The Biblical King Solomon was known for his wisdom, wealth, and writing. He is generally given credit for having authored Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Solomon’s rise to power was not without incident. As the son of King David and Bathsheba, Solomon was promised the throne even though he wasn’t the eldest son. This irked Adonijah, who was the eldest son and had expected the keys to the Kingdom to be handed to him.
Adonijah declared himself king, which didn’t go over so well with David, who immediately had Solomon anointed and turned over his empire to the younger sibling. The transition to power encountered a few bumps when Adonijah and two of David’s closest advisers plotted to kill Solomon. Reacting quickly to consolidate his power, Solomon had them killed first, then appointed trusted friends to key military, government, and religious posts.
With his kingdom under control, King Solomon found extreme favor with God and went about the business of accumulating vast wealth. It is surmised he had 12,000 horses with horsemen, 1,400 chariots, and established peace on the borders of his kingdom. His power was strengthened through marital alliances. Kings I records he had 700 wives and 300 concubines, totals which might be somewhat exaggerated.
Though young, the king came to be known for his wisdom, that was dispensed through the writing of 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs (take that, Mick Jagger). Prodigious building projects were always underway in his kingdom, with the Holy Temple at Jerusalem being just the start. Cities were built to house his chariots and horsemen, and for storage. A city wall was constructed, as well as a palace that took seven years. Jerusalem was expanded to the north.
Old age brought dissension to the kingdom, a result of heavy taxation, too many foreign wives with other religions, and strained relations between the districts of the kingdom. King Solomon died after ruling Israel for 40 years. His son, Rehobaum took over and immediately the kingdom fell apart. Geez…you work and work…then the kids’ squander it away.
The Solomon Success Team
Flickr / Harold Laudeus
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