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He was grown up, my child; but he thought with such humility of himself, having the Spirit of God, not being puffed up or vain.
"And thy servant is in the midst of thy people, which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered or counted for multitude.
And were they all Jews, Mamma?
Yes, my love; but now how changed, how scattered and destroyed !" Give, therefore, thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad; for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?"
Was God pleased, Mamma, for asking for understanding?
He was, my child; we are taught to ask for this understanding heart daily in our prayers, especially when we are about to read the Bible; and God will grant it.—In reply, therefore, to Solomon's request, God said to 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 judgment, behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, hoth riches and honour; so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then will I lengthen thy days."
With these last words "Solomon awoke: and behold, it was a dream."
And were there riches and wisdom given to him, Mamma?
Yes, my love, he had forty thousand stalls of horse* for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; he had exceeding wisdom, understanding, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea-shore. His wisdom excelled all the wisdom of the children of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt; for he was wiser than all men, his fame was in all nations round about. He spake three thousand proverbs, and his songs were a thousand and five. He spake of trees, from .the cedar tree that is in Lebanon, even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall. He spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, yea all kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.
And did he build a house for God, Mamma?
He did, my child; it was one of the most mag-. nificent buildings ever raised, or that ever will be? raised in this world. It was covered inside and out with gold; and perhaps there never was a day more awful than that on which it was finished, or prayers offered up which were more manifestly heard. The dedication of the house to the worship of God was solemn, and divinely grand.
Pray, Mamma, describe it to me.
As soon as the priests were come out of the Holy Place, a cloud of glory filled the house, so that the priests could not stand to minister, because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord.
Who prayed, Mamma?
Solomon, my child; he instantly spake as follows:
"The Lord said, that he would dwell in the thick darkness. I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever."
He then turned to the people, and blessed them, on which all the congregation of Israel stood. He said, " Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it, saying, Since the day I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel, to build an house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel. And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel. And the Lord said unto David, my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart. Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house, but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name: and the Lord hath performed his word that he spake; and I am risen up in the room of David, my father, and set on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel. And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the Lord, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt."
Solomon having thus shown the congregation the cause of the building, and the cause of the glory of God appearing among them, advanced now to the •ltar of the Lord, and in the presence of the congregation spread forth his hands towards heaven, and said: " Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart; who hast kept with thy servant David, my father, that thou promisedst him. Thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day. Therefore, now, Lord God of Israel, keep with thy servant David, my father, that thou promisedst him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight, to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me. And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David, my father. But will God indeed dwell upon the earth? Behold, the heaven, and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded! Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry, and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee this day, that thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place which thou hast said, My name shall be there, that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place. And hearken thou unto the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place; and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and when thou hearest, forgive. If any man