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There was no end to the people over whom he was [king], yet those who came afterward will not rejoice in him.

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Surely this is a vapor,

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a chasing of the wind.


There was no end to the people over whom he reigned as king, yet the next generation will not be pleased with him either; they will consider him old and foolish and will follow a youthful successor – that is the pattern for these things. It is all a vapor, an attempt to catch the wind.


1: “will not rejoice in him”

Solomon had seen this very thing done by Absalom against his father David. Did Solomon suspect it would be tried against him? We cannot know. At least he saw a pattern and brought it up as an example of the futile efforts of people to chase a dream that will never become reality for very long. If people were thinking of getting rid of him, they would not be satisfied with his successor either.

However, I think he is still speaking in general terms because he would not have referred to himself as a foolish king, and the son who succeeded him did not come from prison or poverty. He refers to it as if it was a historical event, not a possibility for the future. It sounds like he heard about this, or watched from afar as this happened in another kingdom, and he was amazed at the fickleness the people demonstrated by how quickly they wanted something else again. I do not think this can refer to Jeroboam because I am convinced Solomon wrote this before his apostacy, therefore Jeroboam had not yet been promised a major portion of the kingdom. Besides, Jeroboam did not come from prison and probably did not come out of poverty. We are told that his mother was a widow, but that does not necessarily mean poverty. We also know that Jeroboam was one of Solomon’s servants and proved himself so courageous and industrious that Solomon promoted him to be over the entire labor force of the house of Joseph (see I Kings 11:26-40).


This use of “vapor” can point to the A, S E and S of my acrostic PASSES. Such attitudes and actions by a population A: Accomplish nothing, S: are Short-lived, E: are not Easily understood but are Endlessly frustrating, and S: are not Solid, but constantly Shifting.