How Solomon Becomes King

When David was old and would not leave his bed, his son Adonijah decided that he wanted to be king. He talked to Joab the general of David's army and Abiathar the high priest and they agreed to support him. One day he held a great feast and invited all of his brothers except Solomon, whom David had said would be the next king. When Nathan the prophet heard about it, he went to Solomon's mother, Bathsheba and said, "Have you heard that Adonijah has made himself king without David knowing about it. You better go and tell David." So Bathsheba went to David and said, "I thought you had promised that my son Solomon would become King after you. But Adonijah has become king and you don't know about it. When you die he will kill Solomon and me."

While she was still talking, Nathan came in and told David the same thing. So David told Bathsheba, "Today I will make Solomon king." So he told Nathan the prophet, Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the captain of his body guard to take Solomon on the king's mule to Gihon spring and there Nathan and Zadok were to anoint him king. They did this and many people gathered and shouted, "Long live King Solomon." The people followed him back to the palace, shouting for joy along the way.

When the people at Adonijah's feast, heard the shouting, they asked, "What is the noise all about?" The son of Abiathar came in and said, "King David has made Solomon King." Then all of Adonijah's guests were afraid and went home quickly, not long after that David died, after being king for forty Years.

Then Solomon went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices to God. That night God appeared to him in a dream and asked, "What would you like for me to give you?" Solomon answered, "I am just a young man and I don't know how to rule your people. Give me the wisdom that I need to rule them." Then God was pleased and he told Solomon, "Because you have asked for wisdom to rule in the right way, and not for things for yourself: long life, riches, or the death of your enemies-I will make you wiser then any other king and also give you the riches and honor that you did not ask for." So Solomon became the Israelites' wisest king. He wrote many wise sayings called proverbs. Most of the proverbs in the book of Proverbs were written by him, and also the book of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon.

He showed his wisdom one day when two women came before him with a baby, one of them said, "This woman and I live together in the same house. I had a baby boy and two days later she had a boy too. One day she laid on her son and he died; so she got up in the middle of the night and traded babies while I was asleep. The next morning I thought my child was dead, but when I looked closely, I saw it was not my child," Then the other woman said, "The child that is alive is mine; the dead child is yours." Then they argued in front of the king, so Solomon said, "Each one say's that the child is hers. Bring a sword and cut it in half and give half to each woman." Then the real mother said, "Don't kill the child. Give it to her." But the other woman said, "Cut it in half." And then Solomon said, "Don't kill the child; give it to the first woman. She is the real mother!" And when people heard about Solomon's decision, they knew that God had given him wisdom.

While Solomon was king, he built the temple to replace the tabernacle. It took seven years to build the temple. When they took the Ark of the Covenant inside it, a cloud filled the temple so that the priests could not go in.

When the Queen of Sheba in the south heard of Solomon's wisdom, she came to see him. She brought many rich treasures and he gave her many gifts in return. When she saw how wise he was and all the riches he had, she said, "I heard about you in my country and I came to see for myself. But you are much greater than I was told. Even half of it was not told to me."

But even though Solomon was a wise and rich king, as he got older he turned away from God. He married many women from countries where they worshiped false gods. To please his wives he built temples to these gods also and worshiped them. And so his foreign wives led him away from the one true God.

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