20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.
21 For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.
Have you ever wondered how the people reacted to Solomon’s rather dismal message on how empty and worthless he found all his great works to be? Were there any standing there listening to him who had labored to build what Solomon was now renouncing as worthless? Were his sons nearby, hearing how their father considered them to be unworthy inheritors of all his riches? Were there hidden enemies who fingered their daggers and plotted how to remove Solomon so they could get their hands on all of it–riches, power, women, armies?
He says he labored in wisdom, and knowledge, and equity; yet it would be left to a man who had not lifted a finger to achieve any of it. Such was not only vanity, but a great evil.
I’m thinking Solomon didn’t think much of his sons. And he was right. Things spiraled out of control quickly after Solomon died.
You can read the history in I Kings 1 – 11 to get a clear picture of Solomon’s reign.