Solomon, d. c.930 B.C., king of the ancient Hebrews (c.970–c.930 B.C.), son and successor of David. His mother was Bath-sheba. His accession has been dated to c.970 B.C. According to the Bible. Solomon's reign was marked by foreign alliances (notably with Egypt and Phoenicia) and the greatest extension of Israel's territory in biblical times. He built numerous cities, constructed copper smelting furnaces in the Negev, and had the first temple built at Jerusalem. However, his despotism resulted in the alienation of N Israel and the revolt of Jeroboam I. The biblical account of Solomon derives from the "Succession Narrative" in Second Samuel and First and Second Kings; Temple archives; and various folk-tales, but what the Bible says about the glory of his reign is impossible to confirm from the archaeological record.
Solomon's wisdom is proverbial. Proverbs and Ecclesiastes were ascribed to him, as was Wisdom of Solomon, a book of the Old Testament Apocrypha, and the Song of Solomon bears his name. The Psalms of Solomon (1st cent. B.C.) and the Odes of Solomon (early 2d cent. A.D.) are found in the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Solomon's original name was Jedidiah.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.