1 Kings 3-7

1 Kings 3:7 I am but a little child
“Having been made king of Israel by his father, David, Solomon became the leader of a great nation. It was about 1015 B.C., and the kingdom was large, unified, and prosperous. Solomon was but a young adult, probably in his 20s, when he ascended to the throne (see Bible Dictionary, “Chronology,” 636).” (Elder James J. Hamula, “The Quest for Wisdom, Ensign, Jul 2002, 40)
1 Kings 3:12 I have given thee a wise and understanding heart
“We need to acquire wisdom, that which Solomon desired so that he could make righteous judgments. Many of us are not wise, for we are blinded by the material world around us. Wisdom comes from a realization of true values and priorities. It is a spiritual quality, for it is founded on discernment and an understanding heart. Great is the wisdom of the prophets, and all who heed them are blessed. The Lord has counseled us to ‘seek not for riches but for wisdom.’ (D&C 6:7.) (Elder Derek A. Cuthbert, “The Meaning of Maturity,” Ensign, Nov 1982, 54)
“The wisdom of Solomon is legendary. But through the grace, mercy, and merits of the Savior and His universal gospel, wisdom of a transcendent, godly nature is granted to every individual with a humble heart and a contrite spirit who seeks the face of the Lord always. Wisdom of a saving kind, unsurpassed by Solomon’s gifts and splendor, is available to each one of God’s children who fears God and honors the covenant promises, for ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding’ (Prov 9:10).” (Pinegar and Allen, Teachings and Commentaries on the Old Testament, 498)
1 Kings 4:29 And God gave Solomon wisdom
“Wisdom is the capacity to exercise sound judgment in applying general knowledge and principles to particular circumstances. Thus it consists of both a broad knowledge and understanding of things and the judgment to apply that knowledge properly. Without broad knowledge there cannot be wisdom.
“This broad knowledge grows from schooling in the ways of the Lord. Solomon’s ascendancy to the throne and the work that he was to perform for Israel was foreseen by his father, David (see 1 Chron. 17:11–14, 22:1–19). Thus David no doubt ensured that Solomon was prepared for his days as king, seeing that he was properly schooled in the ways of the Lord.
“Notwithstanding his preparatory schooling, Solomon recognized that something more was required for him to properly perform his duties. He knew he needed the capacity to judge, to discern between good and evil. While such a capacity may be partially acquired through experience, it is essentially a gift of the Spirit (see D&C 46:17–18). Thus if we wish to obtain wisdom, we must qualify ourselves for the administration of the Holy Ghost. In striving to do so, I have found the following principles to be helpful.
Ask. In spiritual matters, asking is a prerequisite to receiving. When the Lord appeared to Solomon, He told him to ‘ask what I shall give thee’ (1 Kgs. 3:5). In all scripture, there is no more frequent injunction than to ask. Thus the gift of wisdom must be earnestly sought (see D&C 46:8–9, 28–30). Unfortunately, many do not ask the Lord for His understanding, choosing instead to rely on their own in an effort to manage their lives. Such arrogance may arise from extensive study or experience. In the end, however, the breadth or depth of one’s expertise is immaterial, for ‘the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God’ (1 Cor. 3:19) and ‘it profiteth [us] not’ (2 Ne. 9:28). Study and experience are good, but only if we ‘hearken unto the counsels of God’ (2 Ne. 9:29).
Sustain effort and exercise patience. The gift of wisdom does not come merely by asking. Solomon did more than just ask; he sacrificed a thousand burnt offerings to the Lord at Gibeon (see 1 Kgs. 3:4). And our efforts must be sustained over time since spiritual knowledge does not come all at once but ‘line upon line, precept upon precept’ (2 Ne. 28:30). Furthermore, spiritual knowledge comes not on our terms or timetable but on the Lord’s. President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has said: ‘You cannot force spiritual things … You can create a climate to foster growth, nourish, and protect; but you cannot force or compel: you must await the growth. Do not be impatient to gain great spiritual knowledge.’
Foster personal reverence. Because the Holy Spirit is a ‘still small voice, which whispereth’ (D&C 85:6) and ‘a still voice of perfect mildness’ (Hel. 5:30), we too must be still to hear or feel His voice (see also Ps. 46:10). ‘Cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter,’ the Lord has told us. ‘Cease from all your light speeches … from all your pride and light-mindedness’ (D&C 88:69, 121). Our failure to follow this counsel offends the Spirit and diminishes our access to His wisdom. (Elder James J. Hamula, “The Quest for Wisdom, Ensign, Jul 2002, 40)
1 Kings 5:5 I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God
“We learn from 2 Chronicles 3:1 that Solomon built his temple on Mount Moriah, which was the place where David had earlier purchased the threshing floor of a Jebusite man and had there been instructed by the Lord to build an altar. The Jewish historian Josephus identified this site, on the modern-day temple mount, as the location of the rock on which the Lord had commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Solomon’s builders would have had to build a wide and deeply founded platform over the ridge that forms Mount Moriah for the placement of his palaces and the temple.”
1 Kings 6:1 He began to build the house of the Lord
“The materials for the permanent house of the Lord, known as Solomon’s Temple, were accumulated mostly by David. (2 Sam. 7; 1 Chr. 28:11; 1 Chr. 29:9.) It is estimated that he gathered a total of 108,000 talents of gold, 10,000 darics of gold, and 1,017,000 talents of silver for the prospective structure and its furnishings. With these metals and other materials for which Solomon made arrangements, the king built a most lavish temple to the Lord. It was completed in seven and one-half years.” (Sidney B. Sperry, “Ancient Temples and Their Functions”, Ensign, Jan 1972, 67)
1 Kings 7:1 Solomon was building his own house thirteen years
“Although the temple was built in response to the Lord’s will, had a valid religious motivation, and was of great spiritual value to Israel, Solomon’s palace and luxurious court seem to have resulted from other motivations. One thinks of King Noah’s elaborate building projects recorded in the Book of Mormon (see Mosiah 11).” (Jackson, Studies in Scripture, Volume 4, p.17)
1 Kings 7:23 And he made a molten sea
“What was the purpose of this ‘molten sea’? (See 1 Kgs. 7:23; 2 Chr. 4:3.) The scriptures indicate that it ‘was for the priests to wash in’ (2 Chr. 4:6)—evidently either for washing themselves or cleansing others. (See Ex. 30:18–21; Ex. 40:30–32.) Cleansing and covenant-making are fundamental principles for the house of Israel in every age; ancient Israel practiced baptism even under the Law of Moses. (See 1 Cor. 10:2; 2 Ne. 9:23; D&C 84:26–27.) Whether or not this font was used for baptism in Solomon’s day is lost from the scriptural record.
“The location of the font is also unclear; the record suggests that it might have stood in the temple courtyard. (See 1 Kgs. 7:38–39; 2 Chr. 4:9–10.) The scriptures record that when the Babylonians destroyed the temple some decades later, the ‘brasen sea that was in the house of the Lord’ was salvaged for its brass.” (See 2 Kgs. 25:10–16; Jer. 52:15–20.) (Edward J. Brandt, “I Have a Question”, Ensign, March, 1993, 54)
1 Kings 7:25 It stood upon twelve oxen
“Thus, we can see that the twelve oxen represent the tribes of Israel and also signify the strength and power on which God has established his work for the children of mankind. Those who are obedient and faithful to their covenants are the covenant family chosen to accomplish God’s purposes. They are the ones upon whom his work ‘rests,’ just as the temple fonts rest upon the backs of the oxen.” (Edward J. Brandt, “I Have a Question”, Ensign, March, 1993, 54)