1 Kings 3:6
And Solomon said, You have showed to your servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before you in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with you; and you have kept for him this great kindness, that you have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) And Solomon said.—On Solomon’s “wisdom,” see Note on 1Kings 4:29. Here it is clear that the wisdom which he asks is that of the ruler, involving elements both moral and intellectual—the wisdom to discern and do true justice between man and man. He calls himself “a little child”—his age is variously estimated from twelve to twenty at this time—and trembles at the responsibility of ruling over “so great a people.” But, in the characteristic spirit of the true godliness of the Old Testament, he looks for wisdom, not as the mere result of human teaching and experience, but as an inspiration of God, and prays for it accordingly, in a prayer of singular beauty and humility, pleading simply God’s promise to his father, and its fulfilment in his own accession to the throne.

1 Kings 3:6-8. According as he walked before thee in truth — In the true worship of God, in the profession, belief, practice, and defence of the true religion. So truth here contains all duties to God, as righteousness doth his duties to men, and uprightness the right manner of performing both sorts of duties. In uprightness of heart with thee — That is, in thy judgment, to whom he appealed as the witness of his integrity. I am but a child — So he was in years: not above twenty years old, and withal (which he principally intends) he was raw and inexperienced as a child in state affairs. How to go out, &c. — To govern my people, and manage affairs. Thy servant is in the midst of thy people — Is set over them to rule and guide them. A metaphor from the overseer of divers workmen, who usually is in the midst of them, that he may the better observe how each of them discharges his office. Which thou hast chosen — Thy peculiar people, whom thou takest special care of, and therefore wilt expect a more punctual account of my government of them.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.This great kindness - David himself had regarded this as God's crowning mercy to him 1 Kings 1:48. 1Ki 3:6-15. He Chooses Wisdom.

6. Solomon said—that is, had dreamed that he said.

Solomon said, i.e. he dreamed that he said. See Poole "1 Kings 3:5". Or, he really said. For although the use of reason is ordinarily so dark and imperfect in dreams, that such actings are not human actions; yet in extraordinary and Divine dreams it is but reasonable to allow something extraordinary. For who can doubt but God may so clear up and assist a man’s reason in his dream, that he may have a true and strong apprehension of some things, which also may make a suitable impression upon the will or affections; and consequently such acts of the soul may be moral acts, and regardable by God and men? And this might be a kind of ecstatical rapture, whereby his soul might be as it were carried out of his body, as St. Paul’s was, 2 Corinthians 12:3, for a season; in which case both his reason might clearly and distinctly apprehend God’s mind, and his gracious offer; and his will might make a free choice of wisdom; which therefore might be accepted and rewarded by God.

In truth; either, first, Sincerely, and without dissimulation. But that is more fully expressed in the following words, in uprightness of heart. Or rather, secondly, In the true worship and service of God, in the profession, belief, practice, and defence of the truth, or of the true religion, or of God’s will or word, which is called truth, Proverbs 23:23 John 17:17 Galatians 3:1. So

truth here contains all his duties to God, as

righteousness doth his duties to men, and uprightness the right manner of performing both sorts of duties.

Uprightness of heart with thee, i.e. in thy judgment, to whom alone his heart was known; and to whom he oft appealed as the witness of his integrity; and with respect to whom he performed all his duties, even to men. Thou hast kept, or, reserved, that which thou didst not reserve for Saul, whose posterity thou didst cut off from the kingdom. And Solomon said,.... In his dream; not that he dreamt he said, when he did not; but he really said, as follows:

thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great mercy; bestowed many favours and blessings upon him, both temporal and spiritual:

according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; in the truth of doctrine and worship, according to the revealed will and word of God, and which he observed with great strictness, living soberly, righteously, and godly, though not without failings and imperfections, yet with great integrity and sincerity; and this holy walk of his was not the cause of God's showing mercy to him, nor was it in proportion to that, but what he was influenced to by the mercy that was shown him:

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; a son to be his successor, meaning himself; which was an additional favour to all the rest, and was in reserve, and now bestowed, as time had made to appear.

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 {e} kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

(e) You have performed your promise.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. great mercy] As the word is the same as that rendered kindness in the latter half of the verse it is better to render it so here. The first kindness was during David’s life, the further kindness was in giving him a successor.Verse 6. - And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto [Heb. wrought with] thy servant David my father great mercy [marg., favour] according as he walked Before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee [cf. 2 Kings 20:3, where Hezekiah uses much the same language of himself. Also ch. 11:4], and thou hast kept for him this great kindness [Heb. favour; same word as above. David himself had regarded this as a singular mercy (1 Kings 1:48)], that thou hast given him a son to sit [Heb. sitting] upon his throne, as it is this day. [Same expression Deuteronomy 6:24; Deuteronomy 8:18; 1 Samuel 22:8; Ezra 9:7.] Solomon then ordered him to be executed by Benaiah. This punishment was also just. As Solomon had put Shimei's life in his own hand by imposing upon him confinement in Jerusalem, and Shimei had promised on oath to obey the king's command, the breach of his oath was a crime for which he had no excuse. There is no force at all in the excuses which some commentators adduce in his favour, founded upon the money which his salves had cost him, and the wish to recover possession of them, which was a right one in itself. If Shimei had wished to remain faithful to his oath, he might have informed the king of the flight of his slaves, have entreated the king that they might be brought back, and have awaited the king's decision; but he had no right thus lightly to break the promise given on oath. By the breach of his oath he had forfeited his life. And this is the first thing with which Solomon charges him, without his being able to offer any excuse; and it is not till afterwards that he adduces as a second fact in confirmation of the justice of his procedure, the wickedness that he practised towards his father. - The last clause, "and the kingdom was established by (בּיד) Solomon," is attached to the following chapter in the Cod. Al. of the lxx (in the Cod. Vat. it is wanting, or rather its place is supplied by a long interpolation), in the Vulgate, and in the Syriac; and indeed rightly so, as Thenius has shown, not merely because of the רק in 1 Kings 3:2, but also because of its form as a circumstantial clause, to which the following account (1 Kings 3:1.) is appended.
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