Old Testament Story List

Solomon

When David was old and weak and could no longer attend to the affairs of his kingdom himself, he named his son Solomon to be king in his stead.

Solomon loved the Lord and followed His commands and made many offerings to Him. One day, Solomon went up to Gideon, a high mountain, to offer

sacrifices. That night God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, "What shall I give you?"

Solomon answered, "O Lord, You showed great mercy to David my father, and now You have made me king in his stead over a great people. Give me, therefore, an understanding heart so that I may surely know good from evil and judge Thy people well."

The Lord was well pleased with Solomon's answer, and said, "Because you did not ask for great riches or a long life, because you did not ask that I kill your enemies, I have done as you asked. I have given you a wise and understanding heart, like no one before you and no one that shall follow you. I have also given you what you did not ask for, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be another king like you. If you walk in My ways and keep My commandments, then I will give you a long life."

And Solomon grew rich and powerful, and reigned for many years with justice and mercy. Three thousand proverbs did he write, and many beautiful songs. And he became, as God had promised, the wisest king of all time.

One day two women came before King Solomon to ask him to settle their dispute. One woman said, "This woman and I dwell in one house. I have birth to a child, and three days later so did she. There was no stranger with us in the house.

"In the night, this woman's child died. At midnight she arose, took my son from beside me while I slept, and laid her dead child by me. When I rose in the morning, I found the dead child. But when I looked at it, it was not my son."

Then the other woman interrupted to say, "No, the living child is my son, and the dead one hers." And they quarreled until Solomon said, "Bring me a sword!"

When the sword was handed him, he said, "Divide the living child in two. Give half to the one and half to the other."

Then the first woman, who was the real mother, cried out, "O my lord, give her the living child, but do not slay it." But the second woman said, "Let it be neither mine nor yours. Let it be divided."

Then the king answered, "Do not divide it. Give the living child to the first woman, for she is the true mother." And all Israel heard of the judgment and feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him.

It was in the fourth year of King Solomon's rule that he began what was to be remembered as his greatest accomplishment, the building of the temple at Jerusalem. The site selected was Mount Moriah, where in years past the Lord had appeared to David on the threshing floor.

It was ninety feet long, thirty feet wide, and three stories in height, with ample wings and a noble porch. Hundreds of artisans had labored in the forests and quarries, hewing the timbers and dressing the stone, for the outside was built entirely of stone, while the interior was completely lined with cedar of Lebanon. Winding stairways led to the floors above, and an inner room was prepared to hold the ark, guarded by two huge winged bulls carved from olive wood. And much gold and brass and many precious stones were used tin making Solomon's temple the most beautiful yet built by the hand of man.

The building was many years in construction, but at last came the day of its completion. Then Solomon commanded the priests to bear the ark with its two tablets of stone which Moses had placed within it, so many years ago, and the sacred tent and the sacred vessels, and to place them all within the inner room of the temple.

And as they did so, a cloud filled the entire temple, and Solomon stood before the brazen altar, and in the presence of a great assembly of his people, gave thanks to Jehovah for having kept the promise He had made to David.

So great was the fame of King Solomon that it reached into the kingdoms of the south, and word of it was brought even to the Queen of Sheba by travelers and merchants from distant lands. There came a day when the beautiful Queen decided that she would go to Jerusalem to see for herself whether the tales were true. Bringing rich gifts and a train of servants, she presented herself before Solomon's throne to ask him many difficult question, all of which the king answered from the great depth and breadth of his wisdom.

And after bestowing upon him many rare gifts from her treasury, Sheba returned to her own country to ponder the things she had learned from Solomon.


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