Solomon hadn't been king for very long when God appeared to him in a dream. "Ask what I should give you," God said (1 Kings 3:5). Various Bible versions translate what Solomon requested as wisdom or an understanding mind or heart. But the actual translation of the Hebrew says Solomon asked for a "hearing heart" so he could judge between good and evil. In other words, Solomon wanted a hearing heart so he could discern rightly.
For the ancient Hebrews, the heart was more than an organ that pumped blood. The heart was thought to be the center of everything physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. So when Solomon asked for a hearing heart, what he really wanted was for God to inform every aspect of his life so he could be a wise and faithful king.
The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers