Solomon

Solomon

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Solomon according to the Book of Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

 and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 one of the 48 prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

s, is identified as the son of David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

, also called Jedidiah (Hebrew ) in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was a Jewish state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. It is often referred to as the "Southern Kingdom" to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel....

 split; following the split his patrilineal
Patrilineality
Patrilineality is a system in which one belongs to one's father's lineage. It generally involves the inheritance of property, names or titles through the male line as well....

 descendants ruled over Judah alone.

The Hebrew Bible credits Solomon as the builder of the First Temple
Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount , before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE....

 in Jerusalem, and portrays him as great in wisdom, wealth, and power, but ultimately as a king whose sin, including idolatry
Idolatry
Idolatry is a pejorative term for the worship of an idol, a physical object such as a cult image, as a god, or practices believed to verge on worship, such as giving undue honour and regard to created forms other than God. In all the Abrahamic religions idolatry is strongly forbidden, although...

 and turning away from Yahweh, leads to the kingdom being torn in two during the reign of his son Rehoboam
Rehoboam
Rehoboam was initially king of the United Monarchy of Israel but after the ten northern tribes of Israel rebelled in 932/931 BC to form the independent Kingdom of Israel he was king of the Kingdom of Judah, or southern kingdom. He was a son of Solomon and a grandson of David...

. Solomon is the subject of many other later references and legends.

In the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, he is a Prophet
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

, known as Sulaiman.

Wives


According to the Bible, Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. The wives are described as foreign princesses, including Pharaoh's daughter
Pharaoh's daughter (wife of Solomon)
Pharaoh's daughter who was the wife of Solomon is a figure in Hebrew scriptures who married the king of the United Monarchy of Israel to cement a political alliance with Egypt. Out of his vast harem, she is the only wife singled out, although she is not given a name in the texts...

 and women of Moab
Moab
Moab is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in Jordan. The land lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over...

, Ammon
Ammon
Ammon , also referred to as the Ammonites and children of Ammon, was an ancient nation located east of the Jordan River, Gilead, and the Dead Sea, in present-day Jordan. The chief city of the country was Rabbah or Rabbath Ammon, site of the modern city of Amman, Jordan's capital...

, Sidon
Sidon
Sidon or Saïda is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate of Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, about 40 km north of Tyre and 40 km south of the capital Beirut. In Genesis, Sidon is the son of Canaan the grandson of Noah...

 and of the Hittites
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

. These wives are depicted as leading Solomon astray. The only wife that is mentioned by name is Naamah
Naamah (wife of Solomon)
Naamah was the wife of King Solomon, and mother of his heir, Rehoboam, according to both , and in the Hebrew Bible. She was an Ammonite, and the only one of Solomon's wives to be mentioned, within the Hebrew Bible, as having borne a child....

, who is described as the Ammon
Ammon
Ammon , also referred to as the Ammonites and children of Ammon, was an ancient nation located east of the Jordan River, Gilead, and the Dead Sea, in present-day Jordan. The chief city of the country was Rabbah or Rabbath Ammon, site of the modern city of Amman, Jordan's capital...

ite. She was the mother of Solomon's successor, Rehoboam
Rehoboam
Rehoboam was initially king of the United Monarchy of Israel but after the ten northern tribes of Israel rebelled in 932/931 BC to form the independent Kingdom of Israel he was king of the Kingdom of Judah, or southern kingdom. He was a son of Solomon and a grandson of David...

.

Succession


Solomon became king during the reign of his father King David, and was a co-regent with him for 3 years. According to the biblical First Book of Kings, when David was "old and advanced in years" "he could not get warm."
"So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag
Abishag
According to the Old Testament, Abishag was a young woman of Shunem, distinguished for her beauty. She was chosen to be a helper and servant to David in his old age. Among Abishag's duties was to lie next to David and keep him warm; however, David did not have sexual relations with her...

 the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not."

While David was in this state, Adonijah
Adonijah
Adonijah was the fourth son of King David according to the book of Samuel , which is contained in the Bible.-Life:After the death of his elder brothers Amnon and Absalom, he became heir-apparent to the throne, but Solomon, a younger brother, was preferred to him. Adonijah, however, when his father...

, David's fourth son, acted to have himself declared king, he being heir-apparent to the throne after the death of his elder brothers Amnon
Amnon
According to the Bible, Amnon was the oldest son of David, King of Israel, with his wife, Ahinoam, who is described as "the Jezreelitess". -Rape of Tamar:...

 and Absalom
Absalom
According to the Bible, Absalom or Avshalom was the third son of David, King of Israel with Maachah, daughter of Talmai, King of Geshur. describes him as the most handsome man in the kingdom...

. But Bathsheba
Bathsheba
According to the Hebrew Bible, Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah the Hittite and later of David, king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah. She is most known for the Bible story in which King David seduced her....

, a wife of David and Solomon's mother, along with the prophet Nathan
Nathan (Prophet)
Nathan the Prophet was a court prophet who lived in the time of King David and Queen Bathsheba. He came to David to reprimand him over his committing adultery with Bathsheba while she was the wife of Uriah the Hittite whose death the King had also arranged to hide his previous transgression.His...

 induced David to proclaim Solomon king. Adonijah fled and took refuge at the altar, and received pardon for his conduct from Solomon on the condition that he show himself "a worthy man." (1 Kings 1:5-53)

Adonijah asked to marry Abishag
Abishag
According to the Old Testament, Abishag was a young woman of Shunem, distinguished for her beauty. She was chosen to be a helper and servant to David in his old age. Among Abishag's duties was to lie next to David and keep him warm; however, David did not have sexual relations with her...

 the Shunammite, but Solomon denied authorization for such an engagement, although Bathsheba now pleaded on Adonijah's behalf. He was then seized and put to death (1 Kings 2:13-25). As made clear in the earlier story of Absalom
Absalom
According to the Bible, Absalom or Avshalom was the third son of David, King of Israel with Maachah, daughter of Talmai, King of Geshur. describes him as the most handsome man in the kingdom...

's rebellion, to possess the royal harem
Harem
Harem refers to the sphere of women in what is usually a polygynous household and their enclosed quarters which are forbidden to men...

 was in this society tantamount to claiming the throne; this applied even to a woman who had shared the bed of a king advanced in age, though she had had no intimate relations with King David.

David's general Joab
Joab
Joab the son of Zeruiah, was the nephew of King David and the commander of his army, according to the Hebrew Bible.- Name :...

 was killed, in accord with David's deathbed request to Solomon, because he had killed generals Abner and Amasa during a peace (2 Samuel 20:8-13; 1 Kings 2:5). David's priest Abiathar
Abiathar
Abiathar , in the Hebrew Bible, son of Achimelech or Ahijah, High Priest at Nob, the fourth in descent from Eli and the last of Eli's House...

 was exiled by Solomon because he had sided with rival Adonijah
Adonijah
Adonijah was the fourth son of King David according to the book of Samuel , which is contained in the Bible.-Life:After the death of his elder brothers Amnon and Absalom, he became heir-apparent to the throne, but Solomon, a younger brother, was preferred to him. Adonijah, however, when his father...

. Abiathar is a descendent of Eli, which has important prophetic significance. (1 Kings 2:27) Shimei
Shimei
Shimei is the name of a number of persons referenced in the Hebrew Bible and Rabbinical literature.*The second son of Gershon and grandson of Levi...

 was confined to Jerusalem and killed three years later, when he went to Gath to retrieve some runaway servants, in part because he had cursed David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

 when Absalom
Absalom
According to the Bible, Absalom or Avshalom was the third son of David, King of Israel with Maachah, daughter of Talmai, King of Geshur. describes him as the most handsome man in the kingdom...

, David's son, rebelled against David. (1 Kings 2:1-46)


Wisdom


One of the qualities most ascribed to Solomon is his wisdom
Wisdom
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

. Solomon prays:

"Give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people and to know good and evil."1 Kings 3:9


"So God said to him, 'Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked...'" (1 Kings 3:11-12) The Hebrew Bible also states that: "The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart." (1 Kings 10:24)

In one account, known as the Judgment of Solomon
Judgment of Solomon
The Judgment of Solomon refers to a story from the Hebrew Bible in which King Solomon of Israel ruled between two women both claiming to be the mother of a child. It has become a metaphor referring to a wise judge who uses a stratagem to determine the truth, tricking the parties into revealing...

, two women came before Solomon to resolve a quarrel over which was the true mother of a baby. When Solomon suggests dividing the living child in two with a sword, the true mother is revealed to him as she is willing to give up her child rather than see the baby killed. Solomon then declares the woman who shows compassion to be the true mother, and gives the baby to her.

Solomon is also noted as one of many authors of Wisdom Literature. The apocrypha
Apocrypha
The term apocrypha is used with various meanings, including "hidden", "esoteric", "spurious", "of questionable authenticity", ancient Chinese "revealed texts and objects" and "Christian texts that are not canonical"....

l/deuterocanonical Wisdom of Solomon, along with the books of Sirach, "are the familiar personalities and the events of Israel's history combined with the wisdom tradition. Much of this literature, however, is attributed to Solomon." Solomon became a favorite author and contributor of different kinds of wisdom literature, "including not only the collections of proverbs, but also of Ecclesiates and the Song of Solomon and the later apocryphal book the Wisdom of Solomon."

Relationship with Queen of Sheba





In a brief, unelaborated, and enigmatic passage, the Hebrew Bible describes how the fame of Solomon's wisdom and wealth spread far and wide, so much so that the queen of Sheba
Sheba
Sheba was a kingdom mentioned in the Jewish scriptures and the Qur'an...

 decided that she should meet him. The queen is described as visiting with a number of gifts including gold and rare jewels to decorate the temple, and also bringing with her a number of riddles. When Solomon gave her "all her desire, whatsoever she asked," she left satisfied (1 Kings ).

Whether the passage is simply to provide a brief token, foreign witness of Solomon's wealth and wisdom, or whether there is meant to be something more significant to the queen's visit and her riddles is unknown; nevertheless the visit of the Queen of Sheba has become the subject of numerous stories.

Sheba
Sheba
Sheba was a kingdom mentioned in the Jewish scriptures and the Qur'an...

 is typically identified as Saba, a nation once spanning the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 on the coasts of what are now Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

, Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 and Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

, in Arabia Felix.
In a Rabbinical account (e.g. Targum Sheni
Targum sheni
The Targum Sheni is an Aramaic translation and elaboration of the Book of Esther, that embellishes the Biblical account with considerable new apocryphal material, not on the face of it directly germane to the Esther story...

), Solomon was accustomed to ordering the living creatures of the world to dance before him (Rabbinical accounts say that Solomon had been given control over all living things by Yahweh), but one day upon discovering that the mountain-cock or hoopoe
Hoopoe
The Hoopoe is a colourful bird that is found across Afro-Eurasia, notable for its distinctive 'crown' of feathers. It is the only extant species in the family Upupidae. One insular species, the Giant Hoopoe of Saint Helena, is extinct, and the Madagascar subspecies of the Hoopoe is sometimes...

 (the Hebrew name for the creature is Shade) was absent, he summoned it to him, and the bird told him that it had been searching for somewhere new.

The bird had discovered a land in the east, exceedingly rich in gold, silver, and plants, whose capital was called Kitor and whose ruler was the Queen of Sheba, and the bird, on its own advice, was sent by Solomon to request the queen's immediate attendance at Solomon's court.

In an Ethiopian account (Kebra Nagast
Kebra Nagast
The Kebra Nagast , or the Book of the Glory of Kings, is an account written in Ge'ez of the origins of the Solomonic line of the Emperors of Ethiopia. The text, in its existing form, is at least seven hundred years old, and is considered by many Ethiopian Christians and Rastafarians to be an...

) it is maintained that the Queen of Sheba had sexual relations with King Solomon (of which the Biblical and Quranic accounts give no hint) and gave birth by the Mai Bella stream in the province of Hamasien
Hamasien
Hamasien was the name of an histoical province including and surrounding Asmara, now part of modern Eritrea. The region has been divided and distributed amongst the modern Maekel, Debub, Northern Red Sea, Gash-Barka and Anseba regions....

, Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

. The Ethiopian tradition has a detailed account of the affair. (See Queen of Sheba)

The child was a son who went on to become Menelik I
Menelik I
Menelik I , first Jewish Emperor of Ethiopia, is traditionally believed to be the son of King Solomon of ancient Israel and Makeda, ancient Ethiopia Queen of Sheba. He ruled around 950 BC, according to traditional sources...

, King of Axum, and founded a dynasty
Solomonic dynasty
The Solomonic dynasty is the Imperial House of Abyssinia. Its members claim lineal descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, the latter of whom tradition asserts gave birth to the first King Menelik I after her Biblically described visit to Solomon in Jerusalem .-Overview:The dynasty, a...

 that would reign what became the Christian Empire of Ethiopia for 2900+ years (less one usurpation episode
Zagwe dynasty
The Zagwe dynasty was an historical kingdom in present-day Ethiopia. It ruled large parts of the territory from approximately 1137 to 1270, when the last Zagwe King Za-Ilmaknun was killed in battle by the forces of Yekuno Amlak...

 and interval of ca. 133 years until a "legitimate" male heir regained the crown) until Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974. Menelik was said to be a practising Jew, had been gifted with a replica Ark of the Covenant
Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant , also known as the Ark of the Testimony, is a chest described in Book of Exodus as solely containing the Tablets of Stone on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed...

 by King Solomon, but moreover, the original was switched and went to Axum
Axum
Axum or Aksum is a city in northern Ethiopia which was the original capital of the eponymous kingdom of Axum. Population 56,500 . Axum was a naval and trading power that ruled the region from ca. 400 BC into the 10th century...

 with him and his mother, and is still there, guarded by a single priest charged with caring for the artifact as his life's task.

The claim of such a lineage and of possession of the Ark has been an important source of legitimacy and prestige for the Ethiopian monarchy throughout the many centuries of its existence, and had important and lasting effects on Ethiopian culture as a whole. The Ethiopian government and church deny all requests to view the alleged ark.

Some classical-era Rabbis, attacking Solomon's moral character, have claimed instead that the child was an ancestor of Nebuchadnezzar II, who destroyed Solomon's temple
Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount , before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE....

 some 300 years later.

Solomon's sins


According to Solomon's "wives turned his heart after other gods", their own national deities, to whom Solomon built temples, thus incurring divine anger and retribution in the form of the division of the kingdom after Solomon's death.

describes Solomon's descent into idolatry, particularly his turning after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom, the abomination of the Ammon
Ammon
Ammon , also referred to as the Ammonites and children of Ammon, was an ancient nation located east of the Jordan River, Gilead, and the Dead Sea, in present-day Jordan. The chief city of the country was Rabbah or Rabbath Ammon, site of the modern city of Amman, Jordan's capital...

ites. In , a king is commanded not to multiply horses or wives, neither greatly multiply to himself gold or silver. Solomon sins in all three of these areas. Solomon collects 666
666 (number)
666 is the natural number following 665 and preceding 667.- In mathematics :666 is the sum of the first 36 natural numbers 666 (six hundred and sixty-six) is the natural number following 665 and preceding 667.- In mathematics :666 is the sum of the first 36 natural numbers 666 (six hundred and...

 talents of gold each year, a huge amount of money for a small nation like Israel. Solomon gathers a large number of horses and chariots and even brings in horses from Egypt. Just as warns, collecting horses and chariots takes Israel back to Egypt. Finally, Solomon marries foreign women, and these women turn Solomon to other gods.

According to , it was because of these sins that "the Lord punishes Solomon by tearing the kingdom in two":

Jewish tradition


King Solomon sinned by acquiring too many wives and horses because he thought he knew the reason for the Biblical prohibition and thought it did not apply to him. When King Solomon married the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh, a sandbank formed which eventually formed the "great nation of Rome" - the nation that destroyed the Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

 (Herod's Temple). Solomon gradually lost more and more prestige until he became like a commoner. Some say he regained his status while others say he did not.

Islamic perspective



In contrast to the Christian tradition (taken from the Hebrew readings of the books of Kings and Chronicles) that Solomon (Sulayman) fell into idolatry in his declining years, Islam denies that any such event took place, nor that Solomon ever turned away from Allah in any way prior to his death and views him as famed throughout the lands for his wisdom and fair judgments.

King Solomon was also a prophet and a messenger from Allah. He was the youngest son of the Prophet David (Dawud). King Solomon was a talented man with versatile gifts, and so his father had made him his heir. After the death of Dawud he ascended the throne of Judia on account of his sagacity, power of judgement, right understanding, and spiritual insight.
The Qur'an says: "And We verily gave knowledge to Dawud and Sulayman and they said: praise be to God (Allah) Who has preferred us above many of his believing servants". (27:15)

Solomon's enemies


Near the end of his life Solomon was forced to contend with several enemies including Hadad of Edom
Edom
Edom or Idumea was a historical region of the Southern Levant located south of Judea and the Dead Sea. It is mentioned in biblical records as a 1st millennium BC Iron Age kingdom of Edom, and in classical antiquity the cognate name Idumea was used to refer to a smaller area in the same region...

, Rezon of Zobah
Zobah
Zobah or Aram-Zobah was the capital of an early Aramean state in southern Syria, at one time of considerable importance. In I Samuel xiv...

, and one of his officials named Jeroboam
Jeroboam
Jeroboam was the first king of the northern Israelite Kingdom of Israel after the revolt of the ten northern Israelite tribes against Rehoboam that put an end to the United Monarchy....

 who was from the tribe of Ephraim
Ephraim
Ephraim ; was, according to the Book of Genesis, the second son of Joseph and Asenath. Asenath was an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph as wife, and the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of On. Ephraim was born in Egypt before the arrival of the children of Israel from Canaan...

.

Death, succession of Rehoboam, and kingdom division



According to the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

, Solomon died of natural causes at around 80 years of age. Upon Solomon's death, his son, Rehoboam
Rehoboam
Rehoboam was initially king of the United Monarchy of Israel but after the ten northern tribes of Israel rebelled in 932/931 BC to form the independent Kingdom of Israel he was king of the Kingdom of Judah, or southern kingdom. He was a son of Solomon and a grandson of David...

, succeeded him as king. However, ten of the Tribes of Israel refused to accept him as king, causing the United Monarchy
United Monarchy
According to Biblical tradition, the united Kingdom of Israel was a kingdom that existed in the Land of Israel, a period referred to by scholars as the United Monarchy. Biblical historians date the kingdom from c. 1020 BCE to c...

 to split and form the northern Kingdom of Israel ruled by Jeroboam
Jeroboam
Jeroboam was the first king of the northern Israelite Kingdom of Israel after the revolt of the ten northern Israelite tribes against Rehoboam that put an end to the United Monarchy....

, while Rehoboam continued to reign in the southern Kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was a Jewish state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. It is often referred to as the "Southern Kingdom" to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel....

.

Building and other works




During Solomon's long reign of 40 years, the Israelite monarchy
United Monarchy
According to Biblical tradition, the united Kingdom of Israel was a kingdom that existed in the Land of Israel, a period referred to by scholars as the United Monarchy. Biblical historians date the kingdom from c. 1020 BCE to c...

, according to the Bible, gained its highest splendour and wealth. In a single year, according to , Solomon collected tribute amounting to 666 talents
Talent (weight)
The "talent" was one of several ancient units of mass, as well as corresponding units of value equivalent to these masses of a precious metal. It was approximately the mass of water required to fill an amphora. A Greek, or Attic talent, was , a Roman talent was , an Egyptian talent was , and a...

 of gold (39,960 pounds).

Solomon is described as surrounding himself with all the luxuries and the external grandeur of an Eastern
Eastern world
__FORCETOC__The term Eastern world refers very broadly to the various cultures or social structures and philosophical systems of Eastern Asia or geographically the Eastern Culture...

 monarch, and his government prospered. He entered into an alliance with Hiram I
Hiram I
Hiram I , according to the Hebrew Bible, was the Phoenician king of Tyre. He reigned from 980 to 947 BC, succeeding his father, Abibaal. Hiram was succeeded as king of Tyre by his son Baal-Eser I...

, king of Tyre, who in many ways greatly assisted him in his numerous undertakings. For some years before his death, David was engaged in collecting materials for building a temple in Jerusalem
Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount , before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE....

 as a permanent abode for the Ark of the Covenant
Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant , also known as the Ark of the Testimony, is a chest described in Book of Exodus as solely containing the Tablets of Stone on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed...

. Solomon is described as completing its construction, with the help of an architect, also named Hiram, and other materials, sent from King Hiram of Tyre.

After the completion of the temple, Solomon is described as erecting many other buildings of importance in Jerusalem; for the long space of thirteen years he was engaged in the erection of a royal palace on Ophel
Ophel
The City of David is the oldest settled neighborhood of Jerusalem and a major archaeological site due to recognition as biblical Jerusalem. It is a narrow ridge running south from the Temple Mount. It was a walled city in the Bronze Age and, according to tradition, it is the place where King...

 (a hilly promontory in central Jerusalem); Solomon also constructed great works for the purpose of securing a plentiful supply of water for the city, and the Millo
Millo
The Millo was a structure in Jerusalem mentioned by the Books of Kings, and corresponding passages in the Books of Chronicles. The texts simply describe the Millo as having been built by Solomon and repaired by Hezekiah,, without giving an explanation of what exactly the Millo was...

 (Septuagint, Acra) for the defense of the city. However, excavations of Jerusalem have shown a distinct lack of monumental architecture from the era, and remains of neither the Temple nor Solomon's palace have been found. However, a number of significant but politically sensitive areas have not been extensively excavated, including the site
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

 where the Temple is traditionally said to have been located.

Solomon is also described as rebuilding cities elsewhere in Israel, creating the port of Ezion-Geber
Ezion-Geber
Ezion-Geber or Asiongaber was a city of Idumea, a biblical seaport on the northern extremity of the Gulf of Aqaba, in the area of modern Aqaba and Eilat.-Biblical references :...

, and constructing Tadmor in the wilderness as a commercial depot and military outpost. Solomon is additionally described as having amassed a thousand and four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen. Though the location of Solomon's port of Ezion-Geber is known, no remains have ever been found. More archaeological success has been achieved with the major cities Solomon is said to have strengthened or rebuilt (for example, Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer
Gezer
Gezer was a Canaanite city-state and biblical town in ancient Israel. Tel Gezer , an archaeological site midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is now an Israeli national park....

 — ); these all have substantial ancient remains, including impressive six-chambered gates, and ashlar
Ashlar
Ashlar is prepared stone work of any type of stone. Masonry using such stones laid in parallel courses is known as ashlar masonry, whereas masonry using irregularly shaped stones is known as rubble masonry. Ashlar blocks are rectangular cuboid blocks that are masonry sculpted to have square edges...

 palaces, as well as trough
Manger
A manger is a trough or box of carved stone or wood construction used to hold food for animals . Mangers are mostly used in livestock raising. They are also used to feed wild animals, e.g., in nature reserves...

-like structures outside buildings that early archaeologists have identified as the stables for Solomon's horses.

According to the Bible, during Solomon's reign Israel enjoyed great commercial prosperity, with extensive traffic being carried on by land with Tyre, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, and Arabia, and by sea with Tarshish
Tarshish
Tarshish תַּרְשִׁישׁ occurs in the Hebrew Bible with several uncertain meanings:*One of the sons of Javan .* In the Bible Solomon set up a trade with Tarshish and received ivory, apes, and peacocks from Tarshish which are all native to the jungles in India. India's state bird for example is the...

, Ophir
Ophir
Ophir is a port or region mentioned in the Bible, famous for its wealth. King Solomon is supposed to have received a cargo of gold, silver, sandalwood, precious stones, ivory, apes and peacocks from Ophir, every three years.- Citations :...

, and South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

.

Apocryphal texts


Rabbinical tradition attributes the Wisdom of Solomon to Solomon although this book was probably written in the 2nd century BC. In this work Solomon is portrayed as an astronomer
Astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

. Other books of wisdom poetry
Wisdom poetry
Wisdom Poetry refers to the type of poetry that contains some sort of moral or lesson, often written by an ancient scholar.Wisdom Poetry has no specific beginning date or founder. It is believed to be a cultural effect, like folk ballads for example. But, poetry with a moral lesson on wisdom dates...

 such as the Odes of Solomon
Odes of Solomon
The Odes of Solomon is a collection of 42 odes attributed to Solomon. Various scholars have dated the composition of these religious poems to anywhere in the range of the first three centuries AD...

and the Psalms of Solomon
Psalms of Solomon
One of the Pseudepigrapha, the Psalms of Solomon is a group of eighteen psalms that are not part of any scriptural canon...

also bear his name. The Jewish historian Eupolemus
Eupolemus
Eupolemus is the earliest Hellenistic Jewish historian whose work survives only in five fragments in the Eusebius of Caesarea's Praeparatio Evangelica embedded in quotations from the historian Alexander Polyhistor and in the Stromata of Clement of Alexandria.A sixth passage...

, who wrote about 157 BC, included copies of apocryphal letters exchanged between Solomon and the kings of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Tyre.

The Gnostic Apocalypse of Adam
Apocalypse of Adam
The Apocalypse of Adam discovered in 1945 as part of the Nag Hammadi library is a Gnostic work written in Coptic. It has no necessary references to Christianity and it is accordingly debated whether it is a Christian Gnostic work or an example of Jewish Gnosticism...

, which may date to the 1st or 2nd century, refers to a legend in which Solomon sends out an army of demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

s to seek a virgin who had fled from him, perhaps the earliest surviving mention of the later common tale that Solomon controlled demons and made them his slaves. This tradition of Solomon's control over demons appears fully elaborated in the early pseudographical work called the Testament of Solomon
Testament of Solomon
The Testament of Solomon is an Old Testament pseudepigraphical work, the authorship of which is ascribed to King Solomon. It describes how Solomon was enabled to build the Temple by commanding demons by means of a magical ring entrusted to him by the Archangel Michael.- History :Despite the text's...

with its elaborate and grotesque demonology
Demonology
Demonology is the systematic study of demons or beliefs about demons. It is the branch of theology relating to superhuman beings who are not gods. It deals both with benevolent beings that have no circle of worshippers or so limited a circle as to be below the rank of gods, and with malevolent...

.

Historical figure


Historical evidence of King Solomon other than the biblical accounts is minimal. Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

, citing Tyrian court records and Menander in Against Apion
Against Apion
Against Apion was a polemical work written by Flavius Josephus as a defense of Judaism as a classical religion and philosophy, stressing its antiquity against what he perceived as more recent traditions of the Greeks.-Text:Against Apion 1:8 also defines which books he viewed as being in the Jewish...

, gives a specific year during which Hiram I of Tyre sent materials to Solomon for the construction of the temple. However, no material evidence indisputably of Solomon's reign has been found. Yigael Yadin
Yigael Yadin
Yigael Yadin on 21 March 1917, died 28 June 1984) was an Israeli archeologist, politician, and the second Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces.-Early life and military career:...

's excavations at Hazor, Megiddo, Beit Shean and Gezer
Gezer
Gezer was a Canaanite city-state and biblical town in ancient Israel. Tel Gezer , an archaeological site midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is now an Israeli national park....

 uncovered structures that he and others have argued date from his reign, but others, such as Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman, argue that they should be dated to the Omride
Omrides
The term Omrides or the House of Omri refers to Omri and his descendants , who were according to the Bible, as well as a number of other archaeological remains, kings of ancient Israel....

 period, more than a century after Solomon.

Biblical account criticism


According to Israel Finkelstein
Israel Finkelstein
Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist and academic. He is currently the Jacob M. Alkow Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze Age and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University and is also the co-director of excavations at Megiddo in northern Israel...

 and Neil Silberman, authors of The Bible Unearthed
The Bible Unearthed
The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts is a 2001 book about the archaeology of Israel and its relationship to the origins of the Hebrew Bible...

: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts
, at the time of the Davidic and Solomonic kingdoms, Jerusalem may have been unpopulated, or at most populated by only a few hundred residents, leading to the conclusion that this is insufficient for an empire stretching from the Euphrates
Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

 to Eilath. According to The Bible Unearthed, archaeological evidence also suggests that the kingdom of Israel at the time of Solomon was little more than a small city state, and thus consider the collection of 666 talents
Talent (weight)
The "talent" was one of several ancient units of mass, as well as corresponding units of value equivalent to these masses of a precious metal. It was approximately the mass of water required to fill an amphora. A Greek, or Attic talent, was , a Roman talent was , an Egyptian talent was , and a...

 of gold (which Solomon received per year) of tribute to be an implausibly large amount of money. Although both Finkelstein and Silberman do accept that David and Solomon were real kings of Judah about the 10th century BC, they write that the earliest independent reference to the Kingdom of Israel is about 890 BC, whilst for that of Judah is about 750 BC. They suggest that due to religious prejudice, later writers (i.e., the Biblical authors) suppressed the achievements of the Omrides
Omrides
The term Omrides or the House of Omri refers to Omri and his descendants , who were according to the Bible, as well as a number of other archaeological remains, kings of ancient Israel....

 (whom the Hebrew Bible describes as being polytheist), and instead pushed them back to a supposed golden age of Judaism and godly rulers, i.e., monotheist, and devotees of YHWH. Some go further like the biblical minimalists, notably Thomas L. Thompson
Thomas L. Thompson
Thomas L. Thompson is a biblical theologian associated with the movement known as the Copenhagen School. He was professor of theology at the University of Copenhagen from 1993–2009, lives in Denmark and is now a Danish citizen.-Background:Thompson obtained a B.A...

, who state that Jerusalem only became a city and capable of acting as a state capital in the middle of the seventh century.

These views are strongly criticized by William G. Dever
William G. Dever
William G. Dever is an American archaeologist, specialising in the history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times. He was Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson from 1975 to 2002...

, Helga Weippert, Amihai Mazar
Amihai Mazar
Amihai "Ami" Mazar is an Israeli archaeologist. Born in Haifa, Israel , he is currently Professor at the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, holding the Eleazer Sukenik Chair in the Archaeology of Israel.Mazar has directed archaeological excavations at a number of...

 and Amnon Ben-Tor.

André Lemaire states in Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple that the principal points of the biblical tradition of Solomon are generally trustworthy, as does Kenneth Kitchen
Kenneth Kitchen
Kenneth Anderson Kitchen is Personal and Brunner Professor Emeritus of Egyptology and Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, England...

, who argues that Solomon ruled over a comparatively wealthy "mini-empire", rather than a small city-state, and considers this sum of 666 talents of gold to be a rather modest amount of money. Mr. Kitchen calculates that over a 30 year period such a kingdom might have accumulated from this up to 500 tons of gold, which is small when compared to other examples, such as the 1,180 tons of gold that Alexander the Great took from Susa. Likewise, the magnitude of Solomon's temple is considered excessively large by some, for example, Finkelstein
Finkelstein
Finkelstein is a German and Yiddish surname shared by a number of notable individuals:...

; however, others, such as Kenneth Kitchen, consider it a reasonable and typically sized structure for the region at the time.

William G. Dever
William G. Dever
William G. Dever is an American archaeologist, specialising in the history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times. He was Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson from 1975 to 2002...

 states "that we now have direct Bronze and Iron Age parallels for every feature of the 'Solomonic temple' as described in the Hebrew Bible".

The archaeological remains that are still considered to actually date from the time of Solomon are notable for the fact that Canaanite material culture appears to have continued unabated; there is a distinct lack of magnificent empire, or cultural development - indeed comparing pottery from areas traditionally assigned to Israel with that of the Philistines points to the Philistines having been significantly more sophisticated. However there is a lack of physical evidence of its existence, despite some archaeological work in the area. This is not unexpected as the area was devastated by the Babylonians, then rebuilt and destroyed several times. Also it should be noted that little archaeological excavation has been conducted around the area known as the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

; in what is thought to be the foundation of Solomon's Temple as attempts to do so are met with protest from adherents to the Muslim faith.

From a critical point of view, Solomon's building of a temple for YHWH should not be seen as an act resulting from particular devotion to YHWH, since Solomon is also described as erecting places of worship for a number of other deities . Solomon's apparent initial devotion to YHWH appearing in for example his dedication prayer are seen by some textual scholars as a product of a much later writer, Solomon being credited with the views only after Jerusalem had actually become the religious centre of the kingdom (rather than, for example, Shiloh, or Bethel
Bethel
Bethel was a border city described in the Hebrew Bible as being located between Benjamin and Ephraim...

). Some textual scholars consider the authorship of passages such as these in the Books of Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

 to be separate from the remainder of the text, and consider these passages to be probably the result of the Deuteronomist
Deuteronomist
The Deuteronomist, or simply D, is one of the sources underlying the Hebrew bible . It is found in the book of Deuteronomy, in the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings and also in the book of Jeremiah...

. Such views have been challenged by other textual scholars who maintain that there are evidences that these passages in Kings are derived from official court records from the time of Solomon and from other contemporaneous writings that were incorporated into the canonical books of Kings.

Chronological notes


Solomon's reign is part of a biblical chronology reaching from the Book of Genesis to the end of the 2nd Book of Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

, or from the Creation to the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of its Temple in 587/586 BCE. The chronology can be checked against datable Babylonian and Assyrian records at a few points, and these correspondences have allowed scholars to advance various schemes placing the events of the Bible in a modern framework. According to one of the most widely-used of these, that of Edwin Thiele, the death of Solomon and the division of the kingdom occurred in the year beginning in the spring of 931 BC. Thiele does not explicitly date the beginning of Solomon's reign, but according to the Book of Kings he ruled for 40 years.

Jewish scriptures


King Solomon is one of the central Biblical figures in Jewish heritage
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 that have lasting religious, national and political aspects. As the constructor of the First Temple in Jerusalem and last ruler of the united Kingdom of Israel before its division into the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was a Jewish state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. It is often referred to as the "Southern Kingdom" to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel....

, Solomon is associated with the peak "golden age" of the independent Kingdom of Israel as well as a source of judicial and religious wisdom. According to Jewish tradition, King Solomon wrote three books of the Bible
Books of the Bible
The Books of the Bible are listed differently in the canons of Judaism and the Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Slavonic Orthodox, Georgian, Armenian Apostolic, Syriac and Ethiopian churches, although there is substantial overlap. A table comparing the canons of some of these traditions...

:
  • Mishlei (Book of Proverbs
    Book of Proverbs
    The Book of Proverbs , commonly referred to simply as Proverbs, is a book of the Hebrew Bible.The original Hebrew title of the book of Proverbs is "Míshlê Shlomoh" . When translated into Greek and Latin, the title took on different forms. In the Greek Septuagint the title became "paroimai paroimiae"...

    ), a collection of fables and wisdom of life
  • Kohelet (Ecclesiastes
    Ecclesiastes
    The Book of Ecclesiastes, called , is a book of the Hebrew Bible. The English name derives from the Greek translation of the Hebrew title.The main speaker in the book, identified by the name or title Qoheleth , introduces himself as "son of David, king in Jerusalem." The work consists of personal...

    ), a book of contemplation and his self reflection.
  • Shir ha-Shirim (Song of Songs
    Song of songs
    Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon, is a book of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. It may also refer to:In music:* Song of songs , the debut album by David and the Giants* A generic term for medleysPlays...

    ), a chronicle of erotic love (there are contrasting opinions whether its subject is a woman or Yahweh).


The Hebrew word "To Solomon" (which can also be translated as "by Solomon") appears in the title of two hymns in the book of Psalms
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

 (Tehillim), suggesting to some that Solomon wrote them.

Judaism


King Solomon sinned by acquiring too many wives and horses because he thought he knew the reason for the Biblical prohibition and thought it did not apply to him. When King Solomon married the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh, a sandbank formed which eventually formed the "great nation of Rome" - the nation that destroyed the Second Temple (Herod's Temple). Solomon gradually lost more and more prestige until he became like a commoner. Some say he regained his status while others say he did not.

Christianity


Christianity has traditionally accepted the historical existence of Solomon, though some modern Christian scholars have also questioned at least his authorship of those biblical texts ascribed to him. Such disputes tend to divide Christians into traditionalist and modernist camps.

Of the two genealogies of Jesus
Genealogy of Jesus
The genealogy of Jesus is described in two passages of the Gospels: Luke 3:23–38 and Matthew 1:1–17.* Matthew's genealogy commences with Abraham and then from King David's son Solomon follows the legal line of the kings through Jeconiah, the king whose descendants were cursed, to Joseph, legal...

 given in the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

s, Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 mentions Solomon, but Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

 does not. Some commentators see this as an issue that can be reconciled while others disagree. For instance, it has been suggested that Luke is using Mary's genealogy and Matthew is using Joseph's, but Darrell Bock
Darrell Bock
Darrell L. Bock is a New Testament scholar and research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas, United States...

 states that this would be unprecedented, "especially when no other single woman appears in the line". Other suggestions include the use by one of the royal and the other of the natural line, one using the legal line and the other the physical line, or that Joseph was adopted, mentions Solomon's construction of the Temple .

In the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, Solomon is commemorated as a saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

, with the title of "Righteous Prophet and King". His feast day is celebrated on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers (two Sundays before the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

).

The staunchly Catholic King Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 sought to model himself after King Solomon. Statues of King David and Solomon stand on either side of the entrance to the basilica
Basilica
The Latin word basilica , was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located in the forum of a Roman town. Public basilicas began to appear in Hellenistic cities in the 2nd century BC.The term was also applied to buildings used for religious purposes...

 of El Escorial
El Escorial
The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a historical residence of the king of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometres northwest of the capital, Madrid, in Spain. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum, and...

, Philip's palace, and Solomon is also depicted in a great fresco at the center of El Escorial's library. Philip identified the warrior-king David with his own father Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, and himself sought to emulate the thoughtful and logical character which he perceived in Solomon. Moreover, Escorial's structure was inspired by that of Solomon's Temple.

Islam

Main article Islamic view of Solomon
See also Biblical narratives and the Qur'an
Biblical narratives and the Qur'an
The Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam, contains references to over fifty people and events also found in the Bible. While the stories told in each book are generally comparable in most respects, important differences sometimes emerge....



Solomon also appears in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, where he is called in Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, which is transliterated in English variously as Sulayman, Suleiman, Sulaimaan etc. The Qur'an refers to Sulayman as the son of David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

 (Arabic: Dawud, Dawood, or Dawoud), a prophet and a great ruler imparted by Allah with tremendous wisdom, favor, and special powers (like his father). The Qur'an states that Sulayman ruled not only people, but also hosts of Jinn
Genie
Jinn or genies are supernatural creatures in Arab folklore and Islamic teachings that occupy a parallel world to that of mankind. Together, jinn, humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of Allah. Religious sources say barely anything about them; however, the Qur'an mentions that...

, was able to understand the language of the birds and ants, and to see some of the hidden glory in the world that was not accessible to most other human beings. Ruling a large kingdom that extended south into Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

, via Queen of Sheba who accepted Solomon's prophethood and religion. He was famed throughout the lands for his wisdom and fair judgments. In particular, the Qur'an denies that Solomon ever turned away from Allah.

And they followed what the Shayatin(devils) chanted of sorcery in the reign of Sulaiman, and Sulaiman was not an unbeliever, but the Shayatin(devils) disbelieved, they teach people sorcery and such things that came down to the two angels at Babel, Harut and Marut, yet they (the two Angels) taught no person until they had said to them, "Surely, we are only a trial, therefore do not be a disbeliever." So they learn from them (the two Angels) that by which they might cause a separation between a man and his wife; and they cannot hurt with it any one except with Allah's permission, and they learned what harmed them and did not profit them, and certainly they know that he who bought it should have no share of good in the hereafter and evil was the price for which they sold their souls, had they but known this.


Solomon is said to have been given control over various things, such as the wind, and transportation. Thus the Qur'an says,


And to Solomon (We subjected) the wind, its morning (stride from sunrise till midnoon) was a month's (journey), and its afternoon (stride from the midday decline of the sun to sunset) was a month's (journey i.e. in one day he could travel two months' journey). And We caused a fount of (molten) brass to flow for him, and there were jinn that worked in front of him, by the Leave of his Lord, And whosoever of them turned aside from Our Command, We shall cause him to taste of the torment of the blazing Fire.



And before Sulayman were marshaled his hosts,- of Jinns and men and birds, and they were all kept in order and ranks.


And Solomon, accordingly grateful of Allah, says:

"O ye people! We have been taught the speech of birds, and on us has been bestowed from everything: this is indeed the Grace manifest (from God)."


According to the Qur'an, the death of Solomon held a lesson to be learned:

Then, when We decreed (Solomon's) death, nothing showed them his death except a little worm of the earth, which kept (slowly) gnawing away at his staff: so when he fell down, the Jinns saw plainly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have tarried in the humiliating Penalty (of their Task).

According to Muslim tradition, when Solomon died he was standing watching the work of his Jinn, while leaning on his cane. There he silently died, but did not fall. He remained in this position, and the Jinn, thinking he was still alive watching them work, kept working. But termites were eating the cane, so that the body of Solomon fell after forty days. Thereafter, the Jinn (along with all humans) regretted that they did not know more than Allah had allotted them to know.

One Thousand and One Nights

Main article One Thousand and One Nights

A well-known story in the One Thousand and One Nights describes a genie
Genie
Jinn or genies are supernatural creatures in Arab folklore and Islamic teachings that occupy a parallel world to that of mankind. Together, jinn, humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of Allah. Religious sources say barely anything about them; however, the Qur'an mentions that...

 who had displeased King Solomon and was punished by being locked in a bottle and thrown into the sea. Since the bottle was sealed with Solomon's seal, the genie was helpless to free himself, until freed many centuries later by a fisherman who discovered the bottle. In other stories which are found in One Thousand and One Nights, protagonists who had to leave their homeland and travel to the unknown places of the world saw signs which proved that Solomon had already been there. Sometimes, protagonists discovered Solomon's words which aimed to help those who were lost and unluckily reached those forbidden and deserted places.

Angels and magic

Main article Rabbinical literature

According to the Rabbinical literature, on account of his modest request for wisdom only, Solomon was rewarded with riches and an unprecedentedly glorious realm, which extended over the upper world inhabited by the angels and over the whole of the terrestrial globe with all its inhabitants, including all the beasts, fowl, and reptiles, as well as the demons and spirits. His control over the demons, spirits, and animals augmented his splendor, the demons bringing him precious stones, besides water from distant countries to irrigate his exotic plants. The beasts and fowl of their own accord entered the kitchen of Solomon's palace, so that they might be used as food for him, and extravagant meals for him were prepared daily by each of his 700 wives and 300 concubines, with the thought that perhaps the king would feast that day in her house.

Seal of Solomon

Main article Seal of Solomon
Seal of Solomon
In Medieval Jewish, Christian and Islamic legends, the Seal of Solomon was a magical signet ring said to have been possessed by King Solomon, which variously gave him the power to command demons, genies , or to speak with animals.-In legend :...


A magic ring
Magic ring
A magic ring is a ring, usually a finger ring, that has magical properties. It appears frequently in fantasy and fairy tales. Magic rings are found in the folklore of every country where rings are worn, and they endow the wearer with a variety of abilities, including invisibility, the granting of...

 called the "Seal of Solomon
Seal of Solomon
In Medieval Jewish, Christian and Islamic legends, the Seal of Solomon was a magical signet ring said to have been possessed by King Solomon, which variously gave him the power to command demons, genies , or to speak with animals.-In legend :...

" was supposedly given to Solomon and gave him power over demons. The magical symbol said to have been on the Seal of Solomon which made it work is now better known as the Star of David
Star of David
The Star of David, known in Hebrew as the Shield of David or Magen David is a generally recognized symbol of Jewish identity and Judaism.Its shape is that of a hexagram, the compound of two equilateral triangles...

. Asmodeus
Asmodai
Asmodeus or Asmodai is a king of demons mostly known from the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit, in which he is the primary antagonist. The demon is also mentioned in some Talmudic legends, for instance, in the story of the construction of the Temple of Solomon. He was supposed by some Renaissance...

, king of demons, was one day, according to the classical Rabbis, captured by Benaiah
Benaiah
Benaiah, son of the priest Jehoiada, was David's general for the army of the Kingdom of Israel and his chief bodyguard . The stories of him follow that he once killed a Egyptian with the Egyptian's own spear and a club. He was also said to have killed a lion in a snowy pit.He was one of David's...

 using the ring, and was forced to remain in Solomon's service. In one tale, Asmodeus brought a man with two heads from under the earth to show Solomon; the man, unable to return, married a woman from Jerusalem and had seven sons, six of whom resembled the mother, while one resembled the father in having two heads. After their father's death, the son with two heads claimed two shares of the inheritance, arguing that he was two men; Solomon decided that the son with two heads was only one man. The Seal of Solomon, in some legends known as the Ring of Aandaleeb, was a highly sought after symbol of power. In several legends, different groups or individuals attempted to steal it or attain it in some manner.

Solomon and Asmodeus

Main article Asmodeus
Asmodeus
Asmodeus may refer to:* Asmodai, a demon-like figure of the Talmud and Book of Tobit* Asmodeus , Austrian black-metal band*Asmodeus , the name of several characters in Marvel Comics*Asmodeus...


One legend concerning Asmodeus
Asmodeus
Asmodeus may refer to:* Asmodai, a demon-like figure of the Talmud and Book of Tobit* Asmodeus , Austrian black-metal band*Asmodeus , the name of several characters in Marvel Comics*Asmodeus...

 goes on to state that Solomon one day asked Asmodeus what could make demons powerful over man, and Asmodeus asked to be freed and given the ring so that he could demonstrate; Solomon agreed but Asmodeus threw the ring into the sea and it was swallowed by a fish. Asmodeus then swallowed the king, stood up fully with one wing touching heaven and the other earth, and spat out Solomon to a distance of 400 miles. The Rabbis claim this was a divine punishment for Solomon having failed to follow three divine commands, and Solomon was forced to wander from city to city, until he eventually arrived in an Ammonite city where he was forced to work in the king's kitchens. Solomon gained a chance to prepare a meal for the Ammonite king, which the king found so impressive that the previous cook was sacked and Solomon put in his place; the king's daughter, Naamah
Naamah (wife of Solomon)
Naamah was the wife of King Solomon, and mother of his heir, Rehoboam, according to both , and in the Hebrew Bible. She was an Ammonite, and the only one of Solomon's wives to be mentioned, within the Hebrew Bible, as having borne a child....

, subsequently fell in love with Solomon, but the family (thinking Solomon a commoner) disapproved, so the king decided to kill them both by sending them into the desert. Solomon and the king’s daughter wandered the desert until they reached a coastal city, where they bought a fish to eat, which just happened to be the one which had swallowed the magic ring. Solomon was then able to regain his throne and expel Asmodeus. (The element of a ring thrown into the sea and found back in a fish's belly earlier appeared in Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

' account of Polycrates
Polycrates
Polycrates , son of Aeaces, was the tyrant of Samos from c. 538 BC to 522 BC.He took power during a festival of Hera with his brothers Pantagnotus and Syloson, but soon had Pantagnotus killed and exiled Syloson to take full control for himself. He then allied with Amasis II, pharaoh of Egypt, as...

 of Samos).

In another familiar version of the legend of the Seal of Solomon, Asmodeus disguises himself. In some myths, he's disguised as King Solomon himself, while in more frequently heard versions he's disguised as a falcon, calling himself Gavyn (Gavinn or Gavin), one of King Solomon’s trusted friends. The concealed Asmodeus tells travelers who have ventured up to King Solomon's grand lofty palace that the Seal of Solomon was thrown into the sea. He then convinces them to plunge in and attempt to retrieve it, for if they do they would take the throne as king.

Artifacts


Other magical items attributed to Solomon are his key
Key of Solomon
The Key of Solomon , is a grimoire, or book on magic incorrectly attributed to King Solomon. It probably dates back to the 14th or 15th century Italian Renaissance...

 and his Table. The latter was said to be held in Toledo, Spain
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

 during Visigoth
Visigoth
The Visigoths were one of two main branches of the Goths, the Ostrogoths being the other. These tribes were among the Germans who spread through the late Roman Empire during the Migration Period...

 rule and was part of the loot taken by Tarik ibn Ziyad during the Umayyad Conquest of Iberia, according to Ibn Abd-el-Hakem
Ibn Abd-el-Hakem
Ibn ʿAbd al-Ḥakam was an Egyptian chronicler who wrote the History of the Conquest of Egypt and North Africa and Spain.His work is invaluable as the earliest Arab account of the Islamic conquests of those countries. This work was written about 150-200 years after the events it describes, and...

's History of the Conquest of Spain. The former appears in the title of the Lesser Key of Solomon, a grimoire
Grimoire
A grimoire is a textbook of magic. Such books typically include instructions on how to create magical objects like talismans and amulets, how to perform magical spells, charms and divination and also how to summon or invoke supernatural entities such as angels, spirits, and demons...

 whose framing tale is Solomon capturing demons using his ring, and forcing them to explain themselves to him.

Other forms of legend describe Solomon as having had a flying carpet that was 60 miles square, and could travel so fast that it could get from Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 to Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

 within a day. One day, due to Solomon exhibiting pride, the wind shook the carpet and caused 40,000 men to fall from it; Solomon on being told by the wind why this had happened, felt ashamed. Another day Solomon was flying over an ant-infested valley and overheard an ant warning its fellow ants to hide lest Solomon destroy them; Solomon desired to ask the ant a question, but was told it was not becoming for the interrogator to be above and the interrogated below. Solomon then lifted the ant above the valley, but the ant said it was not fitting that Solomon should sit on a throne while the ant remained on the ground, so Solomon placed the ant upon his hand, and asked it whether there was any one in the world greater than he. The ant replied that she was much greater as otherwise Yahweh would not have sent him there to place it upon his hand; this offended Solomon and he threw the ant down reminding it who he was, but the ant told him that it knew Solomon was created from a corrupted drop, causing Solomon to feel ashamed.

Angels


Angels also help out Solomon in building the Temple; though not by choice. The edifice was, according to rabbinical legend, throughout miraculously constructed, the large, heavy stones rising to and settling in their respective places of themselves. The general opinion of the Rabbis is that Solomon hewed the stones by means of a shamir
Solomon's Shamir
In the Gemara the shamir was a worm or a substance that had the power to cut through or disintegrate stone, iron and diamond. It was used by King Solomon in the building of the First Temple in Jerusalem in the place of cutting tools...

, a mythical worm whose mere touch cleft rocks. According to Midrash Tehillim
Midrash Tehillim
Midrash Tehillim or Midrash to Psalms is a haggadic midrash known since the 11th century, when it was quoted by Nathan of Rome in his Aruk , by R. Isaac ben Judah ibn Ghayyat in his Halakot , and by Rashi in his commentary on I Sam. xvii. 49, and on many other passages. This midrash is called also...

, the shamir was brought from paradise by Solomon's eagle; but most of the rabbis state that Solomon was informed of the worm's haunts by Asmodeus. The shamir had been entrusted by the prince of the sea to the mountain cock alone, and the cock had sworn to guard it well, but Solomon's men found the bird's nest, and covered it with glass. When the bird returned, it used the shamir to break the glass, whereupon the men scared the bird, causing it to drop the worm, which the men could then bring to Solomon.

Solomon in the Kabbalah


Early adherents of the Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

 portray Solomon as having sailed through the air on a throne of light placed on an eagle, which brought him near the heavenly gates as well as to the dark mountains behind which the fallen angels Uzza and Azzazel were chained; the eagle would rest on the chains, and Solomon, using the magic ring, would compel the two angels to reveal every mystery he desired to know. Solomon is also portrayed as forcing demons to take Solomon's friends, including Hiram, on day return trips to hell.

The palace without entrance


According to one legend, while traveling magically, Solomon noticed a magnificent palace to which there appeared to be no entrance. He ordered the demons to climb to the roof and see if they could discover any living being within the building but the demons only found an eagle, which said that it was 700 years old, but that it had never seen an entrance. An elder brother of the eagle, 900 years old, was then found, but it also did not know the entrance. The eldest brother of these two birds, which was 1,300 years old, then declared it had been informed by its father that the door was on the west side, but that it had become hidden by sand drifted by the wind. Having discovered the entrance, Solomon found an idol inside that had in its mouth a silver tablet saying in Greek (a language not thought by modern scholars to have existed 1000 years before the time of Solomon) that the statue was of Shaddad, the son of 'Ad, and that it had reigned over a million cities, rode on a million horses, had under it a million vassals and slew a million warriors, yet it could not resist the angel of death
Death (personification)
The concept of death as a sentient entity has existed in many societies since the beginning of history. In English, Death is often given the name Grim Reaper and, from the 15th century onwards, came to be shown as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood...

.

Throne



Solomon's throne is described at length in Targum Sheni
Targum sheni
The Targum Sheni is an Aramaic translation and elaboration of the Book of Esther, that embellishes the Biblical account with considerable new apocryphal material, not on the face of it directly germane to the Esther story...

, which is compiled from three different sources, and in two later Midrash
Midrash
The Hebrew term Midrash is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. The term also refers to the whole compilation of homiletic teachings on the Bible....

. According to these, there were on the steps of the throne twelve golden lions, each facing a golden eagle. There were six steps to the throne, on which animals, all of gold, were arranged in the following order: on the first step a lion opposite an ox; on the second, a wolf opposite a sheep; on the third, a tiger opposite a camel; on the fourth, an eagle opposite a peacock, on the fifth, a cat opposite a cock; on the sixth, a sparrow-hawk opposite a dove. On the top of the throne was a dove holding a sparrow-hawk in its claws, symbolizing the dominion of Israel over the Gentiles. The first midrash claims that six steps were constructed because Solomon foresaw that six kings would sit on the throne, namely, Solomon, Rehoboam
Rehoboam
Rehoboam was initially king of the United Monarchy of Israel but after the ten northern tribes of Israel rebelled in 932/931 BC to form the independent Kingdom of Israel he was king of the Kingdom of Judah, or southern kingdom. He was a son of Solomon and a grandson of David...

, Hezekiah
Hezekiah
Hezekiah was the son of Ahaz and the 14th king of Judah. Edwin Thiele has concluded that his reign was between c. 715 and 686 BC. He is also one of the most prominent kings of Judah mentioned in the Hebrew Bible....

, Manasseh
Manasseh of Judah
Manasseh was a king of the Kingdom of Judah. He was the only son of Hezekiah with Hephzi-bah. He became king at an age 12 years and reigned for 55 years. Edwin Thiele has concluded that he commenced his reign as co-regent with his father Hezekiah in 697/696 BC, with his sole reign beginning in...

, Amon
Amon of Judah
Amon was the king of Judah who succeeded his father Manasseh of Judah on the throne according to the Bible. His mother was Meshullemeth, daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. He was married to Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath....

, and Josiah
Josiah
Josiah or Yoshiyahu or Joshua was a king of Judah who instituted major reforms. Josiah is credited by most historians with having established or compiled important Jewish scriptures during the Deuteronomic reform that occurred during his rule.Josiah became king of Judah at the age of eight, after...

. There was also on the top of the throne a golden candelabrum, on the seven branches of the one side of which were engraved the names of the seven patriarchs Adam, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Job, and on the seven of the other the names of Levi, Kohath, Amram, Moses, Aaron, Eldad, Medad, and, in addition, Hur (another version has Haggai). Above the candelabrum was a golden jar filled with olive-oil and beneath it a golden basin which supplied the jar with oil and on which the names of Nadab, Abihu, and Eli and his two sons were engraved. Over the throne, twenty-four vines were fixed to cast a shadow on the king's head.

By a mechanical contrivance the throne followed Solomon wherever he wished to go. Supposedly, due to another mechanical trick, when the king reached the first step, the ox stretched forth its leg, on which Solomon leaned, a similar action taking place in the case of the animals on each of the six steps. From the sixth step the eagles raised the king and placed him in his seat, near which a golden serpent lay coiled. When the king was seated the large eagle placed the crown on his head, the serpent uncoiled itself, and the lions and eagles moved upward to form a shade over him. The dove then descended, took the scroll of the Law from the Ark, and placed it on Solomon's knees. When the king sat, surrounded by the Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

, to judge the people, the wheels began to turn, and the beasts and fowls began to utter their respective cries, which frightened those who had intended to bear false testimony. Moreover, while Solomon was ascending the throne, the lions scattered all kinds of fragrant spices. After Solomon's death, Pharaoh Shishak
Shishak
Shishak or Susac or Shishaq is the biblical Hebrew form of the first ancient Egyptian name of a pharaoh mentioned in the Bible.-Shishak's Reign:...

, when taking away the treasures of the Temple
Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount , before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE....

 (I Kings xiv. 26), carried off the throne, which remained in Egypt till Sennacherib
Sennacherib
Sennacherib |Sîn]] has replaced brothers for me"; Aramaic: ) was the son of Sargon II, whom he succeeded on the throne of Assyria .-Rise to power:...

 conquered that country. After Sennacherib's fall Hezekiah gained possession of it, but when Josiah was slain by Pharaoh Necho
Necho II
Necho II was a king of the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt .Necho II is most likely the pharaoh mentioned in several books of the Bible . The Book of Kings states that Necho met King Josiah of the Kingdom of Judah at Megiddo and killed him...

, the latter took it away. However, according to rabbinical accounts, Necho did not know how the mechanism worked and so accidentally struck himself with one of the lions causing him to become lame; Nebuchadnezzar, into whose possession the throne subsequently came, shared a similar fate. The throne then passed to the Persians, who their king Darius
Darius I of Persia
Darius I , also known as Darius the Great, was the third king of kings of the Achaemenid Empire...

 was the first to sit successfully on Solomon's throne since his death, and after that the throne passed into the possession of the Greeks and Ahasuerus
Ahasuerus
Ahasuerus is a name used several times in the Hebrew Bible, as well as related legends and Apocrypha. This name is applied in the Hebrew Scriptures to three rulers...

.

Literature

  • In The Divine Comedy
    The Divine Comedy
    The Divine Comedy is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature...

    the spirit of Solomon appears to Dante Alighieri
    Dante Alighieri
    Durante degli Alighieri, mononymously referred to as Dante , was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia ...

     in the Heaven of the Sun with other exemplars of inspired wisdom.
  • In Friedrich Dürrenmatt
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt was a Swiss author and dramatist. He was a proponent of epic theatre whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author's work included avant-garde dramas, philosophically deep crime novels, and often macabre satire...

    's Die Physiker
    Die Physiker
    The Physicists is a satiric drama often recognized as the most impressive yet most easily understood work of the Swiss writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt...

    , the physicist Möbius claims that Solomon appears to him and dictates the "theory of all possible inventions" (based on Unified Field Theory
    Unified field theory
    In physics, a unified field theory, occasionally referred to as a uniform field theory, is a type of field theory that allows all that is usually thought of as fundamental forces and elementary particles to be written in terms of a single field. There is no accepted unified field theory, and thus...

    ).
  • Solomon appears in Kipling's Just So Stories
    Just So Stories
    The Just So Stories for Little Children were written by British author Rudyard Kipling. They are highly fantasised origin stories and are among Kipling's best known works.-Description:...

    .
  • In Neal Stephenson
    Neal Stephenson
    Neal Town Stephenson is an American writer known for his works of speculative fiction.Difficult to categorize, his novels have been variously referred to as science fiction, historical fiction, cyberpunk, and postcyberpunk...

    's three-volume The Baroque Cycle
    The Baroque Cycle
    The Baroque Cycle is a series of novels by American writer Neal Stephenson. It was published in three volumes containing 8 books in 2003 and 2004. The story follows the adventures of a sizeable cast of characters living amidst some of the central events of the late 17th and early 18th centuries in...

    , 17th century alchemists like Isaac Newton
    Isaac Newton
    Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

     believe that Solomon created a kind of "heavier" gold with mystical properties and that it was cached in the Solomon Islands
    Solomon Islands
    Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

     where it was accidentally discovered by the crew of a wayward Spanish galleon. In the third volume of The Baroque Cycle, The System of the World, a mysterious member of the entourage of Czar Peter I of Russia
    Peter I of Russia
    Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

    , named "Solomon Kohan
    Kohen
    A Kohen is the Hebrew word for priest. Jewish Kohens are traditionally believed and halachically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the Biblical Aaron....

    " appears in early 18th century London. The czar, traveling incognito to purchase English-made ships for his navy, explains that he added him to his court after the Sack of Azov, where Kohan had been a guest of the Pasha
    Pasha
    Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

    . Solomon Kohan is later revealed as one of the extremely long-lived "Wise" (like Enoch Root), and compares a courtyard full of inventors' workstations to "an operation I used to have in Jerusalem a long time ago," denominating either facility as "a temple."
  • In Bartimaeus: The Ring of Solomon, both King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba are featured prominently.

Film

  • The Kingdom of Solomon
    The Kingdom of Solomon (film)
    The Kingdom of Solomon is an Iranian religious/historical film trilogy, produced by Mojtaba Faravardeh and directed by Shahriar Bahrani who has made Saint Mary before....

     (2009) - Iranian production directed by Shahriar Bahrani
    Shahriar Bahrani
    Iranian film director, Shahriar Bahrani -Selected filmography:* 2009: The Kingdom of Solomon* 2000: Saint Mary* 1997: Inverted world* 1993: The Attack to H-3* 1989: Not to mud water!...-References:...

  • Solomon and Sheba
    Solomon and Sheba
    Solomon and Sheba is a 1959 Biblical epic film made by Edward Small Productions and distributed by United Artists. The film stars Yul Brynner, Gina Lollobrigida, George Sanders and Marisa Pavan, with David Farrar, Harry Andrews, Jack Gwillim, Laurence Naismith, William Devlin, Jean Anderson and...

     (1959) - Epic film directed by King Vidor
    King Vidor
    King Wallis Vidor was an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter whose career spanned nearly seven decades...

    , starring Yul Brynner
    Yul Brynner
    Yul Brynner was a Russian-born actor of stage and film. He was best known for his portrayal of Mongkut, king of Siam, in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the film version; he also played the role more than 4,500 times on...


Music

  • Händel
    HANDEL
    HANDEL was the code-name for the UK's National Attack Warning System in the Cold War. It consisted of a small console consisting of two microphones, lights and gauges. The reason behind this was to provide a back-up if anything failed....

     composed an oratorio entitled Solomon
    Solomon (Handel)
    Solomon, HWV 67, is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel. Its libretto is based on the biblical stories of wise king Solomon and is attributed to Newburgh Hamilton...

     in 1748. The story follows the basic Biblical plot.
  • Ernest Bloch
    Ernest Bloch
    Ernest Bloch was a Swiss-born American composer.-Life:Bloch was born in Geneva and began playing the violin at age 9. He began composing soon afterwards. He studied music at the conservatory in Brussels, where his teachers included the celebrated Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe...

     composed a Hebraic Rhapsody for cello and orchestra entitled Schelomo
    Schelomo
    Schelomo is a cello concerto written by Ernest Bloch, first published in 1916 and receiving its first premiere on May 3, 1917 in Carnegie Hall, New York City. This Rhapsodie hébraïque pour violoncelle et grand orchestre was completed during Bloch's "Jewish Cycle," which lasted from 1912 to 1926...

    , based on King Solomon.

See also

  • Goetia
    Goetia
    refers to a practice which includes the invocation of angels or the evocation of demons, and usage of the term in English largely derives from the 17th century grimoire The Lesser Key of Solomon, which features an Ars Goetia as its first section...

  • Solomon and Marcolf
  • Solomonic column
    Solomonic column
    The Solomonic column, also called Barley-sugar column, is a helical column, characterized by a spiraling twisting shaft like a corkscrew...

  • Solomon's Pools
    Solomon's Pools
    Solomon's Pools , are located immediately to the south of al-Khader and about 5 kilometres southwest of Bethlehem. The pools consist of three open cisterns, each pool with a 6 metre drop to the next, fed from an underground spring. With each pool being over 100 metres long, 65 metres wide and 10...

  • This too shall pass
    This too shall pass
    "This too shall pass" is a proverb indicating that all material conditions, positive or negative, are temporary. The phrase seems to have originated in the writings of the medieval Persian Sufi poets, and is often attached to a fable of a great king who is humbled by the simple words...

  • The Judgement of Salomon (Giorgione)
    The Judgement of Salomon (Giorgione)
    The Judgment of Salomon is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Giorgione . It is housed in the Galleria degli Uffizi of Florence....


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