Solomon - Bible study activities
Activities for groups and individuals
An apple a day?
A good habit to get into is reading one chapter of Proverbs every morning, plucking out one proverb from that chapter to be your guide during the day.
Try this and see if it works for you - though be careful of Proverbs 31 if you are a married woman...
Movies with a complex hero like Solomon
Answers HERE (see 'Solomon') Can you think of others?
God offers Solomon anything he wants. Solomon asks for an understanding mind, rather than riches or fame. He wants to be able to govern his people wisely - and God grants his wish.
These three simple quotations from the story of Solomon show the humanity of the man:
In short nobody, not even Solomon, is perfect.
Spend some time thinking about your good qualities, and also about your failings.
Solomon's great failing seems to have been his love of women, though in fairness it must be said that many of his marriages were made for diplomatic reasons. He married foreign princesses, treated them well, and was rewarded by good relationships with their countries of birth.
Don't ask your family for help.
A 19th century photograph of the Kidron Valley looking up towards Jerusalem
Creating the Solomonic Myth
'The stories of Solomon in the Bible are uniquely cosmopolitan. Foreign leaders are not enemies to be conquered or tyrants to be suffered; they are equals with whom to deal politely, if cleverly, to achieve commercial success. The biblical tales of Solomon's dealings with Hiram of Tyre and the queen of Sheba are literary acts of self promotion—in trade negotiations, in diplomatic relations, in the status of the king. Solomon's legend, first put into writing in the seventh century BCE, asserts Judah's greatness—and the essential skill of its monarch—in the brave new world of trade and cross-cultural communication of the Assyrian empire.
In ruling, administering, trading, and wisely judging his people, Solomon is presented as an ideal leader on the model of the Assyrian king: "And men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom" (i Kings 4:34)- "Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. And the whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom" (i Kings 10:23-24). Even the extent of territory ruled by Solomon—in one version, from the Euphrates to Gaza (i Kings 4:24)—reflects a vision of Assyrian kingship as the ultimate ideal. Though the dating of this verse is uncertain, the territory described is roughly equivalent to the western territories ruled by the Assyrian kings in the late eighth and seventh centuries BCE.'