King Solomon

Among the biblical characters of the Old Testament, King Solomon has been most renowned for his wisdom and wealth. Solomon’s wisdom was such that: “He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five.” (1 Kings 5:12) Among his eighteen brothers, he was the successor to his father, King David. Unfortunately, he would be the last king to rule over the kingdom of Israel before it was divided. Let's find out who this king was and what his life was like.

Who is King Solomon?

Solomon was the son of David and Batsheba. He was born from the union between David and Batsheba. He would go on to succeed his father on the throne. King Solomon is recognized in biblical history for being the richest and wisest of kings. Indeed, the Bible tells us that from the time of his reign: “The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills.” (2 Chronicles 1:15) In addition, he is recognized as the author of the Book of Proverbs, the Ecclesiastes and the song of songs. However, at the end of his life, foreigners among his 1000 wives, diverted his heart from God to turn it to their idols.

Important Episodes from the Life of King Solomon

Solomon’s Wisdom

“God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”  (2 Chronicles 1:11- 12)

The construction of the temple

“The LORD has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 6:10)

Solomon’s Prayer

“May your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which you said you would put your Name there. May you hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.” (2 Chronicles 6:20- 21)

God's answer to Solomon's prayer

the LORD appeared to him at night and said: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:12- 14)

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Arriving with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her.  (2 Chronicles 9:1- 2)

Solomon’s wives

“King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love.” (1 Kings 11:1-3)

Solomon’s disobedience

“The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command. So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.” (1 Kings 11:9-13)