When King David was old, he had trouble staying warm. His attendants solved that problem by finding a hot girl to lie next to him in bed. Her name was Abishag, but he didn’t shag her. One day, David’s wife Bathsheba came to his room with a complaint.
She said David had promised that her son Solomon would be the next king. But now another son of David, Adonijah, had made himself king. Then David had Bathsheba come to his room, and he declared Solomon to be the new king of Israel.
When Adonijah heard about that, he was afraid Solomon would kill him. Solomon decided not to kill his brother for trying to become king. But then when Adonijah tried to marry Abishag, Solomon did kill him, because he thought that meant Adonijah was trying to become king. After David died, Solomon also killed a man David had sworn would not be killed, because Solomon was a wise man.
One night, after Solomon sacrificed at an unauthorized altar, God offered to give him anything he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom, because he was young and inexperienced and ignorant and didn’t know right from wrong. God was so pleased that Solomon hadn’t asked for money that he made Solomon the richest king of all time, and he also made him the wisest person of all time. Solomon later asked God to let him live as long as the sun and moon endured. But apparently God didn’t like that request as much.
After he became wise, Solomon suggested cutting a baby in half. Then he wisely decided not to let the baby be raised by a prostitute who thought his idea was a good one. (He gave the baby to a different prostitute instead.)
King Solomon ruled over many other kingdoms in addition to Israel. During his reign there was peace for Israel, except when there wasn’t. He wrote thousands of songs1 and proverbs, and studied plants and animals. People came from all over the world to hear his wisdom. But wisdom was beyond him.
In his quest for meaning in life, Solomon wisely embraced folly. He experimented with various ambitious projects, extravagant pleasures, and human rights abuses. But though he enjoyed these activities, he hated life and thought it was pointless for anyone to ever do anything, because everyone dies in the end, and nobody goes to heaven.
That fact bothered Solomon immensely for some reason, even though he thought being alive was worse than any alternatives. He thought it would be better if our meaningless lives could go on forever. He concluded that the best thing to do is to eat, drink, obey God, do good deeds, and be happy and satisfied with your meaningless, futile, anxious, sorrowful, painful toil. (Though he didn’t think enjoying your work was even possible.)
Solomon wisely used slave labor to build a wall around Jerusalem, and a temple for God that his father had been too busy fighting to build. Solomon wisely filled God’s temple with graven images. Then he wisely built a palace for himself that was much bigger than God’s house. He also wisely built a separate palace for one of his wives to live in.2
Solomon wisely disobeyed God by collecting lots of gold and silver and horses from Egypt. He received 666 talents of gold every year. Solomon wisely further disobeyed God by marrying hundreds of foreign women and worshipping their gods. He had hundreds of girlfriends as well. Solomon’s favorite lover was a princess with a nose like the tower of Lebanon, who he thought of as a sister.
The moral of the story
If you want money, don’t ask God for it. He’ll be happy to give it to you, as long as you don’t ask him for it. Don’t ask, and you shall receive.