Biography of Solomon:- Son of King David and Bathsheba, Solomon was anointed as ruler of the Hebrews and educated about his obligations to his father, to the detriment of Adonijah, his elder stepbrother, who aspired to succession to the throne of Israel.
Biography of Solomon
- Born:- Jerusalem, Israel
- died:- 931 BC, Jerusalem, Israel
- Mother:- Bathsheba
- Father:- David
- Successor:- Jeroboam (north kingdom); Rehoboam (south kingdom)
- Books:- Odes of Solomon, Psalms of Solomon
- Spouse:- Pharaoh’s daughter, Naamah, Queen of Sheba
At the death of king David , and counting on the support of his mother, the prophet Nathan, General Banaiah and Zadok the high priest, Solomon eliminated his political adversaries (his half-brother Adonijah and General Joab) and began a reign characterized by a long period of peace and good relations with neighboring peoples (Egypt, Arabia, Phenicia, Edom and Damascus), during which the country experienced great economic and cultural development.
The internal security and the control of the roads of communication facilitated a wide expansion of the Hebrew commerce, especially the one of the horses that from Cilicia were transported to Egypt. In addition, in order to promote commercial activity, Solomon ordered the construction of a fleet based in the port of Esionguéber, near Elat, on the shores of the Red Sea, and strengthened Israel’s political power in the region by marrying one of the daughters of the Pharaoh of Egypt and strengthening the bonds of friendship with Hiram I, king of the city of Tire.
Economic prosperity, on the other hand, allowed the monarch to raise in Jerusalem the great temple that David had designed to house the Ark of the Covenant and a sumptuous royal palace, constructions in which a great number of foreign technicians participated, such as masons and broncists of Tire or carpenters of Gebal, and for which luxurious materials were imported from Phenicia.
These and many other public works, as well as the expenses of the court, were borne by a heavy tax system, supported by an administrative reform that divided the country into twelve districts, whose extension varied according to the greater or lesser fertility of the soil and of the communications facility.
By the end of Solomon’s life, however, the high fiscal pressure and the proliferation of cults to foreign divinities (Astarté, Camos, Milcom or Moloc), introduced by the monarch’s numerous foreign women, created a growing popular malaise that would break out during the reign of Rehoboam, his son and successor, who could not avoid the rebellion of ten of the twelve Hebrew tribes (all but Judah and Benjamin) and the subsequent division of the country into two kingdoms: that of Israel to the north, with capital in Shechem , and that of Judah to the south, with capital at Jerusalem (929 BC), which followed an independent, if not hostile, evolution.
Despite harshly reproving King Solomon’s permissiveness for the pagan practices of a good many of his wives and for considering the division of Israel as a divine punishment for their idolatry, the biblical tradition has idealized the figure of the sovereign, presented as a man of great wisdom, paradigm of pondering and justice, in various passages of the Holy Scriptures, among them the famous Judgment of Solomon or the visit of the Queen of Sheba.
Solomon has also been credited with authoring different wisdom books of the Old Testament, such as the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Solomon’s Book of Wisdom, Proverbs, and Psalms, some of which nevertheless appear to were composed well after the Solomonic period.