New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:1 made affinity with Pharaoh. Most, if not all, of Solomon’s wives were acquired, like Pharaoh’s daughter, for political reasons. This proved a terrible mistake, for it was contrary to the command of God (Deuteronomy 17:17).
3:2 high places. Worship in high places was forbidden in the Mosaic law (Leviticus 26:30) because of its universal association with the idolatrous polytheistic pantheism of other nations. Such practice probably originated at the Tower of Babel, then was carried worldwide by the subsequent dispersion. At the same time the people had been commanded to bring their sacrifices to the tabernacle, and the tabernacle at this time had been erected on the high place at Gibeon (I Chronicles 16:39; 21:29), after temporary sojourns at Gilgal, Shiloh and Nob. It is possible that this situation contributed to David’s strong desire to build a permanent temple for the worship of God at Jerusalem.
3:7 a little child. Actually Solomon was less than twenty years old when he became king. With the many external enemies of Israel and the complex internal intrigues surrounding him in Jerusalem, he surely needed divine wisdom, and God was pleased when this was his request. That such a young man could exhibit such wisdom was a great testimony to the reality of God and His choice of Solomon as king (I Kings 4:29-34). Despite Solomon’s later failures, God greatly used him, even to serve as human author of part of His Word.
3:15 before the ark. The tabernacle at this time was apparently at Gibeon, on a hill six miles from Jerusalem, which would be the reason why Solomon offered sacrifices there (I Kings 3:4). The ark, however, was still housed in a temporary enclosure in Jerusalem. After his special visitation from God, Solomon evidently decided it was more appropriate to present his offerings at the place where the temple would soon be built.
3:16 that were harlots. It is a remarkable testimony to Solomon’s concern at this stage of his life that he was willing even to adjudicate a dispute between harlots.
3:22 the other woman. This woman did not really want the child herself (as shown by her readiness to have the child slain) but simply wanted, for some reason, to hurt her rival. She had carelessly (or perhaps even intentionally) killed her own baby, and she would prefer to have the other child also die than to have the inconvenience of having it in the house with a caring mother.
3:28 the wisdom of God. This important phrase, “the wisdom of God,” occurs seven times in the Bible. Here and in Ezra 7:25, it is used to indicate that the wisdom of God may be manifested by chosen men, but only in agreement with His revealed word in the Scriptures. Christ used it in Luke 11:49 with the same emphasis. Paul used it three times (I Corinthians 1:21,24; 2:7) to contrast human wisdom with God’s wisdom in Christ and the Scriptures. He used it once more (Ephesians 3:10) to reveal that we ourselves can manifest by our lives and words God’s revealed wisdom, even to angels.