Let’s turn to II Chronicles chapter 1.
I Chronicles brought us up unto the death of David, and II Chronicles begins with the reign of Saul and it covers the remaining history of the kings of Judah. Now this is the chronicles of the kings of Judah. It does not really deal with the kings of Israel, but concentrates upon the southern kingdom, the kingdom of Judah. There were, perhaps, chronicles of the kings of Israel. Those we do not have. But these are the chronicles of the kings of Judah, and I Chronicles occupies itself primarily with the kingdom of David. For it was under David that the kingdom was brought to the zenith, the apex of its glory and power. And Solomon stepped in and following his father who had laid a beautiful foundation and enjoyed, really, the benefits of his father’s reign.
Under Solomon the kingdom began to deteriorate. And just so quickly the kingdom fell apart. At the death of Solomon, when his son Rehoboam took over, the kingdom became divided, and what was once a mighty, powerful kingdom soon became a weakened, such a weakened state that the glorious treasures that had been amassed by David and by Solomon were soon taken by Shishak, the king of Egypt. And the glory and the power and the wealth of the kingdom were soon destroyed.
So, as we get into the second book of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah,
Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly (1:1).
Solomon began his reign with great power. Power that was handed to him, really, from his father David. But also power from the Lord, because in the beginning Solomon’s heart was right before God.
And Solomon gathered the people together at Gibeon, for the tabernacle of the Lord, at that time, was in Gibeon. Now there were two tabernacles at this time. David had erected a tent in Jerusalem for the Ark of the Covenant. When they brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, David made a tent for the Ark for the Covenant in Jerusalem. But the real worship center of the nation was still at Gibeon where the tabernacle, modeled after the tabernacle in the wilderness, existed, and the altar where they would go up to sacrifice unto God was at Gibeon.
And so Solomon gathered the people together to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation similar to the one that they had had in the wilderness. And the ark of God David had brought from Kirjathjearim to Jerusalem and had built a tent for that. And Solomon went up there to this brass altar before the Lord, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and he offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it (1:3,4,6).
Now Solomon was an extravagant fellow. A thousand burnt offerings. And he was extravagant in all that he did.
In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee (1:7).
That’s almost like some of the plots of the fairy tales that you read, you know, the fairy goddess or the genie or whatever. Ask whatever you want. I sometimes wondered myself if God should come to me and say, “Ask what you want Me to give to you.” I’ve wondered what would I ask God for. What would be my request? And I’ve often thought as I mused on this, I think I would turn it right around and say, “God, You give me whatever You want to give me.” Because you see, I may be thinking of much less than what God wants to give. He loves me so much that He desires to just give to me. And I might be saying, “Lord, I’d like to have a thousand dollars.” And He may want to lay a million dollars on me. And why should I cut Him short?
I think that we fail to realize how much God really loves us. And what God is willing to do for us. “For if God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how much more then shall He not freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) Look what God has already given for you. Consider it. He spared not His own Son, and if He spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for you, how much more will He freely give you all things? Jesus said, “Henceforth you’ve asked nothing in my name. Ask.” And in the Greek it’s in the intensive, which translated more literally would be, “Ask, please ask, that you may receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). God is wanting to bless you. God is wanting to bless your life, because God wants your life to be an instrument through which the world around you might know the joy and the blessing of serving the Lord. And so God desires, God delights in giving good things to His children.
“Ask what I shall give thee.”
And Solomon said, You have showed great mercy unto David my father, and You have made me to reign in his place. Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for You have made me the king over a people that are like the dust of the earth as far as number. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great? (1:8-10)
So Solomon’s request, “Wisdom and knowledge, God. That I may know how to go in and out before these people, because the task that has been laid upon me, reigning over Your people, is greater than I can actually handle. And so, Father, grant me the wisdom and the knowledge, really, to do Your business. Grant me, Lord, that which I need to do the things that You want me to do.”
What a beautiful request. Now a little further on when we get into our reading next week, we’re going to find the prophet coming to Asa the king and declaring, “For the eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the entire earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are perfect towards Him” (II Chronicles 16:9). Now here’s Solomon expressing a heart that’s really sort of completely towards God. “Ask whatever you want, Solomon.” “Lord, I like to be famous. Lord, I like my footprint in Grauman’s Chinese. Lord, I’d like to be rich.” No, “Lord, You’ve placed a big, heavy responsibility upon me. You’ve made me the king in the place of my father over Your people. And God, I need wisdom and I need knowledge and just knowing how to do the work that you want done.”
And God said to Solomon, Because this was in your heart, and you did not ask for riches, wealth, or honor, or you didn’t ask for the life of your enemies, neither did you ask long life for yourself; but you’ve asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge my people, over whom I have made you king: wisdom and knowledge is granted unto you; and I will give you riches, and wealth, and honor, such as none of the kings have had that have been before you, neither shall there be any after you that will have the like. Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle of the congregation, and he reigned over Israel. And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand four hundred chariots, twelve thousand horsemen, that he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees he made as common as the sycamore trees that grow in the vale abundantly. And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: and the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price. And they brought up from Egypt the chariots for six hundred shekels of silver, horses for a hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all of the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means (1:11-17).
In other words, they began to be horsetraders. They began to sell them to the nations around, the Hittites, and the Syrians, and so forth. Now it is interesting that Solomon began this horsetrading with Egypt, it would appear, very early in his career. And in so doing, he was beginning to plant the seeds of destruction and deterioration of his kingdom. For in Deuteronomy, the Lord gave the law concerning the kings of Israel, and in the seventeenth chapter, in the fourteenth verse, the Lord said to Moses, “When the people come into the land, and they possess it, and they will say, ‘We want a king like the nations that are about us.’” Then God gives requirements for the one that they should set forth as a king, but in verse sixteen, He said, “But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that they should multiply horses” (Deuteronomy 17:14,16).
Now what does God have against horses? Nothing. He created them. But in those days the horse was a definite, decisive kind of weapon in battle. They began to measure the strength of an army by the number of the horses. A man on horseback had a definite advantage, and a chariot was a fearsome, awesome weapon of war. Sort of like tanks against infantry today. And so God did not want them trusting in horses. And in Psalms it said, “A horse is a vain thing” (Psalm 33:17) as far as something to trust in. As it speaks about the contrasting, trusting in the Lord. “Some men trust in horses and some in chariots, but we will trust in the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7). And so many of the psalms are addressed to the fact that people were putting trust in horses.
Now the fact that Solomon began to amass this great number of horses, and for a time, Bible critics sort of assailed the biblical account because of the numbers of horses that Solomon had. And it tells how he built these cities and put stables in these cities and so forth. And now in the excavations, in many of these cities that Solomon had fortified, they have found, actually, the horse stables. In the city of Megiddo at the level of excavation that was at Solomon’s time, you can see these stone troughs that they had carved out for the water for the horses, and the feeding troughs and all. They are there today and in vast numbers. And it all verifies, really, the biblical account of the vast numbers of horses that Solomon gathered.
And the tendency, though, was then to trust in the fact that you have in your army a certain number of horsemen and all. So it’s amazing to me that so soon Solomon would forsake the law of the Lord and would begin to sow the seeds that ultimately were to deteriorate the kingdom.
Now Solomon determined to build a house for the name of the LORD, and a house for his kingdom. And Solomon told out [or counted out] seventy thousand men to bear burdens, and eighty thousand men to cut trees out of the forest, and three thousand six hundred men to oversee them (2:1-2).
And so the tremendous number of people that were just involved in the labor to the gathering of the materials for his own palace and for the temple that they were to build.
Solomon sent to Huram [who is also called Hiram] the king of Tyre, and he said, As you dealt with David my father, and you sent him cedars to build his own palace, even I ask you to deal so with me. Behold, I’m going to build a house in the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him the sweet incense, and to place the continual showbread, for the burnt offerings morning and evening, and on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. For this is an ordinance for ever to Israel. And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods. But who is able to build him a house, seeing the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him a house, save only to burn sacrifice before him? (2:3-6)
In other words, the idea is, I’m not building a house for God to dwell in. The heaven of heavens cannot contain God. Thus, I only build a house that we might at this house burn sacrifice before God.
There are oftentimes attempts by men to localize God. They are always wrong. To think of God as being in one place more than in another place. You cannot localize God. The heaven of heavens cannot contain Him. David said, “Whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend into heaven, Thou art there: if I descend into hell, Thou art there” (Psalm 139:7-8). Can’t escape from God. Nor can God be localized. And yet, so often we think of God, “Lord, we’re so happy to gather tonight in Your presence to worship You. Oh yes, it’s nice to be here in the presence of God this evening.” Hey, you were in the presence of God when you were yelling at your wife on the way to church. You know, it isn’t that when we get into this place we suddenly come into the presence of God. The presence of God is everywhere. You can’t escape the presence of God. And it is always wrong when we try to think of God in a localized place. And yet, it is so often a part of our limited understanding that we always seem to think of God in a locality. “I’m going to go to church so I can be near God tonight. I feel so near to God when I’m walking through the woods. I feel so near to God when I am walking across the desert at night. I feel so near to God…” Well, it may be that you have a greater awareness of God’s presence in certain localities, but that isn’t an actuality. In truth, God is with you wherever you are.
It isn’t that we need to come into the presence of God; it’s that we need to become more aware of the presence of God wherever we may be. I think that one of the greatest needs of the Christian experience and in the Christian life is to become more conscious of God’s all pervading presence. And at the times when you least feel like it, He is there. In the time when you’re feeling the rottenest, He is there. In the time you’re feeling most desolate, He is there. The most forsaken, He is there. And we need to become aware of His presence. But that’s an attitude of my own heart. I can become aware of God’s presence no matter where I am if I’ll just turn my heart towards the Lord to consciously seek to be aware of His presence with me.
Now if we could only become more aware of the presence of God, we wouldn’t need any preaching on holiness or on righteous living or things of this nature. Because if I were just aware of God’s presence, “For in Him,” Paul said, “we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). When I become aware of that, then I want to always live in a way that is pleasing unto Him. Knowing that nothing I do is hidden. Knowing that nothing I do is secret. Knowing that my life is just an open book and that consciousness of God’s presence is such an important thing for my own personal life.
So Solomon recognized, “We’re not building You a house, God, that You can come and live in this house and we can come and visit You at Your house. Who am I to build a house?” As he’s writing to Hiram asking for these cedars to be sent from Lebanon and all. He said, “I want to build a house that we might offer our sacrifices and all, not that it’s a place for God to dwell. The heaven of heavens can’t contain Him. But just a place where we can come and offer our sacrifices before Him.” So he is requesting that a skilled man be sent, who can, more or less, oversee all of the building. A man who is a clever artificer in the carvings and in all of the various types of arts, in castings and the whole thing, because the temple that he wanted to build unto God was to be a glorious monument unto the Lord.
And so he contracted to give unto the men, the servants that would cut the wood out of the forest and all, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, which would be a flour. Now a measure is ten bushels. So this is the amount of flour, the beaten wheat, he was to send unto them.
Twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths (2:10)
And a bath is about eight gallons.
of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil (2:10).
So this was quite a vast annual fee that he was willing to pay for these skilled men.
Then Hiram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, and he said, Because the LORD hath loved his people, he hath made you king over them. Hiram also said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, and endued him with prudence and understanding, that he might build a house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom. Now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram’s my father, the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skillful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; he can carve out any manner of carving, and he can figure out every kind of device and he’s just a cunning man. Now therefore the wheat, and the barley, the oil, and the wine, which my lord hath spoken of, let him send it unto his servants (2:11-15):
So the deal was made.
And we will cut the wood out of Lebanon, as much as you shall need: and we will bring it to thee by floats by the sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem (2:16).
So they cut these cedars out of Lebanon. And they made these great rafts, the floats of these cedar logs. And they floated them down the Mediterranean Sea to the only port at that time in Israel, which was the port of Joppa. And then from Joppa they carried them overland to Jerusalem, which is a distance of about thirty miles. Maybe forty miles. So it was quite a task, and no wonder they needed seventy thousand men to help move these logs.
Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign (3:1-2).
He began to build on Mount Moriah. Where in the world did we hear of Mount Moriah before? As we go back to the book of Genesis, “And God did tempt Abraham and said unto him, ‘Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice on a mountain that I will show thee.’ Abraham took Isaac and the servants and they saddled the donkeys and they journeyed. And after three days Abraham left the servants and the donkeys and he said, ‘You wait here. I and the lad will go and worship God and we will come again.’ And as Abraham and Isaac were journeying together, Isaac said unto Abraham, ‘Here is the wood, here is the fire, where is the sacrifice?’ And Abraham said, ‘God will provide Himself a sacrifice.’ And they journeyed together to Mount Moriah. And there Abraham built an altar and he placed Isaac upon it. And he raised his knife and God said, ‘Abraham, stop. I see now that you are obedient and will withhold nothing from Me. Behold, the ram caught by its horns in the thicket. Take and offer it.’ And Abraham took the ram and offered it as a sacrifice unto the Lord. And Abraham called the name of the place Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide. And he prophesied, he said, ‘In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.’” (Genesis 22:1-14). Earlier he said, “The Lord will provide.” “Father, where is the sacrifice?” “The Lord will provide Himself a sacrifice.” What a prophetic statement. God’s going to provide Himself as the sacrifice. And he called the name of the place Jehovah-Jireh. And then referring to the previous prophecies said, “In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.”
So the place of worship and the place of sacrifice for the nation of Israel was moved from Gibeon to Jerusalem. And there the temple was built on Mount Moriah, the same mount that God showed to Abraham where he offered his son Isaac with the prophecy, “The Lord will provide Himself a sacrifice. In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.”
Now the temple was actually built on the side of Mount Moriah, not on the top, which is interesting in itself. Because among all of the pagan religions, they always built their altars and their places of worship at the tops of the mountains. You go to Athens, and at the top of each mountain in Athens there are the ruins of the pagan temples of the past. Always on the top. The Acropolis, right at the top of the mountain. There in Corinth, the top of the mountain above Corinth, the temple of Aphrodite. And so it is interesting, number one, that the temple was not built on the top of Mount Moriah, but on the side of the mount.
For Mount Moriah continues up, slopes upwards from the temple site and the top of Mount Moriah is actually Mount Calvary or Golgotha. And you can look at the whole topography of that area and you can see how Mount Moriah gently slopes from the temple mount right on up to the top which would be Calvary, Golgotha. And the skull is formed there in the cliff because of the quarries where they excavated out that portion of the mount. And you look back towards the city of Jerusalem and you can see where they’ve actually cut away the mountain, built the wall of the city right up over the bedrock which continues from there, or did continue at the time of Abraham, and crested on the top. Golgotha, the place of the skull, where God provided Himself a sacrifice. And the prophecy of Abraham was fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ.
So Mount Moriah. It is interesting that the Bible locates it for us for all time, that we would know, so that God can tie together the interesting types and shadows from the Old Testament with their fulfillment in the New. Thus, the place of Isaac’s sacrifice was the place where God provided.
He began to build the temple there in Mount Moriah there at the threshingfloor.
Now these are the things that Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The building was to be ninety feet by thirty feet. [The very building itself.] The porch was in the front of it, and the length was according to the breadth of the house, the height of it was a hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold (3:3-4).
So a building this size and now inside is just overlaid completely with pure gold.
The greater house he ceiled with fir trees, and he overlaid those with fine gold, and he set thereon palm trees and chains. And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was the gold of Parvaim. He overlaid also the house, with the beams, and the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and he carved cherubims on the walls. And he made the most holy place, the length according to the breadth of the house, was thirty feet, and the breadth of it thirty feet: and he overlaid it with fine gold, which came to six hundred talents (3:5-8).
Or, at the thirty-dollar-an-ounce price, about eighteen million dollars. What it would be today, of course, with gold at 500-something an ounce you can figure out yourself. But this was just for the holy of holies within. So the amount of the value of this whole temple that was built by Solomon is valued at somewhere in the billions of dollars. The estimates, of course, range.
Now the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold. And the most holy house he made two cherubims, and he overlaid them with gold. And the wings of the cherubim were thirty feet long: one wing of the one cherub was seven and a half cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise seven and a half cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub (3:9-11).
So that is the total wingspan of the cherub. The two cherubs were twenty feet. There was cherubs, their wings would touch in the middle. And this, remember, is all a little model of heaven. The holy of holies is a model of heaven and the throne of God. And so the cherubim about the throne of God that John saw in the book of Revelation and that Ezekiel saw.
And he made the veil of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and he wrought the cherubim (3:14).
They wove cherubim into this veil of the temple.
Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits (3:15),
So that will be about forty-seven and a half, fifty feet tall.
And there was this ornamental work on the top of each of them of seven and a half feet. And he made chains, as in the oracle, and he put them on the heads of the pillars; and made a hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains. And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and he called the name on the right hand Jachin, and the name on the left Boaz (3:15-17).
Moreover he made an altar of brass, that was thirty feet long, and thirty feet wide, and it was fifteen feet high (4:1).
This brazen altar for the offering of the sacrifices.
And he made this molten (4:2)
They cast this huge brass bath for the priests to bathe in.
the sea of fifteen feet from brim to brim, around in compass, seven and a half feet high; and it was, of course, forty-five feet around it. And under it was the likeness of oxen, twelve oxen that they carved of brass; and three pointing towards the north, three facing towards the south, three facing towards the east and three facing towards the west (4:2-4).
All facing outward and this big brass pool on top of it.
Now the thickness of the brass pool was the thickness of your handbreadth (4:5),
If you can picture it. And it held about twenty-four thousand gallons of water. Now to cast something like this today would be near impossible. A brass swimming pool, seven and a half feet deep, fifteen feet across, and the width of it about six to eight inches thick. And this was for the priests to bathe in.
And then around the top of it, all kinds of fancy work. Flowers and lilies and so forth carved in it. And then he made ten other basins so that they could wash the instruments. Of course, with the sacrifices there was a lot of blood and all. And thus, it was necessary that the priests bathe and get this blood off of them. And, of course, the knives and the instruments and all that they used would all be bloody after the offering of these sacrifices. And so ten of these lavers to wash the various instruments in, and the big pool for the priests to wash in.
And then he made ten candlesticks of gold. And ten tables, that he placed in the temple, five on the right side, five on the left. And he made a hundred basins of gold. And then he made the court of the priests, the doors of the court, he overlaid them with brass. And this big basin was on the right side at the east end. And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God; That is, the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, the two wreaths to cover the two pommels; And the four hundred pomegranates and so forth. And the bases, and the lavers; and the oxen. And Solomon made all of these vessels in great abundance (4:7-15,18):
They cast them, actually, down in the Jordan River in the clay area down there, and then carried them on up to Jerusalem.
Moreover the candlesticks and their lamps, they made for the holy place out of pure gold; and the flowers, and the lamps, the tongs, they made of gold, perfect gold; the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and all the instruments for the worship made of pure gold (4:20-22):
And all of the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God. Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion. Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month (5:1-3).
Which would be, then, the feast of trumpets.
And the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark. And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up. And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be counted because of the number of them, the multitude of them. And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the holy of holies of the house, under the wings of the cherubims: For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above. And they drew out the staves from the ark. And there was nothing in the ark except the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt (5:4-10).
Now, originally, when Moses set up this little Ark of the Covenant, they put not only the two tables of stone upon which God had inscribed the Ten Commandments, but they also had the rod of Aaron that budded, and they also had a jar of manna. But at this point, of course, the Ark of the Covenant was taken by the Philistines and passed around. And so, at this point, all that was in the Ark of the Covenant, according to the record, was just the two tables of stone.
I’ve often thought how exciting it would be if they could discover again the Ark of the Covenant someplace. This little box made of acacia wood overlaid with gold. And if the two tables of stone upon which God inscribed the law were still in them, what an archaeological find that would be. I’m sure that God has kept it lost, because what a relic this would become, and people would soon be worshipping it. And so God, I’m sure, deliberately just kept this thing hidden and uncovered by man, lest man would make some kind of an idol out of it.
Now it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and they were not at that time waiting for their courses: And the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brothers, being arrayed in white linen, and having the cymbals and the psalteries and the harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them a hundred and twenty priests who were sounding with trumpets:) It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God (5:11-14).
What a momentous occasion this must have been. The people of Israel gathered here at this fabulously, beautiful temple overlaid with gold. It’s now complete. Beautiful work, the carvings and all. And so they bring the Ark of the Covenant from the tent into the holy of holies within this temple. And they pull out the staves and they set it in its place between the cherubim. Then the priests, some of them with the instruments of psalteries, others with harps. A hundred and twenty of them with trumpets. Plus, David had appointed a couple thousand as singers. And they all began to just worship God in the song, in the music. And as it came to this great crescendo, as the sound of the trumpets and the voices blended as one voice of praise and thanksgiving unto God, the cloud of God’s glory that was the sign of God’s presence among the children of Israel in the wilderness came down and it filled the temple. And the priests, because of the glory of God’s presence, couldn’t even stand, but just lay there in the glory of God’s presence. What a beautiful sight. A bunch of fanatics.
Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness (6:1).
Now Solomon, at this point, preached the sermon to the people. All of Israel, you remember, all the chief people had gathered and out in the courtyard he had built this little brass platform seven and a half feet square, and it was about four and a half feet high. And so he stood up on this little platform so that he could address all of the congregation of Israel. And his sermon to them is a sermon on the faithfulness of God. And the very fact that, here is the temple, it is completed, it is built, it testifies to the faithfulness of God’s promise.
For it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. And Jehovah said unto David my father, Forasmuch as it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well in that it was in your heart: notwithstanding you shall not build it (6:7-9);
Now this to me is very interesting. God said, “David, inasmuch as it was in your heart to do it, you did well. That’s fine. That’s good.” God reckons the things of man’s heart. Now it is interesting, a lot of people have a real heart to give to God, but they have nothing to give. Inasmuch as it is in their heart to give, God counts that. Some people have a lot to give to God, but they don’t give with their hearts. God doesn’t count that. God is interested in your heart. What is in your heart to do for God? Now, you may not always be able to accomplish that which is in your heart to do. But God takes consideration of the fact that it’s in your heart to do it for the Lord.
Now, within a lot of you, it is within your heart to serve God in some capacity. It’s in your heart to be in the ministry. And inasmuch as it is in your heart to serve the Lord, God acknowledges it. That’s good. It may be that you will never be actively engaged in a pulpit kind of a ministry. I cannot believe that you’ll never be engaged in a ministry. I believe that all of us have a ministry and some of us have the misfortune of having a pulpit ministry. And I really feel that the rewards for the ministries that are done, more or less, in a secret or a quiet way are greater than those public kind of ministries where you get so much feedback and all from the actual ministry itself.
It is interesting how so many pray that God will give them sort of a pulpit ministry or public ministry, and I prayed for years that God would give me some quiet ministry. For years I prayed that God would help me and call me just to be a Christian businessman. I wanted to prove that you could be gung-ho for Jesus Christ and be involved in business. I’ve heard people say, “Oh, it’s so hard to be a businessman and be a Christian.” I don’t believe that. And I’ve always wanted God to call me to be a businessman so I could prove that you can be a sold-out, gung-ho Christian working in the business world.
What is in your heart to do for God? God sees your heart. God knows your heart, and not only that, God accounts what’s in your heart to do. And when God finally measures the things that are done, we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to receive the reward for the things that we have done in our body, whether it be good or evil, and all of our works are going to be judged by fire, “what manner or sort they are” (I Corinthians 3:13). And if your works for the Lord endure this fiery judgment, you’ll receive a reward. But many of the works are as wood, hay, and stubble, and will be consumed in that day of judgment. And you’ve come and offer all your works before God and is tested by God’s fire, and poof! There went all your works.
“But Lord, where is my reward?” You had it! You were doing your works in such an ostensible way that everybody recognized and knew what you were doing. When you pray, don’t sound a trumpet before you and all, or don’t go out in the street corners and don’t make a big fanfare. Go into your closet, shut the door. Your Father which sees in secret will reward you. When you give, don’t make a big to-do over the amount you’re giving in a big parade over the thing, but just don’t even let your right hand know what your left hand does. “Give to the Father in secret and your Father which seest in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:4).
When you fast, don’t make a big deal over your fasting and go around with a long face and a hungry look so that everybody knows you’re fasting. But wash and anoint your face. Look happy and fast and your Father which sees in secret will reward you.
Your works will be tested. What was the motivation? Was I desiring to appear righteous before people? Was I desiring feedback from people? Or was I taking the position that I had to feed my own egoistic needs? If so, those works will all go up in the smoke of the fire by which my works are to be judged. And I will lose the reward for any work that I may have done for vain, glory sake. God is going to judge the things of the heart. What was the motivation? And that is why it is so important that we be motivated by the constraining love of Jesus Christ. As Paul said, “For the love of Christ constrains me. For I thus judge, if one died for all, then are all dead” (II Corinthians 5:14). And it’s important that I get out the message of life to those who are dead. And God, pressure on me. Woe is me if I preach not the gospel of Jesus Christ that burns within. Do the work of God with that great compassion. “I could wish myself accursed from Christ for my brethren’s sake according to the flesh” (Romans 9:3). The Jews.
So it was in my father’s heart, David, to build a house unto the Lord. And the Lord said, Inasmuch as it was in your heart, that’s good. But you can’t do it. It’s good it’s in your heart to do it. I’ll account that. But David, you can’t do it.
But your son which shall come forth out of your loins, he shall build the house for my name (6:9).
And so God’s promise to David is, “You can’t build a house, but your son that will come out of your loins, he will build a house.” And so Solomon is now preaching his sermon, the faithfulness of God’s work. And he said,
The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he has spoken: for I am risen up in the place of David my father, and I am set upon the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and I have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. And in it I have put the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, that he made with the children of Israel (6:10-11).
And so the message of Solomon to the people was a message of the faithfulness of God.
Now he then knelt on this little brass altar or platform that he had built in the presence of the congregation of Israel, and he spread forth his hands toward heaven: and he said, O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in heaven, or in earth; which keeps your covenant, and shows the mercy to your servants, that walk before you with all your hearts (6:12-14):
No God in all the world that keeps His promises and shows mercy as You do.
Which has kept with thy servant David my father that which you have promised him; you fulfilled even as we can see today. Now therefore, O LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which you have promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as you have walked before me. Now then, O LORD God of Israel, let Your word be verified, which You have spoken unto thy servant David. But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, the heaven of heavens cannot contain you; how much less this house which I have built! Have respect therefore to the prayer of your servant, and to his supplications, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which your servant prayed before thee: That your eyes (6:15-20)
Now Lord, I know that isn’t a place for You to dwell in. I know that can’t hold You. But let Your eyes,
be open upon this house day and night (6:20),
In other words, just watch it.
And on the place where you have said that you would put your name there; to hearken to the prayer which your servant prays toward this place (6:20).
So Lord, this isn’t a place for You to dwell. Heavens can’t contain You. But this is a place where men can come and meet You. So Lord, watch this place and keep Your ear open to the prayers that come forth to You from this place.
Hearken to the supplications of thy servant, and of the people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: and hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when you hear, forgive (6:21).
So Lord, not a place for You to live. You dwell in heaven. But when we offer our prayers here, hear the prayers. “Hearken to the prayers of your servants: and hear from Your dwelling place in heaven; and when you hear, O God, forgive.”
And now he foresees situations that may arise. The broken covenants.
If a man sins against his neighbor, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house; then hear from heaven, and do, and judge your servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his ways upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous (6:22-23).
Let there be, Lord, righteousness judgment proceeding.
And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before their enemies, because they have sinned against thee (6:24);
And he now foresees these things that would transpire to the nation for sinning against God. And the first that they see, that he sees is that they would be put to the worst before their enemies.
but if they shall return and confess your name, and pray and make supplication in this house; Then hear thou from heaven, forgive thy people Israel, bring them again unto the land which you gave to their fathers. Now when the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, then hear from heaven. If there be dearth in the land, if there be a pestilence, if there be a blasting, or mildew, or locusts, or caterpillars; or if their enemies besiege their cities; or whatsoever sore or sickness there may be (6:24-28):
Whatever plague might go through.
Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people of Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men;) (6:29-30)
How many times we think we know what’s in the heart of the children. But we really don’t. We are so guilty of misjudging people’s motives. Some people are very gifted and talented in discerning the motives of others, they think. And they oftentimes read wrong motivation into a person’s actions. And they are always looking for some ulterior kind of motive.
I had a lady in one of the churches I pastored. If you would say, “Good morning. How are you today?” She’d say, “Now just what did you mean ‘Good morning’? And what are you really trying to say?” And always looking for some kind of an ulterior motive or hidden message or something. Thinking that you’re trying to talk in double-entendres or something. Using innuendoes and all. And I’ve never been sophisticated enough to use double-entendres. So it’s one of those things that only God really knows the heart and what’s in the heart of the children of men.
If the strangers come in and they come into this place and they stretch out their arms and pray; then hear from heaven. If your people go out to war against their enemies, and they shall pray toward this city; then hear from heaven and answer their supplications, maintain their cause. If they sin against thee, [and then he said] (for there is no man which sinneth not,) (6:32-36).
The Bible says, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). And Solomon, a wise man, said, “For there is no man that sinneth not.”
and you be angry with them, and deliver them before their enemies, and they are carried away as hostages into a land that is far off or near; yet if they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and they turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have dealt wickedly; if they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have been carried captives, and they pray toward this land, that you gave to their fathers, and toward this city which you have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: Hear thou from heaven, even thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee (6:36-39).
Now in this, “being carried away captive and turning towards Jerusalem and praying,” who does this remind you of? Daniel. You remember when he was in captivity in Babylon that he prayed three times daily. He’d open the windows towards Jerusalem and pray. And even the prayer of Daniel was what? The confession of sin. And it’s following, really, the pattern that he was praying according to the pattern that Solomon had given here. If they confess their sins, and say, “We have done amiss. We have dealt wickedly,” and you read the prayer of Daniel in captivity, and you know that he was familiar with this prayer of Solomon. Because he was doing exactly what Solomon had foreseen them doing in the future when carried into captivity. And so Daniel followed the pattern in his prayer.
Now, my God, I beseech thee, that thine eyes be open, thy ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice with goodness (6:40-41).
What a beautiful sight. The priests clothed with salvation and the saints of God rejoicing in the goodness of God.
O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant (6:42).
And when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house (7:1).
It’s a reminder of the dedication of the tabernacle in the wilderness where the fire of God came down and kindled the coals upon the altar and consumed the sacrifices. And the glory of God filled the tabernacle in the wilderness. And now the same thing happened as God’s glory fills the temple.
And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and they worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And then the people for seven days offered sacrifices unto the LORD. They sacrificed twenty-two thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So all of the people in the kingdom dedicated the house (7:2-5).
What a barbecue they had!
And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of music to the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all of Israel stood. Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the brazen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meal offerings, and the fat (7:6-7).
And so they just made a place out to do it in the yard there.
Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation. And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. And on the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had showed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people (7:8-10).
So that should be the way people leave the fellowship. Glad and merry in heart for the goodness of God.
And Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king's house: and all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. Now the LORD appeared (7:11-12)
After the whole celebration and the thing had died down, the Lord then appeared.
to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard your prayer, and I have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice. And if I shut up heaven that there is no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (7:12-14).
This promise of God is an answer to Solomon’s prayer. As Solomon foresaw the calamities that might befall the nation in their sinning against God, and if they turn and repent and pray, then hear Thou from Thy dwelling place in heaven. God is now answering the prayer of Solomon saying, “If these things come, and if my people who are called by my name will just humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land.”
I believe that this Scripture today is perhaps one of the most important Scriptures to be brought before the people of our nation. The people who have been called by His name. United States has been considered as a Christian nation. I didn’t say it was a Christian nation. I said it’s been considered as a Christian nation. But how far we have moved from true Christianity. How far we have moved from God in our national life, in our local life. And we see the plague that Solomon could foresee. The judgments of God. It is time for God’s people to humble themselves and pray and to seek His face and to turn from their wicked ways, because God will hear. God will forgive. And God will heal the land. That’s His promise.
Now my eyes will be open, my ears will be attentive unto the prayers that are made in this place. For I have chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually. And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and shall observe my statutes and my judgments; then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. But if you turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and you shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and I will make it to be a proverb and a byword among the nations. And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them (7:15-22).
Now God’s warning to Solomon. The warning is… It is, first of all, a promise. “Solomon, if you just walk in my ways, I’ll keep the covenant of David and I’ll prosper you on the throne. But if you forsake Me, Solomon, then I’m going to forsake you. You’re going to be cut off and these calamities are going to come. This beautiful house that you’ve built is going to be ruined. People are going to say, ‘How in the world did God allow such desolation to come?’ And people will say, ‘Because they forsook God.’”
Now many times when God warns us of something, possible danger, we say, “Oh, come, that’s all right. I’ll never be troubled there, Lord. You know, why don’t You save Your breath, God? That’s a situation I would never forsake You, Lord.” Now the Lord is warning Solomon about forsaking Him.
I have learned to heed every warning God gives, because I have found that I have never fallen but what I wasn’t warned of God beforehand. And many times when the warning came, I felt that they were totally unnecessary. I thought, That’s an area where I could never trip or be tripped up. But in the Scriptures, it is interesting that God seemed to warn people of the very thing that later became their stumbling block. Of the very thing that later on happened. And here is Solomon now still fresh with this glorious experience of the power of God demonstrated. The fire of God kindling the altar and the sacrifice. The glory of God filling the house, the cloud of God and all of this glorious experience and God is saying, “Now, Solomon, don’t forsake Me.” And I’m sure Solomon in his heart was saying, “Oh God, I could never forsake You. I could never worship other gods. There is no God like unto Thee who keeps covenants and who shows mercy. Lord, I could never forsake You.”
But what happened to Solomon? He forsook the Lord and began to worship and serve other gods. Tragic. The very thing that God warned him about was the very thing that he did. And that is so often true. Thus, we need to take heed to every warning that God gives us.
Now it came to pass at the end of twenty years, that Solomon had built both the house of the LORD, and his own palace (8:1),
He spent seven years building the house of the Lord and thirteen years building his own palace.
That the cities which Huram had restored to Solomon, he then built them up, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there (8:2).
And it gives you the names of some of the cities where he had his storehouses and he had built fortresses and some of the cities that he had fortified and all. And then in verse 11:
And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her: for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the palaces are holy, whereunto the ark of the LORD hath come (8:11).
So he realized that she wasn’t so pure or holy, and so he built another place for her so that she wouldn’t dwell in them. Now, he ought to know that that’s not the kind of a wife he should have if he has to build a separate place for her because she is not worthy to dwell in the places that were holy.
Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the LORD on the altar of the LORD, which he had built before the porch, even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles. And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests and all. And they departed not from the commandment of the king unto the priests and Levites concerning any matter, or concerning the treasures. Now all the work of Solomon was prepared unto the day of the foundation of the house of the LORD, and until it was finished. So the house of the LORD was completed. And then went Solomon to Eziongeber, and to Eloth, at the sea side in the land of Edom. And he sent out ships to Ophir to gather gold (8:12-18).
And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with difficult questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not. And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her (9:1-4).
She was wiped out. This was more than she had ever heard. She said, “Man, they told me and I couldn’t believe what they told me. But they didn’t tell me half the truth. The glory of this whole thing.” Now, “she observed the meat of his table.” If you go back to I Kings, chapter 4, it tells you the meat of Solomon’s table. His daily provision, one day, was thirty measures of fine flour. About three hundred bushels of fine flour for the pancakes everyday. Three score measures of meal or six hundred bushels. Ten fat oxen everyday. Twenty oxen, commercial grade out of the pasture. A hundred sheep, beside the harts and the roebucks and the fallow deer and the fatted fowl. Those were the daily provisions. Man, think of that. A hundred sheep everyday. Thirty oxen.
So when the queen of Sheba saw all this and the way his servants were attired and the way the cupbearers and the way he would go up to the temple of God and the whole thing, it was just too much.
She said, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of your acts, and of your wisdom: however I didn’t believe their words, until I came, and now my eyes have seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for you exceed even the fame that I heard. Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because He loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice (9:5-8).
Now, first of all, she blessed his servants. “Happy are they that serve you. Happy are they that can stand here daily and hear your wisdom.” He talked of all kinds of things: flowers, shrubs, animals; and he wrote books on these subjects. And so, “Happy are these men that can just stand here daily and listen to thy wisdom. And blessed be the Lord thy God who delighted in thee and put you on the throne.”
So she gave him a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones. And the servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, which brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones (9:9-10).
And she returned back to her land with all of her desire. Whatsoever she asked, Solomon gave to her.
Now Solomon’s annual revenue in gold was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold (9:13);
An interesting number.
Beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon. And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels each. And three hundred shields of gold: that were three hundred shekels each. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. And he made a great throne of ivory, and he overlaid it with pure gold. And there were six steps up to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on each side of the sitting place, and two lions standing by the stays: twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps. There was not like made anything in all of the kingdoms. And all the drinking vessels of king Solomon were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: none were of silver; [because that was accounted sort of gauche in those days]. And the king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart. And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, raiment, and harness, and spices, horses, and mules, at a rate year by year. And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; that he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. And he reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. And the king made silver in Jerusalem as common as stones, and cedar trees as common as the sycamore that are in the low plains. And they brought unto Solomon horses out of Egypt, and out of all lands. Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat? And Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all of Israel for forty years. And he slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead (9:14-31).
So we find now the reign of Solomon, nine chapters devoted to it. And for the remainder of II Chronicles they will give shorter accounts, because here the kingdom came to a zenith. But it is amazing how quickly you can go from the top to the bottom. How quickly this deteriorated. All of this gold that he had amassed. Vastness of his treasures. These shields and targets of pure gold. All of these cups, gold, and all of these things soon were to be taken. Soon were to be sacked by Shishak, the king of Egypt. And so the glory of the kingdom faded so very rapidly. They went from the very apex of their glory down so rapidly. At his death, just immediately the glory of the kingdom faded. It didn’t even pass on to his son. It didn’t really continue past Solomon’s death. The kingdom immediately began to deteriorate. And before his son was really established in the throne, the kingdom became divided, weakened.