The Message of the Covenant

King Solomon

Chapter 6

The Message of the Covenant

1 Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a whole heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts; if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off forever. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Deuteronomy 27:15 Cursed be the man that maketh a graven or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and setteth it up in secret. And all the people shall answer and say: Amen.
(JPS) (Emphasis added)
Deuteronomy 29:17 lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; 18 and it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying: 'I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart--that the watered be swept away with the dry'; 19 the Lord will not be willing to pardon him, but then the anger of the Lord and His jealousy shall be kindled against that man, and all the curse that is written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven; 20 and the Lord shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that is written in this book of the law. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Ecclesiastes 3:15 That which is hath been long ago, and that which is to be hath already been; and God seeketh that which is pursued. (JPS)
(Emphasis added)

The Greatest Tragedy

According to the Bible, King Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived or ever will live. It is highly probable that he was also the richest man that ever lived and he also possessed many other attributes that are highly regarded and sought after by mankind.

Very few kings throughout the entire history of the world are as famous as King Solomon and few are so well remembered thousands of years after their deaths. Solomon was a very popular king, perhaps largely because Israel experienced great prosperity during his reign.

Solomon's great wisdom made him a figure to be highly respected. Since this was God given, he continues to be a figure to be revered today. It is extremely important for the reader to realize that King Solomon was probably far superior to the reader as he certainly is to the author. However, in contemplation of all of the foregoing information about the actual affairs of King Solomon, would it not be reasonable to question what all of the facts uncovered so far actually mean?

Could Solomon's life have had far more significance than that which has heretofore been attributed to it? Who would give away the Ark of the Covenant, make a counterfeit ark complete with a counterfeit and perverse law and build a temple diametrically opposed to the plans of the Lord? Did Solomon actually rule a much greater area than Israel? How did Solomon perpetrate so many serious transgressions directly against the Lord, and yet, seemingly escape serious judgment?

Perhaps a careful analysis of all aspects of Solomon's life will produce startling information.

First, however, it might be well to digress onto the fact that as it has been widely perceived that King Solomon was one of the best kings that Israel ever had, so was the perception of the author until conducting the investigations preceding this chapter. Superficial examination of King Solomon's life produces the appearance of a life characterized by extraordinary success and blessing; however, a systematic examination of that life reveals what is undoubtedly the greatest tragedy of all time.

Sukkot

According to the Torah, another observance that was missed during Solomon's celebration was the Feast of Tabernacles and it was to begin on the 15th day of the 7th month. The Hebrew name for this observance is Sukkot. On the 8th day of the Feast of Tabernacles there was to be a solemn assembly called Shmini Atzeret (Numbers 29:35). As part of the Sukkot observance, the people were supposed to make booths or huts of branches and live in them to commemorate their Exodus from Egypt because that is how they lived in the wilderness. Because of this, Sukkot is sometimes called the Feast of Booths.

The Feast of Tabernacles
Leviticus 23:33 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying: (JPS)
Leviticus 23:34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. 36 Seven days ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the Lord; on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the Lord; it is a day of solemn assembly; ye shall do no manner of servile work. 37 These are the appointed seasons of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to bring an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt-offering, and a meal-offering, a sacrifice, and drink-offerings, each on its own day; 38 beside the sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill-offerings, which ye give unto the Lord. 39 Howbeit on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruits of the land, ye shall keep the feast of the Lord seven days; on the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40 And ye shall take you on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm-trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year; it is a statute for ever in your generations; ye shall keep it in the seventh month. 42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are home-born in Israel shall dwell in booths; 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Leviticus 23:44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the appointed seasons of the Lord. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Jeremiah 8:7 Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the swallow and the crane observe the time of their coming; but My people know not the ordinance of the Lord. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Deuteronomy 16:13 Thou shalt keep the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in from thy threshing-floor and from thy winepress. (JPS)
Jeremiah 8:20 'The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.' (JPS)

Clear Evidence

Notwithstanding the imperilment now faced, it is interesting to compare some of these events to those surrounding the opening of the next temple. After the remnant returned from exile, the sacrifice began before the foundation of the building was laid. In some translations, it is noted that the sacrifice began although they were in great physical danger from other inhabitants of the land. The exact reason for that danger is because Zerubbabel refused to allow the inhabitants of the land to participate in building the temple, an act that is highly relevant as a comparison to the events from Solomon's time (Ezra 4:1-3). Recall that Solomon conscripted the inhabitants of the land to build his temple.

The following verse from Nehemiah is about the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles after the return from exile. It establishes with absolute certainty that the holy days in question were not observed during the time of Solomon. The subsequent passage from Ezra is about the events of the 7th month and the fact that they began the sacrifice before the temple was started. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the altar was dedicated properly here either, so it is likely that the only altar that was ever acceptable was the one made at Horeb. It is really not known if the altar was dedicated properly during the time of Zerubbabel, but it appears that it was not. One will notice that in Ezra 3:6, the remnant began the sacrifice on the 1st day of the 7th month.

Nehemiah 8:17 And all the congregation of them that were come back out of the captivity made booths, and dwelt in the booths; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Ezra 3:1 And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. 2 Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt-offerings thereon, as it is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. 3 And they set the altar upon its bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of the countries, and they offered burnt-offerings thereon unto the Lord, even burnt-offerings morning and evening. 4 And they kept the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt-offerings by number, according to the ordinance, as the duty of every day required; 5 and afterward the continual burnt-offering, and the offerings of the new moons, and of all the appointed seasons of the Lord that were hallowed, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill-offering unto the Lord. 6 From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt-offerings unto the Lord; but the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid. (JPS)

Solemn Assembly

Numbers 29:35 notes that there is to be a solemn assembly on the 8th day of the Feast of Tabernacles. This assembly is called Shemini Atzeret.

Numbers 29:35 On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly: ye shall do no manner of servile work; (JPS)

The word solemn has several meanings apart from its most natural meaning of sad. Over the years it has also come to be recognized as meaning something like "with full liturgical ceremony." In the Feast of Tabernacles, it is likely that a word something like penitence would be a much better choice instead of solemn for the way this observance is supposed to be conducted. Even at that, after the return from exile the Israelites only held the solemn part of this assembly for 1/4 of the day (Nehemiah 9:3, below). It is important to note that the word in Hebrew that is translated as solemn in Numbers 29:35 is not translated as solemn in all translations of the Bible and solemn may not be the best transliteration. It is conceivable that the only places where the phrase solemn assembly should be used is in 2 Chronicles 7:9 and the corresponding passage in Kings. The reason that this is apt to be the case is because solemn assemblies were integral of Baal worship and not Yahweh worship. In fact, one will note that God hates solemn assemblies and cannot bear them. The worship of Yahweh was to be done with rejoicing and praise as it still is. "Make a joyous noise" and "praise the Lord" for examples. The actions of the repentant repatriates as recorded in Nehemiah support this position.

Nehemiah 8:9 And Nehemiah, who was the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people: 'This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep.' For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. 10 Then he said unto them: 'Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy unto our Lord; neither be ye grieved; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.' 11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying: 'Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.' (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Nehemiah 9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackcloth, and earth upon them. 2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the Law of the Lord their God a fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and prostrated themselves before the Lord their God. 4 Then stood up upon the platform of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the Lord their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said: 'Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting; and let them say: Blessed be Thy glorious Name, that is exalted above all blessing and praise. (JPS) (Emphasis added)

Joy and Praise

It might be difficult to understand and put into practice, but joy and praise are extremely important in YHWH worship. These are the keywords of empowerment for both Christians and Jews alike. It is not really good to complain and grumble to the Lord. A much better approach is to rejoice in the victory that is expected. Your strength is in your joy, "for the joy of the Lord is your strength".

Deuteronomy 16:13 Thou shalt keep the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in from thy threshing-floor and from thy winepress. 14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. 15 Seven days shalt thou keep a feast unto the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord shall choose; because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the work of thy hands, and thou shalt be altogether joyful. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Deuteronomy 12:7 and there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Deuteronomy 12:12 And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your men-servants, and your maid-servants, and the Levite that is within your gates, forasmuch as he hath no portion nor inheritance with you. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Deuteronomy 12:18 but thou shalt eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, and the Levite that is within thy gates; and thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that thou puttest thy hand unto. (JPS) (Emphasis added)

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King Solomon's Other Activities

Solomon the Builder

Solomon's Dealings with Hiram

Before Solomon began building the temple, he made arrangements with Hiram, King of Tyre to secure materials and craftsmen for the project. The primary account of this is found in 1 Kings 5. Hiram had sent envoys to Solomon because he had always enjoyed a good relationship with David. In 1 Kings 5:3-6, we see the reply that Solomon sent to Hiram.

1 Kings 5:1 And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the place of his father; for Hiram always loved David. 2 And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, 3 Thou knowest that David my father could not build a house unto the name of the Lord his God, because of the wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. 4 But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side: there is neither adversary nor evil event. 5 And behold, I purpose to build a house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spoke to David my father saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy stead, he shall build a house unto my name. 6 And now command that they hew me cedar-trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants; and I will give thee hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt say; for thou knowest that there is not among us any that are experienced in cutting timber like to the Zidonians. 7 And it came to pass when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the Lord this day, who has given to David a wise son over this great people. 8 And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have heard the things which thou sentest to me for: I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of cypress. 9 My servants shall bring [them] down from Lebanon to the sea; and I will convey them by sea [in] rafts to the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be broken up there, and thou shalt receive them. And thou shalt accomplish my desire in giving food for my household. 10 So Hiram gave Solomon cedar-trees and cypress-trees [according to] all his desire. 11 And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat as food for his household, and twenty measures of beaten oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year. 12 And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom as he promised him. And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league. (Darby)

There are quite a few business deals between Solomon and Hiram recorded in Kings and Chronicles. Recall that in the previous chapter we discovered that Hiram and Solomon made a treaty, in this translation rendered as a league (1 Kings 5:12), as was forbidden by the Torah. Also, we see that after Solomon's major construction projects were completed, Solomon owed Hiram. Solomon gave Hiram several cities in the land of Galilee as payment for the various materials and services that Hiram had provided. However, Hiram was not pleased with the cities and that obviously means that Hiram got cheated. In fact, Hiram gives the cities a special name, Cabul, which means good-for-nothing or worthless. Beyond that, Jewish records apart from scripture contend that Solomon eventually regained these cities by duping Hiram with his great wisdom.

1 Kings 9:10 And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the Lord and the king's house, 11 Hiram the king of Tyre having furnished Solomon with cedar-trees and cypress-trees, and with gold, according to all his desire, -- that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. 12 And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities that Solomon had given him; and they did not please him. 13 And he said, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul to this day. (Darby)

As king of Israel, Solomon was supposedly the representative of God on earth. There are many admonitions to the Israelites about dealing fairly and honoring their word.

Deuteronomy 25:13 Do not have two differing weights in your bag-one heavy, one light. 14 Do not have two differing measures in your house-one large, one small. 15 You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. 16 For the LORD your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly. (NIV)
Hosea 12:7 [He is] a merchant, balances of deceit are in his hand; he loveth to oppress. (Darby)

It is curious that Solomon made this deal with Hiram at all because if one looks a little further back in the scripture, they will notice that David had acquired all of the materials needed for the construction of the temple before his death (1 Chronicles chapters 22, 28, 29). David does tell Solomon that he could add to the materials if he wished. However, if one looks at the reply that Solomon sent to Hiram, it rapidly becomes apparent that most of the statements that Solomon makes in it are false. For one thing, Solomon states that David was unable to build the temple because of the wars that raged during David's reign. This is not completely false because the reason that David could not build the temple was related to it, but the true reason was really because he was a man of blood; and for that, the Lord forbade him from building the temple. Besides that, the wars had been put to rest by the time that David began to consider building a temple.

1 Chronicles 22:8 But the word of the Lord came to me saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build a house unto my name, for thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. (Darby)

Fortifications

Solomon also built fortifications for protection, replacing some that had been in ruins since the conquests of David and Saul.

2 Chronicles 8:5 Also he built Beth-horon the upper, and Beth-horon the nether, fortified cities, with walls, gates, and bars; (JPS)

This point must be considered from a perspective that has rarely been experienced on earth, but in other parts of scripture one will note that it was God that gave Israel rest on every side, so why would fortifications be necessary?

Deuteronomy 12:10 But when ye go over the Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God causeth you to inherit, and He giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; (JPS)

Early in Solomon's reign, he mentions in his message to Hiram King of Tyre that the Lord had given them rest on every side. Earlier, David said the same thing.

King David
2 Samuel 7:1 And it came to pass, when the king dwelt in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies round about, (JPS)

If the Lord gave them rest and was still with them, why bother with defensive barriers? In fact, this is one of the clearest indications that the Lord was already gone.

1 Kings 5:18 But now the Lord my God hath given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary, nor evil occurrence. (JPS)
(This verse appears as 1 Kings 5:4 in many other English translations of the Bible)
1 Chronicles 23:25 For David said: 'The the Lord, the God of Israel, hath given rest unto His people, and He dwelleth in Jerusalem for ever; (JPS)
Joshua 21:43 So the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which He swore to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. 44 And the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that He swore unto their fathers; and there stood not a man of all their enemies against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 There failed not aught of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass. (JPS)
Deuteronomy 31:17 Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall come upon them; so that they will say in that day: Are not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us? 18 And I will surely hide My face in that day for all the evil which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. (JPS)

The point is, this is a clear indication that the Lord is no longer with them, He has withdrawn from them and forsaken them because they transgressed the covenant.

Isaiah 5:1 Let me sing of my well-beloved, a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. my well-beloved had a vineyard in a very fruitful hill; 2 And he digged it, and cleared it of stones, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also hewed out a vat therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. 3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. 4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? 5 And now come, I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; I will break down the fence thereof, and it shall be trodden down; 6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned nor hoed, but there shall come up briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah the plant of His delight; and He looked for justice, but behold violence; for righteousness, but behold a cry. (JPS)

The Word of the Lord after Building the Temple

While we looked at the architectural details of Solomon's Temple, one should notice that when the temple was completed, the word of the Lord came to Solomon again, similar to the way that it had come to him at Gibeon. This is no coincidence, and in retrospect, one should conclude that this was actually a warning, just as all of the other messages and appearances of the Lord to Solomon were.

1 Kings 6:11 And the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying: (JPS)
1 Kings6:12 'As for this house which thou art building, if thou wilt walk in My statutes, and execute Mine ordinances, and keep all My commandments to walk in them; then will I establish My word with thee, which I spoke unto David thy father; 13 in that I will dwell therein among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.' (JPS)

Undaunted:

1 Kings 6:14 So Solomon built the house, and finished it. (JPS)
(Emphasis added)
2 Chronicles 7:11 And Solomon completed the house of the Lord, and the king's house; and all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of the Lord, and in his own house, he did prosperously. (Darby) (Emphasis added)
Isaiah 66:1 Thus saith the Lord: The heavens are my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what is the house that ye will build unto me? and what is the place of my rest? 2 Even all these things hath my hand made, and all these things have been, saith the Lord. But to this man will I look: to the afflicted and contrite in spirit, and who trembleth at my word. 3 He that slaughtereth an ox, smiteth a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, breaketh a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, [it is as] swine's blood; he that presenteth a memorial of incense, [is as] he that blesseth an idol. As they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations, 4 I also will choose their calamities, and will bring their fears upon them; because I called, and none answered, I spoke, and they did not hear, but did that which was evil in mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delight not. (Darby) (Emphasis added)

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God of Women

One of the characteristics of the special king is that he will have no regard for the god of women. In the Jewish Publication Society translation, this phrase is rendered using the word desire, so that there can be little question that this god is the god of the sensual desire of women even though there could be some question that this is speaking of a god.

Daniel 11:37 Neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers; and neither the desire of women, nor any god, shall he regard; for he shall magnify himself above all. (JPS)

In other translations, the verse is clearly speaking of a god, but the exact nature of the god can be a mystery. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt this god is Tammuz and he is clearly mentioned in other parts of scripture such as Ezekiel 8.

Ezekiel 8:13 He said also unto me: 'Thou shalt again see yet greater abominations which they do.' 14 Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat the women weeping for Tammuz. (JPS)

Tammuz was the Akkadian or Babylonian god of vegetation known elsewhere in Sumeria as Dumuzi, the shepherd god and he is also known as the god Adonis in Greek and Roman mythology. Tammuz is still recognized today as the god of women. Most commonly in the West, Tammuz is known by the name Adonis and experts believe that Adonis has Semitic origins thereby connecting him to Tammuz.

In short, to fill in the details of mythology about Tammuz and Adonis, this god was the god of vegetation and a fertility deity. As Tammuz, he was the husband of Ishtar, a goddess of Akkadian mythology. As Adonis, there are wide variations to the legend, but generally, his beauty attracted the goddess of love, Aphrodite. In some variations of the legend, he is her son while in others, he is her consort while in other instances he is both. Nevertheless, Aphrodite was so moved by his beauty that she sheltered him and entrusted him to Persephone, the queen of the underworld for safekeeping. Persephone refused to give him back and the dispute had to be settled by Zeus who decided that Adonis would spend a third of the year with Aphrodite, a third with Persephone and a third wherever he chose. He always chose to spend 2/3 of the year with Aphrodite. One variant of the myth has it that Aphrodite's husband Hephaestus became a boar and killed Adonis, an event that recurs every year during the summer months of June and July on the Gregorian calendar. This period is known in Jewish calendars as the month of Tammuz. The death of Adonis is vicariously attributed to Artemis or Ares in other variations of the tale.

When Adonis or Tammuz dies each year, his soul is allegedly taken to the underworld by the Gallu demons. Desolation then covers the earth and Ishtar leads the lament for him. She then descends into the Netherworld to rescue him and after succeeding through several trials manages to bring him back. As a result, fertility and happiness return to the earth.

The fact that the coming king spoken of by Daniel will have no regard for the god of women deserves some careful consideration because there are many facets to it and it has far deeper meaning than simply being a god of women or idol. Some have come to the preposterous conclusion that this person will be gay, but the true meaning is that this man is a god of women; therefore, he will have no reason to regard the god of women because he is literally everything that this god is fanaticized to be - at least in his own eyes. On the prurient level, Solomon must surely have been quite handsome because we know that his mother was extremely beautiful, David was noted for being handsome as were several of his half-brothers such as Absalom and Adonijah. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the aspect of physical beauty embodied in Adonis or Tammuz could easily have been fulfilled by Solomon.

David
1 Samuel 16:12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of beautiful eyes, and goodly to look upon. And the Lord said: 'Arise, anoint him; for this is he.' (JPS)
1 Samuel 17:42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and withal of a fair countenance. (JPS)
Bathsheba
2 Samuel 11:2 And it came to pass at eventide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house; and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. (JPS)

To take the prurient a bit further, it is an unusual man that can maintain a happy household of a thousand women. Solomon's command of the sword wielding Benaiah no doubt helped maintain serenity. Jewish records apart from scripture maintain that Solomon's wives and concubines prepared elaborate meals each day in hopes of enticing his attention. Not only that, but in other parts of scripture it is clear that Solomon had many other women on the side apart from his thousand wives and concubines. Now, this without a doubt is an exceptional man in anyone's book. It is difficult to imagine how he found the time for all of this since he only lived into his fifties, but there are mentions by the prophets of one renewing his strength.

It would be reasonable to conclude that the man must have been a legendary lover and literally, a god of women. If not that, one would think he would at least be a contender for that distinction. Perhaps this was the true reason that the Queen of Sheba traveled so far to visit Solomon. The Bible says that she heard of the fame of Solomon, but exactly what she had heard is unclear. The god of women is Tammuz the fertility god and there is an incredibly interesting parallel between Solomon and Tammuz in that this god is also known as the "Child of the Abyss." There are several other instances where this term, "Child of the Abyss," occurs in ancillary details regarding Solomon such as the legend behind the lilies that adorned various features of the temple.

Apart from that, there are several additional elements to all of this that are fascinating. The god of women under the name Adonis is also a variation of the name for God sometimes used in the Bible. This name sometimes appears in Hebrew scripture as Adonai, which in Hebrew means Lord or Master. It is not common to Christian scripture. It is one of the names used to refer to YHWH in Jewish tradition when the Tetragrammaton appears in scripture. In those instances, the names Adonai or Ha-Shem are the appropriate utterances. Parenthetically, the Tetragrammaton is the four letter YHWH or JHWH, "THE NAME," the name of the Lord. Tetra means four and grammaton means letters.

Adonai: Hebrew word meaning "my lord, my master", from adon, "lord, master". From Hellenistic times onward it was used verbally to replace the written Yahweh. When the tetragrammaton (JHWH) appears in the Biblical text, it is usual to read it out load either as Adonai or as Ha-Shem ("The Name").

At least as far back as the time of Ezra only the Kohen Gadol, that is to say the high priest was allowed to say the Tetragrammaton. This was only allowed during Yom Kippur as he entered the Holy of Holies bringing the blood of atonement. Behind the four letter NAME one finds the following concepts: HYH, (Hayah,) means was; HVH, (Hoveh) means is; YHY, (Yehiyeh) means will be. Combining these words produces the essence of past, present, and future, comprising the four- letter Name of God, THE NAME, YHWH.

YHWH fills all space and time simultaneously. (Melo khol ha-aretz kevodo).

"Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh, YHVH tzvaot melo kol haaretz kevodo." In English, this means something like: "Holy, Holy, Holy, YHVH the whole universe is filled with his glory."

The Tetragrammaton YHWH or YHVH also represents a number or a series of numbers as do all words in Hebrew. Yod = 10, He = 5, Vav = 6 and He = 5 and this adds up to 26.

Solomon's Splendor

After the account of the visit of the Queen of Sheba, the story of Solomon's splendor appears in both Kings and Chronicles. Splendor is an interesting word and if one looks it up in a thesaurus, they will find similar words such as glory, majesty, greatness and other similar terms. Looking into words such as glory, one finds more similar words such as distinction, renown, prominence and mark, for example.

Solomon's Splendor
1 Kings 10:13 And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, besides what he gave her of the bounty of king Solomon. And she turned and went to her own land, she and her servants. 14 And the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty-six (666) talents of gold, 15 besides what [came] by the dealers, and by the traffic of the merchants, and by all the kings of Arabia, and by the governors of the country. 16 And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold, -- he applied six hundred [shekels] of gold to one target; 17 and three hundred shields of beaten gold, -- he applied three minas of gold to one shield; and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. 18 And the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with refined gold: 19 the throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was rounded behind; and there were arms on each side at the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the arms; 20 and twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: (6-6-6) there was not the like made in any kingdom. 21 And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of precious gold: none were of silver, [which] was not of the least account in the days of Solomon. 22 For the king had on the sea a Tarshish-fleet, with the fleet of Hiram: once in three years came the Tarshish-fleet, bringing gold and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. 23 And king Solomon was greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. 24 And all the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 25 And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and clothing, and armour, and spices, horses and mules, a rate year by year. 26 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; and he had a thousand four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; and he placed them in the chariot-cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. 27 And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he as the sycamores that are in the lowland for abundance. 28 And the exportation of horses that Solomon had was from Egypt: a caravan of the king's merchants fetched a drove [of horses], at a price. 29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred [shekels] of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty; and so they brought [them] by their means, for all the kings of the Hittites and for the kings of Syria. (Darby)

It appears that Solomon's splendor, or mark, is 666. If one had ever heard of any significance to that number, that person might conclude that this is some sort of a sign. Incidentally, while this number is generally perceived to represent evil, this is probably not the case at all. It is probably simply a clear indication of the counterfeit of the true Messiah.

Deuteronomy 17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein; and shalt say: 'I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are round about me'; 15 thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose; one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou mayest not put a foreigner over thee, who is not thy brother. 16 Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses; forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you: 'Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.' 17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. (JPS)

While this work looks at the major events that are noted about Solomon, there are many more details. There isn't much that is recorded about Solomon that isn't directly contrary to God's precepts and most of his acts were subject to the death penalty. While some might contend that Solomon was special, there is no effort to argue that point because there is every indication that indeed he was. In fact, he is probably the most special man that ever lived. It appears that Solomon had his own agenda and he certainly persisted in going his own way. One may wonder how Solomon got by with all of this. Well, he didn't, it's just that he secured very special treatment for being such a special person.

Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose their calamities, and will bring their fears upon them; because I called, and none answered, I spoke, and they did not hear, but did that which was evil in mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delight not. (Darby)

Putting all of this together, one sees that Solomon is actually the "Son of Perdition" that is mentioned in other parts of the Bible or that special "Man of Sin."

Deuteronomy 29:18 Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. 19 When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, "I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way." This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. 20 The LORD will never be willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall upon him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven. 21 The LORD will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law. (NIV)
2 Thesseloninians 2:1 Now we beg you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him, 2 that ye be not soon shaken in mind, nor troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as [if it were] by us, as that the day of the Lord is present. 3 Let not any one deceive you in any manner, because [it will not be] unless the apostasy have first come, and the man of sin have been revealed, the son of perdition; 4 who opposes and exalts himself on high against all called God, or object of veneration; so that he himself sits down in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Do ye not remember that, being yet with you, I said these things to you? 6 And now ye know that which restrains, that he should be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness already works; only [there is] he who restrains now until he be gone, 8 and then the lawless one shall be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall consume with the breath of his mouth, and shall annul by the appearing of his coming; 9 whose coming is according to the working of Satan in all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, 10 and in all deceit of unrighteousness to them that perish, because they have not received the love of the truth that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God sends to them a working of error, that they should believe what is false, 12 that all might be judged who have not believed the truth, but have found pleasure in unrighteousness. (Darby)
1 Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and discerns all the imaginations of the thoughts. If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cut thee off for ever. (Darby)

There is another mention of someone with similar symbolism to Solomon. This is Adonikam and his name means, "whom the Lord sets up." Adonikam returned from the Babylonian exile or Diaspora with Zerubbabel. Adonikam is noted with the 666th child. Nevertheless, Adonikam is referred to as Adonijah in other parts of the scripture so it is unlikely that he was the target of destruction. Apart from this, there is very little information about him. The significant information is that his name is associated with the number 666. Therefore, "whom the Lord sets up" is associated with the number 666. This thought is similar to, "Yahweh will establish thy throne forever."

The King of Kings

Solomon's wisdom made him very famous and all of the kings of the earth sought an audience with him. Realistically, Solomon was the king of the world and ruled a much larger area than just Israel.

1 Kings 10:23 So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. 24 And all the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 25 And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
1 Kings 5:1 And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt; they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
(Note: This verse appears as 1 Kings 4:21 in many English translations of the Bible)
1 Kings 5:4 For he had dominion over all the region on this side the River, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all the kings on this side the River; and he had peace on all sides round about him. (JPS)
(Note: This verse appears as 1 Kings 4:24 in many other English Translations.)

If one considers the information presented in 1 Kings 5 very carefully, it is of interest that the boundaries described are much larger than those normally ascribed to Solomon's kingdom. It is also fascinating that Solomon "ruled over all the kingdoms" and, "over all the kings." In fact, this means that Solomon was a king of kings. It is widely recognized that the river spoken of in this verse is the Euphrates River and this would comprise a large area.

The included map attempts to reconstruct the boundaries of this area as set forth in scripture. The real point in doing this is to establish that certain subsequent scripture applies to Solomon. There are passages from the prophets from years later that reveal a great many details about someone in particular, but it has always been difficult to imagine exactly who these verses applied to.

King Solomon's Realm

Map

If one reconstructs the scriptural boundaries of Solomon's kingdom, the Bible clearly says that he actually ruled over all of the kingdoms west of the Euphrates and this must include Tyre. In other passages of scripture, it is declared that Solomon ruled over Lebanon and this further supports that that he ruled over Tyre. While we know that Hiram was the King of Tyre, we also know that Solomon "ruled over all the kingdoms" and, "over all the kings" west of the Euphrates. Now, it is certain that Tyre was west of the Euphrates; therefore, Solomon must have ruled Tyre.

The following scripture is from Ezekiel and it regards a prince of Tyre. There is a clue as to his identity in the verse because it makes mention of his wisdom.

Ezekiel 28:2 'Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyre: Thus saith the Lord GOD: because thy heart is lifted up, and thou hast said: I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the heart of the seas; yet thou art man, and not God, though thou didst set thy heart as the heart of God-- 3 Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel! there is no secret that they can hide from thee! 4 By thy wisdom and by thy discernment thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures; 5 In thy great wisdom by thy traffic hast thou increased thy riches, and thy heart is lifted up because of thy riches-(JPS) (Emphasis added)
1 Kings 3:10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. (JPS)
1 Kings 3:12 behold, I have done according to thy word: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there hath been none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. (JPS) (Emphasis added)

The previous scripture notes that the prince of Tyre is wiser than Daniel. Daniel along with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were given wisdom by God in all kinds of understanding, and Daniel was given the additional ability of interpreting visions and dreams. It is unlikely that the prince referred to by Ezekiel is Hiram King of Tyre, especially since he was so easily duped by Solomon, and there is little mention of any other specific ruler of Tyre. No matter how one looks at this, the characteristic of great wisdom exceeding that of Daniel limits the field of possibilities considerably.

Daniel 1:17 Now as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. (JPS)
Daniel 5:10 Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house; the queen spoke and said: 'O king, live for ever! let not thy thoughts affright thee, nor let thy countenance be changed; 11 there is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; and the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made him master of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers; 12 forasmuch as a surpassing spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and declaring of riddles, and loosing of knots, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will declare the interpretation.' 13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. The king spoke and said unto Daniel: 'Art thou Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Judah? 14 I have heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and surpassing wisdom is found in thee. 15 And now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof; but they could not declare the interpretation of the thing. (JPS)

While it has not been possible to find the exact statement that Daniel was the second wisest man that ever lived, there is additional evidence apart from scripture that that is the case. Rabbinical records do not say that he was second wisest man, but the following information from the Jewish Encyclopedia contains material condensed from several sources that points strongly to that conclusion.

Even in his youth, when he convicted the false witnesses against the pious and beautiful Susanna, Daniel gave proof of that wisdom (see Susanna, The Book of) which afterward made him so famous that it was said of him, "If he were in one scale of the balance and all the wise men of the heathens in the other, he would outweigh them all" (see Yoma 77a). When the king Nebuchadnezzar heard Daniel reproduce the dream which he had had, he could not doubt the truthfulness of his interpretation (Tan., ed. Buber, i. 191). (Jewish Encyclopedia)
Jeremiah 8:9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken; lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them? (JPS)
Job 5:8 But as for me, I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause; 9 Who doeth great things and unsearchable, marvellous things without number; 10 Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields; 11 So that He setteth up on high those that are low, and those that mourn are exalted to safety. 12 He frustrateth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands can perform nothing substantial. 13 He taketh the wise in their own craftiness; and the counsel of the wily is carried headlong. 14 They meet with darkness in the day-time, and grope at noonday as in the night. (JPS) (Emphasis added)

More than a Temporal Ruler

There are indications from sources aside from the Bible that Solomon ruled more than just temporal powers. There are references to these things in ancient sources apart from accepted scripture, so one must make his or her own determination as to the validity of this information. Notwithstanding, it seems that the idea that Solomon had unusual capabilities far beyond wisdom was widespread in ancient times.

His Realm
On account of his modest request for wisdom only, Solomon was rewarded with riches and an unprecedentedly glorious reign (comp. I Kings iii. 13, v. 1 et seq.). His realm is described by the Rabbis as having extended, before his fall (see below), over the upper world inhabited by the angels and over the whole of the terrestrial globe with all its inhabitants,including all the beasts, fowls, and reptiles, as well as the demons and spirits. His reign was then so glorious that the moon never decreased, and good prevailed over evil. His control over the demons, spirits, and animals augmented his splendor, the demons bringing him precious stones, besides water from distant countries to irrigate his exotic plants. The beasts and fowls of their own accord entered the kitchen of Solomon's palace, so that they might be used as food for him. Extravagant meals for him (comp. I Kings iv. 22-23) were prepared daily by each of his thousand wives, with the thought that perhaps the king would feast on that day in her house (Meg. 11b; Sanh. 20b; B. M. 86b; Gen. R. xxxiv. 17; Cant. R. l.c.; Eccl. R. ii. 5; Targ. Sheni l.c.).
(Jewish Encyclopedia; Solomon; By: Emil G. Hirsch, Ira Maurice Price, Wilhelm Bacher, M. Seligsohn, Mary W. Montgomery, Crawford Howell Toy)
Ecclesiastes 10:20 Curse not the king, no, not in thy thought, and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber; for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. (JPS)
The Testament of Solomon
By: Crawford Howell Toy
The Testament professes to be Solomon's own account of certain experiences of his during the building of the Temple. Learning that his chief overseer was plagued by a demon who every evening took the half of his wages and his food, and drew the life out of him by sucking the thumb of his right hand, he appealed for help to God, and received through the angel Michael a seal-ring of magic power. With this he controlled the offending demon, and forced him to bring the chief of the demons, Beelzebub. The latter then was compelled to bring another, and he another, till there had appeared before the king a great number of them, of both sexes, and of such variety and dreadfulness of form as the imagination of the author could conceive. To each Solomon addresses a series of questions: the demon is compelled to give his name and abode (especially to say with what star he is connected), his origin (from what angel), to describe his malefic functions, to say what angel has power over him, and, in some cases, to tell the word (usually a divine name) by which he may be driven away. Some of the names of the angels and demons are familiar; others are strange or unintelligible, perhaps corrupt forms. Probably they were not invented by the author (though this may be true of some of them), but were the product of centuries of magical tradition. At the end of the Testament, Solomon's fall into idolatry and his consequent loss of power over the demons are attributed to his infatuation for a Jebusite woman, who acquired power over him by magic.
The book is a crude formulation of conceptions regarding demonic power that were almost universal in the Jewish and the Christian world for many centuries (see Magic). The belief that Solomon had power over demons is found as early as Josephus ("Ant." viii. 2, §, 5); the Book of Enoch shows the disposition to multiply demonic names; and the character of Asmodeus in the Testament is taken from the Book of Tobit. (Jewish Encyclopedia)

The Popular King

Solomon was one of the most popular kings that Israel ever had and this was probably because the nation experienced great prosperity while he was the king. Nevertheless, it has always been clear that Solomon broke the covenant and this is the exact cause all of the unfortunate events that have been Israel's history since that time. Perhaps this has not been clearly thought through previously, but Solomon actually caused Israel to divide and this was the beginning of the desolation. Israel's prosperity during Solomon's reign was probably the result of David's reign just as economic prosperity today is actually the result of events from years or even decades before the time that it is enjoyed. Israel divided before Solomon died and it is certain that this was the result of breaking the covenant.

Jeremiah 6:13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely. 14 And they have healed the breach of the daughter of my people lightly, saying, Peace, peace! when there is no peace. 15 Are they ashamed that they have committed abomination? Nay, they are not at all ashamed, neither know they what it is to blush. Therefore they shall fall among them that fall; at the time that I visit them they shall stumble, saith the Lord. 16 Thus saith the Lord: Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the ancient paths, which is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein]. (Darby)

The King

Deuteronomy 17:14 When thou comest unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are about me; 15 thou shalt only set him king over thee whom the Lord thy God will choose: from among thy brethren shalt thou set a king over thee; thou mayest not set a foreigner over thee, who is not thy brother. 16 Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor lead back the people to Egypt, to multiply horses; for the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall not return again any more that way. 17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. 18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests, the Levites; 19 and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them; 20 that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left; that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his sons, in the midst of Israel. (Darby) (Emphasis added)
2 Chronicles 9:25 And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. (JPS)
2 Chronicles 9:28 And they brought horses for Solomon out of Egypt, and out of all lands. (JPS)
1 Kings 11:1 Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, besides the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; 2 of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel: 'Ye shall not go among them, neither shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods'; Solomon did cleave unto these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. (JPS)
1 Kings 9:20 And all king Solomon's drinking-vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; silver was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. (JPS)
2 Chronicles 9:27 And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycamore-trees that are in the Lowland, for abundance. (JPS)

The Verdict

It is interesting to note that the first few things Solomon did as king were a series of transgressions any one of which would have caused King David to endure serious judgments, and many others to probably be smitten, but Solomon seems to be able to get by with absolutely anything.

Hebrews 12:7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. (NIV) (Emphasis added)
Hebrews 12:7 Ye endure for chastening, God conducts himself towards you as towards sons; for who is the son that the father chastens not? 8 But if ye are without chastening, of which all have been made partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (Darby) (Emphasis added)

For some unknown reason, no one seems to have ever considered these events carefully and the reason why Solomon got by with all of this and there was no judgment against him during his lifetime. He does receive a number of warnings, but there is no calamity for a very long time. In fact, the only apparent judgment against Solomon was near the end of his life when the kingdom was divided, and yet, even then God allowed Solomon to rule part of the kingdom because of the promise to David. If King David had even hinted about doing many of the things that Solomon actually does, great disasters would have ensued. While it seems odd that Solomon can seemingly get by with almost anything, upon deeper examination it becomes clear in Isaiah 66 that Solomon has been singled out for very special treatment.

Isaiah 66:1 Thus saith the Lord: the heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool; where is the house that ye may build unto Me? And where is the place that may be My resting-place? 2 For all these things hath My hand made, and so all these things came to be, saith the Lord; but on this man will I look, even on him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word. 3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he broke a dog's neck; he that offereth a meal-offering, as if he offered swine's blood; he that maketh a memorial-offering of frankincense, as if he blessed an idol; according as they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations; 4 Even so I will choose their mockings, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did not hear, but they did that which was evil in Mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. 5 Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His word: your brethren that hate you, that cast you out for My name's sake, have said: 'Let the Lord be glorified, that we may gaze upon your joy', but they shall be ashamed. 6 Hark! an uproar from the city, Hark! it cometh from the temple, Hark! the Lord rendereth recompense to His enemies. 7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child. 8 Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Is a land born in one day? Is a nation brought forth at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. 9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord; shall I that cause to bring forth shut the womb? saith thy God. 10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her; rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her; 11 That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breast of her consolations; that ye may drink deeply with delight of the abundance of her glory. 12 For thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream, and ye shall suck thereof: ye shall be borne upon the side, and shall be dandled upon the knees. 13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like young grass; and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward His servants, and He will have indignation against His enemies. 15 For, behold, the Lord will come in fire, and His chariots shall be like the whirlwind; to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For by fire will the Lord contend, and by His sword with all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many. 17 They that sanctify themselves and purify themselves to go unto the gardens, behind one in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the detestable thing, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord. 18 For I know their works and their thoughts; the time cometh, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and shall see My glory. 19 And I will work a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brethren out of all the nations for an offering unto the Lord, upon horses, and in chariots, and in fitters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring their offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. 21 And of them also will I take for the priests and for the Levites, saith the Lord. 22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord. 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have rebelled against Me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (JPS) (Emphasis added)

Solomon's Death

We know for certain that Solomon died in about 922 BC and was buried in the City of David.

2 Chronicles 9:30 And Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 31 And Solomon slept with his fathers; they buried him in the city of David his father; and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead. (JPS)

While this is known, keep in mind that the exact year of Solomon's death is subject to variation depending upon which sources one uses and any historical details from this far back are likely to have some inaccuracy, even using the most reliable sources. In other words, the exact year can only be regarded as a general time period or epoch. Since the date used here is from the Gregorian calendar, there are some substantial additional prospects for error because there are errors in the calendar. Even if one used the Hebrew calendar, there are still apt to be errors in the exact date of something that happened 3000 years ago. What does emerge is a clear picture that Solomon has been dead for about 3000 years.

Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and the Lord carried me out in a spirit, and set me down in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones; 2 and He caused me to pass by them round about, and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3 And He said unto me: 'Son of man, can these bones live?' And I answered: 'O Lord GOD, Thou knowest.' 4 Then He said unto me: 'Prophesy over these bones, and say unto them: O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord: 5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.' 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a commotion, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I beheld, and, lo, there were sinews upon them, and flesh came up, and skin covered them above; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then said He unto me: 'Prophesy unto the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.' 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great host. 11 Then He said unto me: 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say: Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off. 12 Therefore prophesy, and say unto them: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves, O My people. (JPS) (Emphasis added)

While the previous passage is not specifically about Solomon, it does communicate how people can be raised from the dead. Obviously, Solomon will be raised from the dead in order to complete his duties as the "Man of Sin" or "Son of Perdition" at the end of days. The man that fulfills this role will be a counterfeit of the true Messiah and obviously Solomon fulfills every requirement perfectly. Solomon has been dead about 3000 years. When one considers that in the eyes of God a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day, it is logical to speculate that Solomon probably will be resurrected on the third day as the "price of peace."

Hosea 6:1 'Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for He hath torn, and He will heal us, He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. 2 After two days will He revive us, on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His presence. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Psalms 90:1 A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. 3 Thou turnest man to contrition; and sayest: 'Return, ye children of men.' 4 For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. 5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep; in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. 6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. 7 For we are consumed in Thine anger, and by Thy wrath are we hurried away. 8 Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance. 9 For all our days are passed away in Thy wrath; we bring our years to an end as a tale that is told. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
2 Peter 3:8 But let not this one thing be hidden from you, beloved, that one day with [the] Lord [is] as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 [The] Lord does not delay his promise, as some account of delay, but is longsuffering towards you, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of [the] Lord will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and [the] elements, burning with heat, shall be dissolved, and [the] earth and the works in it shall be burnt up. (Darby) (Emphasis added)

This is just as the true Messiah did except in that case, it was on the third 24-hour day. This will possibly repeat on a thousand-year day as the time of His return. It appears that there is about a 70-year overlap where Y'shua as the Messiah and Solomon as the Antichrist could both appear on the third thousand-year day.

While some might accuse the author of setting dates, many are readily able to perceive that a 70-year window is certainly not setting a day or an hour according to the prohibition of scripture; but rather, this clearly consists of an exploration of the possibility of a 70-year epoch or "season" where these events are likely. To illustrate what a day and hour actually consists of, an example is herein presented. In this instance, a "day and hour" is elucidated to mean specifically a particular day of a particular month of a particular year - all of which are normally expressed with numbers; a particular hour is defined as that which could ordinarily be expressed by a variable such as X o'clock. An astute individual would obviously substitute a particular number between 1 and 12 or 0 and 24 for the variable X depending upon the particular system of time to which they are accustomed. 70 years based on indefinite calendars obviously merely presents the vaguest of "seasons." While there is no doubt that scripture presents a general prohibition against setting dates, an act that would fall within the guidelines above, it is also clearly stated that one should be able to perceive seasons. The clearest indication of that is simply that Israel has been reformulated as a nation.

The name Solomon means peace, and therefore, he was and will be the "prince of peace." It should be obvious the he cannot be the true Prince of Peace, however, because the individual is God in the flesh. Solomon will be an excellent counterfeit of the true "Prince of Peace," at least at first. After all, he truly is the "prince of peace" by name. We also know that "if one comes in his own name," he "will be accepted."

John 5:39 Ye search the scriptures, for ye think that in them ye have life eternal, and they it is which bear witness concerning me; 40 and ye will not come to me that ye might have life. 41 I do not receive glory from men, 42 but I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. (Darby)
John 5:43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not; if another come in his own name, him ye will receive. (Darby)
(Emphasis added)
John 5:44 How can ye believe, who receive glory one of another, and seek not the glory which [comes] from God alone? (Darby)
John 5:45 Think not that I will accuse you to the Father: there is [one] who accuses you, Moses, on whom ye trust; 46 for if ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye do not believe his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (Darby) (Emphasis added)

Who else could come in his own name? Evidently, King Solomon was and will be the "king of kings" through the wisdom that God put in his heart. However, he was not and is not the true "King of Kings." While it has always been somewhat hard to envision how someone could be raised from the dead solely by Satanic power, it is clear that it is the hand of God that will be behind this to complete the calamity that was chosen. King Solomon has been in the Abyss since the time of his death and he will be let out near the End of Days. It is important to recall that this is not necessarily a far-fetched idea because the notion that the Antichrist will be raised from the dead occurs in prophecy.

Daniel 11:36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak strange things against the God of gods; and he shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that which is determined shall be done. 37 Neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers; and neither the desire of women, nor any god, shall he regard; for he shall magnify himself above all. (JPS)

The End of the Matter

It is well to consider what Solomon had to say about things in general due to the conclusions of this investigation. There are a few bits of scripture that Solomon wrote personally that are most revealing; perhaps none more than the following quotes.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember then thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say: 'I have no pleasure in them'; (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Ecclesiastes 12:2 Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars, are darkened, and the clouds return after the rain; 3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out shall be darkened in the windows, (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Ecclesiastes 12:13 The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole man. (JPS)
(Emphasis added)
Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into the judgment concerning every hidden thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil. (JPS) (Emphasis added)

Ecclesiastes

Reiterating and expanding the examination of the true nature of the book of Ecclesiastes, recall that it is extremely important to bring to mind the character of Ecclesiastes to any references from that book because this aspect alone is highly enlightening.

The Book of Ecclesiastes was penned by Solomon toward the end of his life and expresses many of his personal thoughts. It would not be far-fetched to refer to the book as Solomon's lament. Apart from Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote several portions of the Bible including the Song of Songs known to many as the Song of Solomon, many Proverbs and several Psalms. It is also probable that he wrote several other books that are not part of the canonical Bible. It should be conspicuous that some of the ideas presented in these books that are included in the canonical Bible seemingly conflict with other Biblical doctrine, especially from the Torah. Some of the other books apart from the Tanakh that are attributed to him lend great support to the evidence that he was heavily involved in the occult.

It should be noted that God put the wisdom into Solomon's heart and that he was the wisest man that ever lived so his teaching should not be ignored. The reason for the philosophical dichotomy is that Solomon's thoughts are those of a man juxtaposed with the precepts of God in other scripture. This is particularly evident when Solomon's precepts are considered opposed to the teachings of Y'shua. It is revealing to consider Solomon's words as those of a man in a great plight - the greatest dilemma of all time - rather than as a model for living as most scripture is. Many have pointed to Ecclesiastes as a proof that the Bible contradicts itself, but these views all fail to take into account the true nature and context of Ecclesiastes, that being, a book written by the Son of Perdition, the Man of Sin or the Antichrist.

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon reflects and laments upon his life and examines some aspects of it such as his pursuit of wisdom and knowledge, his wild living and hedonism, his immersion into work and his unbridled pursuit of wealth. It is useful to note that Solomon achieved a great deal in all of these pursuits and probably eclipsed the success of all other men that ever existed in each area of endeavor, nevertheless he found that his successes were unsatisfying and empty. Actually, what appear to be great successes among men were actually catastrophic failures, but this has never really been appreciated.

We know for certain that Solomon was both the richest and wisest man that ever lived. Since he had a harem of 1000 women, it is safe to purport that he would at least be a contender for the title of all-time-greatest hedonist. Perhaps the main thesis of Ecclesiastes is that Solomon concluded that without God, everything is futile and meaningless in the end. So many times, Solomon mentions that everything was simply striving after the wind and he was undoubtedly the most successful man by the world's standards that has lived or ever will live. In retrospect, after completion of the book at hand, the reader may conclude that Ecclesiastes records, reflects and laments upon the greatest tragedy of all of history.

The Shepherd

There is a bit more revealing information in Ecclesiastes 12:11. This verse is extremely enlightening when considered with other passages of scripture. The full implications are monumental. Notice that at the end of Ecclesiastes 12:11 Solomon refers to himself as a shepherd.

Ecclesiastes 12:9 And besides that Koheleth was wise, he also taught the people knowledge; yea, he pondered, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. 10 Koheleth sought to find out words of delight, and that which was written uprightly, even words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails well fastened are those that are composed in collections; they are given from one shepherd. 12 And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13 The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole man. 14 For God shall bring every work into the judgment concerning every hidden thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Zechariah 11:15 And the Lord said unto me: 'Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. 16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, who will not think of those that are cut off, neither will seek those that are young, nor heal that which is broken; neither will he feed that which standeth still, but he will eat the flesh of the fat, and will break their hoofs in pieces.' 17 Woe to the worthless shepherd that leaveth the flock! The sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye; his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Ezekiel 34:2 'Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, even to the shepherds: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Woe unto the shepherds of Israel that have fed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the sheep? 3 Ye did eat the fat, and ye clothed you with the wool, ye killed the fatlings; but ye fed not the sheep. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Ezekiel 34:8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely forasmuch as My sheep became a prey, and My sheep became food to all the beasts of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did My shepherds search for My sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not My sheep; 9 therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 Thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require My sheep at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the sheep; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; and I will deliver My sheep from their mouth, that they may not be food for them. (JPS)
1 King 5:2 And Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal; 3 ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and a hundred sheep, beside harts, and gazelles, and roebucks, and fatted fowl. (JPS)
(Appears at 1 Kings 4:22 in many translations)

It is useful to note that there is quite a bit of historical legend apart from the Bible that supports the position that Solomon became relatively heavy in later years due to the abundance of fine food. Some Jewish legends maintain that each of his 1000 wives and concubines prepared a meal for him daily in hopes of attracting his attention and affection.

Solomon's Realm
On account of his modest request for wisdom only, Solomon was rewarded with riches and an unprecedentedly glorious reign (comp. I Kings iii. 13, v. 1 et seq.). His realm is described by the Rabbis as having extended, before his fall (see below), over the upper world inhabited by the angels and over the whole of the terrestrial globe with all its inhabitants,including all the beasts, fowls, and reptiles, as well as the demons and spirits. His reign was then so glorious that the moon never decreased, and good prevailed over evil. His control over the demons, spirits, and animals augmented his splendor, the demons bringing him precious stones, besides water from distant countries to irrigate his exotic plants. The beasts and fowls of their own accord entered the kitchen of Solomon's palace, so that they might be used as food for him. Extravagant meals for him (comp. I Kings iv. 22-23) were prepared daily by each of his thousand wives, with the thought that perhaps the king would feast on that day in her house (Meg. 11b; Sanh. 20b; B. M. 86b; Gen. R. xxxiv. 17; Cant. R. l.c.; Eccl. R. ii. 5; Targ. Sheni l.c.).
(Jewish Encyclopedia; Solomon; By: Emil G. Hirsch, Ira Maurice Price, Wilhelm Bacher, M. Seligsohn, Mary W. Montgomery, Crawford Howell Toy) (Emphasis added)
Deuteronomy 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked--thou didst wax fat, thou didst grow thick, thou didst become gross--and he forsook God who made him, and contemned the Rock of his salvation. 16 They roused Him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations did they provoke Him. 17 They sacrificed unto demons, no-gods, gods that they knew not, new gods that came up of late, which your fathers dreaded not. 18 Of the Rock that begot thee thou wast unmindful, and didst forget God that bore thee. 19 And the Lord saw, and spurned, because of the provoking of His sons and His daughters. 20 And He said: 'I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faithfulness. 21 They have roused Me to jealousy with a no-god; they have provoked Me with their vanities; and I will rouse them to jealousy with a no-people; I will provoke them with a vile nation. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Jeremiah 5:26 For among my people are found wicked [men]: they lay wait, as fowlers stoop down; they set a trap, they catch men. 27 As a cage full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and have enriched themselves. 28 They are become fat, they shine, yea, they surpass in deeds of wickedness; they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, and they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not adjudge. 29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 30 An appalling and horrible thing is committed in the land: 31 the prophets prophesy falsehood, and the priests rule by their means; and my people love [to have it] so. But what will ye do in the end thereof? (Darby) (Emphasis added)

Koheleth

In Ecclesiastes 12:9 from the Jewish Publication Society Tanakh, Solomon coins as a pseudonym the name Koheleth. In Hebrew the book is actually named Keholet and the name Ecclesiastes comes from the Greek word Ekklesiastes. Since most other translations came from the Greek, Ecclesiastes was carried forward as the name of the book in most non-Hebrew texts. The word Koheleth actually means "one who calls or addresses an assembly."

Ecclesiastes 1:1 The Words of the Koheleth, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. (JPS) (Emphasis added)

Since Solomon uses the pen name of Koheleth, it has been observed by some that the author of Ecclesiastes is unknown; however, since the author of the book clearly declares that he is the son of David and king in Jerusalem, the author must necessarily be Solomon.

There are a number of monumental implications to Solomon's coining the name Koheleth in and of itself. Evidently the significance of this has escaped undetected, but the name Koheleth means one that addresses an assembly. In that sense, the word should obviously be limited to use by the Levites. Since he was apparently a bastard, he should not have even been allowed to enter the assembly at all, much less lead it.

Deuteronomy 23:3 A bastard shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of the Lord. (JPS)

This special nature of the word Koheleth is greatly inferred since it is actually a derivative of the root of the name for the descendants of Aaron. Solomon was not of the seed of Aaron and this is the whole point. In most English translations, Koheleth is simply translated into English as preacher or teacher and it could also be rendered rabbi. Rabbi is the Hebrew word for preacher or teacher and this term was supposed to be and still is limited to use by the Levites. Not only that, but the word Rabbi in Hebrew could be literally defined as "My great one," and this implies divinity. By using the name Koheleth, Solomon is flagrantly violating the special position of the Levites and by so doing manifesting his role as a counterfeit of the Messiah.

In the following New Testament passage we see some analysis of this point in the words of Y'shua (Jesus). In this particular case, Jesus is addressing His disciples instructing them about what their titles should be while He noted in preceding verses that they were to obey the teachers of the law and Pharisees. While this passage does not address Solomon per se, there are several pertinent points made in this passage about the monumental significance these exact terms. They refer to the Messiah.

Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 saying, The scribes and the Pharisees have set themselves down in Moses' seat: 3 all things therefore, whatever they may tell you, do and keep. But do not after their works, for they say and do not, 4 but bind burdens heavy and hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of men, but will not move them with their finger. 5 And all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the borders [of their garments], 6 and love the chief place in feasts and the first seats in the synagogues, 7 and salutations in the market-places, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But *ye*, be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your instructor, and all *ye* are brethren. 9 And call not [any one] your father upon the earth; for one is your Father, he who is in the heavens. 10 Neither be called instructors, for one is your instructor, the Christ. (Darby)

Some Christian thought on this passage has produced the interpretation that no one is to be called rabbi. This is an erroneous exposition however, because it fails to consider the exact audience of the statement, that being the disciples, and none of them were priests. It is important to carefully consider the construction of the sentences. Notice that there is a definite article pertaining to the disciples. This article does not dangle to any other parts of the passage. There is a complete prohibition against calling anyone father. Father refers to the heavenly Father and the exact dynamics of all of that are somewhat unfathomable, so we will go no further with that here. However, the Jewish priests - that is to say the Levites - sit in the seat of Moses and therefore deserve extraordinary respect. God appointed them to this position and that has not changed. It was and still is their job to teach the law and that is their title.

Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the common, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. (JPS)

If Matthew 23:1 were rendered slightly differently as if from Hebrew, it is likely that the word Koheleth would appear rather than the word instructor - or teacher, as some other translations render this passage. Since it was not originally written in Hebrew, the word Koheleth does not appear, but it is a great deal more significant to substitute that word because it is a much more formal title. Venturing into etymology, it is worthwhile to consider the Hebrew word Koheleth in juxtaposition with the Hebrew word Kohein. The word Kohein indicates direct descendants of Aaron and is ordinarily the source of the common Jewish surname Cohen. There are several variations of that name. Notwithstanding that etymology, as a practical matter there are some with the name Cohen or variants thereof that are not Kohein, just as there are Kohein not named Cohen; and the plural form of Kohein is Kohanim.

Numbers 3:5 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying: 6 'Bring the tribe of Levi near, and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him. 7 And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, to do the service of the tabernacle. 8 And they shall keep all the furniture of the tent of meeting, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle. 9 And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons; they are wholly given unto him from the children of Israel. 10 And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, that they may keep their priesthood; and the common man that draweth nigh shall be put to death.' (JPS) (Emphasis added)

The full significance of all of this is that by using the title of Koheleth, Solomon manifests a flagrant counterfeit of the true Messiah that was and is Y'shua, vicariously known as Jesus Christ. All of these terms can refer to the true Messiah - just as Prince of Peace refers to Him. Using the name Koheleth is an extremely presumptuous act. Solomon was not the Messiah; however, in a stroke of deja vu, when he comes again he will be accepted as the Messiah - a forthcoming mistake.

Shelomoh

John 5:43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not; if another come in his own name, him ye will receive. (Darby)

When considering John 5:43, one could ponder just exactly who else could come in his own name? The word Solomon means peace and therefore Solomon was the "prince of peace," but not the "Prince of Peace."

Jeremiah 4:10 Then said I: 'Ah, Lord GOD! surely Thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying: Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.' (JPS)

Chapter Epilogue

To complete this chapter, it is probably good to end at about the same place where the story began and that is with the birth of Solomon. It is useful to consider that the Lord suggested another name of Jedidiah for Solomon and the name means loved by the Lord.

2 Samuel 12:24 And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her; and she bore a son, and called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved him; 25 and He sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet, and he called his name Jedidiah, for the Lord's sake. (JPS)
Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it has been said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy." 44 But I say unto you, love your enemies, [bless those that curse you,] do good to those who hate you, pray for those who [insult you,] persecute you, 45 That ye may be sons of your Father who is in [the] heavens; for he makes his sun rise on evil and good, and sends rain on the just and unjust. (Darby) (Emphasis added)
Luke 6:27 But to you that hear I say, Love your enemies; do good to those that hate you; 28 bless those that curse you; pray for those who use you despitefully. (Darby)
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return, and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of [the] Highest; for *he* is good to the unthankful and wicked. (Darby)

While many have spoken many things against the Antichrist, to wit: Solomon, at this point one should realize that this is the greatest tragedy the world has ever seen. It was not Satan, but a man, albeit the smartest man that ever lived, given dominion over Satan's power that led to this calamity. Since we see that Solomon was greatly loved by the Lord, it is probably well to guard one's words before speaking too harshly against him. Keep in mind that he was probably superior to just about everyone that ever lived in just about every way.

The Great Tribulation is an event of God and it is called the Day of the Lord in many instances. Therefore, it is not to be opposed because in so doing one is opposing God. It is to be greatly feared should one be left on the planet to experience it.

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beg you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him, 2 that ye be not soon shaken in mind, nor troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as [if it were] by us, as that the day of the Lord is present. 3 Let not any one deceive you in any manner, because [it will not be] unless the apostasy have first come, and the man of sin have been revealed, the son of perdition; 4 who opposes and exalts himself on high against all called God, or object of veneration; so that he himself sits down in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (Darby) (Emphasis added)
It's cohesive!
The reader's appropriate response to this material:
Acts 17:11 And these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, receiving the word with all readiness of mind, daily searching the scriptures if these things were so. (Darby) (Emphasis added)