|Topical Bible Study||June 1962|
The People in God’s Plan—Lesson XII
Solomon, the King
KING Solomon was the son of David, and his successor as the ruler of Israel under God. (I Chron. 29:23) When David was on his deathbed an effort was made by another of his sons to take over the kingdom. David learned about this and personally appointed Solomon to succeed him, and he was duly anointed and accepted by the people prior to the death of his father. (I Kings 1:39) David expressed his pleasure over this, and admonished Solomon to faithfulness in his rulership, remembering that it was a charge from the Lord.—I Kings 1:47,48; 2:1-6
Solomon’s reign, unlike David’s, was free from war, and under his rulership the nation of Israel reached its highest pinnacle of strength and glory, and the people prospered and were secure. (I Kings 24:24,25) Solomon surrounded himself with glory and riches, and his fame spread throughout the then known world. The queen of Sheba heard about it and decided to see for herself, and when she did, she reported that the half had not been told.—I Kings 10:1-9
Solomon was renowned for his great wisdom. He received this wisdom in answer to a request of the Lord. (II Chron. 1:7-12) For a time Solomon used his God-given wisdom faithfully in administering the affairs of Israel, and his subjects were happy. While the Scriptures nowhere speak of this as being illustrative or typical of the reign of Christ, there are certain parallels which are interesting. For example, under Solomon the people were said to dwell under their vine and fig tree, and this will also be true during the reign of Christ.—I Kings 4:25; Micah 4:4
King David greatly desired to build a temple for the Lord, but was permitted only to gather the material for it, and the temple was built during Solomon’s reign, beginning in its fourth year.—I Kings 6:1
This temple replaced Israel’s tabernacle as the meeting place between God and his people, Israel, and may properly be considered a type of Christ and his church. The New Testament speaks of the Lord’s people as built up into a spiritual temple, and of individual disciples of Christ as “lively or living stones.”—I Pet. 2:5,6
As individual “stones” we are now being prepared for the temple, and these “stones,” shaped in advance, will be brought together into the temple structure in the “first resurrection.”* In the case of Solomon’s temple, the stones were also all shaped before being brought to the site of the temple, which made it possible to construct the temple without the sound of a hammer.—I Kings 6:7
While we are thus given this rather complete symbolism of the temple, the Bible also likens the body of each individual follower of the Master to a temple, the dwelling place of God, and upon this basis admonishes holiness. (I Cor. 3:16,17) This is a separate illustration, and should not be confused with the one in which the stones of the temple picture individual Christians, and the temple itself the entire Christ, Head and body.
WHO was King Solomon and what king did he succeed?
In what sense was Solomon’s reign unlike David’s?
Who heard of the glory of Solomon and made a long journey to investigate the report?
What was one of Solomon’s outstanding qualifications, and how did he come into possession of it?
In what sense was Solomon’s reign similar to the reign of Christ?
What was one of the great projects of Solomon’s reign which was denied to David?
What is the typical significance of Solomon’s temple? Explain two viewpoints.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
Solomon’s reign was without war, and he was greatly prospered by the Lord, who used him to build the temple which is referred to in the New Testament as being typical of the church, Head and body. Solomon was blessed with great wisdom.