Solomon is the subject of many other later references and legends, most notably in the 1st-century apocryphal work known as the Testament of Solomon. In the New Testament , he is portrayed as a teacher of wisdom excelled by Jesus ,  and as arrayed in glory, but excelled by "the lilies of the field". The life of Solomon is primarily described in the second Book of Samuel , and by 1 Chronicles and 1 Kings. His two names mean " peaceful " and " friend of God ", both appropriate to the story of his rule.
The conventional dates of Solomon's reign are derived from biblical chronology and are set from c. Solomon was born in Jerusalem ,  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 as a punishment on account of the death of Uriah by David's order.
Solomon had three named full brothers born to Bathsheba: Nathan , Shammua, and Shobab,  besides six known older half-brothers born of as many mothers. 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, hoping 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. 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. According to the First Book of Kings , when David was old, "he could not get warm". The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not.
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 ,  despite Solomon 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.
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.
Is the Messiah a Descendant of King Solomon? - Moshiach
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  asking what Solomon wanted from God. Solomon asked for wisdom. 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.
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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.
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. According to the Hebrew Bible, the Israelite monarchy gained its highest splendour and wealth during Solomon's reign of 40 years. In a single year, according to 1 Kings , Solomon collected tribute amounting to talents 18, 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. 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:. Solomon's throne is said to have been a spectacle, seeing that it was one of the earliest mechanical devices built by man. Solomon also constructed great works for the purpose of securing a plentiful supply of water for the city, and the Millo Septuagint , Acra for the defense of the city. However, excavations of Jerusalem have shown a distinct lack of monumental architecture from the era, and remains of neither the Temple nor 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.
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More archaeological success has been achieved with the major cities Solomon is said to have strengthened or rebuilt, for example, Hazor , Megiddo and Gezer. 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. According to the biblical account, Solomon had wives and concubines.
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". 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.
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 ca BCE to BCE over years after Solomon's death according to Bible scholars.
In a brief, unelaborated, and enigmatic passage, the Hebrew 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, spices and precious stones.
When Solomon gave her "all her desire, whatsoever she asked," she left satisfied 1 Kings 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 is unknown; nevertheless the visit of the Queen of Sheba has become the subject of numerous stories. In a Rabbinical account e. 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 Yahweh , but one day upon discovering that the mountain-cock or hoopoe Aramaic name: nagar tura was absent, he summoned it to him, and the bird told him that it had been searching for somewhere new see: Colloquy of the Queen of Sheba.
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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. An Ethiopian account from the 14th century Kebra Nagast maintains that the Queen of Sheba had sexual relations with King Solomon and gave birth by the Mai Bella stream in the province of Hamasien , Eritrea.
The Ethiopian tradition has a detailed account of the affair. 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 was switched and went to Axum with him and his mother, and is still there, guarded by a single priest charged with caring for the artifact as his life's task. The claim of such a lineage and of possession of the Ark has been an important source of legitimacy and prestige for the Ethiopian monarchy throughout the many centuries of its existence, and had important and lasting effects on Ethiopian culture as a whole.
The Ethiopian government and church deny all requests to view the alleged ark. 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 years later. According to 1 Kings 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 — In Deuteronomy —17 , a king is commanded not to multiply horses or wives, neither greatly multiply to himself gold or silver.
Solomon sins in all three of these areas. Solomon collects talents of gold each year 1 Kings , a huge amount of money for a small nation like Israel. Solomon gathers a large number of horses and chariots and even brings in horses from Egypt. Just as Deuteronomy 17 warns, collecting horses and chariots takes Israel back to Egypt. Finally, Solomon marries foreign women, and these women turn Solomon to other gods.
According to 1 Kings —34 and 1 Kings —13 , it was because of these sins that the Lord punishes Solomon by removing most of the Tribes of Israel from rule by Solomon's house. 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.
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Near the end of his life, Solomon was forced to contend with several enemies, including Hadad of Edom , Rezon of Zobah , and one of his officials named Jeroboam who was from the tribe of Ephraim. He dies of natural causes  at around 60 years of age. Upon Solomon's death, his son, Rehoboam , succeeds him. However, ten of the Tribes of Israel refuse to accept him as king, splitting the United Monarchy in the northern Kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam , while Rehoboam continues to reign over the much smaller southern Kingdom of Judah.
Henceforth the two kingdoms are never again united. King Solomon is one of the central biblical figures in Jewish heritage that have lasting religious, national and political aspects.