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Solomon


Sol´uh-muhn; Heb., “God’s beloved”

David’s son by Bathsheba, and his successor, who reigned for forty years in the second third of the tenth century BCE. Solomon appears to have been responsible for political consolidation (1Kgs 4:7-19); his reign was also characterized by vigorous activity in the international sphere and an extensive building program that included an elaborate palace complex and a temple. The cosmopolitanism resulting from his participation in international affairs brought many foreign religious practices to Jerusalem, and this is said to have prompted God to split the kingdom (1Kgs 11:9-25). Nevertheless, the OT makes much of Solomon’s wisdom (1Kgs 3:16-27; 1Kgs 10:1-3), which was given to him by God in response to his specific request, when offered whatever he might choose (1Kgs 3:5-9). This tradition is reflected in the ascription of several sections of the book of Proverbs to him (Prov 1:1; Prov 10:1) along with the book of Ecclesiastes (Eccl 1:1). Solomon’s many wives and his wealth also probably played a role in the traditional ascriptions of Song of Solomon to him (Song 1:1), just as the tradition that he wrote poetry was doubtless important in the ascriptions of (Ps 72 and Ps 127. The proverbial nature of Solomon’s glory and wisdom is reflected in sayings of Jesus (Matt 6:29; Matt 12:42). Matthew also lists Solomon as one of Jesus’s ancestors (Matt 1:6-7).