Solomon calls for a worship service on one of the high places which were apparently okay with God right up until the time they weren’t. God appears to him that night and asks him what God can do for him. Solomon asks for wisdom, of course, and that impresses the all-knowing God so much that He grants him bonus rewards too.
Also, Solomon is incredibly rich. Like so rich. The richest man eva. Bigly rich even.
Solomon starts construction on the Temple and asks Huram, king of Tyre, for help. Huram agrees to help and lets Solomon hire some of his skilled craftsmen. Solomon also enslaves all the non-Jews in Israel and forces them to work in stone quarries and bear the burdens to and from the Temple, because Solomon is a dick and God is okay with slavery.
Here are all the building dimensions of the Temple for theology or architecture nerds. I’m sure there’s some hidden super message about heaven or the Deity or sacred geometry in there somewhere, at least judging by all the sermons and books I’ve seen on the subject. Personally, I think it was just a building, and those people who find hidden meanings in it are nuts.
Solomon and Huram make a bunch of stuff to put in God’s house. Seriously, that’s it.
They put the ark in God’s house, right in the Holy of Holies, or inner sanctum. They kill a bunch of animals. They have a live band perform. God comes down in a bright cloud and moves into the Temple.
Solomon drones on with another speech recounting the story of how David wanted to build God a temple, but God said no, and tasked Solomon to do it and now it’s done. Hooray.
Solomon prays a prayer to God and says, “Hey, we’ve built this house for you, but no universe can contain you. But please keep an eye and lend an ear to this place, so that if anyone is in distress or under judgment they can come here to you and plead their case and seek your face and please, hear their cry and save them.”
God is evidently pleased, because fire comes down from heaven and consumes the burnt offering. Nom nom nom. And the cloud grows brighter so that the priests can’t do their jobs and everyone falls down and worships God.
Then the king and the people kill 142,000 animals. Seriously, I think God hates sheep. Or God loves blood. Can you imagine the amount of blood we’re talking about if those numbers are remotely true? The blood of 22,000 cows and 120,000 sheep? Must have been up to their knees in blood. And that stuff isn’t coming off your clothes, no matter how much Oxy Clean you use.
So everyone eats for 7 days because there’s a lot of dead animal around.
On the 8th day they have another church service, then Solomon sends everyone home.
God appears to him in a dream that night and says a verse that is constantly taken out of context by pastors upset that America is okay with gay marriage or okay with not having teacher led prayer in schools. Basically it boils down to: “Hey, I heard you. If you guys are under my judgment, but you come back to me, I’ll bless you again. But if you cross me, I’m going to hurt you badly, Baby, because I love you so much.”
I think at this point, the wisest man in the world should have opted for a restraining order.
Solomon builds some cities and settles Jews in them. Then he goes to war and wins. I guess it’s okay to be a man of blood AFTER you build God’s house. And Solomon enslaves all the foreigners under his rule, but he doesn’t enslave his fellow Jews, because Solomon is a racist dick, and Yahweh is Super-cool with slavery, guys.
Solomon marries the daughter of Pharaoh, but won’t let her live in his house, because she’s a filthy foreigner and the house of David is holy.
It sounds like Solomon sort of takes charge of the cult of Yahweh and offers burnt offerings at all of the holidays, and orders the priests to do their work and the Levites to support them.
And Solomon gets a lot of gold.