1 Kings 4:20-28; 6:1-38; 7:1-12; 8:1-9:28: 10:14-29:2 Chronicles 1:14-8:18; 9:13-28; Psalm 72
Perhaps the most important thing Solomon did was build the temple of God in Jerusalem. The huge building took seven years to build but it would last four hundred years.
Cedar wood and gold covered the temple, inside and out. The best bronze-smiths, artists and sculptors made beautiful figures. They covered the ceiling and walls with bright designs.
When the temple was finished, Solomon called together all of God’s chosen people. The priests brought the ark containing the Ten Commandments which they placed in a special room inside the temple. A cloud which covered the Lord came down upon the temple then and the people knew the Lord was very close to them.
Solomon prayed. “God, thank You that I was able to build this temple for You. Thank You that my father David planned it. But even this temple is not good enough. No place is big or high enough for You. You made the earth and the sky. Please, Lord, let this temple be a place where we can always find You.”
Afterwards God appeared to Solomon. He said. “If you do what I tell you, I will live in this temple. I will listen to the prayers of the people who come into this place.”
Solomon also built a magnificent palace for himself. This palace took thirteen years to finish. His throne room was like no other, made of gold and jewels. Then he built a beautiful palace for one of his many wives. This was the daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh. Solomon needed many workers for these building projects so all the men who belonged to former enemy tribes became Solomon’s workers, as did his own people.
Solomon was very rich. Every day he ate out of golden bowls and plates and used golden knives and forks. His cups were made of gold. Even his clothes had golden threads sewn into the fabric.
The most important part of Solomon’s reign was how he judged the people with fairness. He wrote. “Let the mountains bring peace to the people. . . . May the king . . . save the children of the needy and crush the one who hurts them.”
More than anything else, Solomon wanted to take good care of God’s people. He was able to do this, as long as he followed God’s laws.
Word of Solomon’s wealth and wisdom spread far and wide. The Queen of Sheba came from a land which is now called Yemen. This queen had heard of Solomon’s greatness. She did not believe the stories so she came all that way just to test him and see for herself if the stories were true.
The queen traveled with many camels. They carried spices, gold, diamonds and rubies. When she arrived at Solomon’s palace, she asked him every question she could think of. The wisdom which God gave Solomon had stretched his heart and mind. He could see a problem from all the different sides and tell which was the right side.
The queen said. “What I heard about you was only half true. You’re even wiser and richer than the stories claim!”
Then she gave Solomon many gifts of spices and precious stones. Never again would so many spices come into Israel at one time. There were cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves, pepper and many, many other spices. All of these were rare and precious. She also gave Solomon great amounts of gold. King Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba many special gifts as well. Finally, the queen said farewell to her friend. She returned to her own country.