I Kin. 3:1-28; II Chron. 1:1-12
In order to form alliances with other kingdoms, marriage between kings and daughters of other kings was a common event. One of Solomon’s first acts as king was to form the first of his many such alliances by marrying the daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
“High places” were elevated open-air sanctuaries patterned after Canaanite worship places that were forbidden by Hebrew law. However, those places were sometimes used by the Israelites prior to the construction of the temple.
While at one of those high places at Gibeon, God appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked the new king what He could give him. In a deep sense of humility, Solomon asked for, “An understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.” Since he did not ask for long life, riches or the life of his enemies, that request pleased the Lord. He gave not only wisdom, but also promised him riches and honor. If he would walk in God’s ways and keep His commandments as David had walked, He would lengthen his days.
Solomon was called to use his newfound wisdom to settle a dispute between two mothers who claimed the same newly born baby. He determined the true mother when she objected to dividing the child into two pieces to share with the two women. Rather than see her little one killed, she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.” That judgment established great respect for Solomon among all of Israel.