Son and successor of David, he became the third king of the Hebrews, Solomon was born on January 1st, 970 B.C. He died on January 1, 931 B.C.
Born in…: Jerusalem, 970 B.C.
Died in…: Jerusalem, 931 B.C.
Photo by Omar Elsharawy on Unsplash
Brief biography of Solomon – Solomon is a character in the Bible. He is a prophet, king of Israel, descendant of David and Bathsheba.
Recognized for his wisdom and wealth, he reigned from 970 to 931 BC following his father as the third king of the Hebrews.
Solomon succeeded in thwarting the intrigues of his half-brother Adonijah and his followers who were trying to seize the throne.
The reign of Solomon was a time of peace and prosperity, with many buildings constructed such as the Temple of Solomon, the royal palace and the fortifications of Jerusalem.
Tradition attributes to Solomon several writings integrated in the canon of the Bible, including the Song of Songs.
The Queen of Sheba also came to visit him from her distant Arabia, fascinated by his reputation. Solomon is also considered one of the prophets of Islam.
He appears in the Koran as a prophet king, son of Daoud and king of the geniuses. It is for the latter that Solomon built rich and imposing buildings.
The Great Magician
In addition, it has the power to control the genies through a talisman (the seal of Solomon) in whose center Allah’s name is engraved.
The most famous episode of Solomon the prophet king recorded in the Koran is his encounter with the Queen of Sheba, who according to tradition is also a magician.
His reign marks the golden age of the Jewish kingdom, but he is best known for his wisdom which is praised in many passages of the Bible.
The most famous of these is the Judgment of Solomon: two women fight over the same child. Solomon orders the child to be cut in half so that each woman can have one half.
Then one of the women gives up her son, preferring him to be alive instead of at her side. This is how the king discovers the truth and returns the child to this woman, the true mother. However, despite his wisdom, Solomon allows himself to be corrupted by his harem at the end of his life (composed of 700 wives and 300 concubines according to legend).
Idolatry resurfaces, the subjects are taxed and the revolt is prepared to explode at their death: this is the partition of the kingdom of Israel in 931 BC.
The existence of the Temple of Solomon and its palace in Jerusalem cannot be proven by archaeological research due to the impossibility of carrying out excavations at the site where they are supposed to be (the esplanade of the mosques, which is one of the holy places of Islam).
It is likely that a king named Solomon ruled the region where the kingdom of Judah was formed, a small and sparsely populated kingdom in the Southern Highlands around a small city called Jerusalem.
According to archaeological research, at the time of King Solomon, the city of Jerusalem was only a small town of a few hundred inhabitants.
It was the capital of a kingdom composed of a dozen small towns inhabited by a few thousand people (according to estimates from archaeological research, the area around Jerusalem would have had 5,000 people at the beginning of the 10th century BC and 35,000 inhabitants around 800 BC).
Therefore, the wealth available for the construction of the Temple should not be overestimated.
It is possible that at the same time another rival, richer and more populous Hebrew kingdom, which would become the kingdom of Israel, existed in the northern highlands.
Some current historians interpret the results of numerous archaeological investigations in this sense.
The Bible further indicates that since the death of Solomon the Hebrews were divided into two kingdoms.
Solomon’s successors on the throne of the kingdom of Judah would have embellished the image of his reign because they undertook conquests to dominate all the territory that had been populated by the Hebrews.
King Solomon’s reign
According to biblical and archaeological sources, this was a prosperous time for Israel. Solomon was indeed a more peaceful man than his father David.
He transformed Jerusalem, his capital, causing many gigantic buildings to be built there for the time: the Temple of Jerusalem, a royal palace, a wall surrounding the city, of which some remains still remain.
The famous Temple of Jerusalem took more than 7 years to build.
The end of Solomon’s reign was less happy than his youth. The Book of Kings tells us that Solomon, having taken no less than 700 wives, plus many concubines, allowed himself to be led into less wise paths.
In particular, he collected heavy taxes that, after his death, generated revolts throughout the kingdom of Israel. He is attributed the “authorship” of three books of the Bible: the famous Song of Songs, the Book of Ecclesiastes and the Book of Proverbs.
Some time later, two women went to see Solomon. We both live in the same house,” explained one of them.
I had a child, and two days later she had a child too. But one night her son died. So she took my son who was by my side and put hers in his place. When I woke up and looked at the dead baby, it wasn’t mine.
Then the other woman said, “That’s not true! But the first woman kept saying, “No, it’s her son who died. They argued like this before the king. What did Solomon do?
The king asked for a sword and said: “Cut the living child in half and give half to one and half to the other”.
“No!” cried the real mother, “Don’t kill the baby! But the other woman said, “Don’t give him to any of us. Cut him in half!
Then the king said, “Give the child to the first woman. She is the true mother. Solomon was not wrong: the true mother loved her baby so much that she was ready to give it to the other woman instead of seeing it die.
When the people heard about Solomon’s trial, they were happy to have such a king at their head.
During Solomon’s reign, God blessed the people by giving them abundance. The country produced a profusion of grain and fruit. Its people wore fine clothes and lived in beautiful houses. It was prosperity for everyone.
Solomon Islands: key dates
968 B.C.: Solomon succeeds his father, David
Solomon ascended to the throne of the land of Canaan, which then extended from the Euphrates to Gaza. He improved his people’s trade relations with the surrounding land and divided the territory into twelve districts.
In this way, he managed to unify his empire with the main objective of the prosperity of Jerusalem.
He will build the First Temple, surrounded by high walls and housing the Tables of the Law, received by Moses. At his death, his radiant empire will be divided: the kingdom of Israel will extend to the north, while the kingdom of Judea will occupy the south.
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These books are gems of literature that can help you understand the wisdom of Solomon, some of which you can buy half in good condition.