After Solomon became the king of Israel, Jehovah asked him: ‘What would you like me to give you?’ Solomon said: ‘I am young, and I do not know what I am doing. Please give me wisdom to take care of your people.’ Jehovah said: ‘Because you asked to be wise, I will make you the wisest man on earth. I will also make you very rich. And if you obey me, you will have a long life.’
Solomon started building the temple. He used the finest gold, silver, wood, and stone. Thousands of skilled men and women worked on the temple. After seven years, the temple was ready to be dedicated to Jehovah. It had an altar, and there were offerings on it. Solomon knelt in front of the altar and prayed: ‘O Jehovah, this temple is not big enough or beautiful enough for you, but please accept our worship and listen to our prayers.’ What did Jehovah think of the temple and of Solomon’s prayer? As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from the sky and burned up the offerings on the altar. Jehovah approved of the temple. When the Israelites saw this, they rejoiced.
King Solomon was known for his wisdom throughout Israel and even in faraway places. People came to Solomon for help with their problems. Even the queen of Sheba came to test him with difficult questions. When she heard his replies, she said: ‘I did not believe what people had told me about you, but now I see that you are even wiser than they said. Your God, Jehovah, has blessed you.’ Life was good for the nation of Israel, and the people were happy. But things were about to change.