Solomon’s Story Solomon, also known as Jedidiah, was the second son of King David and Bathsheba. His story is described in the First Kings and Second Chronicles; In both sacred scriptures are the details of the third and last ruler of the United Monarchy, the name that the Kingdom of Israel received during the mandates of Saul, David and Solomon.
Solomon’s reign lasted four decades, as long as his father remained in power. During this period, the United Kingdom of Israel abounded in peace and wealth; Solomon’s wisdom, known to rulers of all nations, enabled Israel to reach its highest point in history.
Despite the fact that Solomon’s destiny was to be King, his arrival on the throne was not easy. Adonijah, David’s fourth son, could also aspire to this position after the death of his older brothers Amnon and Absalom.
For this reason, as his father’s old age became more and more evident, Adonijah became convinced that it was time to reclaim what was customary to him. Adonijah knew that he had to get the popular support of the people, so he began to seek support from important people at that time; among those Joab (commander of the forces), the priest Abiathar, princes of the court and servants of the king.
While all those who were loyal to Solomon, such as the prophet Nathan and the priest Zadok, were excluded from Adonijah’s plans. In those times due to the competition that existed in the monarchical government, the son who aspired to be king could kill his brothers in order to reach the throne; all possible heirs who put his reign at risk could be killed.
However, the prophet Nathan learned of Adonijah’s intentions in time and informed Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother.
Bathsheba and Natán formed an alliance and communicated to the King the situation that occurred with Adonías; When he found out, he ordered Solomon the task of co-regency, which he had to fulfill until the moment of his death. It was then that at the age of 20 Solomon was officially anointed as King and presented to the people as such, failing Adonijah’s intentions to take over the throne against David’s will.
This usurper had to flee to Mount Moriah after the ascension of Solomon; while his followers turned away from him, fearful of the true King. In the First Chronicles, the assembly that David organized as the day of his death drew near appears.
In the presence of government officials from each tribe and military commanders, David crowned Solomon for the second time and handed him the plans for the sacred temple; he claimed that they had been given to him as a divine revelation.
Solomon’s wisdom, a trait that was admired by all his people and that marked the history of Israel, was a gift from Jehovah. Even when he was very young, Solomon was already in command of an entire population; One night God appeared to him in his dreams and asked him “What do you want me to give you?”
Faced with the concern of not knowing how to govern a people, Solomon asked him for wisdom to be able to make correct decisions during his reign. God was surprised that Solomon did not ask for wealth and goods, long life, or the death of his enemies; instead, he wanted the wisdom to lead his people. For this reason, the Lord decided to bless him with great intelligence, but also he would have the riches and glory that no other King in history would get.
The two women
Solomon was a wise judge, a fact that was demonstrated the day two prostitutes came to him for help. One of the women told him that they lived in the same house and that they were both pregnant; she gave birth and after three days her partner.
Unfortunately, the second woman to give birth one night suffocated her son by lying on him; therefore, she decided in the middle of the night to exchange the dead baby with the other mother’s while she slept. The next day, this she realizes that the child that she was holding in her arms was not hers, her child and she claims that they had changed it, but the other woman protests that the child that she lives with is the her son hers.
The women argued in front of the King for a long time, meanwhile, he analyzed what they both said, which was exactly the same! So he finally ordered that a sword be brought to him and right away asked that the boy be cut into two halves, each one to be awarded to a woman.
The true mother of the child who was still alive was terrified by this order of the King, so she approached him and begged him to give the child to the other woman, as long as he did not die. The other, on the other hand, agreed to have the child cut off so that no one would stay with him.
Solomon quickly learned who was telling the truth and ordered that the child not be killed and given to the first woman, she was the true mother, her love was so great that she was willing to give her son to another person as long as she would not see him. To die. In reality Solomon was not capable of committing that violent act, but based on the wisdom that God had granted him, he knew that by applying this strategy the truth would come to light.
Soon all the people of Israel learned of the King’s sentence to achieve the resolution of the problem; they all felt respect and were glad to have a King with such divine wisdom.
And the Shulamite
There are different versions of the relationship that existed between Solomon and a Shulamite, based on the interpretation of Song of Songs; a book belonging to the Old Testament written by Solomon, which through verses describes the love he felt for a beautiful mulatto foreigner who had moved to her land. The story begins on the slopes of Ephraim, one of the perimeters where King Solomon had a vineyard.
These lands were leased to some vine growers so that they could work; the family consisted of the mother, her two sons and two daughters, among them was the Shulamite. The Shulamite was a dark-skinned woman, beautiful but careless in appearance.
He was humble and had to work long hours to be able to secure food at home; so long in the sun it further tanned her skin and deteriorated her clothing, but her beauty could still be seen before the right eyes.
Below are two versions of how the events occurred. The first tells of a good-looking young man who came one day to the vineyard; It turns out that this man was King Solomon disguised as a shepherd, interested in the Shulamite, he pretended to be someone else to approach her. Between words of love, Solomon managed to conquer the heart of her beloved, promising her that one day he would return to look for her.
The second version relates that this Shulamite was taking care of her parents’ vineyard, close to the territory where King Solomon camped; When he saw her, he was impressed by her beauty and ordered that they take her before her.
Unfortunately for him, the woman who had captivated him does not accept his invitation, claiming that his heart belongs to a shepherd. He insists and tries to persuade the beautiful Shulamite with gold and riches to follow him to Israel. Yet she maintained her fidelity to the humble shepherd; finally the King decides to leave her alone so that she can return to her lands and reunite with hers, her beloved.
From a Christian point of view, this story tells of God’s love for his church (believers) and the fluctuating feelings that exist in this relationship; He is always faithful to her, but she on the contrary sometimes feels like being with him and at other times she is unfulfilled.
This membership of King Solomon has been known by different names in Christian, Jewish and Islamist legends. Lapis Lazuli Ring, Fisherman’s Ring, Solomon’s Seal and Aandaleeb’s Ring are some of the ways in which we could get this artifact in the holy scriptures.
The center of the ring is carved with two overlapping triangles that form a 6-sided star, better known as the Star of David. And according to the translations of some cultures, the word written in the middle of that star is the name of God.
The other symbols that are embodied in this artifact correspond to the four elements of the earth, which represent the universal harmony of the planet. Additionally, the hexagram inscribed in a circle has been interpreted in some parts of the world as the presence of supernatural powers.
Regardless of the case, this ring granted Solomon protection and the ability to enforce order. Being a geometric figure that integrates strength and beauty, later the Seal of Solomon was linked to science, metaphysics, astronomy and astrology; The experts observed in this figure the connection that exists between the elements of heaven and earth.
Even during the development of mathematics, Pythagoras and his followers observed the cosmic symbolism of this image.
And the demons
The Lapis Lazuli ring or Seal of Solomon, is related to the history of the demons that this King had to face.
The sacred scriptures indicate that during the construction of the Temple, Solomon was able to witness that the son of one of the workers was stealing precious stones from the place.
However, Solomon assumed that this type of crime could not be carried out by an ordinary thief; he thought that a demon was influencing this man’s actions. So the King prayed that God could help him and in a short time his prayer was heard; the Lord through the Archangel Michael sent him a gold ring with a seal engraved in Lapis Lazuli.
The powers contained in this ring would allow Solomon to control evil spirits and keep them away, summon jinn, and communicate with animals or flowers. According to the directions that the Archangel gave Solomon, as long as he wore the ring, everyone on Earth would obey him.
Once armed with the ring on his right middle finger, Solomon proceeded to summon the demon that haunted the royal vaults. Immediately the demon Orias fell to his knees in front of the King and Solomon was able to burn the seal on his neck.
Other demons that were introduced in the same way, such as Onoskelis and Asmodeus, were also marked.
The prophet Nathan had already informed David that one of his sons was going to be in charge of building the Temple of God; so for a long time he dedicated himself to gathering the necessary materials. Before his death, David gave Solomon the plans of the Temple and all the directions that he should follow.
When Solomon had been in power for approximately four years, he decided to start building the Temple, which took him 7 years to complete. During all this time Solomon availed himself of the services of King Hiram of Tire. Hiram gave Solomon the most precious citron wood in Lebanon to erect this building, and put the skill of architects and craftsmen at his disposal.
To reward all the work and resources Hiram was offering him, Solomon paid him with twenty thousand choirs of oil each year until the work was completed. Twenty-seven meters long, nine wide and thirteen and a half high were the measurements of the Temple of God built by Solomon.
Each wall was raised with carved stones, so that there was no noise of hammers or pickaxes. Upon completion, the building was covered externally with cedar beams, the interior walls with cedar planks and the floor with pine wood.
Additionally, a room nine meters long, nine meters wide and nine meters high was built in the internal structure of this Temple. This annex received the name of “Most Holy Place”, where the ark of the Lord’s covenant would be placed.
It was not until the seventh month of that year or “Ethanim month”, during the solemn feast, that the ark of the covenant of the Lord was taken to the Holy of Holies; task that was assigned to the priests of the place.
And the queen of sheba
The Queen Sheba who visited Solomon is said to have come from Sabea, a town in Arabia near the south of the Red Sea. The reason for her visit was to test the wisdom of this King, of which so much was spoken in his nation.
Upon arrival, he decided to ask Solomon the questions he considered most difficult, hoping that he would not be able to answer any. However, there was no question that was not answered by the King, revealing his incredible wisdom.
The Queen was not long in being impressed, not only by the intelligence that Solomon possessed, but also by the amount of power and wealth that he witnessed in his palace, from the place that his officers occupied to the clothes that his servants wore; she let the King know that the rumors that she had heard in her land, did not come close to the incredible reality that the people of Israel lived.
As a token of her respect, Saba gave the King an enormous quantity of gold, precious stones and perfumes that she had brought from her village; who also received gifts and people for his service from Solomon.
What does the story of King Solomon teach us?
For many years Solomon ruled with great wisdom, he did not disobey God’s orders and his people were very happy. But at a certain point, he begins to marry foreign women who worshiped other foreign gods Jehovah, and Solomon began to follow in the footsteps of his wives.
This act of betrayal provoked the wrath of God, who did not decide to take away the kingdom as punishment, but after his death the people of Israel would be divided again. Solomon had promised to reign according to God’s will until the day of his death, but like his predecessors, he broke that promise.
Based on this we can conclude that, despite the wisdom and riches with which he had been blessed like no other King, Solomon was not able to resist temptations that were not well seen by God.
A people that had remained in harmony for so many years was condemned to tragedy due to the disobedience of their King. Once again, the punishment imposed by the Lord did not have direct consequences on the sinner, but on the generations that came from him.
Read also: Song of Solomon