On October 25, shares of Tesla spiked 12.7 percent and surpassed a $1 trillion market cap, making Tesla CEO Elon Musk the richest man in the world.1 But what if I told you that Musk’s enormous wealth of about $300 billion is just a fraction of the fortune that the richest man in the Bible possessed? That man was King Solomon, who received 25 tons of gold each year (1 Kings 10:14–29). If we add the unimaginable riches from taxes and trade to the gold, Solomon’s wealth, some estimate, was worth trillions of today’s dollars.2 Solomon was so rich that he alone could finance the United States’ infrastructure bill of $1.2 trillion.
But Solomon was much more than just his wealth. The riches Solomon accumulated were only a byproduct of a great blessing he received from God. The magnificent period of Solomon’s glory is a picture of the future Messianic Kingdom realized in Jesus’ thousand-year reign in Jerusalem.
The Challenge for the Throne
Israel’s history is part of the constant struggle between the forces of darkness and light. This struggle goes back to the origins of the Chosen People—the history of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was then that unprovoked hostility and hatred for the Jewish people first appeared, and it has been repeated in various guises over the past 4,000 years.
The victorious culmination of Israel’s history will be the moment foretold by the prophet Zechariah, when the feet of the Lord, the feet of the victorious Messiah, son of David, touch the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4). It is then that the enemy forces gathered around Jerusalem to annihilate the Jewish people will suffer destruction from the Lord.
As a chosen descendant of King David, Solomon engaged in his own battle to inherit his father’s throne. It was not an easy beginning for Solomon, as there were several contenders for the throne. The most notable was Adonijah, the fourth son of King David. Adonijah used his influence to gather a coalition against Solomon and proclaim himself the new king of Israel in a moment of his father’s weakness. Only the alert mind of Bathsheba and the diplomacy of the prophet Nathan prompted David to give quick orders to crown Solomon as his rightful successor.
Can you imagine the surprise and dismay of Adonijah and his followers when they heard the sound of the trumpet? The rich feast and the deceitful plan that led many people away from the truth shattered in a moment. When it looked like the forces of evil were strong and nothing could stop them, Zadok, the priest, took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon by the spring of Gihon. The sound of the trumpet was a terrifying reminder for the evil forces that God is in control and He does not slumber. When people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!” Adonijah and his coalition fled because they knew there was no hope for victory (1 Kings 1).
At the sound of the great trumpet, the Son of Man will appear in the sky, proclaiming His power and great glory.
Solomon’s coronation is a beautiful picture of what will happen in the final days. Jesus warned His disciples that false prophets will proclaim themselves to be the Messiah at the end of the age. They will perform many signs and wonders to enhance their credibility, misleading multitudes to follow them. But as it was in the ancient days of Solomon, the true Messiah will dramatically reveal Himself. At the sound of the great trumpet, the Son of Man will appear in the sky, proclaiming His power and great glory. Satan, the architect of the opposition of God’s eternal plan of restoring humanity to Edenic reality, will shatter in this glorious moment of Messiah’s triumphal return to Jerusalem (Matthew 25:31–46).
The Judgment of Evil
One of the first orders of Solomon was to judge the men who had lived through the entire reign of David and had gotten away with many hideous crimes. Adonijah and those who followed him faced severe judgment for their betrayal (1 Kings 2:13–25). Some may think that Solomon was very cruel in this situation. But if we view this in the big picture, we can see some powerful symbolism. One of the first things we can expect when Jesus returns is the punishment of the unrighteous ones (Matthew 25:41). As Solomon judged the evildoers in his reign, so it will be when the true Messiah sits on the throne of David to judge the wicked.
The Age of Wisdom
Many of us have heard the fairytales of Aladdin’s magical lamp or the golden fish that grants three wishes. Of course, there is no such thing as lamps or fish that can grant wishes, but an all-powerful God can certainly realize anything you can imagine. “At Gibeon the Lᴏʀᴅ appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, ‘Ask! What shall I give you?’” (1 Kings 3:5). The heroes of fairy tales usually ask for riches, power, or even love, but Solomon’s choice reveals to us that he is a proper type of the future Messiah. When Solomon chose wisdom, his decision pleased God and shaped the new king of Israel into a legendary ruler. His name became so famous that “men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon” (4:34).
As in the days of Solomon, so the Millennial Kingdom will have a Temple where, once again, God will live among His people.
But even King Solomon cannot compare with the glorious rule of the King of kings, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the true Rabbi, a teacher who, even as a child, exhibited wisdom that astonished the most educated elite in Israel. The Sermon on the Mount is another image of the future mountain where the Lord’s Temple will stand. As we read in Isaiah 2, this mountain will rise above the hills, and all nations will stream to it for the wisdom of the Messiah. As in the days of Solomon, so the Millennial Kingdom will have a Temple where, once again, God will live among His people.
The Age of Peace
Solomon was a man of peace and rest whom God would grant rest from all his enemies “on every side” (1 Kings 5:4). The reign of Solomon was very different from that of his father, David. David had to fight to attain dominance over his enemies, but Solomon was a talented diplomat whose rule brought peace to the region. When the Prince of Peace returns, not only Israel will enjoy lasting peace, but the whole of humanity will experience complete rest from struggle and fighting. Maranatha! “Come, our Lord!”
This is a wonderful future that awaits us, and Solomon’s life is a wonderful picture of that future.
1 Reuters 2021, accessed 1 November 2021, https://www.reuters.com.
2 MarketWatch 2017, accessed 1 November 2021, https://www.marketwatch.com.