According come biblical heritage (and some say myth), King Solomon to be the third and last king in the old United Kingdom the Israel. Other faiths, such as Islam and Rastafarianism, also adopt the id of Solomon as a sagacious king and powerful prophet that Israel. He was renowned because that his wisdom, his prolific writings, and also his structure accomplishments. Born about 1010 BCE, Solomon was the tenth son of King David (the second king of old united Israel) and also the second son of Bathsheba. Like King Saul and King David, King Solomon reigned because that 40 years in one of the highest and most prosperous periods in Israel"s background - dubbed by many, “The gold Age” the Israel.

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During his reign, Solomon managed the trade routes coming the end of Edom, Arabia, India, Africa, and Judea; that constructed an elaborate and profitable web of alliances (cemented by an huge assemblage of numerous wives and also concubines), and also he purportedly constructed the first Temple that God in Jerusalem, i beg your pardon was damaged (along with the whole city of Jerusalem) through the Babylonians in 586 BCE. Despite initial sovereign successes, the end of Solomon"s preeminence was marked by number of insurrections and attacks native both foreign and also domestic enemies, as well as a disintegration of nationwide and religious integrity since of social appeasements within Israel, i beg your pardon compromised and weakened the social cloth of the joined Kingdom. He passed away in 931 BCE at age 80, perhaps the most prosperous and productive king ever to ascendancy over Israel.


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The classic Story of King Solomon

The story of King Solomon starts with his father, King David, and his mother, Bathsheba. In the Hebrew scriptures, 2 Samuel 3 claims that King David, anointed by the Prophet Samuel prior to King Saul"s demise to it is in his replacement, officially became King the Judea (1010 BCE). Later, 2 Samuel 5 states that (in 1002 BCE) every the elders of Israel approached him come be their ruler, and also “The king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.” King David"s regime lasted 40 years, and also like King Saul, it started off better than that ended.


The bibles state the God offered Solomon no only understanding & wisdom, but additionally "riches & wealth & honor".

David"s early stage zeal because that God and also for ethical integrity paved the method for his at an early stage fame and fortune, although gift a man of warfare and blood (according to the scriptures), God chose that David was not suitable to be the one to construct God"s temple (that would certainly be put in the hand of his son, Solomon). Moreover, David"s illicit affair and also subsequent devious plot (leading come the assassination the Uriah the Hittite and its cover-up) facility the rest of David"s regime - in addition to the rape that Tamar, the murder of Ammon, and also the test coup of Absalom, amongst other controversies.


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By the finish of David"s life, he had lost touch through Israelite culture and ultimately lost political regulate of it, as well. This brought about an test coup through his son, Adonijah (whose mother was Haggith, David"s 5th wife), that proclaimed self to it is in king v the aid of general Joab and also Abiathar the Priest; however, the majority of Israel"s institutional agents did not assistance Adonijah"s claim. The Hebrew scriptures state that the Prophet Nathan went an initial to Bathsheba to alert she to Adonijah"s usurpation of the throne, that then visited her husband, King David, to rest the troubling news to him. Eventually, the Prophet Nathan joined the two, and King David officially make Solomon his succession apparent. David said, “Assuredly Solomon your child shall it is in king ~ me, and he chandelier sit on mine throne in my place” (1 monarchs 1).

Solomon i do not care King

King David died from natural reasons in 961 BCE, was buried in Jerusalem, and, as argued in the Hebrew and also Greek scriptures, assisted in the establishment of the eternal kingdom that God with his piety and lineage. Before his death, David provided his final admonition to his son, Solomon, saying, “Keep the fee of the Lord her God: come walk in his ways, to save his statutes, his commandments, his judgments, and also his testimonies, together it is composed in the regulation of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and also wherever you turn. . . For you are a way man” (1 queens 2).


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The danger of polite war and Adonijah"s instant execution as a traitor was averted for a time; however, Adonijah test to own King David"s former asexual concubine, Abishag the Shunammite, behind King Solomon"s back. This enraged Solomon most likely since of Adonijah"s surreptitious political triangulation the Bathsheba and because of Adonijah"s political machinations come be complying with in King David"s footsteps. Thereafter, “King Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the kid of Jehoiada" and he win down, and he died” (1Kings 1). King Solomon additionally dispatched the various other ringleaders of the coup - basic Joab and also Abiathar the Priest, although Joab was executed and Abiathar was exiled.

Perhaps one of the an ext fantastical yet pivotal components of the biblical story of Solomon is the divine gift that he obtained from God as recorded in the Hebrew scriptures. Solomon implored, “Now, O lord God, let your promise come David my dad be established, for you have made me king over a civilization like the dust that the earth in multitude. Now provide me wisdom and also knowledge.” follow to the Hebrew scriptures, this impressed God, therefore Solomon obtained not just knowledge and wisdom, but likewise “riches and wealth and honor, such together none that the kings have had actually who were before you, no one shall any after you have the like” (2 Chronicles 1). The Qur"an likewise indicates the Solomon received a divine gift the wisdom, together with other special gifts (21:78–79) - "And us made Sulaiman to know (the case); and unto each of them We provided judgment and also knowledge."


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Features the Solomon"s Reign

Solomon"s prosperity and success were also accomplished through ingenious reforms and also innovations such as the development of defense measures; the expansion of the royal court; the jae won windfall from an ext sophisticated taxation, labor conscriptions that Canaanites and also Israelites, tributes and also gifts native foreign countries under the influence of Solomon; and a land and also sea trading system that made use of a powerful navy and army to protect assets and also trade routes. Follow to the Hebrew scriptures, “The king made silver and also gold as common in Jerusalem together stones, and also he made cedars as numerous as the sycamores, which room in the lowland” (2 Chronicles 1).

King Solomon was additionally famous because that his global relationships, forming partnerships with other nearby an effective nations such as Egypt, Moab, Tyre, Arabia, etc. Many of these partnerships were cemented through imperial marriages and also the offering of concubines to Solomon, eventually gaining him 700 wives and 300 concubines. One of King Solomon"s more famous political-amorous relationships was through the Queen the Sheba (which part speculate come be modern-day Yemen), who visited Israel with a lavish tribute that 120 talent of gold. The Hebrew bibles state, “And as soon as the queen the Sheba had actually seen the wisdom that Solomon, the home that he had built, the food on his table, the seating the his servants, the company of his waiters and their apparel, his cupbearers and also their apparel, and also his entryway whereby he went up to the house of the Lord, there to be no much more spirit in her” (2 Chronicles 9).

Clearly, the Queen was impressed with Solomon and also his accomplishments, and the two grew an intimate relationship, through Sheba help create, foster, and maintain Solomon"s commerce with other Arabian kings. Additionally, according to the Rastafarian faith, Solomon and also Sheba conceived a son together, who descendants consisted of Haile Selassie I, "the God the the black color race," as Selassie would then be regarded both King David and also Jesus Christ of Nazareth.


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Solomon"s temple

King Solomon is credited in the Hebrew scriptures as sponsoring, planning, funding, and executing the structure of the holy place to home the Ark the the Covenant, per the desire of his father, King David, and God. The building of the holy place is recorded in 1 Kings and also 2 Chronicles, through the ground-breaking start in the 4th year the Solomon"s reign, and construction was completed seven years later with an ostentatious dedication. In a seven-day celebration, Solomon sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 lamb to storage the Temple"s completion and also God"s willingness come dwell among them, therein.

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Solomon"s Temple, Jerusalem
Unknown Artist (Public Domain)

The architectural style of the temple was modeled ~ the tabernacle that had actually housed the Ark that the commitment for years (if not centuries). Quite lavish, it was dual the size and built mostly from stone, through cedar paneling to hide every masonry, which was overlaid through gold. The inside of the holy place was decorated with sophisticated carvings (gourds and also open flowers), gold lampstands, an altar of incense (also referred to as “the gold altar”), and two copper pillars among other embellishments. In a less-advanced architectural age, at over 100 feet long by 40 feet vast by 60 feet high (30 x 12 x 18 m) with outer doors of ivory, the first Temple must have actually seemed one impossibility, a miraculous achievement, for many visiting Israelites.

According come the Hebrew scriptures, after ~ the holy place was completed, Solomon had the Ark the the covenant finally moved from the tent that King David had actually made for it and also placed the in its dedicated chamber on the most western end of the holy place called, “The divine of Holies.” A perfect 20 x 20 x 20 ft. (6 x 6 x 6 m) cube, this to be the many sacred room the no one as well as the cook Priest can enter (on the day of Atonement) there is no dying. Institutionally and also nationally, it to be the intersection the the magnificent with his people through his mediator. The holy place did not just home the Levitical clergymans of God. Side rooms and a courtyard to be constructed roughly the totality building, with locations sectioned turn off for both the priests and the common world of Israel.

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King Solomon in his Palace
Being a builder, King Solomon also engaged in other building projects such as his personal palace, the palace of the woodland of Lebanon, the hall of the Pillars, and the hall of Justice. Yet, Solomon did no restrict his jobs to Jerusalem alone. He also rebuilt number of cities; he i was delegated fleets of ships and built many harbors to accommodate the bounty the the profession routes; and he created stables to residence his countless horses and also chariots. That is even feasible that he aided erect (or financed through plunder from the temple by the Assyrians or Babylonians) the renowned Hanging Gardens (one the the legendary 7 Wonders the the World).


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Solomon"s Literature

King Solomon is likewise credited because that contributing numerous books and literary works to the Hebrew scriptures consisting of the publication of Proverbs, the song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes, and traditionally penning part extra-biblical works including musical songs, poetry, histories, and also scientific functions in botany and zoology (although no extant writings have actually been discovered, currently). Under Solomon, Israel"s golden age produced many of the functions that were at some point gathered together right into the “The Writings” or “Kethubim” ar of the Hebrew scriptures.

Although theology is a ingredient of Solomon"s writings, the wisdom genre (also viewed in Egyptian and Akkadian literature) focuses much more on areas outside that theology - giving advice top top the developed world, relationships, helpful matters, and also assorted personal topics or challenges. Thus, Proverbs deals with the art of living, with just how to make intelligent options for one"s future well-being. The tune of song (or song of Solomon) is a romantic city that presents the can be fried union in between the bride and also the bridegroom, focusing on themes the love, wisdom, beauty, power, desire, sex, loyalty, etc. The publication of Ecclesiastes is a imperial testament that includes an individual reflections, meditations, and also instructions on the definition and functions of life, alluding come several aspects that would have been appropriate to Solomon"s own personal experiences - wisdom, futility, riches, servants, hedonism, productivity, and humble self-realization. Return Solomon to be the initial sage for numerous of his proverbs, he additionally searched his kingdom and empire for other writings and also ideas that erudite men and also included lock in his compilations.

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Model that Herod"s remodeling of the temple of Jerusalem
Berthold Werner (Public Domain)
Outside that the Hebrew scriptures, writings likewise exist that room attributed come King Solomon. In the Pseudepigrapha, The testament of Solomon is a 3rd century CE publication that syncretizes magic, astrology, and demonology to talk about the construction of the Temple amongst other sub-topics. In the Apocrypha, the Wisdom that Solomon is a deuterocanonical repertoire of wisdom sayings attributed to King Solomon (based on chapter 9:7–8), return the Muratorian Fragment suggests that it was "written by the friends of Solomon in his honour."

Losing Favour v God

Despite every these an excellent accomplishments, the Hebrew scriptures show that the decrease of Solomon was comparable to the fall of the previous kings of joined Israel - similar, in that personal vanity and religious/moral compromise brought about social disintegration and strife. Solomon gradually deprioritized his relationship and also obligations come God in order to appease his many foreign wives and in bespeak to safeguard the prosperity and longevity of his rule. Ultimately, “ wives turned his heart after other gods, and also his heart was no fully dedicated to the mr his God, as the heart of David his father had actually been” (1 kings 11). Solomon"s ungrateful, disloyal actions and also attitude - regardless of being the wisest and most blessed man on the planet - enraged the anger and also judgment the the Lord.

Thus, although quiet able come keep regulate of the country of Israel since of God"s promise to King David, Solomon shed the protection and favor that God that previously had listed remarkable peace and also prosperity as soon as he to be obedient to God. Solomon quickly found new challenges from within and without his kingdom, including Jeroboam who was promised to regime over Israel by the Prophet Ahijah, indigenous Hadad of Edom who tested Solomon"s territorial manage in the southerly territory of Israel, and also from Rezon that Damascus, who threatened Solomon"s control over the northern territory the Israel.

King Solomon died of natural causes in 931 BCE in ~ the period of 80. His son, Rehoboam, inherited the throne, which led to a polite war and the finish of the united kingdom of Israel in in 930 BCE.

Epigraphical & archaeological Evidence for King Solomon

As through King David, verifying the existence of King Solomon is challenging, at best, especially because epigraphs typically provide imprecise information, and the biblical accounts rest upon a presupposition of superordinary realities. Although over there is much archaeological and epigraphical evidence to substantiate the opportunity of some/many (non-supernatural) scriptural assertions, archaeological finds to date have listed mostly indirect affirmation. V such huge gaps in archaeological evidence and also with the air pollution of as well many archaeological fields, that is easy to speculate, theorize, or do an debate from silence, yet it is difficult to empirically prove or disprove the presence of Solomon. Still, some provocative-yet-controversial historical finds have actually been recently unearthed over the critical century that call for consideration.

Although its first discoverer is unknown, in 1828 CE, Jean–François Champollion, who additionally discovered the Rosetta rock in 1799 CE, check the Bubastite Portal door (built in 925 BCE) in ~ the holy place of Amun in Thebes. ~ above its walls, among the historical paintings, a long list of beat peoples by Pharaoh Shoshenq is accessible, including those native the “Highland/Heights of David,” may be led by King Rehoboam, which led Champollion come conclude the Pharaoh Shoshenq and also King Shishak of Egypt, as referenced in 1 monarchs in the Hebrew scriptures, room one and also the same.

In 1868 CE, Missionary Frederick Augustus Klein discovered an intact stele in Dhiban, Jordan, called the “Mesha Stele” or the “Moabite Stone,” with text that he might not read. Back the stele to be smashed by contentious locals the next year, a papier-måché impression had actually been make of it and also the stele to be reassembled. The engraving on the stele referrals the Moabites, their god, and additionally references the nation of Israel and also Omri, her 6th king. Comparable finds such as the Black tower of Shalmaneser III and the Chronicle of Sennacherib likewise confirm the existence of Israelite kings throughout the Assyrian hegemony.

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Between 1957 CE and also 1971 CE, archaeologist Yigael Yadin began excavations at 2 of the three cities stated in 1 emperors 9 (fully in ~ Hazor and also in a cursory examination at Megiddo), which had gates supposedly developed by King Solomon c. 960 BCE. Based upon compared archaeological evidence from all three sites, which contained Macalister"s excavation report at Gezer from 1902–09 CE, Yadin concluded the the 3 city gateways were draft by the very same engineer (based on the same structural dimensions), constructed by the very same workers (stylistically and also methodologically indigenous Phoenicia), and utilized the same product (they included ashlar masonry quarried in Tyre). Additionally, in the 1860s CE, Charles Warren found a wall and courtyard in Jerusalem the were later found to be identical to the one in Megiddo and dating from the duration of King Solomon.

In 1993 CE, Avraham Biran uncovered the Tel Dan engraving on a damaged stele in northern Israel. The inscription commemorates the victory of one Aramean king end its southerly neighbors, and also specifically references both the “king the Israel,” and the “king the the residence of David.” This is probably the an initial real, direct, historical evidence for the Davidic dynasty in Israel.

In 2010 CE, Eilat Mazar and also her team uncovered a 10th century BCE wall surface between the temple Mount and also the contemporary Arab community of Silwan. The wall was component of a larger facility that contained a gatehouse, guard tower, and other buildings. Based on artifacts found in and also around the area, Mazar suspects the the wall surface is at least 3,000 years old, i m sorry would ar its building in the time period of King Solomon (as referenced in 1 Kings).

In 2012 CE, Eilat Mazar and her historical team discovered an old structure in ~ the Ophel in Jerusalem the dated ago to the Solomonic era. In a bedrock depression within the structure, the archaeologists likewise discovered a large storage jar (or pithos) with the more quickly alphabetical letters ever found in Jerusalem composed on an earthenware jug. Back the seals carry out not straight reference King David or King Solomon, the Ophel inscription not only argues an advanced culture living in Jerusalem previously than previously believed; it likewise indicates a fully-functioning administration that gathered taxes and also implemented regulations during the duration of King Solomon"s reign.

In 2013 CE, Erez Ben-Yosef and also his archaeological team discovered radiocarbon dating proof forcing countless archaeologists and also historians come revise their presumptions about the copper mines in Israel"s Aravah Desert. Previously assumed to be Egyptian, the new evidence says that the mines were actually operated through the Edomites, the old enemies that Israel consistently referenced in the Hebrew scriptures, that lived during the duration of Solomon.

In 2014 CE, students and also faculty from Mississippi State University discovered six main clay seals in southern Israel close to Gaza. Return the seals perform not straight reference King David or King Solomon, the Khirbet Summeily clay seals suggest official government activity in 10th century BCE, which had actually been assumed to be as well tribal for such sophistication.

In 2016 CE, Israeli excavators discovered numerous little artifacts from the holy place Mount, which have been date to the moment of the first Temple, almost 3,000 years ago. Shards native the historical dig include pottery pieces (a conventional in general archaeological dating), olive pits, animal bones, and also they all share a uniform date from the Solomonic period, follow to the team"s findings.

Conclusion

By no method conclusive, the aforementioned discoveries do give some credence come the theory that a united kingdom of Israel once existed in the Mediterranean an ar although Israel"s regional influence, army prowess, infrastructural contributions, and also early pivotal leaders room still somewhat veiled. Fortunately, new archaeological discoveries proceed to be made and also advanced technology continues to carry to light the shadows of that which has actually been concealed for centuries and centuries.

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Archaeological and historical evidence of other monarchs of Israel and Judah - such together Omri, Ahab, Joram, Ahaziah, Jehu, Hezekiah - have been uncovered in the historic landscape (and one might conceivably expect more to follow). Still, considering the classic view of King Solomon together the wisest, most prosperous man on earth and King the his time (and of all future monarchs of Israel), the lack of direct historical and also archaeological referrals to him, come the name “King Solomon” outside of the Hebrew scriptures, i m sorry portray him together the wisest of every fools, is rather ironical or evidential, indeed.