Royal Regulations When God reluctantly gave permission for Israel to have kings, He laid down several stipulations: (1) Only a fellow "brother" Israelite could be chosen; no foreigner, (2) He shall not multiply horses, nor purchase horses from Egypt, (3) Neither is a king to "multiply wives" lest his heart be seduced by them, and (4) He shall not amass silver and gold in abundance, and (5) The king is to write out a copy of the Book of the Law, and read it continually! (Deuteronomy 17:15-20)

David seemed to comply with these requirements...except for one! He multiplied wives and concubines.

Abigail, Ahinoam, 1 Samuel 25:42-43
Maacah, Haggith, Abital, Eglah, 2 Samuel 3:3
Concubines and more wives, 2 Samuel 5:13.

To these women were born over a dozen sons, as well as daughters. (And then, of course, there was Bathsheba and Solomon, with her other children.)

Flaunting and Flouting Was this flaunting and flouting of the Royal Code an example in the conduct of David that indelibly impressed the thought life of his son Solomon so that he could not resist the same temptation? A Temptation that became the Fatal Flaw and downfall of the vast Solomonic Empire?

What could have been done different by Solomon, in spite of David's example, that would have kept him on the straight and narrow? Maybe #5 in the Royal Code? Or was the stigma of being the son of an illegitimate marriage by his father too much for his psyche to handle? Solomon grew up, no doubt, knowing his mother's husband was murdered. And he gave up on ever being a holy person himself? Does Christian psychology have anything to speak into this situation? What could have broken this "cycle of abuse" and put Solomon back on to a righteous trajectory?

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    You think Solomon, who witnessed his brothers murder each other, might have thought "yes, polygamy is great and has no downsides"?
    – curiousdannii
    Sep 17 at 2:11
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    I was unaware that Solomon was illegitimate. David’s first wife was Michal, the daughter of King Saul. David’s second wife of note was Abigail. David’s wife Bathsheba was originally the wife of Uriah the Hittite. David married Bathsheba, but their child died shortly after birth. David chronicled his sin and repentance over these evil acts in Psalm 51. David and Bathsheba had four more children (1 Chronicles 3:5).
    – Lesley
    Sep 17 at 20:05
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    @ray grant Flouting a law means defying it, which is what you meant. "Flaunting" bad behaviour or parts of the body means displaying them shamelessly. Modern dictionaries are not entirely reliable guides, since they started including incorrect usages for the sake of the record. Sep 18 at 5:53
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    An illegitimate marriage? A child born out of wedlock is illegitimate, but Davod married Bathsheba long before Solomon was born. The sword did not depart from David, but God chose Solomon to succeed him and to build His temple in Jerusalem. We're talking about God's sovereign will and purpose with regard to Solomon's rule.
    – Lesley
    Sep 18 at 6:27
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    This is poorly researched and has not, by any means, seen the full picture of the life of David and the life of Solomon, nor the eternal purposes of God, the only Saviour.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 18 at 8:29

2 Answers 2


Before addressing the biblical account of Solomon’s rise and fall this is what I found out about “Christian Psychology”:

Robert Roberts and P. J. Watson describe Christian psychology, in part, like this: “We wish to develop a psychology that accurately describes the psychological nature of human beings as understood according to historic Christianity” (“A Christian Psychology View,” Psychology & Christianity: Five Views 2nd ed., IVP Academic, 2010, p. 155).

Roberts and Watson argue, “A Christian empirical psychology can and should take its place as a worthy intellectual competitor to the secular psychologies (whether naturalistic, humanistic or postmodern) with their usually unacknowledged metaphysical assumptions about human nature and flourishing” (ibid., p. 165). The Christian psychology approach would begin with a biblical understanding of human nature as the normative factor in research and interpretation. The approach would also seek to develop new methodologies for empirical investigation that accurately measure distinctively Christian things. “The chief impetus behind the Christian psychology model is that we cannot, in faith, simply leave our psychological thinking to be done by non-Christians, or even to be done by Christians according to the canons and methods of the establishment psychologies” (ibid., p. 174). https://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-psychology.html

“The Christian psychology approach would begin with a biblical understanding of human nature as the normative factor in research and interpretation.” What does the Bible have to say about human nature? According to the Bible, the natural human condition is sinful and estranged from God. We are not born innately good or morally neutral. We are born sinners, and every person’s destiny is death and wrath because of it (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23; 6:23; John 3:16–18; Ephesians 2:1–5). We are enslaved by sin (John 8:34). We are morally ruined (Romans 7:18). We are dying physically and dead spiritually (1 Peter 1:24; Ephesians 2:1).

What do mortal men, intellectuals and psychologists, have to say about human nature? Jean-Jacques Rousseau theorized that man is naturally good but is corrupted by society. Others agree with Aristotle’s and John Locke’s notion that we are born an empty slate, that we are free to define the content of our character, and that outside forces shape us.

Do we listen to the Creator, or do we listen to created mortals? Let’s take a brief look at where Solomon went wrong:

Initially, Solomon loved God and walked in the statutes of David his father (1 Kings 3:3). Because God was pleased with Solomon he granted Solomon this request: “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this, your great people?” (1 Kings 3:9) Not only did God grant this request He gave Solomon two other gifts – wealth and fame and a long life based upon the condition that Solomon would obey the Lord his God and keep His statutes and commandments, just as his father David had done (1 Kings 3:14).

The Bible record shows that Solomon strayed from the path of obedience and his decisions were in direct violation of God’s Law. Needless to say there were consequences. God had given clear instructions for anyone who would be king: no amassing of horses, no multiplying of wives, and no accumulating of silver and gold (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). These commands were designed to prevent the king from trusting in military might, following foreign gods, and relying on wealth instead of on God. Solomon knowingly broke all three of these divine prohibitions. Why? Because he was no longer fully devoted to the Lord his God (1 Kings 11:4).

In spite of Solomon deliberately disobeying God, God allowed Solomon to remain as King and to build His temple. Ultimately, Jesus Christ was born as a descendant of David (Matthew 1:1), providing a fulfilment of prophecy and proving that the divine will of God transcends even the sins of men – even those men who disobeyed God. Even sinners are used by God to fulfil His purposes. God knew how things would work out. God knew Solomon would succumb to human sin. God knew that in spite of Solomon’s sinful actions, the enemy would never succeed in preventing the birth of the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.

You ask what could have broken this "cycle of abuse" and put Solomon back on to a righteous trajectory? Solomon had everything he could possibly have needed to turn around, not least the Word of God and the God-given gift of wisdom. He was wiser than any other person around.

Could human counsellors have prevented Solomon’s downward spiral into sin? Think of Job’s “comforters” as an example of failure in that respect. God KNEW what the outcome would be but he allowed David and Solomon to make mistakes. When people stop listening to God and start listening to mere mortals, there is no cure.

God allowed Solomon to go his own way, but that did not prevent the will of God from resulting in the incarnation and the success of God’s eternal plan of salvation. God is Sovereign but allows us to pursue our own sinful desires. No human, however well-intentioned, can prevent the will of God – and that is what matters.

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    Up-voted +1. The will of God was to demonstrate, on earth, a coming Kingdom and a coming King, even Christ. Just as the demonstration of the Everlasting Testament (by ritual and artefact, set up in the wilderness) was marred by the unfaithfulness of natural Israel, so with David (which he admitted in his last days on earth) and with Solomon (which the Song of Songs indicated he went beyond and repented). But some cannot recognise it when sinful men repent and believe. And then become testifiers to others of free grace.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 18 at 8:28
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    That quote, that a good Christian psychology approach "would begin with a biblical understanding of human nature as the normative factor in research and interpretation" is key to unlocking the answer here. What a pity it is often shunted to the side in favour of human psychology, in places.
    – Anne
    Sep 18 at 9:30
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    Additionally, the book of Ecclesiastes shows that Solomon expended a great deal of his God-given wisdom upon earthly pursuits "under the sun". Nevertheless, perhaps the Ethiopian Eunuch might never have been saved if not for Solomon's visit from the Queen of Sheba. +1 Sep 18 at 12:28

Prophetic Input It is amazing that no one has suggested that to prevent, or at least stem the tide, of Solomom's "walking in the steps of his father" in this evil conduct, Solomon should have had more interaction with the prophets!

Or interaction with the Priests who had the Urim and Thummim. So he could inquire of the Lord whether foreign wives (for treaty purposes) was a proper thing to do.

God's Providence certainly wins out in the end. But that is not the issue here. But when people cooperate with the Will of God in producing the desired End and don't violate God's principles in the process, a lot fewer people get hurt. David's and Solomon's conduct adversely affected a Royal Family and a whole Nation very tragicly. (1 Kings 11:1-11)

It is necessary for the "cycle of conduct" to be broken. The evil influence of one generation upon another has to be stemmed, nipped in the bud. The welfare of many is at stake, not just the consequences of the sinner.

It is said that "David had a heart after God." So when he sinned, he was humble enough to return to God in spite of the curse God placed on his family. But probably because of all the external Temple worship with all the pomp and circumstance, the external glitter and gilding, the ritual and sacerdotal robes, Solomon's religion was not of the inner heart. It was an outward show.

Solomon's heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. (1 Kings 11:4)

As a result, Solomon died without repentance and led the whole nation down a trajectory of disaster. So a Personal Relationship with the LORD, along with prophetic and priestly corroboration might have resulted in a different Israeli narrative in the Old Testament. Although Solomon's father did not leave him a godly example, there was still hope available for a path correction by an appeal to the spiritual realm.

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