Solomon may mean “restoration” or “peace.” The prophet Nathan called Solomon, Jedidiah meaning “beloved of Yahweh”.

Solomon was born in Jerusalem, the eighth son of King David and second son of Bathsheba. Overcoming contention, Solomon succeeded David as king over all Israel and Judah, and he ascended the throne by decree of King David. David admonished Solomon to be godly and follow God’s Word as written in the Law of Moses so that Solomon and the nation would prosper. King Solomon removed remaining opposition from his father’s kingship by ordering execution or exile, and thereafter reigned in relative peace for forty years.

Early in his reign, Solomon asked God for an understanding mind to govern Israel and for discernment between good and evil. God gave Solomon a wise and understanding heart to the degree that he would have no equal history. God also promised exceeding riches and honor as well as conditionally long life. Solomon would have length of days if he continued living according to the Law. Solomon ruled justly and his wisdom became known far beyond the borders of his nation. Kings and rulers from across the earth came to hear his wisdom.

Solomon spoke 3000 proverbs, wrote 1005 songs, and is often credited with writing Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. Under Solomon’s reign the nation burgeoned with wealth, infrastructure, education, commerce, and culture.

In fulfillment of God’s command, Solomon constructed the first Temple in Jerusalem, a “House for the Name of Yahweh”. Over a seven year period with a labor force of over 183,000 men, Solomon succeeded in constructing the temple. On completion of the Temple, the priests placed the ark of the covenant in the Temple’s holiest place, and a solemn dedication was led by King Solomon.

Despite his heritage, the blessings of God on his life and nation, miraculous wisdom and knowledge, Solomon failed in the later years of his reign to follow the rules for kingship God commanded through Moses. Solomon took 700 wives and 300 concubines, many of whom were foreign to Israel and pagan in belief. These wives turned his mind and heart to idolatry and disloyalty to God. Under righteous judgment, Solomon suffered political strife during the last years of his kingdom and knew that because of his sins, the kingdom would be torn and divided after his death.

Key verses: 1 Kings 2:1-4; 3:5-14; 5:29,32-34; 6:11-14; 8:6, 9:1-9; 11:1,3,12,13; Acts 7:47-50

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