DID SOLOMON COMMIT THE UNPARDONABLE SIN?
In his old age, ancient King Solomon, son of David, turned away
from God. Did he sin willfully? Is he therefore lost forever?
by John Ross Schroeder ( written 1987)
Hebrews 10:26-27 warns: "If we sin willfully after we have
received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a
sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of
judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the
Hebrews 6:4-6 adds, "It is impossible... if they fall away,
to renew them again to repentance."
The Bible says that sinning willfully - refusing to repent -
is unpardonable! Is this what happened to Solomon? Has it
happened - or could it happen - to you?
Somehow, Solomon's eternal destiny continues to intrigue
people even today. Almost always, those who ask about Solomon do
so with the sneaking suspicion that he did commit the
unpardonable sin. Buried deep in our human nature is a secret
delight when things go wrong. Our own inferiorities are somehow
assuaged by bad news about others.
On its face, even asking such a question doesn't seem very
profitable. Yet many of us have at least entertained the
But the whole matter is worth considering from the
standpoint of proper Bible study habits. One of the prime rules
of Bible study is to get all the facts. Do we have all the
biblical facts about Solomon? Is our perspective limited to the
account of his apostasy in I Kings? Or have we somehow overlooked
other vital factors?
Biblical law stated that a king of Israel was not to
multiply to himself three specific items - wives, gold and
horses. Solomon broke all three injunctions.
God punishes every son He loves. Solomon was no exception.
The account in I Kings starts the sad story: "So the Lord became
angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord
God of Israel... he did not keep what the Lord had commanded" (I
Various punishments were to follow the king's sins. The
kingdom would be divided after Solomon's death. An adversary
would rise up within the nation.
The Bible does not state that Solomon repented. I Kings
concludes the account of his life with this: "Now the rest of the
acts of Solomon, all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not
written in the book of the acts of Solomon?" (I Kings 11:41).
Solomon did more than is recorded in the Bible. Perhaps
other incidents in his life would help answer our question.
Perhaps not. At any rate, the Book of the Acts of Solomon has
A later parallel account
I and II Chronicles are placed at the end of the Jewish
Bible. They sum up the Old Testament. (The 12 minor prophets
conclude the Old Testament portion of the King James Bible).
Jewish rabbinical authorities had good reason for concluding
the Old Testament with 1 and 2 Chronicles. The story begins with
the pre-Flood genealogy of Adam and ends with Cyrus' proclamation
to build the second Temple.
The sources for 1 and 2 Chronicles are many. The four books
of Samuel and Kings are often quoted verbatim. Other books of the
Hebrew Bible are often utilized. Sixteen nonbiblical sources are
mentioned by name. Among the titles are these three: the Books of
the Kings of Israel and Judah, the Chronicles of Samuel the Seer,
the Commentary on the Book of Kings.
That last title might have helped us with our question. But
all 16 are lost.
One point is certain. I and 2 Chronicles were written after
1 and 2 Kings. The writer of 1 and 2 Chronicles had occasion to
consider the historical facts. What portions of 1 and 2 Kings did
he include and what portions did he exclude? What portions of
Solomon's life did he put in? How did God inspire the writer?
The first nine chapters of 2 Chronicles concern themselves
with Solomon's reign. Notice chapter 1, verse l: "Solomon the son
of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God
was with him and exalted him exceedingly."
2 Chronicles 9:22 begins the last paragraph of this account
of Solomon's life: "So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of
the earth in riches and wisdom. And all the kings of the earth
sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had
put in his heart."
2 Chronicles altogether omits the darker side of Solomon's
reign. The writer chose the facts under divine inspiration. There
was no need to repeat Solomon's problems in a summary account.
The author of 1 Chronicles also omitted David's two capital sins.
Comments The New Oxford Annotated Bible: "The omission is
perfectly in order since... the new David in the New Age would
certainly not be guilty of such conduct, nor would a prophet have
occasion to rebuke him" (page 518).
As an overall principle, 1 and 2 Chronicles tend to balance
the material in Samuel and Kings. Take the case of Manasseh. He
was one of the most evil kings in history. Only 2 Chronicles
mentions his repentance. The parallel account in 2 Kings omits
Solomon as biblical writer
Solomon wrote the wisdom books in the Old Testament.
Notice what the Bible says: "And God gave Solomon wisdom and
exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart ... for
he was wiser than all men" (I Kings 4:29-31). Solomon's writings
reflect his wisdom.
Notice further in verse 32: "He spoke three thousand
proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five." A goodly
portion of Solomon's proverbs are collected in the book of
Another wisdom book authored by Solomon is Ecclesiastes. The
contents are highly autobiographical. This book is largely based
on his experiences as king of Israel. The text clearly indicates
it was written in his old age.
Portions of Ecclesiastes do shed some light on the question
posed in the title of this article. Notice chapter 1, verse 1:
"The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem."
Solomon himself is obviously the author of this book. Consider
verses 12 and 14: "I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in
Jerusalem.... I have seen all the works that are done under the
sun." This is a king reflecting on a long reign. These are not
the words of a novice. The internal evidence of Ecclesiastes
shows a wise old monarch giving sage advice based on bitter
Advice about marriage
Notice more telling verses. Ecclesiastes 7:15: "I have seen
all things in my days of vanity." Ecclesiastes 12:1: "Remember
now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult
days come, and the years draw near when you say, 'I have no
pleasure in them.'"
This is a man speaking from personal experience.
King Solomon apparently came to deeply realize the dangers
of polygamy. He was moved to write: "Live joyfully with the wife
[not wives] whom you love all the days of your vain life"
(Ecclesiastes 9:9). The king advised monogamy.
Ecclesiastes 7:26 is a most interesting Scripture in this
regard: "And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart
is snares and nets, whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God
shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her."
Here Solomon nailed himself to the wall. He was speaking
from bitter personal knowledge. He allowed his wives to turn him
away from God.
Notice now how Solomon concluded Ecclesiastes: "Let us hear
the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His
commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes
12:13). The old king advised submission to God.
Did he or didn't he?
Did Solomon sin willfully? No human knows. God is the judge
of all people. The secret things belong to Him.
Sometimes we think we know the answer. But do we? Have we
examined all available evidence?
Jesus Christ said, "Do not judge according to appearance,
but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7:24). What has come to
be known as the Sermon on the Mount tells us not to judge anyone
in the sense of condemning (Matthew 7:1-2).
Many years ago I was told the a certain individual had
indeed committed the unpardonable sin There was no doubt in the
mind of those who told me.
Then, many years later, I saw that person at the Feast of
Tabernacles. He had returned to God's Church several years
For sure we just do not know if Solomon will be in the first
resurrection. God knows his heart in the last days of his life.
He certainly was used by God in many ways during his life. Yes,
it is recorded he turned his heart away from God's ways because
of the many, shall we say, "unconverted" wives that he had. But
in the final say of it all, only the Almighty Holy One, knows
what condition his heart was in leading up to his death. We shall
have to wait and see, if wise king Solomon is in the first
We just need to remember that we are all sinners, and it is only
by grace we are saved. We need to be concerned with ourselves,
that we do not stray from the Lord, that through the help and
power of the Holy Spirit we endure to the end, the walk of the
way of the Lord - Keith Hunt.
Entered on this Website November 2007