always been a supporter of the Church, and I have always upheld the clergy. But it is really too bad to have to listen to a sermon like that we have had this morning. Why, the preacher actually insisted upon applying religion to a man's private life!"


The truth which a man or a generation requires most is the truth which he or they like least; and the true Christian teacher's adaptation of his message will consist quite as much in opposing the desires and contradicting the lies, as in seeking to meet the felt wants of the world. Nauseous medicines or sharp lancets are adapted to the sick man quite as truly as pleasant food and soothing ointment.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

A sailor just off to a whaling expedition asked where he could hear a good sermon. On his return from the church his friend asked him, "How did you like the sermon?" "Not much, it was like a ship leaving for the whale fishing; everything shipshape; anchors, cordage, sails, and provisions all right, but there were no harpoons on board."

One excuse a man makes for not heeding the message is, "I did not like the man himself; I did not like the minister; I did not like the man who blew the trumpet, I had a personal dislike to him, and so I did not take any notice of what the trumpet said." Verily, God will say to thee at the last, "Thou fool, what hadst thou to do with that man; to his own master he stands or falls; thy business was with thyself." What would you think of a man? A man has fallen overboard from a ship, and when he is drowning some sailor throws him a rope, and there it is. "Well," he says, "in the first place. I do not like that rope; I do not think the rope was made at the best manufactory; there is some tar on it, too; I do not like it; and in the next place, I do not like that sailor that threw the rope over; I do not like the look of him at all," and then comes a gurgle and a groan, and down he is at the bottom of the sea; and when he was drowned, they said that it served him right. On his own head be his blood. And so shall it be with you at the last. You are so busy with criticising the minister and his style, and his doctrine, that your own soul perishes. Remember you may get into hell by criticism, but you will never criticise your soul out of it.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

David, Gibeon, Pharaoh, Solomon
Egypt, Gibeon, Jerusalem
Affinity, Alliance, Allied, Bringeth, Build, Building, Complete, Completeth, Daughter, David, Egypt, Ended, Finished, Formed, Jerusalem, Joineth, Keeping, Marriage, Married, Palace, Pharaoh, Pharaoh's, Round, Solomon, Son-in-law, Taketh, Temple, Till, Town, Wall, Wife
1. Solomon marries Pharaoh's daughter
2. High places being in use, Solomon sacrifices at Gibeon
5. Solomon at Gibeon, in the choice which God gave him,
10. preferring wisdom, obtains wisdom, riches, and honor
16. Solomon's judgment makes him renowned

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 3:1

     5119   Solomon, life of
     5120   Solomon, character
     5205   alliance
     5240   building
     5256   city
     5315   fortifications
     5366   king
     5604   walls
     5674   daughters
     5732   polygamy
     7240   Jerusalem, history

A Young Man's Wise Choice Op Wisdom
'In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. 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 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. 7. And now, O Lord my God, Thou hast made Thy servant king instead of David my father: and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

"But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness," &C.
Matt. vi. 33.--"But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness," &c. This is a part of Christ's long sermon. He is dissuading his disciples and the people from carnal carefulness and worldly mindedness. The sermon holds out the Christian's diverse aspects towards spiritual and external things. What is the Christian's disposition in regard to the world, how should he look upon food, raiment, and all things necessary in this life? "Be careful for nothing." "Take no thought for your life,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Whether the Degrees of Prophecy Change as Time Goes On?
Objection 1: It would seem that the degrees of prophecy change as time goes on. For prophecy is directed to the knowledge of Divine things, as stated above [3690](A[2]). Now according to Gregory (Hom. in Ezech.), "knowledge of God went on increasing as time went on." Therefore degrees of prophecy should be distinguished according to the process of time. Objection 2: Further, prophetic revelation is conveyed by God speaking to man; while the prophets declared both in words and in writing the things
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Letter Lxxiv. To Rufinus of Rome.
Rufinus, a Roman Presbyter (to be carefully distinguished from Rufinus of Aquileia and Rufinus the Syrian), had written to Jerome for an explanation of the judgment of Solomon (1 Kings iii. 16-28). This Jerome gives at length, treating the narrative as a parable and making the false and true mothers types of the Synagogue and the Church. The date of the letter is 398 a.d.
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

Love is the Touchstone by which the Reality of Truth is Perceived...
1. Love is the touchstone by which the reality of truth is perceived, and by it shall all men know that ye are My disciples (John xiii.35). I also make use of the sword of justice, so that at first sight some are inclined to think that, like Solomon, I intend to finish My work without mercy (1 Kings iii.16-28), but My object, like his, is to apply the touchstone of love which will bring out the truth, and show that you are the children of that God of Love who gave His life to save yours. You ought
Sadhu Sundar Singh—At The Master's Feet

The Song of Solomon.
An important link in the chain of the Messianic hopes is formed by the Song of Solomon. It is intimately associated with Ps. lxxii., which was written by Solomon, and represents the Messiah as the Prince of Peace, imperfectly prefigured by Solomon as His type. As in this Psalm, so also in the Song of Solomon, the coming of the Messiah forms the subject throughout, and He is introduced there under the name of Solomon, the Peaceful One. His coming shall be preceded by severe afflictions, represented
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Sargon of Assyria (722-705 B. C. )
SARGON AS A WARRIOR AND AS A BUILDER. The origin of Sargon II.: the revolt of Babylon, Merodach-baladan and Elam--The kingdom of Elam from the time of the first Babylonian empire; the conquest's of Shutruh-nalkunta I.; the princes of Malamir--The first encounter of Assyria and Elam, the battle of Durilu (721 B.C.)--Revolt of Syria, Iaubidi of Hamath and Hannon of Gaza--Bocchoris and the XXIVth Egyptian dynasty; the first encounter of Assyria with Egypt, the battle of Raphia (720 B.C.). Urartu
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 7

Tit. 2:06 Thoughts for Young Men
WHEN St. Paul wrote his Epistle to Titus about his duty as a minister, he mentioned young men as a class requiring peculiar attention. After speaking of aged men and aged women, and young women, he adds this pithy advice, "Young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded" (Tit. 2:6). I am going to follow the Apostle's advice. I propose to offer a few words of friendly exhortation to young men. I am growing old myself, but there are few things I remember so well as the days of my youth. I have a most
John Charles Ryle—The Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times

Formation and History of the Hebrew Canon.
1. The Greek word canon (originally a straight rod or pole, measuring-rod, then rule) denotes that collection of books which the churches receive as given by inspiration of God, and therefore as constituting for them a divine rule of faith and practice. To the books included in it the term canonical is applied. The Canon of the Old Testament, considered in reference to its constituent parts, was formed gradually; formed under divine superintendence by a process of growth extending through
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

Differences in Judgment About Water Baptism, no Bar to Communion: Or, to Communicate with Saints, as Saints, Proved Lawful.
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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