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The Lord Appears to Solomon

Solomon's Dream.

Solomon's Dream.
Luca Giordano, Circa 1630, Madrid.

In light of the foregoing considerations it is no coincidence that Gibeon is where the Lord appeared to Solomon the first time and granted him wisdom exceeding that of any man before or since, and also gave him great riches and honor (1 Kings 3:10-15 & 2 Chronicles 1:1-12).

1 Kings 3:5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said: 'Ask what I shall give thee.' 6 And Solomon said: 'Thou hast shown unto Thy servant David my father great kindness, according as he walked before Thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with Thee; and Thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that Thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 And now, O the Lord my God, Thou hast made Thy servant king instead of David my father; and I am but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in. 8 And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people which Thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give Thy servant therefore an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this Thy great people?' 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said unto him: 'Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern justice; 12 behold, I have done according to thy word: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there hath been none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour--so that there hath not been any among the kings like unto thee--all thy days. 14 And if thou wilt walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.' 15 And Solomon awoke, and, behold, it was a dream; and he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt-offerings, and offered peace-offerings, and made a feast to all his servants. (JPS)

It is interesting that Solomon went to Gibeon to sacrifice because the altar at Gibeon was the same altar that David would not go before because he was afraid of being struck down by the angel of the Lord that guarded that altar.

1 Chronicles 21:28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him in the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. 29 For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt-offering, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon. 30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God; for he was terrified because of the sword of the angel of the Lord. (JPS) (Emphasis added)

This fact has generally been overlooked, but it is conceivable that it was not a good idea for Solomon to go to that altar. It might appear that Solomon obtained a great blessing, but evidently he actually received a great curse.