2 Chronicles 9:31
And Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
Such is the sole record of the departure of the most magnificent king of the Israelitish nation.
1. Why is this? For it was not so with David, his father, whose last days, and almost last thoughts, last prayers and exhortations, are fully detailed.
2. Nothing on the first sight, in popular judgment, appears more excellent and full of hope than that petition of Solomon when, just called to the throne, he asked of God wisdom and knowledge, "that I may go out and come in before this people." God granted him his request. His reign proved to be one of unexampled splendour. Prosperity almost to overflow poured in upon the nation. But as the monarch's glory increased, his personal character declined. He sank morally and religiously. He became tyrannical and despotic, and grievously oppressed his subjects. Then intense sensuality set in. So deeply did he fall that his name has been connected with the practice of the magical arts and sorceries denounced in the law of Moses.
3. How shall we account for this? Was it that from the first his heart was not set upon God, but upon self? that when he asked at first for wisdom to rule God's people, he only thought of the honour he would gain thereby? Or is it that we here witness in an individual the corrupting influences of a civilisation not merely luxurious, but high and cultivated, when it discards the faith in God?
4. Whichever it be, by both alternatives we are warned that wisdom, even high, intellectual, and varied, is not godliness, and cannot take its place; that where it is unsanctified, a worm lies at its root.
5. It is a solemn thought that the temple, the culminating point of Solomon's glory, was the harbinger, and in a degree the cause, of the decline of his nation. The exactions and the oppressive burdens its extravagant cost entailed upon the people alienated them, made the monarchy hateful, and prepared the nation for revolt:
6. Twice since has the same thing been witnessed. The sale of indulgences to help the building of St. Peter's led to the disruption of a large part of Christendom. So also the gorgeous palace of the French monarch, the memorial of his boundless luxury and consequent oppression, was the prelude of that great convulsion from which the nation has never recovered. Such is the logic of mere human splendour and luxury.
7. What was the end of this renowned monarch? What was the final stamp set upon his character? Scripture is silent on the point, and Christendom has always been divided in regard to it. Those who have thought and hoped the best of him have rested their hopes chiefly on the tenor of the Book of Ecclesiastes. But no tone of repentance pervades this solemn writing; no utterance of contrition or even personal remorse; not one such anguished cry for forgiveness as pervades several of David's psalms; no humiliation appears in it, not even such as Ahab's; no confession, even such as Saul's. Solomon appears to pass away and, "make no sign,"
(Archdeacon Grant, D. C. L.).
Parallel VersesKJV: And Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.