From the beginning of time, faithful believers have looked forward to the future when the trials and the stresses of the present age pass, and entry into the eternal state becomes reality. Revelation 21 and 22 are not only a dramatic climax to the written Word, but they give us a tiny glimpse of the Heavenly glory that shall envelop the stage on which the final events of the dispensation are played out.
The Old Testament description of Solomon’s reign we find in 1Kings 4:20-34 and 2Chronicles 9, give us a clear type of the millennial reign, and the eternal state. Let us identify some of these types.
Solomon’s reign (970-930 BC), especially the early part of his reign before his failures that culminated in the separation of the empire under his son and successor Rehoboam, was characterized by a peacefulness and general happiness unparalleled in Israel. This is evident from the response of the queen of Sheba in 2Chronicles 9 and 1Kings 10 where she says, “happy are these thy men, happy are these thy servants…” Also, 1Kings 4:25 tells us “Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan unto Beersheba, all the days of Solomon”. This peacefulness and safety was made possible by the judgments of God through King David against the enemies of Israel prior to Solomon’s reign. Parallel this with the peace and safety of Revelation 21 and 22 that will be made possible by the final extermination of sin and death during the tribulation period and succeeding judgments. While the accommodations in glory will be much more glorious than this picture, it is nonetheless, a type of the peace and safety that will surround the righteous in glory.
Another interesting parallel is the global aspect of Solomon’s sphere of influence. The queen of Sheba is one example of this. Sheba (possibly modern day Ethiopia or Sudan) was influential in its day because of its wealth and trade with the Jerusalem fleet at Opher (2Ch 8:18). And not only her, but 2Chronicles 9:22-24 mentions that all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon and brought yearly tribute unto him. Again, compare this with Revelation 21:24, where it tells us that “the kings of the earth do bring their glory into it”—the great city, holy Jerusalem.
There has been much speculation about the meaning of this verse. Using the example of Solomon’s reign and comparing it with Isaiah 60:3-9, it seems that nations and kings will be drawn to this glorious city, much like insects on a summer night are drawn to light. Just as Solomon’s reign was influential in his day, and drew the attention of kings and a queen to see his glory and wisdom, how much more glorious is the picture of saved nations and kings bringing their honor and glory unto the Lamb as He sits on the throne in this new city.
Many other references in the Scripture, especially verses such as Isaiah 2:2, Zechariah 2:11, 8:22-23, and Psalm 72:10-11 give us more insight into this glorious picture, especially when we consider the turmoil, hatred, and overall pessimism exhibited by the nations and kings of the earth today.
More comparisons could be made, such as the wealth of Solomon’s reign. But even Solomon’s wealth must have been minuscule when compared to the street of transparent gold (Rev 21:21). We will close with the expression of the Queen of Sheba, when she expressed to Solomon that “the one half…was not told me.” Truly that will be the response when someday we can behold these glories with our own eye and participate in “bringing honor and glory into it.”
~Peach Bottom, PA