So Solomon gathers everyone together for the big reveal of God’s house. They bring up the Ark of the Covenant and open it and everyone’s face melted… okay, fine… but my story would be more interesting.
They move all the stuff from God’s tent into God’s house and kill a bunch of animals to make God happy. And apparently, God’s so happy with His house that He moves right in and freaks the priests out because of a giant super shiny cloud that’s just hanging around the Temple.
Solomon: God said He’d dwell in a thick cloud. Sure this house will stand forever.
Solomon: God told David he couldn’t build the house, but I could. Now the word of the Lord is fulfilled and I’m pretty awesome.
And Solomon prayed:
Oh Lord, you’re pretty great and all. You were good to my dad, now please keep your word saying that one of David’s sons will always be on the throne as long as we make You happy and keep all the commandments.
Solomon: Now, O Lord, thanks for moving into your house. Please be a just refugee for the victims, the oppressed, the hungry, the foreigners and immigrants, and the soldiers
“And, you know…” Solomon totally said, and not a later author compiling these stories after the Babylonian exile, “If the people just happen to sin against you so much that you get mad and send them off to a foreign land… like Babylon… when they repent and cry out to you, please return them to their own land…”
So Solomon dedicated God’s house and just killed like all the animals there were. The text says he killed 22,000 cows and 120,000 sheep to make God super happy, until God’s house looked like the blood elevator from the Overlook Hotel. Then everyone decided that was enough or were driven away by the stench and the flies and left thinking it had been a grand housewarming party.
So God shows up to Solomon and gives him the standard speech of “I’ll bless you and love you as long as you obey me, but if you cross Me…”
And Solomon gives Hiram 20 cities, which just seems weird to me. Like how would you like that nowadays if you woke up and your leader said, “Hey, you guys over there in that town? Yeah, you’re not a part of the United States anymore, I gave your city to Canada.” Come to think of it, that does sound kind of okay right now… but there’s probably a downside that I’m overlooking.
But Hiram inspected the cities and said, “Oh… man… you gave me Fresno? Geez… these cities suck, bro.” (Just kidding, Fresno… we love you.)
And Hiram sent Solomon 120 talents of gold. Which, according to Google, a talent weighed about 75 lbs or 33 kg.
And we get a list of Solomon’s building projects that he completed with slave labor, and a list of people in his administration that we don’t care about. And he build a fleet of ships and Hiram lent him some sailors to teach Solomon’s people. And Solomon is like the best at trading too, because of course he is, and his ships bring back 120 talents of gold.
And the queen of Sheba came because she too heard just how awesome Solomon was and brought him lots of gifts and talked to him and Solomon answered her questions and she said, “You’re the wisest, smartest, greatest, most handsome man ever, the stories don’t do half of your awesomeness justice! We should totally have sex right now!” And she gave him 120 talents of gold and a lot of spices.
And Solomon gave her whatever she wanted and she returned home.
So Solomon just continued to be the greatest and to make Israel great again so that the people were tired of all the gold and silver and precious stones.
Oh, but all was not well with Solomon, because Solomon loved the foreign ladies. Those horrible foreign ladies that God had warned the good kids about with their painted lips and short skirts and foreign gods. So Solomon married 300 women and had 700 sex slaves.
And those wicked foreign girls totally made Solomon worship other gods and that made Yahweh super mad, so that He told Solomon, “Okay, fine. All that stuff I said about the line of David always having a man on a throne, forget it. I’m going to give the kingdom to someone else… who will also be an idolater and a lot worse than you! Fine, that doesn’t make sense, but whatever. You can keep smelly, old Judah because my house is there.”
And then God began to afflict Israel with enemies. Hadad, who was apparently, the lone survivor of a six month campaign of genocide Joab and David had committed against the Edomites, returned home and started making trouble, which… kind of siding with Hadad on this one… the Israelites stayed in his homeland for six months hunting down and killing every male Edomite. They kind of deserve a bit of payback.
And a bandit leader that David had formerly defeated seizes Damascus and becomes king there.
And one of Solomon’s overseers, Jeroboam rebelled against him. Jeroboam was walking along one day and met a prophet who took off his cloak, tore it into twelve pieces, handed Jeroboam ten pieces, and said, “You’re going to be king of ten tribes because Solomon made me mad by worshipping other gods. But if you totally walk in my ways, I’ll make your dynasty last forever… even though I know you won’t… so why am I bother saying that?”
Well, Solomon heard of it, and tried to pull a common Saul and have Jeroboam killed, but Jeroboam escapes and flees to Egypt for refuge.
Now everything else that Solomon did, are they not written in some book you’ve never heard of which isn’t in the bible? You should go read that… if it existed. But anyway, Solomon dies and his son Rehoboam reigns in his place.