Solomon, the Wise King

KEY VERSE: “Give therefore thy servant [Solomon] an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this so great a people?” —I Kings 3:9

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: I Kings 2:1-4; 3:5-12

OUR HEAVENLY FATHER declared to David before Solomon’s birth that he would have a son whose name would be Solomon. He became the man who built a house dedicated to the glory of God. The Lord’s blessings upon Solomon began early in his reign. We read that “Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.”—I Chron. 29:23

David reminded Solomon of his solemn obligation to “keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest.”—I Kings 2:3

David also gave instructions to Solomon regarding the building of the Temple, passing on to him the plans given to him by God’s own hand upon him. (I Chron. 28:19) David commanded the princes of Israel to help Solomon in building the sanctuary of God.—I Chron. 22:6-19

After his anointing as king, the people continued to make sacrifices to idols in many ‘high places’. In part this was due to the fact that no temple of Jehovah had yet been built. However, the Tabernacle was permanently set up at Gibeon where the people could go to worship. Although the Lord had said that his ‘name’ was to be placed upon Jerusalem, he evidently tolerated the practice of worship at Gibeon until the Temple would be built.—I Kings 3:2,3

At Gibeon, known as “the great high place,” Solomon himself offered a thousand burnt sacrifices. It was here Jehovah appeared to him in a dream, saying: “Request what I should give you.” Instead of asking for riches, glory, or victory, Solomon requested that God give him a wise, understanding, and obedient heart in order to be able to judge Israel. Solomon’s humble request pleased Jehovah. He answered by giving him not only what he had asked for, but also riches and glory “so that there will not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days,” adding the condition, “If thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.”—I Kings 3:4-14

In the fourth year of his reign, Solomon began to build the house of the Lord on Mount Moriah. (I Kings 6:1) The Temple was set up very quietly; the stones had all been hewn and fitted to their positions in the Temple before being brought to the site. No sound of hammers or axes or of any tools was heard.—I Kings 6:7

God continued to give Solomon wisdom and understanding in very great measure. His wisdom was well recognized to be far greater than the wisdom of the Orientals and the Egyptians. Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs, and he composed 1,005 songs. The range of his knowledge covered the plant and animal kingdoms, and much more.—I Kings 4:29-34

Solomon was often occupied in meditation to find “acceptable words [to God],” (Eccles. 12:10) He experienced a wide variety of lifestyles, going out among the lowly people, as well as living among those who were rich, and who held important positions. He was keenly observant of everyone’s customs, occupations, hopes, and aims; and their failures and successes.

Solomon exalted the knowledge of God and his law. He emphasized, above all things, that “the fear [reverence] of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge, and wisdom,” and that the whole obligation of man is to fear the true God and to keep his commandments. —Prov. 1:7; 9:10; Eccles. 12:13

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |