1 Kings 3

Solomon's Request

Tomb of Pharaoh's Daughter

And he took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into the city of David (1 Kings 3:1).

The presence of Pharaoh’s daughter as a resident in Jerusalem is remembered by an Iron Age tomb on the slope of Silwan, opposite the City of David. While there is no way of positively identifying this tomb with Solomon’s wife, it is notable for being a monumental tomb near the City of David that was once topped by a pyramid. The tomb was completely hewn out of the rock, and its style resembles that of Egyptian architecture.



The First Temple

Until he finished building his own house, the house of Yahweh, and the wall of Jerusalem (1 Kings 3:1).

It is widely held that the temple built by Solomon was located on approximately the same location now taken by the Dome of the Rock. This area has not been excavated by archaeologists, and thus little is known about what remains might still exist there. Excavations to the south of the Temple Mount have revealed remains from the Iron Age II (circa 1000–586 BC), perhaps including structures built by Solomon.

Nebi Samwil

And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place (1 Kings 3:4).

The location of the high place of Gibeon is not certain, but it may have been located to the south of Gibeon, on the high hill known today as Nebi Samwil. This hill, topped today by a mosque, could have been an ideal location for the tabernacle and its worship service. While this proposal must remain tentative, it may be supported by several considerations. First, Nebi Samwil is a prominent hill which would have been an attractive place of worship. Second, it could have been problematic to install the tabernacle in the center of Gibeon, a city inhabited by Canaanites. Third, no cultic area has been discovered in Gibeon. This photochrom image was taken in the 1890s when an Arab village surrounded the mosque that commemorates the burial place of the prophet Samuel.

Solomon's Humility

And God said to him, “Because . . . you have not asked for long life or for great riches” (1 Kings 3:11).

One of the signs of the wealth God eventually gave Solomon was a set of 200 large shields of beaten gold (1 Kgs 10:16); unfortunately, these were taken by Shishak, king of Egypt, shortly after Solomon died (2 Chr 12:9). This golden disc has a hasp at the top, indicating that it was intended to be hung around the neck as an ornament. It is only 3.7 inches (9.4 cm) across, but it illustrates the work of a talented goldsmith from about the time of David.

The Lord's Blessings

“I have also given what you have not asked, both riches and honor” (1 Kings 3:13).

This golden model, dated to ca. 400 BC, illustrates both riches and honor. The gold used to create such a model suggests great riches, and anyone riding in a four-horse chariot would be considered to hold some prestigious position. Later in this book the narrator records that Solomon had 1,400 chariots in various cities throughout his kingdom, purchased from Egypt for a great sum of money (1 Kgs 10:26-29).

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