King Solomon ruled all of Israel in an outstanding way from 977 to 937 BCE (12). Despite his wealth and power, Solomon is known to history for his wisdom and as the builder of the Temple of Jerusalem. He has been credited with authoring all or parts of three books of the Bible (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon).
King Solomon was the ruler of ancient Israel who reigned from 961-922 BC (8). He is the son of David and Bathsheba. Solomon succeeded his father as king and his territory extended from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. With his wealth he built the great Temple of Jerusalem. In 950 BCE Solomon's household included 700 wives and 300 other mistresses (1). To insure the future peace and security of his kingdom, Solomon yielded to the custom of the times and made many domestic alliances with subject races and tribes by marrying foreign women.
An able administrator, Solomon kept the kingdom of Israel largely intact, strengthened its protection, and made alliances with several surrounding nations. He united his already strong position and even extended his influence by skillful diplomacy rather than war (8). International commerce and a large copper-mining industry aided in Solomon’s wealth. Contact with other nations showed his advanced intelligence. Solomon displayed political and administrative wisdom and showed himself equal to his father by taking full advantage of the chance for economic expansion.
The Song of Solomon is a book of the Old Testament. It is a unique collection of love poetry. In Christian versions of the Bible it usually appears after the Book of Ecclesiastes. In the Hebrew Bible it is found after the Book of Job. It is believed to be written by King Solomon, but the actual author or authors of the book are unknown. It is a non-religious subject so it did not appear in all pre-Christian Jewish literature. The Song of Solomon, also known as the Song of Songs, is quite erotic for the Bible. It was included in the Hebrew Bible despite significant opposition. Some have regarded the book as a dramatic poem, while others see it basically as love lyrics.
Solomon carefully cultivated ties of friendship, which had existed between Israel and the kingdom of Tyre. This had great economic advantages. The biggest bond was with Egypt, which was cemented by his ma...
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...house of the Lord." But that term has been found complete in only one inscription other than the Bible: a faded shard of sixth-century BC pottery from Arad, an ancient town now in modern-day Israel, according to Shanks. (7)
1) Davy, Adam. Early English Text Society. N. Turner & Co., 1878.
2) Elkin, Benjamin. The Wisest Man in the World. New York: Parents Magazine Press,1968.
3) Elkins, William R. Song of Songs. New York: Vantage Press Inc., 1956.
4) Fisher, Vardis. The Valley of Vision. Canada: McLeod, George J., 1951.
8) New Catholic Encyclopedia. Volume 13, 421-2. 1967.
9) Russell, L. M. "God with us" The Christian Century Dec. 1991: 108.
10) Texas Studies in Lit. and Lang. A Journal of the Humanities. Volume 18, 362-80.1976.
11) The Encyclopedia of Jewish Religion. 378-9. 1965.
12) The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 9, 636-7. New York: KTAV Publishing House inc., 1969.
13) Young, P. "Solomon so Long?" History Today Aug. 1996: 3-4.
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