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According to biblical tradition (and some say myth), King Solomon was the third and last king in the ancient United Kingdom of Israel. Other faiths, such as Islam and Rastafarianism, also embrace the notion of Solomon as a sagacious king and powerful prophet of Israel. He was renowned for his wisdom, his prolific writings, and his building accomplishments. Born around 1010 BCE, Solomon was the tenth son of King David (the second king of ancient united Israel) and the second son of Bathsheba. Like King Saul and King David, King Solomon reigned for 40 years in one of the highest and most prosperous periods in Israel's history - called by many, “The Golden Age” of Israel.

During his reign, Solomon controlled the trade routes coming out of Edom, Arabia, India, Africa, and Judea; he constructed an elaborate and profitable web of alliances (cemented by an enormous assemblage of hundreds of wives and concubines), and he purportedly built the first Temple of God in Jerusalem, which was destroyed (along with the entire city of Jerusalem) by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. Despite initial sovereign successes, the end of Solomon's rule was marked by several insurrections and attacks from both foreign and domestic enemies, as well as a disintegration of national and religious integrity because of cultural appeasements within Israel, which compromised and weakened the social fabric of the United Kingdom. He died in 931 BCE at age 80, possibly the most prosperous and productive king ever to rule over Israel.

The Traditional Story of King Solomon

The story of King Solomon begins with his father, King David, and his mother, Bathsheba. In the Hebrew scriptures, 2 Samuel 3 states that King David, anointed by the Prophet Samuel before King Saul's demise to be his replacement, officially became King of Judea (1010 BCE). Later, 2 Samuel 5 states that (in 1002 BCE) all the elders of Israel approached him to be their ruler, and “The king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.” King David's reign lasted 40 years, and like King Saul, it started off better than it ended.

The scriptures state that God gave Solomon not only knowledge & wisdom, but also 'riches & wealth & honor'.

David's initial zeal for God and for ethical integrity paved the way for his early fame and fortune, although being a man of warfare and blood (according to the scriptures), God decided that David was not suitable to be the one to build God's Temple (that would be placed in the hands of his son, Solomon). Moreover, David's illicit affair and subsequent devious actions (leading to the assassination of Uriah the Hittite and its cover-up) complicated the rest of David's reign - along with the rape of Tamar, the murder of Ammon, and the attempted coup of Absalom, among other controversies.

Solomon Becomes King

King David died from natural causes in 961 BCE, was buried in Jerusalem, and, as suggested in the Hebrew and Greek scriptures, facilitated the establishment of the eternal kingdom of God through his piety and lineage. Before his death, David gave his final admonition to his son, Solomon, saying, “Keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn. for you are a wise man” (1 Kings 2).

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The threat of civil war and Adonijah's immediate execution as a traitor was averted for a time; however, Adonijah attempted to possess King David's former asexual concubine, Abishag the Shunammite, behind King Solomon's back. This enraged Solomon most likely because of Adonijah's surreptitious political triangulation of Bathsheba and because of Adonijah's political machinations to be following in King David's footsteps. Thereafter, “King Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada' and he struck [Adonijah] down, and he died” (1Kings 1). King Solomon also dispatched the other ringleaders of the coup - General Joab and Abiathar the Priest, although Joab was executed and Abiathar was exiled.

Perhaps one of the more fantastical yet pivotal parts of the biblical story of Solomon is the divine gift that he received from God as recorded in the Hebrew scriptures. Solomon implored, “Now, O Lord God, let your promise to David my father be established, for you have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Now give me wisdom and knowledge.” According to the Hebrew scriptures, this impressed God, so Solomon received not only knowledge and wisdom, but also “riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like” (2 Chronicles 1). The Qur'an also indicates that Solomon received a divine gift of wisdom, along with other special gifts (21:78–79) - "And We made Sulaiman [Solomon] to understand (the case); and unto each of them We gave judgment and knowledge."

According to the Hebrew scriptures, 'The king made silver & gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, & he made cedars as abundant as the sycamores, which are in the lowland' (2 Chronicles 1).

Features of Solomon's Reign

Solomon's prosperity and success were also achieved through ingenious reforms and innovations such as the improvement of defense measures; the expansion of the royal court; the financial windfall from more sophisticated taxation, labor conscriptions of Canaanites and Israelites, tributes and gifts from foreign countries under the influence of Solomon; and a land and sea trading system that utilized a powerful navy and army to protect assets and trade routes. According to the Hebrew scriptures, “The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as abundant as the sycamores, which are in the lowland” (2 Chronicles 1).

King Solomon was also famous for his international relationships, forming alliances with other nearby powerful nations such as Egypt, Moab, Tyre, Arabia, etc. Many of these partnerships were cemented through royal marriages and the giving of concubines to Solomon, eventually gaining him 700 wives and 300 concubines. One of King Solomon's more famous political-amorous relationships was with the Queen of Sheba (which some speculate to be modern-day Yemen), who visited Israel with a lavish tribute of 120 talents of gold. The Hebrew scriptures state, “And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his servants, the service of his waiters and their apparel, his cupbearers and their apparel, and his entryway by which he went up to the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her” (2 Chronicles 9).

Clearly, the Queen was impressed with Solomon and his accomplishments, and the two cultivated an intimate relationship, with Sheba helping create, foster, and maintain Solomon's trading with other Arabian kings. Additionally, according to the Rastafarian faith, Solomon and Sheba conceived a child together, whose descendants included Haile Selassie I, "the God of the Black race," as Selassie would then be related to both King David and Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Solomon's Temple

King Solomon is credited in the Hebrew scriptures as sponsoring, planning, funding, and executing the building of the Temple to house the Ark of the Covenant, per the wishes of his father, King David, and God. The building of the Temple is recorded in 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles, with the ground-breaking beginning in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, and construction was completed seven years later with an ostentatious dedication. In a seven-day celebration, Solomon sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep to celebrate the Temple's completion and God's willingness to dwell among them, therein.

The architectural design of the Temple was modeled after the tabernacle that had housed the Ark of the Covenant for decades (if not centuries). Quite lavish, it was double the size and built mainly from stone, with cedar paneling to hide all masonry, which was overlaid with gold. The inside of the Temple was decorated with elaborate carvings (gourds and open flowers), golden lampstands, an altar of incense (also called “the golden altar”), and two bronze pillars among other embellishments. In a less-advanced architectural age, at over 100 feet long by 40 feet wide by 60 feet high (30 x 12 x 18 m) with outer doors of ivory, the First Temple must have seemed an impossibility, a miraculous achievement, for most visiting Israelites.

According to the Hebrew scriptures, after the Temple was completed, Solomon had the Ark of the Covenant finally moved from the tent that King David had made for it and placed it in its specialized chamber on the most western end of the Temple called, “The Holy of Holies.” A perfect 20 x 20 x 20 ft. (6 x 6 x 6 m) cube, this was the most sacred room that no one besides the Chief Priest could enter (on the Day of Atonement) without dying. Institutionally and nationally, it was the intersection of the Divine with his People through his mediator. The Temple did not just house the Levitical priests of God. Side rooms and a courtyard were constructed around the whole building, with areas sectioned off for both the priests and the common people of Israel.

Being a builder, King Solomon also engaged in other construction projects such as his personal palace, the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon, the Hall of the Pillars, and the Hall of Justice. Yet, Solomon did not restrict his projects to Jerusalem alone. He also rebuilt several cities; he commissioned fleets of ships and built numerous harbors to accommodate the bounty of the trade routes; and he constructed stables to house his thousands of horses and chariots. It is even possible that he helped erect (or financed with plunder from the Temple by the Assyrians or Babylonians) the famous Hanging Gardens (one of the legendary Seven Wonders of the World).

Solomon's Literature

King Solomon is also credited for contributing several books and literary works to the Hebrew scriptures including the Book of Proverbs, the Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes, as well as traditionally penning some extra-biblical works including musical songs, poetry, histories, and scientific works in botany and zoology (although no extant writings have been discovered, currently). Under Solomon, Israel's golden age produced most of the works that were eventually gathered together into the “The Writings” or “Kethubim” section of the Hebrew scriptures.

Although theology is a component of Solomon's writings, the wisdom genre (also seen in Egyptian and Akkadian literature) focuses more on areas outside of theology - providing advice on the created world, relationships, practical matters, and assorted personal topics or challenges. Thus, Proverbs deals with the art of living, with how to make intelligent choices for one's future well-being. The Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon) is a romantic poem that presents the ultimate union between the bride and the bridegroom, focusing on themes of love, wisdom, beauty, power, desire, sex, loyalty, etc. The Book of Ecclesiastes is a royal testament that includes personal reflections, meditations, and instructions on the meaning and purposes of life, alluding to several aspects that would have been relevant to Solomon's own personal experiences - wisdom, futility, riches, servants, hedonism, productivity, and humble self-realization. Although Solomon was the original sage for many of his proverbs, he also searched his kingdom and empire for other writings and ideas of erudite men and included them in his compilations.

Outside of the Hebrew scriptures, writings also exist that are attributed to King Solomon. In the Pseudepigrapha, The Testament of Solomon is a 3rd century CE book that syncretizes magic, astrology, and demonology to discuss the construction of the Temple among other sub-topics. In the Apocrypha, the Wisdom of Solomon is a deuterocanonical collection of wisdom sayings attributed to King Solomon (based on chapter 9:7–8), although the Muratorian Fragment suggests that it was "written by the friends of Solomon in his honour."

Losing Favour With God

Despite all these great accomplishments, the Hebrew scriptures indicate that the decline of Solomon was similar to the fall of the previous kings of United Israel - similar, in that personal vanity and religious/moral compromise led to social disintegration and strife. Solomon slowly deprioritized his relationship and obligations to God in order to appease his many foreign wives and in order to protect the prosperity and longevity of his rule. Ultimately, “[Solomon's] wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been” (1 Kings 11). Solomon's ungrateful, disloyal actions and attitude - despite being the wisest and most blessed man on the earth - provoked the anger and judgment of the Lord.

Thus, although still able to keep control of the nation of Israel because of God's promise to King David, Solomon lost the protection and favor of God that earlier had provided remarkable peace and prosperity when he was obedient to God. Solomon soon found new challenges from within and without his kingdom, including Jeroboam who was promised to reign over Israel by the Prophet Ahijah, from Hadad of Edom who challenged Solomon's territorial control in the southern territory of Israel, and from Rezon of Damascus, who threatened Solomon's control over the northern territory of Israel.

King Solomon died of natural causes in 931 BCE at the age of 80. His son, Rehoboam, inherited the throne, which led to a civil war and the end of the United Kingdom of Israel in in 930 BCE.

Epigraphical & Archaeological Evidence for King Solomon

As with King David, verifying the existence of King Solomon is challenging, at best, especially since epigraphs typically provide imprecise information, and the biblical accounts rest upon a presupposition of supernatural realities. Although there is much archaeological and epigraphical evidence to substantiate the possibility of some/many (non-supernatural) scriptural assertions, archaeological finds to date have provided mostly indirect affirmation. With such huge gaps in archaeological evidence and with the contamination of too many archaeological fields, it is easy to speculate, theorize, or make an argument from silence, but it is difficult to empirically prove or disprove the existence of Solomon. Still, some provocative-yet-controversial archaeological finds have been recently unearthed over the last century that require consideration.

Although its first discoverer is unknown, in 1828 CE, Jean–François Champollion, who also discovered the Rosetta Stone in 1799 CE, examined the Bubastite Portal gate (built in 925 BCE) at the temple of Amun in Thebes. On its walls, among the historical paintings, a long list of defeated peoples by Pharaoh Shoshenq is accessible, including those from the “Highland/Heights of David,” presumably led by King Rehoboam, which led Champollion to conclude that Pharaoh Shoshenq and King Shishak of Egypt, as referenced in 1 Kings in the Hebrew scriptures, are one and the same.

In 1868 CE, Missionary Frederick Augustus Klein discovered an intact stele in Dhiban, Jordan, called the “Mesha Stele” or the “Moabite Stone,” with text that he could not read. Although the stele was smashed by contentious locals the next year, a papier-måché impression had been made of it and the stele was reassembled. The inscription on the stele references the Moabites, their god, and also references the nation of Israel and Omri, her sixth king. Similar finds such as the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III and the Chronicle of Sennacherib also confirm the existence of Israelite kings during the Assyrian hegemony.

Between 1957 CE and 1971 CE, archaeologist Yigael Yadin began excavations at two of the three cities mentioned in 1 Kings 9 (fully at Hazor and in a cursory investigation at Megiddo), which had gates supposedly built by King Solomon c. 960 BCE. Based on compared archaeological evidence from all three sites, which included Macalister's excavation report at Gezer from 1902–09 CE, Yadin concluded that the three city gates were designed by the same engineer (based on the same structural dimensions), built by the same workers (stylistically and methodologically from Phoenicia), and utilized the same material (they contained ashlar masonry quarried in Tyre). Additionally, in the 1860s CE, Charles Warren discovered a wall and courtyard in Jerusalem that were later found to be identical to the one in Megiddo and dating from the period of King Solomon.

In 1993 CE, Avraham Biran discovered the Tel Dan Inscription on a broken stele in northern Israel. The inscription commemorates the victory of an Aramean king over its southern neighbors, and specifically references both the “king of Israel,” and the “king of the House of David.” This is perhaps the first real, direct, historical evidence for the Davidic Dynasty in Israel.

In 2010 CE, Eilat Mazar and her team discovered a 10th century BCE wall between the Temple Mount and the modern-day Arab neighborhood of Silwan. The wall was part of a larger complex that included a gatehouse, guard tower, and other buildings. Based on artifacts found in and around the area, Mazar suspects that the wall is at least 3,000 years old, which would place its construction in the time period of King Solomon (as referenced in 1 Kings).

In 2012 CE, Eilat Mazar and her archaeological team discovered an ancient structure at the Ophel in Jerusalem that dated back to the Solomonic era. In a bedrock depression within that structure, the archaeologists also discovered a large storage jar (or pithos) with the earliest alphabetical letters ever found in Jerusalem written on an earthenware jug. Although the seals do not directly reference King David or King Solomon, the Ophel Inscription not only suggests an advanced society living in Jerusalem earlier than previously believed; it also indicates a fully-functioning administration that collected taxes and implemented regulations during the period of King Solomon's reign.

In 2013 CE, Erez Ben-Yosef and his archaeological team discovered radiocarbon dating evidence forcing many archaeologists and historians to revise their presumptions about the copper mines in Israel's Aravah Desert. Previously assumed to be Egyptian, the new evidence suggests that the mines were actually operated by the Edomites, the ancient enemies of Israel repeatedly referenced in the Hebrew scriptures, who lived during the period of Solomon.

In 2014 CE, students and faculty from Mississippi State University discovered six official clay seals in southern Israel near Gaza. Although the seals do not directly reference King David or King Solomon, the Khirbet Summeily clay seals indicate official government activity in 10th century BCE, which had been assumed to be too tribal for such sophistication.

In 2016 CE, Israeli archaeologists discovered numerous small artifacts from the Temple Mount, which have been dated to the time of the First Temple, nearly 3,000 years ago. Shards from the archaeological dig include pottery fragments (a standard in general archaeological dating), olive pits, animal bones, and they all share a uniform date from the Solomonic period, according to the team's findings.


Archaeological and historical evidence of other kings of Israel and Judah - such as Omri, Ahab, Joram, Ahaziah, Jehu, Hezekiah - have been uncovered in the historical landscape (and one could conceivably expect more to follow). Still, considering the traditional view of King Solomon as the wisest, most prosperous man on earth and King of his time (and of all future kings of Israel), the lack of direct historical and archaeological references to him, to the name “King Solomon” outside of the Hebrew scriptures, which portray him as the wisest of all fools, is quite ironical or evidential, indeed.

The first post office at Solomon was established in October, 1860. [8]

Solomon was founded in 1866. [9] It was named from its position near the mouth of the Solomon River. [10] Solomon was incorporated as a city in 1871. [11]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890839 35.8%
1900817 −2.6%
1910949 16.2%
19201,071 12.9%
19301,032 −3.6%
1940872 −15.5%
1950834 −4.4%
19601,008 20.9%
1970973 −3.5%
19801,018 4.6%
1990939 −7.8%
20001,072 14.2%
20101,095 2.1%
2019 (est.)1,000 [4] −8.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

The Saline County portion of Solomon is part of the Salina Micropolitan Statistical Area. [14]

2010 census Edit

As of the census [3] of 2010, there were 1,095 people, 433 households, and 295 families living in the city. The population density was 1,288.2 inhabitants per square mile (497.4/km 2 ). There were 465 housing units at an average density of 547.1 per square mile (211.2/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 96.1% White, 0.3% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.9% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.

There were 433 households, of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.9% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.08.

The median age in the city was 36.4 years. 27.7% of residents were under the age of 18 8% were between the ages of 18 and 24 27.8% were from 25 to 44 22.6% were from 45 to 64 and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.5% male and 50.5% female.

2000 census Edit

As of the census [5] of 2000, there were 1,072 people, 416 households, and 302 families living in the city. The population density was 1,634.8 people per square mile (627.1/km 2 ). There were 452 housing units at an average density of 689.3 per square mile (264.4/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 98.32% White, 0.19% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.93% from other races, and 0.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.15% of the population.

There were 416 households, out of which 38.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 31.5% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,469, and the median income for a family was $48,203. Males had a median income of $34,926 versus $19,063 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,800. About 8.6% of families and 13.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.3% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.

Solomon Corporation is the largest employer in Solomon. [15] It is the largest rebuilder of oil-filled transformers in the United States. [16]

Solomon Northup After His “12 Years a Slave”

The sensational story blared from the front page of the January 20, 1853, edition of the New York Times. Shocked New Yorkers read the incredible tale of Solomon Northup, a free black man who had been lured from upstate Saratoga Springs to the slave territory of Washington, D.C. by a pair of white men who promised him employment as a fiddler in a traveling circus. There, the two men drugged the married father of three, who awoke to find himself bound in chains inside a dark underground cell of the Williams Slave Pen. From there, he was transported to Louisiana, where he toiled for a dozen years as a slave on cotton and sugar plantations before proof of his status as a freeman resulted in his emancipation.

Three months later, Northup was back in the Times with news of his impending memoir, “Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853, From a Cotton Plantation Near the Red River, in Louisiana.” With the searing memories still fresh in his mind, Northup recounted the brutality he experienced and witnessed during his years in bondage.

In antebellum America, the slave narrative was a case of life imitating art. Readers couldn’t help but notice that the real-life horrors exposed in Northup’s expansive book, written with the assistance of lawyer turned writer David Wilson, echoed those in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s bestselling anti-slavery novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” published just the year before. The novelist also saw the unmistakable similarities𠅎ven in the settings for both stories. In 𠇊 Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” which Stowe published in 1853 in response to critics who had said she exaggerated and sensationalized slavery’s brutality, she wrote, “It is a singular coincidence, that Solomon Northup was carried to a plantation in the Red River country, that same region where the scene of Uncle Tom’s captivity was laid and his account of this plantation, his mode of life there, and some incidents which he describes, form a striking parallel to that history.”

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

With a relatively small population and large land area, space is affordable in the Solomon Islands. In urban areas, however, the choice of space is limited because of the restricted availability of houses and the nature of freehold land tenure. In such circumstances, Solomon Islanders have to fit into these new environments and quickly adapt to what is generally known as the taon kalsa ("town culture"). This includes developing relationships with one's neighbors from other islands and sharing transportation.

Houses in towns usually take the form of the Western bungalow with three bedrooms on average. These are built mostly of cement and timber, with corrugated iron roofing. A kitchen and other convenient amenities are included therein. Often, however, the practice of having in-house toilets infracts the tradition, as still practiced in rural areas, of having separate toilets for men and women as a sign of deep respect for one's siblings.

In rural areas, large villages are often situated on tribal land. Villages comprise individual families placing their homes next to other relatives. There is usually a village quad (square) where children can play and meetings can be held. Sometimes, village squares are used for games consisting of intervillage competitions. In other areas, family homes are made on artificial islands built over shallow shoals in a lagoon by gathering rocks and piling them together to make a "home over the sea." This lifestyle has several advantages: living over the sea is generally cooler, most of these artificial islands are mosquito-free, and families have greater privacy so they can bring up their children as they wish without the undesirable influences from other children.

In rural areas, most Solomon Island dwellings are made of sago-palm thatching often with a separate kitchen. Most dwellings are rectangular in shape, raised on stilts with windows for ventilation to take advantage of the frequent land and sea breezes. A separate kitchen is convenient where open-stove cooking is done especially with the family oven, which is used for large Sunday cooking or for public festivals, such as weddings and funerals.

For those who live in mountain areas, which often experience cold nights, houses are generally built low. Often the living area includes a fireplace for heat. In places such as the Kwaio Mountains, on Malaita, where traditional worship is still practiced, men's houses are built separate from family houses. Also, the separately built bisi (menstruating and birthing hut) is where women go during monthly menses and during childbirth.

An important piece of national architecture is the parliament house, which was built as a gift from the United States to Solomon Islands. The building features rich frescoes in the ceiling telling stories of various life-phases in the islands. On the pinnacle of the roof overlooking the whole town are carvings of ancestral gods, which are totemic guides to the different peoples. The building epitomizes the unity of the country besides being a symbolic haven for democratic deliberation and decision making.

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King Solomon

The biblical King Solomon was known for his wisdom, his wealth and his writings. He became ruler in approximately 967 B.C.E. and his kingdom extended from the Euphrates River in the north to Egypt in the south. His crowning achievement was the building of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Almost all knowledge of him is derived from the biblical books of Kings I and Chronicles II.

Solomon was the son of King David and Bathsheba. Solomon was not the oldest son of David, but David promised Bathsheba that Solomon would be the next king. When David’s elder son Adonijah declared himself king, David ordered his servants to bring Solomon to the Gihon spring where the priest anointed him while David was still alive. Solomon inherited a considerable empire from his father.

At first Solomon was faced with opposition. Two of David’s closest advisors, Joab son of Zeruiah and the priest Abiathar, sided with Adonijah. When Adonijah came to Solomon and requested the king’s servant as a wife, Solomon saw that this was a veiled threat to take over his kingdom and sent a messenger to kill Adonijah. He banished Abiathar to the city of Anathoth. Solomon then followed his father’s last instructions in which David had ordered him to kill both Joab and one of his father’s enemies, Shimei son of Gera. Solomon thus overcame the last potential threats to his kingdom. He then appointed his friends to key military, governmental and religious posts.

Solomon accumulated enormous wealth. He controlled the entire region west of the Euphrates and had peace on his borders. Kings I states that he owned 12,000 horses with horsemen and 1,400 chariots. Remains of stalls for 450 horses have in fact been found in Megiddo. Solomon strengthened his kingdom through marital alliances. Kings I records that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines, although some regard this number as an exaggeration. 2 He had a large share in the trade between northern and southern countries. He established Israelite colonies around his province to look after military, administrative and commercial matters. The empire was divided into twelve districts, with Judah constituting its own political unit and enjoying certain privileges.

Although Solomon was young, he soon became known for his wisdom. The first and most famous incident of his cleverness as a judge was when two women came to his court with a baby whom both women claimed as their own. Solomon threatened to split the baby in half. One woman was prepared to accept the decision, but the other begged the King to give the live baby to the other woman. Solomen then knew the second woman was the mother.

People from surrounding nations also came to hear Solomon’s wisdom. He composed 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. He wrote the Song of Songs, the Book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

One of the most celebrated visits to Solomon was that of the Queen of Sheba, who came from southern Arabia. Historically, Arabia was a country rich in gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Solomon needed Sheba’s products and trade routes the queen of Sheba needed Solomon’s cooperation in marketing her country’s goods. The queen came to Solomon with camels carrying spices, gold and precious stones. She asked him questions and riddles and was amazed at his wisdom.

Once Solomon’s empire was tranquil, he began to build the Holy Temple. He received wood from King Hiram of Tyre and imposed a compulsory labor service on both the Israelites and the foreign nations that were under his control. His workers built the structure of the Temple, its decorations and its vessels. The Temple took seven years to complete. It was built of stone and cedar, carved within and overlaid with pure gold. When it was done, Solomon dedicated the Temple in a public ceremony of prayers and sacrifices.

Solomon was also renowned for his other building projects in which he used slave labor from the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. He spent 13 years building his own palace, and also built a city wall, a citadel called the Millo, a palace for the daughter of Pharaoh (who was one of his wives) and facilities for foreign traders. He erected cities for chariots and horsemen and created storage cities. He extended Jerusalem to the north and fortified cities near the mountains of Judah and Jerusalem.

Solomon’s downfall came in his old age. He had taken many foreign wives, whom he allowed to worship other gods. He even built shrines for the sacrifices of his foreign wives. Within Solomon’s kingdom, he placed heavy taxation on the people, who became bitter. He also had the people work as soldiers, chief officers and commanders of his chariots and cavalry. He granted special privileges to the tribes of Judah and this alienated the northern tribes. The prophet Ahijah of Shiloh prophesied that Jeroboam son of Nebat would become king over ten of the 12 tribes, instead of one of Solomon’s sons.

Outside Solomon’s kingdom, Hadad, of the royal family of Edom, rose up as an adversary of Israel. Rezon son of Eliada, ruler of Aram also fought Solomon, and created tension between the two kingdoms that was to last even after Solomon’s reign ended.

Solomon died in Jerusalem after 40 years as ruler of Israel. He was buried in the City of David. His son, Rehoboam succeeded him as king. Under Rehobaum’s rule, Solomon’s empire was lost and his kingdom was divided into two parts.

Sources: Compton’s Encyclopedia Online. "Solomon". The Learning Company, Inc, 1998 Encyclopedia Britannica. "Solomon". Volume 10, 15 th Edition, 1997 Encyclopedia Judaica. "Solomon." 1978 Edition Scriptures: Kings I, Chronicles II. The Jewish Publication Society’s translation, New York: 1985.

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Decline of the kingdom

The biblical account of his reign states that Solomon’s personal prestige and genius were required to perpetuate the powerful nation he had acquired from his father and then further strengthened. It is suspected that the increase in Israel’s wealth was matched by an increase in extravagance and that the wealth was not diffused to the people. It is also considered possible that Solomon’s treatment of the northern tribes showed favouritism to his own tribe of Judah. Solomon’s son and successor, Rehoboam, ill-advisedly adopted a harsh policy toward the northern tribes, which seceded and formed their own kingdom of Israel. This left the descendants of Solomon with the southern kingdom of Judah. Thus, Solomon’s empire was lost beyond recall, and even the homeland was split into two often-hostile kingdoms.

Solomon Islands — History and Culture

The Solomon Islands is a fascinating archipelago. Not only are the local traditions and customs still very much practiced on a daily basis, but modern European influences are also found. The country is more renowned for its recent upheavals, which have been stopped for the time being.


At the time the first Europeans began visiting the Solomon Islands, the country was nothing more than separate Pacific islands notorious for cannibalism and headhunting. Spanish explorers were the first to visit the archipelago in the 16th century. It wasn’t until 1893 that Britain declared the Solomon Islands as a protectorate. This was implemented to stop the ‘blackbirding’ trade, which saw many native islanders taken as slaves to the agricultural plantations of Fiji and Australia.

Over the next 10 years, more islands became part of the Solomon Islands British protectorate. By 1900, the areas formerly administered by Germany were handed over to the British. Missionaries, whose attempts to spread Christianity prior to 1893 led to revolts by locals, began to successfully convert the native population to Christianity. Large scale plantation firms also settled in the Solomon Islands at the beginning of the 20th century. Coconut plantations became the main source of income for locals.

WWII saw the stoppage of most plantations across the Solomon Islands. Expatriate workers were forced to evacuate to Australia or New Zealand. Fierce battles, such as the Battle of Guadalcanal, raged on between 1942 and 1945. Many thousands of soldiers and native civilians lost their lives during the Solomon Islands campaign. Visiting the Guadalcanal American War Memorial is a must.

Following the war, the Solomon Islands enjoyed a more stable administration, resulting in the increase in governmental independence. However, it wasn’t until 1976 that Britain granted the Solomon Islands full independence. This was greatly influenced by the independence of Papua New Guinea from Australia the year before.

However, since independence, the Solomon Islands have experienced anything but smooth sailing. Ethnic tensions led to civil unrest in the late 1990s and this is still simmering today. Large scale rioting rocked the capital, Honiara, in 2006, but eventually the violence was quelled thanks to intervention from the United Nations, led by Australian, New Zealand, and Fijian forces. In 2007, a horrific tsunami and earthquake hit the archipelago, resulting in more than 50 deaths and millions of dollars in damage. Visit the National Museum of Solomon Islands (Mendana Avenue, Honiara) for further information about the country’s history.


Due to European influences throughout the Solomon Islands’ history, Christianity is the predominant faith in the country. More than 95 percent of the population follows some sort of Christianity, including South Seas Evangelists, and Catholics. Traditional culture is still prevalent throughout the country, but traditional lifestyles exist side-by-side with European influences.

In the rural areas of the country, tribal customs are the most important social norms. Traditional bartering systems are still used between many of the village areas. Even the village life is relatively similar to that of the time of pre-European arrival. Items are made from local leaves and grasses, and traditional music is still heard. In addition, the ancient form of the Solomon Islands dance can also be found.

Hayim Solomon

Claim: Essay explains the origins of the symbolism on the back of the U.S. one-dollar bill.


Example: [Collected via e-mail, November 2008]

On the rear of the One Dollar bill, you will see two circles. Together, they comprise the Great Seal of the United States.

The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved.

If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a Pyramid.

Notice the face is lighted, and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the west or decided what we could do for Western Civilization. The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the eye, an ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin’s belief that one man couldn’t do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything.

‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ is on this currency.

The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means, ‘God has favored our undertaking.’ The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, means, ‘a new order has begun.’ At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776. (MDCCLXXVI)

If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is
also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery, and is the centerpiece of most hero’s monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States, and it is always visible whenever he speaks, yet very few people know what the symbols mean.

The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: First, he is not afraid of a storm he is strong, and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle’s beak you will read, ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM’ meaning, ‘one from many.’

Above the Eagle, you have the thirteen stars, representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again, we were coming together as one.

Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.

They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number. This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a But think about this:

13 original colonies,
13 signers of the Declaration of Independence,
13 stripes on our flag,
13 steps on the Pyramid,
13 letters in, ‘Annuit Coeptis,’
13 letters in ‘E Pluribus Unum,’
13 stars above the Eagle,
13 bars on that shield,
13 leaves on the olive branch,
13 fruits, and if you look closely,
13 arrows.

And finally, if you notice the arrangement of the in the right-hand circle you will see that they are arranged as a Star of David. This was ordered by George Washington who, when he asked Hayim Solomon, a wealthy Philadelphia Jew, what he would like as a personal reward for his services to the Continental Army, Solomon said he wanted nothing for himself but that he would like something for his people. The Star of David was the result. Few people know that it was Solomon who saved the Army through his financial contributions but died a pauper.

I always ask people, ‘Why don’t you know this?’ Your children don’t know this, and their history teachers don’t know this. Too many veterans have given up too much to ever let the meaning fade. Many veterans remember coming home to an America that didn’t care. Too many veterans never came home at all.

I for one, plan to share this page with everyone, so they can learn what is on the back of the UNITED STATES ONE DOLLAR BILL, and what it stands for!

Origins: This essay on the symbolism of the elements (i.e., the obverse and reverse of the Great Seal of the United States) found on the back of the U.S. bill is a mixture of fact and folklore. For those interested in a good historical overview of the origins and symbolism of the Great Seal of the United States, we recommend browsing the site Below, we’ll highlight some of the more folkloric (i.e., false) aspects of the above-quoted account.

As noted on, these elements (i.e., the shading of the pyramid and the number of its steps) are not specified in the original design description of the Great Seal of the United States, and how they are rendered is based solely on the preference of individual artists who create depictions of the seal: “There is no intended significance to the number of stones in the pyramid (nor the shadow it casts). Those details are determined by artists.”

The notion that the head of the eagle depicted on the Great Seal of the United States (and/or on the Seal of the President of the United States) changes direction during wartime is a false one which we cover in detail in a separate article.

Although several design features of the Great Seal of the United States incorporate items comprising thirteen elements, none of them has anything to do with the number of signers of the Declaration of Independence. A total of delegates, not thirteen, affixed their names to that document.

Again, as notes: “The number of [olives or leaves] are not specified in the official 1782 description of the Great Seal. These details are determined by artists and engravers. They have no intended symbolic significance.”

Although both these Latin phrases do comprise that fact is pure coincidence and has no bearing on why those mottoes were selected for the Great Seal.

Hayim Solomon (whose name is also rendered as Haym Salomon) was a real person, a Polish-born Jew who immigrated to the American colonies in the 1770s, joined the branch of the Sons of Liberty, and performed many services on behalf of the American independence movement,

most notably helping to provide funding for the colonial war effort during the American Revolution. However, the claim that George Washington

ordered the Great Seal of the United States to incorporate a Star of David element as a token of thanks to Solomon is apocryphal: Washington had no input into the design of the Great Seal, and the
original design specification for the Great Seal included no instructions about how the constellation of on the obverse side should be arranged. The reason why artist Robert Scot chose to arrange that constellation of into the shape of a hexagram when engraving the first die of the Great Seal in 1782 (a design feature that has been reproduced in all subsequent dies of the Great Seal) is unknown, but the best guess is that he was emulating the arrangement of stars on the first American flag.

Benjamin Goldberg wrote of the Solomon myth in Schmooze magazine that:

So why has this myth captured the imagination of American Jews? Sarna, the and Braun professor of American Jewish History and Life at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., says it has helped American Jews proudly connect themselves to their country’s formative era.

Solomon was a wise ruler of Israel and very compassionate to Angels and Demons Alike. Instead of killing demons, Solomon would seal them in pillars and become their friend. When Dantalion worked for him, Solomon seemed to have fun messing with the nephilim. When William meets him, he calls him an idiot.

Solomon was the child of the King David of Israel from a concubine. He was regarded by his father as a child of sin, and was therefore chained and locked away from other people.

At some point, he gained the Ring of Wisdom from God, and thus, gained great knowledge and the power to destroy demons. However, the demons he summoned he only sealed as Pillars, the first one being Dantalion. He eventually made Sytry, Camio, Astaroth, Baalberith and Eligos his Pillars as well.

Rise to the Throne

One day, on Solomon's birthday, his sister Tamar came running to him and told him to run away, as their brother Absalom has gathered an army against their father. It was revealed at this time that Tamar could see the demons surrounding Solomon as shadows. She voices this aloud, but Solomon tells her to go back to Absalom because he is certain that he will protect her from their father.

After Tamar goes away, Solomon tells his Pillars that he has no choice. He leads his own army of demons against Absalom's army, resulting in the utter defeat of the latter. He then led his army to Gibon to defeat his older brother Adonijah. He was then crowned King of Israel.

Rule over Israel

He imprisoned his father David in a tower. Solomon only asks for his father's acknowledgement that he is his father's son, but David refuses, points out that Solomon is in league with demons and even predicts the fall of the great kingdom of Israel. He also tells him that he should not have been born at all.

As a king, Solomon made Israel prosper. Under his rule, several laws were put into place and the bureaucratic system was established. He also introduced treaties, marriage, and diplomacy via trade. Copper mining, metal refining and civil engineering were also pioneered by him. These made Israel extremely wealthy.

Tamar approached him regarding their father, asking him to release the old man. When it seemed like he wouldn't listen, she splashes holy water over the demons surrounding Solomon, making them disappear. She then asks him why he keeps those demons company when he is blessed by God. Solomon just smiles. Tamar again pursues their father's case she asks him to let their father go because he has little time left to live and then asks him if he still bears a grudge against their father. Solomon denies this, but neither does he agree with freeing David. He instead tells Tamar that there is a man who wants to marry her, and asks that she go and see him. Tamar leaves Israel to marry this man.

Dantalion asks him what exactly does Solomon want. Solomon tells him that he'll know eventually, and that it is something only Dantalion can do: to play his (Dantalion's) flute. Dantalion figures it out immediately, and tries to confront Solomon about it, but Solomon just apologizes and tells him that he doesn't have a choice.

At some point, Uriel was sent out to punish him for not eradicating the demons. When direct persuasion did not work, Uriel took away all the people were close to Solomon one by one, including Tamar. This drove Solomon to spend more and more time with his Pillars.


Due to this increased isolation, his subjects started thinking that he has gone mad. This led to the collapse of his kingdom.

Eventually, his subjects began doubting his decisions, and foresaw the end of the kingdom. Sitri visits him during this time, and tells him that he's being too careless. Solomon reassures him that no one will kill him, yet. Sitri tells him that his subjects are thinking that Solomon has begun losing interest in politics, after having imposed heavy taxes and forced labor. Sitri worries about his kingdom, but Solomon silences him gently, yet not revealing anything. Sitri, annoyed, tells him that Solomon has always been like that to him, and yet tells Dantalion. Solomon then tells him that, although the Ring is prolonging his life, he's human after all and will die someday. Sitri asks him where he is going when he dies—either to Heaven or Hell—and tells him that he is certain that Lucifer is waiting for him. Solomon questions this for a second, then immediately dismisses it. Solomon changes the subject to Sitri—who has someone waiting for him in Heaven.

Soon after, the kingdom finally collapsed.


He was strangled to death by Dantalion. Some pillars, such as Sytry, held a grudge against the killer after that.

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