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King Solomon In Historical and Biblical Literature

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Sort order. Radu rated it liked it Jun 11, Bill Redinger rated it liked it Feb 29, Khawla Ahmad rated it liked it Oct 11, Darlene Battcher rated it it was ok Apr 19, The Quantum Kid rated it really liked it Dec 23, Aaron Brummett rated it it was amazing Dec 12, Clayton Stephens rated it did not like it Oct 30, Bryan rated it really liked it Feb 05, Katy added it Jun 03, Jim marked it as to-read May 12, Maritza Mora added it Jun 16, Kathleen A Hancock marked it as to-read Feb 17, Carrie R Fitzgerald marked it as to-read Mar 10, Angeline is currently reading it May 06, Stephen Robertson marked it as to-read May 11, DDD marked it as to-read May 01, Randy Rush added it Sep 05, Other faiths, such as Islam and Rastafarianism, also embrace the notion of Solomon as a sagacious king and powerful prophet of Israel.

He was renowned for his wisdom, his prolific writings, and his building accomplishments. During his reign, Solomon controlled the trade routes coming out of Edom, Arabia , India , Africa , and Judea; he constructed an elaborate and profitable web of alliances cemented by an enormous assemblage of hundreds of wives and concubines , and he purportedly built the first Temple of God in Jerusalem , which was destroyed along with the entire city of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in BCE.

He died in BCE at age 80, possibly the most prosperous and productive king ever to rule over Israel. Eventually, the Prophet Nathan joined the two, and King David officially made Solomon his heir apparent. King David died from natural causes in BCE, was buried in Jerusalem, and, as suggested in the Hebrew and Greek scriptures, facilitated the establishment of the eternal kingdom of God through his piety and lineage.

Catalog Record: Solomon and solomonic literature | HathiTrust Digital Library

King Solomon also dispatched the other ringleaders of the coup - General Joab and Abiathar the Priest, although Joab was executed and Abiathar was exiled. Perhaps one of the more fantastical yet pivotal parts of the biblical story of Solomon is the divine gift that he received from God as recorded in the Hebrew scriptures. Now give me wisdom and knowledge. The Qur'an also indicates that Solomon received a divine gift of wisdom, along with other special gifts —79 - "And We made Sulaiman [Solomon] to understand the case ; and unto each of them We gave judgment and knowledge.

King Solomon was also famous for his international relationships, forming alliances with other nearby powerful nations such as Egypt , Moab, Tyre , Arabia, etc. Many of these partnerships were cemented through royal marriages and the giving of concubines to Solomon, eventually gaining him wives and concubines. Additionally, according to the Rastafarian faith, Solomon and Sheba conceived a child together, whose descendants included Haile Selassie I, "the God of the Black race," as Selassie would then be related to both King David and Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

King Solomon is credited in the Hebrew scriptures as sponsoring, planning, funding, and executing the building of the Temple to house the Ark of the Covenant, per the wishes of his father, King David, and God. The architectural design of the Temple was modeled after the tabernacle that had housed the Ark of the Covenant for decades if not centuries.

Quite lavish, it was double the size and built mainly from stone, with cedar paneling to hide all masonry, which was overlaid with gold. In a less-advanced architectural age, at over feet long by 40 feet wide by 60 feet high 30 x 12 x 18 m with outer doors of ivory, the First Temple must have seemed an impossibility, a miraculous achievement, for most visiting Israelites.

Catalog Record: Solomon and solomonic literature | HathiTrust Digital Library

Institutionally and nationally, it was the intersection of the Divine with his People through his mediator. The Temple did not just house the Levitical priests of God. Side rooms and a courtyard were constructed around the whole building, with areas sectioned off for both the priests and the common people of Israel. Being a builder, King Solomon also engaged in other construction projects such as his personal palace , the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon, the Hall of the Pillars, and the Hall of Justice.

Yet, Solomon did not restrict his projects to Jerusalem alone. He also rebuilt several cities ; he commissioned fleets of ships and built numerous harbors to accommodate the bounty of the trade routes; and he constructed stables to house his thousands of horses and chariots. It is even possible that he helped erect or financed with plunder from the Temple by the Assyrians or Babylonians the famous Hanging Gardens one of the legendary Seven Wonders of the World.

King Solomon is also credited for contributing several books and literary works to the Hebrew scriptures including the Book of Proverbs, the Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes, as well as traditionally penning some extra-biblical works including musical songs, poetry, histories, and scientific works in botany and zoology although no extant writings have been discovered, currently.

Solomon and Solomonic Literature

The Song of Songs or Song of Solomon is a romantic poem that presents the ultimate union between the bride and the bridegroom, focusing on themes of love, wisdom, beauty, power, desire, sex, loyalty, etc. Although Solomon was the original sage for many of his proverbs, he also searched his kingdom and empire for other writings and ideas of erudite men and included them in his compilations.

Outside of the Hebrew scriptures, writings also exist that are attributed to King Solomon. In the Apocrypha, the Wisdom of Solomon is a deuterocanonical collection of wisdom sayings attributed to King Solomon based on chapter —8 , although the Muratorian Fragment suggests that it was "written by the friends of Solomon in his honour. Solomon slowly deprioritized his relationship and obligations to God in order to appease his many foreign wives and in order to protect the prosperity and longevity of his rule.


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King Solomon died of natural causes in BCE at the age of As with King David, verifying the existence of King Solomon is challenging, at best, especially since epigraphs typically provide imprecise information, and the biblical accounts rest upon a presupposition of supernatural realities. With such huge gaps in archaeological evidence and with the contamination of too many archaeological fields, it is easy to speculate, theorize, or make an argument from silence, but it is difficult to empirically prove or disprove the existence of Solomon. Still, some provocative-yet-controversial archaeological finds have been recently unearthed over the last century that require consideration.

The wall was part of a larger complex that included a gatehouse, guard tower, and other buildings. Based on artifacts found in and around the area, Mazar suspects that the wall is at least 3, years old, which would place its construction in the time period of King Solomon as referenced in 1 Kings. In CE, Eilat Mazar and her archaeological team discovered an ancient structure at the Ophel in Jerusalem that dated back to the Solomonic era.

Objects and Tales of Kingship in the Medieval Mediterranean

In a bedrock depression within that structure, the archaeologists also discovered a large storage jar or pithos with the earliest alphabetical letters ever found in Jerusalem written on an earthenware jug. Previously assumed to be Egyptian, the new evidence suggests that the mines were actually operated by the Edomites, the ancient enemies of Israel repeatedly referenced in the Hebrew scriptures, who lived during the period of Solomon.

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Although the seals do not directly reference King David or King Solomon, the Khirbet Summeily clay seals indicate official government activity in 10th century BCE, which had been assumed to be too tribal for such sophistication. In CE, Israeli archaeologists discovered numerous small artifacts from the Temple Mount, which have been dated to the time of the First Temple, nearly 3, years ago.

Fortunately, new archaeological discoveries continue to be made and advanced technology continues to bring to light the shadows of that which has been hidden for centuries and centuries. Archaeological and historical evidence of other kings of Israel and Judah - such as Omri, Ahab, Joram, Ahaziah, Jehu, Hezekiah - have been uncovered in the historical landscape and one could conceivably expect more to follow. Editorial Review This Article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication.

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