King Solomon was the wisest king in Israel. He was the son of King David and built the first temple in Jerusalem. During his reign, Israel lived a time of great peace and prosperity.
Solomon begins to reign
Solomon was David’s son by Bathsheba after they were married. God promised that of all David’s sons, Solomon would be his successor ( 1 Chronicles 22: 9-10 ). When David was very old, Adonijah, another son of his, proclaimed himself king. So David took the lead and had Solomon proclaimed king. Solomon stayed with the opposition and his reign was established.
See also: who was David in the Bible?
Solomon obeyed God, like his father David. One day God appeared to Solomon in a dream and told him that he could ask for whatever he wanted ( 1 Kings 3: 5 ). Solomon asked for wisdom to govern well. This pleased God, who gave him much wisdom and riches, fame and long life.
Solomon proved he was wise when he resolved a dispute between two prostitutes. Each had a baby but one had died. They both claimed to be the mother of the living son and there was no way of knowing who was telling the truth. So Solomon had the living boy cut in half and given half to each one. The woman who was not the mother agreed but the real mother begged for her son’s life ( 1 Kings 3: 24-26 ). So Solomon gave his son to his real mother.
Solomon managed Israel very well and became very wealthy. He invested in public works in several cities in Israel and developed international trade. Solomon built a palace for himself and made a great temple for God in Jerusalem.
Israel lived in peace with its neighbors during Solomon’s reign. He established alliances and trade agreements with several countries. His fame spread and people from many places came to prove his wisdom. The most illustrious visit was the queen of Sheba , who was impressed by Solomon’s wisdom and wealth ( 1 Kings 10: 4-5 ).
Solomon had many interests. He built gardens and studied plants and animals. He also wrote and collected many proverbs ( 1 Kings 4:32 ). Solomon wrote or sponsored: