- SOLOMON (Heb. שְׁלֹמֹה; tenth century B.C.E.), son of david , king of Israel. Born of Bath-Sheba, Solomon was so named by David (II Sam. 12:24; according to the keri, Targ. Jon., and according to the Pesh., by his mother), while Nathan called him Jedidiah (Heb. יְדִידְיָה; II Sam. 12:25). Apparently his principal name was Solomon, analogous to the similar Phoenician names שלמין and בעל שלם (cf. the interpretation of the name in I Chron. 22:9), Jedidiah being an affectionate or honorable appellation "because of the Lord" or, according to the Septuagint, "by word of the Lord" (II Sam. 12:25; cf. Deut. 33:12; II Kings 22:1). Following the intervention of Nathan and Bath-Sheba, David decided to have Solomon anointed king in his own lifetime, and not his son adonijah the son of Haggith who, supported by some army commanders and a section of "the king's servants" led by Joab son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the priest, was proclaimed king by them beside En-Rogel without David's knowledge (I Kings 1:7, 9, 18, 19, 24, 25, 41, 44). David's mighty men and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, later joined by "the king's servants," sided with Solomon (1:8, 10, 33, 38, 47), who was inducted at the Gihon spring. He was brought down there riding on a mule, and, in the presence of Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, was anointed king by Zadok the priest, to the sound of the blowing of the ram's horn and of the people's shout of "Long live King Solomon" (1:32–40). The account does not mention Solomon's qualities by virtue of which he was found worthy of the king-ship despite his being one of the king's younger sons (I Chron. 3:1–10). This is ascribed to David's vow to Bath-Sheba, not mentioned in II Samuel, that Solomon would succeed to the throne (I Kings 1:13, 17, 30). Solomon's succession was accompanied by the destruction or banishment of rivals: Joab and Adonijah were killed; Abiathar the priest was banished to Anathoth; the killing of Shimei son of Gera, however, may be explained as a measure taken against potential rebels among survivors of the former royal house. -The Kingdom of Solomon Already at the outset of his reign Solomon was distinguished as a king who took vigorous action against opponents and did not shrink from a blood vengeance. David's last testament to Solomon should not necessarily be regarded as a tendentious projection by the author of the narrative in order to attribute the bloodshed by the newly crowned king to the instructions of the founder of the royal house. First, David's hostility to Joab was well known. Second, it was certainly unnecessary to ascribe the matter of the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite to David's last testament (2:5–9). Third and primarily, the account of Solomon's elevation contains no exaggerated praise of him. In any event, the bloodshed, associated as it was with a blood vengeance, reflects the upheavals that afflicted the royal court of David, in consequence of which Solomon became king even during his father's lifetime, as emphasized again by the Chronicler in his idealistic, apologetic explanation of Solomon's second, public induction ("And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time," I Chron. 29:20–25; cf. 23:1; 28:1–11, 20–21). Solomon reigned jointly with his father apparently from 967 to 965 B.C.E. and on his own from 965 to 928 B.C.E. According to the biblical account, it was from David that Solomon inherited a kingdom which extended from "beyond the (Euphrates) river to the border of Egypt" (I Kings 5:1). The verse is a late gloss, defining Solomon's territory anachronistically, and attempting to raise Solomon to the status of the great imperialists of the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, and perhaps Persian periods. "Beyond the river" (Heb. ever ha-nahar is the equivalent of Akkadian eber nāri, first used two centuries after Solomon in Neo-Assyrian sources for the territory west of the Euphrates (Cogan, 213). Indeed, in the time that has transpired since the appearance of the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica, both archaeological evidence and critical study of the biblical texts have undermined the confidence of scholars about the greatness of Solomon. Some scholars despair of recovering the historical Solomon, while others call his very existence into question. J.M. Miller (apud Handy 1–24) has framed the basic issues involved in separating the historical Solomon from the Solomon of legend: (1) The Davidic–Solomonic empire of the magnitude described in the Bible does not seem to fit the circumstances following the collapse of the international system of the Bronze age ca. 1200. (2) Some have argued that the collapse of the Hittite Empire and the withdrawal of Egypt from Asia would have enabled the rise of an empire centered in Palestine. But if that is the case such an empire should have left some epigraphical sources. (3) The biblical descriptions of Solomon's territorial holdings are not of a piece. Close examination reveals that some of the passages point to a relatively modest, and therefore more credible, realm. (4) Archaeological evidence available at present has not revealed anything like an empire centered in the Palestinian hill country in the 10th century. The land of the Philistines was certainly not included in his kingdom, it being clearly stated that Solomon had dominion "to Gaza" (I Kings 5:4 (4:24), and hence the translation "to the land of the Philistines" (5:1 (4:21) is correct. It is unlikely that Solomon's dominion extended north over the neo-Hittite kingdom of Hamath, where, according to Chronicles, he built (or reconstructed) store-cities, and reached as far as Tadmor (Palmyra) in the wilderness, where he also fortified himself (II Chron. 8:3–5). More likely is the account in I Kings 9:18 where the ketiv reads Tamar, which fits the geographic horizon of the chapter as an important point of the southern border (Cogan, 302). In addition, if Rezon held Damascus, Solomon could not have held much Aramean territory. Similarly, if he handed 20 cities over to Hiram, he did not have dominion in phoenicia . Solomon may have had some share in the exchange of merchandise between the northern and southern countries, as indicated by the obscure passage (I Kings 10:28, 29) which tells of "the king's traders" and that "Solomon's import of Solomons division of Israel into districts. The small map shows the boundaries of his kingdom at its greatest extent. Based on Atlas of Israel, Jerusalem, 1970. Solomon's division of Israel into districts. The small map shows the boundaries of his kingdom at its greatest extent. Based on Atlas of Israel, Jerusalem, 1970. horses was from… Que" – according to the Septuagint and the Vulgate in Cilicia (cf. II Chron. 1:16 which has קְוֵא instead of קְוֵה as in I Kings 10:28; see que ). From Anatolia Solomon imported horses which he sold in Egypt; he sold chariots from Egypt to the Aramean and neo-Hittite kingdoms in Syria, "to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram." However, Na'aman (apud Handy, 71) points out that it was in the eighth–seventh century that Egypt and Que were export centers of horses and chariots, and that the role of Solomon's traders is anachronistically borrowed from that of the tamkāru traders of the Neo-Assyrian empire. More likely is some control by Solomon of the commercial route that passed through Jordan on the way from Arabia to Damascus. Associated with this economic activity of Solomon is the story of the queen of sheba , who came to Jerusalem "with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices, and very much gold, and precious stones" (I Kings 10:2). "Never again came such an abundance of spices" (10:10; II Chron. 9:1–9) as those which she gave to Solomon. That the queen came to test Solomon's wisdom smacks of legend. The use of the term ḥiddot, "riddles" (I Kings 10:1), an Aramaic loan whose shape points to a sound shift no earlier than the sixth century, indicates a late origin for the present text. Nonetheless, early South Arabian trade with Mesopotamia involving wood and spices transported by camels is attested in the early ninth century and may have begun as early as the tenth (Na'aman apud Handy, 72–3). In addition, queens are well attested in Arabia, though according to Kitchen (apud Handy, 141), not after 690 B.C.E. In sum, the story is not to be dismissed as utter anachronistic fantasy. The Bible speaks of close relations between Solomon and hiram (son of Abibaal according to Josephus, king of Tyre), who, according to quotations cited by Josephus (Apion 1:113–5; Ant. 8:144–7), was also renowned for buildings he erected and royal projects he undertook. There is probably some basis to the biblical account that Israel cooperated with Tyre in sailing in the Red Sea. The servants of Hiram, "seamen who were familiar with the sea," sailed with Solomon's servants to Ophir, from which, as also from southern countries as a whole and perhaps from Africa, too, they brought gold and silver, sandalwood and ivory, apes and peacocks (I Kings 9:26–28; 10:11, 22). The port from which the ships put to Sea was ezion-geber (Jazirat Faraun in the gulf south of Elat?). Alongside Solomon's ships (9:26) the Bible mentions "the fleet of Hiram." (10:11, 22). The reference to "a fleet of ships of Tarshish" is to a type of large ship adapted for transporting metal and for sailing great distances (Isa. 2:16; Ezek. 27:25; Ps. 48:8). In the barter trade between Hiram and Solomon, Israel provided Tyre with wheat and oil, while Tyre supplied Israel with cedar and cypress wood and with gold (I Kings 5:22–25 (8–11); 9:11). The builders of Hiram and of Solomon cooperated in constructing the Temple (5:32 (18). Apparently the execution by Hiram, the metal craftsman (not the king of the same name) of the bronzework in the Temple (7:13–15) was not an isolated or exceptional circumstance. The cooperation with Hiram in shipping, in work, and in barter provided Solomon with the opportunity of importing metal – copper and iron – from Anatolia and Cyprus and of establishing bronze foundries for the needs of the Temple in the plain of the Jordan (7:46). Another source of copper was Edom, where there is evidence of major copper smelting from Feinan in Jordan from the tenth–ninth century (Cogan, 273; Muhly, 1501, Levy). Based on mutual advantage and on the resulting economic prosperity, special relations apparently developed between Israel and Tyre, which, commencing already in the days of David and perhaps in those of Abibaal, culminated in a treaty between the two kingdoms. These relations explain the biblical account which tells of the personal friendship between Solomon and Hiram ("for Hiram always loved of David") and which refers in particular to Solomon's wisdom (I Kings 5:15–26 (1–12): cf. the exaggerated phraseology in II Chron. 2:2–15). Solomon's relations with the other kingdoms, too, were peaceful, while his marriage to foreign women – Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and neo-Hittites – led to the establishment of close ties between Israel and the neighboring peoples. The marriage of the daughter of Pharaoh king of Egypt to the king of Israel is a special case, treated at length by the Bible, which states that Solomon brought her to the city of David (I Kings 3:1), built a house for her (7:8; 9:24; II Chron. 8:11), and received Gezer from Pharaoh "as dowry to his daughter" (I Kings 9:16). The father-in-law was undoubtedly a pharaoh of the 21st Dynasty (Siamon or Psusennes II, both of whom reigned in the days of Solomon). There is indeed some basis for conjecturing that the marriage of the daughter of Pharaoh to the king of Israel – an exceptional event in the annals of the pharaohs – reflects a period of Egyptian weakness. Note that Hadad the Edomite was married to the sister of a Pharaoh (I Kings 11:15–22). Though Solomon's marriage into the Egyptian royal family is condemned in I Kings 11:1, it was probably a matter of pride for the Hebrew writer of I Kings 3:1 and 9:16, who wished to preserve the tradition that a parvenu dynast had managed to acquire a bride from a kingdom both ancient and renowned for its wisdom (I Kings 5:10). -Economy and Society The ancient figurative description of every man dwelling safely under his vine and under his fig tree within Israel's borders "from Dan even to Beer-Sheba" (I Kings 5:5 (4:25) depicts a flourishing agricultural situation. The passages which tell of the huge quantity of bronze (7:47), the gold and the silver, the luxuries and other precious articles (9:28; 10:10, 11, 12, 14, 22, 25), as well as the statements that silver was regarded as stones (or "it was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon," 10:21) and that cedars were as common as sycamore trees (10:27), exaggerated though they may be, yet reflect a prosperous situation. The wealth and of the initiative of the kingdom expressed itself primarily in building, as is evident from the Bible and from archaeological finds: the magnificent buildings of the Temple and the king's house together with their appurtenances and ornamentations, the plans of which were apparently based on those of northern Syrian temples (a very close parallel to Solomon's Temple, and contemporary with it, was found in Ain Dara in Syria; see Monson); the extension of Jerusalem to the north; the erection of cities for chariots and horsemen and of store-cities within the kingdom; the special construction of the Israelite house (four-roomed house, in archaeological terminology); the construction in hewn stone and the ornamentation of buildings with proto-Eolithic capitals; public buildings like those brought to light at Beth-Shemesh and at Tell Belt Mirsim, and regarded by some as storehouses; a casemate wall characteristic of, though not exclusive to, this period in the fortification of cities, such as that uncovered at Hazor, Megiddo, Beth-Shemesh, and Tell Belt Mirsim; the impressive and similar, almost identical, four-pillared gateways at Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer, built apparently according to a uniform, well-devised, royal plan (these three cities are mentioned in the Bible alongside Jerusalem as an example of the building executed by Solomon, I Kings 9:15). Archaeologists differ over the question of whether this building activity is to be assigned to Solomon in the tenth century or whether it is of a later date (see survey in Dever apud Handy, 217–51; Finkelstein, Rainey, 2001). The peace which reigned in Palestine in the days of Solomon was based not only on political relations but also on chariot cities and principally on fortified cities at the approaches to the mountains of Judah and Jerusalem, at the entrance to the valley of Jezreel, and in Galilee, some of which – Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer, Beth-Horon, Baaloth – are mentioned in the Bible. The defense of Jerusalem was apparently of the greatest importance to Solomon. The organization of the internal administration, begun in the days of David, was further advanced under Solomon, as can be seen from the list of his officials, among whom are included scribes, the recorder, the commander of the army, priests, the officer in charge of the district officers, the minister over the household, the king's friend, and "Adoniram in charge of the forced labor" (I Kings 4:1–7). The division into districts (see Rainey, 174–79), the inception of which may date from David's reign, was consolidated and stabilized in the days of Solomon, when each of the officers had to make provision for the king's household "for one month in the year" and supply not only "Solomon's provision" (4:7; 5:2–8 (4:22–28) but also the needs of the court in general, such as horses and swift steeds (= rekhesh, רֶכֶשׁ, but perhaps rekhev רֶכֶב, "chariots," 5:8 (4:28). This division, deviating partially from the boundaries of the tribes, reflects the administration that, alongside the ancient tribal division (4:15–18), was based on new territorial units, which differed from the earlier tribal grouping and some of which may have been inhabited also by the surviving Canaanite population (4:8–14, 19; cf. 9:20, 21). Even though Judah had its own special officer (4:19), it was not included among the 12 districts on an equal footing with the rest, for not only did it constitute a special political unit alongside Israel (4:20; 5:5 (4:25), but it was apparently exempted from the economic obligations to the royal household laid on the other parts of the country. The construction of buildings, the splendor of the royal court, and the economic expansion involved the duty not only of providing supplies for the court but also "a levy of forced labor," i.e., compulsory service (corvée ), the mas, well known from the Amarna letters of the 14th century, imposed both on the surviving Amorites and on the Israelites (5:27–30 (13–16); 9:20–23). Solomon, it is stated with much exaggeration, had 70,000 "burden-bearers," 80,000 "hewers of stone in the hill country," and a levy of 30,000 men of whom 10,000 a month were sent "by courses" to Lebanon (5:27–29 (13–15). Alongside them are mentioned 3,300 chief officers "who had charge of the people who carried on the work" (5:30 (16); cf. the figure of 550 "who had charge of the people," 9:23; these may have been in charge of the non-Israelite workers, or of the king's work in a limited sense, or may represent a different tradition). The men of the levy worked in Lebanon, at building in Israel, and at the copper foundry, such as that in the plain of the Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan (5:31 (17), 32 (18), 7:46 and see above). The revolt against the House of David which broke out at the outset of Rehoboam's reign specifically because of the onerous burden of service (I Kings 12) had its roots in various features that marked Solomon's reign. The people were embittered not only by the heavy taxation, which was an innovation in the kingdom that had come into being against the background of a lengthy tribal regime, but also by the contrast between the heavy burdens on the one hand and the splendor and luxury of the royal court on the other. Likewise the barrier between Israel and Judah, which enjoyed special privileges, alienated the northern tribes from the Davidic kingdom. jeroboam son of Nebat, who was "in charge over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph" (11:28), probably revolted against the king not only in his capacity as the officer in charge of the compulsory service but as the standard bearer of the antagonism between the House of Joseph and the northern tribes in general on the one hand and Judah on the other. The divorce from the tribal tradition expressed, for example, in the geographical division of the districts and perhaps also in the fostering of a sacred center in Jerusalem, lacking though it did an ancient tradition, incited the tribes, in an attachment to time-honored centers such as Beth-El, Penuel, Shechem, and Dan, to rebel against the House of David. Thus the kingdom of Solomon, although characterized by economic development and by internal political security, provoked both a social revolt and tribal opposition or a general conservative tribal antagonism, the spokesman of which was the Yahweh prophet Ahijah the Shilonite. But in the days of Solomon the kingdom was still at the height of its power and Jeroboam was compelled to flee to Egypt. The author of the Book of Kings, in keeping with his religious conceptions, ascribes the revolt and the division to the idolatry of the king, in which he was influenced by his foreign wives. -The Wise King and Judge The Bible attributes the peace and prosperity reigning in the country to the wisdom of Solomon, a literary topos already present in the prologue to the Code of hammurapi (COS II, 336–37. King Asshurbanipal of Assyria (669–627) boasts of his own wisdom (Streck Asb. 256 I. 17). Solomon's wisdom is mentioned already in that part of David's last testament which is not formulated in the style of the Book of Deuteronomy (I Kings 2:6, 9). The Bible describes the king as wiser than all men, as uttering proverbs and songs, solving riddles, and speaking of trees and beasts, of fowl, creeping things, and fishes, this being the type of wisdom renowned in eastern lands. His wisdom was essentially part of the totality of the wisdom of the East and the wisdom of Egypt, although it was higher in degree (5:9–14 (4:29–34); 10:1, 3). Outside the book of I Kings, Prov. 25:1 speaks of "proverbs of Solomon collected by King Hezekiah and his circle." According to the Bible, Solomon was held in high esteem and extolled among other peoples too. Primarily, however, Solomon was considered a wise judge, as is evident from the dream at Gibeon and from the case of the two harlots. Solomon's wisdom was manifested mainly in connection with his royal authority as conceived both in modern times and in the Ancient East. It expressed itself in the function of dispensing justice to individuals and principally of establishing a just and righteous regime for the people as a whole. More precisely, it expressed itself in a capacity for leadership that distinguishes between good and evil ("Give Your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern Your people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to govern this Your great people?" 3:9). The account of the dream at Gibeon likewise associates the king's riches and honor with his understanding ("a wise and discerning mind," 3:12, 13). The other passages, too, which mention the king's wisdom in connection with his political acts apparently refer to a quality of leadership (5:21 (7), 26 (12); 10:6, 7, 9: "He has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness," ibid. 23, 24). One of the most important halls in the king's house which was near the Temple was called "the Hall of the Throne" or "the Hall of Judgment" (7:7), symbolizing the decisive quality of leadership as conceived already in the days of the Judges (on David's judicial function, cf. II Sam. 8:15; 12:1–6; 14:5–21). In addition to this "wisdom," Solomon's royal authority was enhanced by his status as a sacral king, who supervised the religious rites, himself offered sacrifices, blessed the people after the manner of the priests, and took a decisive part in the dedication of the Temple, the sanctification of the court, and the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles (I Kings 3:15; 8:1–5, 14, 22, 54–56, 62–66). The proximity of the king's house to the Temple, to which no explicit parallel has been found in the Ancient East, also set the seal of divine election and perhaps even of divine favor on the royal authority which produced a decisive change in the regime in Israel. The transition from the Tabernacle to the Temple apparently also symbolized the transition from a tribal to a monarchical regime. Henceforth associated with the Temple, which was conceived in the ancient part of Solomon's prayer as the house of God's habitation (8:13), the kingdom of the House of David was bound up with the city, which as early as in the days of Solomon may have begun to assume a holy character. Yet on the basis of the experience of generations, this close proximity of the royal palace to the Temple provoked the anger of Ezekiel (43:7–10), while the Chronicler saw fit to omit a description of the king's house, the building of which took 13 years, from the account of the Temple. It is this variegated conception of the quality of leadership informed with a divine inspiration which brought such renown to the wise king that succeeding generations ascribed to him the composition of such widely different poetry and wisdom works as the Song of Songs, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, which contain numerous motifs characterizing the attribute of kingship. In assessing the reign of Solomon, it is important to distinguish the main narrative, in which Solomon rules a peaceful and prosperous kingdom, from the details which tell us of the burdensome yoke he laid on the people (I Kings 12:4), of the internal opposition by one of his most talented officials, Jeroboam, who was able to build on northern resentment, and of the opposition of the prophet Ahijah. Most telling of all is the fact that the kingdom did not survive his death. See also History: Kingdoms of Israel and Judah . (Samuel Abramsky / S. David Sperling (2nd ed.) -In the Aggadah Solomon succeeded to the throne at the age of 12 (SOR 14). His original name, Jedidiah, the "beloved of God," was superseded by that of Solomon (Shelomoh) because of the peace (shalom) that prevailed throughout his reign. He was also known as Koheleth (Eccles. 1:1), Lemuel (Prov. 31:1), Agur, Jakeh, and Ithiel (Prov. 30:1; Eccl. R. 1:2). Solomon chose wisdom, knowing that once he possessed it all else would come of itself (PR 14:59; Song R. 1:1, no. 9). This God-granted wisdom made him the wisest of mankind. His 800 proverbs are equal to 3,000 since each verse in his book may be interpreted in two or three different ways (Song R. 1:1, nos. 10, 11). He was an expert horticulturist, and he succeeded in growing all types of foreign plants in Ereẓ Israel (Targ. Eccles. 2:4–6; Eccl. R. 2:5). He understood the language of the beasts and birds and they submitted to his judgment (Song R. 1:1, no. 9; Tanh. B., Introd., 157). The two women who claimed the child were really spirits who were sent by God to reveal Solomon's wisdom. All doubt about the fairness of his verdict was dispelled when a heavenly voice proclaimed: "This is the mother of the child" (Mak. 23b). Other perceptive judgments of Solomon are recorded in the case of the slave who claimed he was the master's son (A. Jellinek, Beit ha-Midrash, 4 (1967), 145–6); the double-headed son who claimed a double inheritance (ibid., 151–2); and the three men who could not find the money they hid before the commencement of the Sabbath (ibid., 1 (1967), 86–87). He had such confidence in himself that he would have dispensed judgment without resort to witnesses, had he not been prevented by a heavenly voice (RH 21b). Many came to seek his advice (Jellinek, op. cit., 4 (1967), 148–50). The most famous of those who consulted him was the Queen of Sheba (Targ. Sheni 1:3, 8–10). She asked numerous riddles of Solomon, all of which he answered promptly and correctly (Ms. Midrash ha-Ḥefez, tr. by S. Schechter in Folk-Lore, 1 (1890); 349–58). Solomon, however, is regarded as the prototype of the rationalist who ultimately is led to sin by his rational approach. He was determined to find reasons for all the divine precepts and succeeded until he came to the law of the Red Heifer, which he was unable to fathom (Eccles. R. 7:23, no. 4). He finally transgressed the biblical laws in that he possessed too many horses, amassed an overabundance of gold and silver, and above all in that he married more than the 18 wives permitted to a monarch (Deut. 17:16–7; Sanh. 21a), because he thought that with his wisdom he would not be affected by his transgression. At this God declared, "As thou livest, Solomon and a hundred of his like shall be annihilated before a single letter of the Torah will be obliterated" (TJ, Sanh. 2b, 20c), and in fact Scripture records that his many wives finally "turned away his heart after other gods" (I Kings 11:4). The rabbis declare that "It would have been better for Solomon to have cleaned sewers than to have this verse written of him" (Ex. R. 6:1). When he married the daughter of Pharaoh, the archangel Gabriel descended from heaven and inserted a reed in the sea around which accumulated silt and on which the city of Rome was ultimately built (Sanh. 21b). On the nuptial night she brought him a thousand musical instruments. Although each one was dedicated to a different idol, Solomon neglected to stop her (Shab. 56b). She spread over his bed a tapestry studded with diamonds and pearls which gleamed like constellations in the sky and created an illusion of stars. Solomon slept on until the fourth hour of the morning, causing deep sorrow among the people since the daily sacrifice could not be offered because the Temple keys lay under Solomon's pillow (Lev. R. 12:5). The most important of Solomon's acts was his building of the Temple, in which he was assisted by angels and demons. Indeed, the edifice was throughout miraculously constructed, the large, heavy stones rising and settling in their proper places by themselves (Ex. R. 52:4). Solomon split the stone by means of the shamir, a worm whose mere touch cleft rocks. He was informed of the worm's location by the chief of the demons, Ashmedai, who was captured by Benaiah, Solomon's chief minister (Git. 68a). Solomon was so assiduous in this task that the Temple's erection took only seven years, about half the time for the erection of the king's palace, despite the greater magnificence of the sanctuary. In this respect, he was the superior of his father, King David, who first built a house for himself, and then thought about a tabernacle for God. Indeed, it was Solomon's meritorious work in connection with the Temple that saved him from being reckoned by the sages as one of the impious kings, among whom his sins might rightfully have placed him (Sanh. 104b; Song R. 1:1, no. 5). Second only to the Temple in beauty was Solomon's throne. None before or after him could construct a similar work of art, and when his vassal-kings saw its beauty they prostrated themselves and praised God. Jewels and gold adorned the throne and animals guarded its approach. These animals also lifted Solomon from step to step when he ascended the throne (Targ. Sheni 1:2, 5–7). The throne did not long remain in the possession of the Israelites. During the life of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, it was taken to Egypt. Shishak, the father-in-law of Solomon, appropriated it as indemnity for his widowed daughter. Ultimately, the throne was taken to Babylonia, Greece, and finally to Rome (Esth. R. 1:12). Because of his sins, Solomon gradually lost his throne, his wealth, and even his wisdom. At first he ruled over the inhabitants of the upper world as well as over those of the lower; then only over the inhabitants of the earth; later over Israel alone; then he retained only his bed and his staff; and finally only his staff was left to him (Sanh. 20b). There is a difference of opinion on whether Solomon returned to his throne. He "saw three worlds" which, according to one opinion, means that he was successively a private person, a king, and again a private person. According to another, however, he was king, private person, and again king (Sanh. 20b; Git. 68b). For three long years, he journeyed about as a mendicant from city to city and from country to country, atoning for his sins. While a beggar, during his old age, he wrote Ecclesiastes, saying wherever he went, "I Koheleth was king over Israel in Jerusalem" (Eccles. 1:12). Previously, in his youth, he had written the Song of Songs, and in his middle age Proverbs (Song R. 1:1, no. 10). (Aaron Rothkoff) -In Islam From various allusions, which are found in the works of Arab poets, it is evident that tales concerning King Solomon (Sulaymān) were circulated in the Arabian Peninsula even before the appearance of muhammad . In the koran Solomon is not only the successor of King David (Sura 27:1b) but also the faithful servant of Allah (38:29). He did not even momentarily abandon the service of Allah; it was rather the devils who negated it and taught the people sorcery, thus estranging them from the worship of the Creator (2:96). Once, however, when gazing at his horses, Solomon overlooked the recital of the evening prayer at its proper time; but as a sign of repentance, he killed his beloved horses (38:31–33). In the most positive description of the character of Solomon, one recognizes Christian influence. As a faithful servant, Solomon requests that eternal kingship be granted to him (38:34). He is awarded wisdom and intelligence, understands the speech of the birds, and rules over the wind which blows with strength (27:15, 16, 81; 31:11), as well as over the spirits (21:82; 34:11, 12; 38:35–38). It is no wonder that Solomon's fame reached distant lands and that the Queen of Saba (Sheba) came to visit him (27:20–45). No one was aware of his death until a worm ate away the staff which supported his body, the staff broke, and his body collapsed (34:14). There are certain characteristics common both to David and Solomon (see david , in islam ), Some have been transferred from David to Solomon (the invention of armor), while others have been transferred from Solomon to David, such as the domination of animals and birds (38:17, 18). Solomon participated in the judgment decided by his father concerning the pastureland on which sheep grazed (21:78). David was as wise as Solomon (21:79–82). Following Jewish aggadah and ancient legends, some of which originated in Persia, the Muslim commentators on the Koran and legend writers devote an important place to Solomon's character, birth, wisdom, intelligence as a judge and investigator of complicated affairs, his rule over the jinn (spirits) who obeyed his commands and built palaces, fortresses, bath houses, and dams for him, and his mastery of sorcery and mysticism. Solomon's chief counselor, Aṣāf b. Barakhyā, also made use of the king's magic ring (khatam Sulaymān). Solomon lost his kingdom because he listened to the voice of his wife Tarāda, the daughter of the king of Sidon; he was punished by being exiled from his kingdom. Solomon died at the age of 58, after having ruled Israel for 40 years (as did his father David). (Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg) -In the Arts IN LITERATURE As the king of Israel appointed to build the Temple and as the legendary embodiment of wisdom, Solomon became a prototype of Jesus in the medieval Christian world. Treatment of the subject in literature, art, and music involves not only Solomon himself but also the sub-themes of the Queen of Sheba and the Shulammite of the Song of Songs. In literature, one of the earliest surviving works on the theme is an Anglo-Saxon legend, the poetical Dialogue of Solomon and Saturn (manuscript at Cambridge; ed. R.J. Menner, 1941). There is also a 15th-century Dyalogus Salomonis et Marcolfi (Cologne, 1473); but from this period, beginning with the anonymous German mystery, Das Spil von Kunig Salomon mit den zweyen Frawen (1461), most writing on the theme was in dramatic form. One unusual medieval work was the 15th-century Russian "Tale of the Centaur," based on the midrashic account of Solomon's construction of the Temple. During the Renaissance era plays included a Spanish Farsa de Salomón (c. 1530) by Diego Sanchez; a Fastnachtspiel by the Meistersinger Hans Sachs (1550); an anonymous Italian Rappresentatione del Re Salomone (Florence, 1562), apparently preceded by an earlier work on the subject (c. 1512); and a drama celebrating the Danish heir to the throne, written by H.J. Ranch of Viborg (1584). However, the outstanding treatment was probably the German neo-Latin playwright Sixtus Birck's Sapientia Salomonis (1547), a performance of which by the boys of Westminster School was given before Elizabeth I of England in 1565. Although the 17th century produced further dramas – notably Joost van den Vondel's Salomon (1648) in Holland, the Auto del Rey Salamo (1612) by Balthasar Dias in Portugal, and Pedro Calderón de la Barca's La Sibila del Oriente y Gran Reina de Sabá (Madrid, 1682) in Spain – a more philosophical and pessimistic note was struck by writers emphasizing Solomon's outlook as the traditional author of Ecclesiastes. Two examples are the anonymous German Schau-Platz der Eitelkeit… (1668), a five-act prose drama, and the English poet Matthew Prior's verse soliloquy, Solomon on the Vanity of the World, written in the 1690s but published only in 1718; works of this type were common throughout the following century. Apart from the texts of various oratorios, such as Thomas Morell's Solomon (1749) which was set to music by Handel, the two outstanding 18th-century treatments were both in German: Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock's tragedy, Salomo (1764), and Johann Jacob Bodmer's religious drama, Die Thorheiten des weisen Koenigs (Zurich, 1776). The subject proved even more attractive to some of the major writers of the 19th century, who often displayed greater ingenuity in their use of the legendary material made accessible by modern scholarship; and Jews were prominent for the first time among these authors. Lippmann Moses Bueschenthal's five-act German tragedy, Der Siegelring des Salomo (Berlin, 1820), was followed by Kornel Ujejski's Polish biblical poem, Pieśni Salomona (1846) and heinrich heine 's romantic poem, "Salomo" (in Romanzero, 1851). Among works on the theme published in the second half of the century were "Azrael," the Spanish Jew's first tale in the third part of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Tales of a Wayside Inn (1872), on the Angel of Death's encounter with Solomon; Victor Hugo's grandiose poem "Salomon" (in La légende des siècles, 1877); the U.S. poet John Greenleaf Whittier's "King Solomon and the Arts" (1877); robert browning 's poem, "Solomon and Balkis" (1883); paul heyse 's five-act drama, Die Weisheit Salomos (1887); and Károly Szász's Hungarian biblical play, Bölcs Salomon (1889). Others who turned to the subject included the Portuguese dramatist Eugénio de Castro e Almeida (Belkiss, Rainha de Sabá, d'Axum e do Hymiar, 1894), the English poet Arthur Symons (The Lover of the Queen of Sheba, 1899), and the Czech poet julius zeyer . Among 20th-century authors the theme has, if anything, enjoyed even greater popularity. Works which it has inspired include the U.S. poet Vachel Lindsay's "King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba" (in The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems, 1917); Alfons Paquet's German drama, Markolph; oder Koenig Salomo und der Bauer (1924); the Irish poet W.B. Yeats' "Solomon and the Witch" (1924); and "Solomon's Parents" (in Poems of Thirty Years, 1925) by the English writer Gordon Bottomley. Some of the outstanding modern interpretations of the story have been written by Jews. The Danish poet oscar ivar levertin 's works on Jewish themes include Kung Salomo och Morolf (1905). Three other important works were edmond fleg 's biography, Salomon (1929); Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik 's Va-Yehi ha-Yom… (English version by Herbert Danby, And It Came to Pass… 1938), a collection of legends; and sammy gronemann 's biblical comedy, Der Weise und der Narr; Koenig Salomo und der Schuster ("The King and the Cobbler," 1942), nathan alterman 's Hebrew version of which (1942) was staged in Israel both as a play and as a successful and pioneering Hebrew musical comedy. Gronemann also wrote a comedy entitled Die Koenigin von Saba (1951). Three treatments in Yiddish are Abba Isaac Buch's Ashmedai… (1911), a drama about Solomon and Jeroboam; Saul Saphire's historical novel, Shlomo Hamelekh (1931); and Jerakhme'el Steigman's Maysehlekh vegn Shlomo Hamelekh (1931), tales for children. IN ART In art, too, Solomon is a major biblical theme. Scenes from his life are often found in Byzantine manuscripts, and his figure is sculpted on medieval cathedrals and appears in stained glass; several scenes are also portrayed in the Raphael Loggie in the Vatican. Solomon is also an important figure in art of the Islamic world. The main scenes treated are the anointing and coronation of Solomon, the judgment of Solomon, the construction of the Temple, the visit of the Queen of Sheba, and Solomon worshiping idols. The anointing and crowning of Solomon (I Kings 1:39 and Song of Songs 3:11) appear in medieval sculpture, stained glass, and in manuscripts – notably the ninth-century Bibles of Charles the Fat and St. Paul-Without-the-Walls and the 15th-century Hours of Turin by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck (now destroyed). Bath-Sheba sitting at the right hand of Solomon (I Kings 2:19) was regarded as a type of the coronation of the virgin. This interpretation is explicit in the sumptuous Tapestry of the Three Coronations in Sens Cathedral, France. The judgment of Solomon (I Kings 3:16–28) has generally been popular with artists. It appears in several French and German Hebrew manuscripts, such as the 13th-century British Museum Miscellany and Bibliothèque Nationale Pentateuch, the Second Nuremberg Haggadah, and the Tripartite Maḥzor from the Kauffman Collection, Budapest. In the Middle Ages the judgment of Solomon was regarded as an example of justice and was often depicted in lawcourts. There is a 15th-century sculpture of the subject at the Palace of the Doges, Venice. Among Renaissance treatments are a drawing of the school of Mantegna (Louvre) and a painting by Giorgione (private collection, England). The subject was also popular in the 17th century, particularly with the French school. There are paintings by Rubens (Copenhagen State Museum), Jacob Jordaens (Prado, Madrid), and Nicolas Poussin (Louvre). In the 18th century it was included by Tiepolo in his ceiling for the Archbishop's palace, Udine. Solomon constructing the Temple (I Kings 6:1ff. and 2 Chron. 3:1ff.) is a subject found in 15th-century French manuscripts, notably the Jewish Antiquities of Josephus in the Bibliothèque Nationale illustrated by Jean Fouquet. As the real appearance of the Temple was unknown, Fouquet visualized it as a French Gothic cathedral of his own time, and other artists such as Giotto and Taddeo Gaddi imagined it in the form of the Dome of the Rock, i.e., as a circular or octagonal building surmounted by a cupola. King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba was not a common subject until the 12th century. From that time onward, however, they often appeared as a pair. The two episodes treated in medieval art are the meeting of Solomon and Sheba (I Kings 10:1ff. and 2 Chron. 9:1ff.) and Sheba enthroned beside the king. In Christian iconography Solomon was the type of Jesus and Sheba represented the gentile Church; hence Sheba's meeting with Solomon bearing rich gifts foreshadowed the adoration of the Magi. On the other hand, Sheba enthroned represented the coronation of the virgin. Sculptures of the Queen of Sheba are found on great Gothic cathedrals such as Chartres, Rheims, Amiens, and Wells, and the reception of the queen was a popular subject during the Italian Renaissance, as it appealed to the contemporary taste for pageantry and display. It appears in the famous bronze doors to the Florence Baptistery by Lorenzo Ghiberti, in frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli (Campo Santo, Pisa) and in the Raphael Loggie (Vatican). The Venetians predictably exploited the decorative possibilities of the subject. There are examples by Tintoretto (Prado) and Veronese (Pinacotheca, Turin). In the 17th century, Claude Lorrain (1600–1682) painted one of his peaceful landscapes of harbors at sunset, representing the queen embarking on her journey to Solomon (National Gallery, London). Depictions of the idolatry of Solomon (I Kings 11:4ff.) are found in medieval art, where the elderly monarch is shown kneeling before an idol to which a woman is pointing. This was also quite a common subject in the 16th and 17th centuries. IN MUSIC Two early musical works are Josquin de Pré's motet, Stetit autem Salomon (1538), and a curiosity – a canon for 96 voices by Pietro Valentini called Nodus Salomonis ("Solomon's Knot"), first published in 1631 and republished and analyzed in 1650 by Athanasius Kircher in his Musurgia Universalis; the entire canon is nothing but a kind of "change ringing" on the G major chord. Early oratorios on the theme include Carissimi's Judicium Salomonis (1669) and F.T. Richter's L'incoronazione di Salomone (Vienna, 1696). The subject is taken up by northern composers: G.C. Schuermann's "spiritual opera," Salomon (Brunswick, 1701), J.G. Keiser's opera, Salomon (Hemburg, 1703), and M.A. Charpentier's oratorio, Judicium Salomonis (Paris, 1702). Porsile's L'esaltazione di Salomone (Barcelona, 1711) is held to be the first oratorio performed in Spain (in honor of the emperor Charles III). Zadok the Priest (the description of Solomon's coronation) is the first of a set of four coronation anthems composed by Handel for George III (1727) and is still sung at every British coronation. Handel's oratorio, Solomon, was first performed at Covent Garden on March 17, 1749; the "Entry of the Queen of Sheba" from this work is often performed as a concert piece, and the oratorio was reedited by mendelssohn with cuts and the addition of an organ part. Solomon's judgment again appears as an oratorio subject in I. Holzbauer's Il Giudizio di Salomone (Mannheim, 1766), and in a Polish work, Sad Salomona, by Chopin's teacher Elsner (tragedy with dances and incidental music; Warsaw, 1806). The 19th century gave new prominence to the Queen of Sheba. Gounod's four-act opera, La Reihe de Saba (text by M. Carré and J. Barbier, after Gérard de Nerval), had its premiere at the Paris Opera in 1862; but a more lasting success was gained by karl goldmark 's Die Koenigin von Saba (text by S.H. Mosenthal , première in Vienna, 1875). Some of the melodic material is supposed to have been based on synagogal motifs. ernest bloch 's Schelomo, Rhapsodie Hébraïque, for cello and orchestra, was inspired by a figurine of Solomon sculpted by the wife of the cellist Alexander Barjanski. Bloch's work was composed in 1915 and first performed in 1917 with Barjanski as soloist and the composer conducting. Later works on the subject are reynaldo hahn 's La Reine de Scheba (1926; text by edmond fleg ); Belkis, Regina di Saba, a ballet by O. Respighi (1932); and Randall Thompson's Solomon and Balkis, an opera in one act, based on Kipling's The Butterfly that Stamped (1942). The music for Sammy Gronemann's Shelomo ha-Melekh ve-Shalmai ha-Sandelar was written by Alexander Argov. Ashmedai, an opera based on the talmudic legend of Satan assuming the appearance of the king by yosef tal (to a libretto by Israel Eliraz), had its première at the Hamburg State Opera in autumn 1971; the score includes electronic effects. See also: song of songs , in the Arts; temple , in the Arts. (Bathja Bayer) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: F. Thieberger, King Solomon (1947); J.A. Montgomery, The Books of Kings (1951), 67–248 (incl. bibl.); Bright, Hist, 190–208 (incl. bibl.); Alt, Kl Schr, 2 (1953), 1–62; idem, in: VT, 1 (1961), 2–22; A. Malamat, in: Sefer N.H. Tur-Sinai (1960), 77–85; idem (ed.), in: Bi-Ymei Bayit Rishon (1962), 24–46, incl. bibl. (Eng. sect., 8–9); idem, in: JNES, 22 (1963), 1–17; Y. Yadin, in: BA, 23 (1960), 62–68; idem, in: A. Malamat (ed.), Bi-Ymei Bayit Rishon (1962), 66–109 (Eng. sect. 11); idem, in: Qadmoniyot, 3 (1970), 38–56; Y. Aharoni, in: A. Malamat (ed.), Bi-Ymei Bayit Rishon (1962), 110–31 (Eng. sect. 12); Aharoni, Ereẓ, 258–64; S. Abramsky, Leksikon Mikra'i, 2 (1965), 840–4; J.A. Soggin, Das Königtum in Israel (1967); M. Noth, Geschichte Israels (1950), 187–99 (incl. bibl.). IN THE AGGADAH: Ginzberg, Legends, index; M. Aberbach and L. Smolar, in: JQR (1968), 118–32. IN ISLAM: ʿUmāra, Ms. fol. 58v–82v; Thaʿlabī, Qiṣaṣ (1356 A.H.), 244–77; Kisāʿī Qiṣaṣ (1356 A.H.), 278–95; G. Salzberger, Salomons Tempelbau und Thron in der semitischen Sagenliteratur (1912); H. Speyer, Die biblischen Erzählungen im Qoran (1931, repr. 1961), 383–402; H.Z. Hirschberg, in: Eretz-Israel, 3 (1954), 213–20; J. Walker, in: Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam (1953), S.V. (includes extensive bibliography). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: T. Ishida (ed.), Studies in the Period of David and Solomon and Other Essays (1982); L. Handy (ed.), The Age of Solomon: Scholarship at the Turn of the Millennium (1997); J. van Seters, in: CBQ, 59 (1997), 45–57; J. Muhly, in: CANE, 3:1501–21; R. Hess, in: G. Young (ed.), Crossing Boundaries and Linking Horizons Studies… Astour (1997), 279–93; I. Finkelstein, in: NEA 62 (1999), 35–42; M. Cogan, I Kings (AB; 2000); J. Monson, in: BAR, 26 (Ain Dara Temple, well illustrated; 2000), 20–35, 67; A. Rainey, in: NEA, 64 (2001), 140–49; T. Levy et al, Antiquity, 302 (2004), 865–79; A. Rainey, in: A. Rainey and R.S. Notley, The Sacred Bridge (2006), 157–89.
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.