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It is my understanding that because he had been a soldier and shed human blood, God did not allow David to build His temple---but reserved that honor for his son, Solomon.

QUESTION: In his lifetime, did Solomon ever physically fight as a soldier or shed human blood with his own hands? His reign seem to have been, unusually, a time of peace.

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Three times in 1 Kings ch2, Solomon orders the death of a political rival (Adonijah v25, Joab v29, Shimei v46). In each case, the execution was carried out by Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, commander of the royal bodyguard. Of course Solomon himself was only "a child" at the time, and killing a man with the sword requires adult strength (compare Judges ch8 v20).

Also in 1 Kings ch11 we learn about three political adversaries. There was Hadad the Edomite (v14). There was Rezon who established the kingdom of Damascus and was "an adversary of Israel all the days of Solomon) (v25). And Solomon "sought to kill" Jeroboam, who had received ambitious promises (v40).

David had done the major work of overcoming invaders and obliging neighbours to become tributary states, but a certain degree of police work and force was necessary to maintain the kingdom even in Solomon's time. However, it looks as though Solomon was always acting through subordinates and did not use any violence in person.

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  • @I. Chekhov Sorry, I did understand that, but I thought "no there isn't" would not really count as a full answer. So I thought it would be better to give examples of Solomon not using violence in person. Also some people might think that "ordering death" could have a bearing on the moral issue. Commented May 8, 2023 at 15:02
  • Thank you, (+1)
    – DDS
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 15:20
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Solomon's reign was extraordinary, and not just due to him building a glorious temple for the Lord in Jerusalem (1 Kings 3:12). It is correct that God would not allow king David to do that, despite David drawing up the plans, doing the ground-work. In 2 Samuel ch. 7 God said through Nathan the prophet that it would be David's son, Solomon, who would build a house for God's name, but that God would establish David's house and kingdom forever: "thy throne shall be established forever" (vs. 16). Later, 1 Kings 5 mention is made of the reason for no temple being built in David's day:

"And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house [i.e. temple] unto the name of the Lord his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent. And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name." 1 Kings 5:1-5 A.V.

It seems that the reason for David not building the temple was his preoccupation with wars, but I cannot find the reason being that "his hands were full of blood" due to fighting in wars. If I have overlooked the place in the Bible which states that, please supply the text. I may well be wrong in saying it was because he was just too busy with warfare that he could not do more than plan and prepare.

However, if I am correct, then the reason why no mention is found in scripture about Solomon not being an active soldier, or a king who "shed human blood with his own hands" has nothing to do with him building the temple. There is, however, great parallelism in king Solomon's reign and the everlasting reign of the King of kings, Jesus Christ, as shown here:

"What we see, therefore, set forth in Solomon - his reign, his God given gifts and the kingdom over which he was granted to have power - all must be seen as representing the kingdom that the ultimate 'seed of David' should inherit in reality, rather than in representation. And what a representation! First, Solomon established his kingdom in righteousness, setting to rights those matters which David had, perforce, left in abeyance... Adonijah... Abiathar... Shimei..." The Glory of the Lord, Nigel Johnstone, p20, Belmont Publications 2011.

Christ establishes his Kingdom in righteousness - Acts 7:3 & Hebrews 9:12.

Satan, the rebel and would-be usurper of Christ's rule, was cast down and dealt with (as were Adonijah, Abiathar and Shimei) - Luke 17:24 & Revelation ch. 20.

Jesus said of himself, "Behold, a greater than Solomon is here" - Matthew 12:42.

Jesus also said of himself when standing in Herod's temple in Jerusalem, "In this place is one greater than the temple" - Matthew 12:6.

So, Solomon's wisdom, peaceful reign, and building of a glorious temple was but an earthly figure of Christ, who is greater than Solomon, and who is greater than any earthly temple to God in Jerusalem. And although he has the title "Prince of Peace", he also slays his enemies first. So, it is not necessary to prove that Solomon did not kill or have 'blood on his hands' in order to gain the honour of building a temple of stone on Earth. There is no temple in heavenly Jerusalem, where Christ reigns, "for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it" - Revelation 21:22

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