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course of Solomon’s reign, this unique treasure would rise to unprecedented heights and then, almost inexplicably, begin to fragment into tragic rivalries. While Solomon was king, the world saw both what it was like for a nation to be blessed by God and what it was like for a nation to betray that sacred trust. Sadly, the legacy he left was less righteous than the legacy he received,and the holy inheritance would slip through the grasp of generations to come.

Solomon the King

Solomon reigned over a united kingdom from 967 to 927 BC. He was the third king of Israel and, in many ways, a strange hybrid between the first two.e first king, Saul, had no heart for the Lord.e second,David,had a whole heart for the Lord. And the third, David’s son, had a divided heart. He loved the Lord and followed in David’s footsteps, but he hung onto his baser desires and eventually departed from his father’s path.

Solomon was the second son of David and Bathsheba— the first died in infancy as God’s judgment on David’s sin of taking Bathsheba from her husband and having him killed in battle. But Bathsheba remained David’s most beloved wife, and Solomon was his most beloved child. He grew up as a son of privilege and was taught by his father to love the Lord—an experience he wrote about in Proverbs 4:3–9:

When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is


A Walk Thru the Life of Solomon: Pursuinga Heart of Integrity, Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2009. Used by permission.

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