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King Solomon - The Wisest Man Who Ever Lived

Profile of King Solomon, Israel's Third King

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King Solomon

King Solomon

Photo: Getty Images
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.

Solomon was the second son of King David and Bathsheba. His name means "peaceable." Even as a baby, Solomon was loved by God.

A conspiracy by Adonijah, Solomon's half-brother, tried to rob Solomon of the throne. Solomon killed Adonijah and Joab, David's general, to take the kingship.

God appeared to Solomon in a dream and promised him anything he asked. Solomon chose understanding and discernment. God was so pleased with the request that he granted it, along with great riches and power.

Solomon's downfall began when he married the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh to seal a political alliance. He could not control his lust. Among Solomon's 700 wives and 300 concubines were many foreigners, which angered God. The inevitable happened: They lured King Solomon away from Yahweh into worship of false gods and idols.

Over his 40-year reign, Solomon did many great things, but he succumbed to the temptations of lesser men. The peace a united Israel enjoyed, the massive building projects he headed, and the successful commerce he developed became meaningless when Solomon stopped pursuing God.

King Solomon's Accomplishments:

Solomon built the first temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, a seven-year task that became one of the wonders of the ancient world. He also built a majestic palace, gardens, roads, and government buildings. He accumulated thousands of horses and chariots. After securing peace with his neighbors, he built up trade and became the wealthiest king of his time.

He is credited with writing much of the book of Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, the book of Ecclesiastes, and two psalms.

King Solomon's Strengths:

King Solomon possessed great wisdom, granted to him by God. He was a prolific writer, poet, and scientist. His skills in architecture and management turned Israel into the showplace of the middle East. As a diplomat, he made treaties and alliances that brought peace to his kingdom.

King Solomon's Weaknesses:

To satisfy his curious mind, Solomon turned to worldly pleasures instead of the pursuit of God. He collected all sorts of treasures and surrounded himself with luxury. In the case of non-Jewish wives and concubines, he let lust rule his heart instead of obedience to God. Solomon taxed his subjects heavily, conscripted them into his army and into slave-like labor for his building projects.

Life Lessons:

King Solomon's sins speak loudly to us in our materialistic culture. When we worship possessions and fame over God, we are headed for a fall. When Christians marry an unbeliever, they can also expect trouble. God is our first love. We should let nothing come before him.

Hometown:

Jerusalem.

Referenced in the Bible:

2 Samuel 12:24 - 1 Kings 11:43; 1 Chronicles 28, 29; 2 Chronicles 1-10; Nehemiah 13:26; Psalm 72; Matthew 6:29, 12:42.

Occupation:

King of Israel.

Family Tree:

Father - King David
Mother - Bathsheba
Brothers - Absalom, Adonijah
Sister - Tamar
Son - Rehoboam

Key Verses:

1 Kings 3:7-9
"Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?" (NIV)

Nehemiah 13:26
Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women. (NIV)

Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.

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