By Mary Jane Chaignot

Categories: Old Testament Kings

  • Solomon was David and Bathsheba's second son.
  • God loved Solomon from the very beginning.
  • Yahweh chose Solomon to succeed David on the throne.
  • David had the high priest and prophet publicly anoint Solomon.
  • Sitting on David's mule during his anointing let the public know that Solomon had David's blessing.
  • Once Solomon was anointed, the people followed him.
  • Solomon inherited a vast kingdom.
  • David's final advice to Solomon was that he should "be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands,…so that you may prosper."
  • Then the Lord would keep his promise to David that his line would be forever.
  • Solomon also had some unfinished military matters to fulfill.
  • By the time David passed on, Solomon's rule was firmly established.
  • Solomon married the Pharaoh's daughter to seal a political alliance.
  • One night God appeared in a dream and invited Solomon to "ask for whatever you want me to give you."
  • Solomon was very humble and expressed gratitude for all that God had done so far.
  • Then Solomon asked for "a discerning heart to govern…and to distinguish between right and wrong."
  • God was so pleased, He not only gave Solomon what he asked for but also added riches and honor.
  • Solomon's wisdom is indicated by his wise words in discerning the true mother of the living baby.
  • All Israel held the king in awe when they heard the verdict.
  • Solomon was also very wise in setting up the administrative arm of his kingship.
  • Solomon developed a strong central government and a system of taxation.
  • Solomon also used forced labor for his building projects.
  • Solomon's daily provisions included 150-280 bushels of fine flour and 300-500 bushels of coarse flour. (It is estimated that this amount of flour could have produced 28,000 pounds of bread, enough to feed 5,000-14,000 people!)
  • Solomon's kingdom was peaceful and prosperous.
  • Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom.
  • Solomon was the author of 3,000 proverbs.
  • He wrote over 1,000 songs.
  • After his kingdom was well established, Solomon made a treaty with the King of Hiram to provide materials and craftsmen to build a temple.
  • This arrangement is seen as a fulfillment of God's promise to David.
  • 30,000 Israelites, 70,000 carriers, and 80,000 stonecutters worked on the temple. (not to mention the foremen)
  • He began building the temple in the fourth year of his reign. It took seven years to build. His palace and public buildings took 13 years to build.
  • He made a special palace for his wife, Pharaoh's daughter.
  • They had a humongous ceremony the day they dedicated the temple. The priests put the Ark of the Covenant in the inner sanctuary of the temple. When they withdrew, the cloud of the glory of God descended and filled the temple. God accepted his new home.
  • Solomon prayed so that God would recognize the temple as the way for a sinful man to approach God through sacrifice and restoration.
  • The Lord appeared to Solomon after the temple was built to encourage him to remain faithful and to walk in God's ways.
  • After the completion of the building projects, Solomon ventured into international trade, especially throughout the Red Sea.
  • Solomon's fame continued to spread.
  • The Queen of Sheba took it upon herself to check him out personally.
  • She peppered him with "hard questions" -- and was satisfied with his answers.
  • Whereas the Queen had thought reports about Solomon were exaggerated, after her visit she thought they didn't do him justice.
  • The Queen of Sheba gave Solomon many gifts.
  • The 666 talents of gold (roughly twenty-five tons!) that Solomon received each year from taxes, tributes, and trade made him richer than all the other kings of the earth.
  • As Solomon got older, he wanted more and more of the good life.
  • This would include wives and concubines. It is estimated that Solomon had 700 wives, and 300 concubines. Many were foreign born and "he loved them" and "held fast to them in love."
  • He also allowed them to continue to worship their native gods, eventually building high places for their gods.
  • In this way Solomon did not keep the Lord's command.
  • The Lord told Solomon he would "tear the kingdom from you" and would give it to one of his subordinates. Also his descendant would have ONE tribe; the remaining tribes would be given to his subordinate.
  • God raised up three men to be adversaries against Solomon, i.e., King of Edom, King of Zobah, and Jeroboam (an Ephraimite).
  • Through the prophet of Shiloh, Ahijah, God told Jeroboam he would be given 10 tribes.
  • Jeroboam fled to Egypt, away from King Solomon. He stayed there until Solomon died.
  • Solomon's son, Rehoboam, succeeded him, but God's words came true. Rehoboam was ruler over Judah; Jeroboam was ruler over Israel (the 10 northern tribes).
  • Solomon ruled over all Israel for forty years.


Alter, Robert and Frank Kermode. The Literary Guide to the Bible. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press. 1987.

Auld, A.Graeme. "I & II Kings." The Daily Study Bible Series. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1986.

Brueggeman, Walter. "1 & 2 Kings." Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary. Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys. 2000.

Mills, Watson and Richard Wilson. Mercer Commentary on the Bible. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1995.

Nelson, Richard. "I & II Kings." Interpretation. Atlanta: John Knox Press. 1987.

Provan, Iain. "1 and 2 Kings." New International Biblical Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995.

Rice, Gene. "1 Kings, Nations Under God." The International Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B Eerdmans, 1990.

Bible Characters