Solomon Is Not the One

In Deuteronomy 17 Moses instructs Israel concerning the king that they will one day appoint for themselves. He gives the following three negative stipulations:

  1. he must not acquire many horses (v.16)
  2. he must not acquire many wives (v.17a)
  3. he must not acquire excessive silver and gold (v. 17b)

Now fast forward to Samuel and Kings. In 2 Samuel 7:12-17, God promises King David a son who will be king forever. Five chapters later his son Solomon is born, and by 1 Kings 1 this son has taken the throne. Could this be the promised eternal king?

The author of Kings leaves us in suspense. It’s not until 1 Kings 10:14-11:8 that we get a clear answer. Notice what he says there:

  • 10:21 - “All of King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold.
  • 10:26 - “And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen.”
  • 11:3 - “He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines.”

In other words, he had excessive gold, excessive horses, and excessive wives. And although he doesn’t have to, the author concludes in 11:6, “So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done.”

So Solomon is not ultimately the Son/King who was promised in 2 Samuel 7. And if Solomon is not the one, then there must be another.

Another son of David would come—there would be another king.

  • This king would not have excessive silver and gold. He would be rich, and yet for our sake he would become poor so that we, by his poverty, might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).
  • This king would not own many horses. He would have to borrow a donkey to ride into Jerusalem (John 12:14).
  • This king would not have many wives. He would have one Bride and he would give his own life for her, that he might sanctify her and present her in splendor, holy and blameless before him forever (Ephesians 5:25-27).

Here is your king, O Israel! Here is your king, O peoples! Here is the Son of David who was promised, and he will reign forever.

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, and is the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary .