What do we know about Solomon?
We know that Solomon was born to David and Bathsheba after the death of their first son (2 Sam. 12:24). Even though he wasn’t David’s oldest son, he was crowned king after Nathan the prophet and his mom intervened (1 Kings 1).
Solomon is remembered for his God-given wisdom. “The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, ‘Ask. What should I give you?’ ” Solomon replied, “Lord my God, you have now made your servant king in my father David’s place. Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership. Your servant is among your people you have chosen, a people too many to be numbered or counted. So give your servant a receptive heart to judge your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of yours?”
1 Kings 3:5–9 (CSB) He could have asked for great wealth or power, but he asked for wisdom.
Solomon is also remembered for building the Temple in Jerusalem, a construction project that required seven years for completion (I Kings 6:38) and cost untold millions. At its dedication, he “knelt down in front of the entire congregation of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven. He said: Lord God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth, who keeps his gracious covenant with your servants who walk before you with all their heart” (2 Chronicles 6:13–14, CSB). “When Solomon finished praying, fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lordfilled the temple.” (2 Chronicles 7:1–3, CSB).
But for a guy who was so wise, he turned out to be about a dumb as a box of rocks! Get this...
“King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women from the nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, ‘You must not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you, because they will turn your heart away to follow their gods.’ To these women Solomon was deeply attached in love. He had seven hundred wives who were princesses and three hundred who were concubines, and they turned his heart away” (1 Kings 11:1–3, CSB).
What? Seven hundred wives and another three hundred concubines? Are you kidding?
Predictably, these pagan women led Solomon away from the Lord. “Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, and unlike his father David, he did not remain loyal to the Lord. At that time, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abhorrent idol of Moab, and for Milcom, the abhorrent idol of the Ammonites, on the hill across from Jerusalem. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who were burning incense and offering sacrifices to their gods” (1 Kings 11:6–8, CSB). Solomon built pagan altars in and around Jerusalem. Oh, so sad!
Again, we see that those listed in the genealogy of the Messiah were frail men. In every case, they became ancestors of Jesus, not because they deserved great honor, but because our great God demonstrated His great grace!