When David was established as King in Jerusalem, the first thing he did was gather the nation’s leaders to find the Ark of the Covenant. 2 Chronicles 1:2-3 tells us that Solomon’s first deed was also to lead the nation to seek God. “Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to all the leaders in all Israel, the heads of fathers’ houses. And Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon, for the tent of meeting of God, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness, was there.” Just as David’s first act as King was a public demonstration of worship of the God of Israel, so too was Solomon’s first act.

The story told us by the Chronicler is said to be from the priestly perspective. The book of Kings tells us about Solomon from the kingly perspective. In Kings, we learn about Solomon’s weaknesses. In Kings, we learn about his use of slavery of Israelites to build the Temple and his Palace. We read about his susceptibility to the allurements of women, especially foreign women and how he multiplied wives and horses in contrast to the instructions in the Law. He tolerated and even participated in pagan rituals in cooperation with his wives. In the accounts recorded in the book of the Kings, we see all the weaknesses and sins of David and his son Solomon. We even see how Solomon became David’s son after he murdered Bathsheba’s husband. What’s up with this? McConville explained this well, “The Kings and Chronicles accounts, taken together, become another testimony—alongside the whole biblical picture of David—to the way in which God deigns to use great sinners in the work of his kingdom, so much so that the OT’s latest picture of Solomon does not even remember his sins.”[1]

The priestly approach to the life of Solomon ignores his sin. As the intercessors for the people, priests presented the sacrifices to God which would make atonement for their sins. God would forgive and forget.  Isaiah 43:25 says clearly, “I, yes, I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake and remembers your sins no more.” Solomon called the nation to the tent which contained the altar upon which sacrifices were made through which sins were forgiven.  Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. Thus, Solomon took the people to the altar of sacrifice. As we read in the book of Hebrews, “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” Quoting from Isaiah, the writer of Hebrews tells us, “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

[1] McConville, J. G. 1984. I & II Chronicles. The Daily Study Bible Series. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.