Q. I keep on hearing that King Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes after he repented from his fallen state (Although never got biblical support of this) marrying foreign women and worshiping their gods. This perplexes me because Solomon’s fall angered God and He swore to tear the kingdom apart. If Solomon repented how could God’s decree over Solomon’s kingdom have stood? Can you please share your views as to in which state Solomon was in when he wrote this book and elaborate farther?
A. There are arguments for both sides of this issue but to me they seem to be put forth by people who first decided in their own minds and then looked for Biblical proof to support their opinions. Those who argue for Solomon’s salvation point to his early relationship with God and his comments in Ecclesiastes about the folly of rebellious behavior, presumably his own. Those who argue against it base their opinion on the absence of any clear statement of repentance from him.
Everyone agrees that Solomon lived a life of extraordinary self indulgence. His palace, his stables, his income, and his harem all went beyond any standards of the time (1 Kings 10:14-29) and were conspicuous violations of God’s laws concerning the kings of Israel (Deut 17:16-17). As examples, his annual salary was equivalent to 30 tons of gold (about $1.15 billion today), and for him to take 1000 women to wife as 1 Kings 11:3 tells us (the difference between wife and a concubine is that only the former could inherit) would have required weddings on the average of once every two weeks for the entire length of his 40 year reign. And it’s clear that his wives led him into idolatry (1 Kings 11:4-6) which greatly angered the Lord.
We think of being saved by grace as a new testament idea, but if Solomon was saved he would certainly qualify as one of the Bible’s prime examples of salvation by grace alone.