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King Solomon

King Solomon was a monarch of ancient Israel. He was the son of King David. The dates of Solomon’s reign are from 970- BC. The Bible says Solomon built the first temple in Jerusalem. Solomon was a wealthy , wise and Powerful king. In the new testament he is portrayed as a teacher of wisdom. In the Quran, he is considered as a Islamic Prophet. Also Solomon was believed to be a magician and exorcist.

Solomon was famous for his wisdom. God appeared to him in a dream asking what Solomon wanted from God. Solomon asked for wisdom in order to rule better and guide his people. Having pleased with him God personally answered Solomon’s prayer and promised him great wisdom because Solomon did not ask for mundane things.

Perhaps the best known story of his wisdom is the judgement of Solomon. Two women 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 protested not to kill the child, rather she would give the child to the other. Solomon declared the woman, to be the true mother as she showed compassion. Solomon has traditionally been considered as the author of several Biblical books proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs. Wisdom of Solomon was also his writing.

Solomon was also a wealthy man. During his rule of 40 years, Israel gained its highest Splendour and wealth. In a single year. Solomon collected tribute amounting to 666 talents (1825) kilograms of Gold. He had all the luxuries of an eastern monarch. He entered into an alliance with Hiram I, King of Tyre of Phoenicia. Solomon constructed the temple with the help from an architect, also named Hiram. The materials were sent by Hiram, the King of Tyre of Phoenicia.

Solomon’s throne was excellent with moving parts, Solomon also constructed great water works for the city. During Solomon’s reign, Israel enjoyed great prosperity and trade with Tyre, Egypt and Arabia and also with Tarshish, Ophir and South India.

Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. The wives were foreign princesses. His marriage to Pharaoh’s daughter counted a political alliance with Egypt.

Solomon was said to have sinned by acquiring many foreign wives. And the lord was angry with Solomon. God said to Solomon-“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. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David, my servant and for the sake of Jeruselum that I have chosen.

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

(The views expressed are the writer’s own.)

Radhakanta Seth is an Income tax officer in Sambalpur.  He is a Freelance writer and his articles have been published in some Oriya dailies like Sambad, Samaj, Dharitri and English dailies like The Telegraph and in a sociological journal ‘Folklore’ published from Kolkata.

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