Solomon was renowned for both his wealth and wisdom. Unfortunately, however, his lifestyle wasn’t pleasing to God: he took multiple wives for himself while worshipping at high places. Solomon soon realized that without a relationship with Him his wealth and knowledge were futile.
Ecclesiastes is a detailed examination of life without God.
Table of Contents
1. He was a king
As soon as Solomon became King of Israel, he beseeched God to grant him wisdom so he could rule effectively. Impressed with Solomon’s humility and generosity in asking only for wisdom rather than riches or long life, He granted his wish along with great wealth and power – including control of animals, plants, demons, spirits and humans alike!
However, in spite of his great power and blessings, according to biblical accounts Solomon fell into corruption and immorality. He amassed many wives and concubines; some began worshipping other gods – this contravened Deuteronomy law that warned kings against multiplying horses or wives or greatly increasing wealth; in addition he built temples dedicated to Ashtoreth and Milcom idols which lead to his downfall and ultimately led to its demise as well as that of his kingdom.
Solomon struggled to find meaning in life despite all his wealth and wisdom, prompting his pessimistic book Ecclesiastes about futile human effort and earthly pleasures, such as money. He lamented how money seemed like chasing wind; those chasing success often ended up frustrated and disappointed despite their best efforts; he wondered whether human spirits rose toward heaven while animal spirits descended to hell upon death, yet concluded one should enjoy whatever time we have been granted by God and not worry about future possibilities; ultimately knowing you belong to Him is priceless!
2. He was a wise man
According to biblical tradition, King Solomon petitioned God for wisdom and wealth instead of long life, which He bestowed in abundance along with an unprecedented glory. His kingdom encompassed both an upper world inhabited by angels as well as all terrestrial life that included animals, birds, insects, reptiles and fish he controlled; animals like birds were under his control as were animals such as snakes crawling across his grassy field! People came from distant nations seeking his advice. On one occasion he arbitrated between two women who claimed they each claimed to be mothers of an infant by watching how each reacted when presented with the idea of splitting it – he determined which woman truly belonged as mother by watching each individual reacting against the idea he presented them by watching how each responded when told about splitting it by seeing which mother she responded more positively when proposed splitting it.
Solomon may have been wise, yet not always used it wisely. He took hundreds of wives and concubines, built altars to idols, committed acts that violated God’s will and attempted to force the universe to bend to his will which resulted in disaster for himself and his people.
Solomon understood how the world worked, yet that did not prevent him from trying to manipulate it for his own gain. He observed that those who strive for perfect righteousness will experience joy and peace while those seeking foolishness will find only pain upon reaching its pinnacle.
Rabbinic literature holds that Solomon composed three canonical works traditionally attributed to him: Song of Songs, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. These works make up part of Jewish wisdom literature and are read at major observances throughout the year as part of Jewish wisdom literature study programs; their advice provides wisdom on relationships, finances, work life balance and more.
3. He was a good man
Solomon was an immensely wise leader who led God’s people with great wisdom in his day, yet still had many flaws that caused God to remove his kingdom from him. For example, he amassed wealth and power to the point of idolatry; amassing over 700 wives and 300 concubines while building altars to worship foreign gods – clear signs that his walk with God had gone astray – which ultimately caused Him to withdraw his authority over his realm.
Solomon’s wisdom was tested in one biblical episode when he was asked to settle a dispute between two prostitutes who both claimed the baby they’d recently given birth to as their own. Instead of applying his wisdom impartially, however, Solomon instead used it for personal gain by siding with either woman in question.
This episode illustrates how even those with good intentions can fall prey to temptation. Solomon had all he needed for success, yet eventually, his choices turned against him – this is a common thread throughout scripture, since we cannot exist without making mistakes of some sort.
Solomon warned of the perils of striving for extremes of either righteousness or unrighteousness, emphasizing how reaching either extreme can result in an empty life. Furthermore, those seeking wealth would become consumed with its pursuit and those hoarding wealth would worry that its loss would leave them sleepless at night. Furthermore, he likened attempts to hoard riches to “chasing wind”, noting how both animals and humans return to dust when death arrives – thus showing that wanting wealth can be just as futile and destructive than sinful pursuits often associated with it.
4. He was a good king
God was pleased by Solomon’s modest request and awarded him with both wealth and power, surpassing any previous ruler in ancient near eastern history. His royal splendor was unparalleled by any other ruler: gold shields adorned every room of his palace; an extravagant ivory and gold throne decorated by fleets of ships transporting precious metals for his palace and army; dominion over both heaven-dwelling angels as well as terrestrial earth with all of its inhabitants such as animals, plants and demons were under his rule; his reign also included dominion over heaven-dwelling angels as well as animals plants and demons living there!
Although Solomon achieved much, his legacy eventually was undone by vanity and religious/moral compromise. He engaged in intimate relationships with hundreds of women from nations that God forbade intermarrying between (1 Kings 11:2). Once these foreign wives worshipped their gods instead of God alone, his heart eventually drifted from His worship entirely (1 Kings 11:4). Eventually “his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was no longer fully dedicated to Him as it had been during David’s rule (1 Kings 11:4)
At times, Solomon became corrupt and unjust as king. Using his wealth and authority for idolatry, adultery, and injustice, his own son Jeroboam rebelled against him. While this story of Solomon’s downfall may seem tragic at times, it also points us toward an eventual messianic King who will restore what was lost due to human sinfulness – but also serves as a reminder that no matter how wise or powerful one may seem – sin can have lasting repercussions that affect us all personally – choosing Christ will ensure we journey safely both now and into eternity!
5. He was a great king
One of the greatest kings in history, Solomon was blessed by God with profound wisdom that enabled him to rule effectively for some time, before eventually falling victim to his own shortcomings and failings.
He allowed his vanity to take precedence over his relationship with God, engaging in intimate relations with women from foreign nations that violated Israeli law, leading them to turn away from devotion to the Lord like his father had (1 Kings 11:4). This resulted in them “turning his heart after other gods” instead of remaining completely devoted as his father had (1 Kings 11:4).
As King of Israel, Solomon amassed vast riches. Using these monies he built temples and palaces before embarking on numerous battles against other kingdoms. Unfortunately for Solomon though he also made many enemies along the way!
But Solomon was also an extraordinary philosopher and writer; his works include Song of Songs, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes among many other texts attributed to him. Additionally, several apocryphal and pseudodepigraphic works are attributed to him.
Solomon cautioned against those who sought wealth for its own sake and quickly spent it, then sought more. Instead, wise people should enjoy what they have today rather than fret over its future value.
Solomon’s final words serve as a poignant reminder that life is fleeting, and one should make the most of their limited time on this Earth. They should remember that the Lord has an ultimate purpose for each individual’s life despite any difficulties they encounter; this understanding will allow people to endure hardship with confidence knowing that whatever seems bad at first is part of His plan for goodness and ultimately good outcomes await.