The year was 2018 and I was teaching women’s Bible study at church. I like to look at characters in the Bible and study their life. Solomon is no exception. As I read the Scriptures on Solomon, and there is a lot of Scripture, I compiled his life into a biography for the class. As always I recommend reading the Bible yourself allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through God’s Word.
Are you ready? Here we go. By the way, the story of Solomon in the Bible is awesome! God is so good!
P.S. It may take you some time to read this, but it is worth the read. You will see that Solomon’s life is worth studying.
“I come from a kingly state, following in the steps of my father. My mother Bathsheba made sure I became king, ousting my brother Adonijah. This brother by another mother tried to take over the kingdom when my father became ill and could not keep warm. My brother had chariots and horses ready and had 50 men run ahead of him. As good-looking as he was, that didn’t mean he would or should
My brother invited everyone to his celebration party except me, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah.
He sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened calves at the Stone of Zoheleth.
Nathan, the prophet went to my mother Bathsheba and told her what he heard and told her what she should do. So she went to see my father David and reminded him of what he had sworn about his successor. She filled him in on what Adonijah was doing. Nathan also arrived and asked the king for confirmation and advised of the sacrifices that had taken place.
My father David confirmed that it should be me that succeeds him as king. He called in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah and told them to put me on my own mule and down to Gihon. They were to anoint me there as king over Israel. They were to blow the trumpet and shout – “Long live King Solomon.” I was to go up and sit on my father’s throne and reign
in his place, which I did.
By now you know it is I, King Solomon, who stands before you. My father was King David, the same David who slayed Goliath when he was a young shepherd boy. My mother was Bathsheba. If you have read our story, then you know my father saw my mother bathing on the rooftop and sent for her. He was to be at war with his men but chose to stay home from that battle.
She had a husband named Uriah at the time who went to fight in that same battle for my father. It was during this battle, that my father saw my mother and it was then my father did a bad thing, actually, he did a few bad things. Not only did he send for my mother, but he slept with her and got her pregnant.
Realizing what he had done, he sent for her husband Uriah in hopes of deceiving him to sleep with his wife, now my mother. I realize this is a lot to keep up with. When that didn’t happen, he sent Uriah out to the front lines of battle through a message to his commander. Uriah was killed on the front lines.
The prophet Nathan visited my father and was convicted by God for all he had done. Perhaps you have read Psalm 51 where my father confesses and pours out his anguish over his actions to God almighty. My mother Bathsheba was pregnant with my brother, but because of my father’s sin, my brother died. My father had gone to comfort my mother and lay with her again and she became pregnant with me.
The Lord loved me and because he loved me, he sent word through Nathan the prophet when I was born to name me Jedidiah. Why I was given two names has caused much discussion to which I don’t have a complete answer. As you read my story, you will see that the name Solomon has carried through.
Adonijah heard I had officially become king and he wanted me to swear that I would not put him to death. I sent him home.
My father’s health was declining and he had sent for me. He told me that he was about to go the way of the earth, so I was to be strong and show myself as a man and observe what the Lord my God requires: I was to walk in his ways and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements as written in the Law of Moses so that I may prosper in all I do and
wherever I go, and that the Lord may keep his promise to me.
Here’s the promise, “if your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.”
My father said I was a man of wisdom and gave me further instructions about a few men who had committed murder. Then he rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. Did you know he reigned in Hebron for seven years and in Jerusalem for 33 years?
My father David, never worshipped other gods but always stayed faithful to the Lord God of my people.
From that point on, my throne was established.
I made an alliance with Pharaoh King of Egypt and married his daughter. This alliance was important to me both economically and politically. I needed the trade routes for my building projects. I brought her to the City of David until I finished building my palace and the temple of the Lord as well as a wall around Jerusalem.
I confess she wasn’t my first wife. I had already married a few others by now. I started construction of the temple in my 4th year as king. I showed my love for the Lord by walking according to his instructions given to me by my father David, except that I offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. That was a major fault of mine early in my reign.
I went down to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and offered 1,000 burnt offerings on that altar.
While there, the Lord appeared to me during the night in a dream and said that I could ask for whatever I wanted him to give me. I responded, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern his great people of yours?”
I was about 20 years old at the time.
The Lord was pleased with me for asking this.
I didn’t ask for long life or wealth or for the death of my enemies, but for discernment and how to administer justice. He answered my prayer and gave me a wise and discerning heart. And he gave me what I didn’t ask for which was wealth and honor. And if I walked in obedience to him, he would give me long life.
I suddenly woke up and realized I had been dreaming.
I ruled over all of Israel and had several chief officials and 12 district governors. My kingdom had not been divided yet. I ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines as far as the border of Egypt.
During my reign, there was peace on all sides and everyone lived in safety. I had 4,000 stalls for chariot horses and 12,000 horses.
God gave me wisdom, great insight, and understanding as measureless as the sand on the shore. I was wiser than anyone else. I spoke 3,000 proverbs, some of which are not recorded in the Book of Proverbs. I wrote 1,005 songs. People would come from all over just to hear me speak, to hear my wisdom.
It took me seven years to build the temple of the Lord. It was beautiful and we furnished it with the finest temple furnishings.
While I was building the temple the Lord came to me and said if I follow his decrees, observe his laws, and keep all his commands and obey them, I would fulfill the promise he made to my father David and he would live among the Israelites and would not abandon his people Israel.
When we finished the temple, I brought in the things my father David had dedicated – the silver, gold, and the furnishings and we placed them in the Lord’s temple.
Then we brought the Ark of the Covenant to the temple and dedicated the temple to the Lord. After the dedication, the Lord appeared to me again and reminded me of the covenant he had made and that if we as a people do what is right and not worship other gods, he will establish my royal throne over Israel forever, but if we didn’t, and we turned away from him
then he would cut off Israel and would reject the temple. The temple would become rubble and we would be ridiculed among the people. People would ask why this happened and the answer would be because we turned from the Lord and worshipped other gods.
It took me 13 years to finish my own house, but we finally finished. Three times a year I sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar I had built for the Lord.
I was also a shipbuilder and had a fleet of men for those ships. I used these ships in the trading business.
I amassed great wealth over the years, pure gold, and was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.
The whole world sought to hear from me. I accumulated all kinds of wealth from all the visitors.
My downfall? Women.
I loved foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter.
Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women. They were all from the nations the Lord had told the Israelites not to intermarry with because they would surely turn their hearts after their
And indeed they did do that very thing.
Nevertheless, I held fast to them in love.
I had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. Concubines were secondary wives and it was a common cultural phenomenon in the ancient near east. Polygamy was practiced even among godly men in ancient times, though that wasn’t the original intention.
Some of the wives I might have taken for the purpose of sealing a deal with international relationships large and small which wasn’t an uncommon practice in the ancient near east. However, this violated Deuteronomy 17:17 which says you must not take many wives or your heart will be led astray. There was also a prohibition against taking wives from the pagan people groups who settled among the Israelites.
As I grew older, my wives turned my heart to other gods, and my heart was no longer fully devoted to the Lord as my father David’s heart had been. I followed a few other gods and I did evil in the sight of the Lord. I even built high places for some of those gods for my foreign wives.
I think you can surmise for yourself what happened next. The Lord became angry with me because my heart had turned away from him. He had appeared to me twice and had forbidden me to follow other gods. So he told me that since this was my attitude he would tear the kingdom away from me and give it to one of my subordinates. But for my father’s sake, he wouldn’t do it while I was alive.
Instead, it would be ripped away from my son; however, he wouldn’t take away the whole kingdom but would give him one tribe – Judah. He would do this for the sake of David and for Jerusalem which had been chosen. Perhaps now you have some insight into the divided kingdoms.
The adversaries began to immerge. Jeroboam who was the son of Nebat rebelled against me. He had been one of my officials.
One day He was going out of Jerusalem and on the way met up with a prophet who was wearing a new cloak. This prophet ripped his coat into 12 pieces and told Jeroboam he would take 10 pieces and give him ten tribes of Israel and one tribe would remain because of what happened with the other gods. I heard about this and what Jeroboam was trying to do and I tried to kill him.
I reigned in Israel for 40 years. Then I rested with my ancestors and my son Rehoboam became king. My son was 41 years old when he became king.
There’s a lesson in Solomon’s life we all could stand to learn.
When the Lord tells us to keep a heart after him and him alone, we would do wise to listen. We should not be going after other gods, whether people, money, idols, or false gods.
As I read Solomon’s biography, I think of America and how much we have turned away from God as a nation. It’s so obvious today given all we see and hear.
And like Solomon and the Israelites for that matter, God will not withhold his discipline on this nation.
We must turn back to God before it’s too late or we too will end up like Solomon – it will all be ripped away from us. Unfortunately, it feels like we’re going in that direction now.
I can’t make anyone follow the Lord. Each person must choose for themselves whom they will follow whether it be the Lord God Almighty, or some false god someone crafted out of wood and metal, or themselves.
I pray you choose the Lord!