In that night did God appear to Solomon, and said to him, Ask what I shall give you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1Kings 3:5-15.)
(7) In that night did God appear unto Solomon.—Kings, “In Gibeon did Jehovah appear unto Solomon in a dream of the night.” Our text fixes the night as that which followed the sacrifices; the parallel passage explicitly states that it was in a dream that God appeared.
Ask what I shall give thee.—Rather, Ash thou! what shall I give thee? So Kings.2 Chronicles 1:7. In that night — After those sacrifices were offered; did God appear to Solomon in a dream — Of which see the notes on 1 Kings 3:5. And said, Ask what I shall give thee — God bid him ask what he would; not only that he might put him in the right way to obtain the favours which were intended him, Ask, and ye shall receive; but that he might try him how he stood affected, and give him an opportunity of knowing and manifesting what was in his heart. For men’s characters appear in their desires and choices. What wouldst thou have? tries a man as much as, What wouldst thou do?1 Kings 3:5-14 are very considerable, and indicate the general truth that the object of the sacred historians is to give a true account of the real bearing of what was said: not ordinarily to furnish us with all or the exact words that were uttered. The most important point omitted in Chronicles, and supplied by Kings, is the conditional promise of long life made to Solomon 1 Kings 3:14; while the chief point absent from Kings, and recorded by our author, is the solemn appeal made by Solomon to the promise of God to David his father 2 Chronicles 1:9, which he now called upon God to "establish," or to perform.
7. In that night did God appear unto Solomon—(See on 1Ki 3:5).In that night, after those sacrifices were offered.
Did God appear, in a dream, of which See Poole "1 Kings 3:5", &c. 2 Chronicles 1:12 it is the same with 1 Kings 3:5. See Gill on 1 Kings 3:5, 1 Kings 3:6, 1 Kings 3:7, 1 Kings 3:8, 1 Kings 3:9, 1 Kings 3:10, 1 Kings 3:11, 1 Kings 3:12, 1 Kings 3:13, 1 Kings 3:14, 1 Kings 3:15 In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1 Kings 3:5-15). Solomon’s Vision and Return to Jerusalem
7. did God appear] In Kings, the Lord appeared in a dream.Verses 7-12. - The vision and prayer of Solomon, and God's answer to that prayer. (Comp. 1 Kings 3:5-15; 1 Kings 9:2.) Verse 7. - That night. This can mean no other night than that which followed the day (or the days) of sacrifices so multitudinous. The parallel account in 1 Kings 3:5 tells us the way in which "God appeared to Solomon," viz. by dream. The words of God's offer, Ask what I shall give thee, are identical in the parallel place. 2 Chronicles 1:1-6. When Solomon had established himself upon his throne, he went with the princes and representatives of the congregation of Israel to Gibeon, to seek for the divine blessing upon his reign by a solemn sacrifice to be offered there before the tabernacle. 2 Chronicles 1:1 forms, as it were, the superscription of the account of Solomon's reign which follows. In וגו ויּתחזּק equals Solomon established himself in his kingdom, i.e., he became strong and mighty in his kingdom, the older commentators saw a reference to the defeat of Adonijah, the pretender to the crown, and his followers (1 Kings 2). But this view of the words is too narrow; we find the same remark made of other kings whose succession to the throne had not been questioned (cf. 2 Chronicles 12:13; 2 Chronicles 13:21; 2 Chronicles 17:1, and 2 Chronicles 21:4), and the remark refers to the whole reign-to all that Solomon undertook in order to establish a firm dominion, not merely to his entry upon it. With this view of the words, the second clause, "his God was with him, and made him very great," coincides. God gave His blessing to all that Solomon did for this end. With the last words cf. 1 Chronicles 29:25.
We have an account of the sacrifice at Gibeon (2 Chronicles 1:7-13) in 1 Kings 3:4-15 also. The two narratives agree in all the main points, but, in so far as their form is concerned, it is at once discernible that they are two independent descriptions of the same thing, but derived from the same sources. In 1 Kings 3 the theophany-in our text, on the contrary, that aspect of the sacrifice which connected it with the public worship-is more circumstantially narrated. While in 1 Kings 3:4 it is briefly said the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, our historian records that Solomon summoned the princes and representatives of the people to this solemn act, and accompanied by them went to Gibeon. This sacrifice was no mere private sacrifice-it was the religious consecration of the opening of his reign, at which the estates of the kingdom were present as a matter of course. "All Israel" is defined by "the princes over the thousands ..., the judges, and all the honourable;" then לכל־שׂראל is again taken up and explained by the apposition האבות ראשׁי: to all Israel, viz., the heads of the fathers'-houses. ל is to be repeated before ראשׁי. What Solomon said to all Israel through its representatives, is not communicated; but it may be gathered from what succeeds, that he summoned them to accompany him to Gibeon to offer the sacrifice. The reason why he offered his sacrifice at the בּמה, i.e., place of sacrifice, is given in 2 Chronicles 1:3. There the Mosaic tabernacle stood, yet without the ark, which David had caused to be brought up from Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 13:1-14 and 15). In לו בּהכין the article in ba represents the relative אשׁר equals בּאשׁר or לו הכין אשׁר בּמקום; cf. Judges 5:27; Ruth 1:16; 1 Kings 21:19; see on 1 Chronicles 26:28. Although the ark was separated from the tabernacle, yet by the latter at Gibeon was the Mosaic altar of burnt-offering, and on that account the sanctuary at Gibeon was Jahve's dwelling, and the legal place of worship for burnt-offerings of national-theocratic import. "As our historian here brings forward emphatically the fact that Solomon offered his burnt-offering at the legal place of worship, so he points out in 1 Chronicles 21:28-30 :1, how David was only brought by extraordinary events, and special signs from God, to sacrifice on the altar of burnt-offering erected by him on the threshing-floor of Ornan, and also states how he was prevented from offering his burnt-offering in Gibeon" (Berth.). As to Bezaleel, the maker of the brazen altar, cf. Exodus 31:2 and Exodus 37:1. Instead of שׂם, which most manuscripts and many editions have before לפני, and which the Targ. and Syr. also express, there is found in most editions of the 16th century, and also in manuscripts, שׁם, which the lxx and Vulgate also read. The reading שׁם is unquestionably better and more correct, and the Masoretic pointing שׂם, posuit, has arisen by an undue assimilation of it to Exodus 40:29. The suffix in ידרשׁהוּ does not refer to the altar, but to the preceding word יהוה; cf. אלהים דּרשׁ, 1 Chronicles 21:30; 1 Chronicles 15:13, etc.
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