Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Is Muhammad Prophesied in the Song of Solomon? Pt. 1


Whose theology is more in line with Solomon’s? 

Sam Shamoun

It is not uncommon to find Muslim apologists claiming that Muhammad is prophesied by name in the Song of Solomon, also known as Song of Songs (Hebrew Shir Hashirim). According to these polemicists, Muhammad’s name appears in Hebrew, albeit in the plural form, in 5:16 which says:

“His mouth is full of sweetness. And he is wholly desirable (machamaddim). This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

It is assumed that the word machamaddim looks and sounds like Muhammad, and must therefore a prophecy of Muhammad by name.

This nonsense has been refuted both in writing and in public debate, as the following sources demonstrate:

With the foregoing in perspective, we want to look at this claim from a different angle, one that seeks to examine this assertion in light of the respective theology espoused by Solomon and contrast that to the teachings of Muhammad. After all, if the writings of Solomon do contain a prophecy of Muhammad then this means that these two men would hold to the same theological beliefs since it makes absolutely no sense to say that Solomon would speak of a prophet to come that would end up contradicting Solomon’s core doctrines.

The reason we have chosen to compare Muhammad’s beliefs with that of Solomon’s is because the Song itself is attributed to the latter, being a love poem written to express the love and desire he and his beloved wife had for each other:

“The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.” Song of Songs 1:1 – cf. 1:5; 3:7, 9, 11

With that said, let us examine the OT Scriptures to see what these documents have to say concerning Solomon’s relationship to God and his view on such doctrines as God’s spiritual fatherhood, atonement etc.

To begin with, we are expressly told that God adopted Solomon to be his son and to sit on his earthly throne as his earthly representative, reigning over his people Israel, in order to glorify God by reflecting his moral perfection such as his love, compassion, holiness, justice, impartiality etc. Solomon was also specifically chosen to build the Temple of God as the place where God’s presence would dwell in a unique manner, and where sacrifices would be made for atonement, for the forgiveness of sins:

“Moreover, I tell you that the Lord will build a house for you. When your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up one of your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.” 1 Chronicles 17:10b-14

“Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. Of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons), He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. He said to me, ‘Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts; for I have chosen him to be a son to Me, and I will be a father to him. I will establish his kingdom forever if he resolutely performs My commandments and My ordinances, as is done now.’” 1 Chronicles 28:4-7

“Then King David said to the entire assembly, ‘My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is still young and inexperienced and the work is great; for the temple is not for man, but for the Lord God.’… Then David said to all the assembly, ‘Now bless the Lord your God.’ And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and did homage to the Lord and to the king. On the next day they made sacrifices to the Lord and offered burnt offerings to the Lord, 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams and 1,000 lambs, with their drink offerings and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. So they ate and drank that day before the Lord with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king a second time, and they anointed him as ruler for the Lord and Zadok as priest. Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father; and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. All the officials, the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David pledged allegiance to King Solomon. The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him royal majesty which had not been on any king before him in Israel.” 1 Chronicles 29:1, 20-25

Here we see that Yahweh not only installs Solomon on his earthly throne, but he also highly exalts Solomon by bestowing on him majesty and glory not given to any other king. It is also interesting to see how the people bowed down to both God and the king, obviously because of the latter's status as Yahweh's appointed ruler and earthly representative.


“Then Solomon said, ‘The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud. I have built You a lofty house, And a place for Your dwelling forever… Now the Lord has fulfilled His word which He spoke; for I have risen in the place of my father David and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.’” 2 Chronicles 6:1-2, 10


“Blessed be the Lord your God who delighted in you, setting you on His throne as king for the Lord your God; because your God loved Israel establishing them forever, therefore He made you king over them, to do justice and righteousness.” 2 Chronicles 9:8

That the Temple was also instituted for the purpose of making atonement for sins is brought out more clearly in the following texts:

“But will God indeed dwell with mankind on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house which I have built. Yet have regard to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays before You; that Your eye may be open toward this house day and night, toward the place of which You have said that You would put Your name there, to listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place. Listen to the supplications of Your servant and of Your people Israel when they pray toward this place; hear from Your dwelling place, from heaven; hear and forgive. If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath, and he comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this house, then hear from heaven and act and judge Your servants, punishing the wicked by bringing his way on his own head and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness. If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and they return to You and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication before You in this house, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You have given to them and to their fathers. When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin when You afflict them; then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and Your people Israel, indeed, teach them the good way in which they should walk. And send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people for an inheritance.” 2 Chronicles 6:18-27

“Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, ‘Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.’ Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord. King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. Thus the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. The priests stood at their posts, and the Levites also, with the instruments of music to the Lord, which King David had made for giving praise to the Lord—‘for His lovingkindness is everlasting’—whenever he gave praise by their means, while the priests on the other side blew trumpets; and all Israel was standing. Then Solomon consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord, for there he offered the burnt offerings and the fat of the peace offerings because the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to contain the burnt offering, the grain offering and the fat… Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, ‘I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.  If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, even to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep My statutes and My ordinances,  then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.’ 2 Chronicles 7:12-18

We are further told in the following passage that it was God who named him Solomon, and even gives the reason why he did so:

“Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the Lord God of Israel. David said to Solomon, ‘My son, I had intended to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me. Behold, a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon (Shalomoh), and I will give peace (wa’shalom) and quiet to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.” Now, my son, the Lord be with you that you may be successful, and build the house of the Lord your God just as He has spoken concerning you. Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed.’” 1 Chronicles 22:6-13

David’s son was called Solomon (“peace”) because God was planning to give Israel peace (shalom) and rest from their enemies during his reign.  

God also named Solomon Jedidiah, which means “beloved of Yahweh”:

“Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the Lord loved him and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the Lord’s sake.” 2 Samuel 12:24-25

Here is a summary of what the Scriptures teach concerning Solomon’s beliefs and status before God:

God chose Solomon to be his spiritual son who would sit on his earthly throne in order to glorify God by manifesting God’s perfect character and reign through his obedience to God’s prescribed will.

God gave Solomon two names, one which means “peace” (Solomon) and the other meaning “the beloved of Yahweh” (Jedidiah). These names denote the fact that Solomon is God’s beloved son through whom God would grant rest and peace to his people Israel.

God appointed Solomon to build him a house in which he could dwell among his people. This house also served the purpose of providing sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins.

God highly exalted Solomon and bestowed on him glory or royal splendor which he hadn’t given to any other king.

Now Solomon wasn’t the only one who was given the honor of being called God’s son and to sit on God’s throne, since this privileged status was something God gave to his father David, and was also a blessing which God bestowed on all those who subsequently sat on God’s earthly throne in the place of David their ancestor. This was a favor which God swore to never revoke:

“‘But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.’ I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” Psalm 2:6-9

“Once You spoke in vision to Your godly ones, And said, ‘I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people. I have found David My servant; With My holy oil I have anointed him, With whom My hand will be established; My arm also will strengthen him. The enemy will not deceive him, Nor the son of wickedness afflict him. But I shall crush his adversaries before him, And strike those who hate him. My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him, And in My name his horn will be exalted. I shall also set his hand on the sea And his right hand on the rivers. He will cry to Me, “You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.” I also shall make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth. My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall be confirmed to him. So I will establish his descendants forever And his throne as the days of heaven. If his sons forsake My law And do not walk in My judgments, If they violate My statutes And do not keep My commandments, Then I will punish their transgression with the rod And their iniquity with stripes. But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness. My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever And HIS THRONE as the sun before Me. It shall be established FOREVER like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful.’ Selah.” Psalm 89:19-37

“For the sake of David Your servant, Do not turn away the face of Your anointed. The Lord has sworn to David A truth from which He will not turn back: ‘Of the fruit of your body I will set upon YOUR THRONE. If your sons will keep My covenant And My testimony which I will teach them, Their sons also shall sit upon YOUR THRONE FOREVER.’” Psalm 132:10-12

 Yet the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant which He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him AND HIS SONS FOREVER.” 2 Chronicles 21:7

With that said it is now time to move on to the second part of our rebuttal.