Biblical monarch of ancient Israel
שְׁלֹמֹהKing Solomon in Old Age higher-contrast version.png
King Solomon in Old Age (1866)
Gustave Doré
King of IsraelReignc. 970–931 BCEPredecessorDavidSuccessorRehoboam
Bornc. 990 BCE
Jerusalem, Kingdom of IsraelDiedc. 931 BCE (aged 58–59)
Jerusalem, Kingdom of IsraelBurial
Pharaoh's daughter
700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines[1][2]Issue
3 recorded children:
HouseHouse of DavidFatherDavidMotherBathsheba

Solomon (/ˈsɒləmən/; Hebrew: שְׁלֹמֹה, Modern: Šlōmō, Tiberian: Šălōmō, transl. "peaceful"),[3][a] also called Jedidiah (Hebrew: יְדִידְיָהּ, Modern: Yǝdīdyah, Tiberian: Yăḏīḏyāh, "beloved of Yah"), was a monarch of ancient Israel and the son and successor of David, according to the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament.[4][5] He is described as having been the penultimate ruler of an amalgamated Israel and Judah. The hypothesized dates of Solomon's reign are 970–931 BCE. After his death, his son and successor Rehoboam would adopt harsh policy towards the northern tribes; eventually leading to the splitting of the Israelites between the Kingdom of Israel in the north and the Kingdom of Judah in the south. Following the split, his patrilineal descendants ruled over Judah alone.[6]

The Bible says Solomon built the First Temple in Jerusalem,[5] dedicating the temple to Yahweh, or God in Judaism.[7] Solomon is portrayed as wealthy, wise and powerful, and as one of the 48 Jewish prophets.[8] He is also the subject of many later references and legends, most notably in the Testament of Solomon (part of first-century biblical apocrypha).

In the New Testament, he is portrayed as a teacher of wisdom excelled by Jesus of Nazareth,[9] and as arrayed in glory but excelled by "the lilies of the field".[10] In the Quran, he is considered to be a major Islamic prophet and is generally referred to as Sulaiman ibn Dawud (Arabic: سُلَيْمَان بْن دَاوُوْد, lit.'Solomon, son of David'). In mostly non-biblical circles, Solomon also came to be known as a magician and an exorcist, with numerous amulets and medallion seals dating from the Hellenistic period invoking his name.[11]

Biblical account

The life of Solomon is primarily described in 2 Samuel, 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles. His two names mean "peaceful" and "friend of God", both considered "predictive of the character of his reign".[12]


The conventional dates of Solomon's reign are derived from biblical chronology and are set from about 970 to 931 BCE.[13] Regarding the Davidic dynasty, to which King Solomon belongs, its chronology can be checked against datable Babylonian and Assyrian records at a few points, and these correspondences have allowed archaeologists to date its kings in a modern framework.[citation needed][dubious – discuss] According to the most widely used chronology, based on that by Old Testament professor Edwin R. Thiele, the death of Solomon and the division of his kingdom would have occurred in the fall of 931 BCE.[14]


Solomon was born in Jerusalem,[15] the second born child of David and his wife Bathsheba (widow of Uriah the Hittite). The first child (unnamed in that account), a son conceived adulterously during Uriah's lifetime, had died during birth. It is suggested in Scripture that this was a judgment from God. Solomon had three named full brothers born to Bathsheba: Nathan, Shammua, and Shobab,[16] besides six known older half-brothers born of as many mothers.[17]

The biblical narrative shows that Solomon served as a peace offering between God and David, due to his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. In an effort to hide this sin, for example, he sent the woman's husband to battle, in the subsequently realised hope that he would be killed there. After he died, David was finally able to marry his wife. As punishment, the first child, who was conceived during the adulterous relationship, died.[18] Solomon was born after David was forgiven. It is this reason why his name, which means peace, was chosen. Some historians cited that Nathan the Prophet brought up Solomon as his father was busy governing the realm.[19] This could also be attributed to the notion that the prophet held great influence over David because he knew of his adultery, which was considered a grievous offense under the Mosaic Law.[20]

Succession and administration

The Anointing of Solomon by Cornelis de Vos (c. 1630). According to 1 Kings 1:39, Solomon was anointed by Zadok.

According to the First Book of Kings, when David was old, "he could not get warm".[21] "So they sought a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunamite, and brought her to the king. The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not."[21]

While David was in this state, court factions were maneuvering for power. David's heir apparent, Adonijah, acted to have himself declared king, but was outmaneuvered by Bathsheba and the prophet Nathan, who convinced David to proclaim Solomon king according to his earlier promise (not recorded elsewhere in the biblical narrative),[22] despite Solomon's being younger than his brothers.

Solomon, as instructed by David, began his reign with an extensive purge, including his father's chief general, Joab, among others, and further consolidated his position by appointing friends throughout the administration, including in religious positions as well as in civic and military posts.[23] It is said that Solomon ascended to the throne when he was only about fifteen.[24]

Solomon greatly expanded his military strength, especially the cavalry and chariot arms. He founded numerous colonies, some of which doubled as trading posts and military outposts.

Trade relationships were a focus of his administration. In particular he continued his father's very profitable relationship with the Phoenician king Hiram I of Tyre (see 'wealth' below); they sent out joint expeditions to the lands of Tarshish and Ophir to engage in the trade of luxury products, importing gold, silver, sandalwood, pearls, ivory, apes and peacocks. Solomon is considered the most wealthy of the Israelite kings named in the Bible.


Luca Giordano: The Dream of Solomon: God promises Solomon wisdom

Solomon was the biblical king most famous for his wisdom. In 1 Kings he sacrificed to God, and God later appeared to him in a dream,[25] asking what Solomon wanted from God. Solomon asked for wisdom in order to better rule and guide his people. Pleased, God personally answered Solomon's prayer, promising him great wisdom because he did not ask for self-serving rewards like long life or the death of his enemies.

Perhaps the best known story of his wisdom is the Judgment of Solomon; two women each lay claim to being the mother of the same child. Solomon easily resolved the dispute by commanding the child to be cut in half and shared between the two. One woman promptly renounced her claim, proving that she would rather give the child up than see it killed. Solomon declared the woman who showed compassion to be the true mother, entitled to the whole child.[26]

Solomon was traditionally considered the author of several biblical books, "including not only the collections of Proverbs, but also of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon and the later apocryphal book the Wisdom of Solomon."[27]


Solomon receiving envoys of the tributary nations

According to the Hebrew Bible, the ancient Kingdom of Israel gained its highest splendour and wealth during Solomon's reign of 40 years. In a single year, according to 1 Kings 10:14, Solomon collected tribute amounting to 666 talents (18,125 kilograms) of gold. Solomon is described as surrounding himself with all the luxuries and the grandeur of an Eastern monarch, and his government prospered. He entered into an alliance with Hiram I, king of Tyre, who in many ways greatly assisted him in his numerous undertakings.

Construction projects

Solomon plans the building of the temple
Solomon and the plan for the First Temple. Illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Co.

For some years before his death, David was engaged in collecting materials for building a temple in Jerusalem as a permanent home for Yahweh and the Ark of the Covenant. Solomon is described as undertaking the construction of the temple, with the help of an architect, also named Hiram, and other materials, sent from King Hiram of Tyre.

After the completion of the temple, Solomon is described in the biblical narrative as erecting many other buildings of importance in Jerusalem. For 13 years, he was engaged in the building of a royal palace on Ophel (a hilly promontory in central Jerusalem). This complex included buildings referred to as:

The House (or Hall) of the Forest of Lebanon[28]
The Hall or Porch of Pillars
The Hall of the Throne or the Hall of Justice as well as his own residence and a residence for his wife, Pharaoh's daughter.[29]
A sketch of Solomon's Temple, based on descriptions in the Scriptures.

Solomon's throne is said to have been spectacularly opulent and possessed moving parts, making it one of the earliest mechanical devices in history. Solomon also constructed great water works for the city, and the Millo (Septuagint, Acra) for the defense of the city. However, excavations of Jerusalem have discovered no monumental architecture from the era, and no remains of either the Temple or Solomon's palace have been found.

Solomon is also described as rebuilding cities elsewhere in Israel, creating the port of Ezion-Geber, and constructing Palmyra in the wilderness as a commercial depot and military outpost. Although the location of the port of Ezion-Geber is known, no remains have ever been found. More archaeological success has been achieved with the major cities Solomon is said to have strengthened or rebuilt, for example, Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer.[30] These all have substantial ancient remains, including impressive six-chambered gates, and ashlar palaces; however it is no longer the scholarly consensus that these structures date to the time, according to the Bible, when Solomon ruled.[31]

According to the Bible, during Solomon's reign, Israel enjoyed great commercial prosperity, with extensive traffic being carried on by land with Tyre, Egypt, and Arabia, and by sea with Tarshish, Ophir, and South India.[32]

Wives and concubines

King Solomon with his wives. Illustrated in 1668 by Giovanni Battista Venanzi.

According to the biblical account, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.[33] The wives were described as foreign princesses, including Pharaoh's daughter[34] and women of Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon and of the Hittites. His marriage to Pharaoh's daughter appears to have cemented a political alliance with Egypt, whereas he clung to his other wives and concubines "in love".[35][36] The only wife mentioned by name is Naamah the Ammonite, mother of Solomon's successor, Rehoboam.

The biblical narrative notes with disapproval that Solomon permitted his foreign wives to import their national deities, building temples to Ashtoreth and Milcom.[37]

In the branch of literary analysis that examines the Bible, called higher criticism, the story of Solomon falling into idolatry by the influence of Pharaoh's daughter and his other foreign wives is "customarily seen as the handiwork of the 'deuteronomistic historian(s)'", who are held to have written, compiled, or edited texts to legitimize the reforms of Hezekiah's great-grandson, King Josiah who reigned from about 641 to 609 BCE (over 280 years after Solomon's death according to Bible scholars).[38] Scholarly consensus in this field holds that "Solomon's wives/women were introduced in the 'Josianic' (customarily Dtr) edition of Kings as a theological construct to blame the schism [between Judah and the Northern Kingdom of Israel] on his misdeeds".[38]

Relationship with Queen of Sheba

The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon. Oil on canvas painting by Edward Poynter, 1890.

In a brief, unelaborated, and enigmatic passage, the Hebrew Bible describes how the fame of Solomon's wisdom and wealth reached even the far-off Queen of Sheba. The queen is described as visiting with gifts including gold, spices and precious stones. When Solomon gave her "all her desire, whatsoever she asked", she left satisfied (1 Kings 10:10).

Whether the passage is simply to provide a brief foreign witness of Solomon's wealth and wisdom, or whether the visit is meant to have more significance, is unknown; nevertheless the Queen of Sheba has become the subject of numerous stories.

Sheba is typically identified as Saba, a nation once spanning the Red Sea on the coasts of what are now Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen, in Arabia Felix; although other sources place it in the area of what is now northern Ethiopia and Eritrea.[39][40]

In a Rabbinical account (e.g. Targum Sheni, Colloquy of the Queen of Sheba), Solomon was accustomed to ordering animals to dance before him (a power granted by God), and upon summoning the mountain-cock or hoopoe (Aramaic name: nagar tura), the bird told him it had discovered a land in the east, rich in gold, silver, and plants, whose capital was called Kitor and whose ruler was the Queen of Sheba. Solomon then sent the bird to request the queen's visit.

An Ethiopian account from the 14th century (Kebra Nagast) maintains that the Queen of Sheba had sexual relations with King Solomon and gave birth beside the Mai Bella stream in the province of Hamasien, Eritrea. The Ethiopian tradition has a detailed account of the affair. The child was a son who became Menelik I, King of Axum, and founded a dynasty that would reign as the Jewish, then Christian, Empire of Ethiopia which lasted 2900 years until Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974. Menelik was said to be a practicing Jew who was given a replica of the Ark of the Covenant by King Solomon; and, moreover, that the original Ark was switched and went to Axum with him and his mother, and is still there, guarded by a single dedicated priest.

The claim of such a lineage and of possession of the Ark was an important source of legitimacy and prestige for the Ethiopian monarchy through the centuries, and had important and lasting effects on Ethiopian culture. The Ethiopian government and church deny all requests to view the alleged ark.[b]

Some classical-era Rabbis, attacking Solomon's moral character, have claimed instead that the child was an ancestor of Nebuchadnezzar II, who destroyed Solomon's temple some 300 years later.[41]

Sins and punishment

"Vanity of vanities; all is vanity". Isaak Asknaziy illustrates an old and meditative King Solomon.

Jewish scribes say that Solomon's teacher was Shimei (son of Gera), and while he lived, he prevented Solomon from marrying foreign wives. The Talmud says at Ber. 8a: "For as long as Shimei the son of Gera was alive Solomon did not marry the daughter of Pharaoh" (see also Midrash Tehillim to Ps. 3:1). Solomon's execution of Shimei was his first descent into sin.[12]

According to 1 Kings 11:4 Solomon's "wives turned his heart after other gods", their own national deities, to whom Solomon built temples, thus incurring divine anger and retribution in the form of the division of the kingdom after Solomon's death (1 Kings 11:9–13). 1 Kings 11 describes Solomon's descent into idolatry, particularly his turning after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom, the god of the Ammonites. In Deuteronomy 17:16–17, a king is commanded not to multiply horses or wives, neither greatly multiply to himself gold or silver. Solomon sinned in all three of these areas. In addition to his wives, he collected 666 talents of gold each year (1 Kings 10:14), a huge amount for a small nation like Israel. He gathered multitudes of horses and chariots from as far as Egypt, and as Deuteronomy 17 warns, took Israel back to Egypt in spirit.

Solomon was said to have sinned by acquiring many foreign wives. Solomon's descent into idolatry, Willem de Poorter, Rijksmuseum.

According to 1 Kings 11:30–34 and 1 Kings 11:9–13, it was because of these sins that the Lord punished Solomon by removing most of the tribes of Israel from rule by Solomon's house.[42]

And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the Lord commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, "Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen.


Near the end of his life, Solomon was beset by several enemies, including Hadad of Edom, Rezon of Zobah, and his own official Jeroboam of the tribe of Ephraim.

Death, succession of Rehoboam, and kingdom division

The United Monarchy breaks up—Jeroboam rules Israel (blue) and Rehoboam rules Judah

King Solomon is a central biblical figure, who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was the builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem and the last ruler of a united Kingdom of Israel. After a reign of forty years, he died of natural causes[43] at around 60 years of age. Upon Solomon's death, his son, Rehoboam, succeeded him, but ten of the Tribes of Israel refused him as king, splitting the monarchy into the northern Kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam, while Rehoboam continued to reign over the much smaller southern Kingdom of Judah. Henceforth the two kingdoms were never again united.

Solomon is associated with the peak "golden age" of the independent Kingdom of Israel and is a legendary source of judicial and religious wisdom.

According to Jewish tradition, King Solomon wrote three books of the Bible:

  • Mishlei (Book of Proverbs). A collection of fables and wisdom of life.
  • Kohelet (Ecclesiastes). A book of contemplation and self-reflection.
  • Shir ha-Shirim (Song of Songs). A collection of erotic verse. The verse has been interpreted both literally (describing a romantic and sexual relationship between a man and a woman) and metaphorically (describing a relationship between God and his people).

The Hebrew word לשלמה appears in the title of two hymns (72 and 127) in the Book of Psalms. This Hebrew word means "to Solomon", but it can also be translated as "by Solomon," thus suggesting to some that Solomon wrote the two psalms.[44][45][46]

Apocryphal or deuterocanonical texts

Rabbinical tradition attributes the Wisdom of Solomon (included within the Septuagint) to Solomon, although this book was probably written in the 2nd century BCE. In this work, Solomon is portrayed as an astronomer. Other books of wisdom poetry such as the Odes of Solomon and the Psalms of Solomon also bear his name. The Jewish historian Eupolemus, who wrote about 157 BCE, included copies of apocryphal letters exchanged between Solomon and the kings of Egypt and Tyre.

The Gnostic Apocalypse of Adam, which may date to the 1st or 2nd century, refers to a legend in which Solomon sends out an army of demons to seek a virgin who had fled from him, perhaps the earliest surviving mention of the later common tale that Solomon controlled demons and made them his slaves. This tradition of Solomon's control over demons appears fully elaborated in the early pseudoepigraphical work called the Testament of Solomon with its elaborate and grotesque demonology.[47]


As with most biblical personages in the middle era of Israelite society, the historicity of Solomon is hotly debated. Current consensus states that regardless of whether or not a man named Solomon truly reigned as king over the Judean hills in the tenth century BCE, the Biblical descriptions of his apparent empire's lavishness is almost surely an anachronistic exaggeration.[48]

As for Solomon himself, scholars on both the maximalist and minimalist sides of the spectrum of biblical archeology generally agree that he probably existed.[48] However, a historically accurate picture of the Davidic king is difficult to construct. According to some archaeologists, Solomon could have only been the monarch or chieftain of Judah, and that the northern kingdom was a separate development. Such positions have been criticized by other archaeologists and scholars, who argue that a united monarchy did exist in the 10th century BC, while agreeing that the biblical account contains exaggerations.[49][50][51][52][53]

Arguments against biblical description

Judgment of Solomon. Engraving by Gustave Doré, 19th century.

Historical evidence of King Solomon other than the biblical accounts has been so minimal that some scholars have understood the period of his reign as a 'Dark Age' (Muhly 1998). The first-century Romano-Jewish scholar Josephus in Against Apion, citing Tyrian court records and Menander, gives a specific year during which King Hiram I of Tyre sent materials to Solomon for the construction of the Temple.[54] However, no material evidence indisputably of Solomon's reign has been found. Yigael Yadin's excavations at Hazor, Megiddo, Beit Shean and Gezer uncovered structures that he and others have argued date from Solomon's reign,[55] but others, such as Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman, argue that they should be dated to the Omride period, more than a century after Solomon.[31]

According to Finkelstein and Silberman, authors of The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts,[56] at the time of the kingdoms of David and Solomon, Jerusalem was populated by only a few hundred residents or less, which is insufficient for an empire stretching from the Euphrates to Eilath. According to The Bible Unearthed, archaeological evidence suggests that the kingdom of Israel at the time of Solomon was little more than a small city state, and so it is implausible that Solomon received tribute as large as 666 talents of gold per year. Although both Finkelstein and Silberman accept that David and Solomon were real inhabitants of Judah about the 10th century BCE,[48] they claim that the earliest independent reference to the Kingdom of Israel is about 890 BCE, and for Judah about 750 BCE. They suggest that because of religious prejudice, the authors of the Bible suppressed the achievements of the Omrides (whom the Hebrew Bible describes as being polytheist), and instead pushed them back to a supposed golden age of Judaism and monotheists, and devotees of Yahweh. Some Biblical minimalists like Thomas L. Thompson go further, arguing that Jerusalem became a city and capable of being a state capital only in the mid-7th century.[57] Likewise, Finkelstein and others consider the claimed size of Solomon's temple implausible.

Arguments in favour of biblical description

Solomon's Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1 Kings 3:12–13. Illustration from a Bible card published 1896 by the Providence Lithograph Company.

André Lemaire states in Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple that the principal points of the biblical tradition of Solomon are generally trustworthy,[58] although elsewhere he writes that he could find no substantiating archaeological evidence that supports the Queen of Sheba's visit to king Solomon, saying that the earliest records of trans-Arabian caravan voyages from Tayma and Sheba unto the Middle-Euphrates etc. occurred in the mid-8th century BCE,[59] placing a possible visit from the Queen of Sheba to Jerusalem around this time—some 250 years later than the timeframe traditionally given for king Solomon's reign.[60] Seventeen years later, traces of cinnamon were found in Phoenician clay flasks from three small sites in the Israeli coastal plain dating from the 10th century BCE. The authors suggested that trade routes with South Asia existed much earlier than previously thought.[61]

Kenneth Kitchen argues that Solomon ruled over a comparatively wealthy "mini-empire", rather than a small city-state, and considers 666 gold talents a modest amount of money. Kitchen calculates that over 30 years, such a kingdom might have accumulated up to 500 tons of gold, which is small compared to other examples, such as the 1,180 tons of gold that Alexander the Great took from Susa.[62] Similarly, Kitchen[63] and others consider the temple of Solomon a reasonable and typically sized structure for the region at the time. Dever states "that we now have direct Bronze and Iron Age parallels for every feature of the 'Solomonic temple' as described in the Hebrew Bible".[64]

Middle way

Some scholars have charted a middle path between minimalist scholars like Finkelstein, Silberman, and Philip Davies[65] (who believes that "Solomon is a totally invented character")[66] and maximalist scholars like Dever, Lemaire and Kitchen. For instance, the archaeologist Avraham Faust has argued that biblical depictions of Solomon date to later periods and do overstate his wealth, buildings, and kingdom, but that Solomon did have an acropolis and ruled over a polity larger than Jerusalem.[67] In particular, his archaeological research in regions near Jerusalem, like Sharon, finds commerce too great not to be supported by a polity and such regions probably were ruled loosely by Jerusalem.[68][69] Scholars like Lester Grabbe also believe that there must have been a ruler in Jerusalem during this period and that he likely built a temple, although the town was quite small.[70] William G. Dever argues that Solomon only reigned over Israel and did build a temple, but that descriptions of his lavishness and the other conquests are strongly exaggerated.[71]


General observations

The archaeological remains that are considered to date from the time of Solomon are notable for the fact that Canaanite material culture appears to have continued unabated; there is a distinct lack of magnificent empire, or cultural development—indeed comparing pottery from areas traditionally assigned to Israel with that of the Philistines points to the latter having been significantly more sophisticated.[citation needed] However, there is a lack of physical evidence of its existence, despite some archaeological work in the area.[31] This is not unexpected because the area was devastated by the Babylonians, then rebuilt and destroyed several times.[63]

Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Little archaeological excavation has been done around the area known as the Temple Mount, in what is thought to be the foundation of Solomon's Temple, because attempts to do so are met with protests by the Muslim authorities.[72][73]

Precious metals from Tarshish

The biblical passages that understand Tarshish as a source of King Solomon's great wealth in metals—especially silver, but also gold, tin and iron (Ezekiel 27)—were linked to archaeological evidence from silver-hoards found in Phoenicia in 2013. The metals from Tarshish were reportedly obtained by Solomon in partnership with King Hiram of Phoenician Tyre (Isaiah 23) and the fleets of Tarshish and ships that sailed in their service. The silver hoards provide the first recognized material evidence that agrees with the ancient texts concerning Solomon's kingdom and his wealth (see 'wealth' below).

Possible evidence for the described wealth of Solomon and his kingdom was discovered in ancient silver hoards, which were found in Israel and Phoenicia and recognized for their importance in 2003. The evidence from the hoards shows that the Levant was a center of wealth in precious metals during the reigns of Solomon and Hiram, and matches the texts that say the trade extended from Asia to the Atlantic Ocean.[74]

Biblical criticism: Solomon's religiosity

From a critical point of view, Solomon's building of a temple for Yahweh should not be considered an act of particular devotion to Yahweh because Solomon is also described as building places of worship for a number of other deities.[41] Some scholars and historians argue that the passages, such as his dedication prayer (1 Kings 8:14–66), that describe Solomon's apparent initial devotion to Yahweh were written much later, after Jerusalem had become the religious centre of the kingdom, replacing locations such as Shiloh and Bethel. Earlier historians maintain that there is evidence that these passages in Kings are derived from official court records at the time of Solomon and from other writings of that time that were incorporated into the canonical books of Kings.[75][76][77] More recent scholars believe that passages such as these in the Books of Kings were not written by the same authors who wrote the rest of the text, instead probably by the Deuteronomist.[64]

Religious views


King Solomon sinned by acquiring many foreign wives and horses because he thought he knew the reason for the biblical prohibition and thought it did not apply to him. When King Solomon married the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh, a sandbank formed which eventually formed the "great nation of Rome"—the nation that destroyed the Second Temple (Herod's Temple). Solomon gradually lost more and more prestige until he became like a commoner. Some say he regained his status while others say he did not. In the end, however, he is regarded as a righteous king and is especially praised for his diligence in building the Temple.[78] King Josiah was also said to have had the Ark of the Covenant, Aaron's rod, vial of manna and the anointing oil placed within a hidden chamber which had been built by King Solomon[79][80]

The Seder Olam Rabba holds that Solomon's reign was not in 1000 BCE, but rather in the 9th century BCE, during which time he built the First Temple in 832 BCE.[81] However, the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia gives the more common date of "971 to 931 BCE".[12]


Russian icon of King Solomon. He is depicted holding a model of the Temple (18th century, iconostasis of Kizhi monastery, Russia).

Christianity has traditionally accepted the historical existence of Solomon, though some modern Christian scholars have also questioned at least his authorship of those biblical texts ascribed to him. Such disputes tend to divide Christians into traditionalist and modernist camps.

Of the two genealogies of Jesus given in the Gospels, Matthew mentions Solomon, but Luke does not. Some commentators see this as an issue that can be reconciled while others disagree. For instance, it has been suggested that Matthew is using Joseph's genealogy and Luke is using Mary's, but Darrell Bock states that this would be unprecedented, "especially when no other single woman appears in the line". Other suggestions include the use by one of the royal and the other of the natural line, one using the legal line and the other the physical line, or that Joseph was adopted.[82]

Jesus refers to Solomon, using him for comparison in his admonition against worrying about life. This account is recorded in Matthew 6:29 and the parallel passage in Luke 12:27.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Solomon is commemorated as a saint, with the title of "Righteous Prophet and King". His feast day is celebrated on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers (two Sundays before the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord).

The staunchly Catholic King Philip II of Spain sought to model himself after King Solomon. Statues of King David and Solomon stand on either side of the entrance to the basilica of El Escorial, Philip's palace, and Solomon is also depicted in a great fresco at the center of El Escorial's library. Philip identified the warrior-king David with his own father Charles V, and himself sought to emulate the thoughtful and logical character which he perceived in Solomon. Moreover, the structure of the Escorial was inspired by that of Solomon's Temple.[83][84]


Mausoleum of Solomon, Aqsa Mosque compound, Jerusalem

In Islamic tradition, Solomon is recognised as a prophet and a messenger of God, as well as a divinely appointed monarch, who ruled over the Kingdom of Israel.[85] Solomon inherited his position from his father as the prophetic King of the Israelites. Unlike in the Bible, according to Muslim tradition, Solomon never participated in idolatry himself, but is rebuked for allowing it to happen in his kingdom.[86]

The Quran[87][88][89] ascribes to Solomon a great level of wisdom, knowledge and power. He knew the Mantiq al-tayr (Arabic: مـنـطـق الـطـيـر, language of the birds).[88][90] Solomon was also known in Islam to have other supernatural abilities bestowed upon him by God, like controlling the wind, ruling over the jinn, enslaving demons (divs), and hearing the communication of ants:

"And to Solomon (We made) the wind (obedient): its early morning (stride) was a month's (journey), and its evening (stride) was a month's (journey); and We made a font of molten brass to flow for him; and there were Jinn that worked in front of him, by the leave of his Lord, and if any of them turned aside from Our command, We made him taste of the Penalty of the Blazing Fire."[91] (34: 12) and "At length, when they came to a (lowly) valley of ants, one of the ants said: 'O ye ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it.'—So he smiled, amused at her speech; and he said: 'O my Rabb (Arabic: رَبّ, Lord)! So order me that I may be grateful for Thy favors, which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee: and admit me, by Thy Grace, to the ranks of Thy righteous Servants.'" (27: 18–19)

The Quran absolves Solomon from practising sorcery:

And they followed what the devils taught during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but it was the devils who disbelieved. They taught the people witchcraft and what was revealed in Babil (Arabic: بَـابِـل, Babylon) to the two angels Harut and Marut. They did not teach anybody until they had said "We are a test, so do not lose faith." But they learned from them the means to cause separation between man and his wife. But they cannot harm anyone except with God's permission. And they learned what would harm them and not benefit them. Yet they knew that whoever deals in it will have no share in the Hereafter. Miserable is what they sold their souls for, if they only knew.[85]

The Quran, makes a reference to a puppet posing as Solomon, in exegetical literature understood as a jinni or demon, who escaped captivity and took over his kingdom.[92]

Solomon's gifts are often used allegorical in popular literature. The demons taking over Solomon's kingdom, is mirroring Sufistic concept of the mind giving in to evil urges.[93] The ant is depicted as a wise creature, revealing to Solomon the reason behind his gift to control the wind and his name.[94]

In Medieval traditions, when Islam spread through Persia, Solomon became merged with Jamshid, a great king from Persian legends whom similar attributes are ascribed to.[95]

Baháʼí Faith

In the Baháʼí Faith, Solomon is regarded as one of the lesser prophets along with David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, along with others.[96] Baháʼís see Solomon as a prophet who was sent by God to address the issues of his time.[97] Baha'ullah wrote about Solomon in the Hidden Words.[98] He also mentions Solomon in the Tablet of Wisdom, where he is depicted as a contemporary of Pythagoras.[99]


One Thousand and One Nights

A well-known story in the collection One Thousand and One Nights describes a genie who had displeased King Solomon and was punished by being locked in a bottle and thrown into the sea. Since the bottle was sealed with Solomon's seal, the genie was helpless to free himself, until he was freed many centuries later by a fisherman who discovered the bottle.[100] In other stories from the One Thousand and One Nights, protagonists who had to leave their homeland and travel to the unknown places of the world saw signs which proved that Solomon had already been there. Sometimes, protagonists discovered words of Solomon that were intended to help those who were lost and had unluckily reached those forbidden and deserted places.

Angels and magic

According to the Rabbinical literature, on account of his modest request for wisdom only, Solomon was rewarded with riches and an unprecedented glorious realm, which extended over the upper world inhabited by the angels and over the whole of the terrestrial globe with all its inhabitants, including all the beasts, fowl, and reptiles, as well as the demons and spirits. His control over the demons, spirits, and animals augmented his splendor, the demons bringing him precious stones, besides water from distant countries to irrigate his exotic plants. The beasts and fowl of their own accord entered the kitchen of Solomon's palace, so that they might be used as food for him, and extravagant meals for him were prepared daily by each of his 700 wives and 300 concubines, with the thought that perhaps the king would feast that day in her house.

Seal of Solomon

The Seal of Solomon or Ring of Solomon is the legendary signet ring attributed to the Israelite king Solomon in medieval mystical traditions, from which it developed in parallel within Jewish mysticism, Islamic mysticism and Western occultism. It is the predecessor to the Star of David, the contemporary cultural and religious symbol of the Jewish people. It was often depicted in the shape of either a pentagram or a hexagram. In religious lore, the ring is described as having given Solomon the power to command the supernatural and also the ability to speak with animals. Due to the proverbial wisdom of Solomon, it came to be seen as an amulet or talisman, or a symbol or character in medieval magic and Renaissance magic, occultism, and alchemy.

Solomon and Asmodeus

One legend concerning Asmodeus (see: The Story of King Solomon and Ashmedai) goes on to state that Solomon one day asked Asmodeus what could make demons powerful over man, and Asmodeus asked to be freed and given the ring so that he could demonstrate; Solomon agreed but Asmodeus threw the ring into the sea and it was swallowed by a fish. Asmodeus then swallowed the king, stood up fully with one wing touching heaven and the other earth, and spat out Solomon to a distance of 400 miles. The Rabbis claim this was a divine punishment for Solomon's having failed to follow three divine commands, and Solomon was forced to wander from city to city, until he eventually arrived in an Ammonite city where he was forced to work in the king's kitchens. Solomon gained a chance to prepare a meal for the Ammonite king, which the king found so impressive that the previous cook was sacked and Solomon put in his place; the king's daughter, Naamah, subsequently fell in love with Solomon, but the family (thinking Solomon a commoner) disapproved, so the king decided to kill them both by sending them into the desert. Solomon and the king's daughter wandered the desert until they reached a coastal city, where they bought a fish to eat, which just happened to be the one which had swallowed the magic ring. Solomon was then able to regain his throne and expel Asmodeus.[101] The element of a ring thrown into the sea and found back in a fish's belly also appeared in Herodotus' account of Polycrates, the tyrant of Samos (c. 538–522 BCE).

In another familiar version of the legend of the Seal of Solomon, Asmodeus disguises himself. In some myths, he's disguised as King Solomon himself, while in more frequently heard versions he's disguised as a falcon, calling himself Gavyn (Gavinn or Gavin), one of King Solomon's trusted friends. The concealed Asmodeus tells travelers who have ventured up to King Solomon's grand lofty palace that the Seal of Solomon was thrown into the sea. He then convinces them to plunge in and attempt to retrieve it, for if they do they would take the throne as king.


Other magical items attributed to Solomon are his key and his Table. The latter was said to be held in Toledo, Spain during Visigoth rule and was part of the loot taken by Tarik ibn Ziyad during the Umayyad Conquest of Iberia, according to Ibn Abd-el-Hakem's History of the Conquest of Spain. The former appears in the title of the Lesser Key of Solomon, a grimoire whose framing story is Solomon capturing demons using his ring, and forcing them to explain themselves to him. In The Book of Deadly Names, purportedly translated from Arabic manuscripts found hidden in a building in Spain, the "King of the Jinn" Fiqitush brings 72 Jinn before King Solomon to confess their corruptions and places of residence. Fiqitush tells King Solomon the recipes for curing such corruptions as each evil Jinn confesses.


Angels also helped Solomon in building the Temple, though not by choice. The edifice was, according to rabbinical legend, miraculously constructed throughout, the large heavy stones rising and settling in their respective places of themselves. The general opinion of the Rabbis is that Solomon hewed the stones by means of a shamir, a mythical worm whose mere touch cleft rocks. According to Midrash Tehillim, the shamir was brought from paradise by Solomon's eagle; but most of the rabbis state that Solomon was informed of the worm's haunts by Asmodeus. The shamir had been entrusted by the prince of the sea to the mountain rooster alone, and the rooster had sworn to guard it well, but Solomon's men found the bird's nest, and covered it with glass. When the bird returned, it used the shamir to break the glass, whereupon the men scared the bird, causing it to drop the worm, which the men could then bring to Solomon.

In the Kabbalah

Early adherents of the Kabbalah portray Solomon as having sailed through the air on a throne of light placed on an eagle, which brought him near the heavenly gates as well as to the dark mountains behind which the fallen angels Uzza and Azzazel were chained; the eagle would rest on the chains, and Solomon, using the magic ring, would compel the two angels to reveal every mystery he desired to know.

The palace without entrance

According to one legend, while traveling magically, Solomon noticed a magnificent palace to which there appeared to be no entrance. He ordered the demons to climb to the roof and see if they could discover any living being within the building but they found only an eagle, which said that it was 700 years old, but that it had never seen an entrance. An elder brother of the eagle, 900 years old, was then found, but it also did not know the entrance. The eldest brother of these two birds, which was 1,300 years old, then declared it had been informed by its father that the door was on the west side, but that it had become hidden by sand drifted by the wind. Having discovered the entrance, Solomon found an idol inside that had in its mouth a silver tablet saying in Greek (a language not thought by modern scholars to have existed 1000 years before the time of Solomon) that the statue was of Shaddad, the son of 'Ad, and that it had reigned over a million cities, rode on a million horses, had under it a million vassals and slew a million warriors, yet it could not resist the angel of death.[12]


Solomon at his throne, painting by Andreas Brugger, 1777

Solomon's throne is described at length in Targum Sheni, which is compiled from three different sources, and in two later Midrash. According to these, there were on the steps of the throne twelve golden lions, each facing a golden eagle. There were six steps to the throne, on which animals, all of gold, were arranged in the following order: on the first step a lion opposite an ox; on the second, a wolf opposite a sheep; on the third, a tiger opposite a camel; on the fourth, an eagle opposite a peacock, on the fifth, a cat opposite a cock; on the sixth, a sparrow-hawk opposite a dove. On the top of the throne was a dove holding a sparrow-hawk in its claws, symbolizing the dominion of Israel over the Gentiles. The first midrash claims that six steps were constructed because Solomon foresaw that six kings would sit on the throne, namely, Solomon, Rehoboam, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, and Josiah. There was also on the top of the throne a golden candelabrum, on the seven branches of the one side of which were engraved the names of the seven patriarchs Adam, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Job, and on the seven of the other the names of Levi, Kohath, Amram, Moses, Aaron, Eldad, Medad, and, in addition, Hur (another version has Haggai). Above the candelabrum was a golden jar filled with olive oil and beneath it a golden basin which supplied the jar with oil and on which the names of Nadab, Abihu, and Eli and his two sons were engraved. Over the throne, twenty-four vines were fixed to cast a shadow on the king's head.[12]

By a mechanical contrivance the throne followed Solomon wherever he wished to go. Supposedly, due to another mechanical trick, when the king reached the first step, the ox stretched forth its leg, on which Solomon leaned, a similar action taking place in the case of the animals on each of the six steps. From the sixth step the eagles raised the king and placed him in his seat, near which a golden serpent lay coiled. When the king was seated the large eagle placed the crown on his head, the serpent uncoiled itself, and the lions and eagles moved upward to form a shade over him. The dove then descended, took the scroll of the Law from the Ark, and placed it on Solomon's knees. When the king sat, surrounded by the Sanhedrin, to judge the people, the wheels began to turn, and the beasts and fowls began to utter their respective cries, which frightened those who had intended to bear false testimony. Moreover, while Solomon was ascending the throne, the lions scattered various fragrant spices. After Solomon's death, Pharaoh Shishak, when taking away the treasures of the Temple (I Kings xiv. 26), carried off the throne, which remained in Egypt until Sennacherib conquered that country. After Sennacherib's fall Hezekiah gained possession of it, but when Josiah was slain by Pharaoh Necho, the latter took it away. However, according to rabbinical accounts, Necho did not know how the mechanism worked and so accidentally struck himself with one of the lions causing him to become lame; Nebuchadnezzar, into whose possession the throne subsequently came, shared a similar fate. The throne then passed to the Persians, whose king Darius was the first to sit successfully on Solomon's throne after his death; subsequently the throne came into the possession of the Greeks and Ahasuerus.[12]


Masonic rituals refer to King Solomon and the building of his Temple.[102] Masonic Temples, where a Masonic Lodge meets, are an allegorical reference to King Solomon's Temple.[103]


The Solomon Islands, a country and archipelago in Melanesia, were named for King Solomon by the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña, who became the first European to see the islands in 1568.[104][105]

In literature, art, and music


  • In H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines (1885) the protagonists discover multiple settings said to have belonged to or to have been built at the request of King Solomon, such as 'Solomon's Great Road' and the mines themselves. Also, the two mountains which form the entrance to Kukuana Land (where the mines are located in the novel) are referred to as 'Sheba's Breasts' which could be an allusion to the Queen of Sheba, with whom King Solomon had a relationship, or Solomon's mother, who was named Bathsheba. When in the mines, the characters also contemplate what must have occurred to prevent King Solomon from returning to retrieve the massive amounts of diamonds, gold and ivory tusks that were found buried in his great 'Treasure Chamber'.
  • In The Divine Comedy, the spirit of Solomon appears to Dante Alighieri in the Heaven of the Sun with other exemplars of inspired wisdom.
  • In Friedrich Dürrenmatt's Die Physiker, the physicist Möbius claims that Solomon appears to him and dictates the "theory of all possible inventions" (based on Unified Field Theory).
  • Solomon appears in Kipling's Just So Stories.
  • In Neal Stephenson's three-volume The Baroque Cycle, 17th-century alchemists like Isaac Newton believe that Solomon created a kind of "heavier" gold with mystical properties and that it was cached in the Solomon Islands where it was accidentally discovered by the crew of a wayward Spanish galleon. In the third volume of The Baroque Cycle, The System of the World, a mysterious member of the entourage of Czar Peter I of Russia, named "Solomon Kohan" appears in early 18th-century London. The czar, traveling incognito to purchase English-made ships for his navy, explains that he added him to his court after the Sack of Azov, where Kohan had been a guest of the Pasha. Solomon Kohan is later revealed as one of the extremely long-lived "Wise," such as Enoch Root, and compares a courtyard full of inventors' workstations to "an operation I used to have in Jerusalem a long time ago", denominating either facility as "a temple". Stephenson's sequel to Reamde, 2019's Fall; or, Dodge in Hell was also a surprise sequel to the Baroque Cycle novels and Cryptonomicon. In the mid- to late-21st century span of Fall, Solomon Kohan has joined the faculty of Princeton University, going by Solly Pesador, and is described by a student as "one of those guys who had been around forever and played roles in tech companies going at least as far back as Hewlett-Packard" and as an "old-school tech geek turned neuro-hacker."
  • In Bartimaeus: The Ring of Solomon, both King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba are featured prominently.
  • Solomon, King of Urushalim, is a significant character in The Shadow Prince,[106] the first novel of Philip Armstrong's epic historical fantasy, The Chronicles of Tupiluliuma. His Ring is an Atalantaën Relic, by which is he able to command daemons. He uses it to summon a daemon army, thereafter called the Cohort of Free Daemons, to oppose the forces of the Chaos God, Sutekh, thus allowing the young Hittite musician, Lisarwa, to repair the Veil that separates the physical world from the dangerous wild energies of the Netherworld, using another of the relics, the Harp of Daud, once owned by his father (King David). Solomon's son, Rehoboam also appears in a minor capacity.
  • In the Japanese manga series Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Solomon was a powerful magician who united all of the world under his peaceful rule. However, when this world was destroyed by a calamity, he created the world Magi is set in and saved mankind by sending them there. A special power originated from him, the "Wisdom of Solomon", allows the main character Aladdin to talk directly with the soul of a person, alive or dead.
  • In Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist, Solomon is a friend of Lucifer and is the "Elector"—the one who can choose the interim ruler over Hell as its emperor rests to regain his strength and had powers over demons known as his seventy-two pillars. He's also known as the one who can control Hell or Heaven with the power of his ring.
  • Chapter 14 of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ends with Huck and Jim debating over how wise Solomon really was.
  • In Francis Bacon's Essay 'Of Revenge', Solomon is paraphrased: "And Solomon, I am sure, saith, It is the glory of a man, to pass by an offence."
  • In DC Comics, Solomon is one of the Immortal Elders of the hero Captain Marvel.
  • In a subject called in art the Idolatry of Solomon, the foreign wives are depicted as leading Solomon away from Yahweh toward idolatry because they worshiped gods other than Yahweh (1 Kings 11:1–3). This forms part of the Power of Women topos in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, showing the dangers women posed to even the most virtuous men.[107]
  • Naamah, a princess of Ammon, (part of present-day Jordan) who arrives in Jerusalem at age fourteen to marry King Solomon and tells of their life together, is the narrator of Aryeh Lev Stollman's novel published by Aryeh Nir/Modan (Tel Aviv) in Hebrew translation under the title Divrei Y'mai Naamah (דברי ימי נעמה).



See also


  1. ^ Syriac: ܫܠܶܝܡܽܘܢ, Šlēmūn; Arabic: سُلَيْمَان, Sulaymān, Silimān, Slemān; Greek: Σολομών, Solomōn; Latin: Salomon
  2. ^ Recent History Channel promotional production about Indiana Jones's[citation needed] positive impact on archaeology (released Mid-May 2008, the week before the 22 May 2008 US release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull); History Channel producers were shown interviewing the guardian priest, and expert discussions about the Ark were part of the fare.


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  2. ^ 1 Kings 11:1–3
  3. ^ Khan, Geoffrey (2020). The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew, Volume 1. Open Book Publishers. p. 305. ISBN 978-1783746767.
  4. ^ Book of Kings: 1  Kings 1–11; Books of Chronicles: 1 Chronicles 28–29, 2 Chronicles 1–9
  5. ^ a b Barton, George A. (1906). "Temple of Solomon". Jewish Encyclopedia. pp. 98–101. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  6. ^ Stefon, Matt. "Solomon king of Israel". Britannica.
  7. ^ 1 Kings 5:3; 8:20
  8. ^ Rashi, to Megillah, 14a
  9. ^ Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31
  10. ^ Matthew 6:28–29; Luke 12:27
  11. ^ "Archaeology, Culture, and other Religions". FMC terra santa. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Public Domain Hirsch, Emil G.; Price, Ira Maurice; Bacher, Wilhelm; Seligsohn, M.; Montgomery, Mary W.; toy, Crawford Howell (1901–1906). "Solomon". In Singer, Isidore; et al. (eds.). The Jewish Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. pp. 436–448.
  13. ^ E. Clarity, 2012, p. 305.
  14. ^ Thiele 1983, p. 78.
  15. ^ 1 Chronicles 14:4
  16. ^ 1 Chronicles 3:5
  17. ^ 1 Chronicles 3:1–4
  18. ^ Vance, Jennifer (2015). Solomon. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781681461182.
  19. ^ Golden childhood. The Little People's Own Pleasure—Book of Delight and Instruction. London: Ward, Lock, and Co. 1878. p. 116.
  20. ^ Farrel, Pam; Jones, Jean (2017). Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experience. Eugene: Harvest House Publishers. p. 70. ISBN 9780736969970.
  21. ^ a b "1 Kings 1 (ESV)". Retrieved 3 March 2010.
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  23. ^ 1 Kings 4:1–19
  24. ^ Wiersbe, Warren (2003). The Bible Exposition Commentary, Volume 1. Eastbourne: Cook Communications. pp. 496. ISBN 9780781435314.
  25. ^ 1 Kings 3:3–15
  26. ^ 1 Kings 3:16–28
  27. ^ Coogan 2009, p. 375.
  28. ^ 1 Kings 10:17 and 2 Chronicles 9:20: "House" in the King James Version and Revised Standard Version, "Hall" in the Jerusalem Bible and Good News Translation
  29. ^ 1 Kings 7:1–8
  30. ^ 1 Kings 9:15
  31. ^ a b c Finkelstein & Silberman 2001, pp. 186–195.
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  33. ^ 1 Kings 11:3; not in the 2 Chronicles account
  34. ^ See also 1 Kings 3:1
  35. ^ 1 Kings 11:2–3: NKJV
  36. ^ "1 Kings 12—2 Kings 25", Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Fortress Press, pp. 281–304, 2018, doi:10.2307/j.ctt1w6tbx5.24, ISBN 978-1-5064-4605-9
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  111. ^ Syakir, Aqil (17 July 2020). "Dipengaruhi hadis nabi? Ini 4 lagu M. Nasir yang punyai maksud tersirat". SosCili (in Malay). Retrieved 20 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)


  • Coogan, Michael D (2009). A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament. Oxford University Press.
  • Dever, William G. (2001). What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?: What Archaeology Can Tell Us about the Reality of Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Pub. ISBN 978-0-8028-4794-2. OCLC 45487499.
  • ——— (2003). Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?. William B Eermans. ISBN 978-0-8028-0975-9.
  • Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (2001). The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-2338-6.
  • ———; Silberman, Neil Asher (2002) [2001]. The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-86913-1.
  • ———; Silberman, Neil Asher (2006). David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition. Free Press. ISBN 978-0-7432-4362-9.
  • Levy, Thomas E; Higham, Thomas, eds. (2005). The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating: Archaeology, Text and Science. London; Oakville, CT: Equinox. ISBN 978-1-84553-056-3. OCLC 60453952.
  • Kitchen, Kenneth A. (2003). On the reliability of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-8028-4960-1.
  • Thiele, ER (1983). The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Kregel.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Solomon (Biblical figure).
Wikiquote has quotations related to Solomon.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article "Solomon".
  • A collection of King Solomon links on the Web, LT: VDU, archived from the original on 15 January 2008.
  • Oussani, Gabriel (1913), "Solomon", Catholic Encyclopedia (entry).
  • Solomon at IMDb Animated depiction of the life of Solomon
  • Solomon at IMDb Artistic movie about the rise and the reign of King Solomon
  • "The Wars of King Solomon: Summaries and Studies", Wars of Israel, archived from the original on 25 January 2010, retrieved 5 May 2006.
  • Salomon engravings, The De Verda collection.
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of the United Kingdom
of Israel and Judah

971–931 BCE
Succeeded by
Succeeded by
Jeroboam I
in Israel
  • v
  • t
  • e
Rulers of the Ancient Near East
Egypt Canaan Ebla Mari Akshak/
Kish Uruk Adab Umma
Lagash Ur Elam
4000–3200 BCE Naqada I
Naqada II
Gebel el-Arak Knife
Egypt-Mesopotamia relations Pre-Dynastic period (4000–2900 BCE) Susa I

Uruk period
(4000-3100 BCE)

(Anonymous "King-priests")
Susa II
Susa II Priest-King with bow and arrows
(Uruk influence or control)
3200–3100 BCE Proto-Dynastic period
(Naqada III)
Early or legendary kings:
Upper Egypt
Finger Snail Fish Pen-Abu Animal Stork Canide Bull Scorpion I Shendjw Iry-Hor Ka Scorpion II Narmer / Menes
Lower Egypt
Hedju Hor Ny-Hor Hsekiu Khayu Tiu Thesh Neheb Wazner Nat-Hor Mekh Double Falcon Wash
3100–2900 BCE Early Dynastic Period
First Dynasty of Egypt
Narmer Palette

Narmer Menes Neithhotep (regent) Hor-Aha Djer Djet Merneith (regent) DenAnedjib Semerkhet Qa'a Sneferka Horus Bird
Canaanites Jemdet Nasr period
(3100-2900 BCE)
(Susa III)
(3100-2700 BCE)
2900 BCE Second Dynasty of Egypt

Hotepsekhemwy Nebra/Raneb Nynetjer Ba Nubnefer Horus Sa Weneg-Nebty Wadjenes Senedj Seth-Peribsen Sekhemib-Perenmaat Neferkara I Neferkasokar Hudjefa I Khasekhemwy
Early Dynastic Period I (2900–2700 BCE)
First Eblaite

First kingdom of Mari
Kish I dynasty
Jushur, Kullassina-bel
Babum, Puannum, Kalibum
2800 BCE

Kalumum Zuqaqip Atab
Mashda Arwium Etana
Balih En-me-nuna
Melem-Kish Barsal-nuna
Uruk I dynasty
Enmerkar ("conqueror of Aratta")
2700 BCE Early Dynastic Period II (2700–2600 BCE)
Zamug, Tizqar, Ilku
Dumuzid, the Fisherman
Enmebaragesi ("made the land of Elam submit")[6]
Aga of Kish Blank space.pngAga of Kish GilgameshBlank space.pngGilgamesh on a seal of Mesannapeda, 2600 BCE.jpg Old Elamite period
(2700–1500 BCE)

Indus-Mesopotamia relations
2600 BCE Third Dynasty of Egypt

Djoser Sekhemkhet Sanakht Nebka Khaba Qahedjet Huni
Saqqarah Djeser pyramid
Early Dynastic Period III (2600–2340 BCE)
Kish II dynasty
(5 kings)
Ur-PabilsagBlank space.pngUr-Palbisag.jpg
(Queen Puabi)
2575 BCE Old Kingdom of Egypt
Fourth Dynasty of Egypt
Snefru Khufu
Djedefre Khafre Bikheris Menkaure Shepseskaf Thamphthis
Ur I dynasty
"King of Ur and Kish", victorious over Uruk
2500 BCE Phoenicia (2500-539 BCE) Second kingdom of Mari


Akshak dynasty
Kish III dynasty
Uruk II dynasty
Mug-si Umma I dynasty

Lagash I dynasty


Awan dynasty
2450 BCE Fifth Dynasty of Egypt

Userkaf Sahure Neferirkare Kakai Neferefre Shepseskare Nyuserre Ini Menkauhor Kaiu Djedkare Isesi Unas
Elamite invasions
(3 kings)[6]
2425 BCE Kun-Damu EannatumBlank space.pngP1130735 Louvre stèle des Vautours rwk.JPG
(King of Lagash, Sumer, Akkad, conqueror of Elam)
2400 BCE Adub-Damu
Urur Kish IV dynasty
(Queen Bara-irnun)
Enannatum II
Ur II dynasty
Mesh-ki-ang-Nanna II
2380 BCE Sixth Dynasty of Egypt
Teti Userkare Pepi I Merenre Nemtyemsaf I Pepi II Merenre Nemtyemsaf II Netjerkare Siptah
Kneeling statuette of Pepy I
Adab dynasty
"King of the four quarters of the world"
2370 BCE Isar-Damu Enna-Dagan
Invasion of Mari
Anbu, Anba, Bazi, Zizi of Mari, Limer, Sharrum-iter[6]
Ukush Lugalanda
2350 BCE

Uruk III dynasty
(Governor of Umma, King of all Sumer)
2340 BCE Akkadian Period (2340–2150 BCE)
Akkadian Empire

Sargon of Akkad Rimush Manishtushu
Akkadian Governors:
2250 BCE Naram-SinBlank space.pngRelief of Naram-Sin (portrait).jpg Lugal-ushumgal
(vassal of the Akkadians)
2200 BCE First Intermediate Period
Seventh Dynasty of Egypt
Eighth Dynasty of Egypt
Menkare Neferkare II Neferkare Neby Djedkare Shemai Neferkare Khendu Merenhor Neferkamin Nikare Neferkare Tereru Neferkahor Neferkare Pepiseneb Neferkamin Anu Qakare Ibi Neferkaure Neferkauhor Neferirkare
Second Eblaite

(Vassals of UR III)
Third kingdom of Mari

(Vassals of the Akkadians)

Igigi, Imi, Nanum, Ilulu (3 years)
Uruk IV dynasty
Lagash II dynasty
Ur-Ningirsu I
2150 BCE Ninth Dynasty of Egypt
Meryibre Khety Neferkare VII Nebkaure Khety Setut
Ur III period (2150–2000 BCE)
Ishtup-Ilum statue (head).jpg
Gutian dynasty
(21 kings)

Kuda (Uruk)
Umma II dynasty
(vassal of the Gutians)
Gudea of Lagash Girsu.jpg


2125 BCE Tenth Dynasty of Egypt
Meryhathor Neferkare VIII Wahkare Khety Merykare
(Vassals of Ur III)[7]
Uruk V dynasty
2100 BCE

Ur III dynasty
"Kings of Ur, Sumer and Akkad"Blank space.pngKing Ur-Nammu.jpg
Ur-Nammu Shulgi Amar-Sin Shu-Sin Ibbi-Sin
2050 BCE

2000 BCE Middle Kingdom of Egypt
Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt
Mentuhotep I Intef I Intef II Intef III Mentuhotep II Mentuhotep III Mentuhotep IV
circa 2000 BCE Amorite invasions Elamite invasions
Kindattu (Shimashki Dynasty)
2025-1763 BCE Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt
Amenemhat I Senusret I Amenemhat II Senusret II Senusret III Amenemhat III Amenemhat IV Sobekneferu
Third Eblaite

Ibbit-Lim Immeya Indilimma
Lim Dynasty
Yaggid-Lim Yahdun-Lim Yasmah-Adad Zimri-Lim (Queen Shibtu)
Isin-Larsa period (Amorites)
Dynasty of Isin: Ishbi-Erra Shu-Ilishu Iddin-Dagan Ishme-Dagan Lipit-Eshtar Ur-Ninurta Bur-Suen Lipit-Enlil Erra-imitti Enlil-bani Zambiya Iter-pisha Ur-du-kuga Suen-magir Damiq-ilishu
Dynasty of Larsa: Naplanum Emisum Samium Zabaia Gungunum Abisare Sumuel Nur-Adad Sin-Iddinam Sin-Eribam Sin-Iqisham Silli-Adad Warad-Sin Rim-Sin I (...) Rim-Sin II
Uruk VI dynasty: Alila-hadum Sumu-binasa Naram-Sin of Uruk Sîn-kāšid Sîn-iribam Sîn-gāmil Ilum-gamil Anam of Uruk Irdanene Rim-Anum Nabi-ilišu
Sukkalmah dynasty

1800–1595 BCE Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt
Fourteenth Dynasty of Egypt
Kings of Byblos
Kings of Tyre
Kings of Sidon
Yamhad Old Assyria
(2025–1378 BCE)
Puzur-Ashur I Shalim-ahum Ilu-shuma Erishum I Ikunum Sargon I Puzur-Ashur II Naram-Sin Erishum II Shamshi-Adad I Ishme-Dagan I Mut-Ashkur Rimush Asinum Ashur-dugul Ashur-apla-idi Nasir-Sin Sin-namir Ipqi-Ishtar Adad-salulu Adasi Bel-bani Libaya Sharma-Adad I Iptar-Sin Bazaya Lullaya Shu-Ninua Sharma-Adad II Erishum III Shamshi-Adad II Ishme-Dagan II Shamshi-Adad III Ashur-nirari I Puzur-Ashur III Enlil-nasir I Nur-ili Ashur-shaduni Ashur-rabi I Ashur-nadin-ahhe I Enlil-Nasir II Ashur-nirari II Ashur-bel-nisheshu Ashur-rim-nisheshu Ashur-nadin-ahhe II
F0182 Louvre Code Hammourabi Bas-relief Sb8 rwk.jpg
First Babylonian dynasty
("Old Babylonian Period")

Sumu-abum Sumu-la-El Sin-muballitSabium Apil-Sin Sin-muballit Hammurabi Samsu-iluna Abi-eshuh Ammi-ditana Ammi-saduqa Samsu-Ditana

Early Kassite rulers

Second Babylonian dynasty
("Sealand Dynasty")

Ilum-ma-ili Itti-ili-nibi Damqi-ilishu
Ishkibal Shushushi Gulkishar
mDIŠ+U-EN Peshgaldaramesh Ayadaragalama
Akurduana Melamkurkurra Ea-gamil

Second Intermediate Period

Fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt
Pharaoh Ahmose I slaying a Hyksos

Semqen 'Aper-'Anati Sakir-Har Khyan Apepi Khamudi
(1600–1260 BCE)
Kirta Shuttarna I Parshatatar
1531–1155 BCE
New Kingdom of Egypt
Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt
Ahmose I Amenhotep I
Kudurru Louvre Sb31.jpg
Third Babylonian dynasty (Kassites)
Agum-Kakrime Burnaburiash I Kashtiliash III Ulamburiash Agum III Karaindash Kadashman-harbe I Kurigalzu I Kadashman-Enlil I Burnaburiash II Kara-hardash Nazi-Bugash Kurigalzu II Nazi-Maruttash Kadashman-Turgu Kadashman-Enlil II Kudur-Enlil Shagarakti-Shuriash Kashtiliashu IV Enlil-nadin-shumi Kadashman-Harbe II Adad-shuma-iddina Adad-shuma-usur Meli-Shipak II Marduk-apla-iddina I Zababa-shuma-iddin Enlil-nadin-ahi
Middle Elamite period

(1500–1100 BCE)
Kidinuid dynasty
Igehalkid dynasty

Thutmose I Thutmose II Hatshepsut Thutmose III
Amenhotep II Thutmose IV Amenhotep III Akhenaten Smenkhkare Neferneferuaten Tutankhamun Ay Horemheb Hittite Empire

Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt
Ramesses I Seti I Ramesses II Merneptah Amenmesses Seti II Siptah Twosret
Elamite Empire
Shutrukid dynasty
1155–1025 BCE Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt

Setnakhte Ramesses III Ramesses IV Ramesses V Ramesses VI Ramesses VII Ramesses VIII Ramesses IX Ramesses X Ramesses XI

Third Intermediate Period

Twenty-first Dynasty of Egypt
Smendes Amenemnisu Psusennes I Amenemope Osorkon the Elder Siamun Psusennes II

Kings of Byblos
Kings of Tyre
Kings of Sidon

Kingdom of Israel
Syro-Hittite states Middle Assyria
Eriba-Adad I Ashur-uballit I Enlil-nirari Arik-den-ili Adad-nirari I Shalmaneser I Tukulti-Ninurta I Ashur-nadin-apli Ashur-nirari III Enlil-kudurri-usur Ninurta-apal-Ekur Ashur-dan I Ninurta-tukulti-Ashur Mutakkil-Nusku Ashur-resh-ishi I Tiglath-Pileser I Asharid-apal-Ekur Ashur-bel-kala Eriba-Adad II Shamshi-Adad IV Ashurnasirpal I Shalmaneser II Ashur-nirari IV Ashur-rabi II Ashur-resh-ishi II Tiglath-Pileser II Ashur-dan II
Fourth Babylonian dynasty ("Second Dynasty of Isin")
Marduk-kabit-ahheshu Itti-Marduk-balatu Ninurta-nadin-shumi Nebuchadnezzar I Enlil-nadin-apli Marduk-nadin-ahhe Marduk-shapik-zeri Adad-apla-iddina Marduk-ahhe-eriba Marduk-zer-X Nabu-shum-libur
Neo-Elamite period (1100–540 BCE)
1025–934 BCE Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth Babylonian dynasties ("Period of Chaos")
Simbar-shipak Ea-mukin-zeri Kashshu-nadin-ahi Eulmash-shakin-shumi Ninurta-kudurri-usur I Shirikti-shuqamuna Mar-biti-apla-usur Nabû-mukin-apli
911–745 BCE Twenty-second Dynasty of Egypt
Shoshenq I Osorkon I Shoshenq II Takelot I Osorkon II Shoshenq III Shoshenq IV Pami Shoshenq V Pedubast II Osorkon IV

Twenty-third Dynasty of Egypt
Harsiese A Takelot II Pedubast I Shoshenq VI Osorkon III Takelot III Rudamun Menkheperre Ini

Twenty-fourth Dynasty of Egypt
Tefnakht Bakenranef

Kingdom of Samaria

Kingdom of Judah
Neo-Assyrian Empire
Adad-nirari II Tukulti-Ninurta II Ashurnasirpal II Shalmaneser III Shamshi-Adad V Shammuramat (regent) Adad-nirari III Shalmaneser IV Ashur-Dan III Ashur-nirari V
Tablet of Shamash relief.jpg
Ninth Babylonian Dynasty
Ninurta-kudurri-usur II Mar-biti-ahhe-iddina Shamash-mudammiq Nabu-shuma-ukin I Nabu-apla-iddina Marduk-zakir-shumi I Marduk-balassu-iqbi Baba-aha-iddina (five kings) Ninurta-apla-X Marduk-bel-zeri Marduk-apla-usur Eriba-Marduk Nabu-shuma-ishkun Nabonassar Nabu-nadin-zeri Nabu-shuma-ukin II Nabu-mukin-zeri
Humban-Tahrid dynasty

Tammaritu I
Humban-haltash III
745–609 BCE Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt
("Black Pharaohs")
Piye Shebitku Shabaka Taharqa Tanutamun
Neo-Assyrian Empire

(Sargonid dynasty)
Tiglath-Pileser Shalmaneser Marduk-apla-iddina II Sargon Sennacherib Marduk-zakir-shumi II Marduk-apla-iddina II Bel-ibni Ashur-nadin-shumi Nergal-ushezib Mushezib-Marduk Esarhaddon Ashurbanipal Ashur-etil-ilani Sinsharishkun Sin-shumu-lishir Ashur-uballit II

Assyrian conquest of Egypt Assyrian conquest of Elam
626–539 BCE Late Period
Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt
Necho I Psamtik I Necho II Psamtik II Wahibre Ahmose II Psamtik III
Neo-Babylonian Empire
Nabopolassar Nebuchadnezzar II Amel-Marduk Neriglissar Labashi-Marduk Nabonidus
Median Empire
Deioces Phraortes Madyes Cyaxares Astyages
539–331 BCE Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt
(Achaemenid conquest of Egypt)
Kings of Byblos
Kings of Tyre
Kings of Sidon
Darius In Parse.JPG
Achaemenid Empire
Cyrus Cambyses Darius I Xerxes Artaxerxes I Darius II Artaxerxes II Artaxerxes III Artaxerxes IV Darius III
Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt
Twenty-ninth Dynasty of Egypt
Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt
Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt
331–141 BCE Thirty-second Dynasty of Egypt and Thirty-third Dynasty of Egypt
Ptolemy I Soter Ptolemy Keraunos Ptolemy II Philadelphus Arsinoe II Ptolemy III Euergetes Berenice II Euergetis Ptolemy IV Philopator Arsinoe III Philopator Ptolemy V Epiphanes Cleopatra I Syra Ptolemy VI Philometor Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator Cleopatra II Philometor Soter Ptolemy VIII Physcon Cleopatra III Ptolemy IX Lathyros Cleopatra IV Ptolemy X Alexander Berenice III Ptolemy XI Alexander Ptolemy XII Auletes Cleopatra V Cleopatra VI Tryphaena Berenice IV Epiphanea Ptolemy XIII Ptolemy XIV Cleopatra VII Philopator Ptolemy XV Caesarion Arsinoe IV
Hellenistic Period
Seleukos I Nikator Tetradrachm from Babylon
Argead dynasty: Alexander I Philip Alexander II Antigonus

Seleucid Empire: Seleucus I Antiochus I Antiochus II Seleucus II Seleucus III Antiochus III Seleucus IV Antiochus IV Antiochus V Demetrius I Alexander III Demetrius II Antiochus VI Dionysus Diodotus Tryphon Antiochus VII Sidetes

141–30 BCE Kingdom of Judea
Simon Thassi John Hyrcanus Aristobulus I Alexander Jannaeus Salome Alexandra Hyrcanus II Aristobulus II Antigonus II Mattathias
Alexander II Zabinas Seleucus V Philometor Antiochus VIII Grypus Antiochus IX Cyzicenus Seleucus VI Epiphanes Antiochus X Eusebes Antiochus XI Epiphanes Demetrius III Eucaerus Philip I Philadelphus Antiochus XII Dionysus Antiochus XIII Asiaticus Philip II Philoromaeus Parthian Empire
Mithridates I Phraates Hyspaosines Artabanus Mithridates II Gotarzes Mithridates III Orodes I Sinatruces Phraates III Mithridates IV Orodes II Phraates IV Tiridates II Musa Phraates V Orodes III Vonones I Artabanus II Tiridates III Artabanus II Vardanes I Gotarzes II Meherdates Vonones II Vologases I Vardanes II Pacorus II Vologases II Artabanus III Osroes I
30 BCE–116 CE Roman Empire
(Roman conquest of Egypt)
Province of Egypt
Judea Syria
116-117 CE Province of Mesopotamia under Trajan Parthamaspates of Parthia
117–224 CE Syria Palaestina Province of Mesopotamia Sinatruces II Mithridates V Vologases IV Osroes II Vologases V Vologases VI Artabanus IV
224–270 CE Sasanian Empire
Province of Asoristan
Coin of Ardashir I, Hamadan mint.
Ardashir I Shapur I Hormizd I Bahram I Bahram II Bahram III Narseh Hormizd II Adur Narseh Shapur II Ardashir II Shapur III Bahram IV Yazdegerd I Shapur IV Khosrow Bahram V Yazdegerd II Hormizd III Peroz I Balash Kavad I Jamasp Kavad I Khosrow I Hormizd IV Khosrow II Bahram VI Chobin Vistahm
270–273 CE Palmyrene Empire
Vaballathus Zenobia Antiochus
273–395 CE Roman Empire
Province of Egypt Syria Palaestina Syria Province of Mesopotamia
395–618 CE Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Egypt Palaestina Prima, Palaestina Secunda Byzantine Syria Byzantine Mesopotamia
618–628 CE (Sasanian conquest of Egypt)
Province of Egypt
Shahrbaraz Sahralanyozan Shahrbaraz
Sasanian Empire
Province of Asoristan
Khosrow II Kavad II
628–641 CE Byzantine Empire Ardashir III Shahrbaraz Khosrow III Boran Shapur-i Shahrvaraz Azarmidokht Farrukh Hormizd Hormizd VI Khosrow IV Boran Yazdegerd III Peroz III Narsieh
Byzantine Egypt Palaestina Prima, Palaestina Secunda Byzantine Syria Byzantine Mesopotamia
639–651 CE Muslim conquest of Egypt Muslim conquest of the Levant Muslim conquest of Mesopotamia and Persia
Font Awesome 5 solid arrow-up.svg Chronology of the Neolithic period Font Awesome 5 solid long-arrow-alt-right.svg Rulers of Ancient Central Asia
  1. ^ Rulers with names in italics are considered fictional.
  2. ^ W. Hallo; W. Simpson (1971). The Ancient Near East. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. pp. 48–49.
  3. ^ "Rulers of Mesopotamia". University of Oxford, CNRS.
  4. ^ Thomas, Ariane; Potts, Timothy (2020). Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins. Getty Publications. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-60606-649-2.
  5. ^ Roux, Georges (1992). Ancient Iraq. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 532–534 (Chronological Tables). ISBN 978-0-14-193825-7.
  6. ^ a b c Per Sumerian King List
  7. ^ Unger, Merrill F. (2014). Israel and the Aramaeans of Damascus: A Study in Archaeological Illumination of Bible History. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-62564-606-4.
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