The Origin of the Name Solomon
The name Solomon comes from the Hebrew word “Shalom“. Shalom means peace. David gave his youngest son a name that contrasted with his own contentious life. He may have given him this name to remind him not to live a life filled with war like his own, but to enjoy peace with his people. But peace doesn’t just happen. It is a time of peace that comes only after years of countless wars.
Shalom, then, is not just a state of leisure and tranquility, but a peace that comes after conflict and struggle. When the Hebrews greeted each other with shalom, they meant it in an active way.
True to his name, Solomon reigned in peaceful times on the foundation laid by David. Israel, which had become a military power because of David, was no longer easily overlooked by its neighbors. Rather, the neighboring nations looked to Israel for guidance and made diplomatic efforts to please Solomon.
The Egyptian Pharaoh Siamun wanted to work with Solomon diplomatically
When Solomon succeeded David on the throne, the Egyptian pharaoh gave his daughter to Solomon as his wife. The pharaoh at this time was Siamun, the second pharaoh at the end of the 21st Dynasty. Since the dynasty was on the verge of collapse, the pharaoh would have wanted to form an alliance with Solomon, and Solomon knew that allying with Egypt would be diplomatically beneficial.
The Bible says that Pharaoh took the region of Geshur, which was populated by Canaanites, and gave it as a gift to his daughter, who became Solomon’s wife, which means that he gave it to Solomon as a dowry for her marriage. It seems likely that Pharaoh marched into Geshur on the border of Israel, took it, and then gave it back to Solomon as a sign of reconciliation and alliance.
Egyptian history tells us that pharaohs rarely gave their daughters to foreign kings as wives, so Siamun must have been up to something.
By taking the Pharaoh’s daughter as his wife, Solomon was able to settle a territorial dispute. This Pharaoh’s daughter must have been elegant and enchanting, as expected of a royal descendant. Of all the queens, Pharaoh’s daughter was the most favored, and Solomon even built a palace specifically for her. 1 Kings 9:24 says, “ But Pharaoh’s daughter went up from the city of David to her own house that Solomon had built for her. Then he built the Millo.”. Similarly, when we read of Solomon’s exploits, we find references to Pharaoh’s daughter.
Solomon spent seven years building the temple of the Lord and 13 years building his own palace. There’s no doubt that he had a special place in his heart for the Pharaoh’s daughter. He built it out of Lebanese cedar, shipped it from Tyre, and made it as grand and opulent as possible to please the pharaoh’s daughter.
The Queen of Sheba wanted to work with Solomon diplomatically
It is also important to note that the Queen of Sheba was a diplomatic envoy and visited Solomon to deliver gifts and establish diplomatic relations. Sheba was a state founded by the Sabaeans in Arabia, in what is now eastern Yemen. The Sabaeans were originally nomadic, but once they settled down and established a kingdom, they dominated trade throughout Arabia.
Solomon needed to establish diplomatic relations with the Sabaeans in order to trade with Arabia, and the Sabaeans needed Solomon’s strength to compete with Egypt. With these interests aligned, the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon, and Solomon treated her with great hospitality. The gold, jewelry, and spices that the Queen of Sheba presented to Solomon were actually trade samples.
Solomon overwhelmed the Queen of Sheba by showing her the magnificent temple and palace he had built. Most importantly, he showed her the wealth of his knowledge and wisdom by engaging her in deep conversation. dynasty.
In other words, Solomon used his personal charm and national prestige to win the heart of the Queen of Sheba and succeeded in establishing trade diplomacy with Arabia.
The Queen of Sheba was so impressed by all of this that she couldn’t help but heap praise on him.
6 And she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, 7 but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report that I heard. 8 Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 9 Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” 10 Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold and a very great quantity of spices and precious stones. Never again came such an abundance of spices as these that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.1 Kings 10: 6~10
Never again came such an abundance of spices as these that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. Solomon must have been thrilled to hear it. We can only imagine what else happened between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, who was attracted to the other. Diplomacy by day and diplomacy by night are two different things.
What we see here is that even in diplomacy between nations, the human attraction of leaders, including sexual attraction, cannot be ignored.
Solomon had many concubines from different countries
In order to establish good relations with Egypt and Sheba, as well as Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and Heth, Solomon took many women from those regions as his consorts. In other words, Solomon’s choice of concubines was regional.
There were 700 concubines, or wives, and 300 maids of honor. He chose a thousand women from each region.
Moreover, Solomon was more attracted to foreign women than to the women of mainland Israel. Although there is a condition called “homophobia,” Solomon was unusually fond of foreign women.
A seductive woman is like the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in Eden to a man. “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, to be desired for food and to be desired for beauty and to make one wise, even though one knows clearly that one should not eat of it. We have a desire to live in paradise, but we also have a desire for Paradise Lost.
YHWH was well aware that the women in Israel’s neighborhoods were tempting, and he repeatedly warned the Israelites to beware of them and stay away from them. Historically, however, there have been few times when the Lord’s warnings have been heeded.
Even Solomon, who built the LORD’s temple and was blessed with many blessings in the LORD’s sight, ignored the LORD’s warnings and fell in love with foreign women, to say nothing of the common people. Perhaps Solomon had received so many blessings from the LORD that he became arrogant and slept with many foreign women. In other words, his blessings became a curse in the name of blessing.
It is important to receive blessings, but it is also important to keep and maintain them. The latter is often more difficult. It is no exaggeration to say that the greatest cause of the loss of blessings is sexual depravity, and Solomon’s life is an example of this.