Journey Through The Scriptures


Lesson 2: King’s Prayer for Wisdom

(Scripture to Read: 1 Kings 3:1–28; 4:20–34)

Without a doubt, the most famous attribute of King Solomon was his great wisdom. Solomon’s wisdom was such that one rabbi said, “He who sees Solomon in a dream may hope for wisdom.” This alludes to the way Solomon received this great gift in a dream, as God appeared to him and offered to fulfill the young king’s greatest desire. His display of wisdom in dealing with the two prostitutes who claimed to be the mother of the same baby was also acknowledged in rabbinical writings. It was said of Solomon that he had no need to rely on witnesses in deciding a case, but simply by looking at the contending parties, he knew which was right and which was wrong.

The Bible says that God was so pleased with Solomon’s request for wisdom to govern Israel rightly that He also granted the king the wealth he did not ask for. Solomon’s wisdom would also serve him well in planning and building the Temple, a task that no ordinary man could undertake without divine insight and knowledge. Besides constructing the greatest building in Israel’s history, Solomon also wrote 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs, in addition to the book of Ecclesiastes—preserving His wisdom for future generations.

Study Questions

  1. Why did Solomon ask for wisdom from God when he could have asked for anything?
  2. Why did God decide to give Solomon wealth anyway?
  3. How did the people of Israel benefit from God’s blessing on Solomon? (Hint: Read 1 Kings 4:20.)
  4. Why did the writer of 1 Kings mention Solomon’s work in the animal and plant kingdoms?

Something to Think About

One reason we are so amazed at Solomon’s humble request for wisdom is that it flies in the face of the human tendency to grasp for wealth and power. But by seeking what was most necessary and important for a person in his position, Solomon also enjoyed accompanying blessings from God, who delights to honor those who honor Him (see 1 Samuel 2:30).