*Also, I added another talk onto my theocratic downloads page which relates to this topic: "Reap Blessings Through Jehovah's Spirit-Guided King" from the 2008 District Convention.
(illustration on pg 749, Insight on the Scriptures Vol. 1)
Solomon’s Wise Request
Instead of asking for riches, glory, and victory, Solomon requested a wise, understanding, and obedient heart in order to be able to judge Israel. Solomon’s humble request so pleased Jehovah that he gave him not only what he had asked for but also riches and glory “so that there will not have happened to be any among the kings like you, all your days.”
“And God continued giving Solomon wisdom and understanding in very great measure and a broadness of heart, like the sand that is upon the seashore. And Solomon’s wisdom was vaster than the wisdom of all the Orientals and than all the wisdom of Egypt.” Then other men of unusual wisdom are named: Ethan the Ezrahite (apparently a singer of David’s time and the writer of Psalm 89) and three other wise men of Israel. Solomon was wiser than these; in fact, “his fame came to be in all the nations all around. And he could speak three thousand proverbs, and his songs came to be a thousand and five.” The range of his knowledge covered the plants and animals of earth, and his proverbs, along with his writings in the books of Ecclesiastes and The Song of Solomon, reveal that he had a deep knowledge of human nature. (1Kings 4:29-34) From Ecclesiastes we learn that he did much meditation in order to find “the delightful words and the writing of correct words of truth.” (Ecclesiastes 12:10) He experienced many things, going out among the lowly and the high ones, keenly observant of their life, their work, their hopes and aims, and the vicissitudes of mankind. He exalted the knowledge of God and his law, and he emphasized above all things that ‘the fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom’ and that the whole obligation of man is to “fear the true God and keep his commandments.”—Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; Ecclesiastes 12:13;
(illustration pg 749, Insight Vol. 1)
Queen of Sheba visits Solomon
One of the most distinguished visitors that came from a foreign land to view the glory and riches of Solomon was the queen of Sheba. Solomon’s fame had reached “all the people of the earth” so that she made the trip from her faraway domain “to test him with perplexing questions.” She spoke to him “all that happened to be close to her heart,” and “there proved to be no matter hidden from the king that he did not tell her.”—1Kings 10:1-3, 24; 2Chronicles 9:1, 2.
After the queen also observed the splendor of the temple and of Solomon’s house, his table and drinking service along with the attire of his waiters, and the regular burnt sacrifices at the temple, “there proved to be no more spirit in her,” so she exclaimed, “Look! I had not been told the half. You have surpassed in wisdom and prosperity the things heard to which I listened.” Then she proceeded to pronounce happy the servants who served such a king. By all this she was led to give praise to Jehovah, to bless Jehovah God, who expressed his love to Israel by appointing Solomon as king to render judicial decision and righteousness.—1Kings 10:4-9; 2Chronicles 9:3-8.
Then she bestowed upon Solomon the magnificent gift of 120 talents of gold ($46,242,000) and a great number of precious stones and balsam oil in unusually great quantity. Solomon, in turn, gave the queen whatever she asked, apart from his own generous-hearted bounty, possibly more than she had brought to him.—1King 10:10, 13; 2Chronicles 9:9, 12.
(illustration on pg 158, Isaiah's Prophecy Vol. 1)
Jesus, a Legal Heir of Solomon
Matthew traces the descendants of Solomon down to Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus, thus demonstrating that Jesus had the legal right to the throne of David through the kingly line. (Matthew 1:7, 16) Luke traces Jesus’ lineage to Heli (apparently the father of Mary) through Nathan, who was another son of David and Bath-sheba and therefore Solomon’s full brother. (Luke 3:23, 31) Both lines of descent merge in Zerubbabel and Shealtiel and again branch out into two lines of descent. (Matthew 1:13; Luke 3:27) Mary the mother of Jesus was a descendant through Nathan, and Joseph his adoptive father descended through Solomon, so that Jesus was both the natural and legal descendant of David, with full right to the throne.
There are many similarities between the reign of Solomon and that of the great King Jesus Christ, as prophesied in the Scriptures. In many respects Solomon’s rule, as long as he was obedient to Jehovah, is a small-scale pattern of the Messianic Kingdom. Jesus Christ, “something more than Solomon,” came as a man of peace, and he appears to have carried out a spiritual building work especially related to the restoration of true worship among his anointed followers in Jehovah’s great spiritual temple. (Matthew 12:42; 2Corinthians 6:16; John 14:27; 16:33; Romans 14:17; James 3:18) Solomon was of the line of David, as was Jesus. Solomon’s name (from a root meaning “peace”) fits the glorified Jesus Christ as the “Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) His name Jedidiah (meaning “Beloved of Jah”) harmonizes with God’s own statement about his Son at the time of Jesus’ baptism: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.”—Matthew 3:17.
Psalm 72 is a prayerful expression in behalf of the rule of Solomon: “Let the mountains carry peace to the people . . . In his days the righteous one will sprout, and the abundance of peace until the moon is no more. And he will have subjects from sea to sea [apparently the Mediterranean and the Red Sea (Exodus 23:31)] and from the River [Euphrates] to the ends of the earth.”—Psalm 72:3-8.
The prophet Micah, in a prophecy almost universally accepted as Messianic, drew on the circumstance described in Solomon’s reign, that “Judah and Israel continued to dwell in security, everyone under his own vine and under his own fig tree, . . . all the days of Solomon.” (1Kings 4:25; Micah 4:4) Zechariah’s prophecy (Zechariah 9:9, 10) quotes Psalm 72:8, and Matthew applies Zechariah’s prophecy to Jesus Christ.—Matthew 21:4, 5.
“The wolf will actually reside for a while with the male lamb, and with the kid the leopard itself will lie down, and the calf and the maned young lion and the well-fed animal all together; and a mere little boy will be leader over them. And the cow and the bear themselves will feed; together their young ones will lie down. And even the lion will eat straw just like the bull. And the sucking child will certainly play upon the hole of the cobra; and upon the light aperture of a poisonous snake will a weaned child actually put his own hand. They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.”
(Isaiah 65:17-19, 21, 22)
“For here I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart. But exult, YOU people, and be joyful forever in what I am creating...and no more will there be heard in her the sound of weeping or the sound of a plaintive cry.
And they will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat [their] fruitage. They will not build and someone else have occupancy; they will not plant and someone else do the eating. For like the days of a tree will the days of my people be; and the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full.”
The reign of King Solomon gives us a prophetic glimpse of the future. During his royal rule Israel reached its pinnacle of wealth and glory. Solomon was both a wise king and a master organizer. He built a magnificent temple to Jehovah, various government buildings, and a royal palace. He established administrative districts that, on a rotational basis, provided the royal household with a variety of food, regardless of the season. Solomon’s rule was a time of genuine peace and security. This well foreshadows the peaceful reign of the Messiah, who “will have subjects from sea to sea and from the River [Euphrates] to the ends of the earth.”—Psalm 72:8.