['SOLOMON' CONTINUED,] “Your incorruptible spirit is in all things, therefore you chasten them little and little who offend, ... and you weren't afraid that any man pardons them for those things they did and say, “What have you done?
Author: Scriptural Research Institute
Publisher: Scriptural Research Institute
King Solomon is arguably the most famous of all ancient Israelite kings, with several books in the Septuagint dedicated to him, or about him, or even by him, yet, to date, no archeological evidence for his life has been found. Additionally, the Testament of Solomon has survived from the Second Temple era which displays another side of King Solomon. The lifetime of King Solomon falls during the Third Intermediate Period (dark age) in Egyptian history, and therefore are no records of Solomon within the very limited Egyptian records from the time. Egyptologists believe the Kingdom of Egypt collapsed at the beginning of the time period, and by the time that Solomon would have lived, in the early-9th century BC, the king of Egypt only controlled the northern region, while the rest of Egypt was under the rule of the High Priest of Amen (Amun). The various books associated with Solomon that made it into the Septuagint, include 3rd Kingdoms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom of Solomon, and Psalms of Solomon, als of which have been retranslated into modern English. The first book in this collection is 3rd Kingdoms, which tells the life of Solomon, likely from Ezra the Scribe's perspective, 500 years later. The book likely dates to before the reign of King Josiah, circa 700 BC, but is believed to have been redacted by Ezra the Scribe, or someone else in his era. The second book, Proverbs, also called Proverbs of Solomon, is generally attributed to King Solomon, who is explicitly referred to as the author of some of the proverbs. A number proverbs are known to have been copied from older collections of proverbs, most notably the Wisdom of Amenemope, which was apparently written by Amenemope son of Kanakht sometime before Pharaoh Akhenaten, circa 1350 BC. The third book, Ecclesiastes is generally also attributed to King Solomon, however, he is not mentioned anywhere by name. The idea that King Solomon was the author, is found in the introduction to the text. At some point before the Greek translation was made, someone added an introduction and conclusion to the text, in which the author is described as being the 'son of David,' and a 'King in Jerusalem.' The fourth book, Song of Songs, also called the Song of Solomon, is a song about King Solomon theoretically written in his time, circa 950 BC. The book does not list its author, but it was clearly written by a woman in love with Solomon. She is believed to have been referring to herself as a Shulamite in chapter 7, which suggests she was Abishag the Shulamite, King David's youngest concubine. The fifth book, Wisdom of Solomon was added to the Septuagint sometime between 250 and 132 BC, and while it was traditionally attributed to King Solomon, today scholars generally believed to have been composed in Greek, shortly before it was added to the Septuagint. The Wisdom of Solomon itself appears to have been redacted before the Greek translation, as the first half is about the spirit of wisdom, Sophia in Greek, who is credited with actually doing most of what the Lord (Iaw/Yahweh) was credited with doing in the Septuagint and Masoretic Texts, however, this changes abruptly to crediting the Lord in chapter 11, and Sophia disappeared entirely from the rest of the book. The sixth book, Psalms of Solomon, is also called Psalms of Salomon in many of the surviving manuscripts, although it is not clear why. At this time, it is universally agreed that the Psalms of Solomon is a pre-Christian work, as early Christian writers referred to it even though it is clearly not about the life of Jesus as described in the gospels. The seventh book, Testament of Solomon, was widely used by Christian and Gnostic astrologers in the first few centuries of the Christian era.