The Bible and False Prophecy
Did God really say you'll be the richest man ever?
THE HUMANIST'S CLAIMS: At II Chronicles 1:12, God promised Solomon: Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and
honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.
As Robert Ingersoll pointed out in the nineteenth century, there were several kings in Solomons day who could have thrown away the value of Palestine without missing the amount. And the wealth of Solomon has been exceeded by many later kings and is small by todays standards.
To begin with this is not a prophecy, it is a promise. However, that makes little difference. If God does not keep His promises, He is no God at all. There is no way we could trust Him or know that His promise of eternal life is true. This humanist claim is one we need to take seriously and spend some time examining.
Notice that the promise is only in relationship to other kings. The promise is not that Solomon will be the richest man in all of history. The promise is that he will be the richest king.
Solomon was one of the richest men in history, and his legendary wisdom encompassed money management. To this day, some of the best financial advice ever written is contained in the book of Proverbs. And... in Ecclesiastes, we see the invention and advancement of the widely lauded strategy of financial diversification. - Jim Whiddon,
Cross Examined, April 6, 2014
Now the weight of gold which came in to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, besides that from the traders and the wares of the merchants and all the kings of the Arabs and the governors of the country. - 1 Kings 10:14-15 (This is over 1 billion dollars in gold per year, and that was only a small part of his income.)
Keep in mind Solomon started by inheriting David's wealth, which was significant. Then year after year, his wealth increased.
Here is an interesting question: Do you know of any city where silver and gold is considered as common as stones? This is not just talking about the silver and gold in the king’s palace. During Solomon’s reign "the king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamores in the lowland." - 2 Chronicles 1:15
Solomon's wealth was not just measured in gold and silver. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. That is, by far, more than any other man in history. The man in second place was Fat'h Ali Shah Qajar the second Qajar of Persia. He had about 158 wives, about one-quarter the number Solomon had. Each of Solomon's wives represented an alliance with another king, and each alliance brought him significant income. Solomon was not into militarily capturing territory, but the number of wives he had indicates that his "rule" extended over a vast area. With his wisdom, his "empire manage-ment" was probably more efficient and profitable than any empire before or after his.
How is Wealth Defined?
Solomon was the wisest man in all of the world. Other kings, and prominent people came bringing huge volumes of fabulous gifts and to seek his wisdom. Financially his wisdom brought him great wealth, on top of his other sources of income. This was a huge income stream no other monarch has ever had. However, the wisdom of Solomon was also a great gift in itself, vastly enriching his life.
However, we do not really know how physically rich Solomon was. There are no records giving an accounting of his income, nor all that he owned. We simply do not know.
Making an estimate of his financial wealth, the Wealth Result ranked Solomon as the richest man of all time. And Practical Business Ideas ranks him in the top ten wealthiest men, and the wealthiest king of all time. Others rank Solomon lower, but always in the top ten richest men and always as the wealthiest king.
The Humanists call on Robert Ingersoll to support their claim. Who was Robert Ingersoll?
He was a 19th century attorney and politician noted for his defense of agnosticism. I have the “Interviews” book the humanist references. Here is the referenced Ingersoll quote:
Is it scientific to say that Solomon made gold and silver at Jerusalem as plentiful as stones, when we know that there were kings in his day who could have thrown away the value of the whole of Palestine without missing the amount?
This quote comes from a 50 plus page answer to a question presented to Ingersoll: “Mr. Talmage insists that the Bible is scientific and that the real scientific man sees no contradiction between revelation and science, that on the contrary, they are in harmony. What is your understanding of the matter?” – Interviews, page 209
To refute the claim that the Bible is scientifically sound, in his letter Ingersoll rattles off accusation after accusation, writing, “Is it scientific to say…” over and over again, with no details, and no sources or references to support his claims. Ingersoll is just throwing out words. The claim the humanists make here is composed of words pulled out of thin air. I suppose they assumed no one would look it up.
No one truly knows how wealthy Solomon was. I cannot prove that Solomon had more riches, wealth and honor than any other king. Nor can the humanists prove there were other kings who had more wealth. History simply does not provide this information. It is a clever trick to propose an unanswerable question. Although this is an interesting question, it is of no value.
Isaiah 17:1-2 prophesies that Damascus would cease to be a city, become a heap of ruins, and remain forever desolate. Yet some 27 centuries after the prediction was made, Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the world and is still going strong.
I've heard of Damascus. It looks like the humanists are right. Is the Bible wrong? Click for the answer.