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King Solomon

Kings of Israel


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Kings of Judah

SaulDavidSolomonRehoboam
AbijamAsaJehoshaphat
JehoramAhaziahAthaliah
J(eh)oashAmaziahUzziah/Azariah
JothamAhazHezekiah
ManassehAmonJosiah
(Jeho)ahazJehoiakim
Jeconiah/JehoiachinZedekiah


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Solomon (c. 971 - 928 B.C.) was David's second son by Bathsheba and successor to his throne. Solomon was the builder of the first Temple in Jerusalem, also known as Solomon's Temple. He was renowned for his great wisdom, wealth, and power, but also blamed for his later pacifism toward his wives in their worship of other gods. He is the subject of many later legends.

SuccessionEdit

Solomon succeeded his father on the throne in early manhood, probably about sixteen or eighteen years of age. His father chose him as his successor, passing over the claims of his elder sons. His history is recorded in 1 Kings 1–11 and 2 Chr. 1–9. His elevation to the throne took place before his father's death, and was hastened mainly by Nathan and Bathsheba, in consequence of the rebellion of Adonijah.

During his long reign of 40 years, the Hebrew monarchy gained its highest splendour. This period has been called the "Augustan age" of the Jewish annals. In a single year he collected tribute amounting to 666 talents of gold. (1 Kings 10:13)

The first half of his reign was, however, by far the brighter and more prosperous; the latter half was clouded by the idolatries into which he fell, mainly from his foreign marriages. According to 1 Kings 11:3, he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. As soon as he has settled himself in his kingdom, and arranged the affairs of his extensive empire, he entered into an alliance with Egypt by marriage to the daughter of Pharaoh.

Buildings and other worksEdit

Solomon surrounded himself with all the luxuries and the external grandeur of an Eastern monarch, and his government prospered. He entered into an alliance with Hiram I, king of Tyre, who in many ways greatly assisted him in his numerous undertakings. For some years before his death David engaged in the active work of collecting materials for building a temple in Jerusalem as a permanent abode for the ark of the covenant.

After the completion of the temple, Solomon engaged in the erection of many other buildings of importance in Jerusalem and in other parts of his kingdom. For the long space of thirteen years he engaged in the erection of a royal palace on Ophel. Solomon also constructed great works for the purpose of securing a plentiful supply of water for the city, Millo (Septuagint, "Acra") for the defence of the city, and Tadmor in the wilderness as a commercial depot as well as a military outpost.

During his reign Israel enjoyed great commercial prosperity. Extensive traffic was carried on by land with Tyre and Egypt and Arabia, and by sea with Spain and South India and the coasts of Africa. This was the "golden age" of Israel. The royal magnificence and splendour of Solomon's court were unrivaled. Solomon was known for his wisdom and proverbs. People came from far and near "to hear the wisdom of Solomon," including the Queen of Sheba.

Decline and fallEdit

Solomon's decline and fall from his high estate is a sad record. Blamed for it are his polygamy and his great wealth, causing him to become decadent and involved in various forms of idol worship which were contrary to Mosaic law. Because of this idol worship, a prophet visited Solomon and told him that after his death his kingdom would be split in two (Israel and Judah) and that his son, Rehoboam, would suffer because of his sin. He died, after a reign of forty years, and was buried in Jerusalem.




Preceded by:
David
King of Judah Succeeded by:
Rehoboam
Preceded by:
David
King of Israel Succeeded by:
Jeroboam
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