Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 3

Solomon’s sacrifice at the high place in Gibeon

1 Kings 3:2-4

Before God gave the country called Canaan to Israel’s people, its inhabitants served false gods. Their holy places for religion were high in the hills. Often, the religion that they carried out there was evil. For example, they carried out wrong sex acts, and they killed young children as sacrifices (gifts to their gods).

God warned Israel’s people that they must not imitate those evil religions. They must not consider those same places to be holy. Instead, God would show them a holy place where they should carry out their sacrifices. There alone they should offer animals as sacrifices to him (Deuteronomy 12:1-14).

That was the place where Solomon would soon build the temple, the great house of God in Jerusalem. God had already shown David the place where that would be (1 Chronicles 22:1). Until then, the proper place for sacrifices was in front of the tabernacle, the holy tent that Moses had made. At the present time, that was at Gibeon (1 Chronicles 21:29), on the hill above the town.

At the start of his rule, Solomon loved God. He showed it by how carefully he followed his father David’s instructions. However Solomon, like the other people, continued to offer sacrifices in the hills. They were not following a false or evil religion there, like the original inhabitants of the country. They were at this time serving the real God. However, they offered their sacrifices at the same places that the original inhabitants of the country had considered holy. Even the tabernacle at Gibeon, where Solomon offered his sacrifices, stood on one of those places.

Next part: Solomon asks God for wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-9)


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