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5. Solomon

Image by Ben White

Solomon Stories

  • Fight for the Throne: Adonijah, one of David's sons, attempted to seize the throne, but Solomon was ultimately anointed as king. (1 Kings 1:5-53)

  • Gift for Solomon: Solomon asked God for wisdom to govern the people of Israel justly and wisely. (1 Kings 3:9)

  • God’s Anger: Because Solomon turned away from God and worshiped other gods, God became angry and decided to divide the kingdom after Solomon's death. (1 Kings 11:9-13)

  • Solomon’s Judgment: Two women came to Solomon, both claiming to be the mother of the same baby. Solomon proposed to cut the baby in half, revealing the true mother by her selfless response. (1 Kings 3:16-28)


In the kingdom of Israel, there once lived a wise and fair king named Solomon. He was the son of King David and loved by his people. When Solomon became king, God offered him anything he wished for, and Solomon asked for wisdom to rule his people well. God granted his request and made him the wisest king ever known. Solomon's wisdom became famous, and people from far and wide came to seek his counsel. One day, two women came to Solomon, both claiming to be the mother of a baby. Solomon's wise judgment revealed the true mother, who loved her child more than anything. Throughout his reign, Solomon built a grand temple for God and brought peace and prosperity to the land, showing everyone the value of wisdom and fairness in leadership. But later on, he made some not-so-smart choices. He married lots of wives who didn't believe in God like he did, and that led him to forget about God sometimes. It's like when you know what's right but still do something wrong. It can cause big problems. In the end, Solomon's story teaches us that even the wisest among us can stumble, reminding us to always seek wisdom and stay true to what we know is right.

Image by Mick Haupt

The Temple

  • Solomon embarked on a grand project to build a temple for God, which took several years to complete. The construction of the temple began in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, around 966 BCE (1 Kings 6:1). 

  • Interestingly, there was no sound of hammer, chisel, or any iron tool heard during the temple's construction, showcasing the reverence and solemnity of the project (1 Kings 6:7). 

  • The walls of the temple were lined with cedar wood, known for its durability and beauty (1 Kings 6:9). Inside the inner sanctuary, the altar was overlaid with pure gold, signifying its sacredness (1 Kings 6:20). 

  • Despite the extensive labor involved, it took approximately seven years for Solomon and his workers to finish this magnificent structure (1 Kings 6:38), a testament to their dedication and craftsmanship.

  • God did not allow David to build the temple because he had shed much blood in his lifetime, but instead, God chose Solomon, David's son, to carry out this important task (1 Chronicles 22:8).

Temple Destroyed

The Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed twice in history. 

  • The first destruction occurred in 586 BCE when the Babylonians invaded Judah and destroyed the Temple built by Solomon. 

  • The second destruction happened in 70 CE when the Romans destroyed the Second Temple. 

Today the history of the temple matters because many in the world still have connections to the place where the first and second temples were located. Do you know that history and how it pertains to what is happening in our world today?

Talmud as a collection of ancient rabbinic writings encompassing the Mishna and the Gemara. This collection forms the foundation of religious authority in Orthodox Judaism.

Story from the Talmud 

King Solomon built his Temple with the aid of a magical worm (Shamir).  Solomon needed to construct the Temple in Jerusalem without using iron tools because iron was seen as a symbol of war and bloodshed.  This magical worm, the Shamir, was endowed with the power to alter stone, iron and diamond, by its mere gaze.  The Shamir was said to have been given to Solomon by the angels to assist in the construction of the Temple without the need for iron tools.

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