Temples and Temptations: King Solomon

Solomon had it all: Wisdom, riches, wives, peace, and he lost it all: Following his death, the United Kingdom split into Judah and Israel, a reality that has remained with the Jewish people until today. How could such a wise king go so wrong? We are not the first to wonder. As we study the story let us keep this question in mind. I hope that by the end you will share some of your own thoughts.

Solomon’s reign was the best of times, but also the worst. The Tanakh divides the story in a manner that is not necessarily chronological. In our study we will follow more or less the order chosen by the narrator, but will occasionally glance forward or back.

Introduction To Temples And Temptation

Welcome! Solomon had it all: Wisdom, riches, wives, peace, and he lost it all:  Following his death, the United Kingdom split into Judah and Israel, a reality that has remained with the Jewish people until today.  How could such a wise king go so wrong?  We are not the first to wonder.  As we study […]

Mamma’s Little Boy – Temples And Temptation

Class 1:  Mamma’s Little Boy PDF Video Introduction Solomon was the son of King David and Bat Sheba, but that did not guarantee him the throne.  He was not the oldest son alive, he might not even have been his mother’s oldest child.  To add to the uncertainty, it was the first time in Israelite […]

Coming Into His Own – Temples And Temptation

Class 2:  Coming Into His Own  PDF A Brief Background: David’’s last will to his son Solomon (2:1-10) focuses on 2 main issues: Follow God’s commandments Give what is due to 3 people: Joab the head of the army, the sons of Barzilai of Gilead, and Simei son of Gera. We will begin just past […]

Wise King And Orderly Kingdom – Temples And Temptation

Class 3:  Wise King, Orderly Kingdom PDF Honeymoon Chapter 3 gives us some insight into the early stages of Solomon’s rule as an established king. It contains 3 motifs that will characterize Solomon’s reign:  Foreign relations, relations with God, and the welfare of his own people.  Let’s take a look: Foreign Relations 3:1 Why not […]

It’s A Big World – Temples And Temptation

Class 4: It’s a Big World After All… PDF Solomon’s kingdom began as a small empire.  David, Solomon’s father, had gained control over most areas surrounding his kingdom.  How did Solomon handle other nations, near and far?  How did he influence the world around him, and what influences seep into his kingdom? To get a […]

Building The Temple – Temples And Temptation

Class 5: Building the Temple PDF Solomon’s Temple, known in Jewish history as ‘the First Temple’, was supposed to have been a magnificent building.  David was prevented from building it (the reasons, if given, differ in the various biblical sources) but began preparing for its building.  The plan for Jerusalem as a combined state-religious center […]

Grand Buildings – Temples And Temptation

Class 6: Grand Buildings PDF Solomon spent the first quarter of his reign focusing on building the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem.  It was not the only building he built, nor did the building projects end with the Temple and the palace.  Other than appreciating the building technique and materials, what can we learn about Solomon […]

Temptations – Temples And Temptation

Class 7: Temptations  PDF As we approach the later part of the narrative about Solomon, we begin to feel farther away from the enthusiastic king that asked God for wisdom to judge his people well, and built a magnificent Temple for all to worship at.  We hear the temptations that this very wise and talented […]

Coming To A Close – Temples And Temptation

Class 8: Coming to a Close  PDF The Result:  I Kings 11:11-13 This brief section functions as a heading and an explanation for all that is about to come. This penalty sounds familiar from I Sam 15:28 (there it applies to Saul.)  Why use a similar language? How does Solomon’s fate differ from that of […]