King SolomonBiblical Figure
Born: c. 10th century B.C.
Died: c. 922 B.C.
Best known as:
Builder of the Temple of Solomon
King Solomon "excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom" according to the Bible. The son of King David and Bathsheba, Solomon (in Hebrew, Shlomo) ruled Israel from about 960 to 922 B.C. and built a magnificent temple in Jerusalem which housed the Ark of the Covenant. Solomon reportedly had hundreds of wives and concubines, including the daughter of the pharaoh of Egypt. He also had a famous meeting with the Queen of Sheba who, after observing his wealth and wisdom, showered him with gifts. Solomon is historically credited with authoring the Bible's Song of Songs and book of Ecclesiastes, though many scholars believe the latter was written after his death.
Solomon's wisdom is usually recalled in a famous incident in which two women came before him with a baby, each claiming to be the mother. Solomon ordered the child be cut in half, and by observing each woman's reaction determined the true mother.
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