1 Kings 3:14
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.
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(14) I will lengthen.—In this promise only one point, “length of days,” is conditional; and it was not fulfilled. For though Solomon’s age at the time of death is not given, yet, as his reign is given as lasting forty years, it could hardly have exceeded sixty. (Josephus, indeed, with his usual tendency to amplification, extends the reign to eighty years, and makes Solomon die in extreme old age.) The rest received an extraordinary fulfilment. The greatness of Solomon’s kingdom stands out remarkable in its sudden and unique development, the fruit of David’s long career of conquest and improvement, destined to wither at once at Solomon’s death. Then, for the first and last time, did the monarchy assume something of the character of an empire, unequalled in peaceful prosperity of wealth and power, and in splendour of civilisation.

3:5-15 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 not.I will lengthen thy days - The promise here was only conditional. As the condition was not observed 1 Kings 11:1-8, the right to the promise was forfeited, and it was not fulfilled. Solomon can scarcely have been more than fifty-nine or sixty at his death. 10. the speech pleased the Lord—It was Solomon's waking prayers that God heard and requited, but the acceptance was signified in this vision. If thou wilt walk in my ways: this caution God gives him, lest his great wisdom should make him proud, or careless, or presumptuous, as if he were out of all danger; and to oblige him to more care and circumspection to avoid the snares and mischiefs to which so much prosperity and glory would probably expose him; and withal, to justify himself in case he should afterwards alter the course of his providence towards Solomon; and that when men are surprised with Solomon’s dreadful fall, they might know it was no surprisal to God, but that he did foresee it, and would overrule it to his own glory one way or other.

And if thou wilt walk in my ways,.... Prescribed and directed to in his word,

to keep my statutes and my commandments; ceremonial, moral, and judicial:

as thy father David did walk; which Solomon himself had observed, 1 Kings 3:6; and whose walk was worthy of his imitation:

then I will lengthen thy days; the other promises of riches and honour are absolute, but this of long life conditional, depending upon his holy walk and conversation; and hence, because he failed in this the Jews observe he did not attain to long life, dying, as they suppose, at fifty two years of age; which is grounded on a wrong hypothesis, that he was but twelve years of age when he he began to reign, and he reigned forty years, as before observed.

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.
14. as thy father David did walk] We are not to draw from words like these an approval by God of all David’s life, but only that his heart was right towards God for the most part, and his repentance sincere for the sins into which he fell.

I will lengthen thy days] Not only shall the king’s life be made prosperous, but God will add to his days if he be observant of His laws.

Verse 14. - And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk [ver. 6; 15:4. This is the Divine confirmation of David's words to his son (1 Kings 2:3, 4) and of the son's description of his father's piety (ver. 6 supra)], then I will lengthen thy days [Solomon's days were not of an unusual length, as he can hardly have been more than sixty (if so much), although called זִקֵן (1 Kings 11:41 at the time of his decease. But he had not fulfilled the condition (1 Kings 11:9-12). 1 Kings 3:14In addition to this, according to the promise that to him who seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness all other things shall be added (Matthew 6:33), God will also give him the earthly blessings, for which he has not asked, and that in great abundance, viz., riches and honour such as no king of the earth has had before him; and if he adhere faithfully to God's commandments, long life also (והארכתּי, in this case I have lengthened). This last promise was not fulfilled, because Solomon did not observe the condition (cf. 1 Kings 11:42).
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