Daniel Agee

1st Kings 3: Wisdom of Solomon; Is the Messiah in the story of the two harlots?

The account of Solomon’s decision on which prostitute should get the baby is known even by those who haven’t read the Bible. More than a legend, the event has several parallels to the life of Messiah and His relationship with Israel.

The chapter starts with Solomon marrying Pharaoh’s daughter. We are told that she lived in the city of David pending the completion of Solomon’s palace. Solomon later has a vision and in appreciation, Solomon goes to Gibeon to make sacrifices and God gives him a vision there. Even though the ark of the covenant and an altar is in Jerusalem, the tabernacle is still in Gibeon. 

The ark of the covenant was not in the tabernacle at this time. This not a critical issue with God. God’s concern is whether you take care of it properly, whether you seek your own blessing from it. God blessed the family that took care of the ark before David came to move it. 

Why didn’t David bring the tabernacle to Jerusalem along with the ark? The part of Jerusalem that David had control was a relatively small area, insufficient for the tabernacle. It wasn’t until Solomon that the area of the temple was built out to accommodate more than 500 people at a time. Solomon nearly doubled the size of Jerusalem during his reign. 

Solomon’s pilgrimage to Gibeon was not a sacrifice to a random high place. He does commit that sin later, but this is not one of those times. Solomon was sacrificing to God at His house. This is why God listened and blessed Him there. 

Solomon had 1,000 burnt offering on the altar, these are burnt up completely, not eaten. 

After this, Solomon returns to Jerusalem and makes more burnt offerings and presented peace offerings to the Lord. 

A general rule in Biblical interpretation is if you see the number three along with life and death, it is a picture of the Messiah. God is making a point about Messiah by repetition. The more often a point is repeated, the more it’s meant to be remembered.

There’s a son born, there’s one dead, one alive and it happens in three days. 

We read the first story of a couple of harlots who come to Solomon for a decision. Strictly speaking, both of those women were worthy of death because of their profession of harlotry. The children are also worthy of death — and actually should never have even been born — because of how they were conceived, yet Solomon does not take the easy way out. He grants mercy instead and decides to hear their case. 

What is the case?

One woman gave birth to a son and three days later the other one gave birth to a son, too. After this third day, one of the sons is dead, killed by his own mother, a harlot. And the mother of the dead son, in effect, disowns the dead child, “buries” him and spares the living son. 

Look at it this way:

  • Harlot kills her son: Who killed the Messiah?
  • Harlot does not recognize her son: Who disowned the Messiah?
  • Harlot buries her son: Who buried the Messiah?
  • Harlot spares her son: Who spared the Son?

Solomon was presented with a case in which there was only one witness, yet he decided it fairly. John 8 records a story in which Yeshua judged a case in which there was no witnesses at all when He judged the woman caught in adultery. Yeshua did not need a single witness to decide that woman’s case. 

This is why Yeshua is wiser than Solomon. Solomon needed one witness, Yeshua needed one. Solomon was wiser than David though. How was Solomon was wiser than David. When Mephiboseth and Ziba argued over whether Mephiboseth betrayed David or not, we are told that David could not judge between the two. 

Who is the harlot? No matter who you are, you are spiritually a harlot in God’s eyes. We have all done things that are against God. Despite this, God still hears our cause. That is mercy and kindness. Even though we are on death row spiritually, God will give us mercy. 

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Daniel Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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