Activity: Solomon and the Eden Narrative

In this activity, you will read several passages of Scripture about King Solomon. You will then answer a few questions and look to see how his story reflects the Eden narrative.

You may read the activity and questions below, or download this pdf version.


There was a King named David who was a great king, but very flawed man. He sinned in some big ways, but he loved God and so God made a covenant with him. 

In 2 Samuel 7 God tells David that his offspring shall inherit the throne. “Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’

Well that sounds pretty glorious doesn’t it? Maybe we’re getting closer –someone who sits on an eternal throne will be qualified to crush the head of the serpent. 

So Solomon, David’s offspring, takes the throne. In 1 Kings 3:3-14 we learn that Solomon loved the Lord, and his love was so pure that God basically offers him a genie style wish. Read the passage and then we’ll have some questions:

3 Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. 4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 6 And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

Question 1: God calls Solomon to something glorious. What does he call him to? And how does Solomon pass the test?


Solomon changes the trend of the Eden Narrative. He asks for wisdom instead of personal glory. It pleases God, and so He gives Solomon incredible wisdom. He also gives him money and power too, he gives Solomon glory for doing things God’s way.

In the beginning of this story, it feels so close! Perhaps Solomon really is the one who will crush the head of the serpent!

But it doesn’t last. Deuteronomy 17:14-20 provided some guidelines for the Kings of Israel. They’re fairly simple. Read the text and then jot down a few of the rules God gives the Kings:

4 “When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ 17 And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.

18 “And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by[c] the Levitical priests. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.

Question 2: What guidelines or laws does God give to the Kings of Israel?

If Solomon could obey these rules, he would have been a great king. But here’s what 1 Kings 11 says, 

“Now King Solomon loved many foreign women… He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. 4 For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done.”

Question 3: How did Solomon disobey God and his rules from Deuteronomy 17? What do you think his rationale was?


No matter how you want to determine the number of wives that is too many for one king, I’m pretty sure 700 is far beyond the line. I’m sure he felt his decisions were justified – marrying this princess will protect our Eastern border and marrying that one will bring some much needed chariots and so on and so on. He pursued glory on his own terms instead of God’s way.

The excessive riches were an issue too. Solomon’s reign was the wealthiest time in Israel’s history. You would hope that it was a time of prosperity and joy for his people, but instead Solomon used all the wealth to build monuments to himself and foreign Gods. 

After Solomon’s death, this was his legacy. In 1 Kings 12, some leaders approach Solomon’s son and say this, 

“Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.”

Question 4: How did Solomon’s sin affect his ability to lead?

Solomon’s turn from the Lord was costly. It caused pain during his time, and then caused destruction during the reign of his son. The Kingdom of Israel would split in two and never be the same. Solomon, who in many ways really represented the best of what makes mankind great, completely fails to honor God and follow him. 

Question 5: If Solomon, who was the wisest of all people could not meet the requirements of living righteously and defeating the serpent, what does that say about us?