Christ vs Solomon, et al


Active member
Some of Solomon's remarks in the book of Ecclesiastes appear to conflict with
Christ's teachings in the New Testament. Well; the answer to that is actually pretty

According to 2Tim 3:16, Solomon was inspired to write Ecclesiastes, but the catch
is: his comments essentially represent a world view-- a philosophy of life under the
sun --rather than a book of either history, revelation, or prophecy.

In other words: Solomon's observations are limited to the scope of empirical
evidence and human experience; a perception of reality moderated by what we can
see for ourselves going on around us in the natural universe rather than the
supernatural-- which is at least one of the reasons why Ecclesiastes appeals to
cultists, atheists, and agnostics, et al.

Solomon's world view is punctuated with pessimism; which is basically a mindset
inclined to dwell on the negative in human experience rather than the positive. For

"You only go around once, so do it with all the gusto you can get!"

That was a Schlitz beer slogan some years ago. It's worldly wisdom thru and thru
rather than Christ's. Compare it to a couple of Solomon's remarks:

Ecc 9:5 . . The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they
are conscious of nothing at all.

Ecc 9:10 . . All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power, for there is
no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol, the place to which you
are going.

That wisdom reflects Schlitz beer wisdom, i.e. it's earthly wisdom rather than the
wisdom that comes from above.

Solomon was a very wise man; in point of fact, the brightest intellectual of his day.
But Solomon's knowledge and experience were limited. He didn't know everything
there is to know, nor had he seen everything there is to see, nor been everywhere
there is to go. Whereas Christ's knowledge is extremely vast.

Col 2:3 . . Carefully concealed in him are all the treasures of wisdom and of

Christ, in his capacity as the Word, created everything existing in the current

John 1:3 . . All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not
even one thing came into existence.

So then, it only stands to reason that Christ would know more about the afterlife
than Solomon because the Word has actually seen it for himself, whereas Solomon
didn't see anything beyond the grave when he penned Ecclesiastes.

A good rule of thumb to apply when the teachings of Solomon and Jesus contradict
each other, is to keep in mind that Jesus is Solomon's superior, viz: Jesus'
teachings trump Solomon's.

Matt 12:42 . .The queen of the south will be raised up in the judgment with this
generation and will condemn it; because she came from the ends of the earth to
hear the wisdom of Solomon, but, look! something more than Solomon is here.

John 3:31 . . He that comes from above is over all others.

And Jesus comes highly recommended too.

Matt 17:5 . . This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved; listen to him.

So then, when encountering remarks in the book of Ecclesiastes that are out of step
with Jesus' teachings in the New Testament; my unsolicited spiritual counseling is
to ignore the world's view of the afterlife and go with the wisdom of "my Son".

John 8:12 . . I am the light of the world. He that follows me will by no means
walk in darkness, but will possess the light of life.