Solomon is one of the most fascinating people in the Bible. He wasn’t only the king of Israel, but he was wiser and richer than all of his contemporaries. King Solomon lived a life of luxury and physical gratification in a way that hurt the people under his charge. But what happened to him when he died? Did Solomon go to heaven?
The Bible doesn’t explicitly state that Solomon went to heaven, but some believe it’s likely that he did for two reasons. First, God promised David that he wouldn’t forsake Solomon. Second, assuming Solomon was its author, the end of the book of Ecclesiastes reveals that he turned from his evil ways.
Did God promise David that he would always love Solomon? Did Solomon see the error of his ways before he died? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.
Also see Did Moses Go To Heaven? to learn more.
Did God promise David that he would never forsake Solomon?
Solomon’s wisdom set him apart from other people, but so did his vices. Sometimes, Bible readers may not be able to tell much of a difference between Saul, who is known, in part, for his transgressions and rebellion, and Solomon. (Also see Will You Remember Your Family In Heaven?)
What exactly did God promise David? God made several promises to David in 2 Samuel 7. Though David and Israel fell short of God’s righteous standards many times, God was faithful to them. God made a covenant with David that had implications for his family as well as for all future generations of God’s people. God promised that:
- David will have a child (Solomon) that will succeed him and establish his kingdom
- Solomon will build the temple
- The throne of his kingdom will be established forever
- The throne will not be taken from Solomon
- David’s house and kingdom, like his throne, will be established forever
Didn’t Israel’s enemies destroy the temple Solomon built? Yes. The temple, however, doesn’t equate to the kingdom. The kingdom of God can exist without a temple, as it has many times in history. David’s throne, house, and kingdom last forever through the reign of the Messiah, who is Jesus Christ, who is a “son of David” (Matt. 1:1). God said to David:
“When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Samuel 7:12-13)
Was Solomon more like David or Saul? While David made mistakes in his life, the Bible describes him as a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). A corrupt character defined Saul’s life, which was seemingly absent of any kind of repentance. His life ended in suicide (1 Sam. 31:4). Importantly, God says that Solomon won’t share Saul’s fate because God won’t remove his love from him:
I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. (2 Samuel 7:14-15, emphasis added)
Do God’s promises to David to 2 Samuel 7 reveal that Solomon went to heaven? No. The passage doesn’t directly state that Solomon will be in heaven, but to some readers, it’s a reasonable inference. God said he would always love Solomon, even when he commits iniquity. Additionally, “forever” (2 Sam 7:13b) suggests that God would be faithful to Solomon even after his life on earth was over. Therefore, it’s logical to believe that Solomon went to heaven when he died.
Also see Did Judas Go To Heaven? to learn more.
Did Solomon see the error of his ways before he died?
The book of Ecclesiastes is found in the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, along with Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Solomon. Though the book is anonymous, some people believe that Solomon was the author of Ecclesiastes (as well as Proverbs and Song of Solomon) and that its contents are teachings and reflections from his life experience. (Also see Do Protestants Believe Catholics Go to Heaven?)
What is the book of Ecclesiastes about? Ecclesiastes teaches that the meaning of life isn’t found in the treasures of Earth, but in the treasures of heaven (cf. Matt. 6:19). The author states that without God, great wisdom, physical pleasure, hard work, and other pursuits are ultimately empty and without purpose.
Does Ecclesiastes have a sad or happy ending? While readers sometimes get discouraged when reading about the futility that the author reflects on, the book’s conclusion makes it all worthwhile. With God, life is full of meaning and purpose.
Wisdom, pleasure, and work aren’t inherently sinful — in fact, they can all be holy — but by themselves, they aren’t the meaning of life. Solomon, who learned these truths from experience, writes at the end of the book:
“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
Does the conclusion of Ecclesiastes say Solomon went to heaven when he died? No. Some readers infer from the conclusion that Solomon turned from his evil ways and adopted a holy mindset about all the luxuries and treasures he pursued in life. Ecclesiastes reveals Solomon’s thoughtful, genuine, and repentant heart.
Does the narrative account of Solomon’s death reveal his eternal state? No. 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles tell Solomon’s story. The account of his death in each narrative is similar, and neither mentions his eternal destination:
“Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the Book of the Acts of Solomon? And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.” (1 Kings 11:41-43)
Does the New Testament teach that Solomon went to heaven when he died? No. The New Testament mentions Solomon, but the references are about his life, not his life after death.
- Solomon possessed earthly riches: “And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Matt. 6:28-29).
- Solomon built the temple: “Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David, who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for him.” (Acts 7:45-47)
Can Bible readers know for sure that Solomon went to heaven? While the biblical evidence suggests that Solomon went to heaven when he died, readers can’t know with absolute certainty that he did.
Also see Did Adam and Eve Go To Heaven? to learn more.
The Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, along with Protestantism, comprise the three historic branches of the Christian religion. The Catholic and Orthodox branches separated from...
Roman Catholicism and Protestant Christianity, along with Eastern Orthodoxy, make up the three historic branches of the Christian religion. Catholicism and Protestantism are, by far, the two largest...