Whether Solomon perished eternally is a question that has spurred more interest in my blog than any other subject that I have written about, which is something that I would never have expected. Until recently, an aspect of that question that I had not previously considered is the relevance of Hebrews 11 to one’s view about his eternal destiny.
Solomon is Not Mentioned in Hebrews 11
Hebrews 11 mentions many great saints of God and sets them forth as believers whose faith was exemplary. Although Hebrews 11 mentions David, who was a man of superlative faith and character (aside from his great sinful failures with Uriah and Bathsheba), it only does so in a brief listing of names that the author says that he did not enough time to talk about:
Heb 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Solomon, however, is not mentioned at all in this verse or elsewhere in the chapter. To assess properly whether this omission is relevant to our understanding of his eternal destiny, we need to consider other people that Hebrews 11 also does not mention.
Job, Hezekiah, and Josiah Are Not Mentioned in Hebrews 11
Job was the godliest man alive in his day (Job 1:8; 2:3), yet he is not mentioned in Hebrews 11. When we also take into account both his godliness and the genuineness of his faith that were displayed in the midst of horrific sufferings that he endured, it is even more striking and perplexing that Hebrews 11 does not speak of Job.
Like Job, Hezekiah and Josiah are extolled in Scripture for their stellar character and walk with God:
2Ki 18:5 He [Hezekiah] trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.
2Ki 23:25 And like unto him [Josiah] was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.
Despite the unparalleled excellence of these two kings, however, neither one is mentioned in Hebrews 11! Hebrews 11 thus does not speak of Job, Hezekiah, and Josiah—three of the premier men of God spoken of in Scripture.
Given the greatness of Solomon, one might argue that the lack of his being mentioned in Hebrews 11 implies that he perished eternally because he never repented of his great sinfulness late in his life. This reasoning, however, is faulty because Hebrews 11 also does not mention Job, Hezekiah, and Josiah, who were all exceedingly godly men about whom we can be certain that they did not perish eternally.
The lack of mention of Solomon in Hebrews 11 does not prove that he perished eternally. In fact, many other considerations show that Solomon did not perish eternally and that we will see him in heaven one day.