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Who was King Solomon? Story summary in the Bible

Illustration of King Solomon

Solomon is the third king of the Kingdom of Israel in the Old Testament Books of Kings.

He is the son of David, familiar to us from Michelangelo's statue of David.

Since David was the second king of Israel, he inherited the position of king by hereditary succession.

If you are interested in learning more about David,

Please take a look at this article.

David was a hero who experienced many battlefields or rather excelled in warfare.

However, Solomon was a completely different type of leader from David, and is said to have been better at domestic affairs than at war.

It was during Solomon's time that ancient Israel reached its peak.

However, in his later years, Solomon is also known as a corrupt king who was extravagant and imposed heavy taxes on his people.

What kind of person was Solomon?

Let's take a look at him right away.

Solomon as a Wise Man

When his predecessor David died, Solomon won the battle against his elder brother and others who wanted to succeed to the throne, and became the third king of Israel.

Solomon married the daughter of Pharaoh of Egypt and performed a grand offering in the town of Gibeon.

Then, God appeared to Solomon in his dream and said, "I am the Lord your God,

God image

Solomon. I will give you whatever you desire.

Solomon replied,

Solomon image

Then give me wisdom!

God was overjoyed by Solomon's answer.

God image

Oh, wisdom. That is good. I will surely give you much wisdom.

Thus, Solomon was given wisdom by God and became a symbol of a wise man.

The symbols are such as Solomon's ring.

The description of Seal of Solomon is not recognized in the Old Testament canon, but it is described in the "Testament of Solomon."

To learn more about Seal of Solomon,

Please read this article here.

Solomon's Internal Affairs

Solomon was famous for his emphasis on domestic affairs.

He expanded foreign trade and developed the economy of Israel.

He also established the bureaucratic system and other domestic institutions.

Of course, Solomon was not only a good domestic politician, but also a good diplomat.

He made treaties with neighboring kingdoms, and strengthened his own nation through a series of political marriages.

It is said that everyone living in the Kingdom of Israel was able to live in peace.

Then Solomon built the Temple of Jerusalem for the first time.

This was the peak of the ancient Kingdom of Israel.

Falling Solomon

However, prosperity does not last forever.

Solomon's long reign brought economic prosperity and international prestige, but little by little the frayed edges began to show.

The people began to complain about the heavy taxes.

People image

Solomon is too much in favor of the tribe of Judah, don't you think?

People image

Well, Solomon himself is from the tribe of Judah...

Combined with heavy taxes, Solomon's favoritism toward the tribe of Judah also led to growing discontent.

Thus, the conflict with the tribal separatists grew.

This would lead to the later north-south division of Israel.

After Solomon's Death

In his later years, Solomon's financial situation worsened as he indulged in his pleasures, but even after his death, the world was still in turmoil.

Solomon's son Rehoboam succeeded to the throne, but because of his uncompromising character, Israel was finally divided into north and south by the ten tribes of Israel.

For the subsequent story of the north-south division of ancient Israel, see

What are the "Ten Lost Tribes"? Why their whereabouts are unknown!

Please read this article.

Thus, the ancient kingdom of Israel, which flourished under Solomon, was divided into north and south, leading to the Babylonian Captivity.

For more information on the Babylonian Captivity,

please refer to this article.