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Arts of Love - Greatest Lovers

King Solomon * Mini Biography

Text Box:  Solomon and the queen of Sheba by Giovanni Demin (1789-1859)The Bible accredits King Solomon as the builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem, and portrays him as great in wisdom, wealth, and power, but ultimately as a king whose sin, including idolatry and turning away from God, leads to the kingdom being torn in two during the reign of his son Rehoboam. Solomon is the subject of many other later references and legends.

Wisdom

One of the qualities most ascribed to Solomon is his wisdom. Solomon prays:
"Give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people and to know good and evil." (1 Kings 3:9).

"So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked..."" (1 Kings 3:11-12).  The Bible also states that: "The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart." (1 Kings 10:24).

One account, known as the Judgment of Solomon, has two mothers who came before Solomon to resolve a quarrel about which was the true mother of a baby. (The other's baby died in the night and each claims the surviving child as hers.) When Solomon suggests dividing the living child in two with a sword, the true mother is revealed to him because she is willing to give up her child to the lying woman rather than have the child killed. Solomon then declares the woman who shows the compassion is the true mother, and gives the baby back to her.

Queen of Sheba

In a brief, unelaborated, and enigmatic passage, the Bible describes how the fame of Solomon's wisdom and wealth spread far and wide, so much so that the queen of Sheba decided that she should meet him. The queen is described as visiting with a number of gifts including gold and rare jewels to decorate the temple, and also bringing with her a number of riddles. 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 token foreign witness of Solomon's wealth and wisdom, or whether there is meant to be something more significant to the queen's visit and her riddles is unknown; nevertheless the visit of 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. In a Rabbinical account (e.g. Targum Sheni), Solomon was accustomed to ordering the living creatures of the world to dance before him (Rabbinical accounts say that Solomon had been given control over all living things by God), but one day upon discovering that the mountain-cock or hoopoe (the Hebrew name for the creature is Shade) was absent, he summoned it to him, and the bird told him that it had been searching for somewhere new.

The bird had discovered a land in the east, exceedingly rich in gold, silver, and plants, whose capital was called Kitor and whose ruler was the Queen of Sheba, and the bird, on its own advice, was sent by Solomon to request the queen's immediate attendance at Solomon's court.

In an Ethiopian account (Kebra Nagast) it is maintained that the Queen of Sheba had sexual relations with King Solomon (of which the Biblical account gives no hint) and gave birth by the Mai Bella stream in the province of Hamasien, Eritrea. The Ethiopian tradition has a detailed account of the affair. (See Queen of Sheba#Ethiopian account)

The narrative given in the Kebra Negast - which has no parallel in the Hebrew Biblical story - is that King Solomon invited the Queen of Sheba to a banquet, serving spicy food to induce her thirst, and inviting her to stay in his palace overnight. The Queen asked him to swear that he would not take her by force. He accepted upon the condition that she, in turn, would not take anything from his house by force. The Queen assured that she would not, slightly offended by the implication that she, a rich and powerful monarch, would engage in stealing. However, as she woke up in the middle of the night, she was very thirsty. Just as she reached for a jar of water placed close to her bed, King Solomon appeared, warning her that she was breaking her oath, water being the most valuable of all material possessions. Thus, while quenching her thirst, she set the king free from his promise and they spent the night together.

Marriages

According to 1 Kings 11:3 Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. The wives are described as foreign princesses, including Pharaoh's daughter and women of Moab, Ammon, Sidon and of the Hittites. These wives are depicted as leading Solomon astray. According to 1 Kings 11:4 "his 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).

Demons and Magic

According to the Rabbinical literature, on account of his modest request for wisdom only, Solomon was rewarded with riches and an unprecedentedly 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.

Read more about the life and era of King Solomon, courtesy of:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon


Cinema Credits

Solomon and Sheba (1959), starring Yul Brynner and Gina Lollobrigida

Solomon and Sheba is a 1959 Biblical epic film made by Edward Small Productions and distributed by United Artists. The film stars Yul Brynner, Gina Lollobrigida, George Sanders and Marisa Pavan.  It was directed by King Vidor and produced by Ted Richmond and Tyrone Power from a screenplay by Anthony Veiller, Paul Dudley and George Bruce, based on a story by Crane Wilbur.

Solomon and Sheba (1995), starring Jimmy Smits and Halle Berry

Halle Berry stars as first black Sheba in 'Solomon and Sheba ...

Halle Berry stars as first black Sheba in 'Solomon and Sheba' movie with Jimmy S - Solomon and Sheba, the legendary love story of Solomon, King of Israel.

www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-16609085.html - Cached - Similar

Solomon (1997), starring Ben Cross And Vivica A. Fox

Solomon (1997) (TV)  SOLOMON is a new challenge for biblical movie buffs primarily because it is the first film that gives us a clear and a very accurate insight into Solomonwww.imdb.com/title/tt0143889/ - Cached - Similar

Also, find more great images from ALLPOSTERS.com of King Solomon for your home or office.  (See also posters for Movies – Solomon and Sheba).


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