Troublesome Topic: After His Death

Shortly after his death, the kingdom he had worked so hard to expand and hold together was torn apart. His son was left with only a small part of all that Solomon had built, just as God had told Solomon because of his idolatry.

I had always been told that 10 tribes went with Jeroboam and formed the northern kingdom (called Israel or Ephraim), and Rehoboam was left with 2 tribes in the southern kingdom (called Judah). However, the situation is a bit more complex than that. First of all, the territory of Simeon was like an island because it was completely surrounded by the territory of Judah. Therefore, although Simeon is not mentioned as having stayed with Judah, it is often assumed that such was the case. Secondly, part of the tribe of Benjamin stayed with Judah and part of it went to the North with Israel. Thirdly, most of the Levites who lived scattered in many places saw what was going on and forsook the Northern Kingdom to go to Jerusalem in the Southern Kingdom. Thus the Southern Kingdom actually retained 2 ½ plus 7/8th meaning approximately 3.37 of the 13 tribes. (See my study lesson on the power of symbolism to see why I say 13 tribes.)

It is my opinion that after Solomon died, his daughters published his Song of Songs possibly with the help of someone else, like the priest Zabud, or their husbands who were government officials.

Likewise Ecclesiastes was probably made public after Solomon’s death. It is thought by many, myself included, that someone else wrote the conclusion to Ecclesiastes, and possibly the introduction.

Some of his proverbs had already been compiled and organized before he died but others were organized after his death. We know that Hezekiah assigned some of his people to compile and arrange some of Solomon’s proverbs, and what we now have as the book of Proverbs is probably similar to Hezekiah’s arrangement. Solomon spoke over 3,000 proverbs that were recorded by a scribe, but we only have a small portion of those 3,000.

We are told that he composed 1005 psalms, but we are not told why not very many of them were preserved in the Psalter. In my opinion only one of his psalms is in the Psalter under his name (Psalm 127). (For more about the other psalms that bear Solomon’s name or are thought to have been written by or for him, see my study lesson called Where are the psalms composed by Solomon?) I believe that even before his death his songs were no longer being sung during times of worship at the temple and after his death, they were removed from the psalter altogether by the high priest. I see the high priest waiting to see if Solomon might repent and return to God, but when the king died as an apostate the high priest had most of them destroyed. Psalm 127 was not destroyed and I believe it made its way back into the Psalter at a later date.

The next lesson is: Why Were the Writings of Solomon Held in High Regard after His Death?