When it comes to truly decoding the Antichrist, we need to realize that the discovery of who or what the Antichrist will be is not nearly as important as understanding why—the motivating purpose behind why he has come. The Bible speaks of how the children of Israel knew God's acts, but Moses knew God's ways, meaning he understood why God does what He does.
There are many types or shadows of Messiah in the Old Testament—Adam, Isaac, Moses, David and Jonah come to mind. Most Christians consider King Solomon another type of Messiah. Surely someone like him would unite both Christians and Jews. Typically, our understanding of Solomon includes how wise, wealthy and famous he was and how he was able to transport Israel to the pinnacle of its existence. The whole world came to Solomon, admiring him and bringing him gifts. Israel was at the top of its game during his reign.
While many consider Solomon a type of Messiah, if we look closer at the details within Scripture, we might find we have been deceived. But wait, didn't he bring peace to the Middle East? Yes. This peace enabled him to accomplish great things, such as the building of the temple. The daunting question that must be asked is, why has it gone downhill for Israel ever since? I believe it is because Solomon compromised the Word of God for peace.
The Antichrist will be equally deceptive. The world will cry out for a messiah like King Solomon to solve the problems in the Middle East. Peace in our time! How could he not be admired? But will we find out we too have been deceived?
This may come as a shock to many, but what would you say if I told you the Antichrist, or lawless one, is going to appear similar to King Solomon in many ways? Pick your chin up off the floor and follow me on an eye-opening adventure of discovering why so many people will be deceived in the last days. My prayer is that the great deception descending upon the world today will not catch you unaware.
God never intended for the children of Israel to be ruled by a human king. He was to be their King, but not as we have come to understand kingship. The Hebrew term translated as "king" is melech. A melech is a king whose subjects voluntarily choose to serve him out of a loving relationship. God is the great Melech of the entire universe, and He was upset and hurt that Israel rejected Him as their Melech and wanted to have a king like all the other nations (1 Sam. 8:5).
The tragic story of Israel's rejection of God as their Melech/King is truly heartbreaking, as you see the Creator of the universe humbling Himself. While God told Samuel to listen to the voice of the people, He told him to first warn them about how a worldly king would rule over them and what he would do: "This will be the judgment concerning the king who will reign over you: Your sons he will take in order to place them for himself in his chariots and as his horsemen, and they will run before his chariot" (1 Sam. 8:11). Samuel warned them that they would have to plow the king's ground and "gather in his harvest, and to make his weapons of war and the equipment of his chariots" (v. 12b).
The first two kings of Israel, Saul and David, did not fulfill these prophetic warnings, but note the similarities between what God had warned in 1 Samuel 8 and what Solomon did. In 1 Kings 9:22b we find that Solomon used the Israelites "as men of war, as his servants, his leaders, his captains, rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen." Sound familiar?
In 1 Kings 12:4a, we find the details of Solomon's rule directly from his former subjects. They are pleading with Solomon's son Rehoboam for a lighter rule than Solomon had subjected them to, saying, "Your father made our yoke unbearable."
Later, Rehoboam responds, "My father made your yoke heavy and ... chastised you with scorpions" (v. 14b).
When I first grasped this, I was shocked! This was not the Solomon I had grown up hearing about. Yes, King Solomon was full of both wisdom and power, but we also know wisdom and power inevitably go to one's head.
In Deuteronomy 17:20, any future king of Israel is specifically instructed not to allow his heart to be lifted up above others or to think he doesn't need to keep God's law. Solomon was given much wisdom, but he forgot who gave it to him. He allowed his heart to be lifted up after he obtained riches for himself through his wisdom.
Leviticus 4:22–23 mentions that if a king sinned through ignorance and was guilty of violating any of the commandments of the Lord, when he realized his mistake, he was mandated to bring a sin offering. According to verse 24, he was even required to lay his very own hand on the head of the goat as he slaughtered it. Even though he was a king, he couldn't simply pass this duty off to a servant. The Torah required him to perform this sacrifice personally.
And that's not all; the king's sin offering was to be completed at the brazen altar where everyone else fulfilled his sacrificial duties. God, in all His wisdom, didn't allow a king to have a private altar of his own in his private courtyard. He was required to complete his sacrifice to the Lord publicly, thereby informing virtually every one of his subjects that he had sinned through ignorance, so that his heart would not be lifted up above his people or above the Word of God.
In light of this, let's see how well Solomon obeyed. We will take a look at a few more of the Torah's unique requirements for the king and see how well Solomon followed God's Word. Surely Solomon wouldn't think he was above the Law, would he?
Solomon multiplied horses and was an international arms trader.
According to the Torah in Deuteronomy 17:16, God demanded that the king was not to increase the number of horses he possessed or make the people return to Egypt to increase his horses. Yet we find in 1 Kings 4:26 that "Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots and twelve thousand horsemen." It goes on to say in 1 Kings 10:26 that Solomon had 1,400 chariots.
Not only did Solomon disregard God's Word about not increasing the number of his horses, but he also purchased them from Egypt, which God specifically said not to do. Furthermore, the chariots imported from Egypt cost 600 shekels of silver, and a horse cost 150 shekels. Here's the most incredible part: they exported these horses and chariots to the kings of the Hittites and Syria (1 Kings 10:28-29).
Did you catch the significance of the last sentence? In Deuteronomy 7:1-2, the Lord specifically commanded that after He brought the Israelites into the land, they were not to make any covenants with the indigenous Canaanites. The Hittites were No. 1 on the list of seven nations He specified in particular. Yet Solomon was acting as an arms merchant selling weapons directly to Israel's enemies. Despite all of Solomon's wisdom, there aren't many actions the leader of any free country could take that are dumber than that.
Solomon had multiple wives and also married foreign wives.
Deuteronomy 17:17 says the king was not to multiply wives for himself, as his heart might turn away from serving God. And in Deuteronomy 7, God stated that they were not to marry any foreigners because they would turn their sons away from following Him to serve other gods. Yet we find in 1 Kings 11:3 that Solomon "had seven hundred wives who were princesses and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away."
Completely disregarding God's instructions, King Solomon loved many foreign women—the daughter of Pharaoh and women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites—all the nations with which the Lord had told the children of Israel not to intermarry (see 1 Kings 11). Even if it was Solomon's way of securing peace with neighboring countries, it was still a direct affront to God's commands. He achieved peace but at a very expensive cost.
Solomon multiplied gold and silver.
In His warning in Deuteronomy 17, God also told the Israelites that their king must not "greatly multiply to himself silver and gold." However, 1 Kings 10:21 tells us, "All of King Solomon's drinking cups were made of gold." He had a fleet of ships, and every three years they brought in gold and silver, plus ivory, apes and peacocks (v. 22).
Guess what the rate of gold was that came to Solomon every year? It was 666 talents (1 Kings 10:14). The number 666 is found only twice in the Bible—once with reference to Solomon's gold trade and wisdom and once with reference to the Antichrist (Rev. 13:18).
Solomon was to write his own personal copy of the Torah.
In Deuteronomy 17, God declared that when the king sits on the throne of his kingdom, he is required to write for himself a copy of the Law in a book, from the one that is before the priests, the Levites. He does not only read it but also writes it, so he will be more likely to ingest God's Word and to incorporate God's Law into his heart.
The king could not have someone else write it for him. Since the priesthood was separate from the kingship, the Levitical priests served as a check to the king. They were supposed to hold the king's feet to the fire. Someone would be looking over his shoulder as he wrote his own copy from the original, ensuring he would not make errors or try to alter it. They would also be there to answer any questions the king might have.
There is a fascinating story in ancient Jewish literature from over 2,000 years ago that states that when Solomon wrote his own personal copy of the Law, he decided he was wise enough to be God's editor and make some editorial changes to God's Word.
Furthermore, when Jesus said in Matthew 5:18 that not one jot or tittle would ever pass from the law, it was a direct assault on King Solomon! The jot refers to the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet, known as the letter yud, which is equivalent to our letter y. The story goes that when Solomon was writing his Torah scroll and came across the words in Deuteronomy 17:17 (KJV), "Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away," he skipped the first letter of the word, the letter yud. That changes the phrase from "He shall not multiply" to "He did not multiply."
Solomon changed the tense of the verb! By changing the tense, it was no longer an imperative not to multiply wives, but rather a statement implying that his multiplication of wives would not lead his heart astray because he was so wise.
Of that change, a famous ancient midrash says, "At that time the letter ... went up to heaven and prostrated itself before God and said, 'Master of the universe! Didn't you say that no letter should ever be abolished from the Torah? Behold Solomon has now arisen and abolished one. Who knows? Today he has abolished one letter, tomorrow he will abolish another until the whole Torah will be nullified!' God replied, 'Solomon and a thousand like him will pass away, but the smallest tittle will not be erased from you.'"
This historical writing about Solomon existed long before Jesus spoke about not having one jot or tittle passing from the Law, so it is probable that His comment was a reference to this story, and His audience was aware of it.
Solomon built pagan altars rather than destroying them.
In Deuteronomy 7:5, God tells the Israelites they must destroy the idolatrous nations' altars, break down their sacred pillars, cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire. Yet in 1 Kings 11:7 (MEV), we find that Solomon built a "high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is close to Jerusalem, and for Molek, the abomination of the children of Ammon."
Solomon's actions affected many future generations. Not only did his own sons turn from God as the Scriptures said would happen, but his future generations also followed Grandpa Solomon's folly.
It's sobering to put ourselves in King Solomon's shoes and consider that sometimes when everything seems to be going well in our lives, it may not be the result of God's blessing but His abandonment.
In Jeremiah 12:1b, the prophet claims the Lord is righteous but still questions God's judgments by begging the question "Why does the way of the wicked prosper?" King David also addressed this issue in Psalm 73:3 when he stated the ungodly are the ones who prosper in the world and increase in riches.
I am not saying this is true of all people who prosper. It's just that when we are prospering, it doesn't necessarily mean God is favoring us. We could be in a slippery place, and we had better be giving God the glory for "our" successes. Solomon, though, took the credit for his own success.
The Lawless One
So let's summarize what we have learned about Solomon. In spite of being beloved by God, blessed by God, and given abundant wisdom, fame, fortune, power and authority, Solomon thanked God by doing the following:
Multiplying his number of wives
Marrying foreign wives
Building more than a thousand pagan altars in and around Jerusalem, including within the temple precincts
Instituting human sacrifice on those very altars, murdering his firstborn children to pagan gods
Multiplying silver, gold and horses to himself
Selling arms to enemies and terrorists
Making covenants with forbidden foreign nations
Exalting himself above his brethren
Thumbing his nose at God and thinking he was above God's Law
This is the type of king the world is seeking to bring peace to the Middle East? No wonder many will be deceived.
Instead of trying to figure out who the Antichrist will be, we need to study what he will be like. Solomon was a total narcissist, and the Antichrist will be as well. Solomon had it all—power, wealth and fame—yet he was completely miserable.
Prophetically, I see all this unfolding again. Remember that prophetic patterns repeat themselves over and over in history. Haman was an Amalekite. His ancestry even showed he was from the royal line of Agag, the king of Amalek.
In Exodus 17:16, after the initial battle with Amalek, God states that from generation to generation He will have war with Amalek. This means that in every generation, there will be a nation wanting to destroy Israel or the Jewish people. Hitler was the Amalek of his day, and today we have the Amalek leaders of Iran proudly boasting of their desire to destroy Israel.
I believe historical patterns will be repeated in other aspects as well. Someone who will seem to be wiser than everyone else will try to achieve a false peace by entering into ungodly covenants with all the foreign nations. He will try to achieve a land-for-peace agreement in Israel, thinking it wiser to cut the baby in half and create two nations as two people groups are claiming the land of Israel as their own. This will only result in killing the baby that is alive!
This ungodly leader will have no regard for God's covenants with Israel, believing the covenants have been done away with, have been replaced or have already been fulfilled, and it is now time for a new era.
Hopefully by now, you have a different perspective on Solomon and can see how deceptively godly someone can appear if you do not have an accurate biblical perspective.
Mark Biltz is an author, commentator and the founder of El Shaddai Ministries.
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