Eleventh in the Solomon Series
If we want to know what Solomon looked like, we have a description in the Song of Solomon (Song 5:10-15). He had a very fine appearance: light skin with red tones, thick black hair, blue eyes — probably, since they are like doves eyes by the rivers of waters — reflecting the color of the water. He had an agreeable face and strong hands and legs; an upright figure, like the cedars of Lebanon.
He was a type of Christ in his legendary wisdom and reign of peace. It is written: He loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father" (1 Ki 3:3).
However, somewhere along the way as he spoke 3,000 proverbs, wrote 1,005 songs, exposited the innerworkings of the natural world, and was visited by people from all over and the kings of the earth who wanted to hear his wisdom (1 Ki 4:29-24), he began walking away from the law. He forgot it.
He began gathering horsemen and chariots: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. (2 Ch 1:14)
In Matthew Henry's commentary on 2 Chronicles, we are reminded about what Moses instructed Israel regarding any future king:
He gathered chariots and horsemen. Shall we praise him for this? We praise him not; for the king was forbidden to multiply horses, Deu. 17:16. I do not remember that ever we find his good father in a chariot or on horseback; a mule was the highest he mounted. We should endeavor to excel those that went before us in goodness rather than in grandeur.
A review of Deuteronomy 17 lists some things that a future king of Israel must not do:
- He shall not multiply horses to himself…
- Neither shall he multiply wives to himself…
- neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. (Deut 17:16-17)
Instead, he should:
- write him a copy of this law in a book out of [that which is] before the priests the Levites:
- 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… (Deut 17:18-19)
Yes, the man who would be king of Israel should not only read God's Word, he should also write a copy of it. He would need his OWN copy. What we write, we are better able to remember.
He must keep it close at hand and read it daily to maintain a healthy fear of the LORD, to safeguard against sin, and to know God's law in order to perform it.
It seems likely, based on reading the Proverbs, that King Solomon had written himself a copy of the books of Moses. However, perhaps at some point he set it aside. He did not read it frequently enough, for we learn that he had lots and lots of horses, wives and gold:
- …Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. (1 Ki 4:26)
- …he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. (1 Ki 11:3)
- And all king Solomon's drinking vessels [were of] gold... it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. (1Ki 10:21) ...Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold (1 Ki 10:14)
So, the first thing we can learn from our Solomon study is to always have a Bible nearby, and to read it daily, even if we have read it for decades, even if we don't feel like it, no matter how busy we are.
We should also write or type the Words of God, to help our ability to recall its guidance quickly and accurately. Copy and paste does not count!