A Tale Of Wisdom Wealth And Lots Of Women
King Solomon is one of the more familiar kings of ancient Israel. He was the second son of David and Bathsheba, and he expanded Israels borders and economy more than any king in Israels history. You can find the story of Solomon in 1 Kings 1-11. His name is derived from the Hebrew word for peace , and peace, as a matter of fact, is one of the things hes remembered for. There were no major wars for the majority of his reign. The biblical authors look back on this time as a period of abundance:
So Judah and Israel lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and fig tree, from Dan to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.
Solomon must have been an amazing king for God to have blessed his reign with such wealth and peace, right? You could be forgiven for thinking so, as many of the stories about him extol his wisdom, wealth, and the enormous size of his kingdom. However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the glorious reign of Solomon. Way more, actually.
The story of Solomon is a perfect example of the brilliant subtlety of the biblical authors. Instead of coming out and saying So and so was really amazing, and they did everything right in the eyes of God, more often, they simply present you with the choices of a biblical character and then show you the outcome. Instead of wrapping it up with a tidy moral summary, you are left to ponder and reflect on what was good in the character and what was lacking.
Shocking Evidence Answers This Question As Well As Whether David Was A Successful Warrior King And Solomon Built His Legendary Temple And Palace
Historical evidence reveals that the legendary kings of Israel, David and Solomon, actually existed.
Theyre the first two legendary kings of Israel: David, who as a youth defeated the Philistine giant Goliath with a single stone from his slingshot, and Solomon, gifted with otherworldly wisdom and wealth.
The City of David, thought to be the original site of Jerusalem, is now Wadi Hilweh, a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood.
The actual extent of the Davidic empire is hotly debated, write Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman in The Bible Unearthed: Archaeologys New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. Digging in Jerusalem has failed to produce evidence that it was a great city in David or Solomons time. And the monuments ascribed to Solomon are now most plausibly connected with other kings. Thus a reconsideration of evidence has enormous implications.
A shard of a monument sent shockwaves throughout the world of biblical scholarship and provided the oldest proof of a biblical patriarch: namely, the legendary King David.
Weve seen that the first books of the Old Testament, the Jewish Torah, fudged the facts: There wasnt a mass Exodus out of Egypt. There wasnt a conquest of Canaan by Gods Chosen People. So how about David and Solomon are they a myth as well?
Michelangelos iconic statue of David
What Led To Solomons Downfall
Despite initial sovereign successes, the end of Solomons rule was marked by several insurrections and attacks from both foreign and domestic enemies, as well as a disintegration of national and religious integrity because of cultural appeasements within Israel, which compromised and weakened the social fabric of the
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Kings 1: 110 What Can We Conclude Regarding Solomons Many Marriages
Solomon married âstrange women,â that is, foreign women, or those not of the covenant. Solomonâs marriages were for political expediency and perhaps for personal reasons as well. But these women brought to Israel their idols and heathen worship, which corrupted not only Solomon but the people also.
According to the Doctrine and Covenants, however, some of Solomonâs wives were given to him of the Lord: âDavid also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of meâ .
President Joseph Fielding Smith further explained that the Lord âdid not condemn Solomon and David for having wives which the Lord gave them.
âNow turn to 12:7â8 and you will find that the Lord gave David wives. In your reading of the Old Testament you will also find that Solomon was blessed and the Lord appeared to him and gave him visions and great blessings when he had plural wives, but later in his life, he took wives that the Lord did not give him.â
Kings : 3536 Tempering The Weather Through Prayer
These verses contain a remarkable promise to Israel. In several places the Lord indicated that He uses the weather to chastise His people to bring them to repentance. President Spencer W. Kimball said:
âThe Lord uses the weather sometimes to discipline his people for the violation of his laws. He said to the children of Israel:
ââIf ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them
ââThen I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
ââAnd your threshing shall reach into the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
ââAnd I will give you peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: â¦ neither shall the sword go through your land.â
âPerhaps the day has come when we should take stock of ourselves and see if we are worthy to ask or if we have been breaking the commandments, making ourselves unworthy of receiving the blessings.â
First Kings 8:35â36 indicates that if the people repent of their sins, looking to the house of the Lord in prayer and supplication, the weather can be tempered and made to operate in behalf of the righteous.
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Solomon Almost Didn’t Become King
When David was on his deathbed, one of his sons, Adonijah, anointed himself king with the aid of a few priests. It was obviously underhanded Adonijah invited royal officials, his brothers , and priests to the event. He did not, however, invite David, Solomon, or Nathan the prophet.
When news traveled to David, he gave instructions to Nathan on how to go about anointing Solomon as the one true king. It was done right and with Davids blessing, establishing Solomon as king, instead of Adonijah.
Features Of Solomon’s Reign
Solomon’s prosperity and success were also achieved through ingenious reforms and innovations such as the improvement of defense measures the expansion of the royal court the financial windfall from more sophisticated taxation, labor conscriptions of Canaanites and Israelites, tributes and gifts from foreign countries under the influence of Solomon and a land and sea trading system that utilized a powerful navy and army to protect assets and trade routes. According to the Hebrew scriptures, The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as abundant as the sycamores, which are in the lowland .
King Solomon was also famous for his international relationships, forming alliances with other nearby powerful nations such as Egypt, Moab, Tyre, Arabia, etc. Many of these partnerships were cemented through royal marriages and the giving of concubines to Solomon, eventually gaining him 700 wives and 300 concubines. One of King Solomon’s more famous political-amorous relationships was with the Queen of Sheba , who visited Israel with a lavish tribute of 120 talents of gold. The Hebrew scriptures state, And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his servants, the service of his waiters and their apparel, his cupbearers and their apparel, and his entryway by which he went up to the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her .
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What Happened Between Solomon And Sheba
Here is the short Biblical passage that tells of the meeting between Solomon and Sheba:
1 Kings 10:1-13
10:1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.
10:2 And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.
10:3 And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.
10:4 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built,
10:5 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD there was no more spirit in her.
10:6 And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.
10:7 Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.
10:8 Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.
10:11 And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.
Biography Of King Solomon: The Wisest Man Who Ever Lived
- M.A., English Composition, Illinois State University
- B.S., English Literature, Illinois State University
King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived and also one of the most foolish. God gifted him with unsurpassed wisdom, which Solomon squandered by disobeying God’s commandments. Some of Solomons most famous achievements were his building projects, particularly the temple in Jerusalem.
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How It All Started
The story of Solomon begins with David on his deathbed, giving Solomon a final charge to remain faithful to the covenant between God and Israel . Were soon told that Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statues of his father David , but this appears right after we discover he formed a marriage alliance with Pharaoh, King of Egypt, and took Pharaohs daughter and brought her to the city of David . What? Can that possibly be a good idea?! How can Solomon do something like that and then receive the narrators praise that he loves the Lord? Maybe he can maintain his allegiance to the God of Israel while negotiating a marriage alliance with Egypt .
But I doubt it.
Solomon then has a dream in which God offers him anything he wants. What a deal! Instead of asking for money or power, he asks for wisdom so that he can rule the people of Israel with integrity. God is so pleased with this response that he gives him wisdom in spades, along with wealth and power besides. This is the context of the famous–and odd–story about the two women who come to Solomon, each claiming to be the mother of a certain child . Its an illustration of his wisdom hes a man who can see beneath the surface and discern peoples motives and character.
Wow, I guess I was wrong about Solomon. This guys legit.
Kings 6 How Did Solomons Temple Differ From The Tabernacle Of The Wilderness
âA comparison of the plan of Solomonâs Temple with that of the earlier Tabernacle shows that in all essentials of arrangement and proportion the two were so nearly alike as to be practically identical. True, the Tabernacle had but one enclosure, while the Temple was surrounded by courts, but the inner structure itself, the Temple proper, closely followed the earlier design. The dimensions of the Holy of Holies, the Holy Place, and the Porch, were in the Temple exactly double those of the corresponding parts in the Tabernacle.â
The temple was long and narrow. According to the dimensions cited in the Bible, the temple was about one hundred feet long and thirty feet wide. It stood on a platform about nine feet high. The temple itself was about forty-five feet high. The Salt Lake Temple is 186Â½ feet long, 118Â½ feet wide, and 210 feet high.
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Kings 6 How Did Solomon Learn How The Temple Should Be Built
Although David received some revelation about the building of the temple , apparently Solomon received even more. President Brigham Young said: âThe pattern of this temple, the length and breadth, and height of the inner and outer courts, with all the fixtures thereunto appertaining, were given to Solomon by revelation, through the proper source. And why was this revelation-pattern necessary? Because Solomon had never built a temple, and did not know what was necessary in the arrangement of the different apartments, any better than Moses did what was needed in the tabernacle.â
The temple of Solomon was later destroyed, and the kingdom of Judah was scattered. Zerubbabelâs temple, which Herod renovated, was later built on the same spot. This later temple was the one standing in the Saviorâs day.
Relationship With Queen Of Sheba
Kebra NagastThe Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon
In a brief, unelaborated, and enigmatic passage, the Hebrew Bible describes how the fame of Solomon’s wisdom and wealth spread far and wide, so much so that the Queen of Sheba decided that she should meet him. The queen is described as visiting with a number of gifts including gold, spices and precious stones. When Solomon gave her “all her desire, whatsoever she asked”, she left satisfied .
Whether the passage is simply to provide a brief token, foreign witness of Solomon’s wealth and wisdom, or whether there is meant to be something more significant to the queen’s visit is unknown nevertheless the visit of the Queen of Sheba has become the subject of numerous stories.
Sheba is typically identified as Saba, a nation once spanning the Red Sea on the coasts of what are now Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen, in Arabia Felix although other sources place it in the area of what is now northern Ethiopia and Eritrea. In a Rabbinical account , Solomon was accustomed to ordering the living creatures of the world to dance before him , but one day upon discovering that the mountain-cock or hoopoe was absent, he summoned it to him, and the bird told him that it had been searching for somewhere new .
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Kings : 7 Was The Temple Built By Solomon Cast Out
Elder James E. Talmage explained how the prophetic warning was ignored and came to fulfillment: âThe glorious pre-eminence of this splendid structure was of brief duration. Thirty-four years after its dedication, and but five years subsequent to the death of Solomon, its decline began and this decline was soon to develop into general spoliation, and finally to become an actual desecration. Solomon the king, the man of wisdom, the master-builder, had been led astray by the wiles of idolatrous women, and his wayward ways had fostered iniquity in Israel. The nation was no longer a unit there factions and sects, parties and creeds, some worshipping on the hill-tops, others under green trees, each party claiming excellence for its own particular shrine. The Temple soon lost its sanctity. The gift became depreciated by the perfidy of the giver, and Jehovah withdrew His protecting presence from the place no longer holy.â
Why Did Solomon Build The Temple Instead Of David
God had instructed the prophet, Nathan, to tell David that his heir would build His house: 2 Samuel 7 describes King Davids desire to build a temple for the Ark of the Covenant. At this point, God had given David rest from all his enemies. Nathan even encouraged David to do what was in his heart because the Lord was with him. Later that night, God spoke to Nathan. God reminded Nathan that He had not dwelt in any house since the time that He brought the children of Israel out of bondage. Instead, the Spirit of the Lord has dwelt in a tent and a tabernacle .
God asked, Why build ye not me a house of cedar? . The Lord discussed how he had set judges over the children of Israel and made Davids name great. He would plant the children of Israel, and they would not have to move anymore. Neither would wicked people afflict them. In v. 12-13, God says, And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up they seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
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