In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give you. And Solomon said, You have shown unto your servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before you in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with you; and you have kept for him this great kindness, that you have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore your servant an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this your so great a people?
As far as I can tell, by this time Solomon was grown. But this is the way that he looked at himself—as a naïf, as a person who had no special knowledge of the world or the world’s ways. He felt totally inadequate to the task before him. There’s a humility in this, of a man who recognizes that the job is just a little bit too big for him.
And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long life; neither have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies; but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice; Behold, I have done according to your words: lo, I have given you a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like you before you, neither after you shall any arise like unto you. And I have also given you that which you have not asked, both riches, and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto you all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as your father David did walk, then I will lengthen your days.