Wisdom

Tsar Solomon (Shlomo, Suleiman) Part 1

Tsar Solomon (Shlomo, Suleiman) Part 1 1

King Solomon (Hebrew – Shlomo) – the son of David from Bat Sheva, the third Jewish king. The brilliance of his reign was imprinted in the memory of the people as the time of the highest flourishing of Jewish power and influence, after which a period of disintegration into two kingdoms began. Folk tradition knew a lot about his wealth, brilliance and, most importantly, about his wisdom and justice. The main and highest of his merit is the construction of the Temple on Mount Zion, something that his father, the righteous King David, was striving for.

Already at the birth of Solomon, the prophet Nathan singled him out among other sons of David and recognized him worthy of the mercy of the Most High; The prophet gave him a different name – Edidia (“G-darling” – Shmuel I 12, 25). Some believe that this was his real name, and “Shlomo” – a nickname (“peacemaker”).

Solomon’s accession to the throne is described in a highly dramatic way (Mlahim I 1 and on). When King David was about to die, his son Adonijah, who became the eldest of the king’s sons after the death of Amnon and Avshalom, decided to seize power while his father was still alive. Adonija apparently knew that the king had promised the throne to the son of his beloved wife Bat Sheva, and he wanted to get ahead of his rival. Formal law was on his side, and this provided him with the support of influential military leader Yoav and high priest Eviatar, and the prophet Nathan and the priest Zadok were on the side of Solomon. For some, the right of seniority was above the will of the king, and for the sake of the triumph of formal justice, they went into opposition, into the camp of Adonija. Others believed that since Adonijah was not the firstborn son of David, the king had the right to give the throne to whom he wished, even to his youngest son Solomon.

The approaching death of the king prompted both parties to actively speak: they wanted to carry out their plans while the king was alive. Adonijah thought to attract supporters in a royally magnificent way of life: he started chariots, horsemen, fifty fast walkers, surrounded himself with a large entourage. When, in his opinion, the moment came for the realization of the plan, he gave a feast outside the city for his followers, where he was going to declare himself king.

But on the advice of the prophet Nathan and with his support, Bat Sheva managed to convince the king to hasten with the fulfillment of the promise given to her: to appoint Solomon as his successor and to anoint him immediately to the kingdom. The priest Zadok, accompanied by the prophet Nathan, Bnayagu and a detachment of royal bodyguards (krti u-lash) took Solomon on a royal mule to the source of Gihon, where Zadok anointed him to the kingdom. When the horn sounded, the people shouted: “Long live the king!” The people spontaneously followed Solomon, accompanying him to the palace with music and jubilant cries.

The news of the anointing of Solomon frightened Adonius and his supporters. Adonijah, fearing the vengeance of Solomon, sought refuge in the sanctuary, seizing upon the horns of the altar. Solomon promised him that if he behaved flawlessly, “the hair would not fall from his head to the ground”; otherwise, he will be executed. Soon David died, and King Solomon came to the throne. Since Solomon’s son, Rehavam, was one year old when Solomon ascended (Mlahim I 14, 21; cf. 11, 42), it must be assumed that Solomon was not a “boy” at the accession to the throne, as one might understand from the text ( ibid., 3, 7).

Already the first steps of the new king justified the opinion drawn up by King David and the prophet Nathan about him: he turned out to be a passionless and shrewd ruler. Meanwhile, Adonijah asked the mother queen to obtain the royal permission for his marriage to Avishag, relying on the popular belief that the right to the throne was held by the closest king who gets his wife or concubine (cf. Shmuel II 3, 7 and further ; 16, 22). Solomon understood the purpose of Adonija and betrayed his brother to the death penalty. Since Adonius was supported by Yoav and Eviatar, the latter was removed from the post of high priest and exiled to his estate in Anatot. The news of the king’s anger reached Yoav, and he took refuge in the sanctuary. At the behest of King Solomon, Bnagu killed him, since his crime against Avner and Amas deprived him of his right of asylum (see Shemth 21, 14). The enemy of David’s dynasty, Shimi, a relative of Shaul (Mlahim I 2, 12-46) was also eliminated.

However, other cases of the death penalty by King Solomon are unknown to us. In addition, with respect to Yoav and Shimi, he only fulfilled his father’s will (ibid., 2, 1-9). Having strengthened his power, Solomon set about solving the tasks before him. The kingdom of David was one of the great states of Asia. Solomon was to strengthen and maintain this position. He hastened to enter into friendly relations with the mighty Egypt; Pharaoh’s campaign in Eretz Yisrael was directed not against the possessions of Solomon, but against the Canaanite Gezer. Soon Solomon married the daughter of Pharaoh and received a conquered Gezer as a dowry (ibid., 9, 16; 3, 1). This was before the construction of the Temple, that is, at the beginning of the reign of Solomon (cf. ibid., 3, 1; 9, 24).

Having thus secured his southern border, King Solomon renewed his alliance with his northern neighbor, the Phoenician king Hiram, with whom he

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *