Behold, I have done according to your words: see, I have given you a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like you before you, neither after you shall any arise like to you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Kings 4:29-34). But it was moral wisdom alone which he requested, and which was promised him. The terms translated "wise" and "understanding," both denote practical wisdom. (See Genesis 41:33, Genesis 41:39; Deuteronomy 4:6; Proverbs 1:2, etc.)
Neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee - i. e. in the knowledge of what was in man, and in the wisdom to direct men's goings, he was to be the wisest of "all" mere men. In such wisdom the world would know one only "greater than Solomon" Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31.I have done according to thy words; I have granted, and do at this present grant, unto thee thy desire. And accordingly at this time God did infuse into him a far higher degree and greater measure of wisdom than he naturally had.
A wise and an understanding heart, i.e. wisdom to govern thy people, to know and do thy several duties; which was the thing that Solomon desired, 1 Kings 3:7,9, and the effects whereof here follow, 1 Kings 3:16, &c.; and withal, all Divine and human wisdom, the knowledge of all things, of all the arts and sciences, as may be gathered from 1 Kings 4:29, &c., and that in a far greater proportion than by his years, and the time he could get for his study, could possibly produce.
So that there was none; either no king, or rather, no man; for he is herein preferred, not only before all kings, but before all men, 1 Kings 4:31; no mere man since the fall equalled him, to wit, in universal knowledge, and especially in the art of well-governing his people.
Neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
Quest. Did not the apostles excel him? Answ. They did not in natural and political knowledge, but only in the knowledge of the mysteries of faith, which were more freely and more fully imparted in those times; the ignorance whereof was no disparagement to Solomon’s wisdom, because they were not discoverable by any creature without Divine revelation, which God saw fit not to afford in Solomon’s time. I know no inconvenience in affirming that Solomon’s natural capacities were higher than any of the apostles; and Solomon had a more comprehensive knowledge of all things known in that age, than the apostles had in all the discoveries of their age.
lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; had greatly increased his wisdom and understanding in things political, things respecting civil government, and also in things natural, in the knowledge of the things of nature as appears from 1 Kings 4:33; and of the arts and sciences:
so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee: which some restrain to kings, and to the kings of Israel; that there were none of the kings before him, as Saul and David, like him for wisdom, nor any of the kings of Judah and Israel after him; but it may include all men of all nations in the world, since he is said to be wiser than all men; and some other nations, and particular men of other nations, famous for wisdom, are expressly mentioned as inferior to him, 1 Kings 4:30; but then this must be understood of men since the fall; for Adam, doubtless, had a larger stock of knowledge and understanding in his state of innocence than ever Solomon had; and it must be restrained to political and natural knowledge; for, as for divine knowledge, Kimchi excepts Moses; and we may well except the apostles of Christ for spiritual and evangelical knowledge; and as for our Lord, the antitype of Solomon, he is greater than him in all kind of knowledge, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge being hid in him, see Matthew 12:42.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. according to thy words] The Hebrew is singular, and there seems no gain in the English plural.
so that there was none] It is more agreeable to the English idiom in this sense to render ‘there hath been none.’ In the matter of tenses the English and Hebrew are not at all conterminous, and choice must at times be made on the ground of English usage simply.Verse 12. - Behold, I have done according to thy words [i.e., granted thy prayer, as the next words show]: lo [Heb. behold] 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. [Cf. 1 Chronicles 29:25; 2 Chronicles 9:22. But there is no need to restrict the reference to kings and princes.] 1 Kings 3:6 with an acknowledgment of the great favour which the Lord had shown to his father David, and had continued till now by raising his son to his throne (הזּה כּיּום, as it is this day: cf. 1 Samuel 22:8; Deuteronomy 8:18, etc.); and then, in 1 Kings 3:7-9, in the consciousness of his incapacity for the right administration of government over so numerous a people, he asks the Lord for an obedient heart and for wisdom to rule His people. ועתּה introduces the petition, the reasons assigned for which are, (1) his youth and inexperience, and (2) the greatness or multitude of the nation to be governed. I am, says he, קטן נער, i.e., an inexperienced youth (Solomon was only about twenty years old): "I know not to go out and in," i.e., how to behave myself as king, or govern the people (for ובא צאת compare the note on Numbers 27:17). At 1 Kings 3:8 he describes the magnitude of the nation in words which recall to mind the divine promises in Genesis 13:16 and Genesis 32:13, to indicate how gloriously the Lord has fulfilled the promises which He made to the patriarchs.
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