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The Figure of Solomon in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Tradition

Themes in

Biblical Narrative

Jewish and Christian Traditions Editorial Board

George H. van Kooten Robert A. Kugler Loren T. Stuckenbruck Advisory Board

Reinhard Feldmeier Judith Lieu Florentino GarcĂ­a MartĂ­nez Hindy Najman Martti Nissinen Ed Noort


The titles published in this series are listed at

The Figure of Solomon in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Tradition King, Sage and Architect Edited by

Joseph Verheyden


Cover illustration: Maurits Sabbe Library, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven: Biblia Sacra, dat is de geheele Heylighe Schriftvre bedeylt in ‘t Out en Nieu Testament, [Amsterdam]: by Pieter Iacopsz Paets, 1657, p. 431 (woodcut by ­Christoffel van Sichem).

This publication has been typeset in the multilingual “Brill” typeface. With over 5,100 characters covering Latin, IPA, Greek, and Cyrillic, this typeface is especially suitable for use in the humanities. For more information, please see ISSN 1388-3909 ISBN 978-90-04-24232-6 (hardback) ISBN 978-90-04-24291-3 (e-book) Copyright 2013 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Global Oriental, Hotei Publishing, IDC Publishers and Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill NV provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change. This book is printed on acid-free paper.

contents Introduction ......................................................................................................


The Rise of Solomon in the Ancient Israelite Historiography ........... Isaac Kalimi


Solomon in History and Tradition .............................................................. Pekka Särkiö


Der Tempel Salomos im Kontext der Ikonographie und der archäologischen Funde ............................................................................. Wolfgang Zwickel Josephus on Solomon ..................................................................................... Joseph Verheyden

57 85

Solomon and Magic ........................................................................................ 107 Pablo A. Torijano Solomon in Rabbinic Literature .................................................................. 127 Gerhard Langer King Solomon in the New Testament and Jewish Tradition .............. 143 Albert L.A. Hogeterp Salomo, Christus und die Oden Salomos .................................................. 165 Tobias Nicklas Solomon as a True Exorcist: The Testament of Solomon in Its Cultural Setting ..................................................................................... 183 Peter Busch Solomon in Egyptian Gnosticism ............................................................... 197 Jacques van der Vliet



Solomon in Ethiopian Tradition ................................................................. 219 Witold Witakowski and Ewa Balicka-Witakowska The Ikhwān aṣ-Ṣafā⁠ʾ on King-Prophet Solomon ..................................... 241 Jules Janssens Index of Names ................................................................................................. 255 Index of Biblical References ......................................................................... 260 Index of Other References ............................................................................ 269

Introduction Solomon—king, sage, architect, and later on also magician—is one of the more complex and fascinating characters in the history of Israel. As a king he is second only to David. As the king who gave Israel its temple he is unsurpassed. As the prototype of the sage (or the wise king) his name lives on in numerous biblical and pseudepigraphical writings. As the magician of later tradition he has established himself as a model for many other aspirants in this field. This volume contains the proceedings of an international conference on Solomon that was held at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Leuven, September 30–October 2, 2009 and brought together specialists in various fields of Jewish, early Christian, Eastern Christian, and Islamic studies who all have illustrated how Solomon was put in the picture in these traditions. A number of essays is dedicated to texts and documents that should be dealt with in any good study on Solomon. But the volume also contains essays that offer a less common take on the subject. The starting point are of course the core passages in 1 Kgs 3–11 and their parallel in 2 Chr 2–11. These texts are studied in particular by Isaac Kalimi and Pekka Särkiö. Kalimi focuses on the accounts of Solomon’s succession to the throne. The story as told in 1 Kgs 1–2 is that of a ‘classic’ power struggle, in which all those supporting Solomon do so as much for their own benefit as for any idealistic purpose. Nathan, the chief conspirator, is duly rewarded for his support and intriguing, as are his comrades-in-arms, Zadok and Benaiah. It is a very ‘down-to-earth’ story. The Chronicler, on the other hand, tries to emend this perspective and turns Solomon into a divinely chosen king and a fully legitimate heir to the throne. There was no need for any intrigue. Solomon’ succession to the throne was a most harmonious event. The accounts of the new king’s coronation reflect this quite different approach. In the Deuteronomistic version Solomon succeeds to his father. In the more solemn Chronistic account he is put on “the throne of the Lord”: theocracy and monarchy go hand in hand. Kalimi finds in it an indication that the notion of God’s kingship is all but a late one, as some have argued. In the same line, the Chronicler is foremost interested in the religious, rather than in the political, aspect in David’s testament, because it gives him a good opportunity to go on emphasising



the divinely ordained perspective in dealing with Solomon’s rise to power. The biblical accounts thus offer two quite different versions of the way in which Solomon conquered the throne; as such, they already indicate that here is a quite controversial figure. Things would not really change afterwards. Pekka Särkiö opens with a broad survey of the major developments that have taken place in studying the history of Israel’s kings over the past two decades. There is first of all the still on-going debate between minimalists and maximalists in assessing the credibility of the biblical accounts. There is further also the equally still on-going debate on the place of archaeology in biblical studies and its relation to literary studies. Third, and linked to the previous, is the complex question of dating the archaeological evidence ascribed to the early monarchy. Solomon, his reign, his building activity, and the accounts about him, take a central place in this whole discussion. Särkiö then concentrates on the account in 1 Kgs of Solomon’s rise to power and that of his ‘sin’ (1 Kgs 11:1–8). In particular, he draws attention to the fact that in both accounts a crucial role is given to ‘foreign women’. Indeed, it is thanks to Bathseba, herself of Canaanite descent, that Solomon makes it to the throne; and it is his harem, which included women of non-Jewish descent, that made him give up obeying the Law. As Särkiö indicates, this was more than a sorry mistake by an overconfident ruler; it turned Solomon into the very counter-model of the pious Jew. He broke the covenant, and Israel would suffer badly by it. Wolfgang Zwickel studies the biblical accounts on Solomon’s temple in 1 Kgs 6–7 at the background of the iconographical and archaeological evidence. The temple was above all a project aimed at furthering the prestige of the ruler. Architecture is a means amongst others to present oneself as a king and act accordingly. Politics rather than religion are at play, but the latter are of course not completely absent, for the temple project also cut in stone what Israel was expected to do in matters of religion. God and king work together for the benefit of the people; or so it was intended. Israel finally has become a nation in its own right, with its own ‘national’ God, a royal dynasty of its own, and a population that identifies itself with both God and king; or so, once more, it was intended. The reception or recuperation of Solomon in later Jewish literature is studied from various perspectives. Joseph Verheyden focuses on Flavius Josephus’ retelling of the biblical account in his Antiquitates (8.1–212). It is an account full of ambiguities and dissonances. Solomon is praised into the heavens, apparently only to make his fall yet more instructive and impressive. He is portrayed as the kind and modest king, but one who



seems to lose his temper a more than one occasion. He is a man gifted with great intellect and a sound sense of judgement, yet he also dabbles in magic—a feature that is anxiously left aside in the biblical accounts. He is eulogised for his piety, but it proves to be a calculated piety if it clashes with politics. He wants to be a just king, as his father had hoped for, but justice, too, occasionally has to yield to political shrewdness and even vengeance. He is a brave soldier, but he never fought a battle. He is the most fortunate king Israel has ever known, wealthy and glorious, yet he seems to have forgotten about his good intentions to share this wealth with his people. And in his old age Solomon blows it all and ends his life an apostate. Why did Josephus take this path? The one explanation that readily springs to mind is that Josephus is catering to an audience that was but all too well aware of the vicissitudes of life at the court and could find out for themselves that in this respect things were not so different in other cultures. Pablo Torijano studies the way Solomon is portrayed in Jewish magical texts. Indeed, as is well known, Solomon was a most popular figure in this kind of literature. Torijano illustrates from several examples how this ‘non-conventional’ Solomon almost overshadowed the biblical king, in power and popularity. Solomon proves to be not just a magician, but also an astrologer, and one who can be invoked for many purposes. His name can be found on bowls and amulets, in magical papyri, and in a whole series of mostly fairly unknown works that are ascribed to him or have him act as their protagonist. This whole body of texts and fragments contributed in no little way also to blur the borderlines between various cultures and to make Solomon a character of primary importance also outside the Jewish-Christian orbit. As one might expect, Solomon’s name is not lacking in Rabbinic literature. Gerhard Langer studies this corpus and demonstrates that Solomon is above all presented and remembered as a wise man, yet without obscuring the fact that he had his shadowy side, as a result of which he lost the almost messianic aura he tried to claim for himself. It made him a most useful tool for formulating occasional criticism of contemporary leaders of the community. Langer singles out for special attention the interest of the rabbis in the etymology of Solomon’s name; his claim to be the ruler of the world; his throne, the description of which is closely linked to his role as judge and protector of the Torah; his power over the demons, which is connected both with the construction of the temple and the king’s failures and sins; and finally, his legendary wisdom which fascinated the rabbis no less than other readers of the biblical accounts.



In strong contrast to the way Solomon was received in Jewish tradition, stands the modest role he is given in the earliest Christian writings. Albert Hogeterp argues that this may be explained in part by the fact that Solomon was considered to be linked too closely with the temple and the political and religious establishment in order for Christians to be unconditionally positive about him. Of course, in the few passages that he is mentioned by name, he is presented as a model of wisdom; but then it should also be noted that he is left out of Luke’s version of the genealogy of Jesus and that Stephen’s criticism of the temple may include its architect and builder. The man fared rather better in later Christian tradition, which made him the author of a number of writings. Tobias Nicklas deals with the Odes of Solomon. He pays special attention to the question of their relation with the Psalms of Solomon, the way the Odes present Solomon as a sage and psalmist, and above all, the quite remarkable exegetical tradition that somehow links Solomon to Christ. The latter is attested by Athanasius, but the first attempts to make Solomon a prophet, and indeed the one through which the divine Word, i.e., Christ himself, has spoken can be found already in the second century. The Odes, for their part, have ‘Solomon’ speak out on Christ. The link goes beyond the mere fact that Solomon had the claim to be a gifted composer and is further developed by presenting Solomon as the one who ponders on what it means to find true peace and rest. Here is David’s son speaking out on the ‘real’ son of David. Peter Busch returns to the magical Solomon in discussing yet another writing that was attributed to the famous king, the Testament of Solomon. The work is dated in the fourth century c.e. and, according to Busch, is historically embedded in a battle between what he calls “professional exorcists” with links to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and any other group that might claim to possess the same kind of magical powers, primarily those desert-monks eulogised in a whole corpus of hagiographic texts for having precisely such powers. The suggestion may seem a bit adventurous, but is well argued and certainly worth considering. The author of the Testament has borrowed from his opponents several of the characteristics of the literature they are producing, including an interest in biographical and novelistic elements. In the conclusion Busch likens the battle and the Testament to a PR-strategy for promoting the own capacities in conquering any possible demon. There is no reason to go out in the desert to find a cure for these threats.



Jacques van der Vliet in turn brings the reader to the desert in studying the presence and characterisation of Solomon in Coptic Gnostic tradition. The picture certainly is not a uniform one. Solomon is variously presented as the author of a great number of works, many of these unknown to us, as a magician and exorcist (again), but also as a historical and quasi-mythical figure of a rather contested status. In this latter view Solomon is linked in with Gnostic cosmic speculation, and found to be at the wrong side of the cosmos, but he is also criticised as a character of the despised Old Testament and as one who some have tried to make into a prefiguration of Christ. In all of this criticism, the real opponent who is in view are fellow Christians, including fellow Gnostic Christians. It is also important to note, as van der Vliet points out, that these currents apparently had access not only to the biblical tradition and accounts but also to a number of otherwise unknown writings of “Solomonic taste”. Witold Witakowski and Ewa Balicka-Witakowska offer a survey of the presentation of Solomon in Ethiopian tradition, in particular in what is probably the best known work, The Glory of the Kings, which can rightly be said to be something like Ethiopia’s national epos. It is Solomon the magician who takes centre stage in this tradition; and the same is true for the way he is presented in lesser known texts such as The Net of Solomon or The Mirror of Solomon. In addition, Solomon is also very much present in iconography and in the same way as in the literature: he is first and foremost a magician, and only then a biblical character. In the last essay of this volume, Jules Janssens offers the reader an excursion into Islamic territory in studying the reception of Solomon in the literary tradition of the so-called Ilkwan, “the Brethren of Purity”, a scholarly movement that originated in Basra and is thought to be linked to Ismailism. The movement has authored an encyclopaedic work that was meant to be read and consulted also by non-Muslims. Again Solomon is presented above all as a man of magical powers, but also as a scholar in his own right, one who translated many books into Hebrew. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of this reception is the fact that the Brethren clearly had access to other traditions and did not limit themselves to biblical tradition or the Qur’an. This final essay is at the same time also an invitation to continue research into the Islamic reception of biblical figures. This “criss-crossing” through Jewish, Christian, and Islamic literature has proven to be an excellent way for illustrating both the similarities and the differences that can be detected in the reception history of king Solomon. It is my hope that it has also further enriched our knowledge of this



important figure that connects Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religious tradition in a most singular way. Of course, this is not the first such volume dealing with Solomon. As a matter of fact, he seems to be quite popular in academic research in recent years. One might refer, among others, to the monographs by Walter Brueggemann, Rüdiger Lux, and Steven Weitzman, or to the volumes of essays edited by Jean-Louis Bacqué-Grammont and Jean-Marie Durand and by Claude Lichtert and Dany Nocquet.1 The present volume adds one more voice to this choir, thereby realising that the song is far from over. The editor wishes to thank the University of Leuven for a generous grant, Mrs. Rita Corstjens for her assistance in preparing the manuscript, and the members of the editorial board of TBN for accepting this volume in their series. Joseph Verheyden

1 W. Brueggemann, Solomon: Israel’s Iconographic Icon of Human Achievement (Studies on the Personalities of the Old Testament), Columbia, SC, University of South Carolina Press, 2005. R. Lux, Ideales Königtum: Studien zu David und Salomo (Arbeiten zur Bibel und ihrer Geschichte, 16), Leipzig, Evangelischer Verlag, 2006. S. Weitzman, Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom ( Jewish Lives), New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 2011. J.-L. Bacqué-Grammont— J.-M. Durand (eds.), L’image de Salomon. Sources et postérités. Actes du colloque organisé par le Collège de France et la Société Asiatique, Paris, 18–19 mars 2004 (Cahiers de la Société Asiatique NS, 5), Paris – Louvain – Dudley, MA, Peeters, 2007. C. Lichtert – D. Nocquet (eds.), Le Roi Salomon—un héritage en question. Hommages à Jacques Vermeylen (Le livre et le rouleau, 33), Bruxelles, Éditions Lessius, 2008.

The Rise of Solomon in the Ancient Israelite Historiography Isaac Kalimi 1. Introduction This study investigates the succession of Solomon to King David’s throne according to two ancient Israelite historical writings. The first and earlier account is found in what is named in modern scholarship, since the work of Leonhard Rost in 1926, “David’s Throne Succession Narrative” (or the “Court History”)—a source that was incorporated within the large complex of the Deuteronomistic history, particularly in Samuel–Kings.1 The second and later account is found in the Chronistic history, that is, the book of Chronicles.

1 Usually it is considered that the account includes 2 Sam 9–20 + 1 Kgs 1–2; see the survey by Rofé 2009, 23–30. For a different opinion, however, see Kalimi 2010, 567 note 5. For a critical survey of various approaches on “Succession Narrative,” see Ishida 1999, 102–107. Ishida shows that, in fact, there is “no effective method for controlling these anarchic postulations” (p. 104). Timo Veijola (1975) proposed to distinguish a threefold redaction of the text in 1 Kgs 1–2, written in the time of the exile (for what purpose?). Thilo A. Rudnig (2006), for his part, suggested that the very small basic version of the story from Solomon’s time (10th century b.c.e.) went through more than thirteen redactions and saw several “additions,” comprehensive re-workings, and numerous very late glosses. This whole process took place particularly in the Persian and Hellenistic periods, until the 3rd century b.c.e. (Fortunately, there are several fragments of Samuel–Kings among the Dead Sea Scrolls—usually dated to ca. mid 3rd century b.c.e.—what probably caused Rudnig to stop where he stops; otherwise, who knows until when these “continuous redactions” would have been extended). This kind of ad absurdum “scholarship” touches the unbearable. One might wonder if there is any other example of such a superfluous literary process in (ancient or non-ancient) world literature? How it is possible that one of the earliest and most beautiful and superb historical works of the ancient Israelites could have been composed through such a process? Is there any anachronism from the Persian or Hellenistic periods in the story under review? Is there any late linguistic element (e.g., Late Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, Persian or Greek words, syntax, and so forth) in the story? Why when it comes to Israelite literary legacy, some scholars (for other similar approaches, see Ishida 1999, and below note 4) choose to act in such unscholarly and irresponsible ways? In contrast, it is worth mentioning that there are some similarities between the biblical Succession Narrative and some ancient Near Eastern royal historical writings (see in detail, Ishida 1999, 107–136; however see also below note 41). For an additional critical review of Rudnig’s book, see Dietrich 2012, 267–272.


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The first two chapters of Kings are very closely related and neither of them can stand by itself;2 in fact, Solomon’s succession was finalized with the fulfillment of what is called “David’s testament” and the removal of his potential rivals (1 Kgs 2:1–46a); this matter in Kings and its counter account in Chronicles will be scrutinized as well.3 The present study follows the well-established and widely accepted view in historical-biblical scholarship that the books of Samuel–Kings were composed some time earlier than the book of Chronicles and that the major Vorlage of the Chronicler for the parallel texts in his book was Samuel–Kings.4 2. The Rise of Solomon 2.1 The Deuteronomistic History 2.1.1 The Last Days of David: Personal and Political Crisis The opening literary unit in Kings (1 Kgs 1:1–4) serves as an exposition to the central story that immediately follows, which is the succession of Solomon to the throne and “David’s testament” and its fulfillment (respectively 1 Kgs 1:5–53; 2:1–46a).5 In this unit the narrator notifies his potential audience of the factual setting behind the story that he is going to narrate,

2 See also DeVries 1985, 29: “there is nothing in chapter 3 to serve as chapter 2’s continuation.” The reason for having 3 Kingdoms begin at MT 1 Kgs 2:12 in LXXLuc clearly hangs together with the wish to end 2 Kingdoms with the death of David and create a new beginning for the reign of Solomon. In contrast, MT Kings starts with the events that led to Solomon’s kingship, including his co-regency with his father. 3 The relationship between MT 1 Kgs and LXX 3 Kingdoms is beyond the scope of this study. On this issue, see van Keulen 2005. 4 A. Graeme Auld has presented a somewhat too simplistic approach that attempts to demolish this consensus regarding the core source of Chronicles and the preferred historical status of (Samuel–) Kings over Chronicles; see Auld 1994. Based on Auld’s thesis, Raymond F. Person has recently argued that “the Deuteronomistic history and the book of Chronicles are Persian-period historiographies produced by two competing scribal guilds, the Deuteronomistic school and the Chronistic school, but that these historiographies are nevertheless based on the same broader tradition, including a common exilic source” (Person 2010, 163). However, this approach, which ignores the results of two centuries of diachronic research, has been sharply criticized from different viewpoints by a number of scholars and is actually completely rejected. See in detail Kalimi 2012, 498–517. 5 The exposition does not serve 2:13–25 only, as assumed by some scholars; see, for example, Montgomery and Gehman 1951, 71; Noth 1968, 13–14; Würthwein 1977, 10.

the rise of solomon in the israelite historiography


and thus enables them to evaluate the story on their own.6 It is told that the physical and spiritual conditions of King David were very unfortunate. The king was around his seventieth7—very old indeed for that time;8 in fact he would have been the oldest king of Judah ever.9 He was sick and weak, confined to his bed and isolated from the world. Although David was covered with several blankets (‫)בגדים‬,10 he was unable to keep his body warm.11 David’s officials (or “physicians,” so Josephus, Jewish Antiquities   6 Seemingly, the narrator was an eyewitness to the story he tells. He has a deep knowledge of the details and of the situation as a whole. Nonetheless, unawareness of the literary function of 1 Kgs 1:1–4 caused some scholars to offer baseless suggestions regarding the literary unity of the story. For example, Noth separated 1 Kgs 1:1a from 1b–4 and considered the latter as an original part of the story in 2:13–25, where Adonijah requests to have Abishag as a wife. Zalewski assumed that 1 Kgs 1:1–4 does not relate to the following story in 1 Kgs 1:5–8. See, respectively, Noth 1968, 13–14, and Zalewski 1981, 44.   7 2 Sam 5:4–5 and 1 Kgs 2:11 report that David became king when he was 30 years old and reigned 40 years. Thus, he was around 70 years old when he died (cf. Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 7.389; David Kimchi on 1 Kgs 1:1; Würthwein 1977, 9). Accordingly, the story under review took place shortly before David’s death. Yet, “40” is found sometimes in biblical literature as a typological number (e.g., Gen 7:12; 8:6; Exod 24:18; Judg 5:31; 8:28; 13:1; 1 Kgs 19:8; Jonah 3:4; Ps 95:10). However, occasionally it can also be an accurate historical reference. After all, one should be allowed to use this and other typological numbers (e.g., 3, 7, 10, 12) as reliable historical information as well.  8 Note that David in his 70s is defined by the narrator as, “King David was old and advanced in years” (1 Kgs 1:1a); Barzillai who was in his 80s is said to be “a very old man, eighty years old” (2 Sam 19:33 [ET: 32]).  9 See the table of the ages of the kings of Judah by Ishida 1977, 153–154. 10 The word ‫ בגדים‬in this context does not simply mean “clothes” (Kleider), as it is translated by many scholars (e.g., King James Version, Revised Standard Version, The New English Bible; Luther Bibel), but rather “blankets” (Decken) used as a bed cover. 11 Several assumptions have been made regarding David’s illness. For example, the Babylonian Talmud, Berachoth 62b, gave an ethical explanation: David was punished for his misbehavior by cutting the edge of Saul’s garment (1 Sam 24:5): “Rabbi Jose ben Rabbi Hanina said: Whoever treats garments contemptuously will in the end derive no benefit from them; for it says, ‘Now King David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with blankets, but he could get no heat.’ ” This interpretation is adopted by the medieval Jewish exegetes Rashi and David Kimchi in their commentaries on 1 Kgs 1:1. They also cite a Midrash that in their opinion is “closer” to the simple meaning of Scripture. The latter relates David’s cold body to the story in 2 Sam 24:17 (// 1 Chr 21:16): when David saw the angel with the sword in his hand, he feared and his blood got cold. Kimchi also adds that the many wars that David waged caused him to get old and weak earlier than normal, “and the old person the older he gets so his blood got colder and colder during the time.” Josephus ( Jewish Antiquities 7.343) also gave a physical reason: David’s old age caused his illness. Nonetheless, some modern physicians go beyond this and attempt to diagnose the exact medical problem that caused David’s sickness. Liubov (Louba) BenNoun of the Soroka University Medical Center of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Beer Sheva, Israel), is of the opinion that 1 Kgs 1:1 indicates that David was afflicted with hypothermia. “Among various diseases, the most likely to cause immobility and subsequent hypothermia are dementia, senile osteoporosis, hyperparathyroidism, or malignancy. Among these diseases, malignancy is the most acceptable” (see Ben-Noun 2002, 364). In another article (2004), Ben-Noun concludes, “Evaluation of the passages referring to King


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7.343)12 advised him to have “a young virgin” who will nurse him and sleep with him in order to keep his body warm (1:2).13 However, unlike David’s former self, he was not aroused even by the most beautiful young virgin in Israel—Abishag the Shunammite.14 The detailed description of the king’s condition and Abishag’s beauty and task (1:1–4b) ends with a brief anticlimactic expression: ‫“( והמלך לא ידעה‬but the king did not know her [sexually],” 1:4c).15 Thus, of the double task for which Abishag was brought to the king: ‫“( ותהי לו סכנת ושכבה בחיקך‬let her be his attendant, care-taker, let her lie in your bosom”), she fulfilled only the first and less important one, ‫“( ותהי למלך סכנת ותשרתהו‬she became the king’s attendant and nursed him”).16 The major purpose for bringing Abishag—‫—ושכבה בחיקך‬ could not be fulfilled, because the king had become so weak. There were a sufficient number of servants who could serve/nurse the king, but apparently no one was in a position to intimately warm his body. The poor physical and spiritual condition of David is also reflected in the central story. It is told that the king’s bedroom was converted into a chamber where he met not only his beloved wife, Bathsheba (1:15–16.28–31), but also his religious, military, and civil officials (1:22–23.32.47).17 Moreover, David indicates that he was afflicted by some mental disorder, and among the many possibilities, major depression, dysthymia and minor depression are the most likely. Of these diagnoses, major depression seems the most acceptable” (p. 467). 12 However, the word ‫ עבדיו‬in this context does not mean “his slaves” or “gentlemen of the bedchamber” (so, for instance, Montgomery and Gehman 1951, 71), who definitely were not capable of advising anything to the king. 13 It is a good example of what the author meant in his definition of the king’s absolute power: “And he will take your daughters to be . . .,” in fact, whatever he wants! (1 Sam 8:13). 14 The Syriac (Peshiṭta) and Arabic translators identify “Abishag the Shunammite” with the “Shulamite” mentioned in the Song of Songs 7:1 (ET: 6:13), and write “Abishag the Shulamite.” However, the word “Shunammite” indicates Abishag’s hometown Shunem, which is located in the territory of Issachar in the eastern plain of Jezreel ( Josh 19:18, see also 1 Sam 28:4; 2 Kgs 4:8). Similarly, “the great lady from Shunem” (2 Kgs 4:8) was called “the Shunammite” (4:12.25.36). For the survey of earlier discussions on this name, see Montgomery and Gehman 1951, 81–82; Mulder 1998, 35–36. 15 For the biblical term ‫“ ידע‬to know (a woman),” cf. Gen 4:1; 24:16; 38:26. 16 Cf. 1 Kgs 1:15c. It seems that ‫ ותשרתהו‬interprets the phrase ‫ותהי למלך סכנת‬. However, 1:15b+c is not an “unnecessary repetition” of 1:1–4, and therefore also it is not a later expansion as suggested by some commentators; see, for example, Klostermann 1887, 264; Gressmann 1921, 188. Rather, it is a brief retrospective recalling of David’s situation that was detailed earlier; cf. Würthwein 1977, 14; DeVries 1985, 11. Unacceptable, in my opinion, is the interpretation of David Kimchi (which was preferred by Cogan 2000, 159–160), that this verse tells us how “Bathsheba entered the chamber, even though the king was intimately in bed with Abishag, and no one was allowed to enter without permission, except her, for she was his wife.” Nathan enters the same chamber as “she is still talking with the king” (1:23), and he is immediately followed by Zadok and Benaiah (1:32). It is quite inconceivable that these officials entered the chamber, “though the king was intimately in bed with Abishag.” 17 Contra T. Veijola and E. Würthwein, there is no reason to consider 1 Kgs 1:46–48 as a late addition; see Würthwein 1977, 8 (and there reference to Veijola).

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when Bathsheba entered the bedroom, David approaches her distantly, as if she were a stranger, as he approached the woman of Tekoa (2 Sam 14:5). He addresses her straightforwardly: “What do you want?” (‫מה לך‬, 1 Kgs 1:16b).18 One may contrast this with the reaction of King Ahasuerus to Esther: “when the king saw Esther . . . Then said the king to her: ‘What do you wish Queen Esther and what is your request? It shall be given to you even to the half of the kingdom!’ ” (Esth 5:2–3). In any sense of the word, therefore, David was not himself. He could not function even according to the basic royal protocol and was incapable of investing any reasonable thought about his successor who would lead the kingdom in the future. A close reading of Samuel–Kings shows the following: 1. The political situation was not clear: there were good reasons to assume that one of David’s sons would inherit the throne and be king over Judah (/ the southern tribes), but would he also reign over Israel (/ the northern tribes)?19 With the latter, David had a special covenant “before the Lord” to reign over them (2 Sam 5:1–3). It was, as Albrecht Alt noted, a “personal union between the neighbor kingdoms;”20 the two kingdoms stood under the rule of one and the same king and this was accepted by both.21 Note, after the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam became king over the southern tribes (1 Kgs 11:43; 12:17). In order also to be able to reign over the northern tribes, he went to Shechem to receive their approval. However, because the new king refused to accept the tribes’ conditions the negotiations ended unsuccessfully and caused the United Kingdom to be divided (1 Kgs 12:1–16). 18  There is no reason to translate ‫ מה לך‬in 2 Sam 14:5 as “What aileth thee?” and in 1 Kgs 1:16b as “What wouldest thou?” (so the King James Version). Similarly also in the Revised Standard Version: in 2 Sam 14:5 as “What do you desire?” and in 1 Kgs 1:16b as “What is your trouble?” See also Luther Bibel: in 2 Sam 14:5 “Was hast du?” and in 1 Kgs 1:16b: “Was willst du?” Klostermann (1887, 191, 264) translates “was fehlt dir?” in 2 Sam 14:5, but in 1 Kgs 1:16b: “was ist dir?” Obviously, these translators were not aware of the fact that the same idiom occurs in both verses. 19  Cf. Würthwein 1977, 9–10. 20 “Personalunion zwischen Nachbarreichen” (see Alt 1964, vol. 2, 45–47). 21  Another example of personal union, from the beginning of the 8th century b.c.e., is the case of Zkr king of Hamat and La’ash—two political entities that agreed to be ruled by one king, just as David and Solomon were king of Israel and Judah (2 Sam 5:5; 1 Kgs 1:35); see Noth 1971, vol. 2, 136. There are further examples from different times in Europe: the personal union of England and Scotland in 1603 when King James VI of Scotland accessed to the throne of England and combined England and Scotland under the Scottish Crown. Well-known is the Austro-Hungarian personal union in 1867 under Franz Joseph I of the Habsburg dynasty, who became “Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary;” see Steed 1969, 28–39 esp. 32.


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2. David did not train nor appoint any of his sons to be his successor, king over Judah and Israel (1 Kgs 1:20). Now that he had grown old, sick, weak and isolated, he did not or could not say anything in this regard. Moreover, because of the relative novelty of the kingdom in Israel, there most likely was not even a recognized procedure of royal succession. 3. A look at the ancient Israelite dynastic succession narratives shows that, as a rule, the successor to the throne was the first-born son22 or the eldest surviving son of the king.23 However, if the king was still alive, his was the final decision as to who would be his successor (1:20.27b).24 4. After the death of Amnon, Chileab and Absalom (2 Sam 3:3; 13:1–30; 18:9–15),25 Adonijah became the eldest surviving son of David (1 Kgs 1:6c) and therefore the legitimate crown-prince and potential successor to the throne. This emerges not only from Adonijah’s assertion to Bathsheba, but also from Solomon’s own words to her. Adonijah said to Bathsheba, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign” (1 Kgs 2:15a). Solomon said to his mother, “And why do you ask Abishag the Shunemmite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also; for he is my elder brother” (2:22).

22 See, for instance, 2 Chr 21:3 (an “addition”): “And their father gave them many gifts of silver and of gold and of precious things, with fortified cities in Judah; but the kingdom he gave to Jehoram; because he was the first-born.” Although this information appears only in Chronicles, there is no reason to doubt its historical reliability. The custom of inheriting the throne by the first-born son is well known also from other ancient Near Eastern cultures. Compare 2 Chr 21:3a with 2 Chr 11:18–23 and see the discussion below, note 24. 23 See below, and Ishida 1977, 152, 154–155. 24 For this issue, see de Vaux 1961, 100–102. Rehoboam chose Abijah as his successor despite the fact that his eldest son was Jeush (2 Chr 11:18–23 esp. verse 22, an “addition”). There is no reasonable argument to doubt the historicity of this information in Chronicles. As already stated by Kittel, “Sie scheinen aus einer alten Quelle zu stammen” (1902, 126). In any case, there is no way to know if this text is based on the Chronicler’s Vorlage as was assumed by Benzinger 1901, 97. In principle, the story in Chronicles is not exceptional. Similarly, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, did not choose his eldest son as heir to the throne, but the youngest one—Esarhaddon (Aššur-aḥ-iddina), the son of his beloved Queen Naqî’a (= “The Pure One,” so the name in Aramaic; in Assyrian it was rendered as Zakûtum); see Lewy 1952, 271–272. In 672 b.c.e., Esarhaddon made his younger son, Ashurbanipal (668–627 b.c.e.) ruler of the Assyrian Empire, while his first-born son, Shamash-shumukin, became ruler of Babylonia; see Weidner and Parpola 1970, no. 129:3–13 (the text is on p. 102, its translation on p. 103). 25 We do not have any information on the second son of David, Chileab. He probably died at a young age. In 1 Chr 3:2 he was named “Daniel” (see Kalimi 2005a, 99–107 esp. 107).

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5. Adonijah attempted to gain attention, while stressing his noble status. He surrounded himself with a ceremonial trap and bodyguard: “a chariot and horsemen and fifty out-runners” (1 Kgs 1:5b).26 This act in itself is harmless. By doing so, Adonijah acted similarly to his late elder brother, Absalom (2 Sam 15:1), who also was not rebuked by his father for such an action; there was nothing wrong with it.27 Furthermore, Adonijah lobbied with all his brothers (except Solomon), with the high officials of the kingdom, particularly Joab, the chief commander of the army, and with the well-regarded priest Abiathar, and gained their support (1 Kgs 1:9). Again, by acting so Adonijah did not conduct any illegal deed—he did not rebel against his father as did Absalom (2 Sam 15:2–18:17). The narrator stresses this point by stating: “Adonijah the son of Haggith is exalting himself, saying, I will be king” (‫חגית‬-‫ואדוניה בן‬ ‫מתנשא לאמר אני אמלך‬, 1 Kgs 1:5a). Adonijah’s declaration refers to the future, to the time after the death of his father, David. He did not say: “I am a king,” in his father’s lifetime, as did Absalom: “Absalom is king at Hebron!” (‫מלך אבשלום בחברון‬, 2 Sam 15:10). It seems that the narrator mentions Absalom here (1 Kgs 1:5–6) as a contrast with Adonijah; despite some ceremonial (1:5b) and physical (1:6b) similarities between the brothers,28 the latter did not rebel against his father as did the former (2 Sam 15:7–12).29 Moreover, there is no indication in the Succession Narrative that Adonijah was announced a king at the banquet

26 See also 1 Sam 8:11, and compare to ‫“( הרצים‬the out-runners”) in 1 Sam 22:17; 1 Kgs 14:27–28 and 2 Kgs 10:25; 11:4.6.11; see also verse 19: ‫“( שער הרצים‬the gate of the ­out-runners”). Interestingly, Elijah honored the king of Israel and “ran before Ahab” (1 Kgs 18:46). Barrakab, the son of Panamu, king of Sam’al, testifies (730 b.c.e.): “I have been running at the wheel of my lord, the king of Assyria (= Tiglath-pileser III)” (see Pritchard 1969, 655a). As correctly noted by Cogan (2000, 157), “running by or in front of the king’s chariot signified honor and obeisance to one’s overlord.” 27 In 2 Sam 15:1 the set is: ‫( מרכבה וססים‬cf. 1 Kgs 5:6; 10:28–29), while in 1 Kgs 1:5 it is ‫( רכב ופרשים‬cf. 1 Kgs 9:19; 10:26). Both sets appear also in Solomon’s reign story. In fact, they are synonymous and refer to the same items (see, e.g., Exod 14:9.17–; 15:4.19; Ezek 26:7). Thus, there is no need to “correct” the text of 1 Kgs 1:5 according to the text in 2 Sam 15:1, as suggested by Klostermann 1887, 263, and accepted by Benzinger 1899, 2–3. For the same reason, it is very improbable to deduce from the set in 1 Kgs 1:5 that the “Solomonic historiographer” wanted to “mislead the reader with the false idea that Adonijah not only followed in the footsteps of Absalom but also had made the decisive step toward a rebellion by gathering a military force,” as suggested Ishida 1999, 115–116 esp. 116; and see also Cogan 2000, 157. 28 Compare, respectively, with 2 Sam 14:25 and 15:1. 29 Contra Ishida 1999, 117 who assumes that “the portrayal of Adonijah in 1 Kgs 1:5–6 was made from the consistently inimical viewpoint of the party opposing Adonijah.”


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in Ein Rogel (1 Kgs 1:9–10).30 Most likely it was an assembly of Adonijah’s close supporters and all the officials of Judah (‫כל אנשי יהודה עבדי‬ ‫המלך‬, 1:9c), in order to represent commonality among them and to show solidarity to the crown-prince.31 Under these circumstances and with the massive support of his brothers, the officials of the kingdom— including the key figures and the people, Adonijah had no reason to rebel. Rather, he was waiting for David, whose days were numbered, to pass away and serenely to inherit the throne. 6. The relationship of Absalom with his father was complicated after he murdered his brother Amnon (2 Sam 13:24–39). Even after his return from Geshur, the relationship was explosive, and in fact David did not want to see him (2 Sam 14:24). He had good reason to worry about his candidacy as his father’s successor, and therefore he became an usurper to the throne (2 Sam 15). In contrast, as much as we know from the sources, Adonijah did not have any conflict with his father. Accordingly he should not be worried that his father would reject him as a future successor, and had no reason to rebel against David. 7. The easy collapse of Adonijah’s party (1 Kgs 1:49) “shows that they had made no preparation for revolt and were taken by surprise by the court intrigue of Solomon’s factions. Otherwise, they would have offered armed resistance to David and Solomon.”32 8. According to 1 Kgs 2:5–6 David accused Joab of killing Abner, the son of Ner, and Amasa, the son of Jether. However, he did not accuse Joab of supporting the “rebellious” action of Adonijah, that is, announcing him as king in the life of his father and without his knowledge. 9. Abiathar was not accused in “David’s testament” as one who supported rebellion. Rather, his loyalty to David was highlighted even by Solomon: “I will not at this time put you to death, because you bore the ark (‫)ארון‬33 of the Lord God before David my father, and because you shared in all the affliction of my father” (2:26).

30 Contra Zalewski 1981, 45, 46, and there references to other scholars who held a similar opinion. 31  Note, that the narrator calls the people invited to the banquet of Adonijah ‫קראים‬ (“the guests,” 1 Kgs 1:41.49). The same term appears also in 2 Sam 15:11, in the description of Absalom. However, while in the case of Absalom the ‫ קראים‬had no idea whatsoever that he is going to rebel against his father (‫)הלכים לתמם ולא ידעו כל דבר‬, in the case of Adonijah everything was clear: he had already stated “I will be king!” 32 See Ishida 1999, 118. 33 Probably the word aron is a corruption of efod; see in detail Klostermann 1887, 271; Gray 1970, 108–109.

the rise of solomon in the israelite historiography


10. If Joab and Abiathar had collaborated with Adonijah against King David, how could they have continued to hold their high positions under the co-regency of David and Solomon?34 Nathan served as a court prophet for David,35 and held favor with him. Most likely, he was thought to have favor with his successor as well.36 However, for some reason he was unable to gain favor with Adonijah. It is unknown what exactly caused the tension between the two (and between their supporters).37 In any case, Nathan was not among the personalities who participated in Adonijah’s banquet (1 Kgs 1:8–10.26). Thus he conspired against Adonijah while actively supporting Solomon.38 2.1.2 Conspiracy in the Court: Nathan and Bathsheba Facing David In the Deuteronomistic history Nathan is portrayed as a wise man, both in his methods of delivering God’s words to David (2 Sam 7; 12) and when advising Bathsheba (1 Kgs 1) how to create an opportunity for placing her son Solomon on David’s throne.39 He takes advantage of the physical and mental conditions of David and manipulates him. He takes advantage of

34 Ishida 1999, 118. 35 Interestingly, the other court prophet of David—Gad (1 Sam 22:5; 2 Sam 24:11–19; 1 Chr 21:9; 29:29; 2 Chr 29:25)—is not mentioned in the Succession Narrative. 36 See in detail, below 2.1.2, “Conspiracy in the Court: Nathan and Bathsheba Facing David.” 37 The suggestion of some scholars (e.g., Ahlström 1961, 113–127) that it was a conflict between the party of Yahwism (represented by Abiathar, as the head of Adonijah’s supporters) and the Jebusite-Canaanite religion (represented by Zadok, as the head of Solomon’s supporters) is in fact baseless. The speculation around the Jebusite origin of Zadok is likewise “mountains which hang on a hair;” see also Ishida 1999, 111–112. 38 Nonetheless, Nathan was not a “sponsor” of Solomon and therefore he took his side (so Montgomery and Gehman 1951, 75). Giving a second name ( Jedidiah) to the infant Solomon does not verify this assumption. It rather conveys a message of hope that the second child born to David and Bathsheba will live: he was born legitimately for his parents and even has the divine blessing; see in detail, Kalimi, ‘The Love of God and Royal Apology’, forthcoming. 39 Wolfgang Oswald denies any existence of historical Nathan in the 10th century b.c.e. Rather, in his opinion, Nathan as described in 2 Sam 7; 12 and 1 Kgs 1 is an fictive literary figure that was created in the 7th and 6th centuries b.c.e.; see Oswald 2008. However, Oswald’s thesis depends on very thin literary-historical lines, and arise series of acute problems as correctly pointed out by Dietrich 2012, 277. Indeed, the detailed and accurate information in 1 Kgs 1–2 about the two parties struggling to succeed David’s throne, and that about Bathsheba, Abishag, Joab, Benaiah, Zadok and Shimei stem from ancient informative source(s) rather than they were invented by someone in the late Judahite monarchic time (by whom and for what purpose? and why particularly at that time?).


isaac kalimi

the passive personality of Bathsheba and uses her as a tool,40 in order to make David reject his eldest living son—Adonijah—from the throne, and to choose—Solomon—his younger son, the one of Bathsheba.41 A close examination of 1 Kgs 1:5–10 yields the following: 1.  Nathan’s question to Bathsheba, “Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and our lord David does not know it?” (1:11), is inaccurate. Adonijah did not declare himself a king (see above). Accordingly, both the claim of Nathan (1:11.13.24–25) and that of Bathsheba, which is based on Nathan’s (1:18), are false. This is part of a conspiracy, taking advantage of David’s miserable condition. 2. Nathan alerts Bathsheba that in case Adonijah would be king, her life and that of Solomon would be at risk (1:12, see also 1:21). But such an assumption is baseless. Why should Adonijah kill her and his own halfbrother?42 He did not invite Solomon to his banquet, perhaps because he did not consider the young teenager important enough or because of the scandals that lead to his very existence (2 Sam 11–12). It does not necessarily imply that he would slay him anyway. 3. Nathan and Bathsheba introduce Joab and Abiathar as supporters of the “rebellious” son Adonijah. By doing so they try to horrify the old, weak and sick David, who was experiencing the devastating rebellion of Absalom. They conspire to make him feel that he is in a very dangerous situation and that immediate action must be taken (1:19).

40 Bathsheba is presented in the biblical stories as one who has no “personality,” but is a passive figure: David calls her and sleeps with her, though she was married to Uriah the Hittite (2 Sam 11:3–4), she stays silent. Following the murder of her husband, she mourns for him (i.e., she performed the appropriate mourning rituals). But when David “sent for her and brought her into his house” and she became his wife, we do not hear her own thoughts on this matter, though “what David had done was wrong . . .” (2 Sam 12:26–27). Nathan initiated her visit to David and she simply co-operates with him (1 Kgs 1:11–14). Her reaction to Adonijah’s request to have Abishag as a wife, and her appeal to Solomon to fulfill it, which was in fact making a claim on the kingdom (1 Kgs 2:13–25; cf. Gen 35:22; 2 Sam 12:8; 16:21–22), is just more evidence of her naïve and easily manipulated ­personality. Of course, one could claim that it is the narrator of the throne succession story who did describe her as a not very insightful person. However, the accumulative cases lead to conclude that most likely she was a passive and naïve personality, one who was easily and usually manipulated by others. 41  This is not an exceptional courtyard intrigue episode. There are several analogies for this in ancient and modern world history; see the examples collected by Montgomery and Gehman 1951, 74–75. See also above, notes 1 and 24. 42  Contra Gray 1970, 96, who claims that “Adonijah . . . himself was probably prepared to mete out to his rival (= Solomon, I.K.) had he been successful.”

the rise of solomon in the israelite historiography


4. Nathan advises Bathsheba to manipulate the old and sickly David whose memory was no longer reliable, by saying “Did you not, my lord, O king, swear to your maidservant, saying, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne’?” (1:13 see also 1:17). The claim to make Solomon a king is based on David’s oath/promise. But such a promise had not been mentioned in any place. If indeed David ever made such an important promise to Bathsheba, there would certainly have been left a trace in the stories of David in the book of Samuel. It would be known at least to David’s nephew and longtime loyal chief commander, Joab (who kept David’s secret regarding Uriah), and to his friend and priest, Abiathar. The fact that David did not make such a promise to Bathsheba is confirmed also from Bathsheba’s words: “But you, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him” (1:20). These words contradict her saying in verse 1:17 regarding the promise that David made to her. If David already promised her that Solomon will reign after him, why does no one in Israel know about it? 5. Nathan presents his talking to Bathsheba as “an advice” (‫עצה‬, 1:12a). He adds that he will help and support her: “While you still talking there with the king, I also will come in after you, and confirm your words” (‫ ;ומלאתי את דבריך‬1:14). If there were such a promise, why should he “advise” her to say so and not simply remind her of the promise that she got from the king? And why was there a need for Nathan’s confirmation of it? Nathan should say something like: “go and remind the king . . .,” rather than “go and say to the king. . . .”43 Furthermore, in meeting with David, Nathan does not mention any promise that the king made to Bathsheba (1:23–27).44 In addition, the overt behavior of Bathsheba and Nathan in front of David is unusual. Nathan’s behavior is totally different from that in 2 Sam 12 where he stood in front of David and pointed out, “You (= David) are the (evil) man!” (2 Sam 12:7a). Here, however, when he enters David’s 43 See Ehrlich 1900, repr. 1969, 264. 44 Some scholars do not question the “advice” of Nathan and assume David’s promise to Bathsheba actually occurred; so, for example, Kaufmann 1966, 180–184 (Hebrew); Robinson 1972, 28 (“It is described as a solemn oath, though we might think it to have been the kind of thing that a king would say to his favourite wife”); Bright 19813, 210; Zalewski 1981, 46–57. Some of these scholars deny David’s weak spiritual condition at the end of his life and believe that the promise of David to Bathsheba was given privately, even “strictly confidentially;” therefore nobody knew about it. Kaufmann (1966, 182–184) and Zalewski (1981, esp. 54–55) even attempted to “rehabilitate” the broken dignity of Nathan.


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c­ hamber, “he bowed before the king with his face to the ground” (1 Kgs 1:23b). As already stated by Arnold B. Ehrlich, “the prophet who stood in front of the king and talked justice and truth in the name of the Lord is not similar to the prophet who talked to his king and praised his son. . . .”45 Indeed, Martin Noth correctly notices: “Nathan appears in the story as a conspirator who understands it very well, to move in the circles of the royal court and to arrange everything in the way to achieve his desired goal.”46 Yehezkel Kaufmann’s suggestion that in 2 Sam 12 Nathan appeared in front of David as God’s messenger, while in 1 Kgs 1 he acted privately as one of the king’s officials,47 does not eliminate the conflicted personalities of Nathan. Also the behavior of Bathsheba, who “bowed and prostrated herself before to the king” (1:16), reflects a flattering relationship between the two. All in all, Nathan and Bathsheba succeed in making the old and sick David believe that he had solemnly promised to Bathsheba that her son would be king. They heighten the awareness of the dying king, and he reacted immediately in favor of Solomon (1:28–35). Finally, the flattering words of the officer of the mercenary guard, who also was not invited to Adonijah’s banquet (1:10.26) and most likely desired to replace the chief commander Joab, complete the conspiracy: “And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada reacted to the king, and said, Amen; so say the Lord God of my lord the king too. As the Lord has been with my lord the king, so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David” (1:36–37, cf. 1:47). Thus, Solomon did not succeed to the throne by force and bloodshed, but nor did he in a just and right way. He was not even elected by the people or chosen by the king or God. Solomon became a king because of powerful party intrigues in the palace courtyard, taking advantage of David’s condition.48 After Solomon’s accession we do not hear anymore of or about Nathan. Apparently he continued to keep his position as the court prophet. Also, 45 Compare Ehrlich 1900, 265. 46 “Nathan aber erscheint in der Erzählung als ein Intrigant, der es sehr gut versteht, sich in Kreise des königlichen Hofes zu bewegen und alles so zu arrangieren, dass das von ihm erstrebte Ziel erreicht wird;” see Noth 1968, 40. 47 Kaufmann 1966, 180–184. 48 As such, the story could probably be publicized at the end of or after Solomon’s reign. Contra Ishida (1999, 110), who assumes that there is no anti-Solomonic criticism in the Succession Narrative and that in this story “Solomon plays the role of a legitimate successor to the throne, while David and Adonijah play the roles of an incompetent predecessor and an unworthy rival prince.” It seems that Ishida imposes here the ancient Near Eastern feature of apologetic royal stories on the biblical Succession Narrative.

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his sons were given principle positions by Solomon: “Azariah son of Nathan was over the governors (of the districts; ‫;)על הנצבים‬49 and Zabud (LXXLuc.: Ζαχουρ or Zακχουρ; Peshiṭta: Zbwr)50 son of Nathan was an official, the king’s friend (= adviser);51 ‫( ”כהן רעה המלך‬1 Kgs 4:5).52 Moreover, those who supported Nathan and Solomon replaced the high positions of those that supported Adonijah: Zadok replaced Abiathar, and Benaiah replaced Joab (1 Kgs 2:35). It seems therefore that the intrigue and conspiracy in the Succession Narrative was above all a power struggle: the chief conspirator (Nathan) supported the young son of Bathsheba in order to guarantee his own current position and obtain high positions for his sons. Zadok and Benaiah joined him in order to achieve better and higher positions for themselves. Bathsheba wished her son to become a king, and herself the “Queen-Mother” (‫ ;הגבירה‬1 Kgs 2:19, see also 15:13 [// 2 Chr 15:16]; 2 Kgs 10:13; 2 Kgs 24:15 [“king’s mother”] // Jer 29:2 [ gebīra]; Jer 13:18).53 2.2 The Chronistic History The Chronicler excludes the story of Nathan’s engagement with Bathsheba against the rightful successor, Adonijah (1 Kgs 1:11–53). In order completely to cover Nathan’s tracks he also omits the list of Solomon’s administrative officials (1 Kgs 4). According to the Chronicler, Nathan was not actively involved in the election and coronation of Solomon. His role is limited to 49 It seems that in the Northern Kingdom the parallel term for ‫ נצבים‬was ‫;שרי המדינות‬ see Mettinger 1971, 124. 50 The variations of the name stem from the interchange of the Hebrew letters ‫כ‬/‫ ב‬and ‫ר‬/‫ ד‬that are graphically similar. On this phenomenon in the Hebrew language and biblical manuscripts and translations, see Sperber 1939, 153–249 esp. 167 (§21) and 168 (§23). 51  The word ‫ כהן‬does not appear in the most important manuscripts of the Septuagint. Usually, it is assumed to be a late gloss (e.g., de Vaux 1961, 128). Presumably, ‫ כהן‬in the context under review means perhaps an “official” or “civil servant,” rather than the common meaning, “priest.” It was added in the margin of the text to explain the uncommon title ‫רעה המלך‬, which was not clear anymore to the readers. Cf. Benzinger 1899, 18. Another possible—but less likely—explanation: a glossator identified the second name “Nathan” with “Nathan” son of David who was ‫( כהן‬2 Sam 5:14). Accordingly, he added the word ‫כהן‬ here as well. 52 Cf. Ehrlich 1900, 276; contra Würthwein 1977, 40, who doubts that Azariah and Zabud were brothers and both were sons of Nathan the prophet. The Chronicler mentions only one of Nathan’s sons, “Zabud the son of Nathan” (1 Chr 2:36), without his official title “priest and the king’s friend.” Probably, because the priesthood has been given to Aaron and his sons, and Nathan did not belong to that clan. Nathan himself was mentioned several times in 1 Chr 17, and in 29:29. 53 On the “Queen-Mother” in the Hebrew Bible and ancient Near Eastern cultures, see Marsman 2003, 345–370.


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what is said about his prophecy in 1 Chr 17 (// 2 Sam 7). The Chronicler did not want to present God’s messenger in a negative way. He clearly also did not want to show that the builder of the Temple gained the throne as a result of court intrigues and manipulations. Because the Chronicler omitted the main story (1 Kgs 1:11–53), he also left out the setting (or the exposition) of that story (1:1–4). The omission of 1 Kgs 1:1–4 also fits well with the principle of reward and punishment that guides Chronistic history: because being healthy or sick is considered as a reward or a punishment,54 the description of David as sick, weak and bedridden, might be interpreted as a punishment for his transgression(s).55 The Chronicler desired to avoid such an impression. He describes David as an aged man (1 Chr 23:1), but one who is still healthy, energetic and very active. David makes a census of the Levites and organizes them in divisions (1 Chr 23:1–32); he organizes the priests in divisions (1 Chr 24:1–19), as well as the singers (1 Chr 25:1–31), gatekeepers, and others (1 Chr 26:1–32). David assembles the people in Jerusalem, stands on his feet and delivers a long and impressive speech.56 He prays, appoints Solomon as a king, and celebrates the occasion with all Israel (1 Chr 28–29). The setting as described in Kings is replaced in Chronicles by one that pictures the many activities of the aged David and the peaceful and smooth coronation of Solomon by his father, brothers, kingdom’s officials, and all Israel. The Chronicler that omitted all the negative stories about David (e.g., 2 Sam 11–12) and presented him as a role model for all the kings to come (e.g., 2 Chr 11:17 [an “addition”]; 2 Chr 7:10 // 1 Kgs 8:66), now described him as a righteous person who spent his last days without any physical, mental and political problems. David was not sick and weak in his last years, because he did not sin. Contrarily, he was healthy and active as a result of doing right in the sight of the Lord. The Chronicler also presents a new narrative, “the correct one,” instead of the one in 1 Kgs 1:5–53 that he omits. According to his understanding of several earlier texts, what really happened was the fulfillment of the divine plan. The decision about who would be the next king over Israel was not only David’s (1 Kgs 1:20.27.43). Rather, it was, first and ­foremost, God’s 54 On this issue see for example, regarding the sickness of King Asa of Judah, 2 Chr 16:7–12 (cf. with 1 Kgs 15:12); 2 Chr 21:18–19; 26:16–21; 32:24–26; Exod 15:26; Deut 7:15 (in case of keeping the Lord’s law); 28:27.35 (in case of not keeping the Lord’s law). 55 Already the Talmudic and medieval Sages considered David’s sickness and weakness as a punishment for his earlier misbehavior; see above note 11. 56 This in a clear contrast to the short blessing to the Lord that he states from his bed according to 1 Kgs 1:47b–48.

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decision, because the throne belongs to Him.57 Solomon was chosen to reign over Israel by God himself, and David simply followed divine commandment, rather than the last minute decision that the circumstances forced him to make (1 Kgs 1:32–35). Where did the Chronicler get his inspiration for his narrative? Clearly, it cannot have been based on 1 Kgs 1, because there Nathan intrigues and speaks privately rather than in God’s name or prophetical authority. Most likely the Chronicler found some base in such texts that intended to legitimate Solomon’s succession: 1.  Divine attention towards Solomon is expressed most strongly in 2 Sam 12:24–25: “she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon; and the Lord loved him. (therefore) He sent word through Nathan the prophet that for the sake of the Lord (‫ )בעבור יהוה‬he (= Solomon) should be given the name Yedidyah.”58 2. There is also David’s approval in 1 Kgs 1:48: “Blessed be the Lord, the King of Israel, who today has granted one of my offspring to sit on my throne and permitted me to witness it.” 3. Later on, even Solomon’s rival, Adonijah, states: “I should reign; but the kingdom is turned about, and has become my brother’s (= Solomon’s); for it was his from the Lord” (1 Kgs 2:15b). 4. Solomon’s reaction to Adonijah includes the assertion: “as the Lord lives, who has established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has set up a house (i.e., a family, dynasty) for me,59 as he promised” (1 Kgs 2:24).60 5. In Gibeon, Solomon replies to God: “And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king instead of David my father” (1 Kgs 3:7a). The Chronicler not only takes over this information (2 Chr 1:8b), but also strengthens the king’s statement by adding: “for You (= God) have 57 See 1 Chr 17:14; 29:11; 2 Chr 13:8, and below in the text. 58 See in detail, Kalimi, ‘The Love of God and Royal Apology,’ forthcoming. 59 For the idiom ‫“( אשר עשה לי בית‬who set up a house for me,”) cf. Exod 1:21; 2 Sam 7:11, and see Paul 2005. 60 In this verse the words: ‫יהוה אשר הכינני ויושיביני על כסא דוד אבי ואשר עשה לי בית‬ ‫ כאשר דבר‬. . . (“the Lord who has established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house [i.e., dynasty], as he promised”) are referring to Nathan’s prophecy to David in 2 Sam 7:11b-12: ‫והגיד לך יהוה כי בית יעשה לך‬ ‫ והקימתי את זרעך אחריך אשר יצא ממעיך והכינתי את ממלכתו‬. . . ‫“( יהוה‬Also the Lord tells you that he will make you a house . . . I will set up your seed after you, who shall issue from your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom”). This sentence, therefore, was composed by the Deuteronomistic historian and attributed to Solomon. This historian attempts to show the fulfillment of God’s words by his prophet; see also below, note 105.


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made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude” (‫ ;כי אתה המלכתני על עם רב כעפר הארץ‬2 Chr 1:9b). 6. The author/editor of Kings has the Queen of Sheba say: “May the Lord your God who chooses you be blessed, to place you on the throne of Israel. Because the Lord loves Israel forever, He appoints you king . . . ” (‫יהי יהוה‬ ‫אלהיך ברוך אשר חפץ בך לתתך על כסא ישראל באהבת יהוה את ישראל‬ . . . ‫לעלם וישימך למלך‬, 1 Kgs 10:9–10 // 2 Chr 9:8). 7. The Chronicler used passages from Ezra-Nehemiah in several ­places.61 Probably he noticed Nehemiah’s statement regarding Solomon’s accession to the throne: “and God made him king over all Israel” (‫ויתנהו‬ ‫אלהים מלך על כל ישראל‬, Neh 13:26). According to this line of thought and through the interpretation of these passages, the Chronicler pictured Solomon as a divinely chosen king. He states this very clearly and straightforwardly, and prepares his audience for it already in his description of David’s reign: (a) The Chronicler presents the young king as one who was named “Solomon” by God even before he was born (1 Chr 22:5–11, an “addition”).62 Solomon’s relationship with God is defined metaphorically by the adoption formula.63 He was appointed to be a king and to build the Temple before he was born: “The word of the Lord came to me (= David), saying . . . a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies around; for his name shall be Solomon . . . He shall build a house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.” The motif of being divinely appointed for a position while still in the mother’s womb is known from prophetical literature ( Jer 1:4–5 and Isa 49:1)—from where the Chronicler probably took the notion—, as well as from ancient Near Eastern royal inscriptions.64 61  See Kalimi 2005a, 8–9, 129–130, 141, 320–322; idem 2005b, 90–92. 62 For more details on this issue see Kalimi 2013. 63 For the adoption formula “he shall be my son and I will be his father,” see the detail discussion and bibliographical references in Cooke 1961, 202–225; and Kalimi 2005a, 264–265. 64 For example, Aššur-reš-iši I, king of Assyria (1132–1115 b.c.e.), declared to be one “whom the great gods, Anu, Enlil, and Ea, truly chose (lit. requested, when he was still) inside his mother” (see Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, vol. 1 [A], part I, p. 146a, no. 2); Esarhaddon, king of Assyria (681–669 b.c.e.): “The great gods designated (me) king of the upper and l[ower] lands . . . (already) in the womb of my mother who bore me . . . for rule of all the lands . . .” (Borger 1967, 115, §82:7–10; Luckenbill 1927, vol. 2, 223, §571); Assurba-

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(b) The Chronicler repeats this notion once again in 1 Chr 28 (an “addition”). He has David give a speech, describing Solomon as God’s chosen king, and he does it by using the literary numerical pattern of “three– four (or “three + one”),” mentioning Solomon in the fourth and final place (28:4–5):65 1.  For He selected Judah as monarch,66 2. and in the house of Judah, my ancestral house, 3. from my father’s sons, he wanted to install me as king over all Israel. 4. And of all my sons—for the Lord has given me many sons—he selected my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over ­Israel.67 Once more, the Chronicler continues and asserts: “And He (= God) said to me (= David), Solomon, your son, shall build my house and my courts; for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father” (1 Chr 28:6–7). In the latter verse (as well as in 1 Chr 22:10) the Chronicler relates the assertions that he attributes to David with Nathan’s prophecy in 1 Chr 17:11–13 (// 2 Sam 7:12–14), and shows them to be a fulfillment of that prophetical promise: And it shall come to pass, when your days are fulfilled, when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will rise up your offspring (lit., seed) after you, who shall be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me a house (= Temple) and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son . . . .

nipal (668–627 b.c.e.) announced: “I, Assurbanipal . . . whom Aššur and Sin, the lord of the crown, already in the distant past had called by name for ruling, and already in his mother’s womb had created him for the shepherding of Assyria” (see Streck 1916, vol. 2, I:1–5; pp. 2 [text], and 3 [translation]). For additional examples and for more details, see Cooke 1961, 202–225; Paul 1968; Kalimi 1986, vol. 10, 231–232 (Hebrew); Pike 2007. Later, the phenomenon also was used by the evangelist Matthew regarding Jesus: “She (= Mary) will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt 1:21; cf. Luke 2:21). None of the scholars paid attention to the appearance of the phenomenon under review in Chronicles and Matthew/Luke. 65 See in detail, Kalimi 2005a, 365; idem 2013. 66 In fact, Judah is also mentioned in the fourth place among Jacob’s sons: after the first three sons—Reuben, Simeon, and Levi—had been rejected because of their wicked acts, Judah took the favorable position (Gen 49:3–12; and see also ibid., 34; 35:22). 67 A similar literary structure appears already in the case of the election of Saul in 1 Sam 10:20–21. However, in the latter the structure is 2–3 (Benjamin, Mitri, Saul) rather than 3–4.


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(c) The author of Chronicles also stresses the actual fulfillment of the divine promises: Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him. And all the officials, and the mighty men, and likewise all the sons of King David, submitted themselves to Solomon the king. And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel. (1 Chr 29:23–25; an “addition”)

Thus, the Chronicler clearly turns Solomon into a divinely chosen king, as were Saul and David who had preceded him.68 In contrast to 1 Kgs 1–2, and perhaps in order to cover up the story of Solomon’s scandalous access to the throne, the Chronicler presents the new king as a fully legitimate one: he was chosen by the Lord and king David. The succession was completely harmonious. All heavenly and earthly forces combined together to make it a successful occasion: God himself called his name Solomon and appointed him—already in his mother’s womb—to be a king over Israel and to build his Temple. This notion was adopted and supported by David as well as all Israel, all the kingdom’s officials, mighty men, and all the sons of David (‫)כל בני המלך דויד‬, including Adonijah and those who supported him (1 Kgs 1:9.19.25).69 Presenting Solomon as a divinely chosen king, automatically puts into question the plausibility of the account in the book of Kings. Who could oppose one who was chosen by the Lord himself, by David and his sons and officials, and all of Israel? Accordingly, the Chronicler omits the story of Kings altogether.70 3. The Coronation of Solomon 3.1 The Coronation Ceremony: Kings versus Chronicles The author of the Succession Narrative in Kings lively recounts the coronation of Solomon. Under the above mentioned circumstances in David’s palace yard, the rush coronation of Solomon was undertaken not by the king’s top-rate officials, the chief commander of the army ( Joab) and the 68 See 1 Sam 9:16–10:1; 15:1.10.35 (Saul); 1 Sam 16:1–13; 2 Sam 7:8 // 1 Chr 7:17; Ps 89:4 (David). In fact, the motif of divine chosen of a king was common also in other ancient Near Eastern cultures. See above note 64. 69 Adonijah is mentioned just once in the genealogical list of the Davidic dynasty; 1 Chr 3:2 // 2 Sam 3:4. 70 Cf. Kalimi 2009b, esp. 188 note 55.

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priest (Abiathar) who supported Adonijah (1:7; 2:22.28), but by relatively lower-rate officials, Zadok the priest, Benaiah the officer of the mercenaries, and the prophet Nathan (1:32, cf. 8, 10, 38, 44). The story goes as follows: Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet take Solomon on a royal mule—David’s own,71 and ride down to Gihon. For safety purposes, Benaiah and his mercenaries accompany them, in case of a possible unexpected disturbance from Adonijah’s supporters or anyone else. In Gihon, Nathan and Zadok anoint Solomon king over Israel,72 with the oil preserved in a horn that was kept in the Tent.73 The people blow trumpets and shout “(long) life to King Solomon!,”74 play flutes, raise their voices, and rejoice.75 Solomon is to return and sit on David’s throne and reign as a co-regent, but with the intention to succeed him (1 Kgs 1:46; 2:12a).76 These core features of the story are repeated three times: once in David’s order to coronate Solomon (1:32–35); once in the fulfillment of the order (1:38–40); and a third time in the report of Jonathan son of Abiathar to Adonijah and Joab (1:44–48).77 71 For the mention that the king had a special mule/horse, see also Esth 6:8b and 6:9–11, that speaks about a specific horse—“the horse” (‫)הסוס‬. 72 In ancient Israel, the king was anointed by a priest and/or prophet. Thus, the prophet and priest Samuel anointed Saul (1 Sam 10:1) and David (16:13); the prophet Ahiah the Shilonite anointed Jeroboam son of Nebat (1 Kgs 11:29–31); the disciple of the prophet Elisha anointed Jehu as king of Israel (2 Kgs 9:1–14); Jehoiada the high priest anointed Joash (2 Kgs 11:12–14). 73  “The Tent” is the one that was erected by David for the Ark (2 Sam 6:17); it is mentioned also later on in 1 Kgs 2:28; 8:4 (// 2 Chr 5:5). 74 Compare 1 Sam 10:24 (Saul); 2 Sam 16:16 (Hushai the Gethite to Absalom), 1 Kgs 1:25 (Adonijah); 2 Kgs 11:12 ( Joash). 75 On this issue, see Kalimi 2010, esp. 567. 76 Presumably, the coronation took place according to a set protocol. Indeed, at least some elements of Solomon’s coronation appear also in the description of the coronation of Joash of Judah (2 Kgs 11:12–14): Jehoiada the high priest, accompanied with the commanders of army units, carries Joash to the Temple and places the crown on the head of Joash, presents him with a copy of the covenant, and anoints him as a king. The people clap and shout, “long live the king!” The people were playing trumpets and rejoicing. For a more detailed comparison of the stories, see de Vaux 1961, 102–107. 77 Such repetition of a story is common in biblical as well as Ugaritic literature. For example, the story about Rebecca’s meeting with the servant of Abraham is repeated four times (Gen 24:12–14.17–21.42–44.45–46); similarly the dreams of Pharaoh (Gen 41:1–7.17–24); the description of the Tabernacle is repeated twice: once when God orders Moses (Exod 25:1–31:11) and once when Moses fulfills it (Exod 35:4–39:43). The inauguration offers of the Israelite chiefs is repeated twelve times (Num 7:12–83). The list of the things that the son of Danel will do to him is repeated four times in the Acts of Danel; see Cassuto 1965, 34–36 (Hebrew). In the late first century c.e., Flavius Josephus probably was not familiar anymore with this feature of biblical and ancient Near Eastern literature. Therefore, he omitted the detailed repetitions and just wrote “she (= Bathsheba) recounted to him (= David) all that the prophet had suggested . . .” ( Jewish Antiquities 7.350), “When he


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A different picture emerges from the book of Chronicles: 1 Chr 23:1 recounts in general that “when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel,” without detailing when, where, and how it happened. In 1 Chr 29:20–25 the Chronicler responds to these issues meticulously: “And they ate and drank before the Lord on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king a second time (‫)שנית‬,78 and anointed him to the Lord to be a king (‫)לנגיד‬.”79 The eating and drinking is mentioned only in Chronicles, but most likely it was also part of the celebration according to Kings. The author was interested in stressing Solomon’s anointment and the rejoicing of the people that expresses their happiness on the occasion. For the Chronicler the important thing is that Solomon was God’s chosen anointed king; other details of the coronation ceremony could be left out as superfluous. Apparently he was not aware of the protocol involved with the coronation of a king in the monarchic period. Chronicles shares with Kings only the cardinal features, that is, the anointment of Solomon and his coronation, which ends with Solomon’s sitting on the throne. Yet he does note the many sacrifices that were performed for the Lord on that important occasion (1 Chr 29:21),80 which appears also in Kings. For the Chronicler and his Temple community the pious action of sacrifice has a special ­importance. 3.2 Were There Two Coronations? Only two kings are said to have been anointed as king more than once: (a) 1 Sam 9:27–10:1 narrates that the prophet Samuel anointed Saul privately (10:1). Later, he introduced Saul as a chosen king before the people who were assembled in Mitzpa, and the people affirmed loudly, “Long life to the King!” (10:17–24). However, there were some people who were not impressed by Saul’s leadership ability (10:27). Therefore, following Saul’s (= Jonathan) told them all about Solomon and the decision of King David . . .” (ibid., 7.360). See Thackeray and Marcus 1934, 548–549, 552–555. 78 On the word ‫“( שנית‬a second time”), see the discussion below. 79 The term ‫ נגיד‬means here “king,” as it appears in the following verse (29:23), and as it correctly was translated in Septuagint (βασιλέα); see also 1 Chr 11:2 and compare Ps 76:13, where ‫ נגיד‬occurs as a synonym to ‫ ;מלך‬1 Sam 9:16; 10:1; 13:14; 25:30; 2 Sam 6:21; 1 Kgs 1:35; 2 Kgs 20:5; Ezek 28:1–19. 80 Note the chiastic structure that the Chronicler creates at the first part of the verse: ‫ ויעלו עלות ליהוה‬/ ‫“( ויזבחו ליהוה זבחים‬they performed for the Lord sacrifices / and they offered burnt offerings for the Lord”). This literary form is very common in the Chronistic writing; see Kalimi 2005a, 215–231 (compare also pp. 232–274).

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victory of the Ammonites, Samuel assembled the people in Gilgal, and there all the people “announced him a king” (11:14–15). (b) 1 Sam 16:1–13 recounts that the prophet Samuel anointed David privately. Following the death of Saul, David was anointed two more times— on Judah (2 Sam 2:4a), and two years later on the northern tribes of Israel (2 Sam 5:1–3). Both times the anointment took place in Hebron. Were there two coronations of Solomon as well? Based on the Masoretic Text of 1 Chr 29:22, “And they made Solomon the son of David king a second time (‫ ”)שנית‬some ancient, medieval and modern scholars are of the opinion that this was indeed the case. Josephus Flavius, for instance, describes that the first coronation of Solomon took place in front of the people of Jerusalem, as detailed in 1 Kgs 1 ( Jewish Antiquities 7.354–358). Later, Josephus follows the description in 1 Chr 29:20–25 and describes “the second coronation,” which was in front of the officials of all the Israelite tribes: “And throughout the whole day the king feasted with all people, and they anointed Solomon with oil a second time and proclaimed him king . . .” ( Jewish Antiquities 7.382).81 The same view was held by some medieval Jewish exegetes, such as Pseudo-Rashi and David Kimchi, in their commentaries on 1 Chr 29:22. At the end of the 19th century, a comparable opinion was stated by William E. Barnes: “The first time is described in 1 Kgs 1:39 (Solomon was hastily anointed in order to assert his claim to the throne against his brother Adonijah).”82 Nearly 83 years later, Hugh G.M. Williamson noted: “the Chronicler was writing here with 1 Kgs 1 in mind . . . .”83 However, it is doubtful that the Chronicler, who negated Kings’ story about the succession of Solomon, and invested much literary effort to reconstruct a different story, would have hinted to Kings. Saul Zalewski explained the necessity of two coronations as follows: the first one was a private, “quick coronation” which is mentioned in 1 Chr 23:1; the second was public, with great celebration, which is detailed in 1 Chr 29:20–25.84 Nonetheless, there is no hint of two coronations of Solomon in early biblical historiography. It is hard to imagine that Solomon was crowned twice and that the Deuteronomistic historian simply omitted one. Why should he omit any of them or specifically the second one? On the other hand, why should the Chronicler invent an extra coronation 81  Thackeray and Marcus 1934, 350–353, 564–565. 82 Barnes 1899, 140. 83 Williamson 1982, 187. Williamson does not refer to Josephus, the commentaries ascribed to Rashi, Kimchi, or Barnes. The latter also did not refer to those earlier scholars. For this phenomenon in biblical scholarship, see Kalimi 2009, 6–7. 84 Zalewski 1981, 224–225.


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for Solomon? As the case is presented in Chronicles, there is no reason to assume two enthronements of Solomon. In fact, the word ‫ שנית‬does not appear in Septuagint (B—Vaticanus) and Peshiṭta. Presumably, the word is a gloss. The glossator wished to harmonize 1 Chr 28–29 (especially 28:1–10; 29:20–25) with 1 Chr 23:1, which states that David has made Solomon king over Israel. This reasonable explanation, which is based on the textual variants of Chronicles, has been suggested by several scholars in the past centuries.85 I would like to strengthen this explanation from a literary viewpoint: 1 Chr 23:1 is a general assertion, for which the particular details appear in 1 Chr 28–29. Such literary device of ‘general—particular’ is common in the Chronicler’s historical writing.86 3.3 Sitting on “the Throne of the Lord” The Deuteronomistic historian asserts that Solomon sat upon “the throne of his father David” (1 Kgs 2:12a, cf. 1:46). The Chronicler, however, presents a unique notion: Solomon did not sit upon an earthly throne, but rather upon “the throne of the Lord as king (‫ )למלך‬instead of David his father . . .” (1 Chr 29:23).87 This was actually the fulfillment of the divine will, as stated by David: “He chose Solomon to sit on the throne of the Lord over Israel” (1 Chr 28:5). This notion appears once again—for the third time—in the words that the Chronicler ascribes to the Queen of Sheba: “Blessed be the Lord your God who has . . . to place you (= Solomon) on His throne as his king” (2 Chr 9:8, instead of the earlier parallel text in 1 Kgs 10:9: “to place you on the throne of Israel”). How should this be understood? Several times in his work, the Chronicler says that the throne belongs to the Lord. In 1 Chr 17:14 he writes: “in My (= the Lord’s) house and My kingdom,” instead of: “your (= David’s) house and kingdom,” as in the parallel text in 2 Sam 7:16.88 According to 1 Chr 29:11 (an “addition”), David states in his prayer “for You (= the Lord) is the kingdom.” Yet, because the kingdom and the throne belong to the Lord, He puts on it whomever 85 See, for example, Kittel 1902, 104; Curtis and Madsen 1910, 307; Galling 1954, 77; Dirksen 2005, 352; Klein 2006, 530, 541. 86 See Kalimi 2005a, 369–380 esp. 369–377. 87 Attempting to avoid personification of the Lord, the Greek translator “corrected” the text and wrote as in 1 Kgs 2:12a: “and Solomon sat upon the throne of his father David.” 88 Thus the Chronicler moved the focus from the house and kingdom of David to the house and kingdom of the Lord, because in his time the kingdom of David did not exist anymore, but the house of the Lord (= the Second Temple) and his kingdom are there forever. The Chronicler did not interpret 2 Sam 7:16 as something that would be fulfilled in the future.

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He chooses. In this case, He chose Solomon to sit on it. Indeed, 2 Chr 13:8 (an “addition”) considers the kingdom of Judah as “the kingdom of the Lord in the hand of David’s descendants” (‫)ממלכת יהוה ביד בני דויד‬. Now it is clear: if Judah is “the kingdom of the Lord,” the throne of that kingdom is “throne of the Lord.” Thus, the earthly king—Solomon—is the representative of the heavenly king—the Lord—on earth. He connects between the Lord and his people, Israel, and represents the latter in front of the former. In Chronicles, therefore, theocracy and monarchy are interconnected. This idea is not unique for Chronicles. It is well-known already from preChronistic “biblical” writings (e.g., Judg 8:22–23; 1 Sam 8:4–22; Hos 3:5; Ezek 20:33 and 37:22–25; Isa 41:21; 43:15; 44:6; 52:7; Ps 98:6), and the Chronicler most likely was aware of this. He just expressed the old concept in bold statements. Since the motif of the Lord’s kingship appears in various early and late scriptures, the general opinion in biblical scholarship as stated, for instance, by C.R. North, that “the doctrine of kingship of Yahweh, in any pronounced form, was a comparatively late development,”89 is very questionable. 4. Solomon’s Establishment: The Concluding Words After the description of the elimination and removal of Solomon’s rivals (1 Kgs 2:13–46a: Adonijah in vv. 13–25, Abiathar in vv. 26–27, Joab in vv. 28–35, and Shimei in vv. 36–46a), the Deuteronomistic historian concludes the succession narrative as follows: “and the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon” (‫ ;והממלכה נכונה בידי שלמה‬1 Kgs 2:46b). Similar words (probably from the same hand) appear also after the end of David’s kingship and the rise of Solomon in 1 Kgs 2:12: “And Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established” (‫ושלמה ישב‬ ‫)על כסא דוד אביו ותכן מלכתו מאד‬. Thus, the account in 1 Kgs 2:13–46a is framed by an inclusio; which opens with the words ‫( ותכן מלכתו מאד‬1 Kgs 2:12b) and it ends similarly with ‫( והממלכה נכונה בידי שלמה‬1 Kgs 2:46b).90

89 See North 1932, esp. 28; see also Wilda 1959, 32; Poulssen 1967, 167–182 esp. 170, 172. 90 For the use of inclusio in biblical literature in general and in the book of Chronicles in particular, see Kalimi 2005a, 295–324. In any case, 2:46b is not a Wiederaufnahme, as Cogan (2000, 180) suggests. Rather, it is the second wing of an inclusio that—as he correctly states—“brackets the stories of the king’s political rivals.” For the definition of Wiederaufnahme (“resumptive repetition”), see Kalimi 2005a, 275–276 (and several examples on pp. 276–289).


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Accordingly, the decision of August Klostermann to end the section with 1 Kgs 3:2 is arbitrary and unacceptable.91 The parallel conclusion in the Chronistic history is much stronger. Here the closing words to Solomon’s succession come immediately after the peaceful coronation: “The Lord exalted Solomon highly (‫ויגדל יהוה את‬ ‫ )שלמה למעלה‬in the sights of all Israel, and bestowed upon him royal ­majesty such as no king in Israel had before him” (1 Chr 29:25).92 Solomon is firmly established as king, and this is in fact the fulfillment of a divine blessing (cf. 2 Chr 1:12b). They are more meaningful than the people’s blessing in 1 Kgs 1:37.47. Nonetheless, in contrast to the opinion of some medieval and modern scholars,93 the words under review do not allude to Solomon’s struggle with Adonijah, Joab and the rest, an issue the Chronicler did not wish to relate in his work. 5. “David’s Testament” 5.1 The Deuteronomistic History David’s deathbed command to Solomon, usually called “David’s Testament” (1 Kgs 2:1–9), contains two essential elements: (a) The one, political in nature (2:5–9), states David’s requests to punish Joab, the son of Zeroiah (2:5–6), and Shimei, the son of Gera (2:8–9), for the evil deeds they had committed many years ago, and to reward the sons of Barzillai the Giladite for their father’s kindness towards David at the time he escaped from Absalom (2:7). (b) The other, religious in nature (2:2–4), refers to Solomon’s future spiritual behavior in order to guarantee the Lord’s benefits. Let us turn to these elements: (a) The political element of the Testament has two sides: a historical and a literary. From the literary viewpoint, it functions as a paradigm showing 91  See Klostermann 1887, 269. 92 The opening verse in 2 Chr 1:1, ‫ויתחזק שלמה בן דויד על מלכותו ויהוה אלהיו עמו‬ ‫ ויגדלהו למעלה‬creates a resumptive repetition (Wiederaufnahme) with 1 Chr 29:25, ‫ויגדל‬ ‫יהוה את שלמה למעלה‬, because of the intervening words of 1 Chr 29:26–28 (which is based on 1 Kgs 2:11–12a); see in detail Kalimi 2005a, 285–287. Indeed, as David expressed in his prayer, it is in the power of the Lord ‫“ ובידך לגדל ולחזק לכל‬it is in Your power (lit., hand) to exalt and give strength to all” (1 Chr 29:12; the Chronicler referred to these words in 2 Chr 1:1 in chiastic order). 93  See, for example, Gersonides (Rabbi Levi ben Gershon) in his commentary on the verse; Myers 1965, 5; Zalewski 1981, 229.

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that loyalty and kindness towards the king will be rewarded (as in the case of Barzillai, 2 Sam 19:32–40); and, vice versa, that hostile behavior (as in the case of Shimei, 2 Sam 16:5–13; 19:19–24) and committing evil (as did Joab by killing Abner and Amasa, against David’s will, 2 Sam 3:26–30; 20:8– 9)94 will be punished. From the historical point of view, it seems rather implausible that the last thoughts and words of the aged, weak and sick David on his deathbed (1 Kgs 1:1–4) were to seek revenge on his nephew and life-long loyal chief commander, Joab, for deeds he had committed many years ago.95 The same is true for the powerless Shimei who had cursed him some years ago when David fled from Absalom, but who no longer endangered the kingdom.96 Furthermore, the “testament” regarding Shimei puts David in an awful light: after he had forgiven him and sworn in God’s name that he would not kill him, he now looks for revenge that will be carried out by his son Solomon. Such a desire for vengeance appears to be contrary to David’s nature. David is described in the book of Samuel as a merciful rather than a vengeful person. He spares Saul’s life a few times (1 Sam 24:4–20; 26:3–25), despite the repeated efforts of the latter to kill him (1 Sam 17:10–11.17–29; 19:1–24:3; 26:1–2). He tries to protect his son Absalom (2 Sam 18:; 19:1), although the latter murdered his son Amnon, revolted against him, and slept with his concubines (2 Sam 13:23–39; 15:7–17:29). Moreover, the motivation would be a clear transgression of the fundamental Israelites’ ethical principle laid down in Lev 19:17–18: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart . . . You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your fellow/neighbor as yourself ” (see also Prov 24:29; cf. 20:22). Also, it is doubtful whether the thoughts of dying David were with Barzillai’s sons rather than with his own children and close family, as in the case of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen 24:1–9; 27:1–28:5; 49).

94 Interestingly, the killing of Absalom by Joab (2 Sam 18:9–15), which was against the clear order of David (18:5.32; 19:1–5), is not mentioned here. Obviously, in the case of Absalom one cannot say that Joab killed a righteous and good man, as were Abner and Amasa (2:32). After all, Absalom murdered his brother and rebelled against his father. 95 The murder of Abner son of Ner took place 38 years earlier, just before the unification of the northern and southern kingdoms (2 Sam 2:23–39). The murder of Amasa son of Yether happened after the failure of Absalom’s rebellion (2 Sam 20:8–10). In both cases Joab wished to protect his top position as the chief commander of the army. 96 Contra Gray (1970, 98–99), who is convinced that “David might well have given Solomon the charge to eliminate Shimei.”


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Except for the historiographer’s summary of David’s kingship (1 Kgs 2:10–12),97 the following paragraph (2:13–46a)98 deals with Solomon’s struggle with his rival Adonijah and his supporters. It recounts a series of executions (of Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei) and the removal of Abiathar from the Jerusalem ­priesthood, as ordered by Solomon. The “testament”, therefore, is not an apology for things that had happened long ago, but rather aims at the current political situation: it explains and legitimates—at least in regard to Joab and Shimei—Solomon’s use of force to maintain power and achieve complete control over the kingdom. In fact, the narrator points out this political aspect when noting: “for Joab had supported Adonijah although he had not supported Absalom” (2:28). Solomon himself, however, links the execution of Joab to events of the past (2:31–33) as stated in David’s “testament” (2:5–6), as if to say that he fulfilled his father’s “testament” (see also regarding Shimei, 2:44 and cf. 2:8–9). It seems that David’s “testament,” although is an integral part of the Succession Narrative,99 cannot be traced back to David. Rather, it was composed as a “cover-up story” in Solomon’s palace, soon after the death of David, and ascribed to David. It attempts to legitimize Solomon’s actions to solidify his kingship through the execution of his rivals and to represent him as one who just fulfilled his father’s testament. In addition, the narrative illustrates that Solomon’s opponents “had behaved in a manner that led to their own doom.”100 Otherwise, the slaying would have been considered unnecessary and would have cast a dark shadow on the beginning of Solomon’s reign.101   97 In fact, this summary is very similar to the one in 2 Sam 5:4–5. The two summaries form an inclusio to David’s kingship over Israel and Judah. Despite some differences between the summaries, most likely they are from one and the same editor—the Deuteronomistic—who wished to construct the history of David as a king over Israel and Judah as a unit which starts and ends similarly. Contra DeVries (1985, 30), who is not aware of the literary device in the text and, therefore, attributes the summaries in Kings to “different redactors.”   98 As already mentioned above (§4), 1 Kgs 2:12b and 2:46b form an inclusio around 2:13–46a.   99 Cf. Montgomery and Gehman 1951, 89; Gray 1970, 15–16; contra Mulder (1998, 86) who notes: “the section of vvs. 1b–9 has been added to the story from another source.” 100 Cogan 2000, 180. 101  Contra Benzinger 1899, 8, who argues “für späten Ursprung.” Montgomery and Gehman (1951, 88) correctly question the fictional nature of this part of the testament, which was composed in later time by the Deuteronomist, as some scholars claim: “But why a much later age (Deuteronomistic) should have invented the story to save Solomon’s virtue by throwing the odium upon David is unintelligible in view of the latter’s canonization.” However, according to my view, this part of the testament was written at Solomon’s court. See also below in the text. Moreover, if we assume that what I call “the political element”

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In order to balance this element of vengeance in the “testament” and make it sound as reliable as possible, a positive feature has been included as well—the rewarding of Barzillai’s sons. That is to say, David remembered not only the wicked men but also the kind ones.102 Nevertheless, there is no clue in the sources as to whether or not Solomon kept to this part of the “testament.” Yet, Adonijah, who was sentenced to death for his “minor” request that was not a naive one, was not included in David’s “testament.” Knowing the great love of David for his children, he could not be presented as the one who had ordered the elimination of his son Adonijah (who, in fact, had not rebelled against him). Even in the case of Absalom, who murdered Amnon, rebelled against his father, and slept with his concubines, David attempted to save him: “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom” (2 Sam 18:5, cf. 12). And when he was killed by Joab (2 Sam 18:14–15), it is said that David mourned him bitterly (2 Sam 19:1–2.5). On the other hand, the way David is said in the “testament” to have dealt with Joab and Shimei would sound reliable in the cultural and religious context of Solomon’s time.103 The expulsion of Abiathar from the Jerusalem priesthood is justified by Solomon as follows: “ ‘Go to Anathoth, to your estate; for you deserve death (why?). But I will not at this time put you to death, because you bore the ark of the Lord God before David my father, and because you shared in all the affliction of my father.’ So Solomon expelled Abiathar from being priest to the Lord” (2:26–27a). The Deuteronomistic historian, who desired to show the fulfillment of God’s word (as he did in 1 Kgs 2:24 regarding the fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy to David in 2 Sam 7:11b–12, and in many of the testament is from Solomon’s time, the critics of these scholars cannot refer to it. Because, as Montgomery and Gehman show in the next pages (89–90), according to the standards of that time, David instructed Solomon appropriately on the responsibilities of the king “to remove the blood-guilt [see 1 Kgs 2:31, I.K.], according to the ancient principle of ‘life for life’ (Ex[od] 21:24), a principle that David had followed in visiting upon Saul’s grandchildren his murder of the Gibeonites (2 Sam. 21)” (p. 89). Regarding Shimei, “the curse against ‘a prince’ was high crime; cf. [1 Kgs] 21:9ff.; Ex[od] 22:27” (p. 90). Therefore, the way David is said to deal with Joab and Shimei would sound reliable (see below in the text). 102 Contra Gray (1970, 102), who is of an opinion that “the provision for the sons of Barzillai may well have been made by David.” Montgomery and Gehman’s (1951, 90) citations from biblical and extra-biblical sources regarding the importance of eating at the king’s table “as a method of pensioning,” still do not mean that the verse “has been made by David.” 103 See the behavior of David after the death of Abner and his complain regarding the sons of Zeruiah in 2 Sam 3:31–39; and also, above, note 95.


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other places),104 adds here: “fulfill the word of the Lord, which he spoke concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh” (1 Kgs 2:27b), that is, the prophecies at 1 Sam 2:35–36; 3:12–13.105 Thus the “stability of the Davidic dynasty is purchased at the price of blood and tears.”106 (b) The religious element of the “testament” regarding Solomon’s future religious behavior (1 Kgs 2:2–4), is, without a doubt, a composition from the hand of the Deuteronomistic historian:107 (1) It contains several expressions that are characteristic of Deuteronomistic phraseology. Thus, 2:2a: ‫“ אנכי הלך בדרך כל הארץ‬I am going in the way of all the earth,” is almost identical with Josh 23:14a. Similarly, 2:2b: ‫וחזקת‬ ‫“ והיית לאיש‬be strong and show yourself a (courage of ) man,” is comparable with Josh 1:6.9.18; 1 Sam 4:9a (cf. also Deut 31:23). Verse 2:3: ‫ושמרת‬ ‫את משמרת יהוה אלהיך ללכת בדרכיו לשמר חקתיו מצותיו ומשפטיו ועדותיו‬ “Keep the mandate of the Lord your God, following his ways, keeping his statutes, his commandments, and his laws, and his testimonies,” is a variant of the stereotypical expression in Deut 4:6; 7:12; 11:1; 16:12; 23:24; 24:8; 26:16; 28:13; 29:8; cf. Josh 22:3.5. For the idiom “as written in the Torah of Moses,” cf. Josh 1:8; 2 Kgs 22:8a. The phrase in 2:4b: ‫אם ישמרו בניך את דרכם ללכת לפני באמת בכל לבבם ובכל נפשם לאמר‬ ‫“ לא יכרת לך איש מעל כסא ישראל‬if your sons watch their way to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, then no one of your line shall be cut off from the throne of Israel,” is very common in the book of Deuteronomy (4:29; 6:5; 10:12; 11:13; 13:4; 26:16; 30:2.6.14) and in Deuteronomistic literature (e.g., 1 Kgs 8:25; 9:5–7). In addition, 2:4a: ‫למען‬ ‫“ יקים יהוה את דברו‬that the Lord may establish his word,” is probably taken from 1 Sam 1:23b: ‫אך יקם יהוה את דברו‬. )2( That this part of the “testament” comes from the Deuteronomistic historian is clear also from the conditional sentence at 1 Kgs 2:4b: “If your 104 See above note 60. 105 In fact this phenomenon is common in the Deuteronomistic history. For further examples, see 1 Kgs 12:15 (fulfillment of the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite); 2 Kgs 10:10, 17 (fulfillment of the prophecy of Elijah on House of Ahab); Josh 6:26 in comparison with 2 Kgs 16:34 concerning the building of Jericho; 1 Kgs 13:1–2, 29–32 with 2 Kgs 23:16–18 concerning the prophecy of the prophet from Judah on the destruction of the temple at Beith El. This method of vaticinium ex eventu (“prophecy post event”) is known also from an inscription of Assurbanipal; see Tadmor 1983, esp. 50–51. 106 Mulder 1998, 86. 107 Against Benzinger 1899, 8, who argues that 1 Kgs 2:2–4 is “surely post-deuteronomistic.” If we have Deuteronomistic language and idioms in these verses (see below), why should they be considered as post-Deuteronomistic, and not simply “Deuteronomistic”? Nonetheless, that these verses come from the Deuteronomistic historian is generally accepted; see for instance, Gray 1970, 99–100.

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off-springs notice their way to walk before me . . . then no one of your line shall be cut off from the throne of Israel.” As one who wrote/edited in the exilic period (ca. 550 b.c.e.) and knew about the fall of the Davidic kingdom, he conditioned the existence of the dynasty with keeping the Lord’s commandments. In contrast, in Nathan’s prophecy, which was most probably composed in the Solomonic period,108 the existence of the Davidic dynasty is absolute, unconditioned: “But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before me;109 your throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam 7:15–16). Most likely, for the Deuteronomistic historian it was improper that David’s “testament” included only secular—political—messages, and lacked religious ones. Therefore, he attempted to soften the harsh “testament” (that he probably found in the Succession Narrative which was included in “the book of events/acts of Solomon,” 1 Kgs 11:41) by adding to David’s words a religious value as well. In fact, the phenomenon of a later historian composing a speech (as well as prayer or letter) and attributing it to an earlier leader, particularly before his ultimate death, is well known from various places in the Deuteronomistic and Chronistic histories, and is attested also in Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman historiography.110 5.2 The Chronistic History Most likely, the Chronicler’s Vorlage contained a complete version of David’s “testament,” as it appears in 1 Kgs 2:1–9. He definitely did not distinguish between the early and late phases of the passage. Nonetheless, Chronicles remains silent about the execution of Joab and Shimei, the removal of Abiathar from the priesthood, or the kindness toward Barzillai’s sons. On the one hand, the idea that David ended his life in vengeance, as presented in Kings, was considered by the Chronicler as improbable and unacceptable. On the other hand, Solomon is said to have 108 See Ishida 1999, 137–150: “The narrative of Nathan’s prophecy is a composition to give an interpretation of the course of history concerning the establishment of Solomon’s kingship linking with the building of Jerusalem Temple from Solomonic point of view, although, on the surface, David was the person to whom the prophecy was delivered” (p. 149). 109 In ‫“ לפניך‬before you,” ‫ ך‬is a dittography of ‫ כ‬from the first letter of the next word: ‫“ כסאך‬your throne.” 110  See, for example, Deut 31:24–32:47 (in fact, the entire Deuteronomy was considered as one long speech of Moses before his death); Josh 23 and 24:1–28; 1 Sam 12; see also Judg 2:1–5, and 2 Kgs 17:7–23; 1 Chr 22:7–19; 28:2–29:20; 2 Chr 13:4–12. See Kalimi 2009b, 179–192.


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been chosen king by the Lord, with the support of David, of all the sons of David—including Adonijah (and his supporters), as well as of all the king’s officials, the mighty men, and all Israel. Thus, for the Chronicler Solomon had no rivals to kill or take revenge on: he did not execute anyone, and surely not as his first royal act. Since the Chronicler omits the story of 1 Kgs 1 from his work, he also omits what follows in 1 Kgs 2 (except for the main content of 1 Kgs 2:2–4; see below). Moreover, regardless of whether David indeed ordered the “testament” or not, including 1 Kgs 2 would undo the Chronicler’s concept of Solomon having been chosen as the Temple builder because he is a man of rest/peace (‫ )איש מנוחה‬without any blood stain: 1 Chr 22:7–10 and 28:3 say that God told David, “You are not to build a house for my name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.”111 The second chapter of 1 Kgs indicates clearly that Solomon shed blood (regardless whether it was justified or not), even upon the sacred altar in the Tent of the Lord (1 Kgs 2:28–34).112 This would contradict the Chronicler’s principle concept of who was allowed to be the Temple builder (Solomon) and who was not (David); thus he would have omitted these texts.113 Nevertheless, the Chronicler retains the religious and spiritual commands of David to his son to keep God’s law. In fact, the wording in 1 Chr 22:10–13 (cf. 1 Chr 28:9–10.20)114 reflects that of 1 Kgs 2:2–4: 111  On this issue see also Dirksen 1996, 51–56. 112 Obviously, Joab—as well as Adonijah (1 Kgs 1:50–53)—looked for political asylum by escaping to the holy tent and holding the horns of the altar. However, while there is no evidence that Adonijah had murdered anyone, the case of Joab involved a blood-guilt, although it took place in the distant past (1 Kgs 2:5–6.31–33). Yet, most likely the case of Adonijah does not relate to criminal law in Exod 21:12–14: “He who strikes a man, so that he dies, shall be surely put to death . . . if a man comes willfully upon his neighbor, to slay him treacherously; you shall take him from my altar, that he may die.” In contrast, maybe the case of Joab has some linkage with that law. For other opinions in biblical scholarship regarding the relation between these cases and Exod 21:14, see the detailed survey by Burnside 2010, 418–431. Nevertheless, Solomon’s killing of Joab in the Tent of the Lord is in contrast to the act of Jehoiada the high priest who was ordered not to kill the wicked Queen Athaliah in the House of the Lord, where she had sought asylum (2 Kgs 11:15–16 // 2 Chr 23:14–15). On the other hand, King Joash of Judah ordered to stone the high priest and prophet Zechariah in the Temple courtyard (2 Chr 24:20–22, an “addition”). 113 For this reason the Chronicler uses an uncommon, even vague, phrase to refer to Solomon’s siege of Hamath-Zobah: ‫“( וילך שלמה חמת צובה ויחזק עליה‬And Solomon went to Hamath-Zobah, and prevailed against it;” 2 Chr 8:3—an “addition” to 1 Kgs 9:18). The historicity of this action attributed to Solomon is very doubtful. In the early biblical historical books Hamath and Zobah are two separate places (2 Sam 8:3 [// 1 Chr 18:3]; 1 Kgs 8:65 [// 2 Chr 7:8]). Probably in the Persian period Zobah included the province of Hamath; cf. Rudolph 1955, 219 (and their references to W.F. Albright and M. Noth). 114  Although the natural continuation of 1 Chr 22:11 (“Now my son, may the Lord be with you so that you will succeed and will build the house of the Lord . . . ”) seems to be

the rise of solomon in the israelite historiography 1 Kgs 2:2–4


1 Chr 22:10–13

‫והכינותי כסא מלכותו על ישראל עד עולם וחזקת והיית לאיש‬

‫ושמרת את משמרת יהוה אלהיך‬

‫ללכת בדרכיו לשמר חקתיו מצותיו‬ ‫ומשפטיו ועדותיו‬ ‫ככתוב בתורת משה למען תשכיל את כל‬ ‫ אם ישמרו בניך את דרכם‬. . . ‫אשר תעשה‬ ‫ללכת לפני באמת בכל לבבם‬ ‫ובכל נפשם לאמר לא יכרת לך איש מעל‬ ‫כסא ישראל‬ Be you strong therefore, and show yourself a man; and keep the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Torah of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do, and wherever you turn yourself . . . If your children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you, said He, a man on the throne of Israel

‫אך יתן לך יהוה שכל ובינה ויצוך‬

‫ולשמור את תורת יהוה‬

‫על ישראל‬

‫ אם תשמור לעשות‬115‫אלהיך אז תצליח‬ ‫את החקים ואת המשפטים אשר צוה‬ 116‫יהוה את משה על ישראל‬ ‫חזק ואמץ אל תירא ואל תחת‬

and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever . . . Only may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, than when he gives you charge concerning Israel that you may keep the Torah of the Lord your God. Then shall you prosper, if you take heed to fulfill the statutes and judgments which the Lord commanded Moses for Israel; be strong, and of good courage; do not fear, nor be dismayed.

115116 All in all, there is David’s “testament” also in Chronicles, and there is something of David’s “testament” in 1 Kings that reflects in Chronicles. Here the “testament” to Solomon (1 Chr 22:5–19) is mentioned prior to the enthronement of Solomon (1 Chr 23:1; 29:20–24). This version of the “testament” contains positive and constructive features only: (a) spiritual verse 14 (“And behold, in my affliction I have prepared for the house of the Lord . . .”), there is no need to consider vv. 12–13 as a late addition. The Chronicler himself could add these verses as a post scriptum. After all, Solomon’s wisdom and his building of the Temple are linked together in Deuteronomistic history as well as in the Chronistic history; see, for instance, 1 Kgs 5:9–32 esp. verses 9–19 and 26–28; 2 Chr 2:2–11. Moreover, the Chronicler repeats the content and the wording of v. 13b in 1 Chr 28:20a. Contra Mosis 1973, 90–91; Dörrfuss 1994, 155–159. For some other syntax and content problems in these verses and their possible interpretation, see Dirksen 2005, 267–268. 115 Compare Josh 1:8. According to the Chronicler the capability of keeping God’s laws is a blessing for itself, and is comparable to God’s blessing of wisdom and ruling; see Rudolph 1955, 150 note 1. Moreover; in his prayer David asks the Lord to help his people and his son Solomon to keep the Lord commandments (1 Chr 29:18–19). 116 Compare Deut 17:18–19.


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and religious commands, guidance and encouragement of the aged father to his young son; and (b) a request to build the desired Temple to the Lord (1 Chr 22:2–19; 28:10–29:9). Accordingly, David handed to Solomon all the Temple’s personnel divisions that he had prepared (divisions of priests, Levites, gatekeepers, and singers), the architectural plans, as well as the enormous amount of material that he had gathered for that task in order to assist his young son to carry out the plan: “Now, my son, the Lord be with you; and prosper you, and build the house of the Lord your God, as he has said of you” (1 Chr 22:11). And once again, in more detail, in 1 Chr 28:10–19: “Take notice now; for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it. Then David gave to Solomon his son the plans of the vestibule, and of its houses, and of its treasuries, and of its upper chambers . . . All this (he said) is put in writing by the hand of the Lord who instructed me, all the works of this plan.”117 6. The Fulfillment of David’s “Testament”: The First Actions of King Solomon The Deuteronomist and the Chronist both attempt to present Solomon as one who completely fulfilled his father’s “testament” as his first act as a king. In Kings this consists of executing his major opponents or removing them from power (1 Kgs 2:13–46). Following these actions, which were meant to protect his reign from inside, Solomon strengthened relations with an important external power, Egypt: he engaged in a political marriage with the daughter of Pharaoh and brought her to the City of David (1 Kgs 3:1–2).118 After these actions Solomon visited the holy place in Gibeon, sacrificed to God, and sought for divine revelation (1 Kgs 3:3–15). In fact, only four years after he had succeeded to the throne, he started to build the Temple (1 Kgs 6:37–38). According to Chronicles, however, Solomon first visited Gibeon, sacrificing to God and seeking his revelation (2 Chr 1:1–13). Indeed, since “the Lord exalted Solomon highly in the sights of all Israel and bestowed upon him royal majesty such as no king (including David) in Israel had before him” (1 Chr 29:25, see also 29:23–24), there was no need to strengthen ties 117 Compare Exod 25:9, 40; 26:30 regarding the Tabernacle. 118 Certainly, the Pharaoh under review was from the 21th Dynasty. Yet, it is debated whether he should be identified with Psusennes II or Siamun; see the survey of opinions by Särkiö 1994, 16–17.

the rise of solomon in the israelite historiography


inside or outside of the kingdom. Thus, the Chronicler omits the passage regarding Solomon’s marriage with Pharaoh’s daughter at this point, but mentions it briefly at a later stage in Solomon’s reign (2 Chr 8:11a // 1 Kgs 9:24a).119 Following his visit to Gibeon, Solomon expresses his will to build the Temple (and only after that to build his palace, 2 Chr 1:18). The project is presented as the fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy (1 Chr 17:11–12 // 2 Sam 7:12–13) and David’s testament.120 Consequently, the Chronicler omits 1 Kgs 6:37–38 which reports that Solomon started to build the Temple only after four years. Solomon did not waste any time, not even to pronounce judgment between the two harlots (1 Kgs 3:16–28). The Chronicler omits this episode (although it could enhance the reputation of the king as a wise man) as well as Solomon’s list of officials and the passage about his wealth (1 Kgs 4:1–5:14). Instead, he recounts that following the sacrifice in Gibeon without delay Solomon organized the worker groups in the kingdom (2 Chr 2:1), and contacted King Hiram of Tyre in order to obtain professional crafts, woods and other material from Lebanon to build the Temple (2 Chr 2:2–15). Furthermore, according to the Chronicler Solomon was the one who initiated the contact between the two kingdoms by sending a diplomatic delegation to Hiram (2 Chr 2:2–15).121 This is contrary to what was stated in 1 Kgs 5:15–28, where it is Hiram who contacts Solomon and the latter only 119 In fact, the Chronicler minimizes this issue and reduces its importance as much as possible: from the five times that the daughter of Pharaoh is mentioned in Kings (1 Kgs 3:1; 7:8b; 9:16, 24; 11:1), he refers to her only once (2 Chr 8:11). Moreover, although the Chronicler omits the report regarding the house that Solomon built for Pharaoh’s daughter (1 Kgs 7:8b, which appears in 1 Kgs 7:1–12—a paragraph which he completely omitted for reasons that I discuss elsewhere), he explains why Solomon built a separate house/palace for Pharaoh’s daughter: “for he said my wife shall not dwell in the house of David, king of Israel, for the places where the ark of the Lord has come are holy” (2 Chr 8:11b). Obviously, this explanation does not favor Pharaoh’s daughter. 120  According to 2 Sam 7 David expressed his wish to build a Temple to God, but the task was postponed and left to his descendant. There is no clue in Samuel-Kings that David prepared any material for the building of the Temple or requested Solomon to build it. The Chronicler incorporates 2 Sam 7 in his account (1 Chr 17). However, he also elaborates in detail the last issues (1 Chr 22; 28; 29:20–21). After all, Solomon was the first king of the Davidic dynasty and there was a real need to prepare him for his important tasks. 121  Perhaps the Chronicler attempts to justify the request for help from the foreign king to build a Temple to God by adding (to the text from 1 Kgs 5:19–20) a new paragraph in 2 Chr 2:4–8 (with an inclusio: “And the house which I build is great . . . the house which I build is great,” 2:4a and 8b). See also the commentary ascribed to Rashi on 2:4; Japhet 1977, 402–403 (Hebrew). However, already David talks about the great size and quality of the planned Temple: “the house to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and an object of praise for all the lands” (1 Chr 22:5). So, Solomon only continues to express his father’s vision of the Temple.


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reacts to Hiram’s delegation to Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the successful diplomatic and trade relationship between Solomon and Hiram resulted in the building of the Temple in Jerusalem (2 Chr 3:1–5:1 // 1 Kgs 6:1–7:51) in fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy and David’s “testament.”122 7. Conclusion A careful examination of the succession story in Kings demonstrates that Solomon was not the legitimate heir to the throne: Adonijah was the elder and next in the direct royal line to inherit his father’s throne, and he was supported by most of David’s sons and his top officials as well as the officials of Judah. Solomon rose to the kingship as a result of power-struggles and intrigues in the palace during the last days of the sick and weak David who was manipulated by Nathan and Bathsheba. His establishment on the throne was guaranteed after the bloody exclusion of his potential rivals and challengers, which was justified as a fulfillment of “David’s testament” (1 Kgs 2:1–9). These descriptions are conventional court stories that have a number of parallels in the ancient Near Eastern and in other dynastic histories. Solomon’s marriage with Pharaoh’s daughter was politically oriented in order to strengthen his position from the outside. Only after these actions Solomon visited Gibeon to sacrifice and obtain a divine revelation. He started to build the Temple four years after his throne succession (1 Kgs 6:37–38). In the Chronistic history, however, all the elements that cast a negative light on David, Nathan, Bathsheba, and Solomon (2 Sam 11–12; 1 Kgs 1–2) are omitted. Based on data found in various earlier “biblical” texts, the Chronicler creates a clearly different story stating that Solomon was the rightful ruler and Temple-builder: he was chosen not only by David, but first and foremost by the Lord, already in his mother’s womb (1 Chr 22:7–10). All Solomon’s brothers and the officials of the kingdom supported his access to the throne. Solomon’s kingship symbolizes the union of theocracy and monarchy: he is the representative of God on earth, as well as the king of the people and their representative in front of God. He fulfilled his father’s “testament” by maintaining the Lord’s commandments and by building the Temple as his first priority. While David was stained with

122 On this issue see in detail, Kalimi, ‘Solomon’s Temple Building and Its Divine Approval in the Deuteronomistic and Chronistic Histories’, forthcoming.

the rise of solomon in the israelite historiography


blood (regardless of blame or innocence), Solomon was pure and clean, without any stain and sin. As a historian writing in the first quarter of the 4th century b.c.e., when the province of Yehud was under Persian control, the Chronicler looked back longingly to the founders of the Israelite/Judahite monarchy. He creates a new portrait of (David and) Solomon, the kind of portrait he wished to have rather than the historical one. He presents both kings idealistically, in such a way that they are worthy for every Jew to imitate (cf. 2 Chr 11:17b). Furthermore, the Chronicler and his community that assembled around Zerrubabel’s Temple (which was erected on the same location as Solomon’s Temple and considered as its substitute)123 found a particular interest in the Temple-builder, Solomon. For him, the Solomonic Temple opens a new era in Jewish history and religion. Consequently, he concluded that Solomon himself has a unique place among all of David’s sons and among the “four” sons of Bathsheba (1 Chr 3:5, an “addition”). He was chosen to be a king of Israel and the first Temple-builder, even before he was born. Thus, Solomon became a symbol of glory and religious happiness remembered over many generations: “And there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem” (2 Chr 30:26, an “addition”). The two accounts of the rise of Solomon are completely different in narrative style, historical background, historical reliability, and implications. For all the variations of the religious and political events, the fundamental difference between these two portraits is to be found in the goal each historian had set for himself in depicting Solomon. Bibliography Ahlström, G.W., 1961, ‘Der Prophet Nathan und der Tempelbau’, Vetus Testamentum 11: 113–127. Alt, A., ‘Das Reich Davids und Salomos’, in: Kleine Schriften zur Geschichte des Volkes Israel, vol. 2, 33–65, München 1964. Auld, A.G., Kings without Privilege: David and Moses in the Story of the Bible’s Kings, Edinburgh 1994. Barnes, W.E., The Books of Chronicles (The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges), Cambridge 1899. Ben-Noun, Liubov (Louba), 2002, ‘Was the Biblical King David Affected by Hypothermia?’, Journal of Gerontological Medical Sciences 57: 364–367. ——, 2004, ‘Mental Disorder that Afflicted King David the Great’, History of Psychiatry 15: 467–476. 123 See Kalimi 2002, esp. 16–31.


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Benzinger, I., Die Bücher der Könige—erklärt (Kurzer Hand-Commentar zum Alten Testament 9), Freiburg i.B., Leipzig and Tübingen 1899. ——, Die Bücher der Chronik—erklärt (Kurzer Hand-Commentar zum Alten Testament 20), Leipzig and Tübingen 1901. Borger, R., Die Inschriften Asarhaddons König von Assyrien (Archiv für Orientforschung. Beiheft 9), Osnabrück 1967. Bright, J., A History of Israel, London 19813. Burnside, J., 2010, ‘Flight of the Fugitives: Rethinking the Relationship between Biblical Law (Exodus 21:12–14) and the Davidic Succession Narrative (1 Kings 1–2)’, Journal of Biblical Literature 129: 418–431. Cassuto, U., The Goddess Anath: Canaanite Epics of the Patriarch Age, Jerusalem 1965. Cogan, M., 1 Kings: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Anchor Bible), New York 2000. Cooke, G., 1961, ‘The Israelite King as Son of God’, Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 32: 202–225. Curtis, E.L. and A.A. Madsen. A critical and exegetical Commentary on the books of Chronicles (The International Critical Commentary), Edinburgh 1910. de Vaux, R., Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions, New York, Toronto and London 1961. DeVries, S.J., 1 Kings (Word Biblical Commentary 12), Waco TX 1985. Dietrich, W., 2012, “Von den ersten Königen Israels: Forschung an den Samuelbüchern im neuen Jahrtausend. Zweiter Teil,” Theologische Rundschau 77: 263–316. Dirksen, P.B., 1996, ‘Why Was David Disqualified as Temple Builder? The Meaning of 1 Chronicles 22:8’, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 70: 51–56. Dirksen, P.B., 1 Chronicles (Historical Commentary Old Testament), Leuven 2005. Dörrfuss, E.M., Mose in den Chronikbüchern: Garant theokratischer Zukunftserwartung (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 219), Berlin and New York 1994. Ehrlich, A.B., Mikrâ ki-Pheschutô. Volume 2: Divre Sofrim, Berlin 1900; reprinted: (Library of Biblical Studies), New York 1969. Galling, K., Die Bücher der Chronik, Esra, Nehemia—übersetzt und erklärt (Das Alte Testament Deutsch 12), Berlin 1954. Gray, J., I & II Kings: A Commentary (Old Testament Library), Philadelphia PA 1970. Gressmann, H., Die älteste Geschichtsschreibung Israel (von Samuel bis Amos und Hosea) (Die Schriften des Alten Testaments. 2. Abteilung, 1. Band), Göttingen 19212. Ishida, T., The Royal Dynasties in Ancient Israel (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 142), Berlin and New York 1977. ——, History and Historical Writing in Ancient Israel (Studies in the History and Culture of the Ancient Near East 16), Leiden 1999. Japhet, S., The Ideology of the Book of Chronicles and Its Place in Biblical Thought, Jerusalem 1977 (Hebrew). Kalimi, I., ‘The Lord Called me from the Womb, Singled me out from my Mother’s Bowels (Isa 49:1)’, in: Y. Hoffman (ed.), Companion to the Biblical World: The Book of Isaiah, vol. 10, 231–232, Ramat Gan 1986 (Hebrew). ——, ‘The Land / Mount Moriah, and the Site of the Jerusalem Temple in Biblical Historical Writing’, in: Early Jewish Exegesis and Theological Controversy: Studies in Scriptures in the Shadow of Internal and External Controversies ( Jewish and Christian Heritage 2), 9–32, Assen 2002. ——, 2005a, The Reshaping of Ancient Israelite History in Chronicles, Winona Lake IN 2005 (reprinted 2012). ——, 2005b, An Ancient Israelite Historian: Studies in the Chronicler, His Time, Place, and Writing (Studia Semitica Neerlandica 46), Assen 2005. ——, 2009a, The Retelling of Chronicles in Jewish Tradition and Literature: A Historical Journey, Winona Lake IN 2009.

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——, 2009b, ‘Placing the Chronicler in His Own Historical Context: A Closer Examination’, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 68: 179–192. ——, 2010, ‘Human and Musical Sounds and Their Hearing Elsewhere as a Literary Device in the Biblical Narratives’, Vetus Testamentum 60: 565–570. ——, ‘Solomon’s Temple Building and Its Divine Approval in the Deuteronomistic and Chronistic Histories’, forthcoming. ——, 2012, “Kings with Privilege: The Core Source(s) of the Parallel Texts between the Deuteronomistic and Chronistic Histories,” Revue biblique 119: 498–517. ——, 2013, “King Solomon: His Birth and Names in the Second Temple Period Literature,” Biblica 94. ——, “The Love of God and Royal Apology: Solomon’s Birth Story in Its Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Context,” forthcoming. Kaufmann, Y., Mekibshuna shel Hayitzira Hamikraiet, Tel Aviv 1966 (Hebrew). van Keulen, P.S.F., Two Versions of the Solomon Narrative: An Inquiry into the Relationship between MT 1 Kgs 2–11 and LXX 3 Reg. 2–11 (Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 104), Leiden and Boston MA, 2005. Kittel, R., Die Bücher der Chronik übersetzt und erklärt (Handkommentar zum Alten Testament 6/1), Göttingen 1902. Klein, R.W., 1 Chronicles: A Commentary (Hermeneia), Minneapolis MN 2006. Klostermann, A., Die Bücher Samuelis und der Könige (Kurzgefasster Kommentar zu den heiligen Schriften Alten und Neuen Testaments), ed. H. Strack and O. Zöckler, 3. Band, Nördlingen 1887. Lewy, H., 1952, ‘Nitokris-Naqî’a’, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 11: 264–286. Luckenbill, D.D., Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, Chicago IL 1927. Marsman, H.J., Women in Ugarit and Israel: The Social and Religious Position in the Context of the Ancient Near East (Oudtestamentische Studien 49), Leiden 2003. Mettinger, T.N.D., Solomonic State Officials (Coniectanea Biblica. Old Testament Series 5), Lund 1971. Montgomery, J.A. and H.S. Gehman, The Books of Kings (The International Critical Commentary), Edinburgh 1951. Mosis, R., Untersuchungen zur Theologie des chronistischen Geschichtswerkes (Freiburger theologische Studien 92), Freiburg i.Br., Basel and Wien 1973. Mulder, M.I., 1 Kgs 1–11 (Historical Commentary on the Old Testament), Leuven 1998. Myers, J.M., II Chronicles: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Anchor Bible 13), Garden City NY 1965. North, C.R., 1932, ‘The Religious Aspects of Hebrew Kingship’, Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 9: 8–38. Noth, M., ‘La’asch und Hazrak’, in: Aufsätze zur biblischen Lands- und Altertumskunde, vol. 2, 135–147, Neukirchen-Vluyn 1971. ——, Könige (Biblische Kommentar Altes Testament 9/1), Neukirchen-Vluyn 1968. Oswald, W., Nathan der Prophet: Eine Untersuchung zu 2Samuel 7 und 12 und 1Könige 1 (Abhandlungen zur Theologie des Alten Testaments 94), Zürich 2008. Paul, S.M., 1968, ‘Deutero-Isaiah and Cuneiform Royal Inscriptions’, Journal of the American Oriental Society 88: 181–186 (= idem, Divrei Shalom, 2005, 11–22). ——, ‘Exodus 1:21: To Found a Family: A Biblical and Akkadian Idiom’, Divrei Shalom (Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 23), 177–180, Leiden 2005. Person, R.F. Jr, The Deuteronomistic History and the Book of Chronicles: Scribal Works in an Oral World (Ancient Israel and Its Literature 6), Atlanta GA 2010. Pike, D.M., ‘Before Jeremiah Was: Divine Election in the Ancient Near East’, in: K.P. Jackson and A.C. Skinner (eds.), A Witness for the Restoration: Essays in Honor of Robert J. Matthews, 33–59, Provo UT 2007. Poulssen, N., König und Tempel im Glaubenszeugnis des Alten Testaments (Stuttgarter Biblische Monographien 3), Stuttgart 1967.


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Pritchard, J.B. (ed.), Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (= ANET; 3rd edn. with Supplement), Princeton NJ 1969. Robinson, J., The First Book of Kings (The Cambridge Bible Commentary), Cambridge 1972. Rofé, A., Introduction to the Literature of the Hebrew Bible (Jerusalem Biblical Studies 9), Jerusalem 2009. Rudnig, T.A., Davids Thron: Redaktionskritische Studien zur Geschichte von der Thronnachfolge Davids (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 358), Berlin and New York 2006. Rudolph, W., Chronikbücher (Handbuch zum Alten Testament 21), Tübingen 1955. Särkiö, P., Die Weisheit und Macht Salomos in der israelitischen Historiographie: Ein Traditions- und redaktionskritische Untersuchung über 1 Kön 3–5 und 9–11 (Schriften der Fin­ nischen Exegetischen Gesellschaft 60), Göttingen 1994. Sperber, A., 1939, ‘Hebrew Based upon Biblical Passages in Parallel Transmission’, Hebrew Union College Annual 14: 153–249. Steed, H.W., The Habsburg Monarchy, New York 1969. Streck, M., Assurbanipal und die letzten assyrischen Könige bis zum Untergange Nineveh’s (Vorderasiatische Bibliothek), Leipzig 1916. Tadmor, H., ‘Autobiographical Apology in the Assyrian Royal Literature’, in: H. Tadmor and M. Weinfeld (eds.), History, Historiography and Interpretation: Studies in Biblical and Cuneiform Literatures ( Jerusalem / Leiden 1983), pp. 36–57 (reprinted in his collection “With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of mountains:” Historical and Literary Studies on Ancient Mesopotamia and Israel [ed. by M. Cogan], Jerusalem 2011, pp. 63–85). Thackeray, H.St.J. and R. Marcus, Josephus with an English Translation: Jewish Antiquities Books V–VIII (Loeb Classical Library), Cambridge MA and London 1934. Veijola, T., Die ewige Dynastie: David und die Entstehung seiner Dynastie nach der deute­ ronomitischen Darstellung, Helsinki 1975. Weidner, E. and S. Parpola, Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal: Part I—Texts (Alter Orient und Altes Testament 5/1), Neukirchen-Vluyn 1970. Wilda, G., Das Königsbild des Chronistischen Geschichtswerkes (Dissertation Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität), Bonn 1959. Williamson, H.G.M., 1 and 2 Chronicles (The New Century Bible Commentary), Grand ­Rapids MI and London 1982. Würthwein, E., Das Erste Buch der Könige: Kapitel 1–16—übersetzt und erklärt (Das Alte Testament Deutsch), Göttingen 1977. Zalewski, S., Solomon’s Ascension to the Throne, Jerusalem 1981 (Hebrew).

Solomon in History and Tradition Pekka Särkiö Before the 1990s, the state of the question about Solomon in history was rather uncomplicated, and one could simply read the historical data about the king straight from the Hebrew Bible. Since the 1990s, the situation has changed. Three things have contributed to this: 1. the ­minimalist-maximalist dispute; 2. the question of the concept of “biblical archaeology;” and 3. the discussion around the dating of the archaeological strata from the early monarchy.1 The so-called minimalists contended that many of the biblical books were composed only in the Hellenistic period. As a consequence, they argue that the Hebrew Bible is worthless as an historical source and even that kings such as David and Solomon were fictional characters. Scholars characterized as minimalists assert that the reliability of the biblical data must also be verified through extra-biblical sources.2 The deconstructive, sceptical, and even cynical views of the minimalists have been conducive to good counter-arguments. According to the broad consensus of scholars, most of the historical texts of the Hebrew Bible came into being between the 9th and the 5th century b.c.e., to some extent on the basis of oral traditions or written sources. The development of the texts is a multi-stage process, in which contemporary political, religious, and cultural factors are reflected. The redactors, for varied reasons, have coloured the texts and added passages of their own, which they had found in the tradition or composed themselves. Therefore, one cannot take all data in the biblical narratives as historically reliable; but it is also senseless completely to give up on all of the biblical books as an historical source.

1  Särkiö 2006, 5–15. 2 Lemche 1988; Davies 1992; Thompson 1992. About the discussion, see Finkelstein and Silberman 2009, 229–233. The terms “minimalist” and “maximalist” are used by the opponents to describe the opposite views about the reliability of the Bible as an historical source. For Lester L. Grabbe the maximalist view “implies that everything in the sources that could not be proved wrong has to be accepted as historical”; the minimalist view “means that everything which is not corroborated by evidence contemporary with the events to be reconstructed is dismissed.”


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Lester L. Grabbe has compared the biblical with the extra-biblical evidence, mostly inscriptions concerning the kings of Israel and Judah. From Ahab on, the kings are mentioned in the same sequence. However, the details of the information may differ.3 Therefore, the reliability of the biblical material, as historical sources, varies. One way to differentiate authentic material from later reworking is to look for the intention of the editors/redactors. This can be achieved by a detailed literary-, tradition-, and redaction-critical analysis. In 1974 William G. Dever questioned the relevance of the concept of “biblical archaeology” if it is defined in terms of a means to prove the historical reliability of the Bible. In reality archaeology and the historical study of the Bible have their own laws and methods and archaeology is not to be subordinated to the study of the Bible.4 One often cited example of a priori thoughts on the basis of a biblical passage, which may lead the archaeologist astray, are the “Solomonic” gates. The Israeli archaeologist Yigael Yadin has argued that the cities of Hazor, Megiddo and Geser had identical six-chambered gates from the time of Solomon. He reached this conclusion on the basis of 1 Kgs 9:15, where it is said that Solomon built these three cities.5 Later on it has become clear that the six-chambered gate was used from the 9th century on and during the entire period of the monarchy. Yadin had obviously read too much in the biblical passage.6 A third discussion concerns the so-called high and low chronology of the 10th century. In the beginning of the 1990s Israel Finkelstein had come to the conclusion that the traditional dating to the end of the 10th century of the so-called “Solomonic” excavation strata, with their monumental architecture, was too early and was based on circular reasoning: strata 3 Grabbe 1997, 25–26. Finkelstein and Silberman 2009, 23–25 also state that the Bible gives a rather reliable picture of the kings from the 9th century on. Grabbe concludes: 1) We can write a history of ancient Syria-Palestine-Israel; 2) In writing such a history, the biblical text can and must be used; 3) There are great difficulties of using the biblical text, so the use of the text needs to be argued for in each case; 4) The use of the archaeological and biblical sources need to be evaluated each in its own right, and we should avoid to mix promiscuously textual and other data; 5) Imaginative and speculative reconstructions should be admitted and we must indicate the probabilities of any hypothesis (1997, 14). 4 See Zevit 2002, 2–9. Some archaeologists prefer to speak of “Syro-Palestinian archaeology”. 5 Yadin 1972, 147–151. 6 Särkiö 1994, 149–150; Finkelstein and Silberman 2009, 240–242.

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with monumental structures, often made of ashlar blocks, and connected pottery, must stem from Solomon, who according to the Bible was the great king-architect. Pottery excavated from these strata was again used as a criteria for the dating of strata on other mounds. According to Finkelstein, one should date these “Solomonic” remains—monumental gates, walls and storage houses and horse stables—to around 850; that is, to the time of the dynasty of Omri. The traditional dating was about 80–100 years earlier than the new “upper” dating.7 On the basis of the archaeological evidence, Finkelstein wonders if the Solomonic kingdom as a state would have been possible in the second half of the 10th century. In the northern kingdom the cultivation of grape vines and olives made it possible to have “something like a state.” In the 9th century the dynasty of Omri created a state in the North, which was quite successful economically and militarily, and which in turn was the very reason why the Deuteronomistic historian tried to undervalue the Omri dynasty. But in Judah the land was not fit for agriculture and the population was still too sparse. In addition, there is no evidence of monumental buildings. According to Finkelstein, Judah first became a state in the 7th century, after the fall of the northern kingdom as a result of the Assyrian campaign around 720 when refugees fled in large numbers to the south and brought with them also the skills and culture needed to create a state.8 It were scribes and priests from the north, Finkelstein argues, who in the 7th century began to write the history of the monarchy, including chronologies and lists of kings. Nevertheless, the Deuteronomistic authors viewed Judah and its past under the rule of David and Solomon as a glorious and holy era, which king Josiah, the descendant of David, was trying to establish anew. This was the starting point for writing a history in which the good king Josiah was projected in the past and ancient heroes, such as Joshua, David and Hezekiah, were given features of Josiah. The “bad” kings Ahab and Manasseh were depicted as negative characters, the opposite of Josiah. The aim and purpose was to show that Josiah conquered the enemy, abolished idolatry, and re-established the glory of the Davidic dynasty.9 7 Finkelstein and Silberman 2009, 244–246. 8 Finkelstein and Silberman 2001, 158–159.229–235. 9 Finkelstein and Silberman 2001, 284. Finkelstein owes much to the theses of the Cross school about the dating and the aim of the Deuteronomistic history. According to the socalled “Göttingen” school (Rudolf Smend, Walter Dietrich, Timo Veijola), the formation of


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After The Bible Unearthed (2001), Finkelstein has slightly revised his thesis about the formation of the state of Judah. Strongholds like Lachish, Beersheba and Arad were large-scale projects that could only be realised if there was available a sufficient rate of people, wealth and organisation. They are proof that a state was emerging in Judah at least in the first half of the 9th century.10 Especially the strongly fortified city of Lachish, whose conquest around 701 was immortalized by Sennacherib in the reliefs of Nineveh, offers evidence for the extent and capacity of the population of Judah in the 8th century. Less than 10 km away from Lachish refugees hiding in a burial cave at Khirbet Bet Leyy wrote down there curse inscriptions against the Assyrian army, but also a panegyric or a confession of faith: “Yahweh is God of all the earth, the mountains of Judah belong to the God of Jerusalem.” This inscription also illustrates that Jerusalem took a central place in the cult of Yahweh as early as the 8th century.11 In addition, the stele inscription from Tell Dan shows that an Aramaic king of the 9th or the 8th century thought it was worth mentioning a victory over a king of Judah. The “House of David” is clearly a dynastic name for Judah and refers to the founder of the dynasty.12 Finkelstein does not share the minimalists’ sceptical view of the historical value of the Bible, nor the a priori presumption of the maximalists regarding the overall reliability of the biblical narratives as historical sources. Although the archaeological evidence is silent about Solomon and the excavations contradict the biblical evidence about the wealth and glory of Solomon’s era, Finkelstein does not contest the historicity of Solomon. Many traditions about Solomon presuppose a historical kern. He was perhaps a local potentate in Judah who reigned in Jerusalem, which is a far more modest status than the one he received in the Hebrew Bible.13

the Dtr history is rather more complicated, both with regard to its aims and to the various layers of editing. 10 Finkelstein and Silberman 2009, 94–95. They refer to D. Ussishkin’s excavations in Jerusalem, in the City of David, where he unearthed a stone construction. “Ussishkin vermutet, dass im 9. Jahrhundert v. Chr. auf dem Tempelberg in Jerusalem ein Verwaltungskomplex ähnlich wie in Samaria errichtet wurde, mit einem Palast und einem Tempel.” In a note they add: “Was nicht bedeutet, dass hier nicht schon vorher ein Tempel und ein Palast von bescheidenen Ausmassen gestanden haben könnte, erbaut von den Stammesführern im Bergland von Judah.” 11  Renz and Röllig 1995, 245–246; Särkiö 1997. 12 Finkelstein and Silberman 2009, 233. 13 Finkelstein is also sceptical about the existence of an independent Late Bronze citystate in the mountains of Judah for sociological reasons, but he has been criticised for not taking into account the literary evidence. See Keel 2007, §114.

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How did a state look like in the 10th and 9th centuries in Southern Levant? Our ideas about such a state may be coloured with anachronistic features. Jamieson-Drake enumerates the attributes of an urban society which with some certainty can be denoted as a state: 1) full-time specialists; 2) a large and dense population; 3) a specialized art; 4) writing and numbers; 5) exact sciences; 6) farmers paying taxes; 7) the (geographical) organization of society through residences; 8) monumental, public buildings; 9) “foreign trade;” and 10) a socially differentiated society.14 To this I would add an official cult and a royal palace with office-holders. The Solomon narrative in 1 Kgs contains all of these features. The question is, does this narrative correspond to the historical situation in the 10th century or is it a more or less anachronistic reflection of the time in which it was written and edited during the 7th to the 6th centuries? In my opinion the Solomon narrative is to some extent an anachronistic reflection of the author’s own context. On the other hand, many of the features of a state existed already in the 10th century because of the unbroken inheritance from the Canaanite city state of Jeruschalem, though on a modest scale, while the population and material wealth were not on a high level. The development of Palestine in the direction of a state began already in the time of David, when he established a permanent royal residence in Jebusite Jerusalem, which was independent of the tribes. By this means David became the king of a city on the model of the Bronze Age city-states in Palestine. The royal functionaries looked after the administration and created a new social class whose status was no longer tied to affiliation with family or kinship. Their loyalty was rewarded with landed property, which signified an engagement in the ownership of the individuals and restructuring of the society. A struggle for power between the tribes and the Jerusalem city-state took place during the succession to David’s throne. Adonijah was the candidate of the conservative circle in the country and their supporters were the champions of the Yahweh-religion. On the contrary, Solomon was supported by the circle of the Jebusite city-state: the representatives of the Jerusalem cult, which went back to the Bronze Age, the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan, and the mercenaries of Solomon. The mother of Solomon, Bathsheba, was also part of this group (1 Kgs 1:5–10.49–53).

14 Jamieson-Drake 1991, 33.


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David managed to join together the northern tribes with Judah through wars against common enemies. The situation changed in the peaceful reign of Solomon, who was forced to tax the northern tribes more strongly in order to pay for his building activity and administration. At the same time, the northern tribes saw less and less reason for loyalty in relation to the king. The monarchy was legitimate as long as the army was used for the defence of the population. In a time of peace, the people lost their motivation for keeping to their civic duties: enforced labour and the payment of (high) taxes. This picture arises from the Solomon narrative in 1 Kgs 3–11 and from that about the revolt of Jeroboam in 1 Kgs 12. Solomon attempted to master the growing unrest in the north. In return for the taxes that were levied he offered the population (the use of ) public buildings such as the Temple, a state religion, and a centralized cult. He abolished the harsh general requirements of military service for free Israelites and instead established small, effective groups of charioteers for the control of the northern part of the country. In addition, the partition of the north into twelve provinces was considered as a means for integrating the northern tribes into the central administration. The governors in the provinces also organized the compulsory labour and the maintenance of the fortresses.15 According to Hermann Michael Niemann, the division into provinces is the first sign that the “rule in this time began partially to develop itself in the direction of a state from the status of a chiefdom.”16 The integrated actions of Solomon were not effective enough and the unrest in the north grew continuously because of the “hard yoke,” the enforced labour and the high taxation. Through Jeroboam’s revolt, the northern tribes freed themselves from the rule of the Jerusalemite ­city-king.17 Biblical Tradition The Old Testament image of Solomon is ambivalent. On the one hand, he enjoys a particular reputation as the sage par excellence and as the builder of the Temple of Yahweh. On the other hand, there was his sin because of

15 Niemann 1993, 17–19. 16 Niemann 1993, 35. On the other hand, the list of provinces in 1 Kgs 4:7–19 reflects the later situation during the great times of North Israel. Finkelstein and Silberman 2009, 145. See also Kamlah 2001, 57–78. 17 Dietrich 1986; Särkiö 1994, 156.

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the erection of altars to foreign gods—which was also seen as the reason for the division of the kingdom.18 Many scholars have divided the Solomon narrative in 1 Kgs 3–11 into two parts. The first part is positive and tells about the actions of his rule and the building of the Temple; the second part is negative because of the king’s sins. But there is little or no consensus about where the positive part ends and the negative part begins.19 On closer examination it is clear that from the beginning Solomon’s splendour is apprised negatively and his wisdom positively. The two main points stem from two editors, who evaluate the king in different ways. In the basic text of the first editor (DtrH), the statements about Solomon’s splendour at first glance serve his glorification. A more precise examination in the light of the so-called royal law in Deuteronomy (17:14–20) makes clear the critical intention of the editor. The royal law forbids the king to increase his possessions (gold, silver, horses and wives). The editor exaggerates the wealth of Solomon. Likewise, the description of the harsh enforced labour imposed on the Israelites and of the large quantities of food that is required for the royal court and for its horses are highly exaggerated. These exaggerations are a means to criticize the whole system of administration as it was organized by the king, which especially oppressed the farming population in northern Israel. DtrH has edited the pre-Dtr traditions in such a way that the crime of Solomon becomes clear. The judgement of Yahweh follows on the offence against the Law. Jeroboam, the overseer of the enforced labour, raised up against the king and became the leader of the northern Israelite rebellion, which led to the division of the Kingdom (1 Kgs 12). With its theological historiography DtrH provides an explanation for this division: Solomon had weighed down his subjects with taxes and enforced labour, he looked more after his own house than after the Temple of Yahweh, and in the end he transgressed the Law by his search for greater wealth.20 The second redactor (DtrN) sought his additions—above all the stories about the king’s wisdom—in the text of his predecessor DtrH, and created 18  Särkiö 1998, 724. 19  On this discussion, see Särkiö 1996, 83. 20 Särkiö 1994, 244–245. Sweeney 1995; 2008, 176 also thinks that the critique of Solomon in the DtrH begins already at the outset of his reign with the portrayal of the machinations by Nathan and Batsheba to bring Solomon to the throne (1 Kgs 1–2). Veijola 1975, 22.28–29 is certainly right in his opinion that the Deuteronomist is trying to cover the critique of the pre-Dtr story against Solomon with the addition in 1 Kgs 2:1–9, as if David had ordered Salomon to commit the murders. See also Wälchli 1999, 104–105.


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his own edition of the text in which the wisdom and the splendour of Solomon were assessed positively. He criticises Solomon only at the end of the narrative, in the 11th chapter. Solomon’s many foreign wives led him to sin against Lord and to sacrifice on the altars of other gods. On the other hand, the editor reworked the first part of the narrative (chapters 1–10) as a glorification of Solomon. For example, he added passages exonerating Solomon to counter the anti-Solomonic statements of his predecessor. He disputed the assertion that Solomon lifted the imposed labour from all Israel (1 Kgs 5:27–32). To the contrary, he asserted that only the remaining Canaanite population had to suffer forced labour (9:20–22). He had found wisdom traditions—the stories about the dream in Gibeon, Solomon’s wise judgement, and the visit from the Queen of Sheba—in the pre-Dtr sources. He reworked these stories and added them to the basic text in order to indicate that Solomon had divine wisdom and on that account ruled the people well.21 Accession to the Throne The way Solomon became king is told in the Succession narrative of David in 2 Sam 11–1 Kgs 2. Its critical tone of Solomon is clear from the fact that this was a man born of David’s and Bathsheba’s adultery and one who murdered his political opponents.22 The adultery motif was later obscured by adding the story on the death of the first and the birth of the second child of David (2 Sam 12:15b–24a), as Timo Veijola has argued. The intention of this later addition was to conceal the fact that Solomon was born from an adulterous union. In 2 Sam 12:24 Veijola follows the feminine Qere reading, according to which Bathsheba gave her child the name of Solomon, therefore, “his replacement,” a commemorative name in view of the dead of Uriah.23 This interpretation is problematic because it tends to ignore the fact that Bathsheba from the beginning wished to become pregnant by David and mother of the king, even at the cost of Uriah’s life. Thilo Rudnig has brought to attention that in the birth narrative the woman acts 21  Särkiö 1994, 246–247. 22 Solomon’s mother “is portrayed as an adulteress who acquiesces to the murder of her former husband, Uriah the Hittite, by David in 2 Sam 10–12,” as Sweeney states it. Later on Nathan and Bathsheba manipulated David to name Solomon as his successor instead of the legal hire and elder brother of Solomon, Adonijah (1 Kgs 1–2). Sweeney 2008, 184. 23 Veijola 1979, 231–233.

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a­ utonomously. According to him, the phrase “and she sanctified herself from her impurity” (v. 4), means that Bathsheba cleansed herself after her menstruation, hence that she wished to become pregnant. Bathsheba asked servants to bring the message to David: “I am pregnant” (v. 5). This is no call of distress but a cry of triumph.24 David attempted to keep his paternity a secret by inviting Uriah to leave the front and visit his wife in Jerusalem, but it is in vain. Uriah did not go to Bathsheba but slept outdoors. Bathsheba could perhaps have saved Uriah, if she had called him to herself. But this did not happen and David was forced to send Uriah to the front, as the bearer of his own judgement. Let us shortly examine once more the origin of Solomon’s name. “Uriah’s replacement” is not really a good explanation for the name Bathsheba gave her firstborn son. One gets the impression from the Succession narrative that the whole Canaanite circle of Jerusalem—Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, foreign mercenaries, Bathsheba from Jerusalem— stood behind Solomon’s accession to the throne.25 Solomon set aside his older brother Adonijah, who was the legal heir of the throne. From the theophoric element in the name “Adonijah” it becomes clear that he was a loyal representative of the Yahweh religion. Later, Solomon as well was given a new, more orthodox name Jedidjah (2 Sam 12:25). Was it because the name Solomon given by Bathsheba was seen as unsuitable for the King of Israel? What then could be the meaning of the name Solomon? The old meaning Pacificus, “Man of Peace,” fits well with the statement that Solomon “had peace on every side” (1 Kgs 5:4).26 But could there also be another solution, which better fits Bathsheba’s situation? The etymology of the name Jerusalem is “foundation of the god Shalem.” Shalem was the Canaanite solar divinity, probably of the morning dawn or the evening twilight, and its hypostasis was Venus, the morning or the 24 Blenkinsopp 1966, 52–53; Rudnig 2006, 50; Särkiö 2008, 186. 25 Keel 2007, §§219–220. He describes in §222 how the Canaanite party of Jebusite Jerusalem managed to have their candidate Solomon put on throne after David. “David nahm zwar als Judäer vor rund 3000 Jahren in Jerusalem Residenz. Die Erben seiner Macht aber waren nicht seine jud. Landsleuten, sondern Salomo, der Sohn Davids und einer Jerusalemerin, dessen wichtigste Parteigänger alteingesessene jerusalemer Stadtbewohner waren, also Mitglieder jener Volksgruppen, die die atl Überlieferung, bes. die dtn-dtr Literatur, später unter dem Namen ‚Kanaanäer’ als Kontrastgruppe und Negativfolie zum wahren Israel hinstellt. In Wirklichkeit ist die religiöse Tradition Israels eine aspektreiche Verbindung von dörflich-jud. und städtisch-kanaanäischen Bräuchen und Überlieferungen.” 26 Herzberg 1956, 260.


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evening star. If this etymology is correct, then the name “Solomon” might point to this old Canaanite divinity of pre-Israelite, Jebusite Jerusalem. In my opinion, this aetiology of Solomon is a proof for the historicity of a king with that name who reigned in Jerusalem.27 This would also fit very well with the mentioning of the Canaanite Bathsheba as Solomon’s mother. According to Andreas Kunz-Lübcke, Bathsheba is connected with the theme of the foreign wives of Solomon: “Without the influence of Bathsheba on David, Solomon would certainly not have become king and, without the influence foreign wives had on him, there would have not been the relapse into cultic syncretism and it would not have come to the division of the ten tribes from the Jerusalem monarchy.”28 The Sin of Solomon According to the Old Testament, Solomon had many foreign wives, who led the old king to worship other gods (1 Kgs 11:1–8). According to the Law it was forbidden to marry into a foreign people: “You shall not make marriages with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons. For they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods; then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly” (Dtn 7:3–4, RSV). King Solomon with his many foreign wives is a good example of one who has forsaken the Law. It is noteworthy that still in the post-exilic period, in Neh 13:26–27, the sin of Solomon is considered as a present-day question and he is cited in the paraenesis for piety towards the Law as a negative example. Marriage to foreign wives was understood as a rupture of the covenant 27 Jeru “Gründung” des (Gottes) schalem. Koehler and Baumgartner 1985, 404: “Endlich enthält, wie schon mehrmals gesagt wurde, der Name Jeruschalems selbst mit dem Element Schalem/Schalim den Namen einer solaren Gottheit. Vielleicht ist der Name Salomo von Schalem herzuleiten (HAL IV 1426).” §221: “. . . den die Jerusalemerin (Bathseba) wahrscheinlich nach dem Stadtgott Schalem Schlomo nennt.” Keel 2007, §334. There are some passages in the Old Testament that possibly contain traces of an idea about a king as a star, born from morning dawn. Of the king’s enthronement Psalm 110 says: “From the womb of the morning, like dew, your youth will come to you” (v. 3). In his vaticinium ex eventu oracle Balaam predicts “a star shall come out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel” (Num 24:17). It is remarkable that in the following chapter Num 25 it is told how foreign wives led Israelite men to sacrifice to their own gods. This made the Lord angry and he punished his people (Num 25:3 // 1 Kgs 11:9). Could Num 25 be a projection of Solomon’s sin back into the history of Israel as a comment to the prediction of Balaam about the future king, who is like a star (Solomon)? 28 Kunz-Lübcke 2004, 43.

solomon in history and tradition


between Yahweh and Israel, which would call forth the wrath of Yahweh and lead to exile. On account of the sin of Solomon the wrath of Yahweh burned, as the history of Solomon (formulated by DtrP and DtrN) recounts: “And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing; that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant” (1 Kgs 11:9–11, RSV). Only the tribe of Judah remained for the kings of Judea. The other tribes formed the northern kingdom of Israel, whose king became Jeroboam.29 Bibliography Blenkinsopp, J., ‘Theme and Motif in the Succession History (2 Sam 11,2ff ) and the Yahvistic corpus’, in: Volume du Congrès de Genève 1965 (Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 15), 44–57, Leiden 1966. Davies, P.R., In Search of Ancient Israel ( Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series 148), Sheffield 1992. Dietrich, W., 1986, ‘Das harte Joch (1 Kön 12,4). Fronarbeit in der Salomo-Überlieferung’, Biblische Notizen 34: 7–16. Finkelstein, I. and N.A. Silberman, The Bible Unearthed. Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, New York 2001. ——, David und Salomo. Archäologen entschlüsseln einen Mythos, München 2009. Grabbe, L., ‘Are Historians of Ancient Palestine Fellow Creatures or Different Animals?’, in: L. Grabbe (ed.), Can a ‘History of Israel’ Be Written?, 19–36, Sheffield 1997. Herzberg, H., Die Samuelbücher (Das Alte Testament Deutsch 10), Göttingen 1956. Jamieson-Drake, D.W., Scribes and Schools in Monarchic Judah. A Socio-Archaeological Approach ( Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series 109), Sheffield 1991. Kamlah, J., 2001, ‘Die Liste der Regionalfürsten in 1 Kön 4,7–19 als historische Quelle für die Zeit Salomos’, Biblische Notizen 106: 57–78. Keel, O., Die Geschichte Jerusalems und die Entstehung des Monotheismus (Orte und Landschaft der Bibel 4/1), Göttingen 2007. Koehler, L. and W. Baumgartner, Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros, Leiden 1985. Kunz-Lübcke, A., Salomo. Von der Weisheit eines Frauenliebhabers, Leipzig 2004. Lemche, N.P., Ancient Israel, Sheffield 1988. Niemann, H.M., Herrschaft, Königtum und Staat. Skizzen zur soziokulturellen Entwicklung im monarchischen Israel (Forschungen zum Alten Testament 6), Tübingen 1993. Renz, J. and W. Röllig, Handbuch der althebräischen Epigraphik. Bd. I–III, Darmstadt 1995.

29 Särkiö 2008, 573.


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Rudnig, T., Davids Thron: Redaktionskritische Studien zur Geschichte von der Thronnachfolge Davids, Berlin and New York 2006. Särkiö, P., Die Weisheit und Macht Salomos in der israelitischen Historiographie. Eine traditions- und redaktionskritische Untersuchung über 1 Kön 3–5 und 9–11 (Schriften der Fin­ nischen Exegetischen Gesellschaft 60), Helsinki and Göttingen 1994. ——, 1996, ‘Die Struktur der Salomogeschichte (1 Kön 1–11) und die Stellung der Weisheit in ihr’, Biblische Notizen 83: 83–106. ——, 1997, ‘Hilferuf zu Jahwe aus dem Versteck. Eine neue Deutung der Inschrift ysr mhr aus Hirbet Bet Ley’, Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 113: 39–60. ——, ‘Salomo/Salomoschriften’, in: Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Bd. XXIX, 724–727, Berlin and New York 1998. ——, Kuningasajalta. Kirjoituksia Salomosta ja rautakauden piirtokirjoituksista (Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 90), Helsinki 2006. ——, ‘Die fremden Frauen in der Familie Judas’, in: J. Pakkala and M. Nissinen (eds.), Houses Full of All Good Things. Essays in Memory of Timo Veijola (Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 95), 184–200, Helsinki and Göttingen 2008. ——, ‘Ruth und Tamar als fremde Frauen in dem Davidischen Stammbaum’, in: A. Voitila and J. Jokiranta (eds.), Scripture in Transition. Essays on Septuagint, Hebrew Bible, and Dead Sea Scrolls in Honor of Raija Sollamo, 551–574, Leiden and Boston MA 2008. Sweeney, M.A., 1995, ‘The Critique of Solomon in the Josianic Edition of the Deuteronomistic History’, JBL 114: 607–622. ——, ‘Synchronic and Diachronic Considerations in the DtrH Portrayal of the Demise of Solomon’s Kingdom’, in: C. Cohen et al. (eds.), Birkat Shalom. Studies in the Bible, Ancient Near Eastern Literature and Post-biblical Judaism presented to Shalom M. Paul to his 70. Birthday, 175–189, Winona Lake IN 2008. Thompson, T., Early History of the Israelite People (Studies in the History of the Ancient Near East 4), Leiden, New York and Köln 1992. Veijola, T., Die ewige Dynastie. David und die Entstehung seiner Dynastie nach der deutero­ nomistischen Darstellung (Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae B 193), Helsinki 1975. ——, ‘Salomo—der Erstgeborene Bathsebas’ in: J.A. Emerton (ed.), Studies in the Historical Books of the Old Testament (Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 30), 211–243, Leiden 1979. Wälchli, S., Der Weise König Salomo. Eine Studie zu den Erzählungen von der Weisheit Salomos in ihrem alttestamentlichen und altorientalischen Kontext (Beiträge zur Wissenschaft vom Alten und Neuen Testament 141), Stuttgart 1999. Yadin, Y., Hazor: The Head of All Those Kingdoms, Joshua 11:10 (The Schweich Lectures 1970), Oxford 1972. Zevit, Z., 2002, ‘Three Debates About Bible and Archaeology: The “Biblical Archaeology” Debate’, in Biblica 83: 1–27.

Der Tempel Salomos im Kontext der Ikonographie und der archäologischen Funde Wolfgang Zwickel 1. Die Zeit des historischen Salomo Die Bibel stellt Salomo als den – neben David – großartigsten und bedeutendsten König der Frühzeit dar. Er ist – trotz der Kritik vor allem an seinen angeblich 1000 Frauen und der damit verbundenen Offenheit für fremde Kulte – eine Idealgestalt. Betrachtet man jedoch den historischen Salomo, so ergibt sich ein anderes Bild. Sein Vater David war eher ein militärischer Haudegen und autoritär regierender Führer als die friedliebende, an Psalmendichtung ausgerichtete Gestalt, die uns die Endredaktion des Alten Testaments bietet. Eine sinnvolle Regierungs- und Verwaltungsstruktur hatte David seinem Sohn nicht hinterlassen. Dies musste erst aufgebaut werden, was auch Salomo noch nicht gelang oder gelingen konnte. Erst im 9. Jh. v.Chr. im Nordreich bzw. im 8. Jh. im Südreich scheinen entsprechende Strukturen landesweit umgesetzt worden zu sein. Dies zeigt schon ein Überblick über die Beamten, die dem letzten „charismatischen“ Führer Saul sowie David und Salomo zur Verfügung standen: Saul



Private Dienerschaft Sauls, angeführt von Doeg (1 Sam 21,8) Leibwache Sauls mit Leibwache Kreti und (Zusatz?: Heerführer David als Füh­rer (1 Sam Pleti mit Benaja als Benajahu (1 Kön 4,4)) 22,14) Führer (2 Sam 8,18; 20,23) Waffenträger Sauls (1 Sam 31,4ff.) Heerführer Abner (1 Sam 14,50f. u.ö.)

Heerführer Joab (2 Sam 8,16; 20,23)

Heerführer Eliab, Sohn des Joab (1 Kön 4,6)

Kanzler Jehoschafat (2 Sam 8,16; 20,24)

Kanzler Jehoschafat (1 Kön 4,3)


wolfgang zwickel

Tabelle (Fortsetz.) Saul

David Schreiber Schuscha (2 Sam 8,17; 20,25)

Salomo Schreiber Elichaph und Achija, Söhne des Schischa (1 Kön 4,3)

Priester Zadok und Priester Asarja, Sohn des Ebjatar (2 Sam 8,17; 20,25) Zadok (1 Kön 4,2); zu Ebjatar vgl. 1 Kön 2,26; 1 Kön 4,4 Oberaufseher der Fronarbeit Ado­ram (erst 2 Sam 20,24)

Fronaufseher Adoram (1 Kön 4,6) Vögte (1 Kön 4,7–19) unter der Füh­rung von Asarja (1 Kön 4,5) Freund des Königs Sabud (1 Kön 4,5) Palastaufseher Achischar (1 Kön 4,6)

Die Übersicht zeigt deutlich, dass unter Saul noch nahezu ausschließlich der militärische Aspekt relevant für die „Beamtenschaft“ war. Diese rekrutierte sich im Wesentlichen aus dem privaten Umfeld Sauls. David führte als zusätzliche Ämter das des Kanzlers, des Schreibers und des Fronaufsehers ein. Die Erwähnung der Priester weist dagegen auf den kultischen Bereich. Unter Salomo weitete sich die Verwaltung schon etwas aus. Er benötigte statt einem Schreiber wie unter David schon zwei. Außerdem fügte er das Amt eines Palastaufsehers und – als Berater – das des Freundes des Königs ein. Wichtig für die Verwaltung des ganzen Gebietes war die Einteilung des Reiches in einzelne Regionen, in denen Vögte, die teilweise aus dem unmittelbaren Umfeld des Königs stammten, eingesetzt wurden. Damit ließ sich das ganze Land dezentral verwalten. Trotzdem zeigt die geringe Anzahl an Beamten deutlich an, dass es sich um eine Frühform staatlicher Verwaltung handelte. Die Macht des Königs war mit diesem personal sehr begrenzten „Team“ eher gering. Die Verwaltung war noch allenfalls in Anfängen aufgebaut, was auch die Zahl der Schriftfunde deutlich zeigt. Die Ortschaften und Stämme hatten weiterhin eine dominante Rolle im Bereich des Rechts und der inneren Organisation inne. David und sicherlich in gewisser Weise auch Salomo waren vornehmlich

der tempel salomos im kontext der ikonographie


militärische Führer. Salomo kann aber zugestanden werden, dass er als erster Ansätze einer Verwaltungsstruktur für das Land umsetzte. Ohnehin war das Land relativ klein. Schätzungen, die auf der Zahl der archäologisch nachweisbaren Siedlungen beruhen, gehen von etwa 40.000 Menschen im Westjordanland aus. Schon allein diese Zahl macht deutlich, dass weder David noch Salomo die alles überragenden Herrscher in einem mächtigen Reich waren, sondern eher autoritative Führergestalten mit einem recht beschränkten Einfluss und Machtbereich. Diese Situation ist nicht unbedingt verwunderlich. Noch zur Zeit Sauls gab es kein einheitliches Reich Israel, sondern allenfalls ein zeitlich begrenztes, loses Stämmebündnis, das sich in Kriegszeiten zusammenfand und nur unter massivem Druck (vgl. 1 Sam 11) als Gesamtbündnis Israel auftrat. Juda, ohnehin relativ klein, bildete einen unabhängigen Stamm mit nur sehr wenigen Einwohnern. Die Stämme wurden von Richtern verwaltet und geführt, die je für ein Stammesgebiet zuständig waren. Mit dem Königtum Davids wurden die Stammesstrukturen beibehalten. Erst Salomo versuchte durch die Einrichtung von Vögten einen Ersatz für die Richter zu schaffen. Trotzdem blieben die Stammesstrukturen noch weitgehend intakt und bestimmten das gesellschaftliche Leben. Erst nach Salomo scheinen in den Städten Beamte eingesetzt worden zu sein, die eine gewisse Kontrollfunktion auf lokaler Ebene ausübten. Derartige Stadthauptmänner werden im Alten Testament zwar erst in 2 Kön 23,8 erwähnt, sind aber schon im 9. Jh. epigraphisch belegt.1 Die Zeit Davids und Salomos ist damit noch stark von dem Übergang einer Stammesgesellschaft zu einem Territorialstaat geprägt. Trotzdem sollte man die Aktivitäten des Salomo nicht zu gering schätzen. In den letzten Jahren wurde immer wieder betont, dass erst mit den Omriden eine ausgeprägte Verwaltung und ein funktionierender Handel existierten. Legt man das Hauptaugenmerk auf die Frage, ab wann man von wirklich entwickelten Strukturen sprechen kann, dann trifft dies zweifelsohne zu. Aber weder außenpolitische Kontakte noch Handelsbeziehungen noch Verwaltungsstrukturen lassen sich innerhalb kurzer Zeit schaffen. Ein Handelsprodukt in einer kurzen Zeitspanne international erfolgreich zu machen, ist eine Entwicklung des 20. Jh.s n.Chr. mit seiner für unsere Zeit so typischen Schnelllebigkeit. Trotzdem erfordert dies selbst in unserer Zeit eine gewisse Infrastruktur und einen guten finanziellen Hintergrund, ohne den sich ein Produkt nicht im großem Maße 1 Vgl. Renz and Röllig 1995, 54f. KAgr(9):2 sowie Avigad 1997, No. 402.


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vermarkten ließe. Traditionell erfordert es Jahrzehnte, bis man nicht nur ein Produkt zur Marktreife entwickelt, sondern auch Handelsbeziehungen und Handelswege aufgebaut hat. Die Zeit Salomos ist noch geprägt von einer Gesellschaft, in der es kaum Spezialisten gab. Selbst die Fachleute für den Tempelbau mussten aus Phönizien geholt werden (1 Kön 7,13f.) – sicherlich eine glaubwürdige historische Notiz, denn sie glorifiziert ja gerade nicht Juda und Israel, sondern macht deren Rückständigkeit in kultureller Hinsicht mehr als deutlich. So scheint es durchaus glaubwürdig, dass Salomo innovativ dachte und neue „Produkte“ auf den Markt bringen wollte. Der Versuch, auf dem Roten Meer eine Handelsschifffahrt mit Hilfe der Phönizier aufzubauen (1 Kön 9,26–28; 10,11), könnte durchaus glaubwürdig sein, zumal zu seiner Zeit auch noch das benachbarte edomitische Gebiet unter seiner Kontrolle war und damit die Wegführung von Elat nach Arad sicher schien. Die hauptsächlichen Aktivitäten dürften dabei jedoch in den Händen der Phönizier gelegen haben, während Salomo wohl nur den Hafen in Elat bzw. Ezion-Geber zur Verfügung stellte. Leider lässt sich dies heute durch archäologische Untersuchungen nicht mehr sicher beweisen.2 Gleiches gilt für die Handelsaktivitäten mit Pferden (1 Kön 10,28f.). Es ist sehr wohl – wenngleich von vielen Leuten heute bestritten – vorstellbar, dass die Anfänge einer Pferdezucht und -ausbildung bereits auf die Zeit Salomos zurückgeht. David scheint noch keine Verwendung für Streitwagenheere gehabt zu haben, wohl auch dadurch bedingt, dass weite Bereiche seines Herrschaftsgebietes im Bergland liegen. Er lähmte vielmehr die eroberten Pferde, um sie so für die Kriegsführung untauglich zu machen (2 Sam 8,4). Internationale Kontakte nach Ägypten einerseits und nach Phönizien andererseits sind für David nicht sicher belegt, auch keine kriegerischen Auseinandersetzungen mit diesen Nachbarvölkern. Für David war die innerpalästinische Einigung und Herrschaftskontrolle vorrangiges politisches Ziel. Dies dürfte sich mit Salomo ein Stück weit geändert haben. Da es zu seiner Zeit keine nachhaltigen Auseinandersetzungen mit den Philistern mehr gegeben hat, entstanden die Rahmenbedingungen für einen internationalen Handel, 2 Die Grabungen in Tell el-Khlefe, dem Handelsplatz am Nordufer des Roten Meeres, sind leider nicht aussagekräftig genug, da ein Großteil der Keramik nicht mehr zur Verfügung steht; vgl. Practico 1993. In Jezirat Fara’un, dem biblischen Ezion Geber (1 Kön 9,26; 22,49), könnte es eine menschliche Präsenz zur Zeit Salomos durchaus gegeben haben; die Untersuchungen sind aber auch hier nahezu unveröffentlicht und nicht besonders aussagekräftig. Ohnehin sollte man vorsichtig sein bezüglich der zu genauen Datierung von Ortschaften allein mit Hilfe der Archäologie. Die noch immer nicht geklärte Diskussion um die High- und Low-Chronology warnt vor einer Überschätzung archäologischer Datierungen für die Geschichte Israels.

der tempel salomos im kontext der ikonographie


der ja wegen der geographischen Lage Palästinas zwangsläufig durch das philistäische Territorium verlaufen musste. Die innovative Idee, Pferdezucht und -handel durchzuführen, benötigte aber einen Jahrzehnte langen Vorlauf. Erfahrene Tiertrainer mussten angeworben, eine Ausbildung für den Trainernachwuchs aufgebaut werden.3 Außerdem benötigte man geeignete Pferde und Handwerker für die Streitwagen. Ställe und Trainingsareale, wie sie inzwischen für Megiddo – nach langer Diskussion – jetzt doch nachgewiesen zu sein scheinen,4 stehen erst am Schlusspunkt dieser Entwicklung. Da aber in einer glaubwürdigen Notiz bereits wenige Jahre nach Salomo Streitwagenführer in Israel existierten (2 Kön 8,21), ist es durchaus vorstellbar, dass die Anfänge der diesbezüglichen Aktivitäten in die Zeit Salomos fallen. Trifft dies zu, dann war er ein innovativer Kopf, der den gerade erst entstandenen Territorialstaat, den er von seinem Vater geerbt hat, zu einer international vernetzten Macht ausbauen wollte. Im Gegensatz zum traditionellen biblischen Bild Salomos liegen aber in seiner Regierungszeit erst die Anfänge für eine Entwicklung, deren Früchte im 9. Jh. v.Chr. zu finden sind. Dabei scheint Salomo kein absolut genialer Kopf gewesen zu sein. Zumindest im Bereich der Außenpolitik berichten uns Texte von herben Rückschlägen (1 Kön 11,14–24). Auch im Bereich der Innenpolitik entstand offenbar eine kritische Situation, die zu Unruhen und Revolten führte, die er niederzuhalten suchte (1 Kön 11,25–40). Sieht man jedoch den historischen Salomo auf dem soeben skizzierten Hintergrund, dann kann er durchaus als der Gründervater einer (wenngleich nur regional relevanten) Wirtschaftsmacht gelten. Die spätere Verherrlichung Salomos beruht demnach auf dem Samen, die zu seiner Zeit gelegt wurden und erst Jahrzehnte später unter den Omriden erblühten. 2. Der Salomonische Tempel auf dem Hintergrund der zeitgeschichtlichen Entwicklung Der Bericht vom Tempelbau Salomos spielt auf diesem Hintergrund eine besondere Rolle. Wenn der diesbezügliche biblische Text wirklich aus der Zeit Salomos stammt, dann ist er ein deutliches Zeichen dafür, wie sich das allmählich etablierende Königtum verstanden fühlen wollte. „Kleider 3 Über die komplizierte Trainingsarbeit mit Pferden informieren uns hethitische und assyrische Texte; vgl. z.B. Raulwing and Meyer 2004, 491–506. 4 Cantrell and Finkelstein 2006, 643–665.


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machen Leute,“ so lautet der Titel eines Buches von Gottfried Keller. Entsprechend könnte man beim Nachweis einer entsprechenden Datierung sagen „Tempel (und Paläste) machen Könige.“ Ein Königtum, das seine Macht und Bedeutung in der Gesellschaft präsentieren wollte, musste entsprechende Bauten errichten. Die derzeit in der Forschung diskutierte Frage ist, ob wir ein derart etabliertes Königtum schon in der Zeit Salomos finden oder aber erst im nachfolgenden Jahrhundert unter den Omriden oder sogar noch später. Daher soll in einem ersten Teil der nachfolgenden Darlegung der Frage nach einer Datierung von 1 Kön 6f. nachgegangen werden. Hierbei sollen archäologische und exegetische Argumente miteinander kombiniert werden. Eine Literarkritik zu dem Text sowie eine ausführliche Begründung zu der Übersetzung der Grundschicht (s. dazu die im Anhang wiedergegebene Textfassung) wurde an anderer Stelle geboten5 und kann hier nicht neu diskutiert werden, zumal der Text zu den schwierigsten des gesamten Alten Testaments gehört. In einem zweiten Teil sollen die inhaltlichen und theologischen Aspekte des Tempelbaus mit seinen Gerätschaften näher betrachtet werden. Zunächst muss betont werden, dass der Text in 1 Kön 6f. stark literarisch überarbeitet wurde. Die Bedeutung Salomos wurde glorifiziert, es gibt kommentierende Glossen und sicherlich auch Ergänzungen, die ein späteres Baustadium des Tempels wiederspiegeln. Die Überarbeitungen überwiegen jedoch mengenmäßig nicht, sondern sind eher in der Minderheit. Wie alt ist nun aber dieser Grundtext? In den vergangenen Jahren wurde immer wieder – u.a. von van Seters und seinen Schülern – die Meinung vertreten, 1 Kön 6f. sei deuteronomistisch und stamme damit aus der Zeit des Babylonischen Exils.6 Für die heutige Fassung des Textes mit seinen Ergänzungen und redaktionellen Bearbeitungen mag das durchaus zutreffen, auch wenn einige der redaktionellen Einfügungen sicherlich auch aus der nachexilischen Zeit stammen können. Für den Grundtext trifft dies aber auf keinen Fall zu. Dieser muss zumindest aus der Zeit des 8. Jh. v.Chr. stammen und ist wahrscheinlich, wie gleich noch ausführt wird, noch älter. Der Grund hierfür ist zunächst einmal die Beschreibung des ehernen Meeres (1 Kön 7,23–26), dieses großen überdimensionierten 5 Zwickel 1999. In diesem Buch habe ich die hier vertretene Argumentation breit dargestellt. Für Einzelargumentationen muss daher auf dieses Werk und die dort angegebene Literatur generell verwiesen werden. 6 Vgl. z.B. McCormick 2002.

der tempel salomos im kontext der ikonographie


Beckens, das auf 12 Rindern stand und vor dem Tempel aufgestellt worden war. In 2 Kön 16,17 wird erwähnt, dass das eherne Meer zur Zeit des judäischen Königs Ahas, der von 736–725 v.Chr. regierte, von eben diesen Rindern heruntergehoben und auf einen gepflasterten Steinfußboden gestellt wurde. Es gibt keinen Grund, an dieser Notiz als einer historischen Notiz zu zweifeln. Der Grund für diese Aktion war sicherlich nicht oder nicht in erster Linie, dass man das Metall der Tiere als Abgabe an den Assyrerkönig Tiglatpileser benötigte. Vielmehr dürfte das aufkommende Bilderverbot, das wir z.B. beim Propheten Hosea im Nordreich Israel schon vorher fassen können, hier eine Rolle gespielt haben. Die Rinder konnte man als Darstellung des kämpferischen Aspekts Jahwes verstehen – und damit gewissermaßen auch als Bild von YHWH selbst. Daher verzichtete man wohl in dieser Zeit auf sie. Das große Becken des ehernen Meeres, das den Süßwasserozean symbolisierte, genügte allein – auch ohne die unterstützende Bedeutung der Rinder. Wir werden auf die Symbolik des ehernen Meeres noch einmal eingehen. Wenn nun seit dem späten 8. Jh. die Rinder nicht mehr existierten, dann ist es nahezu unmöglich, dass der entsprechende Text mit der Angabe der Rinder erst im 6. Jh. geschrieben worden sein soll. Die Erinnerung an die ursprünglich vorhandenen Rinder ging sicherlich schnell verloren, und so können wir annehmen, dass der Grundtext auf jeden Fall im 8. Jh. oder früher geschrieben worden war. Das schränkt die Abfassungszeit schon erheblich ein: auf das späte 10. bis späte 8. Jh. v.Chr. Nun ist es relativ schwierig, in dieser Zeit genauere Eingrenzungen durch die Verbindung zwischen Archäologie und Exegese zu machen. Wir haben sicherlich in diesen rund 200 Jahren einige kulturelle Entwicklungen. Archäologen sind aber immer dankbar für Zerstörungshorizonte. Sie beenden eine Epoche und begraben unter einer Brandschicht die Funde der vorangehenden Zeit. In der Regel stammt die Keramik, die unter einer Brandschicht aufgefunden wird, aus der jüngeren und jüngsten Vergangenheit vor der Zerstörung. Keramik ist zerbrechlich und nicht langlebig, und daher für Datierungszwecke sehr gut verwendbar. Wertvolle Gegenstände wie die großen Kupfergerätschaften, von denen uns das Alte Testament im Zusammenhang mit dem Tempel Salomos berichtet, werden dagegen weniger leicht beschädigt und überleben leicht mehrere Generationen. Da wir im 10.-8. Jh. v.Chr. kaum kriegerische Auseinandersetzungen haben – nur Schoschenk führte im 10. Jh. einen Feldzug nach Palästina durch, der aber bislang archäologisch noch immer nicht genau erfasst werden kann –, haben wir an vielen Orten Syriens und Palästinas ein Kontinuum von luxuriöseren Gegenständen, deren genaue Datierung


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innerhalb der zwei Jahrhunderte mit archäologischen Argumenten nicht oder kaum möglich ist. Nahezu alle Vergleichsstücke aus dem levantinischen Raum für die Gerätschaften am Jerusalemer Tempel können aus dem ganzen Spektrum dieser zwei Jahrhunderte stammen, weil wir an kaum einem Ort eine Zerstörungsschicht haben, die sicher datiert werden kann. Erst mit den assyrischen Eroberungen in Palästina 733 und 722 v.Chr. haben wir unter archäologischen Gesichtspunkten wieder einen sicheren Boden unter den Füßen. Trotzdem gibt es einige Hinweise, die uns helfen, die Datierung des Grundtextes weiter einzugrenzen. Der Begriff, der in diesem Text für den in den Tempel eingebauten Schrein verwendet wird, lautet debīr (1 Kön 6,5 u.ö.). Dieser Begriff ist ein Lehnwort aus dem Ägyptischen und wird dort für einen hölzernen Götterschrein verwandt. Ein derartiger hölzerner Einbau in einen Tempel ist für Palästina ein völlig fremdes Bauelement. Traditionell wurden Podien für die Markierung des besonders heiligen Ortes in einem Tempel verwandt, aber auch Nischen wurden in der Mittel- und Spätbronzezeit als syrischer Einfluss gebräuchlich.7 Schreine sind dagegen ein typisches Element des ägyptischen Kultbaus, so dass nicht nur die Bezeichnung, sondern auch der Schrein selber eine Anknüpfung an ägyptische Traditionen darstellt. Die Integration eines ägyptischen Bauelements stellt eine völlige Neuerung dar und ist nur dann vorstellbar, wenn der judäische König enge kulturelle Beziehungen nach Ägypten hatte. Hinzufügen kann man, dass der Palastbau Salomos, wie er in 1 Kön 7,1–12 beschrieben wird, aller Wahrscheinlichkeit nach auch an einem ägyptischen Vorbild orientiert war. Er bestand aus einem Libanonwaldhaus, vergleichbar dem Säulenhof ägyptischer Tempel und Paläste, die in ihren Grundstrukturen ähnlich waren. In axialer Ausrichtung folgte die Säulenhalle, die dem Säulensaal Ägyptens entspricht. Die Gerichtshalle ist vergleichbar mit dem Thronsaal in ägyptischen Palästen bzw. dem Opfertisch- und Gastgöttersaal in Ägypten. Der an diesen Baukomplex angebaute Wohnbau, der mit den privaten Räumen in ägyptischen Palästen bzw. mit dem Sanktuar in ägyptischen Tempeln verglichen werden kann, schloss die Bausubstanz ab. Hier scheint es also starke kulturelle Kontakte gegeben zu haben. Wann aber gab es derart enge Beziehungen in der Zeit zwischen dem 10. und 8. Jh. v.Chr.? Der biblischen Überlieferung nach gab es zur Zeit Salomos gute Beziehungen zwischen Ägypten und Israel/Juda – auch wenn die ­Glaubwürdigkeit 7 Vgl. hierzu Zwickel 2003, 311–319.

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dieser Angaben manchmal in Frage gestellt wurde. Nach biblischer Tradition war Salomo mit einer ägyptischen Königstochter verheiratet (1 Kön 3,1; 7,8; 9,16.24; 11,1) und bekam die Stadt Gezer vom Pharao als Mitgift für diese Heirat (1 Kön 9,16). Außerdem soll er Handelskontakte mit Ägypten gepflegt haben (1 Kön 10,28f.). Das Verhältnis zwischen Ägypten und Juda dürfte sich nach der Reichsteilung stark abgekühlt haben. Der Feldzug des Pharao Schoschenk, der nach der biblischen Chronologie zur Zeit Rehabeams stattfand (1 Kön 14,25), konzentrierte sich zwar vornehmlich auf das Nordreich und den Negev. Dass das Gebiet Judas ausgelassen wurde, wie die Feldzugsliste deutlich zeigt, kann hinlänglich mit der alttestamentlichen Notiz verbunden werden, dass die Judäer ihm Tribut leistete (1 Kön 14,26). Es gibt keinen Grund, an der Historizität dieser Notiz zu zweifeln. Gab es aber eine Abhängigkeit Judas durch Tributzahlungen, wird man kaum die ägyptische Kultur als Vorbild für die eigenen Bauten verwendet haben. Dies setzt vielmehr eine friedliche, ja freundschaftliche Koexistenz voraus. In der Zeit vor Salomo dürften die Beziehungen sehr abgekühlt gewesen sein. Kein Pharao nach Ramses III. (1187–1156 v.Chr.), zu dessen Regierungszeit die Seevölker in Palästina Fuß fassten, betrieb in den folgenden 200 Jahren eine aktive Außenpolitik Richtung Palästina. Die Philister hatten sich selbstständig gemacht, die ägyptische Oberhoheit abgeschüttelt und waren ein eigener Machtblock geworden, der jegliche überregionalen Handelsbeziehungen und politischen Kontakte blockierte. Ich sehe archäologisch und historisch keinen Grund, an der biblischen Aussage zu zweifeln, dass es David gelang, die philistäischen Expansionsbemühungen zu zerschlagen, die bis ins judäische und israelitische Bergland hinein sich ausbreiteten. Mit der Zurückdrängung der Philister waren aber erstmals wieder intensivere Kontakte mit Ägypten möglich, und die scheint Salomo genutzt zu haben, wenn auch in einem sicherlich recht bescheidenen Maße. Für die Folgezeit nach Salomo wissen wir nichts über enge ägyptische Beziehungen nach Palästina. Zwar gehört Palästina zum kulturellen Einflussbereich Ägyptens, intensivere Kontakte scheint es aber nach Schoschenk nicht gegeben zu haben. Ägypten scheint sich aber vornehmlich mit innenpolitischen Problemen beschäftigt zu haben, so dass von engen kulturellen Beziehungen kaum die Rede sein dürfte. Vielmehr scheint sich Ägypten im 8. Jh. sogar ausdrücklich stark zurückgehalten zu haben, wenn es um eine politische und militärische Einflußnahme in Palästina ging, obwohl dies vom Staat Israel durchaus gewünscht war. Erst 609 v.Chr. begann wieder eine kurze Phase intensiven ägyptischen Einflusses auf Palästina, aber dieses Datum ist sicherlich zu jung für die Abfassung


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von 1 Kön 6f. Damit lässt sich zwar nicht sicher beweisen, aber doch wahrscheinlich machen, dass die für den Tempelbau notwendigen engen Beziehungen Jerusalems nach Ägypten am ehesten typisch für die Zeit Salomos sind. Ähnlich gilt das auch für die Beziehungen Jerusalems zu Tyrus. Nach 1 Kön 7,13.40 kam mit Hiram von Tyrus ein Erzhandwerker nach Jerusalem, um die Metallgerätschaften herstellen zu lassen. Dass die Phönizier in einen Handel mit Salomo traten, ihm Holz für den Tempelbau lieferten, scheint glaubwürdig. Salomo bezahlte dafür mit der Landschaft Kabul (1 Kön 8,10–14). Dabei scheint es sich um die Ebene von Akko zu handeln, die in etwa dem Siedlungsgebiet des biblischen Stammes Ascher entspricht. Die Erzählung 1 Kön 18 setzt auf jeden Fall voraus, dass im 9. Jh. v.Chr. der Karmel die Grenze zwischen Israel und dem Phöniziergebiet war. Zudem scheinen in der nachsalomonischen Ära die Beziehungen von Tyrus vor allem zu Israel eng gewesen zu sein, nicht aber zu Juda, wo nach der Reichsteilung der Tempel stand. Besonders interessant ist die Erwähnung in 1 Kön 7,46, wonach Hiram von Tyrus die Metallgerätschaften im Gebiet zwischen Sukkot und Zaretan herstellen ließ. Sukkot kann mit Tell Der Alla (Koord. 208.178) im Jordangraben identifiziert werden. Zaretan muss in der Nähe gelegen haben. Nach der Reichsteilung gehörte Tell Der Alla zweifelsfrei zum Gebiet des Nordreichs Israel und nicht zum Südreich Juda. Vorausgesetzt, die Lokal­ angabe stimmt, wonach dort die Metallgerätschaften hergestellt wurden, so wäre es höchst verwunderlich, wenn sie in Israel hergestellt, durch Israel transportiert und schließlich nach Juda bzw. konkret nach Jerusalem gebracht worden wären. Ein solcher Vorgang ist nur vorstellbar in einer Zeit, in der Sukkot in der Hand desselben Herrschers war wie der Bestimmungsort Jerusalem – und das ist eben die Zeit Salomos. Dass das Erz im Jordangraben, und noch dazu auf ostjordanischer Seite, verarbeitet wurde, mag auf den ersten Blick überraschen bzw. unverständlich wirken. In Jerusalem selbst wäre jedoch die Metallverarbeitung nicht möglich gewesen, weil keine ausreichende Temperatur für die Schmelzvorgänge erreicht werden konnte. Man wählte hierfür das Gebiet im Jordangraben, da die dortigen Fallwinde eine höhere Temperatur in den Schmelzöfen erlaubten. Dank der Ausgrabungen in Tell Der Alla wissen wir auch, dass es eben an diesem Ort in Phase A–D, die in die Eisenzeit I datiert wird, ein Metallverarbeitungszentrum gab.8 Für die Zeit Salomos 8 van der Kooij 1993, 340.

der tempel salomos im kontext der ikonographie


wissen wir zwar nichts Genaues über Metallverarbeitung an diesem Ort. Da aber hier in der Nähe auch die einzige bisher bekannte bedeutendere Eisenmine existierte,9 wird man annehmen dürfen, dass auch in der Zeit um 1000 v.Chr. hier Metallverarbeitung betrieben wurde. Somit spricht also viel dafür, dass auch die Angabe, dass gerade hier die Gerätschaften hergestellt wurden, eine historisch zuverlässige Information aus der Zeit Salomos ist, auch wenn der Transport hinauf nach Jerusalem extrem beschwerlich war. Aber hier im Jordangraben scheinen die Spezialisten für die Metallverarbeitung gewohnt zu haben, die allein in der Lage waren, derart aufwändige Gerätschaften herzustellen, und daher musste man sich an ihnen und nicht am Bestimmungsort der Waren orientieren. Sie benötigten hierfür ihre Schmelzöfen und Verarbeitungsgerätschaften, die sich nicht ohne weiteres von einem Ort an den anderen transportieren ließen. Dass man in der damaligen Zeit schon in der Lage war, so große Gerätschaften zu gießen, wie sie im salomonischen Tempel vorhanden waren, zeigten die Ausgrabungen in Tell ed-Dab’a, der biblischen Ramsesstadt aus dem Exodusbuch, wo entsprechend große Anlagen freigelegt wurden. Schließlich muss auch noch darauf hingewiesen werden, dass nur zur Zeit Salomos eine Möglichkeit bestand, ausreichend Kupfer zur Verfügung zu haben. Juda war kein besonders reiches Land, das in der Lage gewesen wäre, in großem Maße wertvolle Güter wie Kupfer zu importieren. Salomo kontrollierte aber anfangs noch das Gebiet des Stammes Edom. 1 Kön 11,14–22.25 berichtet vom Abfall der Edomiter aus dem Herrschaftsgebiet Salomos. Mehrere archäologische Expeditionen (unter der Leitung von Andreas Hauptmann, Volkmar Fritz und vor allem neuerdings Thomas Levy) haben in jüngerer Vergangenheit überzeugend gezeigt, dass im Bereich von Fenan, das im Gebiet Edoms liegt, bis ins 10. Jh. hinein intensiv Kupfer abgebaut wurde, dann aber der Kupferabbau aufgegeben wurde. Zunehmend wurde das Kupfer aus Zypern wieder billiger, da der internationale Mittelmeerhandel wieder dank der Aktivitäten der Phönizier an Bedeutung gewann. Der Abbau im Gebiet von Fenan ließ sich nur so lange sinnvoll aufrecht erhalten, wie der Bedarf Salomos so groß war, dass er von den zyprischen Abbaugebieten nicht gewährleistet werden konnte und zudem die politischen Gegebenheiten im Gebiet Edoms für Salomo günstig waren. Mit der Abspaltung Edoms vom salomonischen Herrschaftsbereich (1 Kön 11,14ff.) fehlten aber auch die Handelsverbindungen, um den Kupferabbau weiterhin sinnvoll betreiben zu können. 9 al-Amri 2007.


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Somit gibt es eine ganze Reihe von Argumenten, die deutlich machen, dass der Grundtext von 1 Kön 6f. wirklich die Verhältnisse zur Zeit Salomos wiedergibt – und damit dürfte er auch aus eben dieser Zeit oder allenfalls aus der Frühzeit Rehabeams stammen, denn später wurden derart konkrete Angaben, die dann ja nicht mehr zutreffend waren, sicherlich vergessen. Ein letzter Hinweis auf die Entstehungszeit des Textes beschäftigt sich mit der Gattung der Grunderzählung der Salomo-Überlieferung. Die Mescha-Inschrift aus dem 9. Jh. gliedert sich in Baumaßnahmen des Königs (Z. 21–27) und in militärische Kampagnen (Z. 28–31). Beides gehört zu den wesentlichen Aufgaben eines Königs: Schaffung von Infrastruktur einerseits und außenpolitische Erfolge andererseits. Vom Stil her ist die Überlieferung Salomos ähnlich aufgebaut. Sie enthält Baumaßnahmen wie den Tempel- und Palastbau (1 Kön 6–7), aber auch Angaben über die Außenpolitik. Somit entspricht die Berichterstattung über Salomo zumindest in einer weitgehend rekonstruierbaren Grundform dem, was auf Grund altorientalischer Paralleltexte dieser Epoche zu erwarten ist. 3. Die Ikonographie der Gerätschaften im Tempel Salomos Nachdem nun die Abfassungszeit der Grundschicht von 1 Kön 6f. geklärt ist, soll in einem zweiten Schritt auf die Symbolik des Tempelbaus und der Tempelgerätschaften eingegangen werden, um die Tempeltheologie des Jerusalemer Tempels näher zu erheben. Zunächst einmal zum Tempelbau selbst. Hierfür liegen zwei separate vordeuteronomistische Texte vor: die Baubeschreibung einerseits, die sich an den einzelnen Bauelementen orientiert, und die Bauerzählung andererseits. Die Bauerzählung ist Teil des ursprünglichen Tempelbauberichts, die Baubeschreibung wurde in diesen Text eingearbeitet und stellte ursprünglich eine selbstständige Quelle dar. Der Bauerzählung muss die Baubeschreibung vorgelegen haben, denn dieser Text wurde in die Erzählung integriert bzw. die in der Baubeschreibung enthaltenen Elemente wurden nicht noch einmal in der Bauerzählung erwähnt. Der Tempel ist ein Langraum im Verhältnis 3:1 bei den Innenmaßen (Abb. 1). Bei keinem anderen Tempel Palästinas ist das Verhältnis von Länge zu Breite so stark wie beim Jerusalemer Tempel. Mit diesem Verhältnis ist aber auch eine inhaltliche Aussage verbunden. ­Grundsätzlich gibt es drei Möglichkeiten, einen Kultraum zu gestalten, mit jeweils unterschiedlicher theologischer Relevanz (Abb. 2). Bei einem Breitraum

der tempel salomos im kontext der ikonographie


Abb. 1. W. Zwickel, Der salomonische Tempel, Mainz 1999, S. 94 Abb. 47.

Abb. 2. Ebd., S. 93 Abb. 46.

ist man der Stelle besonderer Heiligkeit, auf der normalerweise ein Götterbild aufgestellt war, besonders nahe. Hier wird die räumliche Nähe zwischen Beter und Gottheit durch die Architektur besonders betont. Genau das Gegenteil ist bei einem Langraum der Fall. Hier wird, wie etwa bei gotischen Domen, die Distanz zwischen Gottheit und Beter hervorgehoben. Ein Sonderfall ist dann noch der sog. Knickachstempel, bei dem man seitlich in ein Gebäude hineintritt und sich erst im Inneren der Gottheit durch einen Schwenk um 90° zuwenden kann. Der Salomonische Tempel betont also extrem die Distanz zwischen Beter und Gottheit – mehr als jeder andere Tempel der Region in ­dieser


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Zeit. Damit ordnet sich der Tempelbau in eine Theologie ein, die wir auch an anderen Stellen des Alten Testaments deutlich erkennen können: YHWH, der Gott Israels, ist ein heiliger, unnahbarer und unzugänglicher Gott.10 Es sei hier nur an zwei Texte des Alten Testaments erinnert, die genau dies zum Ausdruck bringen. Nach 2 Sam 6, einem im Grundtext recht alten Text aus dem 10. Jh. v.Chr., will der Priestersohn Uzza die Lade halten, die von einem Transportwagen herabzustürzen drohte. Die Lade war Symbol für die Präsenz Gottes. Die gutgemeinte Tat des Uzza war aber verwerflich: Er war YHWH zu nahe gekommen und starb deshalb unmittelbar an dieser Stelle. Und auch in Ex 19,23 gebietet YHWH, den Berg Sinai einzugrenzen, damit niemand vom Volk den Berg hinaufsteige und der Heiligkeit Gottes zu nahe komme. Die Gestaltung des Tempelbaus machte also deutlich, dass YHWH ein heiliger Gott war. Was in anderen Texten theologisch durch Erzählungen ausgedrückt wurde, wird in der Architektur anschaulich manifest gemacht. Die Unnahbarkeit wird auch dadurch deutlich gemacht, dass YHWH ein Heiligtum im Heiligtum hat. Der debīr ist ein eigener Götterschrein, der noch einmal separat verschlossen werden konnte. Wer in den Tempel tritt, und das war in vorexilischer Zeit offenbar allen Kultteilnehmern möglich, steht vor einem eigenen Götterschrein, der separat verschlossen werden konnte. Der debīr ist eine Aufnahme ägyptischer Traditionen, vermischt mit kanaanäischen Traditionen. In ägyptischen Tempeln gab es einen eigenen Götterschrein, umgeben von vielen Räumlichkeiten und Vorhöfen. In Palästina waren dagegen Podien oder Nischen üblich. Während man in Podien und Nischen die Gottheit jeweils direkt erblicken kann, weil sie für den Tempelbesucher offen gestaltet und ohne Hindernis zugänglich waren, ist sie in einem Schrein durch Türen abgetrennt und damit nicht zwangsläufig verfügbar. So wurde also auch durch die Gestaltung des Bereiches besonderer Heiligkeit noch einmal die Heiligkeit und Sonderstellung YHWHs zusätzlich betont. Die Übernahme kanaanäischer Elemente bei der Gestaltung des Schreins haben wir mit der Ausgestaltung des Throns als Keruben- oder Sphingenthron, wie er sich z.B. auf einer Schnitzerei aus Megiddo aus dem 13. Jh .v.Chr. findet (Abb. 3). Die Heiligkeit Gottes wird auch durch die Bildlosigkeit des YHWHKults betont. Anfangs gab es noch kein Bilderverbot im Alten Testament; dieses ist erst eine spätere Entwicklung. Der Gott YHWH war jedoch – im 10 Vgl. Hartenstein 1997.

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Abb. 3. Ebd., S. 102, Abb. 50.

Gegensatz wahrscheinlich zum Bild des Gottes El oder anderer Götter der damaligen Zeit – stets bilderlos, wahrscheinlich weil er aus einer nomadischen Tradition stammt, in der die Bildlosigkeit eher verbreitet war als im Kulturland. Diese Tradition wurde fortgeführt, als YHWH unter David dann der Hauptgott Israels und Judas wurde. Aller Wahrscheinlichkeit nach war YHWH vor dem Regierungsantritt Davids schlichtweg ein kleiner ursprünglich nomadischer Gott, der u.a. von einer kleinen Gruppe von Freischärlern und Habiru-Truppen als persönlicher Gott verehrt wurde und erst unter David zum Nationalgott aufstieg. Es ist schwer vorstellbar, dass es jemals im salomonischen Tempel ein Götterbild YHWHs gab, auch wenn dies in der Vergangenheit immer wieder behauptet wurde. Götterbilder waren in der Regel allenfalls 10–15 cm groß. Im debīr aber stand ein Götterthron mit 10 m Breite. Auf einem solchen Thron ein kleines Götterbild aufzustellen, hätte lachhaft gewirkt. Die Größenunterschiede zwischen Thron einerseits und Götterbild andererseits wären zu groß gewesen. Daher kann man sich den Thron nur leer vorstellen, und die Gottheit damit transzendent. Jes 6 – ein Text aus dem 8. Jh., der sicherlich schon eine längere Traditionsbildung voraussetzt – beschreibt schön, wie man sich die Gestalt YHWHs auf diesem Thron vorgestellt hat: YHWH sitzt auf diesem Thron, sein Gewand füllt


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den Hauptraum des Tempels aus, und sein Körper reicht hinauf bis in das himmlische Heiligtum Gottes. Der transzendente Körper Gottes bildet somit die vertikale Achse zwischen himmlischem und irdischem Heiligtum Gottes. Eine Vorstellung, wie sie in Mesopotamien etwa durch die Zikkurat ausgedrückt wurde, wird im Jerusalemer Heiligtum imaginär durch den übergroßen Thron dargestellt. Leere Throne gibt es übrigens auch im levantinischen Raum. Allerdings sind diese Throne wesentlich jünger als der salomonische Tempel und könnten von diesem Tempel aus beeinflusst worden sein. Angesichts der nicht gerade geringen politischen Bedeutung, die Juda und vor allem Israel für die Levante innehatten, kann man durchaus annehmen, dass die beiden Staaten mit ihrer Kultur auch prägend auf die Umwelt wirkten. In der Regel wird aber in der Forschung derzeit immer der umgekehrte Weg eingenommen, was aber nicht unbedingt zwingend ist. An mehreren Stellen im Tempelbaubericht wird betont, dass Keruben, Palmetten und Rosetten den Tempel verzierten (1 Kön 6,29.32.35). Diese drei Elemente kennen wir zusammengestellt z.B. auf einer Pyxis aus Nimrud aus dem 9./8. Jh. v.Chr. (Abb. 4). Wenn die Motivkonstellation im Jerusalemer Tempel in ähnlicher Weise angebracht war, dann stellten die Rosetten nur eine Randdekoration dar. Die Keruben flankierten jedoch den Lebensbaum und schützten ihn so. Keruben waren göttliche Mischwesen, die im Alten Testament und damit wohl auch im Bereich Israel/Judas eine Schutzfunktion ausübten. Nach Gen 3,24 bewachten Keruben den Zugang zum Garten Eden, nachdem die Menschen von dort vertrieben worden waren. Ähnlich haben Keruben in Ez 28,14 eine Schutzfunktion. In der Komposition im Tempel Salomos schützen sie flankierend (vgl. Ez 41,18) den Lebensbaum. Damit sind wir nach der Betonung der Heiligkeit und Unnahbarkeit Gottes bei einem weiteren wichtigen theologischen Element, das im salomonischen Tempel bildhaft dargestellt wurde. Der Lebensbaum ist ein Symbol für Fruchtbarkeit und Leben. Es ist ein altes Symbol, das schon seit dem 3. Jh. v.Chr. verbreitet ist. Meist sind auf den Bildern aufsteigende Capriden abgebildet, die von dem Lebensbaum fressen. Der Baum, der häufig deutlich als göttlicher, der normalen Welt entzogener Baum dargestellt wird, macht die Gabe lebenserhaltender Nahrung an die Tiere und sicherlich auch an die Menschen durch Gott deutlich. Der Schutz durch die Keruben deutet an, dass diese Gabe geschützt werden muss. YHWH wird hier durch die Dekoration des Jerusalemer Tempels als ein Gott dargestellt, der für die Fruchtbarkeit und Lebenserhaltung zuständig ist.

der tempel salomos im kontext der ikonographie


Abb. 4. Ebd., S. 86 Abb. 38.

Der Aspekt der Lebenserhaltung und der Fruchtbarkeit wird auch durch weitere Gerätschaften am Jerusalemer Tempel entsprechend betont. Vor dem Tempel stand das Eherne Meer (Abb. 5), ein Becken mit 4,6 m Innendurchmesser und 39.000 l Inhalt. In den Chronikbüchern hat man die Funktion des Beckens als Waschbecken für die Priester angegeben (2 Chr 4,6). Bei einer Höhe allein des Beckens (ohne die zugehörigen Rinder, die unter dem Becken angebracht waren) von 5 Ellen bzw. ca. 2,5 m ist diese Bestimmung aber alles andere als wahrscheinlich oder sogar sinnvoll. Die Chronik hat schlichtweg versucht, für dieses riesige Becken eine kultpraktische Bedeutung zu finden, ohne dass noch ein konkretes Wissen über die ursprüngliche Verwendung des Gerätes vorhanden war. Wir haben hier ein schönes Beispiel dafür, wie innerhalb weniger Jahrhunderte von der Zerstörung des Jerusalemer Tempels 587 v.Chr. bis zur Abfassung der Chronik im 4.-2. Jh. v.Chr. konkretes Wissen um die Bedeutung der Geräte verloren gegangen ist. Dies stärkt auch die eingangs geführte Beweisführung, wonach der Tempelbaubericht kaum jünger als das 8. Jh. v.Chr. sein kann. Will man daher die Bedeutung des Ehernen Meeres erschließen, muss man vergleichbare Installationen in Tempeln betrachten. In mesopotamischen Tempeln gab es eigene Kultbecken, die den Namen apsû trugen. Mit apsû wird normalerweise der himmlische oder unterirdische Süßwasserozean bezeichnet. Nach altorientalischem Denken sicherte der Süßwasserozean das Überleben der Menschen, indem er in Form von Regen aus dem himmlischen bzw. in Form von Quellwasser aus dem unterirdischen Süßwasserozean Wasser zur Verfügung stellte. Ohne ausreichend Quell- oder Regenwasser waren die Fruchtbarkeit des Bodens und damit das Überleben der Menschen nicht möglich. Entsprechende


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Abb. 5. W. Zwickel, Die Welt des Alten und Neuen Testaments. Ein Sach- und Arbeitsbuch (Stuttgart 1997), S. 223 Abb. 125.

Installationen in Tempeln in Form von Wasserbecken oder Seen gab es an verschiedenen Orten der Levante und Zyperns. Wenn nun im Jerusalemer Tempel ein solches Becken aufgestellt wurde, sollte es deutlich machen, dass YHWH, der Gott Israels, für Fruchtbarkeit zuständig ist und diese Aufgabe auch wirklich wahrnimmt. Es ging nicht um die Frage, ob in den Sommermonaten sich in dem großen Becken überhaupt Wasser befand. Das Becken hatte eine rein symbolische Bedeutung – selbst wenn es leer war. Angesichts der Höhe des Beckens konnte sowieso niemand sehen, ob es gefüllt oder leer war. In diesem Zusammenhang ist ein Verweis auf den biblischen Schöpfungsbericht von Bedeutung. Der ältere der beiden Schöpfungsberichte, traditionell dem Jahwisten oder aber in einer moderneren Terminologie dem vorpriesterschriftlichen Geschichtswerk zugeschrieben, setzt voraus, dass YHWH als Schöpfergott verstanden werden soll. Schöpfungstheologie in Verbindung mit YHWH findet sich ansonsten explizit im Alten Testament erst wieder in der exilischen Zeit in der Priesterschrift und bei Deuterojesaja oder allenfalls – je nach literarkritischer Einordnung – in der spätvorexilischen Zeit bei Jeremia. Wenn die Gerätschaften des salomonischen Tempels aus der Zeit Salomos stammen, dann haben wir hier

der tempel salomos im kontext der ikonographie


einen Hinweis dafür, dass schon in der Frühzeit der gesamtisraelitischen YHWH-Verehrung dieser Gott als Schöpfergott verstanden wurde. Schöpfungstheologie (im Sinne einer creatio continua) gehörte demnach zu den wesentlichen Elementen der Jerusalemer Vorstellung von YHWH, und das schon seit der Zeit Salomos. Die Schöpfungstheologie findet sich auch noch in anderen Geräten des Jerusalemer Tempels repräsentiert: bei den Kesselwagen und bei den Säulen Jachin und Boas. Die zehn Kesselwagen (Abb. 6) wurden wahrscheinlich als große „Blumentöpfe“ verwendet. Aus wesentlich jüngerer Zeit kennen wir einen solchen Kesselwagen in Gebrauch. Eine Münze aus Sidon aus dem 3. Jh. n.Chr. zeigt ihn mit Palmzweigen in dem Kessel (Abb. 7). Wenn schon zu salomonischer Zeit Kesselwagen hierfür verwendet wurden, so repräsentierten sie im Tempel durch die grünen Zweige das Leben und die Fruchtbarkeit. Auch mit diesen Gerätschaften wurde deutlich gemacht, dass YHWH für Leben und Fruchtbarkeit zuständig war. Vor dem Tempel standen zwei Metallsäulen (Abb. 8). Auf altorientalischen Tempelmodellen und Bildern finden wir derartige Säulen am Eingang von Tempeln. Manchmal sind sie mit Baumelementen oder unmittelbar, wie z.B. bei einem berühmten Gemälde aus Mari, als Bäume gestaltet. Diese Säulen repräsentierten wieder die Fruchtbarkeit und die lebensschaffende und lebenssichernde Bedeutung der in dem Tempel verehrten Gottheit. Es gibt auch einige Fundstücke, bei denen anstelle der Säulen nackte Göttinnen abgebildet sind – gewissermaßen das Standardmotiv für Fruchtbarkeit. Dies wird in Jerusalem auch verdeutlicht durch den Namen der beiden Säulen: Jachin und Boas. Diese Namen kann man wahrscheinlich übersetzen mit „er hat gegründet mit Macht,“ und damit haben wir auch im Namen Schöpfungs- und Fruchtbarkeitstheologie ­enthalten. Die Säulen hatten jeweils zwei Kapitelle: oben eines in der Form einer geschlossenen Lotosblüte, darunter das für den phönizischen Raum typische Blattkranzkapitell, hier jedoch in einer siebenfachen Ausgestaltung. In Dan hat man ein ähnliches Kapitell gefunden, leider unstratifiziert. Die Lotosblüte galt im Vorderen Orient als Symbol des sich regenerierenden Lebens. Ihr Duft wurde daher gerne von der Oberschicht täglich eingeatmet (vgl. Abb. 3). Das Blattkranzkapitell symbolisierte einen Baum, und damit wird die Säule zusätzlich als florales Symbol charakterisiert. Um die Kapitelle herum waren 400 kleine metallene Granatäpfelchen angebracht. Der Granatapfel galt im gesamten Orient als Fruchtbarkeitsmotiv schlechthin, denn die Frucht enthält im Inneren eine Vielzahl von


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Abb. 6. Ebd., S. 225 Abb. 126.

der tempel salomos im kontext der ikonographie


Abb. 7. Zwickel, Tempel, S. 141 Abb. 43.

kleinen Früchten. Demnach wird auch hier wieder die Fruchtbarkeit symbolisch dargestellt. 4. Zusammenfassung Betrachtet man die Symbolik des salomonischen Tempels, so zeigt sich ganz deutlich, was Salomo mit diesem Tempel seinen Zeitgenossen sagen wollte. Zum einen sollte der Tempel, der zu den größten der damaligen Zeit zählte, die Stellung Salomos festigen. Kleider machen Leute, und Tempel und Paläste machen Könige. Salomo hatte es nötig, nach einigen Jahrzehnten Königtum dessen Bedeutung auch in der Architektur festzuhalten. Der Tempelbau war eine Botschaft für seine Bevölkerung, dass das Königtum stabil ist, so stabil und großartig wie der Tempel- und der


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Abb. 8. Zwickel, Welt, S. 225 Abb. 127.

der tempel salomos im kontext der ikonographie


Palastbau, die die Bevölkerung nun bewundern konnte. Zusätzlich sollte so auch die Macht und Bedeutung des neuen Nationalgottes YHWH ausgedrückt werden. Nach den spätbronzezeitlichen Tempeln, die eigentlich in jedem Ort existierten, gab es offenbar in der Eisenzeit I (nahezu) keine Tempel mehr, sondern vornehmlich offene Kulthöhen. Ein Tempelbau war also ein deutliches Signal, das in der Bevölkerung wahrgenommen wurde. Hier wurde in der Architektur ein eindeutiges Zeichen gesetzt, dass dieses Königtum Bestand hat und Beachtung finden soll. Weiterhin sollte dieser Gott YHWH der Bevölkerung durch die Gestaltung des Tempels und seiner Gerätschaften als ein Gott vorgestellt werden, dessen Heiligkeit geachtet werden muss. Seine Unnahbarkeit und Unverfügbarkeit war sicherlich auch für die Stabilisierung des Königtums von Bedeutung. So konnte deutlich gemacht werden, dass Königshaus und Nationalgott auf einer eigenen Ebene stehen, die nicht hinterfragt und angegriffen werden kann und darf. Und schließlich wird YHWH als ein Gott vorgestellt, der für Fruchtbarkeit, Lebenserhaltung und Lebenssicherung zuständig ist. Damit übernimmt YHWH weitgehend Elemente, die ansonsten mit dem Gott Baal in Verbindung gebracht werden. Der Tempelbau war demnach eine architektonische Möglichkeit, politisch und theologisch neue Akzente zu setzen in einer Zeit eines Übergangs von einer Stammesgesellschaft zu einem Zentralstaat mit Königtum, Hauptstadt und neuem Nationalgott. Literaturverzeichnis Abū ʽAssāf, A., Der Tempel von ʽAin Dārā, Mainz 1990. al-Amri, Y.A.S., The Role of the Iron Ore Deposit of Mugharet el-Wardeh/Jordan in the Development of the Use of Iron in Southern Bilad el-Sham, Diss. masch. Bochum 2007. Avigad, N., Corpus of West Semitic Stamp Seals, Jerusalem 1997. Cantrell, D.O. und I. Finkelstein, ‘A Kingdom for a Horse: The Megiddo Stables and Eighth Century Israel’, in: I. Finkelstein et al. (eds.), Megiddo IV. The 1998–2002 Seasons, 643– 665, Tel Aviv 2006. Hartenstein, F., Die Unzugänglichkeit Gottes im Heiligtum. Jesaja 6 und der Wohnort JHWHs in der Jerusalemer Kulttradition (Wissenschaftliche Monographien zum Alten und Neuen Testament 75), Neukirchen-Vluyn 1997. van der Kooij, G., 1993, ‘Deir ’Alla, Tell’, New Encyclopaedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land I: 338–342. McCormick, C.M., Palace and Temple. A Study of Architectural and Verbal Icons (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 313), Berlin und New York 2002. Practico, G., Nelson Glueck’s 1938–1949 Excavations at Tell el-Kheleifeh. A Reappraisal, Atlanta 1993. Raulwing, P. und H. Meyer, ‘Der Kikkuli-Text. Hippologische und methodenkritische Überlegungen zum Training von Streitwagenpferden im Alten Orient’, in: Rad und Wagen. Der Ursprung einer Innovation – Wagen im Vorderen Orient und Europa, 491–506, Mainz 2004.


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Renz, J. and W. Röllig, Handbuch der althebräischen Epigraphik. Band 1: Die althebräischen Inschriften. Teil 1: Text und Kommentar, Darmstadt 1995. Zwickel, W., Der salomonische Tempel, Mainz 1999. ——, ‘Der Ort besonderer Heiligkeit’, in: C.G. den Hertog et al. (eds.), Saxa Loquentur. Studien zur Archäologie Palästinas/Israels. FS Volkmar Fritz (Alter Orient und Altes Testament 302), 311–319, Münster 2003.

der tempel salomos im kontext der ikonographie


Vordeuteronomistischer Grundtext 1 Kön 6 und 7 (Analyse W. Zwickel, vgl. zur Begründung W. Zwickel, Der salomonische Tempel, Mainz 1999) 1 Kön 6,1–14* („Baubeschreibung“)   2 Und das Haus, das der König Salomo für YHWH erbaute, war sechzig Ellen lang und zwanzig Ellen breit und dreißig Ellen hoch.   3 Und die Vorhalle an der Vorderseite des Hauses war zwanzig Ellen entlang der Breite des Hauses, zehn Ellen Breite vor dem Haus.  6 Der untere Seitenraum hatte fünf Ellen Breite und der mittlere sechs Ellen Breite und der dritte sieben Ellen Breite, denn Mauerverkürzungen gab es für das Haus außen ringsherum, so dass man nicht in die Mauern des Hauses eingreifen musste.   7 Und das Haus wurde, während es gebaut wurde, aus unbehauenen Bruchsteinen gebaut. Hämmer und Steinhacke, überhaupt jegliches Eisenwerkzeug, konnte man nicht hören, während das Haus errichtet wurde.  8 Der Eingang des mittleren Seitenraums befand sich an der rechten Seite des Hauses, über eine Stiege stieg man zum mittleren [Seitenraum] hoch, und vom mittleren zum dritten. 1 Kön 6,1–14* („Bauerzählung“)   1 Im vierten Jahr, im Monat Ziw des Königtums Salomos über Israel, da baute er das Haus für YHWH.  4 Und er machte für das Haus Fenster mit verschlossenen Rahmen.11   5 Und er baute auf der Mauer des Hauses ringsherum bezüglich des Hauptraums und des Schreins (debīr) und er verfertigte Seitenräume ringsherum  9 Und er baute das Haus und vollendete es. und er deckte das Haus, die Auflagenkonsolen und die Schrägstreben mit Zedernhölzern. 10 Und er baute die Stützkonstruktionen auf dem ganzen Haus, fünf Ellen hoch, und er verkleidete das Haus mit Zedernhölzern. 1 Kön 6,15–22 15 Er baute die Mauern im Inneren mit Zedernholzbrettern aus; vom Fußboden bis zu den Balken der Decke bedeckte er es mit Holz im Inneren, und er bedeckte den Fußboden des Hauses mit Wacholderbrettern. 16 Und er baute (den Abschnitt von) 20 Ellen von der Hinterseite des Hauses aus mit den Zedernholzbrettern, vom Fußboden bis zu den Balken, und er baute es innen für den Schrein (debīr). 17 Vierzig Ellen hatte das Haus (dann noch), das war der Hauptraum 20 vor dem Schrein (debīr); (der war) zwanzig Ellen lang, zwanzig Ellen breit und zwanzig Ellen hoch. 11 In einem Vortrag im Sommer 2010 schlug E. Blum überzeugend vor, mit diesen Fenstern die Scheinfenster zu verbinden, wie sie in Nordsyrien gefunden werden; vgl. z.B. Abū ʽAssāf 1990, Tf. 42b.


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1 Kön 6,29–35 29 Und auf alle Mauern des Hauses ringsum schnitzte er Schnitzwerk-Gravierungen, und zwar Keruben, Palmetten und Rosetten, nach innen und nach außen gewandt. 31  Und als Eingang des Schreins (debīr) machte er Türflügel aus dem Holz der Aleppokiefer; der Rahmen der Türpfosten war gefünftet. 32 Und (was die) zwei Türflügel aus dem Holz der Aleppokiefer (anbelangt), schnitzte er auf sie Keruben und Palmetten und Rosetten. Und er ließ auf die Keruben und die Palmetten Gold aufhämmern. 33 Und ebenso machte er für den Eingang des Hauptraumes Türpfosten aus dem Holz der Aleppokiefer, geviertet, 34 und zwei Türflügel aus Wacholderhölzern – zwei drehbare Bretter hatte der eine Türflügel, und zwei drehbare Bretter hatte der andere Türflügel – 35 und er schnitzte Keruben und Palmetten und Rosetten, und überzog es mit Gold, platt­ geschlagen auf dem Eingeritzten. 1 Kön 6,23–28 23 Und er machte im Schrein zwei Keruben aus Aleppokieferhölzern, zehn Ellen war die Höhe. 23 Fünf Ellen war der Flügel des einen Keruben lang und 5 Ellen war der Flügel des zweiten Keruben lang. Zehn Ellen waren es vom Ende seines Flügels bis zum Ende seines (anderen) Flügels. 25 Und zehn Ellen war der zweite Kerub (hoch). Einerlei Maß und einerlei Gestalt hatten die beiden Keruben. 26 Die Höhe des einen Kerub war zehn Ellen, und ebenso der zweite Kerub. 27 Und er brachte die Keruben inmitten des inneren Hauses unter, und man breitete die Flügel der Keruben (derart) aus, dass der eine Flügel die Mauer berührte, und der Flügel des zweiten Keruben berührte die zweite Mauer, und ihre Flügel berührten sich nach dem Inneren des Hauses zu – Flügel an Flügel. 28 Und er überzog die Keruben mit Gold. 1 Kön 7,13f. 13 Da schickte der König Salomo aus und ließ den Hiram aus Tyrus holen. 14 Der Sohn einer Witwe war er, aus dem Stamm Naftali, und sein Vater war ein tyrischer Mann, ein Bronzehandwerker. Er war erfüllt mit Weisheit und der Fähigkeit und dem Wissen, um jegliche Arbeit in Bronze auszuführen. Er kam also zum König Salomo und verrichtete seine Arbeit. 1 Kön 7,15–22* 15 Er formte die beiden Bronzesäulen. Achtzehn Ellen betrug die Höhe der einen Säule und ein Faden von zwölf Ellen umgab sie, und ihre Dicke betrug vier Fingerbreiten, hohl, und ebenso formte er die zweite Säule. 16 Und zwei Kapitelle machte er, um sie oben auf die Säulen aufzusetzen, aus Bronzeguß. Fünf Ellen war die Höhe des einen Kapitells, und fünf Ellen war die Höhe des zweiten Kapitells. 18 Und er machte die Granatäpfel, und zwar zwei Lagen ringsherum auf dem einen Geflecht, um die Kapitelle zu bedecken, die oben auf den Säulen waren, und ebenso machte er es für das zweite Kapitell.

der tempel salomos im kontext der ikonographie


19 Und die Kapitelle, die oben auf den Säulen waren, waren der Machart nach Lotos in gebundener Form, vier Ellen (hoch). 20 Und (bezüglich) der Kapitelle auf beiden Säulen, ebenfalls oberhalb nahe bei der Ausbauchung, die an der Seite des Flechtwerks ist: 200 Granatäpfel, in Reihen ringsherum, waren auf den zwei Kapitellen. 21 Und er stellte die Säulen an die Vorhalle des Hauptraums, und zwar stellte er die rechte Säule auf und gab ihr den Namen Jachin, und die linke Säule stellte er auf und gab ihr den Namen Boas. 22 So wurde die Arbeit an den Säulen beendet. 1 Kön 7,23–26 23 Und er machte das Meer, Guß(arbeit), zehn Ellen von seinem einen Rand zu seinem anderen Rand, rund ringsherum, und fünf Ellen war seine Höhe, und eine Meßschnur von 30 Ellen umspannte es ringsherum. 24 Und „sich öffnende Blütenmotive“ unterhalb seines Randes umgaben das Meer ringsherum. Zwei Reihen von „sich öffnenden Blütenmotiven“ waren gegossen in seinem Guss. 25 Es [das Meer] stand auf zwölf Rindern, drei nach Norden gerichtet und drei nach Westen gerichtet und drei nach Süden gerichtet und drei nach Osten gerichtet, und das Meer befand sich über ihnen oberhalb, und alle ihre Hinterteile waren nach innen gerichtet. 26 Seine [d.h. des Meeres] Dicke war eine Handbreit [= 7,5 cm], und sein Rand war in der Machart des Randes eines Trinkbechers als Lotosblüte, und 2000 Bat fasste es. 1 Kön 7,27–39 27 Und er machte zehn Gestelle aus Bronze, vier Ellen war die Länge eines jeden Gestells, und vier Ellen seine Breite und drei Ellen seine Höhe. 28 Und dies ist die Machart der Gestelle: Sie hatten Leisten, und Leisten waren zwischen den Pfosten. 29 Und auf den Leisten, die zwischen den Pfosten waren, waren Löwen, Rinder und Keruben, und auf den Pfosten war eine Stütze von oben auf. Und unterhalb der Löwen und der Rinder war Zierrat in herabhängender Machart. 30 Vier bronzene Wagenräder hatte jedes Gestell und bronzene Achsen; Und bezüglich seiner vier Füße: Schulterstücke besaßen sie. Unterhalb des Kessels waren die Schulterstücke angegossen gegenüber je einem der Zierrat. 31 Und seine Öffnung war nach innen an der Kranzleiste angebracht und war eine Elle nach oben, und ihre Öffnung war rund, Arbeit einer Stütze, eineinhalb Ellen (hoch). Und auch auf seiner Außenseite waren Verzierungen. Und ihre Leisten waren viereckig, nicht rund. 32 Die vier Wagenräder befanden sich unterhalb der Leisten und die „Hände“ der Räder waren am Gestell (befestigt), und die Höhe eines jeden Rades war eineinhalb Ellen. 33 Und die Machart der Räder war wie die Machart des Rades eines Streitwagens. Ihre Halter und ihre Felgen und ihre Speichen und ihre Radnaben, alles war gegossen. 34 Und vier Schulterstücke befanden sich an den vier Ecken eines jeden Gestells, vom Gestell (gingen) seine Schulterstücke (aus).


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35 Und an der Spitze des Gestells befand sich ein Kessel; eine halbe Elle war seine Höhe, rund ringsherum. Oben auf dem Gestell: von ihm (gingen ab) seine Halter und seine Leisten. 36 Und er gravierte auf die Tafeln seiner Halter und in seine Leisten Keruben und Löwen und Palmetten – entsprechend des freien Platzes eines jeden – und Zierrat ring­ herum. 37 Auf diese Weise machte er die zehn Gestelle; sie alle waren gleichermaßen gegossen, hatten dasselbe Maß und dieselbe Gestalt. 38 Und er machte zehn Kessel aus Bronze, vierzig Bat fasste jeder einzelne Kessel; jeder Kessel hatte vier Ellen, je ein Kessel für je ein Gestell, (insgesamt) zehn Gestelle. 39 Und er stellte fünf Gestelle an die südliche Seite des Hauses und fünf an die nördliche Seite des Hauses, und das Meer stellte er an die südliche Seite des Hauses, nach Osten, dem Süden gegenüber. 1 Kön 7,40–51* 40 Hiram vollendete die Ausführung des ganzen Werkes, das er gemacht hatte für den König Salomo für das Haus YHWHs. 46 Im Jordankreis goss er [Hiram] sie [die Metallgerätschaften] in einer Erzgießerei zwi­ schen Sukkot und zwischen Zaretan. 47 Und Salomo beließ die Geräte wegen der sehr, sehr großen Menge; nicht wurde das Gewicht der Bronze festgestellt. 48 Und Salomo verfertigte alle Geräte, die das Haus YHWHs benötigte, den Altar und den Tisch 49 und die Leuchter, fünf zur Rechten und fünf zur Linken vor dem Schrein (debīr), jeweils mit Blüte, Lampe und Dochtscheren. 51 Und es wurde das ganze Werk beendet, das der König Salomo für das Haus YHWHs gemacht hatte.

Josephus on Solomon Joseph Verheyden Josephus mentions the figure of Solomon on a number of occasions in his Antiquitates Judaicae (AJ) as well as in his Bellum Judaicum (BJ). His life and reign are dealt with in a systematic way, and in great detail, in AJ 8.1–212 using the account in 1 Kgs 2–11 (or rather, the LXX version in 3 Kgs 2–11) as a primary source. The passage has drawn quite some attention from scholars. As for so many other aspects of Josephus studies current research and discussion on his picture of Solomon started with an essay by the ‘inevitable’ Louis H. Feldman back in 1976.1 A short update on the topic can be found in an essay by the same author from 1989.2 A more complete and indeed exhaustive “portrait” followed in 1995, in a revised version of the 1976 essay that was reprinted with minor changes three years later in the first of Feldman’s two volumes of collected essays.3 Several aspects of Josephus’ picture of the famous king and sage have also been studied by a number of other scholars. The equally ‘inevitable’ Christopher Begg published a series of articles dealing with such diverse topics as Josephus’ account of Solomon’s wealth,4 the famous story of his wise judgement in the dispute about the baby,5 the equally famous story of the visit of the queen of Sheba,6 the building of the Temple,7 the drama of his “apostasy” as recalled in 1 Kgs 11,1–13,8 his enemies,9 and his dreams.10 Together with Paul Spilsbury, Begg also authored the commentary on AJ 8–10 that was published in 2005.11 Scholars have particularly been   1 Feldman 1976, 68–98. Feldman himself refers to Sarowy (1900, 44–48) as one of few predecessors, but qualifies that treatment as “hardly systematic” (1995/1998, 570 n. 1).   2 Feldman 1989, 330–448, here 364–365.   3 Feldman 1995/1998, 103–167/570–628. In the following citations are from this revised version.   4 Begg 2006b, 413–429.   5 Begg 2006a, 452–461.   6 Begg 2006c, 107–129.   7 Begg 2007b, 25–40 and 2008, 89–105.   8 Begg 1997, 294–313.   9 Begg, 1996b, 44–55. 10 Begg 1996a, 687–704. On dreams in Josephus (but not AJ 8), see also Vogel 2009, 131–145. 11 Begg and Spilsbury 2005.


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i­ nterested, it would seem, in topics dealing with magic and the occult and with miracle working, of which there are a couple of nice examples in the Solomon account as well. Otto Betz authored an essay on the miracle stories in Josephus.12 The Eleazar story in 8.45–49 was dealt with by D.C. Duling in an essay he published in 1985;13 more recently the same passage was studied again by Niclas Förster,14 Pablo Torijano15 and by Roland Deines.16 Many other aspects have been studied as well, including the question of the biblical text Josephus has been using and what can be gained from his account for the history of the transmission of the Greek (and Hebrew) text of 1 Kgs.17 Most recently Jean Koulagna has examined the different presentations of Solomon in the Hebrew and the Greek version of 1/3 Kgs, and in Chronicles, in comparison with Josephus’ version, thereby also addressing the issue of the textual history. According to Koulagna the LXX version is rather more positive towards the king, in line with the image that is given in Chronicles, than the one that is found in MT, but he also points out that we cannot be sure whether LXX was innovating in this respect or merely working from a Hebrew Vorlage that already contained such a more positive view on Solomon.18 I will not take up this issue once again.19 Instead 12 Betz 1987, 212–235. See also in the same volume, Smith 1987, 236–256. 13 Duling 1985, 1–25 (dealing with the genre of the narrative as exorcism). See also Duling 1984, 1–22. 14 Förster 2000, 205–221 (focusing on traces of Egyptian influence and arguing that Josephus, in an anti-Roman bias, wishes to promote Judaism as a kind of magic). 15 Torijano 2002, esp. 37–39 and 95–105. 16 Deines 2003, 372–390 (critical of Förster; Josephus’ real goal is to present Solomon as a universal symbol of the wisdom God grants those who are dear to him). On demonology in general, see also Giversen 1972, 16–21. 17 Spottorno 1987, 277–285. The issue is also a major interest of Begg in almost all of his contributions. Cf. also Villalba i Varneda 1986, 33–35 (on 8.61–75 and 8.90–98). For a in-depth analysis of the textual history of 1–2 Kgs (MT and LXX) in general, see above all Schenker 2000 and 2004. 18 Koulagna 2009, 129: “LXX a procédé à une relecture plus positive de l’histoire et se situe, de ce point de vue, dans le prolongement de Ch. Mais il reste que cela ne peut être démontré au détail près . . . Le fait que le texte grec ait transité par un texte hébreu différent de TM en rajoute à la complexité des difficultés d’interprétation soulevées par les variantes.” 19 On the content, structure and outline of the biblical account, in addition to the commentaries, see Porten 1967, 93–128 and more recently Römer 2008, 98–130, with a succinct but correct characterisation in the conclusion: “Salomon, tout au long de son histoire littéraire change plusieurs fois de personnage: d’un roi calqué sur le modèle des grands rois assyriens, il devient un personnage ambigu inaugurant déjà le déclin de la monarchie, à la place de laquelle se subsisteront la loi et l’élection peuple. Dans les derniers textes de 1 Rois 1–11, il retrouve la gloire d’un roi légendaire, cette fois-ci en réponse aux rois perses qu’il dépasse encore en sagesse et en richesse. C’est sans doute cette dernière image qui a marqué la réception de son personnage dans le judaïsme et dans le christianisme, mais ces facettes ambigües n’ont jamais totalement disparu” (129–130). On the biblical

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I wish to concentrate on Josephus’ ‘end-product’. I propose to have a look at two aspects of Josephus’ presentation of Solomon, which, as far as I am aware of, have not been given the attention they deserve. One has to do with the way Josephus characterises the protagonist; the other, much more briefly, with his readership. Obviously the two are somehow connected to each other. I. On Characterising Solomon in AJ 8.1–212 Solomon is important to Josephus.20 Feldman gives two indications for this. Josephus “focuses more on Solomon than on David himself ” and “he cites more external evidence to support his account of Solomon than he does for any other biblical personality. In terms of the sheer amount of space that he devotes to him, there are few major biblical personalities to whom Josephus gives more attention.”21 This is true. The section on Solomon contains a couple of quite remarkable and interesting additions, such as the Eleazar story I mentioned a moment ago or the information on the archives of Tyre in AJ 8.55. But overall, Josephus has nevertheless followed the biblical account on Solomon rather closely, and in general one can say that he has not substantially altered the picture of Solomon he found in his major source. What is this picture like and how can it best be described? Going on Feldman’s analysis one might (should?) conclude that for Josephus Solomon is nothing less than a model of virtue, indeed a Greek hero, be it in a Jewish dress and while at the same time being very close to a Jewish saint. There is much to be said for such a conclusion. There may indeed be more of ancient Greek drama, of Hellenistic philosophy, and of Roman “pietas” in this picture than some scholars have been ready to Solomon in general, see also Brueggemann 2005, who, like Römer, also points out the ironic criticism of the Deuteronomist’s image of the king (139–159). 20 As he will be for so many others later on. On the rich and magnificent reception history of the figure of Solomon in Jewish, Hellenistic, Christian, and Islamic tradition, see, among others, Preisendanz 1956, 660–704, and more recently Brueggemann 2005, 225–244, and the collection of essays in Bacqué-Grammont and Durand 2007 and in Lichtert and Nocquet 2008. The first of the two latter offers a wide range of essays on the reception of Solomon in the East and in the West throughout the ages, from Central Asia to Brittany. The other, with a few exceptions, is more centred on the biblical Solomon. None of them deals with Josephus. It should also be noted that there are some exceptions, also in Jewish tradition. Philo, for one, seems to have largely neglected him. I do not think, however, that he is marginalised in the gospels (pace Koulagna 2009, 153). 21  Feldman 1995/1998, 626.


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accept.22 It even looks as if there is no end to the list of the king’s virtues, and Feldman has indeed arranged the middle part of his essay along that line.23 To that should be added the references to Solomon’s qualities as a most able administrator and as the architect of the Temple that add up to a eulogy of its own.24 The same very positive picture can be found in Koulagna: “Salomon a trouvé une faveur toute particulière dans les Anti­ quités, dans un contexte où Israël traverse une époque charnière de son histoire après la chute du second temple.”25 Like Feldman, Koulagna pays much attention to the virtues of the king, his wisdom, piety and sense of justice, and to his capacities as a ruler and statesman, architect and conqueror alike. He is less impressed by the Hellenistic side and the parallel with Oedipus, which in his opinion may have been a bit overestimated by modern scholars; instead he rather points to yet another virtue, the king’s modesty.26 But then, in the midst of all this praise and glory, it is all the more surprising to come across a few dissonances in the king’s life and behaviour, some of which at least have to do with the “Jewish dress.” These features and events are not ignored by Feldman or Koulagna (or others dealing with Josephus’ portrait of Solomon), but it would seem that these authors tend somewhat to underestimate the consequences the presence of these elements has. Indeed these ‘black spots’ could easily be held against the king, put at risk the overall picture of the virtuous hero, and even result in creating tensions or plain contradictions in the description of this most famous character. One might object that Josephus simply could not escape mentioning what everyone knew was in the biblical text, but he certainly did not always keep to that rule, and there was in any case no reason to complicate things even further by also introducing extra-biblical material of which he must have been aware that it was potentially embarrassing for the protagonist. Maybe also this kind of objection is to be qualified 22 Cf. Faber van der Meulen 1978, 75–77; and see Feldman’s reaction (1995/1998, 582 and already 1989, 364). Specifically on paralleling Solomon with Oedipus, see Feldman 1998b/2006, 436–442. The Hellenisation of the king had influence also on the Rabbinic tradition (see Shimoff 1997, 457–469). 23 See the section entitled “Solomon’s Virtues” in 1995/1998, 576–602. Pointing out the many virtues of the good protagonist is a major concern of Josephus all through his work, and one that helps him putting the heroes of Jewish history in line with their counterparts in Greek tradition and presenting Jewish rulers and authorities as open-minded. See esp. Feldman 1998a, 546–551 and 557–560. 24 Feldman 1995/1998, 605–610. 25 Koulagna 2009, 153. 26 Koulagna 2009, 169–170.

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in view of the readership as I will show below. But let me just give a few examples to illustrate the problem. What are these dissonances? a. For one, this is a king who is said to be kind and temperate in his behaviour towards opponents once they have been defeated and, according to Feldman, even to be modest in accepting his own defeat. The first two certainly are features most fitting for a king. Modesty is a different matter for, as Feldman notes, “the virtue of modesty always presents a problem, namely, that excessive modesty, especially in a ruler, is no virtue at all.”27 However, Josephus’ Solomon does not really correspond to this ideal. There are cracks in all of his virtues. In dealing with Solomon’s modesty, Feldman argues, Josephus would have opted for “the middle path.”28 In the biblical account of God appearing to Solomon in Gibeon and asking what he shall be given (1 Kgs 3,4–10), the newly appointed king asks for all the right things—a listening heart, a sense of justice—and thanks God for having chosen him for the throne, even though he is only “a mere child, unskilled in leadership” (3,7). In Josephus’ version in AJ 8.23 Solomon again has the right answer, asking for the same or similar qualities (νοῦν ὑγιῆ καὶ ϕρόνησιν ἀγαθήν: “an upright mind and a good intellect”).29 Feldman takes this as proof that Josephus has tried to avoid turning Solomon into an excessively modest person.30 In 8.144–146 and 147–149 Josephus cites two slightly variant versions from two different authors of how the great Solomon in exchanging riddles with Hiram, the king of Tyre, is beaten by one Abdemon. In the version of Menander this Abdemon, “a young lad” (παῖς νεώτερος), solves all the riddles Solomon puts to him. In that of Dios, cited immediately after, the same Abdemon, now “a certain man of Tyre” (τινα Τύριον ἄνδρα), not only solves the riddles but gives others in return, which Solomon is not able to solve, thus forcing him to pay a huge fee to Hiram, for they were playing for money (8.149). For Feldman the story illustrates that “Solomon was modest enough to admit that he had actually been outwitted by a young Tyrian lad.”31 There is a problem with both of these examples. In the second one it is not said that Solomon 27 Feldman 1995/1998, 590. 28 Feldman 1995/1998, 590. 29 The Greek text follows the LCL edition. English translations are taken from the commentary series edited by S. Mason. 30 Feldman 1995/1998, 590. And this may be the more correct reading, against Kou­ lagna, who takes the episode as an illustration of the king’s modesty (2009, 169). 31  Feldman 1995/1998, 590. Koulagna (2009, 157 and 170) also links this passage to the king’s modesty, but nevertheless recognises that it is at the same time a way of limiting this great virtue of wisdom: “un détail qui en réduit la portée” (157); is it only a detail?


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addresses Abdemon and formally recognises the other’s superiority. It is not (or not so much) about modesty, but about fair-play. In the first one, when addressing God and speaking of oneself and of the great gifts one has received as a young boy, showing modesty would not be a sign of weakness but rather of gratitude, and so a most appropriate reaction.32 As for the other virtues, Solomon is indeed said to be “humane and moderate” (7.362 ὁ δὲ ἡµέρως πάνυ καὶ σωϕρόνως)33 towards Adonijah when confronting his brother after he had been designated as David’s successor. Both features are lacking in the biblical account in 1 Kgs 1,52–53. But at that time their father was still alive and in power, and Solomon had not yet been crowned. However, it is quite another Solomon one meets soon after in the opening lines of Book 8, once David had passed away. In retelling 1 Kgs 2,13 in AJ 8.3 Josephus reminds the reader again of Adonijah’s revolt against his father that had been mentioned in AJ 7.345–346. It does not make him the more sympathetic of the brothers. But all that the reader knew already and Adonijah had been punished for it by his own father passing him by for the throne, and he had been forgiven by his own brother who had saved his life in 1 Kgs 1,52. Josephus also has Adonijah formally declare to his mother that he is content with his position, indeed even “delighted with the present state of affairs” (AJ 8.4 τοῖς παροῦσιν ἥδεται πράγµασιν; nothing of the like in 1 Kgs 2,13ff.). In view of the favour he has come to ask of his mother, and through her of his brother, the reader easily senses that there is probably not all too much truth and sincerity in his words.34 But again, if this addition casts a gloomy shadow on Adonijah, the king’s reaction definitely is out of proportion. Even his poor mother had not seen that coming, for she enthusiastically accepts to mediate and is most confident—even more so in Josephus’ version than in 1 Kgs—that she will succeed, “both because the king would grant him whatever he desired and because of her earnestly asking” (8.6 τοῦ τε βασιλέως αὐτῷ χαρίσασθαί τι βουλησοµένου καὶ δεησοµένης αὐτῆς λιπαρῶς). Instead what she meets is a king who is outraged and sends his mother away (8.9, not in 32 One may also note the different titles Solomon is given. In the excerpt from Menander he is correctly called the king of Jerusalem (8.146); in the second excerpt he is called the “tyrant” of that city. Even if Josephus is here merely following his source it must have occurred to him that the difference might also imply a different appreciation, for the latter title often had a negative connotation. According to Begg and Spilsbury Josephus’ primary concern here is perhaps not about singling out any special virtue of the king, but the rather more mundane one of illustrating that the man was famous also outside of Israel (Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 41 n. 505). 33 This is one of several such double characterisations in Josephus’ account. 34 So also Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 3 n. 7: “an (ironic-sounding) captatio benevolentiae.”

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1 Kgs 2,22), and who, if he does not pledge to kill his brother as he does in 1 Kgs 2,23, immediately goes on taking measures to do just that. Adonijah is murdered for a mere request that, as Solomon sensed quite correctly, could be potentially damaging to him, but that could also simply have been refused.35 It all very much tastes of vengeance and looks as if Solomon was just waiting for the right opportunity to do what in 1 Kgs 1,52 and AJ 7.362 he had not yet dared to do.36 In retelling the story, Josephus looks as one who is standing by and watching—and making things worse for Solomon. So far then for temperance and modesty. This is a not-somodest king who lost his temper on the first occasion. b. There are other such tensions in the figure of Solomon as depicted by Josephus. He is a wise king gifted with a sharp intellect and a shrewd judgement.37 As a matter of fact, “a sound and just mind” is what his father David had prayed for God would grant his son (AJ 7.381 διάνοιαν ὑγιῆ καὶ δικαίαν), and “an upright mind and a good intellect” is what the son himself asks from God in AJ 8.23 (see above). Josephus immediately adds, as a most telling illustration of this wisdom and intellect, the story of Solomon’s judgement in the case of the two mothers. The account in 1 Kgs 3,16–28 offers the basis for Josephus’ version and is closely followed in AJ 8.26–34.38 He opens, however, with a long note of his own on the exemplary status of this story in providing the readers with “an image of the king’s shrewdness in being able to easily judge about those things that were sought from him.”39 The closing phrase in 8.34 likewise differs from the one in 1 Kgs 3,28. Josephus calls the story “a great proof and token (again a double phrase: δεῖγµα καὶ τεκµήριον) of the king’s intelligence and wisdom (and one more: ϕρόνησις καὶ σοϕία)” as one having “divine understanding” (θείαν διάνοιαν). The first and last phrase are hapaxes in 35 The fact that Josephus leaves out the oath of 1 Kgs 2,23–24, and “thereby ‘keeps God out’ of the king’s bloody initiative” (so Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 4 n. 22) counts for little if one realises that Josephus instead explicitly adds that the man was killed on the king’s order. 36 The turnabout in the story is far more than a rhetorical device to create suspense and surprise, as Begg and Spilsbury would like to have it (2005, 3 n. 9 and 10); it says something about the king’s character. Likewise, Koulagna’s reading of this passage is far too positive for the king (2009, 164–165). Even if he showed himself to be prudent and suspicious of Adonijah’s real intentions, he oversteps boundaries by having him killed. 37 On the biblical Solomon’s wisdom, see Brueggemann 2005, 104–123. 38 Cf. Begg 2006a, 452–461. 39 AJ 8.26 ὥσπερ ἐξ εἰκόνος τῆς τοῦ βασιλέως ἀγχινοίας τὸ ῥᾳδίως ἀποϕαίνεσθαι περὶ τῶν ζητουμένων δυνηθῆναι. The verse is one of many instances in which Josephus stresses the didactic purpose of telling such stories (Villalba i Varneda 1986, 275).


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Josephus; the middle one is almost an epithet for Solomon as it occurs again in 8.42 and in 8.171. This is no doubt the wisest and most intelligent man earth has ever seen. In this regard Solomon surpasses all of Egypt (8.42), as the queen of Sheba, an Egyptian herself (diff. the biblical account), is but all too willing to acknowledge (8.171).40 The way Solomon solves the issue with the two women and the baby is indeed an impressive example of how sharp and intelligent a mind he was. Josephus strongly emphasises these features in an additional note in 8.30b that revolves around the notion of διάνοια and contrasts the king’s decision with the helplessness of everyone else: “No one could resolve the case; rather all were, as if by a riddle, mentally blinded concerning its solution; the king alone thought things out as follows.”41 As in the biblical account there then follows information on the king’s staff (8.35–37), Israel’s prosperity (8.38), and the court supplies (8.39–41), once more to come back to the king’s wisdom and once more recalling his superb intellect, now by comparing Solomon to all the great minds of Jewish tradition and by listing his phenomenal literary production (8.43–44). It is all very impressive indeed, and it is all in the biblical text (1 Kgs 4,31–33— LXX 5,12–13). But then, right after, there follows a long section (8.45–49) of which there is no trace at all in the biblical account. That same man who eagerly studied nature in all its aspects was also a gifted magician, exercising his talents for the benefit of humankind, as Josephus does not fail to mention. And what is more, his knowledge was not lost on later generations. Josephus recalls at length a story about one Eleazar, an exorcist of his own time, who performed his skills in the presence of none other than “the emperor and his son,” thereby invoking the name of Solomon and the incantations he had fabricated to adjure demons never to return in their victims. The Eleazar story has puzzled modern scholars. It is the kind of information that goes against Josephus’ own feelings and against the reservations he usually shows towards all sounds magic and miraculous.42 It may 40 This famous encounter has haunted the minds and imagination of numerous commentators and the story has grown into a legend of its own. On Josephus’ account, see Begg 2006c, 107–129; on the Nachleben, see, e.g., Silberman 1974, 85–103. 41 Josephus also points out that the people were astonished about the wisdom displayed by such a young ruler (8.32a). Cf. Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 10 n. 96; Koulagna 2009, 154. 42 See Moehring 1973, 376–383; Betz 1987, 212–235. Cf. already Foakes Jackson 1930, 240: “if Josephus has a propensity to rationalise the biblical miracles, he certainly shared in the belief in magic common to the age of the Flavian emperors.”

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be that Josephus simply could not afford missing out on this information, because it was too well known and too widespread in the circles for which he was writing, as Torijano has argued.43 Josephus stresses that this too was a gift of God (8.45), one that illustrated the close relationship Solomon had with God (8.49 θεοϕιλές, the same notion that was used for his father in 6.280 and a variant upon the phrase θεία διάνοια in 8.34). This kind of comment may in itself be proof that Josephus felt uneasy about the story. That may all be true, but did he really have to tell the story in all its details and could he not have reduced or limited it to a mere note? In any case, the net result of it and the picture of Solomon that is created is one of a sharp-minded man who dabbles in magical practices, be it white magic.44 The credit he had built as an intelligent person is severely shaken by what follows shortly after. In sum, what we encounter here is a “rational magician,” if such a person exists at all. c. Piety is a central notion in Josephus’ account of Solomon: “23 percent of the occurrences of these words [εὐσέβεια and εὐσεβής] are found in connection with Solomon.”45 It is one of the virtues his father David explicitly and repeatedly had emphasised in preparing his son for the throne (AJ 7.338, 356, 374, 384). As Feldman notes, “Solomon’s greatest act of piety was, of course, the building of the Temple in Jerusalem.”46 Josephus 43 Torijano 2002, 95–105. 44 Cf. Torijano 2002, 100 n. 35. Torijano rightly notes that this aspect, rather than the motif of the divine man, dominates Josephus’ account (pace Deines 2003). Things are even made worse, if this story would display influence of Egyptian origin, as Förster has argued (2000, 205–221); a Jewish king was probably not supposed to be interested in Egyptian lore and magic. The fact that Eleazar performs his exorcism in the presence of the emperor Vespasian could be an equally ambivalent element. Tacitus and Suetonius who both credit Vespasian with the gift of healing take care to point out that the emperor himself was rather critical of it and hesitant to show his charisma. The precise relationship between their account and this story in Josephus is a matter of debate, but whatever the conclusion, it is obvious that these Roman historians take a rather more critical stand to this kind of practices when performed by a ruler. Begg and Spilsbury mention the parallels, but do not really comment on them (2005, 14 n. 160). Their comment on Jesus’ exorcisms, on the other hand, is perhaps not the most inspiring one. In exorcising the Gerasene demoniac Jesus offers precisely the kind of demonstration that the healing has succeeded that is told about in 8.48 (pace Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 15 n. 163). While citing AJ 8.45–49 as a prime example of the king’s wisdom, Koulagna also seems to have sensed its ambiguity when concluding, “on en arrive presque à une sorte de religion populaire hétérodoxe” (2009, 154). On the motif of the magician-king in later tradition, see Torijano and Koulagna 2009, 154–156. 45 So Feldman 1995/1998, 593. 46 Feldman 1995/1998, 595. Cf. Koulagna 2009, 157–158, who especially emphasises as a feature of the king’s piety the fact that the temple is said to be much larger than it is in the biblical account; but that may be a rather ambivalent expression of one’s piety.


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indeed goes out of his way to illustrate the efforts and energy the king has put into the project (8.57–129).47 He concludes his long and detailed description of the preparations, the construction process itself, and the inauguration rituals48 with a note of his own in which he contrasts this project to that of the construction of the royal palace, which he says— against the biblical account—was begun only after work on the Temple had been finished, was executed using materials of lesser quality, and took a longer time, because “since it was to be a residence for the king, rather than for God, the work was carried out more slowly” (8.131). That sounds nice and seems once more to highlight the king’s piety. In reality, by thus pointing out the contrast, Josephus has (willingly?) introduced a note that is self-destructive and damaging for the king, for it is followed in 8.132–140 by a (admittedly much shorter) description of the palace that gives all but the impression of being a building of lesser quality: gold, cedar, precious stones and splendour of all kind and sort is what it is built from.49 Where has the contrast gone?50 It rather looks as if the king’s devotion is divided equally between his interest in the Temple and in the palace. Duly honouring the gods is a prime feature of the pious man, as the ancients knew. Another feature of almost equal importance is to honour one’s parents. And in this respect, the picture again shows some cracks. Solomon does his utmost best with regard to his father, and does far more On the king-architect, see also Brueggemann 2005, 87–103; “In the narrative of 1 Kgs 3–11, there is no doubt that the central and most celebrated achievement of the imagined Solomon is the building of the temple” (87). If anywhere, Brueggemann’s habit of referring to the king as “Solomon” (with quotation marks) certainly is correct with regard to this ­achievement. 47 On issues of the text form and Josephus’ rewriting techniques in this passage, see the detailed analyses of Begg 2007b, 25–40 and 2008, 89–105. 48 Koulagna (2009, 159–160) puts great emphasis on this aspect and compares it to the cult at Gibron mentioned in 8.22, but in light of what will happen later with the king worshipping foreign gods the whole episode receives a rather bitter tone; something of this had already been anticipated as early as 8.22, where the cultic zeal of the king is juxtaposed to his marrying Pharaoh’s daughter. On the biblical account of the relation with Pharaoh and his daughter, see Bogaert 2008, 325–338. 49 Solomon is even credited of having built the roof of the palace “in Corinthian fashion” (8.133) and having designed a dining hall for organising banquets and symposia (8.137), both evident anachronisms that would turn him into the founder of some of the more famous features of Greek architecture and lifestyle. Cf. Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 37 n. 455 and 38 n. 472; Koulagna 2009, 162. The detail of the sculptured trees (8.137) occurs in a different form in rabbinic tradition (Koulagna 2009, 162 n. 499). 50 According to Begg and Spilsbury, by adding this description, Josephus “qualifies his preceding down-playing of the palace vis-à-vis the temple” (2005, 37 n. 448) and even “strongly relativizes [his] earlier remarks” (39 n. 474). Actually, he does far more than that: he just contradicts what he had said in his opening note in 8.131.

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than the biblical account has to tell (1 Kgs 2,10), offering David a king’s funeral (7.392). Feldman wants to find in Solomon the same “exemplary piety towards his mother,”51 but that might be taking it one step too far, and the way Josephus has altered the biblical account seems to prove this. Instead of the mere “Ask on, my mother, for I will not deny you” of 1 Kgs 2,20, he has Solomon overstep by far the boundaries of formal politeness and has him perorate on the sacred duty of a son towards his mother in granting her all she asks, even reproaching her for hesitating to speak up (8.8), only to raise in anger and send her out of the palace once he has heard and realised what she is asking for (8.9).52 It looks as if, when politics and piety clash, it is the second that has to yield. A pious man indeed, then, but it is a calculated piety, if such a thing is possible. d. Solomon is hoped for by his father to be a man of justice (7.338, 356, 374). And indeed there is a sense of justice and concern for justice in the king’s attitude and behaviour. When he asks God for a sound mind and intellect it is with the sole purpose of putting his talents at the service of the people and let justice reign: “once I have received them, I may judge the people in accordance with truth and what is just” (8.23 οἷς ἂν τὸν λαὸν τἀληθῆ καὶ τὰ δίκαια λαβὼν κρίνοιµι, diff. 1 Kgs 3,9, but compare the characterisation of David in 7.110 ἦν δὲ καὶ δίκαιος τὴν ϕύσιν καὶ τὰς κρίσεις πρὸς τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἀϕορῶν ἐποιεῖτο).53 Solomon is just, and magnanimous, and grateful, all qualities that are closely linked to one another according to Feldman.54 Solomon is grateful to God on more than one occasion (8.52, 111–112),55 and he is most generous to his friends and allies abroad: to Hiram of Tyre, granting him far more than the twenty cities that were given to him—and refused by Hiram!—according to 1 Kgs 9,11–13;56 and 51 Feldman 1995/1998, 594. 52 Begg and Spilsbury (2005, 4 n. 20) compare the way Solomon refuses the request in 8.9 (“Adonias was striving after greater things”) to Sallustius’ characterisation of Catalina (Bell. Cat. 5), but actually it seems that some of the odium of the latter reflects on the king himself when he is hiding behind this kind of critique. On the figure of the biblical Bathsheba, and especially the scene of 1 Kgs 2,12–25 that is evoked here, see Wénin 2008, 221–228, who stresses the mother’s diplomatic qualities but without obscuring some of the more ambivalent aspects of her character. It seems these qualities had left her in confronting the king. 53 Cf. Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 8 n. 72. 54 Feldman 1995/1998, 592. 55 Though Josephus has the king also remind us, in the same verse 8.112, that this same God can be angry upon his people. 56 Cf. AJ 8.141–142. The story of the encounter with Hiram had been commented upon by several authors before Josephus: see Mendels 1987, 429–441. In view of Hiram’s reaction,


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to the queen of Sheba, who likewise receives more than what she had asked for (8.175).57 Being grateful is not what really is at stake here; it is all about formalities and keeping allies to friend.58 However, when magnanimity, and also justice, might risk to interfere with the interests of the throne, or what is considered as such, and of the one who is sitting on that throne, it is the latter that prevails. Shimei is next in line to suffer punishment at the hands of Solomon after he has seized power. Feldman voices the concern and reticence of many a reader of the biblical account when noting, twice, “the reader of the Bible might well ask whether Solomon was justified in this seemingly harsh action in punishing Shimei” and “a reader might well ask why, if David had seen fit not to punish Shimei at the time, Solomon should have been so vindictive as to punish him so long afterwards.”59 Josephus explains there was reason for meting out punishment. Shimei had not refrained from cursing David even after he had been warned (7.381) and he had despised the oaths he had made (8.19), none of which is mentioned in the biblical account. If this would be a sufficient reason for being punished, it remains to be shown that the death penalty was the right and only possible measure.60 After all, Abiathar had escaped such a fate. And if there was a cause for invoking justice, there certainly was also one for showing magnanimity on the part of the now firmly established king. Instead, Solomon has Shimei executed by his henchman, and Josephus is writing his apology in the semi-philosophical note which he has inserted in 8.20 between the pronouncement and the execution of the verdict. The tone of this note is all but magnanimous. It is one might wonder whether it was really (one of ) Josephus’ purposes in this way to present Solomon as an open-minded king, against rumours or accusations of Jewish misanthropy, as Feldman has argued (Feldman 2000/2006, 504–507). 57 This whole episode of the encounter with the Queen has been labelled “novelistic” (Villalba i Varneda 1986, 234). 58 It should be noted that the gifts of Solomon are returned by Hiram and also by the queen. In Apion 1.110 Josephus offers a somewhat different version of the encounter with Hiram, with the latter bestowing upon the king the enormous gift of 120 talents of gold and at least accepting the king’s gift of land in the Galilee. The former is not mentioned here, and the latter is refused by Hiram, but it does not make Solomon the more generous one. As for the queen, if he diminishes the amount of gold she is offering him (8.174 diff. 1 Kgs 10,10 and 2 Chr 9,9, but see the variant reading of E in 8.174) and omits the highly laudable notes about the amount of balsam and spices she brought with her (same verses), Josephus nevertheless does emphasise that she offered “countless quantities of precious stones” and also that it was she who brought Israel the gift of the balsam bush (this latter note replacing 1 Kgs 10,10b). 59 Feldman 1995/1998, 591. 60 The accusation of perjury Josephus has Solomon bring against Shimei is also lacking in the biblical account (Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 7 n. 57).

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vindictive and all focused on offering Solomon the perfect excuse, for how else to call the argument that if evildoers are sometimes not punished on the spot, it is only to allow their wickedness—and the punishment—to increase. It is the perfect explanation for a brutal execution, and for vengeance of any sort.61 How much truth there is in this conclusion can be seen in 7.386, where Josephus goes beyond the account of 1 Kgs 2,5 when noting that David had not killed Joab for the murder of Abner and Amasa only because his enemy had been too strong and powerful. From the very moment the odds have changed, however, the mask is dropped and David’s intention becomes the excuse and Solomon its willing executer. To my taste there is a bit too much of Realpolitik in all of this to make this protagonist a model of just action. So here is a man fighting just causes— but with an occasional touch of vengeance to it. e. A pious, just and brave man his father wants Solomon to be (AJ 7.338). The third quality he may well have possessed but the biblical account hardly seems to have been interested in it, and neither was Josephus. The two also agree, be it in a somewhat more complicated way, on a related matter. In 1 Kgs 3,10 Solomon is praised by God for not having asked to grant him “a long life, or wealth, or triumph over his enemies.” In vv. 13–14 God then replies that he nevertheless will also give Solomon these things he did not ask for, a long life (v. 14) and wealth and great glory (v. 13). The latter had not been mentioned as such in v. 10, but can easily be taken as the equivalent of the third element, and that is clearly how Josephus has understood it in 8.24 when rephrasing v. 14 as “all those other things he had not mentioned, namely wealth, glory, and victory over his enemies” (καὶ τά τε ἄλλα πάνθ᾽ ὧν οὐκ ἐµνήσθη παρὰ τὴν ἐκλογὴν δώσειν ἐπηγγείλατο, πλοῦτον δόξαν νίκην πολεµίων) and paraphrasing the theme of “a long life,” combining it with that of being victorious over one’s enemies, as “He [God] also promised that he would preserve the kingship for his descendants for a very long time” (ϕυλάξειν δὲ καὶ τοῖς ἐκγόνοις αὐτοῦ τὴν βασιλείαν ἐπὶ 61 In 8.20 (which replaces 1 Kgs 2,45) Josephus has Solomon reflect on why God at times has decided to postpone judgement upon evildoers (“their punishment increases and becomes worse than it would have been had they immediately undergone it”). Begg and Spilsbury suggest that he replaced the blessing of Solomon’s house in 1 Kgs 2,45, because “its claims for Solomon personally and for the house of David overall did not prove true in the long run” (2005, 7 n. 58); that may be so, but there certainly also is quite some irony in it, when said by a king who himself persisted in a life of immorality. The whole episode, just like those about Adonijah, Joab and Abiathar in 8.9–13, shows a darker picture of the king and cannot be cited as examples of his sense for justice, as Koulagna would like it (2009, 160–161).


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πλεῖστον ὑπισχνεῖτο χρόνον).62 Not much is heard afterwards in the biblical account of that victorious general, and neither is there much to be found in Josephus. One hears about the number of troops the king has at his disposal, how he organises his army and divides it over his territory (8.41), how he takes precautions and duly fortifies Jerusalem (8.150) and other cities, Hazor and Megiddo and Beth-horon (8.151–152, cf. 1 Kgs 9,15.17), as far away as Thadmor-Palmyra (8.154 diff. 1 Kgs 9,18), and how he rebuilds Gezer after it had been conquered and destroyed by his father-in-law, the Pharaoh. A lot of building and rebuilding is going on, but apparently Solomon was not able to take Gezer by force of his own for it is given to him by the Pharaoh.63 In light of this it is significant to note that Josephus omits mentioning Solomon’s campaign against the remnants of five preIsraelite peoples that is told about in 1 Kgs 9,20, and instead has him operate in the periphery, subjecting some Cananean tribes in the Lebanon and up north in Hamath. It is also disturbing to read that he never was able to face and overcome Hadad, who was constantly terrorising Israel with the help of one Rezon while safely harbouring himself in Egypt (1 Kgs 11,17–20 and AJ 8.204),64 nor to defeat Jeroboam, who likewise posed as an ongoing threat (1 Kgs 11,40).65 A good organiser for sure, and an able diplomat and strategist, to wit the benefits he gains from his alliance with Pharaoh, but hardly a victorious general or a military genius.66 It is no small spot on a great king’s name. 62 On Solomon’s dream here in 8.22–25 and also in 8.125–129, see Begg 1996a, 687–704; on the biblical account, see Lichtert 2008b. 63 And by extension one might say that all this activity could only take place with the (implicit) consent of the Pharaoh. In all the, the motif of the conquering hero remains rather secondary; so also Koulagna 2009, 163: “cette image . . . demeure extrêmement discrète” and “assez implicite,” but he nevertheless regards it as a rather important feature of Josephus’ picture. 64 On these “satans,” see Begg 1996b, 44–54. 65 And has the support of the prophet Ahijah, who tells him that “God has changed his plans regarding Solomon” (8.208), a motif that is not found in the biblical account (see 1 Kgs 11,38 and cf. Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 55 n. 692). See also the final words of 8.210, another addition to the biblical text: Jeroboam fled to Egypt and stayed there till Solomon had passed away and “in this way, he avoided suffering anything at his hands [as if Solomon is the bad guy] and was preserved for the kingship.” Koulagna (2009, 166–168) cites these two episode as two more instances in which Josephus presents Solomon in a most positive way in dealing with adversaries (the first one was the episode with Adonijah). If none of these adversaries are positive characters for themselves, one should recognise that Josephus certainly has not fully exploited the possibilities to use these episodes in favour of Solomon, to say the least. For one, he does not explicitly contrast the two in a way that makes the king the better of them. 66 On Solomon’s foreign policy and military achievements as told in the biblical account, see, e.g., Malamat 1963, 1–17; Maier 1991, 63–76; Briend 2008, 27–35.

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f. A great king is a wealthy king, especially if he puts his wealth to the service of his people. Wealth goes with glory, as Josephus does not fail to mention (8.129 πρότερον εἰς δόξαν καὶ πλοῦτον ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ παραχθέντες). And Solomon is said to be an able ruler in this respect. His people benefits from a lasting peace to grow wealthy itself (8.38).67 In preparing for the building of the Temple the king organises the work in the Lebanon with much concern for the well-being and the family life of his subjects (8.58), and the people is grateful for this great gift that is the Temple, which was realised without burdening them (8.124). All this sounds nice and well. Yet a very different voice is heard in 1 Kgs 12,4 after the king has passed away (“a harsh yoke”), a voice that Josephus has taken over without further ado (8.213 βαρὺν γὰρ ὑπ᾽ ἐκείνῳ ζυγὸν αὐτοὺς ὑπενεγκεῖν).68 Moreover, was it really necessary to burden the reader with countless details of lists and numbers of the king’s great wealth (8.176–184)? It is true, of course, that Josephus is here merely copying out—and quite faithfully—the biblical account, and that such lists of the ruler’s wealth are a stock component of royal biography in the Near East. But what about Josephus’ readers? It was not a common feature in Roman historiography to list the ruler’s (emperor’s) wealth and consider it a positive thing; on the contrary, it could easily yield the image of a man enslaved to material goods. And the same remains true if it was Josephus’ aim to counter Roman satirists’ charges of Jewish impoverishment:69 there was a real danger that with such a picture Josephus was falling in the opposite snare and have the king look like yet another eastern Croesus. There is nothing wrong with the king being a wealthy man, but for the benefit of the people and not to show off. g. In his old age Solomon blows it all and throws away all the credit and goodwill he had built with God and with his people, indulging the many 67 Which is not really in accordance with the biblical account, as Begg and Spilsbury point out (2005, 12 n. 133); they further also note the contrast with the more pejorative allusions to the interest in agriculture Josephus had mentioned earlier in AJ 5.129 (2005, 12 n. 131). 68 Cf. Brueggemann’s conclusion of his chapter on Solomon’s economic policy (2005, 124–138): “At best, the economic miracle of Solomon is contested. At worst, it is exposed as a short-term deception with deep and durable costs for those who are to come after” (138). “Josephus amplifies the speakers’ appeal with the request that Rehoboam show himself ‘kinder’ than his father” (so Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 57 n. 714, who also point out that the motif of “loving slavery” contains a (ironic) hint to Adonijah’s words in 8.4 (2005, 57 n. 715). 69 Pace Feldman 1995/1998, 578, who refers for this opinion to Begg 1993, 238 n. 1587; see in the same line also Begg 2006b, 413–429.


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foreign women of his harem and giving himself over to idolatry.70 Feldman (followed by Koulagna) takes upon him the impossible task of trying to save Solomon, and Josephus, in this respect, but with no success. It may be true that Josephus simply did not dare to omit something that was well known among his Jewish readers, or that he was afraid of confronting the charge that Jews are xenophobic, or even that he wanted to use Solomon as a model to warn his fellow countrymen.71 But why did he not even try at least somehow to weaken the charges brought against Solomon? These are found towards the end of the section, not because Josephus had postponed the matter “as long as possible” as Feldman suggests,72 but merely because that is where they are found in the biblical account. And when he finally comes to it, Josephus does not spare his protagonist.73 He does not annoy his Roman readership with the names of the foreign deities Solomon revered (as in 1 Kgs 11,5.7–8),74 but he repeatedly and bluntly states that Solomon began to worship the gods of his wives.75 That he had grown old and that “his reason was too weakened by time” (8.194; cf. 1 Kgs 11,4)76 hardly counts as an excuse, as this observation is surrounded, and contradicted, by numerous other charges. Indeed, AJ 8.191–195 reads as one long plea against Solomon’s behaviour, and Josephus does not keep to the biblical text when formulating his criticism: the king is a weak person, given to sexual pleasures and passion, knowingly transgressing the commandments in Torah against marrying non-Jews; age did not play a major role in his practising idolatry for he did so right from the start (8.193 εὐθὺς µὲν ἐκρατεῖτο πρὸς αὐτῶν, ὥστε µιµεῖσθαι τὰ παρ᾽ ἐκείναις). Josephus now even holds against him that he once had erected statues of oxen and lions in his 70 On this whole sad story, see Begg 1997, 294–313. 71  All three possibilities in Feldman 1995/1998, 615. 72 Feldman 1995/1998, 615. 73 The introductory verse 8.190 is not so much meant to preserve something of the greatness of the king (so Koulagna 2009, 170–171), as to add more tragedy to an already tragic event: here is a great king, who finally lapsed into apostasy. 74 So also Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 50 n. 625. 75 AJ 8.192 τοὺς δ᾽ ἐκείνων ἤρξατο θρησκεύειν θεούς, ταῖς γυναιξὶ καὶ τῷ πρὸς αὐτὰς ἔρωτι χαριζόµενος . . . 193 καὶ τῆς εὐνοίας καὶ ϕιλοστοργίας ἠναγκάζετο παρέχειν αὐταῖς δεῖγµα τὸ βιοῦν ὡς αὐταῖς πάτριον ἦν . . . 194 ἔτι µᾶλλον τοῦ µὲν ἰδίον θεοῦ κατωλιγώρησε, τοὺς δὲ τῶν γάµων τῶν ἐπεισάκτων τιµῶν διετέλει. Or should one read γαµετῶν for γάµων τῶν (so Schreckenberg 1977, 107)? The phrase τῆς εὐνοίας καὶ ϕιλοστοργίας is used later on for Herod (AJ 15.68 and 16.21), not precisely a model of the virtuous king (see Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 51 n. 633). On the link between Solomon and Herod, see also Rocca 2007, 323. I do not see why the omission of a couple of these foreign women would be a positive feature, as Koulagna tries to argue (2009, 171). 76 Begg and Spilsbury see a play on words in λογισµός and ἀλόγιστος in the preceding verse (2005, 51 n. 635).

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palace (8.195), as he had mentioned before in 8.80 and 8.140 but with no critical remark added to it; yet now it is used against him.77 The final blow follows in 8.196, when Josephus once more calls in David and takes up the motif of comparing Solomon to his father, and when he replaces the somewhat plain “he did not remain wholly loyal to the Lord his God as his father David had been” of 1 Kgs 11,4b.6 with a much more vigorous charge, recalling “the most beautiful and proximate example of virtue” (κάλλιστον δ᾽ ἔχων καὶ οἰκεῖον παράδειγµα τῆς ἀρετῆς) his father had given him and which he had “failed to imitate” (οὐ µιµησάµενος αὐτόν), even though God himself had urged him to do so.78 Solomon dies an ignominious death, ἀκλεῶς ἀπέθανεν (8.196).79 And the king was but all too well aware of his debauchery, as Josephus notes by way of conclusion in 8.199, once more going beyond what could be read in the biblical account.80 Long gone are the days of the philosophically minded king Feldman discovered in AJ 8.107–119, a king indulging in Stoic thought and reflecting upon God and the Temple.81 What is left is the architect of God’s Temple turned

77 Cf. Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 51 n. 638. 78 Begg and Spilsbury 2005, 51 n. 640 and 641. “Josephus conflates and embellishes the double reference to Solomon’s not living up to the standard set by David in 1 Kgs 11:4b, 6” (n. 640). Koulagna mentions the contrast, but does not get beyond a mere “Josèphe se fait . . . plus sévère” (2009, 172). Josephus here seems to have forgotten that David, like his son, had a much more complicated relationship to God; see Begg 2007a, 395–410. 79 A formulation that later authors apparently thought to be a bit too elliptic. The Byzantine historian George Cedrenus picks up the wording of Josephus, but continues with διὰ τὸ καὶ λέοντας καὶ βόας µετὰ τῶν λοιπῶν ἀνοµηµάτων εἰς ὑψηλὴν θεωρίαν ἀναπλάσαι αὐτόν, “eine Begründung, die Josephus fremd ist” (Schreckenberg 1972, 134). 80 AJ 8.199 ταῦτ᾽ ἀκούσας Σολοµὼν ἤλγησε καὶ σϕοδρῶς συνεχύθη πάντων αὐτῷ σχεδὸν τῶν ἀγαθῶν ἐϕ᾽ οἷς ζηλωτὸς ἦν εἰς µεταβολὴν ἐρχομένων πονηράν. The note has no parallel in the biblical account, and that makes it all more tragic. In light of the preceding I have difficulties accepting Koulagna’s conclusion that the last reference to the king in 8.211 “est plutôt admirable” (2009, 173). I beg to differ. Admirable it is, if one stops at 8.211a; however, the allusion he is making there to 8.190 and 8.24, is followed by another reference to the most tragic ending of the king, to which it is now also added that Israel will suffer badly “because of these things” (περὶ ὧν καὶ τῶν δι᾽ αὐτὰς κακῶν συµπεσόντων Ἑβραίοις). 81  Feldman 1995/1998, 619–621. On the philosopher-king, see also Parker 1992, 75–91 and Jonquière 2002, 72–89: the prayers are used “to stress the wisdom of King Solomon by giving him the character of a philosopher” (89). See also Jonquière 2007, 152–171 (revised version of the former). With regard to 8.109–110, Attridge (1976, 99–100) points out that it is “the first significant expression” of the connection between divine providence and prophecy in Josephus. More significant perhaps is the fact that Josephus does not mention anymore the notion of covenant that is in 1 Kgs 8,23 and instead speaks somewhat mysteriously about “the voice that we have from the air” (see Koulagna 2009, 158–159). If this interest in prayers, like the one in rituals (when inaugurating the temple), gives the king a priestly aura, as Koulagna points out (2009, 158 and 160), it remains to be seen whether this really adds a positive tone to the picture.


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into a miserable apostate, and a Stoic given to passion, the ultimate con­ tradictio in terminis. I conclude the first part on these sad words and briefly touch upon the second issue I want to address. II. What is the Point? Solomon is important to Josephus. But how much tension and contradiction a character can bear, what is it good for and what can be gained by it, and who could possibly benefit from it? As an apology for the greatness of Jewish leadership this picture, as much as it answers some of the criticisms, also could be used to bring on new and other charges. Josephus must have been aware of this, and of the criticism he exposed himself to.82 It may be the reason why he inserts in 8.56, after the episode on Hiram of Tyre and before he continues with the account of the Temple project, a note in which he speaks for and of himself as one who is interested in “nothing but the truth” and one “capable of setting forth the truth by means of demonstration and compelling proofs.”83 The comment obviously goes well beyond the mere question of whether he really had searched the archives of Tyre. The question of his readership has been much debated in Josephus studies.84 A Jewish readership may have had mixed feelings about this apparently objective presentation of their famous king, especially if this account was also to be read by non-Jews. The latter, and in the first place cultivated Roman circles, including the members of the Flavian court and maybe also the emperor himself, may have found in it, in addition to a couple of answers and probably also some confirmation of one or another of their own presuppositions on Jewish kings and leaders, the picture of a king and tyrant they were probably not unfamiliar with. 82 On the much more positive, even apologetic, presentation of Solomon in the Books of Chronicles, see Braun 1973, 503–516 and 1976, 581–590; Brueggemann 2005, 160–180; Abadie 2008, 339–355; Koulagna 2009, 55–76. Koulagna would like to situate Josephus midway between the critical picture of 1 Kgs and the much more sympathetic one of 2 Chr (2009, 173). I would rather conclude he is still much closer to the former. 83 AJ 8.56 βουλόµενος γνῶναι τοὺς ὲντευξοµένους ὅτι µηδὲν µᾶλλον ἔξω τῆς ἀληθείας λέγοµεν . . . ἀλλὰ µηδεµιᾶς ἀποδοχῆς τυγχάνειν παρακαλοῦντες, ἂν µὴ µετὰ ἀποδείξεως καὶ τεκµηρίων ἰσχυρῶν ἐµϕανίζειν δυνώµεθα τὴν ἀλήθειαν. 84 See the survey of earlier research in Höffken 2007, 328–341. Höffken argues that Josephus at times refers to a Jewish readership, but this one definitely is secondary only to the cultivated Greek-speaking readership he has in view and to which he refers in the proem of his work.

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Here is a ruler who possesses a nice dose of piety and wisdom, but also not too much of it. Here is a ruler who is aware of his privileged relation with God, but who also displays a good sense for Realpolitik, and even mere ruthlessness if need be. Here is a ruler who by life was acclaimed for his wealth, his sense of justice, and his skills as a diplomat and military strategist, but who never really won a decisive battle against his enemies, showed himself to be a vindictive and brutal murderer, and after his death was cursed by his own people for his “harsh yoke.”85 Kings are not measured with the same standards as their subjects. And of course, as always, there are the dangers that go with power and leadership and that can bring down the most powerful king. That is how rulers are, and none is really different from the other. This may sound as a comforting thought to one who had lost most of his illusions, as I think Josephus himself and probably many of his readers certainly had. In short, this is a great picture of a mighty ruler, because it is far from perfect. It is the kind of picture that must have appealed to a certain readership, because it was what they knew from experience to be fact and reality.86 Bibliography Abadie, Ph., ‘Du roi sage au roi bâtisseur du temple: Un autre visage de Salomon dans le livre des Chroniques’, in: C. Lichtert and D. Nocquet (eds.), Le Roi Salomon, un héritage en question: Hommage à Jacques Vermeylen (Le livre et le rouleau 33), 339–355, Brussels 2008. Attridge, H.W., The Interpretation of Biblical History in the Antiquitates Judaicae of Flavius Josephus (Harvard Dissertations in religion 7), Missoula MT 1976. Bacqué-Grammont, J.-L. and J.-M. Durand (eds.), L’image de Salomon: Sources et postérités. Actes du colloque organisé par le Collège de France et la Société Asiatique, Paris, 18–19 mars 2004 (Cahiers de la Société Asiatique NS 5), Paris, Leuven and Dudley MA 2007. Begg, C.T., Josephus’ Account of the Early Divided Monarchy (AJ 8,212–420): Rewriting the Bible (BETL 108), Leuven 1993. ——, 1996a, ‘Solomon’s Two Dreams according to Josephus’, Antonianum 71: 687–704. ——, 1996b, ‘Solomon’s Two ‘Satans’ according to Josephus’, Biblische Notizen 85: 44–55. ——, 1997, ‘Solomon’s Apostasy (1 Kgs 11,1–13) according to Josephus’, Journal for the Study of Judaism 28: 294–313.

85 It has not prevented later generations to use ( Josephus’) Solomon for mirroring the ideal of a Christian emperor; see Schreckenberg 1992, 105 and 129. 86 This interpretation of Josephus’ aim and character is perhaps not the most uplifting one, but it can be further illustrated from the man’s own adventurous life. Even if one does not wish merely to return to the classic position argued for by R. Laqueur of ‘Josephus the turncoat’, there remains quite some space for disillusion also in the so-called ‘modern’ view on Josephus as an ardent promoter of peace with Rome against all odds (cf. Rajak 1984). On the various characterisations of Josephus’ person, see, e.g., Bilde 1988, 173–176.


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——, 2006a, ‘The Judgment of Solomon according to Josephus’, Theologische Zeitschrift 62: 452–461. ——, 2006b, ‘The Wealth of Solomon according to Josephus’, Antonianum 81: 413–429. ——, 2006c, ‘The Visit of the Queen of Sheba according to Josephus’, Journal of Semitics 15: 107–129. ——, 2007a, ‘David: Object of Hate and Love according to Josephus’, Revue des études juives 166: 395–410. ——, 2007b, ‘Solomon’s Preparations for Building the Temple according to Josephus’, Rivista Biblica 55: 25–40. ——, 2008, ‘Solomon’s Post Temple-Dedication Initiatives according to Josephus’, Biblische Notizen 138: 89–105. Begg, C.T. and P. Spilsbury, Flavius Josephus. Translation and Commentary. 5. Judean Antiq­ uities Books 8–10. Translation and Commentary, Leiden and Boston MA 2005. Betz, O., ‘Miracles in the Writings of Flavius Josephus’, in: L.H. Feldman and G. Hata (eds.), Josephus, Judaism and Christianity, 212–235, Detroit 1987. Bilde, P., Flavius Josephus between Jerusalem and Rome: His Life, His Works, and Their Importance ( Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha SS 2), Sheffield 1988. Bogaert, P.-M., ‘La fille de Pharaon et l’Arche du Seigneur selon les livres des Rois (TM et LXX) et des Chroniques’, in: C. Lichtert and D. Nocquet (eds.), Le Roi Salomon, un héritage en question: Hommage à Jacques Vermeylen (Le livre et le rouleau 33), 325–338, Brussels 2008. Braun, R., 1973, ‘Solomonic Apologetic in Chronicles’, Journal of Biblical Literature 92: 503–516. ——, 1976, ‘Solomon the Chosen temple Builder: The Significance of 1 Chr 22, 28, and 29 for the Theology of Chronicles’, Journal of Biblical Literature 95: 581–590. Briend, J., ‘Les relations du roi Salomon avec les pays voisins’, in: C. Lichtert and D. Nocquet (eds.), Le Roi Salomon, un héritage en question: Hommage à Jacques Vermeylen (Le livre et le rouleau 33), 27–35, Brussels 2008. Brueggemann, W., Solomon: Israel’s Ironic Icon of Human Achievement (Studies on Personalities of the Old Testament), Columbia SC 2005. Deines, R., Josephus, ‘Salomo und die von Gott verliehene τέχνη gegen die Dämonen’, in A. Lange, H. Lichtenberger and K.F. Diethard Römheld (eds.), Die Dämonen—Demons: Die Dämonologie der israelitisch-jüdischen und frühchristlichen Literatur im Kontext ihrer Umwelt—The Demonology of Israelite-Jewish and Early Christian Literature in Context of Their Environment, 365–394, Tübingen 2003. Duling, D.C., 1984, ‘The Legend of Solomon the Magician in Antiquity: Problems and Perspectives’, Proceedings of the Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society 4: 1–22. ——, 1985, ‘The Eleazar Miracle and Solomon’s Magical Wisdom in Flavius Josephus’ Antiquitates Judaicae 8.42–49’, Harvard Theological Review 78: 1–25. Faber van der Meulen, H.E., Das Salomo-Bild im Hellenistisch-Jüdischen Schrifttum, PhD diss. Kampen 1978. Feldman, L.H., ‘Josephus as an Apologist of the Greco-Roman World: His Portrait of Solomon’, in: E. Schüssler Fiorenza (ed.), Aspects of Religious Propaganda in Judaism and Early Christianity (University of Notre Dame Center for the Study of Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity 2), 68–98, Notre Dame IN and London 1976. ——, ‘A Selective Critical Bibliography of Josephus’, in: L.H. Feldman and G. Hata (eds.), Josephus, the Bible and History, 330–448, Leiden 1989. ——, 1995, ‘Josephus’ Portrait of Solomon’, Hebrew Union College Annual 66: 103–167; revised version in: L.H. Feldman, Josephus’ Interpretation of the Bible, 570–628, Berkeley 1998. ——, Studies in Josephus’ Rewritten Bible (Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 58), Leiden and Boston MA 1998a. ——, ‘The Influence of the Greek Tragedians on Josephus’, in: A. Ovadiah (ed.), The How­ ard Gilman International Conferences. I. Hellenic and Jewish Arts: Interactions, Tradition

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and Renewal, 51–80, Tel Aviv 1998b; repr. in Feldman, Judaism and Hellenism Reconsid­ ered, 2006, 413–443. ——, ‘Josephus’ Biblical Paraphrase as a Commentary on Contemporary Issue’, in: C.A. Evans (ed.), The Interpretation of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity: Studies in Language and Tradition, 124–201, Sheffield 2000; repr. in Feldman, Judaism and Helle­ nism Reconsidered, 2006, 445–521. ——, Judaism and Hellenism Reconsidered (Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 107), Leiden and Boston MA 2006. Foakes Jackson, F.J., Josephus and the Jews, London 1930. Förster, N., ‘Der Exorzist El’azar. Salomo, Josephus und das alte Ägypten’, in: J.U. Kalms (ed.), Internationales Josephus-Kolloquium Amsterdam 2000 (Münsteraner Judaistische Studien 10), 205–221, Münster 2001. Giversen, S., ‘Solomon und die Dämonen’, in: M. Krause (ed.), Essays on the Nag Hammadi Texts in Honour of Alexander Böhlig (Nag Hammadi Studies 3), 16–21, Leiden 1972. Höffken, P., 2007, ‘Überlegungen zum Leserkreis der “Antiquitates” des Josephus’, JSJ 38: 328–341. Jonquière, T.M., ‘Two Prayers by King Solomon in Josephus’ Antiquities 8 and the Bible’, in: F. Siegert and J.U. Kalms (eds.), Internationales Josephus-Kolloquium Paris 2001: Studies on the Antiquities of Josephus—Études sur les Antiquités de Josèphe (Münsteraner Judaistische Studien 12), 72–89, Münster 2002. ——, Prayer in Josephus (Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity 70), Leiden and Boston MA 2007. Koulagna, J., Salomon de l’histoire deutéronomiste à Flavius Josèphe: Problèmes textuels et enjeux historiographiques, Paris 2009. Laqueur, R., Der jüdische Historiker Flavius Josephus: Ein biografischer Versuch auf neuer quellenkritischer Grundlage, Giessen 1920; repr. Darmstadt 1970. Lichtert, C., ‘D’un songe à l’autre. Analyse rhétorique (1 R 3,1–15 et 9,1–9)’, in: C. Lichtert and D. Nocquet (eds.), Le Roi Salomon, un héritage en question: Hommage à Jacques Vermeylen (Le livre et le rouleau 33), 261–281, Brussels 2008b. Lichtert, C. and D. Nocquet (eds.), Le Roi Salomon, un héritage en question: Hommage à Jacques Vermeylen (Le livre et le rouleau 33), Brussels 2008a. Maier, S., 1991, ‘The King as Warrior in Samuel-Kings’, Hebrew Annual Review 13: 63–76. Malamat, A., 1963, ‘Aspects of Foreign Policies of David and Solomon’, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 22: 1–17. Mendels, D., 1987, ‘Hellenistic Writers of the Second Century B.C. on the Hiram-Solomon Relationship’, Studia Phoenicia 5: 429–441. Moehring, H.R., 1973, ‘Rationalization of Miracles in the Writings of Flavius Josephus’, Stu­ dia Evangelica 6: 376–383. Parker, K.I., 1992, ‘Solomon as Philosopher King? The Nexus of Law and Wisdom in 1 Kgs 1–11’, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 53: 75–91. Porten, B., 1967, ‘The Structure and Theme of the Solomon Narrative (1 Kgs 3–11)’, Hebrew Union College Annual 38: 93–128. Preisendanz, K., ‘Salomo’, in: Pauly’s Real-Encyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissen­ schaft. Supplement, 8, Stuttgart 1956, 660–704. Rajak, T., Josephus: The Historian and His Society, Philadelphia PA 1984. Rocca, S., ‘Josephus and the Psalms of Solomon on Herod’s Messianic Aspirations: An Interpretation’, in: Z. Rodgers (ed.), Making History. Josephus and Historical Method (Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 110), 313–333, Leiden and Boston MA 2007. Römer, Th., ‘Salomon d’après les deutéronomistes: un roi ambigu’, in: C. Lichtert and D. Nocquet (eds.), Le Roi Salomon, un héritage en question: Hommage à Jacques Vermey­ len (Le livre et le rouleau 33), 99–130, Brussels 2008. Sarowy, W., Quellenkritische Untersuchungen zur Geschichte König Salomos, Königsberg 1900.


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Schenker, A., Septante et texte massorétique dans l’histoire la plus ancienne du texte de 1 Rois 2–14 (Cahiers de la Revue Biblique 48), Paris 2000. ——, Älteste Textgeschichte der Königsbücher: Die hebräische Vorlage der ursprünglichen Septuaginta als älteste Textform der Königsbücher (Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 199), Fribourg and Göttingen 2004. Schreckenberg, H., Die Flavius-Josephus Tradition in Antike und Mittelalter (Arbeiten zur Literatur und Geschichte des hellenistischen Judentums 5), Leiden 1972. ——, Rezeptionsgeschichtliche und textkritische Untersuchungen zu Flavius Josephus (Arbei­ ten zur Literatur und Geschichte des hellenistischen Judentums 10), Leiden 1977. Schreckenberg, H. and K. Schubert, Jewish Historiography and Iconography in Early and Medieval Christianity (Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum 3/2), Assen, Maastricht and Minneapolis MN 1992. Shimoff, S.R., ‘The Hellenization of Solomon in Rabbinic Texts’, in: L.K. Handy (ed.), The Age of Solomon: Scholarship at the Turn of the Millenium, 457–469, Leiden 1997. Silberman, L.H., ‘The Queen of Sheba in Judaic Tradition’, in: J.B. Pritchard (ed.), Solomon & Sheba, 85–103, London 1974. Smith, M., ‘The Occult in Josephus’, in: L.H. Feldman and G. Hata (eds.), Josephus, Judaism and Christianity, 236–256, Detroit 1987. Spottorno, V., ‘Some Remarks on Josephus’ Biblical Text for 1–2 Kgs’, in: C. Cox (ed.), VI Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, 277–285, Atlanta GA 1987. Torijano, P., Solomon the Esoteric King: From King to Magus, Development of a Tradition (Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 73), Leiden and Boston MA 2002. Villalba i Varneda, P., The Historical Method of Flavius Josephus (Arbeiten zur Literatur und Geschichte des hellenistischen Judentums 19), Leiden 1986. Vogel, M., ‘Traumdarstellungen bei Josephus und Lukas’, in: J. Frey et al. (eds.), Die Apostelgeschichte im Kontext antiker und frühchristlicher Historiographie (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 162), 130–156, Berlin and New York, 2009. Wénin, A., ‘Bethsabée, épouse de David et mère de Salomon. Une étude narrative’, in: C. Lichtert and D. Nocquet (eds.), Le Roi Salomon, un héritage en question: Hommage à Jacques Vermeylen (Le livre et le rouleau 33), 207–228, Brussels 2008.

Solomon and Magic Pablo A. Torijano Introduction King Solomon has had a double reception history, part literary and part legendary, based on the characterization of 1 Kgs and linked to the theme of his wisdom and that of the construction of the Temple. Both motifs occur in Second Temple and Rabbinic Jewish Literature as well as in early Christian writings. The use of the figure of the wise king as a device, first in the Bible already and afterwards in several Greek and Syriac Pseudepigrapha, marks the path King Solomon will follow in later times. Already in the Second Temple period, his figure was popular and much used in several writings. According to Rabbinic tradition, his significance was such as to secure him a place in the list of works of “dubious” authorship such as Qohelet or Song of Songs.1 The importance and popularity of Solomon’s character was extended also to aspects and texts that were less normative within Judaism; Solomon’s name and figure played an important role in magic or ritual power practices, derived at first glance from a special interpretation of the themes of his wisdom and of the building of the Temple. The use of Solomon and his legend in magical texts and practices constitutes an extraordinary development that, in some aspects, would have a bigger impact in the Western world than the biblical account itself. This is not the place for a theoretical discussion on the definition of magic, but given the different working hypotheses assumed by scholars, some comments may be useful.2 In the following pages, both “normative” religious texts and ritual power texts are considered on the same level. Religion is understood here as the cultural mediation that a determined historical period imposes on the individual when treating heavenly or other-world realms; that cultural mediation is the accepted path for contacting the divinity or divinities; it can change over time. It acts as an intermediary that is interposed between the individual and the divinity, 1 On the so-called “council of Jamnia” and the legendary closing of the Jewish canon, see Lewis 1992. 2 On the definition of magic and especially of Jewish magic, see Bohak 2008, 8–69.


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subjected to a series of rules and practices that channel the relationship and that are accepted within the whole of that society. In most cases religion, understood in that way, is a passive activity that does not look for direct consequences, that is, the practitioner cannot be sure whether it will have some effect even when performing the rituals in the adequate manner. However, there are practices that, although existing in the same cultural milieu, constitute an alternative path in dealing with the divinities and whose ultimate aim is effectiveness and efficiency. Magic and mysticism are the secondary roads that many took in Late Antiquity and afterwards when dealing with other-world realities. Both share some characteristics of the cultural mediation of the period, but each of them took a more specific turn in which what really mattered was the individual in his petty or great worries. Late Antiquity witnessed a growing recourse to such shortcuts. In part of the Mediterranean Oikoumene, Solomon acted as catalyzer of these practices, supporting them and playing an important role as magical intermediary. Exorcisms and Texts Let us have a look at the material that we have to consider when studying the magical traditions linked to Solomon. Generally speaking, in the study of magic there are two different kinds of witnesses; that of those who know and use the techniques and that of those who hear, write about, comment on, or criticize those same techniques. As Gideon Bohak has recently put it: The most important distinction to be made in the study of any magical tradition, and especially those of the distant past, is between “outsider” accounts and “insider” evidence, or, to phrase it more accurately, between the representation of magicians and references to them by people who are not themselves involved in magic and the picture which emerges from the texts and artifacts manufactured and utilized by the magicians themselves.3

If we apply this methodological distinction to our sources, we encounter some difficulties. Most of the magical material that speaks of or is related to Solomon fits in the insider category, with the exception of what we may label literary references: Pseudo-Philo’s Biblical Antiquities, Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities, the Gospel narratives and Rabbinic traditions.4 3 Bohak 2008, 70. 4 On these materials and Solomon, see Torijano 2002.

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Apart from these exceptions, we may add a third category, the modern ­re-interpretation of a text in the light of our knowledge of later sources, as it is the case with Wisdom of Solomon 7:17–21, where no clear reference of magical matters appears but that seems to allude precisely to them. On the other hand, it is difficult to classify the well known Testament of Solomon either as insider or outsider evidence.5 The texts that I have labeled “outsider” accounts share a detail that will keep showing up in these pages. All of them refer to the characterization of Solomon as an exorcist and to his power over demons. As this connection between Solomon and demons appears in both kinds of accounts, it seems evident that it constitutes the oldest esoteric manifestation of Solomon that will eventually develop and reach other fields of magic and ritual knowledge. Let us turn to the first two outsiders notices, the text of the Biblical Antiquities of Pseudo Philo (first century c.e.) and the New Testament references. Neither text mentions Solomon but they refer to him as the child of David either in an indirect way, as in the Biblical Antiquities of Pseudo Philo, or directly, as in the Gospels (the title “Son of David”). In Bib Ant 60, the story of 1 Sam 16:14–23, about David’s musical abilities that kept at bay the Demon that tormented Saul, has been expanded by adding a psalm of exorcistic content. In it, David warns the evil spirit about his future descendant who will conquer it.6 This is quite likely an early echo of a tradition about Solomon the exorcist. In the New Testament two groups of texts are to be considered. The first one comprises Mark 10:46–52 and its parallels in Matt 20:20–34; 9:27–31 and Luke 18:35–43; the second includes Matt 12:22–30.42–45 and Matt 15:22. These texts share the same healing or exorcistic context and, with the exception of Matt 12:22–30 and 42–45, invoke Jesus in the same way: “have mercy on me (us), Son of David.” This expression has a formulaic value in its context; it could well go back to Judeo-Aramaic traditions about exorcism. Matt 12:22–24 and 42–45 seems to allude to a tradition that linked the title Son of David, Solomon and exorcisms, but that has been reworked by the author due to polemics about Jesus’ powers as exorcist and the competition with Solomon.7 This polemical competition between

5 For a modern assessment of this work, see Klutz 2005. 6 See Jacobson 1966, 1.82, 187–188, 2.1173–1180. 7 See on this aspect, Charlesworth 1996; Duling 1975.


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Solomon and Jesus as exorcists keeps appearing in later Christian writings; the controversy was still alive in the fifth and the sixth century.8 The outsider evidence about Solomon and magical traditions makes evident two details: on the one hand, the exorcistic and demonology content of these traditions constitute the first stage of the link between Solomon and magic; on the other, they provide the terminus a quo for establishing such a link in literary works. These texts can be dated around the first century c.e., but the characterization of Solomon as an exorcist had to be known well before that date since this sort of traditions take a rather long time to develop before they appear in outsider sources. Wisdom of Solomon supports that chronology; Wis 7:17–20 provides a catalogue of the ritual lore that Solomon purportedly knew. The text refers, among other things, to: “the beginning, and the end, and middle of the times, the changes of the solstices and the vicissitudes of the seasons” (18), “the cycles of the year and the position of the stars” (19), and “the violent force of the spirits, the species of plants and the virtues of the roots” (20). The third verse reflects a catalogue of esoteric lore, in which “the violent force of the spirits” seems to refer to the knowledge and power over demons. The dating of Wisdom of Solomon around the second quarter of the first century c.e., reinforces the terminus a quo of these traditions about Solomon as exorcist.9 However, the main source for these traditions is Josephus’ narrative of the exorcism performed by an Essene in front of Vespasian in Book 8 of his Jewish Antiquities. This text shows several traits about Solomon and his esoteric knowledge that will keep appearing in other texts. Josephus mentions that God gave Solomon knowledge of exorcisms: And God granted him knowledge of the art used against the demons for the benefit and healing of men. He also composed incantations by which illnesses are relieved, and left behind forms of exorcisms with which those possessed by demons drive them out, never to return. And this kind of cure is of very great power among us to this day (AJ 8.45–46).

Josephus’ position towards magic and esoteric arts is generally negative.10 However, here he gives a characterization of Solomon that shows him to be linked with exorcism and magical healing. The exact wording of the text is revealing; Josephus’ use of the present tense in the narrative marks   8 See for example the writings of Leontios of Byzantium (485–542), in Patrologia Graeca, 86, c. 1968 bis; see also Gregentius of Taphra, in Patrologia Graeca, vol. 86, c. 642 C.   9 See Winston 1979. 10 On magic and the occult in Josephus, see Smith 1987.

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it as actual and referring to the time of the author (“and this kind of cure is of very great power among us to this day”), a reference that is ultimately reinforced by the well known narrative of Eleazar’s exorcism in AJ 8.46–48.11 That narrative transforms the outsider source into an insider composition, since it recounts the experience of Josephus as a witness of an exorcism, where both the procedures (the roots prescribed by Solomon) and the king himself (speaking Solomon’s name and reciting the incantations which he had composed) are mentioned in precise terms. Somehow Josephus “felt” compelled to include such a practice, despite his overall negative opinion about those operations. Again, another outsider source reinforces the relative chronology of esoteric traditions about Solomon and his relationship with exorcism within a Jewish setting. So far, I have dealt with some of the outsider narratives which show that the link between King Solomon and magical knowledge was known and alive at least from the first century c.e. However, these traditions are attested in insiders sources that appeared previously in a Hebrew-Aramaic speaking context: the Qumran sect. The first indication in an insider source about Solomon and exorcistic practices is found in the Qumran Library, in a small scroll, 11QPs11, that contains what seems to be an exorcist’s handbook. This scroll has been dated on paleographical grounds around 50–70 b.c.e. It contains three apocryphal psalms in a very fragmentary state. At the beginning of the first column of the scroll we can read, Of David. About the words of incantation in the name of YHWH (‫על דברי‬ ‫ )לחש בשם יחוה‬vacat Solomon and he will invoke in the name of YHWH in order to be delivered of any plague of the spirits and the demons.12

This introduction marks the text as clearly being exorcistic; it also mentions Solomon. Although the text is fragmentary, it is obvious that the Solomon it refers to must be David’s son, which fits well the formulaic use of the title “son of David” in Jewish exorcistic settings. Therefore, while leaving aside possible reconstructions of the lacuna, it seems evident that the mention of Solomon’s name is part of an apothropaic formula. In the fifth column we read: of David. About the words of incantation in the name of the Lord time to the heavens when it comes to you by night you shall say to it who are you , accursed among men and the race of the holy ones. 11  Cf. Duling 1985. 12 For the edition and commentary of this text, see García Martínez 1998, 181–205.


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The text goes on to describe some characteristics of the demon. If we consider the previous fragment together with this one, a more clear picture emerges regarding Solomon’s role. The key is the question “Who are you?”, which appears as the kernel around which the framework of the text is built. In fact it reminds us of the use of such identification formula in the Testament of Solomon,13 where it functions as the main structural device of the complex demonology that is laid out there. Thus, after imprisoning the demon Ornias with the seal given by the archangel Michael, King Solomon interrogates him in the following terms: Who are you? and what is your name? The demon said: I am called Ornias. And I said to him, Tell me in what sign of the Zodiac you reside. And answering, the demon says: “in Aquarius” and I strangle the ones who lie in Aquarius . . . (Test. Sol. 1:1–5).14

As the previous one, the text goes on describing the main traits of the demon. The Testament of Solomon is dated around the fourth century c.e., much later than the Qumran psalm; this fact suggests that both used a common source. The apocryphal Qumran psalm is the only Jewish attestation of Solomon as a magician that can be dated to Second Temple Judaism with some degree of certainty. This formula (“Who are you?”) is paired with Solomon in other texts such as the Questions of Bartholomew, a Greek apocryphal Christian text also known as the Gospel of Bartholomew and dated between the second and the fifth centuries c.e. The text narrates how Jesus has Belial brought to him, to the horror of his apostles and Bartholomew’s dismay, who is afraid of confronting the demon despite the reassuring words of Jesus. Finally Jesus says: Were not all things made by my word, and by the will of my Father the spirits were made subject to Solomon? You therefore, being commanded by my word, go in my name and ask him what you will (. . .) 23 And Bartholomew said to him Tell me who are you and what is your name. And he said to him, “lighten me a little, and I will tell you who I am and how I came hither, and what my work is and what my power is”.15

Here we see again that Solomon is loosely linked with an exorcistic formula: as shown in this text it began to have an independent literary 13 On the formula, Torijano 2002, 46–76. 14 My translation; for an alternative translation with commentary see Duling 1983, 935–988. 15 For the present translation and a commentary, see Elliott 1993, 661–663.

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d­ evelopment. In fact, the formula could be used independently from the figure of Solomon. Thus, we find a really close parallel to the Qumran texts in a Genizah text (T.-S. K 1.123) that Gideon Bohak has dated around the eleventh century c.e. It contains four pages written in Hebrew and Aramaic with magical recipes that go back to Late Ancient models.16 The identification formula appears there in Hebrew and follows loosely the description of the demon that appeared in the Qumran psalm. After the invocation, adscription and orders in Aramaic that are found in other recipes and amulets,17 we read in Hebrew: Who are you, whether from the seed of man o from the seed of Cattle, (. . .) your face is the face of old age and your horns are like a water current.18

Bohak sees in this fragment a clear parallel to the Qumran psalm that has been quoted previously. The fact that the spell is in Hebrew seems to indicate for him that the scribe was using a text. That text seems to have been employed mainly within an exorcistic context and quite likely existed as an independent unit even before being linked with the exorcistic characterization of Solomon. 11QPs11 would be then the first attestation of that pairing. As it seems, the “Who are you?” formula was cut off from the character of Solomon the exorcist around the fifth or sixth century c.e. Afterwards, it appeared in literary texts in the West always within a demonological or exorcistic context. Thus we find the very same formula in Dante’s Divine Comedy, either introducing evil spirits or the poet himself in his touring of the underworld.19 From the sixteenth century on the formula will appear frequently, mainly in literary works that deal with the motif of making a pact with the devil. In Marlowe’s Faustus the seven deadly sins enter in the stage and are interrogated by Faustus in the following terms: Faustus What art thou, the first?

16 See Bohak 2012. 17 See Naveh and Shaked 1985; Naveh 1993. 18 The text is transcribed by Bohak as follows: ‫ן[י]על [ ?א]וב[ ]זיד[ ] של דבהמה מזרעה‬ ‫ בין‬/ ‫ אם את לך ויאמר לילה ובין ביום‬/ ‫אם דאדם מזרעה‬. For a paleographical and linguistic analysis, see Bohak, “From Qumran to Cairo”. 19 See Inferno VIII, v 33 (“who are you that comes before your time?”); Inferno VIII 84. XXIX 93 (“But who are you who have inquired from us? See Dante Alighieri, L’Inferno di Dante (ed. Sermonti) 1993.


pablo a. torijano Pride I am Pride. I disdain to have any parents. I am like to Ovid’s flea. I can creep into every corner of a wench, sometimes like a periwig; I, sit upon her brow, or, like a fan of feathers, I kiss her lips. Indeed I do, what do I not?20

The “Who are you?” formula also occurs in several Spanish plays of the seventeenth century, such as El esclavo del demonio (“The demon’s Slave”) by Mira de Amescua, El mágico prodigioso by Calderón de la Barca, El condenado por desconfiado by Tirso de Molina, and the short novel El diablo cojuelo by Luis Vélez de Guevara.21 The common denominator of these works is again the motif of the pact with the demon, that was very popular in Western literature and that was mainly based on the Greek legend of Teophilus of Adana, written by Eutyches around the sixth century c.e. and known in its Latin translation by Paul the Deacon from the eighth century c.e. The formula will survive till the modern era. It appears in Goethe’s Faust when Mephistopheles presents himself to Faust and in the Faust of Mann who probably took the whole scene from Goethe.22 The inclusion of the “Who are you?” formula in literary works constitutes the last stage in the development of this tradition about Solomon the exorcist. The questioning of the demon, which was part of any procedure of exorcism, has been transformed in a literary motif, to be used when a demonic or otherworldly figure has to be introduced; as its main goal was to give a degree of realism to the text, the prospective reader had to be familiar in some way with the demonic adjuration that was commonly used in such cases. There are two possibilities: either the formula was taken from some version of the so-called Key of Solomon, a text that was widely known in medieval and early modern Europe,23 or it was extracted from the Rituale Romanum of Paulus V (1609) whose Titulus XI on exorcisms presents a similar wording.24 In either case, the success 20 Philippe Marlowe, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, 23–25, especially 23. Each of the sins is identified in the same manner and the similarities with the use of the formula in the Testament of Solomon are striking. 21  Mira de Amescua, El esclavo del demonio (ed. Castañeda) 1984; Calderón de la Barca, El mágico prodigioso (ed. Fernández) 2008; Tirso de Molina, El condenado por desconfiado (ed. Morón) 1992; Vélez de Guevara, El diablo cojuelo (ed. Fernández González and Arellano) 2001. 22 See Goethe 2000, 38–39; Mann 1975, 303–304. 23 For the Key of Solomon and its relationship with other magic works attributed to Solomon, see Johnston 2002, 35–50; Torijano 2012. 24 Rituale Romanum: editio prima post typicam anno 1953 promulgata, Rome 2001, p. 274. The text reads as follows: “Praecipio tibi, quicumque es, spiritus inmunde [. . .] dicas mihi nomen tuum, diem, et horam exitus tui, cum aliquo signo . . .”

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and preservation of the “Who are you?” formula attests to the impact of esoteric traditions in Western culture till the modern period and, in an indirect the way, to the survival of the ancient characterization of Solomon as a magician and exorcist.25 Amulets and Bowls The importance of this characterization of Solomon as an exorcist appears also in the large corpus of Late Ancient magic amulets and bowls. They are the most important primary or “insider” sources of magic practice in Late Antiquity since they have as a rule been not harmed by the vicissitudes of textual transmission or the critical eye of the censor. Solomon’s name shows up frequently in these objects, either in Greek, Aramaic or Hebrew; most of the time it is paired with his magical ring. The main characteristic of this appearance is that it always forms part of an apothropaic invocation against the demons and / or the ailments caused by them.26 A text of major importance for our purpose in the corpus of the Greek Magical Papyri is the so-called “Charm of Pibechis for demoniacs”.27 This adjuration is Jewish, although it has been modified as the reference to the “God of the Hebrews, Jesus” shows; it was copied by the pagan owner of PGM IV at the beginning of fourth century c.e. Here we have the oldest insider mention of Solomon’s ring as a powerful instrument to deter demons, effective enough to be transmitted in a pagan magical ­handbook. On some Greek amulets the well-known tradition about the ring of Solomon takes a new turn. We find there a complex combination of iconography and text where the inscription supports the image. They show a horseman riding to the right and piercing the heart of a female figure with a lance. Sometimes the rider has a band or a crown on his head. The oldest examples (third century c.e.) are made of hematite and have the inscription Σολομῶν on the recto and σφραγὶς θεοῦ on the verso; they do not show evident Christian traits. The origin of these amulets is rather obscure. It has been said that the iconography was the result of imitating the royal representations of Hellenistic rulers as victorious horsemen; parallels for such an iconography are to be found on coins and medals 25 For a more detailed study of the literary use of the formula, see Torijano 2004, 211–226. 26 See Naveh and Shaked 1985; Naveh 1993 (passim). 27 For the Greek text, Preisendanz 1973–19742, 64–65; for the translation, Betz 19922, 96–97.


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of the last three Antonine emperors. However, this interpretation overlooks what it is the most important feature of the image: the lying female whose heart is being pierced by the spear. The origin of the iconography must be much older.28 The image of the conqueror of demons appears already is the amulet of Arslan Tash (North-Syria), a plaque written in Phoenician around the seventh century b.c.e. There the Sasm strides forth against the reverse figures, who are called fliers (in feminine) and stranglers (in feminine) and are represented by a winged female sphinx. These female demonic figures seem to be an early form of female demons, such as the Akkadian Lamashtu, the Jewish Lilith, and the Christian Gyllou or Onoskelis; they were described as dangerous for pregnant woman and young children.29 We will find a quite similar iconography in the corpus of Pahlavi and Sassanid amulets. All of these share the female demonic figure and the warrior piercing her with a spear; also, on many of them, the warrior is identified as ssny, ssn, sasyn. A variant of this name appears in the holy rider amulets we are considering, in the Aramaic Jewish bowls and in the Magical Greek Papyri. In the Papyri we have the form sesen bar faranges, a famous nomen magicum; on the Aramaic bowls the names swny, swswny snygly appear; the Greek amulets read Sisinnios Sisinnarios. The history of transmission of the iconography is necessarily linked with the transmission of the names. Around the third century c.e. the names ssn, sisin, ssn bar prngs, became powerful nomina magica; as such they were used by Aramaic speaking Jews in Mesopotamia and gave rise to a magical historiola in which a female demon is pursued.30 Later on that historiola will occur in various Christian versions in which Saint Sisisinnios, or Sines, or Sinodoros, is the one who conquers the female demon (fifth century c.e.?). Through Jewish practitioners, the nomina traveled to the other side of the border and began to be used in connection with the iconography of the holy rider, very likely by Sassanian influence; some of the Nippur bowls describe how the “spear of Qatros” pierces the heart of the Liliths, which would allude to the horseman iconography.31 Still, in a parallel way and 28 For the following I rely on Schwartz 1998a; 1998b; on the horseman amulets, see Torijano 2002; Maguire and Duncan-Flowers 1989, 25–28, 212–217; Russell 1995, 35–50. 29 See Perdrizet 1922, 13–26; Naveh and Shaked 1985, 111–122; Sorlin 1991. 30 See on this aspect Naveh and Shaked 1985, 111–122. A historiola is a narrative frame that encloses and or precedes magical procedures; on this literary device, see Heim 1892, 463–576. For the use of these nomina in the Middle Ages, see Trachtenberg 1987, 101–102, 139, 169. 31  See Torijano 2002, 139–140; for further examples of this type of bowl, see Gordon 1984; 1985.

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within a Jewish milieu, the holy rider was linked to Solomon, and the socalled “Seal of Solomon” was born; this amulet will evolve through time, incorporating more motifs (the evil eye, several animals such a snake, scorpion, palm branches, stars etc. . . .) and sometimes carrying the names of Sisinnios and Sisinnarios. This Seal of Solomon with the holy rider remained in use at least till the early Byzantine period (sixth-seventh century c.e.) as the findings in the excavations of the city of Anemurium on the Cilician coast attest.32 At the same time, the iconography of the holy riders was applied to Sisinnios, Sisen or Sinodoros, transformed into a Saint as shown in the Coptic Monastery of Apolo in Bawit (fifth century) or in some Syriac amulets described by Gollanz.33 Generally speaking, Sisinnios and his comrades were transformed into one of the various pairs of warrior saints that were popular in the East, Saint George and Saint Theodore being the most popular pair. However, from the sixth century on, the iconography of the holy rider began to change and the female demon first became a serpent and later on a dragon; this change is seen already in some earlier amulets where the female demon has a snake’s tail. The historiola of the fight between Sisinios and the female demon was modified into a chivalrous tale of the rescue of a maiden and lost its exorcistic contents;34 in the West the horseman is identified with Saint George at the end of the first millennium c.e.. In the Greek speaking East the same legend is applied to Saint Theodosius already before the eleventh century, but afterwards and perhaps by Crusader influence Saint George substituted Theodosius again. In other areas of the Christian East (Egypt, Syria, Armenia, Ethiopia) the horseman iconography was gradually transferred to other saints or angels. In those frontier cultures, the “traditional” representation of a horseman piercing a female demon (Solomon, Sisinnius, Raphael, Michael) remained popular until the eighteenth century, as several manuscripts of that period clearly show.35 Solomon the Magician and Astrologer Solomon was quite a figure within the exorcistic practices of Jews and Christians alike, at least from the first century c.e. on. However, his 32 See Russell 1995, 40. 33 Gollanz 1912, 22, 23, 27. 34 See Greenfield 1989. 35 See Winkler 1931, 96–140; Peterson 1926, 109–145.


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d­ evelopment into a magical character of great power followed a different path. It began when his fame as an exorcist was already established. It is likely that at its very beginning this new characterization took place exclusively in a Greek speaking setting. Perhaps the rather obscure text of Wisdom of Solomon 7 quoted above pointed to that development already in the first century b.c.e. However, the transformation of Solomon from an exorcist to a magician should be dated later, around the fifth or sixth century c.e.; it remained alive till the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as the popularity of esoteric corpora such as the Key of Solomon and the sheer amount of Greek magical and astrological manuscripts indicate. The first problem that has to be to tackled is the lack of sources before the sixth century, except for Wisdom of Solomon 7:18–20. Fortunately, a magical Hebrew handbook of Late Antiquity, the Sefer-ha Razim, comes to our aid.36 Despite the many problems it poses, the Sefer is a valuable source for Jewish magic; if we accept a fifth-sixth century date, it furnishes a bridge between the magical and exorcistic practices of the Second Temple period and those of Late Antiquity and beyond. The techniques it describes show a strong influence of the Greek magical traditions, which may explain the continuity with later works such as the Greek Hydromancy of Solomon. According to this text, Solomon is the last link in a very special “chain of tradition,” that dealt in (how) to master the investigation of the strata to the heavens, to go about in all that is in their seven abodes, to observe all the astrological signs, to examine the course of the sun, to explain the observations of the moon, and to know the paths of the Great Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, to declare the names of the oversees of each and every firmament and the realms of their authority, and by what means they (can be made to) cause success in each thing (asked of them), and what are the names of their attendants and what (oblations) are to be poured out to them, and what is the proper time (at which they will hear prayer, so as) to perform every wish of anyone (who comes) near them in purity. [. . .] (Noah learned) from it rituals (that cause) death and rituals (that preserve) life, to understand the evil and the good, to search out (the right) seasons and moments (for magical rites), [. . .] to rule over spirits and over demons, to send them (wherever you wish) so they will go out like slaves, to watch the four winds of the earth, to be learned in the speech of the thunderclaps, to tell the significance of lightning flashes, to foretell what will happen in each and every month, and to know the affairs

36 Margalioth 1966.

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of each and every year, which starts with Noah and includes the Patriarchs, the elders and the prophets.37

Here we have the first summary of the knowledge that we will find attributed to Solomon in Greek texts such as the Hydromancy of Solomon, the Selenodromion of David and Solomon or the Magical Treatise of Solomon. Among them, the Hydromancy of Solomon, also known as the Epistle to Rehoboam, is probably the most important and interesting.38 It can be dated around the sixth century c.e., mainly on the basis of the language— a fairly correct late koiné Greek. In this work, Solomon purportedly teaches his son Rehoboam the technique of divination through water (hydromancy), although in fact this does not appear in the text; it is shown how this way of divination is linked with the exact knowledge of the planets, zodiacal signs and the times when each of them surrenders its power. The text begins with a brief dialogue between Solomon and Rehoboam, which will constitute the literary frame for the astrological techniques necessary for securing power, wealth and love. Thus we read: Pay attention, my very precise son Roboam, to the exactness of this art of mine—your father Solomon—, to the procedures, in which the whole attention of divination through water lies, because it is necessary before anything [. . .] to master the observations of the planets and of the Zodiac signs and to follow them and perform them according to your will. Roboam asks his father Solomon: Father, where does the force of the acts lie? Solomon responds: The entire art, grace and force of what is sought remains in plants, words and stones. First of all, know the positions of the seven planets; because the seven planets lead the seven days of the week; let us begin from week’s first day, that is, from the Sun’s day. And in the first period we assume that the Sun rules, and, in the same way, we will explain the others which follow.39

Afterwards the text presents a hierarchy of planetary gods, angels and demons and furnishes a detailed account of the actions to be undertaken in every hour of each day of the week, depending on what planet (Helios, Aphrodite, Hermes, Kronos, Zeus, Ares) rules it. We read then: On the third day, Ares is lord. At the first hour of the third day, Ares is Lord. It is good so that you will work with paper and you will win the war and other things. 37 For the present translation, see Morgan 1983, 17–18. 38 On this text, see Torijano 2002, 151–174, 209–224, 231–253. 39 For the present translation, Torijano 2002, 231.


pablo a. torijano At the second hour, Helios: [good hour] so that you will earn money. At the third hour, Aphrodite: [a good hour] you will make an demonstration. At the fourth hour, Hermes: [a good hour] so that you will march to battle. At the fifth hour, Moon: [a good hour] so that you will march and escape. At the sixth hour, Kronos: be aware of your enemy.40

The week begins with the day of the Lord, Sunday, and ends on Saturday, following the Jewish week; the deeds and actions refer mainly to everyday situations (business, love, work, networking and public relations) and ion many occasions only indicate that the day is lucky without mentioning a determined activity. After this weekly calendar, Solomon gives further instructions to Rehoboam, indicating the demon and angel that rules in the twenty fourth hours of each day. The text goes on describing the prayers that should be addressed to the planets to gain their favour, the symbols (characteres) of each and every planet, the way to prepare the prayers, and, finally, the plants that correspond to each zodiacal sign and planet; this last unit of the text constitutes a small treatise of astrological medicine dealing with the properties and effects each zodiacal sign and planet has in different situations. Thus we can read The plant of Gemini is the corn-flag: when the same zodiac sign rules, gather its flowers and throw them on the bed of a newborn little child, then wear them and you will be loved by small and great ones. The leaves, when they are worn, will heal the possessed by a demon. Give the upper root to man or beast to eat and he/it will love you, the lower root and they will be hated.41

The contents of the work give some clues about its date and provenance. Generally speaking, most of the actions that are to be performed or to be avoided depending on the hour (going into court, fights, problems with great lords, business ventures . . ., speaking in public) fit clearly in any urbanized setting of Late Antiquity. There are no Christian overtones whatsoever, with the possible exception of the denomination of Sunday as the “day of the Lord,” but this epithet was used also in pagan circles, since it was the day consecrated to Helios. The chronological sequence of the week (Sunday as first day and Saturday as the last, the ordinal numerals as names of the days), as well as the denomination of Friday as the day of Preparation, points to a Jewish background. In addition to that, the prayers seem to be an adaptation of a pagan model for use by a monotheist readership, which again would support Jewish authorship. 40 Torijano 2002, 233–234. 41  Torijano 2002, 247.

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The Hydromancy seems to be at the origin of this new development in characterizing Solomon as a magician. It suits perfectly the practices of ritual power that are described in Greek Magical Papyri or the Sefer ha-Razim. It responds to a different setting, with different kinds of practices, practitioners, users and clients. The social setting of the text that links Solomon with the usual techniques of Greco-Roman magic in Late Antiquity is the Mediterranean city, whereas the previous exorcistic characterizations focused on what could be labeled as low-level practices, at home in a less urbanized society. In that ambiance Jewish traditions were so mingled with pagan and Christian ones, that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish what is what in the text. However, the overtones of the tradition point to a Jewish origin, although the traditions will be overtaken and developed later by Christian practitioners. Thus, in the Early Byzantine period, works such as the so-called Magical Treatise of Solomon will continue the evolution of Solomon as a magician and of his name as a magical power in its own right.42 If the Hydromancy mainly dealt with the knowledge of the correct time, astrological prayers and astrological botany, the Treatise deals with more conspicuous matters. Love, treasures, invocations of demons, and divination are its primary concerns, as we can see in the following fragment which describes how to seduce a woman of the upper class: I adjure you by the power of the all-powerful God Sabaoth, Adonai, who is the God of Abraham the God of Isaak, the God of Jacob, who chose, among all the races and peoples, Israel, to which God transmitted the divine mysteries. I adjure by the shining God whose depth of wisdom cannot be measured and whose deep splendor is inscrutable, the one who punished Egypt with the eleven plagues and brings his people from there; I adjure you by the staff that divided the Red Sea and by Moses that ordered it to do these things and to cross his people through the sea; I adjure by the terrible power of God with which the Lord delivered his people with strong hand and raised arm; I adjure you, spirits, by the sanctuaries of God’s tent and the tables written by the finger of God, [. . .] I adjure you, I bind you, I seal you in accord with the names said and the adjurations pronounced, so you do not delay in whatever place you may be; find So and So (the woman) who I want and love, go to take her heart and excite her thought about me So and So; that she may not have esteem for either father, mother, brother, none of her relatives, either male or female friend, but only esteem for my desire. So make

42 This text is found in several Greek manuscripts; see Torijano 2002, 157–160. For the Greek text, see Delatte 1927, 398–445.


pablo a. torijano her love me much with furious love, quick, quick and that she may not eat, or drink, or sleep, or any other indulgence while I do not wanted it.43

The similarities of this adjuration with the ones preserved in the Greek Magical Papyri are noteworthy. The recourse to Solomon preserves these traditions and incorporates them in other types of texts of ritual power. The treatise furnishes also detailed instructions to make several magical instruments and materials, such as swords, rings, pure paper, heavens (ourania) and the like: Whenever you may want to make the sword of the technique, with which it is necessary to draw the circle in the earth and with it the knots of the technique and all the other things that are produced by it. It is necessary to do it in this way: Take iron that has killed either a sword or a knife or something similar and give it to the kettle to make a sword that you like. [. . .] And put it a hilt made with goat horn and get it very sharp and keep it in a pure state. Do not cut anything with it and deposit it in a pure place.44

These instructions made their way into many handbooks of magic in the West. Magical compendia, such as the Latin Clavicula Solomonis (“Key of Solomon”), preserve some of them and the whole scholarly western magic is indebted to some form of the Magical Treatise of Solomon. By the fifteenth century c.e., Solomon has become the magician par excellence among Christian practitioners; his influence had become so great that the Clavicula was translated into Spanish, French, and English.45 The Jewish magical tradition would re-introduce this characterization of Solomon through Christian mediation as the Mafteah Selomoh, a translation into Hebrew of a Latin original, attests.46 Conclusion It is clear that the “esoteric” description of Solomon was very popular throughout Late Antiquity and that its popularity endured the test of time. One could say that the connection of ritual power and Solomon in some circles almost obscured the “normative” representation of the biblical king, the wise builder of the Temple. The presence of Solomon in texts and artifacts of different religious milieus, during such an extended 43 My translation; for the Greek, see Delatte 1927, 422–423. 44 My translation; for the Greek, Delatte 1927, 406. 45 On the Key of Solomon, see Butler 1949, repr. 1979, 47–153. 46 On this work, Gollanz 1903; Gollanz 1914.

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period of time, and in a broad area indicates that magic belonged to the common heritage of Late Antiquity.47 Magic is a religious phenomenon and as such the result of a “geological” development: it is formed by piling up beliefs, not by substituting one for another. In a way, it is a religious experience that is close to the individual and quotidian, it survives even when the religious setting that supported it has been completely obliterated; the conservative nature of magical techniques shows it clearly. However, magic has nothing to do with orthodoxy; it its more concerned about orthopraxis; because of that, and despite of its conservative nature, it evolves as time passes by. It adapts to new circumstances but also keeps the old material and mixes it with new elements. The study of magic in Late Antiquity gives us the means to reconstruct an important element in the history of the mentalities of the ancient Mediterranean world. This study has to be carried out by combining different methods, so that the textual evidence may be vivified with other type of sources, such as iconography, anthropological comparison, etc. The textual approximation by itself is biased, especially when it is monolingual and disdains the comparison with magical texts written in the other languages of that world. Magic is global in its geographic extension and globalising in its cultural manifestation. The figure of Solomon the magician is the result of a cultural globalisation that integrated very different features into a “historical” character that, as a result, was radically changed. Bibliography Betz, H.D. (ed.), The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation Including the Demotic Spells, Chicago IL and London 19922. Bohak, G., Ancient Jewish Magic, Cambridge 2008. ——, ‘From Qumran to Cairo: The Lives and Times of a Jewish Exorcistic Formula (with an Appendix by Shaul Shaked)’, in: N. Cepregi and C. Burnett (eds.), Ritual Healing: Magic, Ritual and Medical Therapy from Antiquity until the Early Modern Period (Micologus Library 48), 31–52, Florence 2012. Butler, E.M., Ritual Magic, 1949, repr. Cambridge 1979. Calderón de la Barca, P., El mágico prodigioso, Natalia Fernández (ed.), Barcelona 2008. Charlesworth, J.H., ‘The Son of David in Ante-Markan Traditions (Mk 10:47)’, in: L.B. Elder, D.L. Barr and E.S. Malbon (eds.), Biblical and Humane. A Festschrift for John F. Priest, 125–151, Atlanta GA 1996. Dante Alighieri, L’Inferno di Dante, Vittorio Sermonti (ed.), Milano 1993. Delatte, A., Anecdota Atheniensia (Bibliothèque de la Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres de l’Université de Liège 36), Liège and Paris 1927. Dodds, E.R., The Greeks and the Irrational, Berkeley CA and London 1973. 47 On the concept of Cultural conglomerate see Dodds 1973, 207–235.


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Duling, D.C., 1975, ‘Solomon, Exorcism, and the Son of David: An Element in Matthew’s Christological Apologetic’, Harvard Theological Review 68: 235–252. ——, ‘The Testament of Solomon’, in J.H. Charlesworth (ed.), The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 935–988, Garden City NY 1983. ——, 1985, ‘The Eleazar Miracle and Solomon’s Magical Wisdom in Flavius Josephus’s Antiquitates Judaicae 8.42–49’, Harvard Theological Review 78: 1–25. Elliott, J.K., The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation, Oxford 1993. García Martínez, F., Qumran Cave 11: 11Q2–8. 11Q20–31 (Discoveries of the Judaean Desert, 23), Oxford 1998. Goethe, J.W., Faust. Der Tragödie, Stuttgart 2000. Gollanz, H., Clavicula Salomonis. A Hebrew Manuscript Newly Discovered and Now Described, Frankfurt and London 1903. ——, The Book of Protection Being a Colletion of Charms, London 1912. ——, Sepher Maphteah Shelomo (Book of the Key of Slomon), London 1914. Gordon, C.H., 1984, ‘The Lance of Qatros’, Aula Orientalis 2: 80–82. ——, 1985, ‘Qatros of the Lance’, Bitzaron 6, no. 24–25: 53–55. Greenfield, R.P.H., 1989, ‘Sant Sisinnios, the Archangel Michael and the Female Demon Gylou: The Typology of the Greek Literary Stories’, Βυζαντινὰ 15: 83–142. Heim, R., Incantamenta magica graeca, latina (Jahrbücher für classische Philologie Supplement 19), Leipzig 1892. Jacobson, H., A Commentary on Pseudo-Philo’s Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum, with Latin Text and English Translation (Arbeiten zur Geschichte des antiken Judentums und des Urchristentums 31), Leiden, New York and Köln 1966. Johnston, S.I., ‘The Testament of Solomon from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance’, in: J.N. Bremmer (ed.), The Metamorphosis of Magic from Late Antiquity to the Modern Period, 35–50, Leuven, Paris and Dudley MA 2002. Klutz, T.E., Rewriting the Testament of Solomon. Tradition, Conflict and Identity in a Late Antique Pseudepigrapha (Library of Second Temple Studies 53), London 2005. Lewis, J.P., ‘Council of Jamnia’, Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. III: 634–637, New York 1992. Maguire, H.P. and M.J. Duncan-Flowers, Art and Holy Powers in the Early Christian House (Illinois Byzantine Studies), Urbana-Champaign IL 1989. Mann, T., Doktor Faustus. Das Leben der deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leberkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde, Berlin 1975. Margalioth, M., Sepher Ha-Razim: A Newly Recovered Book of Magic from the Talmudic Period [in Hebrew], Jerusalem 1966. Mira de Amescua, A., El esclavo del demonio, James Agustín Castañeda (ed.), Madrid 1984. Morgan, M.A., Sepher Ha-Razim: The Book of the Mysteries (Society of Biblical Literature. Texts and Translations 25), Chico CA 1983. Naveh, J. and S. Shaked, Amulets and Magic Bowls, Aramaic Incantations of Late Antiquity, Jerusalem and Leiden 1985. ——, Magic Spells and Formulae: Aramaic Incantations of Late Antiquity, Jerusalem 1993. Perdrizet, P., Negotium Perambulans in Tenebris: Études de démonologie greco-orientale (Publications de la Faculté des Lettres de l’Université de Strasbourg, 6), Paris 1922. Peterson, E., Heis Theos: Epigraphische, formgeschichtliche und religiongeschichtliche Untersuchungen (Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 24), Göttingen 1926. Preisendanz, K., Papyri Graecae Magicae: Die griechischen Zauberpapyri, Stuttgart 1973– 19742. Rituale Romanum: Editio prima post typicam anno 1953 promulgata, Rome 2001. Russell, J., ‘The Archaeological Context of Magic in the Early Byzantine Period’, in: H. Maguire (ed.), Byzantine Magic, 35–50, Washington DC 1995. Schwartz, M., 1998, ‘Sasm, Sesen St. Sisinnios, Sesengen Barpharanges, and “Semanglof ” ’, Bulletin of the Asia Institute 10: 253–257.

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——, ‘Sesen: A Durable East Mediterranean God in Iran’, in: N. Sims-Williams (ed.), Proceedings of the Third European Conference of Iranian Studies Held in Cambridge, 11th to 15th September 1995. Part 1: Old and Middle Iranian Studies (Beiträge zur Iranistik 17), 9–12, Wiesbaden 1998. Smith, M., ‘The Occult in Josephus’, in: L.H. Feldman and G. Hata (eds.), Josephus, Judaism and Christianity, 236–256, Detroit MI 1987. Sorlin, I., 1991, ‘Striges et Géloudes: Histoire de une Croyance et d’une Tradition’, Travaux et Mémoires 11: 411–436. Tirso de Molina, El condenado por desconfiado, Ciriaco Morón (ed.) (Letras Hispánicas, 11), Madrid 1992. Torijano, P.A., Solomon the Esoteric King: From King to Magus, Development of a Tradition (Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism, 73), Leiden, Boston MA and Köln 2002. ——, 2002, ‘Salomón, Lilith, San Jorge y el Dragón: un ejemplo de reinterpretación mágica en la antigüedad tardía’, MHNH: Revista internacional de investigación sobre magia y astrología antiguas 2: 129–144. ——, 2004, ‘Exorcismo y literatura: Pervivencia de las fórmulas de identificación demoníaca en la literatura occidental’, ‘Ilu 9: 211–226. ——, ‘The Hydromancy of Solomon’, in: R. Bauckham and J.R. Davila (eds.), More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 1., Grand Rapids MI 2012 (in press). Trachtenberg, J., Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion, New York 1987. Vélez de Guevara, L., El diablo cojuelo, A.R. Fernández González and I. Arellano (eds.), Madrid 2001. Winkler, H.A., Salomo und die Karina (Veröffentlichungen des Orientalischen Seminars der Universität Tübingen. Abhandlungen zur Allgemeiner Religionsgeschichte), Stuttgart 1931. Winston, D., The Wisdom of Solomon (Anchor Bible Commentaries 43), Garden City NY 1979.

Solomon in Rabbinic Literature Gerhard Langer Introductory Comments When one observes the statistical frequency with which Solomon appears in the Rabbinic literature, it becomes apparent that the Halakhic Midrashim Mekhilta, Sifra and Sifre provide relatively few instances (ca. 40), the various Rabboth excluding the Song of Songs and Qohelet over 200 instances, and the CantR and EcclR each ca. 90 instances and thus the highest frequency (when compared with text length) which is explained by the stance that Solomon himself composed these latter two texts. Tan demonstrates almost 270 instances (the doubling of the number in various editions is to be kept in mind); Midrash Mishle has almost 70 instances, MidrPss almost 100, thereto appear over 50 instances in PRK, almost 100 in PesR and there are just a few in SO(R), SER and SEZ as is the case for Abba Gurion and Panim Aherim; whereby in the entire Babylonian Talmud Solomon is only spoken of little more than 200 times. There is little to be won by statistical analysis here, merely emphases, tendencies and cautious comparisons among and between the texts. David, for his part, appears in the Halakhic Midraschim and Babylonian Talmud more than twice as often, in the Yerushalmi he appears almost three times as often. In CantR and EcclR, the instances referencing David are fewer than those referencing Solomon, but again in the Rabboth he appears almost twice as often as Solomon. The same is true for the Tan with almost 500 instances. In the MidrPss David is referenced almost six times more often than Solomon. Midrash Mishle in comparison demonstrates an inverted relationship: Solomon is referenced almost twice as often. In PRK (72) and PesR (140) David is referenced only somewhat more frequently. David is thus, with few exceptions, the more influential figure. Solomon does however exercise considerable influence and is witnessed in the important— and relatively late—sources of the 6th–9th centuries: the Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah, EcclR and the Midrash Mishle. In the following I will cast a spotlight on a few areas for consideration without providing an exhaustive treatment and without focus on


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s­ econdary literature.1 I will concentrate on a few prominent elements in the transmission of texts dealing with Solomon, fully aware of the selective nature of the discussion and treating some passages preferentially. Thus I will not discuss the contributions of Solomon to the ordering of prayers, the festival or the Halakha—as in the introduction of the Erub— which are especially significant for the Talmud examples (Ber; Shab, MQ etc.). It is worth referencing Ginzberg’s popular anthology Legends of the Jews here, the fourth volume of which contains a lengthy treatment of Solomon.2 1. The Name According to Mek Pisha 16 (L 134), p.Ber I,6,4a and PRE 32, Isaac, Ishmael, Joshiah and Solomon received their names directly from God before they were born.3 PesR 6.6. interprets the name as derivation of the Hebraic Piel “to accomplish/to achieve” (leshallem) and references thereby Solomon’s construction of the Temple (1 Kgs 6:38) which serves as the crowning of God’s creation of the world. In 6.4 however, the term ‘shalom’ (Eng. peace) is also discussed with the same backdrop. All in all, Solomon’s effort in constructing the Temple is his greatest achievement in PesR 6.4 The Hebraic term ‘Shelomo’ is occasionally interpreted to reference God and his peaceful aspect. So Cant 3:7, ‘mittato she-leshelomo’, which is often translated in English as “litter of Solomon”, was read by the Rabbis as ‘mattotaw she-shalom shelo’ = the “tribe of God in which peace resides.”. In CantR 1.1.11 we read: R. Judan and R. Levi in the name of R. Johanan said: Wherever you find in this scroll the expression ’king Solomon’, the text speaks actually of king Solomon; but wherever you find ‘the king’ simply, it speaks of the Holy One, blessed be He. The Rabbis, however, say: Wherever you find ‘king Solomon’, the reference is to the King whose is peace (shalom); wherever you find ‘the king’ simply, the reference is to the Community of Israel.

Comparatively the actions of Solomon that promoted peace are treated relatively rarely. 1 Cp. the short contribution by Luzzatto 1998. 2 Ginzberg, Vol. 4, 1913, 123–176; Vol. 6, 1928, 277–303. 3 PRE 32 includes Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Solomon, Josiah and the messiah (Jinnon). 4 This is due the reading of 1 Kgs 7:51 as a Haftarah during Hanukkah, if a second Sabbath occurs in this time (cp. Meg 31a).

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2. Solomon as Ruler of the World Rabbinic Literature however depicts Solomon as the ruler of the world. In NumR 13.14 the future dominion of the messiah is depicted as analogous to the world rule of Solomon as found in Ps 72:8 (and 10f.) which is attributed to Solomon himself. The phrase in Dan 7:14 also references Solomon: He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.

At the beginning of Midrash CantR (1.1.10) it is stated that Solomon rose to power in three distinct stages. This is first reflected in 1 Kgs 5:4 and 5:1: He ruled over all the land west of the Euphrates, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and over all its kings, and he had peace on all his borders round about.

The second instance is noted in V.1: Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, down to the border of Egypt; they paid Solomon tribute and were his vassals as long as he lived.

Finally, in 1 Chr 29:23 the end result in which it is commented that Solomon ascended the throne of the Lord. How this is to be interpreted will be discussed in the following. The throne of Solomon is employed as a metaphor for world-wide power.5 Equally important was Solomon’s unrestricted legal jurisdiction that he exercised without the usual recourse to legal precedents such as witnesses or admonishments.6 Yet the very same Midrash reports of the three descents of Solomon. According to this view, he descended from ruler of the world to King of Israel, an interpretation that draws on Prov 1:1 which speaks of the King of Israel. Further, according to Qoh 1:12 he is no longer the King of Jerusalem, but finally merely the “king” of his own household. Cant 3:7f. specifically states that the palanquin of Solomon was surrounded by sixty armed heroes. The Rabbis opinions differ as to whether Solomon, in the course of his lifetime, descended from wisdom to foolishness only to rise to wisdom once again, or if it was precisely the opposite, rising to wisdom for only 5 Cp. MidrProv 20 etc. 6 Cp. critically RH 21b.


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a short period before ending his life a fool. First impoverished, then rich, then poor again, or vice versa, for the Rabbis it is important that Solomon’s life can be ordered into various stages; to this end they draw upon the Book of Kings and Chronicles as well as the Book of Qohelet which is considered to be the work Solomon composed in his old age. Important here is the consideration that Solomon committed three sins: he collected too many horses, too many women and too much property. The most grave of these is certainly his “preoccupation” with women. The Rabbis discuss what influence the various women had on Solomon, questioning for example how one is to explain 1 Kgs 11:1 where we read: King Solomon loved many foreign women besides the daughter of Pharaoh (Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites), from nations with which the LORD had forbidden the Israelites to intermarry, because, he said, they will turn your hearts to their gods. But Solomon fell in love with them. He had seven hundred wives of princely rank and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart.

Rabbi Jose b. Halafta (CantR 1.1.10) is of the opinion that Solomon took these women in order to win them for the Lord, to convert them to the true faith. Other Rabbis opine that Solomon was seduced to sin and sexual deviance. According to Rabbi Eleazar b. R. Jose ha Gelili, Solomon had intercourse with these women during their menstruation period.7 The number three is of central importance in further discussion. Solomon is aggrieved three times by his enemies (Hadad—1 Kgs 11:14; Rezon— 1 Kgs 11:23 and 25), Solomon composed three types of poems (Prov 1:1; 10:1 and 25:1); there exist three kinds of “vanity”-poems according to Qoh 1:2; three poems are equated with the Song of Songs. Solomon bore the three names Jedidiah (2. Sam 12:25), Solomon and Qohelet, thereto come Agur, Jakeh and Ithiel according to Prov 30:1 and Lemuel according to Prov 31:4. This reflects the tendency of the Rabbis to associate unknown or rare names in the bible with prominent individuals by interpreting the names as character traits. This is exemplified in the instance of ‘Jakeh’ which is derived from ‘heki’ and means that he compiled the Torah (= Agur) and then spit it back up, i.e. forgot its lessons.

7 The discussion surrounding the question of love and the possible (or impossible) conversion of the Egyptian wife of Solomon can be found in Yeb 76ab.

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Three books are attributed to Solomon: Proverbs, Song of Songs and Qohelet; the order in which they were composed is disputed, though it is universally agreed that Qohelet is a work composed in his old age. CantR offers a compact summary of the Rabbinic view of Solomon in this regards, whereby it is striking that the construction of the Temple is not discussed. The Midrash treats a series of elements that also traditionally appear in other Midrashim and in the Talmud. Meg 11b discusses the question of if Solomon’s kingship ever came to an end. Solomon’s rule, according to some, never ceased, rather he became a king over the demons of the underworld,8 for which reason it can be claimed he sat upon the throne of the Lord. Additionally, in Sanh 20b, it is mentioned that Solomon had once ruled in the upper world, thus over heavenly beings, but later only over the mortal realm. Both variants depict a transitional phase in the story of his life. In the continuation of the tradition founded upon Sanh 20b with reference to the authority of Rav and Shmuel, the continual loss of power of the part of Solomon, which is also a part of the Midrash, results in his being the highest authority only within his own family, a family which helps him walk in his old age. In the end, interpretations diverge as to whether or not he ever regained his kingdom. The late Midrash ExodR 15.26 compares Solomon with the full moon. In Ps 72:7 we read of the king: “That abundance may flourish in his days, great bounty, till the moon be no more.” For thirty generations, according to the Midrash, the people rejoiced in their kingdom. Fifteen generations had passed before the rise of Solomon, starting with Abraham. Following him it was again a constant descent. The throne of God upon which Solomon sits also plays an important role in this Midrash and is extensively commented upon. Not only is the significance of the throne thematicized, but also the forms and appearance of the throne in the kingdom of heaven. NumR 13.14 also describes Solomon as ruler of the world—and the seas—and compares his all-encompassing rule with that of the messiah. The Rabbis equate the gifts of the tribe leaders as mentioned in the Book of Numbers—see Num 7:61 where a silver bowl (qaara) and silver scale (mizraq) are referenced—with the seas and the land. Allow me however to discuss the throne of Solomon before proceeding. Its function is indicated through a multiplicity of symbolic attributes. 8 Vgl. auch PRK 5.3.


gerhard langer 3. The Throne of Solomon

In the Midrash Esther Rabbah discussion of Esther 1:2 the throne of Solomon is described extensively. It was comparable to the heavenly chariot of God. Six steps lead up to the throne in reference to the six terms for the Earth (Erez, Adamah, Arqa, Ge, Zia, Neshiah—Tebel is not included here), the six commandments of the Mishnah, the six days of creation, the six matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rahel, Leah, Bilha and Zilpah. Six steps also reference the six commandments of kinship as derived from Deut 17:16f. and 16:19; there we read: But he shall not have a great number of horses; nor shall he make his people go back again to Egypt to acquire them, against the LORD’S warning that you must never go back that way again. Neither shall he have a great number of wives, lest his heart be estranged, nor shall he accumulate a vast amount of silver and gold;

and You shall not distort justice; you must be impartial. You shall not take a bribe; for a bribe blinds the eyes even of the wise and twists the words even of the just.

The later Midrash Abba Gurion treating the Book of Esther interprets the six steps as a reference to six individuals: Solomon, Joshua, Daniel and the martyrs Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, or alternatively Solomon, Rehoboam, Hizkiah, Amon, Manasseh and Josiah. The throne also possesses a history shrouded in legend due to the conquerors of Jerusalem purportedly removing it from its original location. Esther Rabbah and the later Abba Gurion depict it radiant with color. Here I quote from the extravagant description of the throne as presented in Abba Gurion: It was covered with jewels and pearls. Never before had anything comparable been made for a king. It had six steps and it rose above these six steps, and it had six paths each with six steps, and on each step were two lions and one rose up by means of a mechanism. When the king appeared the lions stretched out their paws on both sides and there was writing engraved on their paws. He turned to the right and read: “Know no distinction between reputation before the court!” He turned left and read “Accept no bribes!” And such verses were written on each of the twelve lions. Each step was covered with jewels, white and green and red and crystalline. Date trees surrounded the throne draped in linens. And peacocks fashioned from ivory were turned towards the wings of the eagles and (there

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were) two columns of alabaster upon the heads of the lions and two hollow lions made of gold on either side of the throne that were filled will every kind of spice. Two chairs stood, one on each side of the throne, one for Gad the seer and one for Nathan the prophet. And 70 chairs surrounded the throne for the seventy elders. And on each and every path stood two rearing lions and two eagles facing each other. When the king took the throne he raised his foot upon the first step whereupon the wheel in the mechanism turned and the lion extended its right paw and the eagle its left wing, and the king supported himself with them to ascend to the next step, and so it was with each and every step. There was also a silver peacock, equipped with a mechanism, and the mechanism caused it to bow before the king and raise him unto the throne. Then the eagles spread their wings and rose by means of a mechanism to shade his head. A golden dove emerged from the pillars, opened the shrine, took the Torah and laid it upon his knee in order to fulfil that which is written: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life. (Deut 17:19) A lion stretched out its paw and took the crown and set it upon his (the king’s) head. And the pillars that were there spoke: The kingship of the house of David shall stand for eternity! And upon each and every step pure and unpure animals were to be seen: On the first step a bull facing a lion. On the second a lion facing a wolf. On the third a kid facing a leopard. On the fourth a gazelle facing a bear. On the fifth an eagle facing a dove. On the sixth a falcon facing a songbird. And he (the king) ascended and made between them by reading a (bible) verse on each step (Ps 19:7–19:9): On the first step he recited: The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. On the second he recited: The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. On the third he recited: The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. On the fourth he recited: The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. On the fifth he recited: The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. On the sixth he recited: The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. Afterwards he spoke: So Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord (1 Chr 29:23) The high priest and the Sanhedrin came and offered the king the greeting of peace. And they sat to this right and his left and discussed the law with him. And when the witnesses came before the kind the mechanism made noise, the wheels turned, the lions roared, the eagles flew and the peacocks hissed.


gerhard langer And why all of this? To win their hearts that they spoke the truth. And as Ahashverosh saw it (the throne) he wished to sit upon it, but he could not. He sent for craftsmen from Tyrus and Alexandria but they could not replicate it in the slightest. And they made him a different throne and he sat upon it. Three years he endeavoured to fulfil that which is written: At the time when King Ahashverosh was occupying the royal throne (Esther 1:2)

Here the image of Solomon is decisive for its full depiction of the Rabbinic conceptualization of the just judge and ruler who is obedient unto the Torah.9 The passage of the Midrash Abba Gurion quoted above was likely transcribed in the 10th century and had an unknown number of precursive forms. Esther Rabbah and Panim Aherim A & B, as well as NumR 12.17 or PRK 1 can be considered part of various prevenient traditions. In each case Solomon’s world-wide rule finds no adequate successor and Israel’s fate is reflected in the series of foreign rulers during which time its people await the messiah who will assume the throne. In the passages quoted until this point, the ambivalent stance of Solomon has been discernable, who on one hand is a great king and just ruler, on the other a man prone to sin. The ascent to the throne is meant to remind him of the six most important commandments of being a king. But he fails in the textual tradition due to the first three. In Tan Wa-era 5/ Tan B Wa-era 2 and parallel passages (e.g. PRK 26:2) Solomon’s three great sins—an excess of women, horses and money—are clearly stated. It is due to these sins that Solomon loses his claim to the throne. As repeatedly mentioned, his throne becomes contested. PRK 26.2 speaks of a contesting angel, in NumR 11.3 and MidrPss 78.12 the demon Ashmedai is named. 4. Demons, Sins and the Construction of the Temple I would like to make specific reference to Ashmedai here because it is of particular importance in the Rabbinic tradition for one of Solomon’s great deeds. Ashmedai, known from the Book of Tobit, is considered by the Rabbis as a leader of demons that, according to Git 68ab and MidrPss 78.12 plays an important role in the location of the so-called ‘Shamir’, a worm that can assist in the construction of the temple. Solomon tricks Ashmedai into drunkenness, places him in chains and brings him to the palace where the demon reveals the secret of the Shamir.10 The secret of the   9 Cp. also Sifre Devarim §9. 10 Cp. also Sot 48b.

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Shamir was entrusted by the Prince of the Sea to a mountain cock (a kind of bird) in a distance mountain range. Solomon then tricks the mountain cock into betraying the secret of the Shamir, realizing what it has done, the bird then kills itself. The late Midrash NumR 11.3 draws a direct connection between the correct and incorrect behaviour of Solomon and his dominion over the demons. According to this Midrash, he controlled the demons so that they heated the baths, which can still be seen in Hamat Tiberias. Ashmedai only remained under Solomon’s control so long as he did not sin. Once he had sinned, the demon was able to banish Solomon. When Solomon later regained his power, he feared the demon so much that he placed 60 guards around his bed to stand watch over him. These somewhat amusing stories should not however obscure the fact that the Rabbis attributed earthly consequences to Solomon’s sins. In bShabbat 56b and Sanh 21b we read: R. Isaac said: When Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, Gabriel descended and stuck a reed in the sea, which gathered a sand-bank around it, on which was built the great city of Rome.

This well-known saying illustrates that Rome’s power and strength is founded on a mistake of the leader of Israel. Perhaps the thesis of Moses Aberbach can be considered of significance here, which postulates that behind the critical approach to Solomon is a thinly veiled critique of the Jewish patriarchs who served as the link to Roman society.11 In support of this thesis he draws, among other sources, upon Sanh 101b, where Solomon restricted the entrances to Jerusalem and levied taxes for his Egyptian wife. The term ‘angaria’ that is utilized here denotes the Roman transportation infrastructure and, among other things, the accompanying levying of tolls. Sanh 21b emphasizes that Solomon erred in his own assessment of self. He was convinced that the women would lead him away from the path of righteousness, but was nevertheless seduced to sin (1 Kgs 11:4). He also believed, despite the number of horses, that he would not provoke a return to Egypt. Nevertheless in 1 Kgs 10:29 we read of the regular contact with Egypt. It is thinkable that a critique is to be found here directed against the interaction of the Jewish patriarchs or exilarchs with the non-Jewish authorities. The criticism of the patriarchy led to violent clashes and to the intervention of Rome on the part of the patriarchs. 11 Aberbach 1968, 118–132.


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­According to Git 7a, the exilarch even allowed Geniva, a student of Rav, to be executed because he demanded the submission of the exilarch under the Rabbis who studied the Torah. The exilarchs also successfully resisted tax-free status for the Rabbis. In Nid 70b the conflicting biblical verses of Ps 132:13 (“Yes, YHWH has chosen Zion, desired it for a dwelling”) and Jeremiah 32:31 (“From the day it was built to this day, this city has excited my anger and wrath”) is explained through the marriage of Solomon with the daughter of Pharaoh. In LevR 12.5 the consecration of the Temple is compared to an intoxicating festival for the daughter of Pharaoh. Both take place on the same day. God is angered and decides to destroy Israel on that very same day. Solomon, drunken, oversleeps and is tattled by his mother,12 or alternatively, by Jeroboam and his thousand adherents. Jeroboam for his part succumbs to the temptations of power immediately after attaining it and because of his erection of “idols” is punished by death according to Betel and Dan. The extremely critical view of Jeroboam in a statement attributed to R. Isaak Nappaha gives Aberbach cause to suspect a criticism of the patriarchy. R. Isaak is thus placed in close proximity to the circle of patriarchs and exilarchs. Apart from the clear criticism in Shmuel’s name quoted above regarding Solomon’s marital politics in Shab 56b, we find an oppositional position under the authority of a certain R. Nathan that refutes that Solomon was a sinner and attempts to interpret the biblical passages as Solomon’s intent that was however never fulfilled. The often repeated preference of David is the result of Solomon’s penchant for sin. So we read in 1 Kgs 11:10–12 that Solomon maintains his throne only because of David’s merits. According to EcclR 1.1.2 Solomon could rely on his own merits before he sinned, but afterwards had to rely on David’s support. This is of particular importance during the construction of the temple. In Shab 30a and Sanh 107b (cp. NumR 14.3; PesR 2.5 and MidrPss 24.10) David asks God (according to Ps 86:17) for a sign that his transgression with Bathsheba has been forgiven. But the Lord responds that he will first grant such a sign to Solomon. When Solomon finally consecrates the Temple and brings the Ark into the holy of holies, the gates close. He recites 24 songs of praise without success and then prays with Ps 24:9. Then the doors wish to devour him. They speak verse 10 of Psalm 25, he 12 Cp. Sanh 70b.

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answers with verse 8. But he is not heeded. Only when he recites 2 Chr 6:42 where it is written: “LORD God, reject not the plea of your anointed, remember the devotion of David, your servant!” do the doors open. Then all of his enemies pale (see Ps 86:17) and all of Israel recognizes that God has forgiven David’s sins. EcclR 4.3.1 and MidrPss 7.6 mention that Solomon was unsuccessful in lighting the flame of sacrifice during the consecration of the Temple until he recalled David’s good deeds. The passage in EcclR is also part of a discussion concerning life after death. Shab 30a; Mak 10a, EcclR 5.10.2 and MidrPss 122.1 transmit a tradition concerning the hour of David’s death. God is reluctant to inform him of the day and time of his passing. He only learns that he will die on the Sabbath. The central premise is David’s primacy over his son Solomon. He rises above him although Solomon will build the Temple. God says to David: “Better is to Me the one day you sit and engage in learning than the thousand burnt-offerings which your son Solomon is destined to sacrifice before Me on the altar.” Every Jew that thus studies the Torah will be able to assume this privileged position of David. The relationship between David and Solomon is established in MidrPss based on the content of Isa 3:10 and 2 Sam 8:15. According to this tradition David asked God to bestow upon Solomon his sense for justice and legal authority, which God does. This is exemplified at length in the “Solomonic” decision of 1 Kgs 3:17ff. According to Tan(B) Metsora 1, Jeroboam, Ahab and Manasseh have no part in the world to come.13 Only due to God’s personal intervention does Solomon not share their fate, which is founded in Ps 105:15 with “Do not touch my anointed, to my prophets do no harm”. In the parallel passage of PesR 6.4 Solomon is spared for his personal activities in the construction of the Temple. Solomon is depicted as a self-confessed and penitent sinner: according to p.Shev I,7(5),33b the scapegoat atones for sins on the day of atonement. One needn’t bring a dedicated sacrifice. The forgiveness of sins is however dependent upon the acknowledgement of sin which plays a significant role in the Rabbinic tradition of the day of atonement in keeping with Lev 16:21. According to Sifra Ahare 2 and p.Yoma II,7,40d Solomon also mentions the necessity of acknowledging one’s sins. There we read among other things: 13 Cp. also m.Sanh 10.2; Sanh 104b and MidrProv 22.


gerhard langer David said: We have sinned like our ancestors; we have done wrong and are guilty (Ps 106:6). Solomon, his son said: We have sinned and done wrong; we have been wicked (1 Kgs 8:47). Daniel said: We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws (Dan 9:5). Also he (the high priest) used to confess: I have sinned and been wicked and done wrong before You.” (= t.Yoma 2.1; cp. Yoma 36b)

5. The Wisdom of Solomon Although Solomon appears as the negative figure of the “sinner” or “collaborator” in need of a defence for his transgressions, conversely he serves as the paragon of the Rabbinic ideal of wisdom. CantR 1 makes this very clear.14 According to which Solomon dreamt one evening that God offered to give him everything he asked for. He requested not riches, honor or victory over his enemies, but the quality of wisdom. This decision was for its part reached due to his already innate wisdom. He was so wise that he understood the singing of the birds and the braying of donkeys. When he arrived in Jerusalem he sacrificed to God and held a festival that the Rabbis interpret as the completion of studying the Torah. From then on the Holy Spirit was with him and he composed the Book of Proverbs, the Song of Songs and Qohelet. This tradition is extensively detailed in PesR 14.8f., where additional instances of Solomon’s wisdom as are found in other sources have also been collected. At this point it is worth mentioning that psalm Ps 72 is attributed to Solomon, which is reflected in its title line (Tan Behuqqotaj, ExodR 30.15 and SEZ 1).15 ExodR focuses in general more on the value of justice upon which the world rests and upon which Zion shall be rebuilt (Isa 1:27). Through justice the righteous shall prosper. Tan (B) in contrast concentrates on the life of Solomon and draws a connection between Solomons obedience to the Torah and God’s rejection of Solomon in 1 Kgs 11:11 because of his possession of many horses and being mislead into idolatry by women. Interestingly, Rashi interprets this psalm in its entirety as referencing Solomon and avoids the messianic message that dominates in the Rabbinic tradition. 14 Cp. PesR 14.7 (without dream). In MidrProv 1.1 Solomon fasts 40 days to gain wisdom and knowledge. 15 In LevR 30.3 and PRK 27.3 David is author of the Psalm.

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Naturally, the wisdom of Solomon exceeded that of the Queen of Sheba (EcclR 2.11). It is particularly interesting here to note the riddles of the Queen of Sheba as presented in MidrProv 1.2–4: She said, “I’ll go see whether or not he is wise.” Whence [do we learn] that she had heard of Solomon’s wisdom? From the verse, The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, through the name of the Lord, and she came to test him with hard questions (1 Kgs 10:1). What are hard questions? R. Jeremiah said: Parables. She asked him, “Are you Solomon, about whom and whose wisdom I have heard?” He answered, “Yes.” She said, “If I ask you something will you answer me?” He answered, For the Lord grants wisdom; Knowledge and discernment are by His decree (Prov 2:6).15 She said, “Seven leave and nine enter, two pour and one drinks.” He said, “Surely [this means] seven days of menstrual [unfitness] leave, then nine months of pregnancy enter; two breasts pour [forth milk] and the infant drinks.” She said, “You are a great sage, but if I ask you another question will you answer me?” He replied, For the Lord grants wisdom (Prov 2:6). She said, “Who is the woman who says to her son, ‘Your father is my father, your grandfather is my husband, you are my son and I am your sister?’ ” He replied, “Surely [these are the] daughters of Lot, who say to their sons, ‘Your father is my father, your grandfather is my husband, you are my son and I am your sister.’ ” She gave him yet another test. She brought in boys and girls, all of the same appearance, all of the same height, all clothed the same. Then she said to him, “Distinguish the boys from the girls.” He immediately motioned to his eunuch to fetch some parched grain and nuts, and began passing them out. The boys unashamedly stuffed their tunics full, but the girls, being modest, [only] filled their kerchiefs. He then told the queen, “These are the boys and those are the girls.” She said, “My son, you are a great sage!” Then she gave him one more test. She brought circumcised and uncircumcised men before him, all of the same appearance, all of the same height, all clothed the same. Then she said to him, “Distinguish between the circumcised and the uncircumcised.” He motioned at once to the High Priest to open the Ark of the Covenant. The circumcised among them bowed from the waist, and their faces were filled with the radiance of the Shekinah, while the uncircumcised among them fell on their faces. Solomon said to her, “These are the circumcised and those the uncircumcised.” “How did you know?” she asked.


gerhard langer He explained, “From [the case of] Balaam, for is it not written, Who be­holds visions from the Almighty [prostrate, but with eyes unveiled] (Num 24:4)? Had he not fallen, he would not have seen anything.” If you do not want to learn from Balaam, come and learn from [the case of] Job. When his three friends came to comfort him, he said to them, But I, like you, have a mind. I fall not beneath you (Job 12:3)—[what he meant is] “I do not fall down like you do.” At that moment the Queen of Sheba said to Solomon, But I did not believe the reports until I came and saw with my own eyes that not even the half had been told me; your wisdom and wealth surpass the reports I heard. How for­tunate are your men, and how fortunate are these your courtiers, who are al­ways in attendance on you and can hear your wisdom. Praised be the Lord your God, who delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel. It is because of the Lord’s everlasting love for Israel that He made you king to administer justice and righteousness (1 Kgs 10:7–9).16

According to EcclR 2.2.5, Solomon planted pepper in his gardens and parks which he watered with great care. According to Abba b. Kahana, demons provided him with the water; according to R. Jannai b. R. Simeon however, Solomon sat at the center of the world and in his wisdom planted the fruits at the correct river’s source. In EcclR 2.24.1 Solomon is attributed with superhuman powers and flew upon the back of a giant eagle to the desert of Tadmor and back in a single day. GenR 85.12 reports that God revealed himself in the courts of Shem, Samuel and Solomon and utter the words of the Holy Spirit. In Solomon’s case this occurred during his wise decision making process concerning the two women who contested the motherhood of a single child in 1 Kgs 3. In EcclR 10.17 however, similar to Qoh 10:16 (“Woe to you, O land, whose king was a servant, and whose princes dine in the morning!”), Solomon’s practice of holding court was criticized as more suiting a boy than a mature man. PRK 4.3, PesR 14.8f. and the parallel passages of EcclR 7.23 and NumR 19.3 provide further treatments of Solomon’s wisdom. One prominent example is how Solomon recognizes Pharaoh’s deceit in sending him terminally ill workers to assist with the construction of the Temple. Solomon sends them back to the Pharoah wearing shrouds. Solomon is even considered wiser than Adam who provided the animals, himself and even God with appropriate names; further he exceeds in wisdom Abraham, Moses and the polyglot Joseph.17 16 Translation Visotzky 1992, 18f. 17 Joseph spoke all of the languages of the world.

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With reference to 1 Kgs 5, Solomon’s wisdom is carefully defined. He spoke 3,000 Meshalim (1 Kgs 5:12), used cedar and hyssop as symbolic trees to explain leprosy and how it befalls an arrogant individual and extensively treated the necessary rituals for slaughter and the kashrut (Jewish dietary law). These aspects clearly depict how Solomon was perceived of as an ideal Rabbi. Erub 21b also references the bible verse about the 3,000 Meshalim and opines that he applied it to every single word of the Torah and established 1,005 reasons for every word for wisdom. He also instructed other people in wise decision making; in doing so he provided the Torah, which is compared to a basket, with handles. The high praise for the Meshalim is particularly emphasized in CantR 1. The words of the Torah are first comprehensible through their application. Solomon publicly taught the Torah and in doing so was visited by the Holy Spirit. This hermeneutic significance of the Meshalim has been discussed many times in earlier research literature and interpreted for its comprehension of the Midrash. David Stern’s “Parables in Midrash”18 and Daniel Boyarin’s “Intertextuality and the Reading of the Midrash”19 are worth mentioning as representative works for this approach. Further, the Song of Songs was certainly considered the hermeneutic key to understanding the Book of Exodus by the Rabbis. 6. Conclusion I have endeavoured to show that Solomon as a wise man is remembered primarily in a positive manner, whereas his reign as king and especially his marriage with the Egyptian princess casts him, at best, in an ambivalent light. His virtual messianic power is lost through this latter aspect, which could possible be considered not merely as the result of Rabbinic exegesis, but also as a critical reaction to the patriarchs and exilarchs. A comparative study of the individual Midrashim and their correspondent and contrasting aspects would go beyond the scope of this ­presentation.

18 Stern 1991. 19 Boyarin 1990.


gerhard langer Bibliography

Aberbach, M., 1968, ‘Jeroboam and Solomon. Rabbinic Interpretations’, Jewish Quarterly Review 59: 118–132. Boyarin, D., Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash, Indianapolis IN 1990. Ginzberg, L., The Legends of the Jews. Vol. 4, Philadelphia PA 1913; Vol. 6, Philadelphia PA 1928. Luzzatto, A., ‘Solomonne nel midrash’, in: Atti del Seminario invernale: “Sono stato re su Israele a Gerusalemme”: Solomonne fra Bibbia e leggenda. Arezzo, 23–26 gennaio 1997, 71–89, Firenze 1998. Stern, D., Parables in Midrash: Narrative and Exegesis in Rabbinic Literature, Cambridge MA 1991. Visotzky, B.L., The Midrash on Proverbs, New Haven CT and London 1992.

King Solomon in the New Testament and Jewish Tradition Albert L.A. Hogeterp 1. Introduction This essay explores the question how Solomon figures in the New Testament and what this tells us about the understanding of this Israelite king, sage and architect in the New Testament. Emerging Christianity started out as a Palestinian movement within Judaism. Therefore, comparative attention for biblical and contemporary Jewish tradition may illuminate an important context to early Christian thought about Solomon. This context can be conceived in terms of standing at the receiving end of Jewish tradition in certain respects or not, of dialogue with contemporary Judaism or of dispute against traditions and institutions associated with Solomon. As compared to king David, to whom New Testament writings abundantly refer in contexts of narrating messianic expectation and Christology, direct references to Solomon are relatively sparse in the New Testament. Solomon is only directly mentioned in the Gospels and Acts. Biblical writings attributed to Solomon, such as Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, are also cited in other parts of the New Testament, such as in Paul’s Letters. I will mainly turn to direct references to Solomon and therefore focus on the evidence of the Gospels and Acts. First, attention will be paid to the Jerusalem temple as ‘lieu de mémoire’ of Solomon and his architectural legacy at the time of emerging Christianity. The first, Solomonic temple had been destroyed by Nebucadnezar, but this did not entail that no parts of the temple courts reminded Jews at the time of Jesus of Solomon’s temple. The New Testament comprises terse references to locations in the temple precincts as well as an early Christian polemic against the temple as built by Solomon which merit comparative attention with a view to contextual information about Second Temple Judaism and biblical and early Jewish tradition. A second aspect of Solomon in the New Testament to be discussed concerns the question what role Solomon plays as literary figure in the Gospel sayings of Jesus and what this tells us about early Christian perception of Solomon. Literary references to Solomon will be examined with


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regard to intertextuality of biblical passages as co-text, with attention for extra-biblical writings attributed to Solomon contemporary to emerging Christianity, and with a view to the historical context of early Jewish perceptions of Solomon. A third and final point concerns the evaluation of the question whether and how the literary tradition of writings of Solomon bears on issues of messianism and Christology. Literary tradition about Solomon may be in view, when New Testament passages about messianic expectation echo biblical motifs from passages in the Old Testament that originally related to Solomon. Literary tradition about Solomon may further be of comparative relevance with regard to contextual information about a horizon of early Jewish messianic expectations. With regard to the latter subject, the Psalms of Solomon are of recurrent critical importance in studies of early Jewish messianism.1 Rather than going into different facets of messianism per se, I will aim to analyse what the role of writings attributed to Solomon in the study of messianism and Christology means for the reception history of Solomon. After discussion of these three areas of attention, I will evaluate how New Testament perceptions of Solomon may be informative about emerging Christianity’s position vis-à-vis contemporary Judaism and conclude with the question which emphases determine the early Christian picture of Solomon. 2. The Legacy of the Solomonic Temple in the New Testament My first locus of attention concerns the legacy of Solomon as architect in Jesus’ days. The Jerusalem temple in Jesus’ days was the temple as rebuilt in the Persian period,2 by the permission of king Cyrus according to Ezra 1:1–4, and expanded in early Roman times at the initiative of king Herod I (Josephus, Ant. 15.380–425). The Third Gospel is particularly versatile about settings of temple worship. The opening chapter of the Gospel of Luke situate the narrative firmly within the setting of the Jerusalem temple, through references to the priesthood and priestly service of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist (Luke 1:5–23). Luke 2:22–52 further narrates the presence of Joseph, Mary and Jesus in the temple in 1 See e.g. Collins 1995, 3, 6, 10, 49–54, 56–58, 68–69, 95, 122, 129, 159, 166–167, 171, 177, 185, 189, 196, 203; Fitzmyer 2007, 115–117; Hogeterp 2009, 434, 443, 460, 463, 465–466, 470. 2 On the debated chronology of the building of the ‘second’ temple, see recently Edelman 2005.

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connection with observances according to the custom of the law. The conclusion of the third Gospel, Luke 24:52, also relates temple worship. Lucan narration of temple worship includes elements that imply a sense of continuity with temple tradition of the first, Solomonic temple. The reference to a priestly division ‘of Abijah’, mentioned in Luke 1:5, brings to mind literary tradition about the beginnings of the monarchy, to which David’s organization of twenty-four priestly divisions, including that of Abijah, can be traced back according to 1 Chr 24:7–19 at v. 10. The legacy of tradition from the beginning of the Israelite monarchy also included visible, architectural remains that were attributed to Solomon in particular, as a number of New Testament passages, John 10:22–23, Acts 3:11 and 5:12, indicate. The legacy of the Solomonic temple is implied in a number of references to the so-called portico of Solomon. Starting with the Gospel of John, John 10:22–23 situates an episode of conflict about Jesus’ messianic claim in the portico of Solomon of the Jerusalem temple: “It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon (ἡ στοὰ τοῦ Σολομῶνος)” ( John 10:20–23, RSV). The Johannine narrative of conflict situates a charge of blasphemy against Jesus (John 10:33) in the time of the feast of Dedication, that is, the feast of rededication of the temple instituted since the Maccabean era (1 Macc 4:59). Two other New Testament passages refer to Solomon’s portico, both in the Acts of the Apostles. Acts 3:1–10 narrates the healing of a man lame from birth at the so-called ‘Beautiful Gate’ (ἡ ὡραία θύρα/πύλη, Acts 3:2.10)3 of the Jerusalem Temple by the apostles Peter and John. The subsequent verse, Acts 3:11, refers to the gathering together of a whole crowd in the ‘portico called Solomon’s’, ἡ στοὰ ἡ καλουμένη Σολομῶντος. This portico is the place to which Luke recurrently relates the activity of the apostles of the Jerusalem church. First of all, Acts 3:12–26 comprises a speech of Peter about Jesus’ resurrection and repentance located in this portico of Solomon. According to Acts 4:1–3, the portico of Solomon was also a place under surveillance of the ‘priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees’ (Acts 4:1). Acts 4:3 narrates that Peter and John were arrested and put into custody, while 3 On divergent identifications of the so-called ‘Beautiful Gate’ as the Nicanor Gate of Corinthian bronze or the Shushan Gate, see e.g. Barrett 1994, 179–181, with reference to Josephus and early rabbinic literature, who considers “the Nicanor Gate (to be) probably the best guess” (180). Cf. Fitzmyer 1998, 277–278 who rather relates the name ‘Beautiful Gate’ to the healing miracle narrated by Luke.


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according to Acts 4:21 they were subsequently released. Secondly, Acts 5:12 again refers to a gathering of followers of the early Jesus-­movement in Solomon’s Portico, ἡ στοὰ Σολομῶντος. The fact that ‘Solomon’s Portico’ is recurrently mentioned in Acts as place of gathering of the early Jesus-movement in Jerusalem indicates an early Christian consciousness of the legacy of the Solomonic temple. At the same time, the repeated reference to Solomon’s Portico in John 10:23, Acts 3:11 and Acts 5:12 evokes the question where this portico would have been situated within the larger temple complex of first-century c.e. Jerusalem. Previous commentators have generally related the Portico’s location to contextual information provided by Josephus about its location ‘on the Eastern side of the Temple’.4 Solomon’s Portico appears to be the same as the ‘east portico’, ἡ ἀνατολικὴ στοά, which is more extensively described by Flavius Josephus as follows in the twentieth book of his Antiquities: This portico (ἡ στοά) was part of the outer temple, and was situated in a deep ravine. It had walls four hundred cubits long and was constructed of square stones, completely white, each stone being twenty cubits long and six high. This was the work of King Solomon (ἔργον Σολόμωνος), who was the first to build the whole temple (Ant. 20.221).5

In his Jewish War book 5, paragraph 185, Josephus further relates the building of a wall at the east side of the Temple with a portico on top of it (ἐπετέθη μία στοὰ τῷ χώματι) by king Solomon. In the fifteenth book of Josephus’ Antiquities, paragraphs 398–402 already mention the architectural legacy of Solomon by the time of the reign of Herod I, where the portico on the eastern ridge is called a double portico (στοά διπλα) of the same length as the wall, and it faced the doors of the temple, for this lay within it. This portico many of the earlier kings adorned. Round about the entire temple were fixed the spoils taken from the barbarians, and all these King Herod dedicated, adding those which he took from the Arabs (Ant. 15.401–2).6

Josephus’ description of the Jerusalem temple further includes reference to various temple courts, a general court, a second court forbidden to 4 Barrett 1994, 191 with reference to Josephus, J.W. 5.184f. and Ant. 15.396–401, 20.220f. who notes that “certainty regarding its location cannot be achieved”; Fitzmyer 1998, 279 with reference to Josephus, J.W. 5.185 and Ant. 20.221, noting that “it seems to have been outside the Temple proper, perhaps in one of its forecourts.” 5 Text and translation from Feldman 1965, 118–119. 6 Text and translation from Marcus 1963, 450–451.

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f­ oreigners, a third court only permitted to priests, and the inner sanctuary with an altar before it (Ant. 15.417–419). It may be inferred from Josephus’ descriptions that Solomon’s Portico was located at the outer fringes of the Jerusalem temple complex surrounding the general court and outside subsequent courts of Jewish temple worship. The narrative of Acts focuses on Solomon’s Portico as gathering place of the early Jesus-movement that recurrently drew destitute people with illnesses to itself in the context of healing miracle stories (Acts 3:1–11, 5:12–15).7 The same narrative further emphasises acts of temple worship by the apostles Peter and John, such as attendance of an hour of prayer at the ‘ninth hour’ (Acts 3:1).8 This information from Acts implies that the legacy of the Solomonic temple was not only a ‘lieu de mémoire’ of ancestral tradition to apostles of the Jerusalem church, but it was part of a tradition which they lived through participation in acts of temple worship (cf. Acts 21:17–26).9 In the book of Acts, the focus on Solomon’s Portico at the outer fringes of the temple complex as place of gathering for the early Jesus-movement appears correlated with the idea that the gospel mission of the apostles was at the fringes of acceptability to the temple establishment that according to Acts 4:1–7.15–17 and 5:17–18 actively sought to suppress it. The last reference to Solomon in the book of Acts occurs in an outspokenly polemical setting, as part of the speech of Stephen in Acts 7:47. A larger section, Acts 7:44–50, is provided below in the translation of the Revised Standard Version in order to illustrate Stephen’s polemic against the temple. 7:44 Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, even as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. 45 Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations which God thrust out before our fathers. So it was until 7 Cf. Matthew 21:14 which narrates Jesus’ healing of blind and lame people in the ­temple. 8 Barrett 1994, 178 identifies ‘prayer at the ninth hour’ in Acts 3:1 with that “which took its name from the offering of the afternoon Tamid sacrifice (see Josephus, Ant. 14.65 for the hour of the sacrifice; Dan 9:21; Judith 9:1 for transference to prayer), or Minhah.” 9 Cf. Acts 2:5 (RSV), which describes Jews who dwelled as pilgrims in Jerusalem as “devout men from every nation under heaven,” ἄνδρες εὐλαβεὶς ἀπὸ παντὸς ἔθνους, thereby possibly implying that those who instigated the seizure and council hearing of Stephen, “some of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia” (Acts 6:9, RSV), were an exception to this general description. Apart from Acts 2:5, the third evangelist calls Simeon (Luke 2:25), people who buried Stephen and “made great lamentation over him” (Acts 8:2, RSV), and Ananias (Acts 22:12), a disciple in Damascus who helped Paul regain his sight (Acts 9:10–19), εὐλαβής, ‘devout’.


albert l.a. hogeterp the days of David, 46 who found favour in the sight of God and asked leave to find a habitation for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him. 48 Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands; as the prophet says, 49 ‘Heaven is my throne, and earth my footstool. What house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? 50 Did not my hand make all these things?’.

Stephen’s polemic against Solomon’s building of a temple presents itself as being contrary to a prophetic dictum that the Most High ‘does not dwell in houses made with hands’ (Acts 7:48, RSV). This presentation could at first sight yield the impression of a total dissociation from Jewish temple tradition instituted since the early days of Israel’s monarchy. The speech of Stephen has sometimes been taken to represent “the beginning of Luke’s account of the break of Christianity from its Jewish matrix.”10 On the other hand, the polemical sections of Stephen’s speech, including verses 48–53, have not been uniformly interpreted by commentators as polemic in a ‘specifically Christian sense’, in view of the prophetic theme mentioned in Acts 7:48–50.11 The question how the reference to Solomon directly before a polemical turn should be interpreted thereby requires renewed consideration. It is not my aim to consider the speech of Acts 7 as arguable source of information about a ‘sector of Judaism from which’, according to certain commentators, “Stephen and his colleagues are said to have come.”12 With regard to Stephen’s background, Acts 6:1–7 only informs us that Stephen was chosen as one of seven people of good repute by a body of disciples in order to serve tables of the Ἑλληνισταί. It would amount to problematic extrapolation to make the speech of Stephen say something about a sector of first-century c.e. Judaism outside the book of Acts. Conversely, information from biblical and early Jewish tradition could inform our reading of Acts with regard to the question what legacy of the Solomonic temple it was in Stephen’s days that the Lucan Stephen levelled his polemic against. Before turning to consideration of biblical and early Jewish tradition, I will briefly turn to the context of Stephen’s polemic against the temple in the narrative of Acts.

10 Fitzmyer 1998, 368. 11  Barrett 1994, 337: “Israel’s rejection of the living word of God in favour of its religious institutions is one of the commonest of prophetic themes.” 12 Barrett 1994, 339: “It is a valuable source for our knowledge of first-century Judaism in addition gives us a glimpse of a non-Pauline line along which Christianity moved into the Gentile world, and thus does more than manifest ‘Luke’s . . . attitude to a Christianity too narrowly and rigidly bound to Judaism . . . and to the land’ (Davies, Land 272).”

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The speech of Stephen in Acts 7:2–53 begins with a review of the biblical past from the time of the patriarchs to the time of the exodus (Acts 7:2–44). The review turns to a juxtaposition between the tent of witness from the time of Moses to the ‘days of David’ (Acts 7:44–46) and the Solomonic temple (Acts 7:47–50). Acts 7:51–53 finally uses polemical language, accusing the addressees in the council hearing of resisting the Holy Spirit, betrayal and killing of Jesus. If we reconsider the charges brought against Stephen in light of Stephen’s speech, the charge of ‘blasphemous words against Moses and God’ (Acts 6:11) and of speaking words ‘against this holy place and the law’ (Acts 6:13) could be interpreted as words that drove a wedge between the Mosaic law and the temple. That is, the speech of Stephen interprets the Solomonic temple as contrary to rather than continuous with the tent of witness of Moses’ days. However, the upshot of Stephen’s polemic in Acts 7:51–53 addresses the handing over of the ‘Upright one’ to execution as an act perpetrated by the temple establishment contrary to the Spirit and to the law. The charges against Stephen mentioned in Acts 6:14 further refer to Jesus of Nazareth. The speech of Stephen makes part of a sequence of narrative in Acts. For instance, the appellation ‘Upright one’ in Acts 7:52 also occurs in Acts 3:14. It could well be that the speech of Stephen reflects a culmination point of the antagonism between the missionary Jesus-movement and the temple establishment in the narrative of Acts rather than constituting an independent document reflective of attitudes to the Solomonic temple per se. I will now briefly consider biblical passages in comparison and contrast with the speech of Stephen. Acts 7:49–50 cites Isa 66:1–2a as prophetic dictum against the notion of a man-made temple. In the original context of Isa 66, the prophetic words against a man-made house appears to make the rhetorical point that the disposition of the human soul towards God rather than ritual offerings distinguish worship from idolatry (Isa 66:1–6). Even the prayer for the dedication of the temple by king Solomon, as narrated in 1 Kgs 8:15–53, includes a section which echoes this concern. Thus we read in 1 Kgs 8:27–29: But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! 28 Yet have regard to the prayer of thy servant and to his supplication, O Lord my God, hearkening to the cry and to the prayer which they servant prays before thee this day; 29 that thy eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which thou hast said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that thou mayest hearken to the prayer which thy servant offers toward this place (1 Kgs 8:27–29, RSV).


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In this passage, the notion that God does not dwell in a house ‘made with hands’ occurs not in a polemical context, but in a setting which invokes Deuteronomic words for the dedication of the temple. An analogous point is made in Josephus’ ‘biblical antiquities’ (Ant. 8.114). The successive references to the ‘days of David’ “who found favour in the sight of God and asked leave to find a habitation for the God of Jacob” and to Solomon “who built a house for him” are paralleled by biblical narrative in 2 Sam 7 and 1 Chr 17:1–27. According to these biblical narratives the establishment of the Israelite people in an undisturbed place (2 Sam 7:10–11; 1 Chr 17:9–10) is followed by a divine promise to David that his offspring will establish a kingdom and build a house for the divine name (2 Sam 7:12–13; 1 Chr 17:11–12). These biblical passages with regard to the Solomonic temple parallel the concern that God does not dwell in houses made with hands, but Stephen’s polemic implies an unparalleled contrast between the ‘days of David’ which were still characterised by a tent of witness and Solomon’s building of a house for God ‘who does not dwell in houses made with hands’. Further comparison with a passage from Nehemiah, which comprises a confession prior to a covenant to support the rebuilt second temple, also gives the impression of a contrast with Stephen’s polemic against the temple. Like the speech of Stephen in Acts 7:2–46, Neh 9:6–31 comprises a survey of biblical history from the time of the patriarchs, starting with Abraham, to the time of forty years in the wilderness and the time of the prophets. This survey also includes critical observations on the behaviour of ancestors as stiff-necked people, on rebellion and resistance to prophetic instruction by God’s Spirit (Neh 9:30). However, unlike the polemical conclusion of Stephen’s speech in Acts 7:47–53, Neh 9:32–37 turns to supplication addressing God in circumstances of great distress (Neh 9:37) and Neh 9:38–10:39 continues with the presentation of a covenant to support the house of God, the second temple rebuilt in Jerusalem. Compared with Neh 9, the polemical turn against the temple as formulated in Stephen’s speech might look quite unprecedented. To my knowledge, even sectarian Qumran literature, which includes much polemic against the priestly establishment, does not refer to the Solomonic temple in a polemical way.13 Contrary to the juxtaposition 13 Barrett 1994, 339 rightly distinguishes Qumran criticism of the temple cult and priestly leadership from Stephen’s polemic, but his quotation of Braun which identifies the latter polemic with ‘a hellenistic critique of the temple’ further appears problematic if

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between the tent of witness to the God of Jacob and Solomon’s temple in Acts 7:46–47, the Qumran Temple Scroll envisions a temple in accordance with God’s covenant with Jacob. I quote column XXIX, lines 8–10: I shall sanctify my [te]mple with my glory, for I shall make my glory reside 9 over it until the day of creation, when I shall create my temple, 10 establishing it for myself for all days, according to the covenant which I made with Jacob at Bethel.14

This envisioned temple is not without a perspective on Israelite kingship, for columns LVI-LIX includes statutes concerning Israelite kingship. The direct transition from polemic against the temple as a house ‘made with hands’ (Acts 7:48–50) to the addressees of the council hearing in Acts 7:51–53 may imply that Stephen’s polemic did not necessarily aim at the biblical king Solomon but at the temple establishment that identified with the Solomonic legacy of the temple. It is a question of the high priest what Stephen has to say about the charges brought against him that immediately precedes Stephen’s speech (Acts 7:1). Stephen’s speech juxtaposes the fixed habitation of the temple as contrary to a prophetic dictum to a tent of witness from the time of Moses as in accordance with divine instruction. Beyond that, the speech conveys a juxtaposition between living oracles received by Moses (Acts 7:38) and resistance to the Spirit and the law by the council (Acts 7:51–53). Contextual information of Flavius Josephus may illuminate the question in which way circles of Jewish leadership by the turn of the common era related to the Solomonic legacy of the temple. The Jerusalem temple in the days of emerging Christianity was the Herodian temple, expanded by Herod I, as Josephus extensively relates (Ant. 15.380–425). Apart from an account of the reconstruction of the temple courts as a memorable achievement (Ant. 15.380), Josephus also relates improper, unjust acts attributed to Herod. These improper acts included the opening of the coffins of David and Solomon which were accompanied by ill omen (Ant. 16.181–183). Josephus further describes the appointment of insignificant persons to the high-priesthood as a precedent set by Herod I,

extrapolated to “that sector of Judaism from which Stephen and his colleagues are said to have come” (339). Acts 2:9–11 includes reference to Jewish pilgrims to Jerusalem, including also proselytes, from various parts of the Hellenistic Diaspora, and Acts 21:27–28 appears to imply the opposite of ‘Hellenistic critique of the temple’ with regard to Jews from Asia. 14 Translation from García Martínez and Tigchelaar 2000, 1251.


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a ­precedent which reportedly continued under Roman rule (Ant. 20.247– 249). According to the end of the first book of Josephus’ Jewish War, the erection of a golden eagle above the great gate to the temple courts under the auspices of Herod I provoked an insurrection. This insurrection was led by teachers of the law who held the image to be unlawful and in defiance of the ancestral laws ( J.W. 1.648–650). In Herod’s days, Solomon also stood for the prestige and consolidation of royal as well as priestly dynasties in Judaea. According to Josephus, Herod I desired to reconstitute the Jerusalem temple to the size and splendour it had reportedly had when it was first built by Solomon (Ant. 15.385). Josephus further relates that the second temple was smaller than the first temple, built by Solomon (Ant. 15.385–386). The fact that Solomon figures in the speech of Herod in Josephus’ Antiquities, which introduces the Herodian reconstruction programme of the temple, could imply a claim of prestige equalling that of Solomon. A further analogy with Solomon drawn out in this speech of Herod appears to be the reference to temple construction under a king’s rule in a time of peace (Ant. 15.387). This contextual information from Josephus’ Antiquities may not be unrelated to Stephen’s polemic against the Solomonic temple. The temple establishment, represented by the high priest, was successively appointed by Herod I, Archelaus and Roman rule (Ant. 20.247–249). Throughout Luke-Acts, the mention of descendants of the Herodian dynasty, Herod Antipas, and Herod Agrippa I, is specifically connected with repression and persecution of the early Jesus-movement (Luke 3:19, 9:7–9, 13:31, 23:11–12; Acts 4:27, 12:–23). Acts 4:1–4 and 5:17–18 further narrate the part of the Sadducean high priestly faction in repression of the early Jesus-movement. It could thereby well be that Stephen’s polemic against Solomon’s building of the temple was determined by much more contemporary factors of antagonism with the temple establishment that identified with the Solomonic legacy. According to Josephus’ Antiquities, Herod I envisaged a reconstitution of the temple to its “first archetype of piety to its former (Solomonic) size” (Ant. 15.386). An attack against Solomon’s building of the temple would have constituted an attack against the prestige project which it had become since Herod’s days. Apart from architectural references to Solomon’s Portico and the polemical setting of mention of Solomon as builder of the Jerusalem temple, the New Testament also comprises literary references to Solomon. Before turning to Solomon in sayings of Jesus, I will briefly note intertextuality with Jewish literary tradition about Solomon in the New Testament.

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3. Literary Tradition about Solomon and the New Testament 3.1 Emerging Christianity and Jewish Literary Tradition about Solomon Biblical tradition about Solomon is narrated in 1 Kgs 1–11, 1 Chr 28–29, 2 Chr 1–9, of which part is echoed in the New Testament. The passage about the visit of the queen of Sheba to Solomon in 1 Kgs 10:1–29 / 2 Chr 9:1–31 is alluded to in the Synoptic sayings source that is incorporated in Matthew and Luke. Apart from biblical narrative about Solomon, various biblical writings are attributed to Solomon, namely Proverbs,15 Ecclesiastes,16 and the Song of Songs,17 of which several play an intertextual role in the New Testament. For instance, verses 21–22 of Prov 25, which is introduced in verse 1 as ‘proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezeki’ah king of Judah copied’ (RSV), serve as scriptural illustration in Rom 12:20 for the imperative not to be “overcome by evil, but (to) overcome evil with good” (Rom 12:21, RSV). A citation of Eccl 7:20 opens the citation of a testimonium of scriptural verses in Rom 3:10–20. Apart from Paul’s Letter to the Romans, other New Testament letters further include citations of biblical writings with a literary attribution to Solomon. It is beyond the scope of this paper to give a complete survey of the intertextuality. Suffice it to note here that none of these quotations are specifically introduced as quotations from writings of Solomon. Scriptural quotations which are identified with a specific scriptural source in the New Testament rather concern Moses,18 the Prophets,19 and psalms of David.20 Two works which are included in the Septuagint but fall outside the canon of the Hebrew Bible, the Wisdom of Solomon and the Psalms of Solomon are of comparative importance to New Testament scholarship for tradition-historical reasons. For instance, the ninth chapter of the Wisdom of Solomon relates a Solomonic prayer for wisdom that mentions the building of the temple as well as a notion of God’s indwelling Spirit (Wis 9:8.17). These references could constitute a tradition background of 15  Cf. Prov 1:1 (RSV), ‘The Proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel’. 16  Cf. Qoh 1:1 (RSV), ‘The Words of the Preacher, the son of David, king of Jerusalem’. 17  Cf. Cant 1:1 (RSV), ‘The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s’. 18  E.g. Mark 7:10, 12:26; Rom 9:15, 10:19. 19  E.g. Matt 2:17, 3:3, 4:14, 24:15; Luke 4:17; Acts 2:16; Rom 9:25.27–29, 10:20. 20 E.g. Mark 12:36 par.


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Jewish temple theological thought to Paul’s metaphor of the community as temple in which God’s Spirit dwells (1 Cor 3:16).21 The Psalms of Solomon comprise a seventeenth chapter whose arguable evidence of messianism plays a recurrent role in tradition-historical discussion of Jewish messianism at the turn of the common era (cf. note 1 above). Other apocryphal or pseudepigraphical works, the Odes of Solomon22 and the Testament of Solomon,23 have been dated relatively late as writings at most contemporary to but possibly later than the earliest documents and traditions of emerging Christianity that make part of the New Testament. These latter writings are therefore beyond the direct focus of comparison in this paper. 3.2 Solomon in the Synoptic Sayings Source about Jesus’ Ministry Direct literary references to Solomon are part of the sayings of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels, that is, in the double tradition in Matthew and Luke. These references concern Solomon as king and sage rather than as architect of the first temple. It is to these direct literary references, their intertextuality, and interpretation in context that I now turn. 3.2.1 ‘Solomon in all his glory’ (Matt 6:28–30/Luke 12:27–28) Matthew 6:28–30 (RSV) 6:28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Luke 12:27–28 (RSV) 12:27 Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith!

The section on anxiety about clothing makes part of a larger pericope on anxiety in Matt 6:25–34 and Luke 12:22–34 respectively. In the 21  Cf. Hogeterp 2006, 327–328. 22 Charlesworth 1985, 725–771 at 726–777 assigns a late first to early second century c.e. date of composition to the Odes. 23 Duling 1983, 935–987 at 940–943 assigns a date of composition to the Testament of Solomon ranging between the first and the third centuries c.e.

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­Gospel of Matthew, Matt 6:25–34 makes part of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5–7), while Luke 12:22–34 follows a Lucan pericope with a parable on the rich fool. Matt 6:24, a verse immediately preceding the Matthean pericope on anxiety comprises the admonition that one cannot serve two masters, both God and mammon. However, the Lucan incorporation of the Synoptic sayings source provides a setting with more extended attention for a contrast between earthly anxiety about treasures (Luke 12:13–21) and a treasure in the heavens (Luke 12:32–34). Luke 12:13 further narrates a particular occasion of anxiety over the division of an inheritance. To differing extents, therefore, the Q section on anxiety is embedded in contexts of admonition against excessive anxiety about earthly riches.24 The excess of the anxiety is underlined by the preceding Matthean verse of service of mammon (Matt 6:24) and by the Lucan framework which admonishes against greed (Luke 12:15), narrates a parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:16–21) and concludes the pericope on anxiety with the ­observation that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34, RSV). The Greek verb μεριμνάω which consistently expresses anxiety in the Matthean and Lucan pericopes may be related to the cognate noun μέριμνα, which occurs at the end of a parable explanation in Mark 4:18–19 about seeds sown among thorns. They are interpreted in Mark 4:18b–19 as “those who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful” (RSV). The section with reference to Solomon is explicitly introduced by Matt 6:28 as anxiety about clothing. In the Lucan framework, the admonition against anxiety, including that about clothing, is situated in the opening verses 22–23 of chapter 12. The subsequent text, which compares the lilies in the field and Solomon in all his glory, is quite similar in Matthew and Luke. The question is how the reference to Solomon should be qualified in this connection. Biblical tradition, as recorded in 1 Kgs 3:10–13, attributes riches and honour to the young king Solomon in virtue of the fact that his concern was with wisdom to govern the people and to discern between good and evil (1 Kgs 3:9) rather than with earthly riches. 1 Kgs 10:23–29 rather includes 24 While referring to Q, my analysis remains with readings of the double tradition passages in Matthew and Luke, without an attempt at reconstructing a Q text. For an elaborate argument in favour of reading Q 12:22b–31 as ‘an original unity’ and against ‘favoritism toward brevity and simplicity’ with a view to P.Oxy. 655, represented in studies by J.M. Robinson and C. Heil, see Gundry 2002, 159–180, repr. 2005, 149–170.


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indications of Solomon’s surpassing amassment of riches, dark sides of the latter end of his reign in terms of temptations to idolatry (1 Kgs 11:1–43), and 1 Kgs 12:1–4 emphasises that Solomon made the people’s yoke heavy. Biblical tradition backgrounds to Solomon’s glory, as far as riches were concerned, thereby appear slightly ambiguous. It has recently been argued in an article by Warren Carter that the reference to ‘Solomon in all his glory’ in Matt 6:29 would actually reflect a negative portrayal of Solomon as an anxious and oppressive king.25 In what follows, I will argue that a negative interpretation of Solomon in this Q passage tips the balance of ambiguity about Solomon’s glory to a onesided and thereby misleading analysis. Carter reads the reference to ‘Solomon in all his glory’ against a different intertextual background than 1 Kgs 9 and 2 Chr 9. Carter turns to Deut 17:15–20 and 1 Sam 8 as context to ‘the Deuteronomist’s narrative of Solomon’s kingship’ in 1 Kgs and re-reads successive chapters of 1 Kgs 1–11 with a view to indications of Solomon’s “use of oppressive means to further his own ends or glory.”26 However, these chapters also provide indications of the prosperity of Judah and Israel under Solomon’s reign, such as 1 Kgs 4:20, and of exchange of costly presents between other kings and Solomon (1 Kgs 10). Carter conceives of Matt 6:29 as a contrast between the lilies of the field and Solomon’s glory in ethical terms, juxtaposing God’s concern for the lilies of the field which “do not do anything” to the activity implied in Solomon’s achievement of glory. Carter thereby associates the activity behind Solomon’s achievement of glory with the anxiety of clothing.27 However, as we already noted, biblical tradition does not provide a uniform and unambiguously negative picture of Solomon’s glory. 1 Kgs 3:10–14 presents riches as an additional divine gift initially not asked for by Solomon, whereas the latter end of Solomon’s reign is described as a ‘heavy yoke’ for the people in 1 Kgs 12:4. Perhaps the ambiguity of intertextual backgrounds is a deliberate part of the Jesus-tradition in Q about anxiety, stipulating both aspects of riches and honour as narrated about Solomon in biblical tradition: as divine gift and as object of excessive anxiety. The admonition to seek God’s kingdom ‘and (all) these things shall be yours as well’ in Matt 6:33 and Luke 12:31 could perhaps echo biblical narrative about Solomon’s request 25 Carter 1997, 3–25. 26 Carter 1997, 18. 27 Carter 1997, 8–9.

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for discerning wisdom with regard to good and evil which was granted together with riches and honour (1 Kgs 3:10–13). In the Septuagint translation of 3 Kingdoms 3:13, the divine gift to Solomon also concerns δόξα, honour or glory. The Lucan setting of the Q passage concludes with a focus on a heavenly treasure over against anxiety about earthly riches (Luke 12:33–34).28 Carter considers other parts of Matthew to provide additional reasons for interpreting the reference to Solomon’s glory in negative terms. He refers to Matt 1:6–7, which characterizes Solomon as the son of David ‘by the wife of Uri’ah’, which would “recall David’s adultery and murder.”29 Matt 1:6–7a (RSV) reads as follows in translation: “and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uri’ah, and Solomon the father of Rehobo’am’.” Other commentators have emphasised that the reference to Uriah underlines ‘Uriah’s righteousness in contrast to David’,30 but this part of the Matthean genealogy thereby highlights a characterization of David’s kingship, not of Solomon’s. It is only David who is referred to in this list as ‘the king’, not Solomon. Carter further turns to Matthew 2 to highlight Herod’s oppressive power as an illustration of kingship. However, he does not indicate how and why the picture of Herod’s kingship in Matthew 2 should inform our understanding of Solomon’s glory in Matt 6:29, beyond a general idea that the audience of Matthew would have “these presentations of kingship in mind.”31 By way of epilogue, Carter mentions the reference to Solomon’s wisdom in Matt 12:42 as “sufficient wisdom to entice a visit and positive response from the Queen of Sheba, unlike that of the religious leaders to Jesus.”32 It is this second reference to Solomon in the Synoptic sayings source which makes Carter’s one-sidedly negative evaluation of ‘Solomon’s glory’ problematic. He fails to explain why beyond the a minore ad maius reasoning in Matt 6:28–30, reference to Solomon further occurs in a a minore ad maius type of argument in Matt 12:38–42. If Solomon’s glory unambiguously stood for the negative quality of oppressive ­kingship ­anxious

28 Cf. Metzger 2007, 84 who reads Luke 12:33–34 as admonition against overconsumption (not consumption per se) and ‘treasuring-up’ and in favour of social welfare such as almsgiving. 29 Carter 1997, 11. 30 Hagner 1993, 11. 31  Carter 1997, 12–13 at 13. 32 Carter 1997, 24–25 at 25.


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for ‘amassing excessive wealth’33 in Matthew, the a minore ad maius reference to Solomon’s wisdom would seem pointless. Carter’s analysis refers to biblical tradition on the one hand and to Matthew’s Gospel on the other. Apart from this, he mentions an ‘charge of loving glory or fame’ as “one of the standard accusations in Hellenistic rhetoric against one’s (philosophical) opponents,” with reference to a quotation from Plutarch that comments on vain glory of kings.34 Carter’s survey, however, does not answer the question which ideas a Jewish audience in Jesus’ days would have had about king Solomon. That is, Carter does not survey extra-biblical Jewish tradition. By way of illustration of Second Temple Jewish perceptions of Solomon, I now survey some samples form early Jewish literature. In line with biblical tradition, Sirach and Josephus include descriptions of Solomon as a king associated with wisdom, known for proverbs, riddles and parables (Prov 1:1; Sir 47:14–15; Josephus, Ag.Ap. 1.111, 114–115). Analogously with 1 Kgs 1–11, Sirach 47:12–22 provides both positive appraisal of Solomon’s wisdom and negative characterizations of Solomon as one who put a stain on his honour (Sir 47:20, ἔδωκας μῶμον ἐν τῇ δόξῃ σου). In Sirach’s early Jewish perception of the dark side of Solomon’s reign, the conceptualization is not that of Solomon’s glory, but of a ‘stain on Solomon’s glory’. Josephus mentions Solomon together with David as associated with powerful authority over many nations (Josephus, Ag.Ap. 2.132). In his ‘Biblical Antiquities’, Josephus provides an elaborate account of Solomon’s wisdom which reportedly surpassed the ancients (Ant. 8.42–49). Among Qumran literature, the composition Miqsat Ma’aseh ha-Torah or ‘some of the precepts of the Torah’, includes a section with reference to the kings of Israel as example that “whoever among them feared [the To]rah was delivered from troubles” (4QMMT C 23–24).35 In the admonitory perspective of the MMT, Solomon’s days appear still to be associated with fulfilment of blessings according to the Deuteronomic covenant as opposed to curses associated with the “days of Jeroboam the son of Nebat and up to when Jerusalem and Zedekiah King of Judah went into captivity” (4QMMT C 18–19).36 33 Carter 1997, 25. 34 Carter 1997, 16. 35 Translation from Qimron and Strugnell 1994, 61. 36 Translation from Qimron and Strugnell 1994, 61. Cf. the editors’ note on the phrase ‫] [בימי שלומוה‬°[ ]° ‫ ]הכר[כ]ו[ת שבא]ו[ו‬in 4QMMT C 18 on p. 60: “From the extant text in ll. 18–21, we learn that the writer believes that some of the blessings of Deuteronomy were

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In texts about martyrdom and revolt in the Maccabean era, Solomon further plays a role as normative literary figure. 2 Macc 2:8–10 expresses an analogy between Moses and Solomon with regard to dedicatory prayer. 4 Macc 18:15–16 consecutively refer to a psalm of David and a proverb of Solomon in the narrative context of martyrdom. Solomon’s proverb as quoted in 4 Macc 18:16, “There is a tree of life for those who do his will” (RSV), appears to constitute a modified form of Prov 3:18. These examples indicate that early Jewish perceptions of Solomon included many positive sides, even though a dark side was not absent from literary tradition either. In light of this contextual information, an exclusively negative picture of Solomon’s glory would mark a rupture with Jewish perceptions. If a negative picture of Solomon’s glory in terms of anxiety and oppressive power were exclusively in view in the Synoptic sayings tradition, the question would remain why this is not brought out more explicitly, analogously with the mention in Sir 47:20 that Solomon ‘put a stain on his glory’. An ethical contrast between God’s concern for the lilies in the field and Solomon’s achievement of glory is not necessarily implied in the Synoptic sayings source. Biblical tradition as represented by the Song of Songs in fact comprises a song of the beauty of love attributed to Solomon that includes pastoral scenes with imagery of lilies (Cant 2:16, 6:2–3). The comparison between the lilies in the field and Solomon’s glory rather involves a perception of the riches of nature which basically comes through God’s creation that cannot be equalled let alone surpassed by anyone, not even by Solomon’s glory. It may finally be noted with regard to Luke 12:27/Matt 6:28–29 that an architectural echo could be implied. That is, 1 Kgs 7:22.26 mentions decorative work in the Solomonic temple, described as ‘lily-work’ on the tops of pillars in the MT (‫)מעשה שושן‬. If this architectural echo plays a part in the Q passage, the phrase ‘even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these’ expresses a heightened sense of juxtaposition between the riches of nature and its artistic representation as part of the edifice of the Solomonic temple. The ambiguity of both positive and negative aspects to Solomon’s kingship is left to the audience of Jesus’ words to reflect on with regard to the issue of anxiety. The notion that ‘even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these’ plainly refers to a state of being rather than to fulfilled in the days of Solomon, and that some of the curses were fulfilled in the time of the kings of Judah and Israel.”


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anxiety or activity on Solomon’s part. Solomon’s glory is not further qualified, but the introduction of the phrase of comparison with the Greek οὐδέ, denoting ‘not even’,37 may imply a high profile accorded to king Solomon. Solomon appears to make part of the comparison to raise the consciousness of Jesus’ audience above poor faith and trust. 3.2.2 The Request for a Sign (Matt 12:38–42/Luke 11:29–32) I will now briefly turn to the second section in the Synoptic sayings source with reference to Solomon. This section concerns the request for a sign which Jesus identifies as the disposition of an ‘evil generation’ (Matt 12:39/ Luke 11:29) toward his own ministry. The respective references to the preaching of Jonah and the wisdom of Solomon thereby play a role of rebuke and polemic. A normative understanding of the preaching of Jonah and the wisdom of Solomon is implied in this Q section, since the a minore ad maius reasoning requires elaboration of a larger claim on the basis of a quickly established claim. This second Q-section is clearly intertextual with regard to its mention of the queen of the South who ‘came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon’ (Matt 12:42/Luke 11:31; RSV). The co-text in view here is 1 Kgs 10:1–13 together with 2 Chr 9:1–12, which narrate the visit of the queen of Sheba who heard Solomon’s wisdom and considered it to surpass the report she had heard of it. The mention of ‘the ends of the earth’ may be indirectly paralleled by the statement in 1 Kgs 10:23 that “King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom” (RSV). The phrase ‘from the ends of the earth’ would thereby imply that the hearing of the wisdom of Solomon by the queen of the South was a representative example that Solomon’s wisdom ‘excelled (that of) all the kings of the earth’. The latter part of the a minore ad maius reasoning implies that a claim with regard to Jesus’ own ministry is involved. This is expressed by the phrase ‘behold something more than Solomon is here’ (Matt 12:42/Luke 11:31). It has been inferred from this reasoning by Nolland that “a line is probably to be drawn from ‘the wisdom of Solomon’ here to the operation of wisdom in the ministry of Jesus (cf. at 7:35; 11:49).”38 The combined evidence of the two Q sections implies that references to Solomon serve a predominantly normative purpose and presupposes a relatively high stature of the biblical king in terms of glory and wisdom. 37 BDAG, 32000, p. 735. 38 Nolland 1993a, 654.

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4. Solomon and Christology A final area of attention concerns the bearing of Solomon and writings attributed to Solomon on questions of messianism and Christology. Since discussion of these issues can only be of peripheral interest to the understanding of Solomon as king, sage and architect, my comments on this subject will be brief. It should first of all be noted that two genealogies of Jesus, in Matt 1:1–17 and in Luke 3:23–38 respectively, both include mention of descendance from David (Matt 1:6, Luke 3:31) but only Matt 1:6–7 includes reference to Solomon. Luke 3:31 rather refers to Nathan as son of David. The genealogy of Matthew has a different theological focus, starting with Abraham and ending with Jesus ‘called Christ’ (Matt 1:16), as compared to the genealogy of Luke. Luke 3:23–38 traces Jesus’ genealogy back from sonship, ‘as was supposed’, of Joseph, ultimately to sonship of Adam and sonship of God. Nathan and Solomon are mentioned consecutively in 2 Sam 5:14 among sons of David born in Jerusalem, while 1 Chr 3:5 relates Nathan and Solomon as two of four sons of David by Batseba. The Matthean focus on royal lineage has been contrasted to Luke’s theological interest in tracing Jesus’ divine sonship back through genealogy.39 Matthean focus on royal lineage may be correlated with the worship of Jesus as king by wise men from the East peculiar to Matt 2:1–12. According to a commentary on Luke by Nolland, an OT background to the narrative of Jesus’ messianic entry of Jerusalem in Luke 19:29–40 could be the reference to Solomon on David’s donkey in 1 Kgs 1:33.40 The Psalms of Solomon comprise a psalm, Ps.Sol. 17.32, that envisions the rule of a righteous king in Jerusalem who is further designated as ‘the Lord’s anointed’. This king is further consider ‘son of David’ (Ps.Sol. 17.21). The vision of righteousness in the seventeenth Psalm of Solomon, which includes an antagonism with unrighteous rulers among the nations (Ps.Sol. 17.21–25), diverges much from messianism in the New Testament, but it made part of a horizon of messianic expectations by the turn of the common era.41

39 Hagner 1993, 8. 40 Nolland 1993b, 928. 41  Cf. Embry 2002, 136: “So far, scholarship has given it mention primarily in the context of messianism, but the wider understanding of messianism in relation to other, central themes is left out.”


albert l.a. hogeterp 5. Conclusion

In conclusion, king Solomon is variously regarded as sage, architect of the first temple, and as king surrounded by glory in the New Testament. With regard to the temple, the reception of the Solomonic legacy in the late Second Temple period was strongly determined by the Herodian dynasty and the temple establishment. About these circles of leadership the Gospels and Acts narrate activities to suppress and persecute the early Jesus-movement. The polemical settings of references to Solomon’s Portico and to Solomon as builder of the temple reflect these contemporary circumstances. Stephen’s polemic against Solomon’s temple could well constitute a thinly veiled polemic against the Jerusalemite establishment which had identified with Herod’s rebuilding of the temple to the size of Solomon’s time. Apart from the charged atmosphere of antagonism between the early Jesus-movement and the Jerusalemite establishment, references to Solomon’s glory and Solomon’s wisdom in the Jesus-tradition of Q reflect a rather positive image of the biblical king Solomon. Bibliography Barrett, C.K., A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The Acts of the Apostles. 1. Preliminary Introduction and Commentary on Acts I–XIV, London 1994. Carter, W., 1997, ‘ “Solomon in All His Glory”: Intertextuality and Matthew 6.29’, Journal for the Study of the New Testament 65: 3–25. Charlesworth, J.H., ‘Odes of Solomon’, in: J.H. Charlesworth (ed.), The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. 2. Expansions of the ‘Old Testament’ and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms, and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works, 725–771, New York 1985. Collins, J.J., The Scepter and the Star: The Messiahs of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Ancient Literature (Anchor Bible Reference Library), New York 1995. Davies, W.D., The Gospel and the Land: Early Christianity and Jewish Territorial Doctrine, Berkeley 1974. Duling, D.C., ‘Testament of Solomon’, in: J.H. Charlesworth (ed.), The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. 1. Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments, 935–987, New York 1983. Edelman, D., The Origins of the ‘Second’ Temple. Persian Imperial Policy and the Rebuilding of Jerusalem (BibleWorld), London 2005. Embry, B., 2002, ‘The Psalms of Solomon and the New Testament: Intertextuality and the Need for a Re-Evaluation’, Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 13: 99–136. Feldman, L.H., Josephus. Jewish Antiquities. Book XX. General Index (Loeb Classical Library 456), Cambridge MA 1965. Fitzmyer, J.A., The Acts of the Apostles. A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Anchor Bible 31), New York 1998. ——, The One Who Is to Come, Grand Rapids MI 2007. García Martínez, F. and E.J.C. Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition. 2. 4Q274–11Q31, Leiden and Grand Rapids MI 2000.

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Gundry, R.H., 2002, ‘Spinning the Lilies and Unraveling the Ravens: An Alternative Reading of Q 12:22b–31 and P.Oxy. 655’, New Testament Studies 48: 159–180; reprinted in: idem, The Old is Better. New Testament Essays in Support of Traditional Interpretations (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 178), 149–170, Tübingen 2005. Hagner, D.A., Matthew 1–13 (Word Biblical Commentary 33A), Dallas TX 1993. Hogeterp, A.L.A., Paul and God’s Temple. A Historical Interpretation of Cultic Imagery in the Corinthian Correspondence (Biblical Tools and Studies 2), Leuven 2006. ——, Expectations of the End: A Comparative Traditio-Historical Study of Eschatological, Apocalyptic and Messianic Ideas in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament (Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah 83), Leiden 2009. Marcus, R., Josephus. Jewish Antiquities. Books XIV–XV, Cambridge MA 1963. Metzger, J.A., Consumption and Wealth in Luke’s Travel Narrative (Biblical Interpretation Series 88), Leiden 2007. Nolland, J., Luke 9:21–18:34 (Word Biblical Commentary 35B), Dallas TX 1993a. ——, Luke 18:35–24:53 (Word Biblical Commentary 35C), Dallas TX 1993b. Qimron, E. and J. Strugnell, Qumran Cave 4. V. Miqsat Ma‘ase ha-Torah (Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 10), Oxford 1994.

Salomo, Christus und die Oden Salomos Tobias Nicklas Bei den Oden Salomos handelt es sich bekanntlich um eine Sammlung von ursprünglich 42 poetischen Texten, von denen uns heute nur noch 41 vollständig bzw. weitestgehend vollständig überliefert sind.1 Der größte Teil des Textes ist – übrigens in Verbindung mit den jüdischen Psalmen Salomos – in zwei syrischen Handschriften (Codex Nitriensis: Pergament, 9./10. Jh.; British Museum – London Ms Add 14538; Codex Harris: Papier; 13./15. Jh.; John Rylands Library, Manchester, Cod. Syr. 9) sowie einem syrischen Fragment (Cambridge University Library, Add. 2012) erhalten; ausführliche koptische Zitate (OdSal 1,1–5; 5,1–11a; 6,8–18; 22,1–12; 25,1–12) finden sich zudem in der im Codex Askewianus (Mitte des 4. Jahrhunderts) überlieferten Pistis Sophia, deren griechisches Original ihrerseits wieder auf die Mitte des 3. Jahrhunderts unserer Zeitrechnung zurückgehen dürfte. Mit der Veröffentlichung von Papyrus Bodmer XI aus Codex Bodmer Misc. durch M. Testuz wurde im Jahr 1959 zumindest für die 11. Ode ein griechischer Textzeuge nachgewiesen,2 ein längeres lateinisches Zitat aus Ode 19,6–7a findet sich schließlich in den divinae institutiones (sowie parallel den excerpta) des vielseitig gebildeten Laktanz (250 – etwa 325 n.Chr.). Der religionsgeschichtliche Hintergrund der Oden war lange Zeit umstritten: aufgrund der Tatsache, dass an keiner Stelle der Name „Jesus,“ „Jesus von Nazaret“ oder „Jesus Christus“ erwähnt wird, hat man den Text immer wieder für jüdisch (mit einigen christlichen Überarbeitungen) gehalten, seit einigen Jahrzehnten aber ist seine christliche Herkunft gesichert,3 während die Frage, welche Form des Christentums – eventuell ein „gnostisches“ oder „doketisches“4 – weiter kontrovers diskutiert wird. 1 Die folgende Einführung in den Text folgt weitestgehend den Angaben bei Lattke 1995 und 2007. 2 Testuz 1959. Zum Gesamtcodex vgl. auch die weiterführenden Überlegungen bei Nicklas und Wasserman 2006. 3 Etwas eigenartig wirkt tatsächlich, dass sowohl für die neue Reihe Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature (de Gruyter) als auch die Jüdischen Schriften aus Hellenistisch-Römischer Zeit Ausgaben bzw. Kommentierungen der Oden Salomos vorgesehen sind. 4 Dass natürlich auch die Kategorien „gnostisch“ und „doketisch“ in vielerlei Hinsicht problematisch sind, braucht im gegebenen Rahmen nicht extra diskutiert werden.


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Der wohl in die erste Hälfte, vielleicht gar das erste Viertel des 2. Jahrhunderts zu datierende Text scheint alle vorgegebenen Kategorien zu sprengen und stellt immer wieder vor neue Fragen.5 Zu den ungeklärten Rätseln, mit denen der Text konfrontiert, gehört die Frage, inwiefern (und warum) die Oden Salomos denn tatsächlich „Salomo-Rezeption“ betreiben bzw. warum die Sammlung denn überhaupt als „Oden Salomos“ bezeichnet wurde. Immerhin spielt Salomo in den Texten selbst – anders etwa als im Buch Kohelet, in der Sapientia Salomonis oder späteren Schriften wie dem Testamentum Salomonis oder dem äthiopischen Nationalapokryphon Kebra Nagast – zumindest explizit keine Rolle. Auch bereits in alttestamentlicher Zeit mit Salomo verbundene, klassische Themen wie etwa die Rolle Salomos als Tempelbauer oder als Exorzist begegnen kaum in einer Weise, dass sie verantwortlich für die Bezeichnung der Texte als Oden Salomos zu sein scheinen. Der Befund gleicht so ein wenig dem bei den Psalmen Salomos,6 mit denen die Oden in der Überlieferung ja bereits früh verbunden waren. Majella Franzmann stellt insgesamt drei grundsätzliche Lösungswege dieses Problems vor, denen ich im Folgenden kritisch nachgehen möchte:7 The early consensus was that the Odes are named for Solomon because of their connection with the Psalms of Solomon in the canonical lists. Other theories centre on Solomon’s reputation as a poet . . . and possible parallels between the Odes and Wisdom literature (esp. Canticles). Recent discussion focusses on the Wisdom of Solomon . . ., 1 Chr 22:9–10 and 2 Sam 12:25 . . .

1. Oden und Psalmen Salomos Tatsächlich lässt sich die Verbindung von Oden und Psalmen Salomos sehr weit zurückverfolgen, die Entstehung des Titels „Oden Salomos“ vermag sie m.E. aber nicht zu erklären, wie ein Blick in die entsprechenden Zeugnisse zeigt.8

5 Zur Datierung vgl. Lattke 2007, 285–290, zu seiner religionsgeschichtlichen Verortung vgl. ebd., 293–297. 6 Zu Einleitungsfragen in Bezug auf die Psalmen Salomos (entstanden zumindest teilweise wohl im Zusammenhang mit der Eroberung Jerusalems durch Pompejus in wohl pharisäischen Kreisen) vgl. z.B. Holm-Nielsen 1977 und Wright 1985. 7 Franzmann 1991, 5. 8 Die These, der Titel „Oden Salomos“ sei auf die in der Überlieferung zu erkennende Verbindung der Texte zu den Psalmen Salomos zurückzuführen, lässt sich wohl auf Brus-

salomo, christus und die oden salomos


– Die unter dem Namen Synopsis überlieferte, (fälschlich) dem Athanasius zugeschriebene Kanonliste des 6. oder 7. Jahrhunderts wie die so genannte Stichometrie des Nikephoros (Bischof von Konstantinopel 805–816; Text aber wohl erst 850 entstanden und ihm zugeschrieben) ordnen die Oden Salomos in direkter Abfolge nach den Psalmen Salomos unter die so genannten Antilegomena ein.9 – In allen drei bekannten oben erwähnten syrischen Handschriften finden sich Oden und Psalmen Salomos, wobei die Oden jeweils den Psalmen vorausgehen. Neben diesen doch sehr späten und damit im Hinblick auf die Frage wenig hilfreichen Zeugnissen einer Verbindung zwischen Oden und Psalmen Salomos ist ein indirekter Hinweis zu erwähnen, den Michael Lattke folgendermaßen beschreibt:10 Obwohl in der Pistis Sophia kein einziges Zitat aus den 18 Psalmen Salomos erscheint, können wir mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeit annehmen, daß die Sammlung, aus der die Oden Salomos zitiert werden, die Psalmen und die Oden Salomos enthielt, und zwar in derselben Reihenfolge, in der sie in den Kanonverzeichnissen des Athanasius von Alexandrien und Nicephorus erwähnt werden. Der Grund für diese Annahme ist, daß der Text von OdSal 1,1–5 irrtümlicherweise als ‚19. Ode Salomos’ zitiert wird, aber nicht identisch ist mit OdSal 19 der beiden syrischen Handschriften Codex Nitriensis (N) und Codex Harris (H).

Was auch immer aus dieser Beobachtung für den Titel der gesamten Sammlung zu folgern ist, aus der die Pistis Sophia zitiert, so ist damit doch auch wohl bereits für das 3. Jahrhundert eine Verbindung zwischen Oden und Psalmen Salomos wahrscheinlich gemacht.11 Einige andere Beobachtungen aber sprechen nun doch eher dafür, dass diese Verbindung nicht zu fest gesehen werden sollte: Immerhin leitet Laktanz (div. inst. 4,12,1–3, epit. 39 [44], 1–2) sein Zitat der 19. Ode korrekt mit den Worten Solomon in ode undevicesima ita dicit ein und trägt die in P.Bodmer 11 einzeln überlieferte griechische 11. Ode bereits im 3. Jahrhundert den Titel ᾠδὴ Σολομῶντος, was wiederum am einfachsten dann zu erklären ist, wenn sie als Einzeltext aus einer bereits bestehenden Sammlung von „Oden Salomos“ verstanden wurde. ton 1911, 495, zurückführen. Zum Überlieferungszusammenhang zwischen Oden Salomos und Psalmen Salomos vgl. zudem auch Lattke 2002.   9 Übersicht bei Lattke 2007, 277–278. 10 Lattke 1995, 9f. – Sehr ähnlich vgl. Charlesworth 1973, 2–3. 11  Lattke 2002, 445, denkt gar an „vielleicht schon 2. Jahrhundert, da ja zitiert wird“.


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Vor allem aber verschiebt diese Antwort das Problem nur um ein kleines Stück, kann damit zwar die Frage beantwortet werden, warum die Oden als Oden Salomos bezeichnet sind, ist aber nicht erklärt, warum man sie mit den Psalmen Salomos in Verbindung gebracht hat. Wahrscheinlicher erscheint mir deswegen eine umgekehrte Situation – dass die Oden bereits vor ihrer Verbindung mit den Psalmen Salomos als Oden Salomos bekannt waren und gerade deshalb in der Überlieferung immer wieder mit diesen verbunden wurden. Dies würde auch die in den erwähnten Zeugnissen erkennbare Flexibilität der Anordnung erklären. 2. Salomo: Dichter von Liedern und großer Weiser Dass bei der Wahl des Titels „Oden Salomos“ die auf 1 Kön 5,12 zurückgehende Reputation Salomos als Dichter eine Rolle gespielt haben mag, ist durchaus möglich, ja wahrscheinlich.12 Doch reicht die Tatsache, dass 1 Kön 5,12 von 1005 bzw. in der LXX-Fassung von 5000 Liedern Salomos spricht, bereits aus, um zu erklären, warum eine Sammlung von 42 poetischen Texten als Oden Salomos bezeichnet ist?13 Oder lassen sich darüber hinaus weitere Linien der Verbindung des Textes mit Salomo legen? Nahe liegend ist sicherlich die Möglichkeit, eine Brücke in beiden Texten gemeinsamen Ideen zur Weisheit zu suchen. Vor allem H.J.W. Drijvers hat in Weiterführung von Gedanken des Erstherausgebers der Oden, J. Rendel Harris, auf Verbindungen zwischen Weisheitstraditionen in den Oden Salomos und dem deuterokanonischen Buch der Weisheit Salomos verwiesen.14 So finde konkret Ode 23,1–3 ihre Basis in Weish 3,9 und 4,15; ihr erhaltener syrischer Text stimme z.T. präzise mit der Peshitto-Fassung der genannten Passagen des Weisheitsbuches überein.15 Vor allem aber zeigten sich Analogien auf der Ebene der in den Texten repräsentierten Vorstellungen. Drijvers schreibt: In particular the nature and function of God’s Wisdom or Spirit as depicted in Wisdom is closely similar to that of God’s Spirit, Word or Thought in the Odes of Solomon. . . . The Odes are . . . attributed to the pseudepigraphical 12 So schon Goguel 1911, 154, sowie Gressmann 1913, 195. 13 Vgl. allerdings den Hinweis von Lattke 2007, 284, der darauf verweist, dass „die Verszeilenzahl . . . der OdSal sehr nahe bei 1005 liegt“, jedoch ebenfalls den Hinweis auf 1 Kön 5,12 für „zu einfach“ hält. 14 Drijvers 1987, 128. 15 Darauf verweist auch ganz knapp Lattke 1995, 164 n. 3. Drijvers allerdings stellt nicht die Frage nach dem zeitlichen Verhältnis zwischen syrischen Oden Salomos und PeshittoFassung des Weisheitsbuchs.

salomo, christus und die oden salomos


author of Sapientia, because his marriage with God’s Spirit or Wisdom – the marriage that made him righteous, a son of God, gave him a manner of life unlike others, saved him from his adversaries, made him an ascetic who won the crown, and gave him true knowledge of God’s plans – is an exact analogue, a typos, of the Christian odist, in whom Christ as Spirit dwells. He too is righteous, different from all other men, is saved from his adversaries, is immortal and possesses true knowledge.16

Dies zeige sich – neben einer Reihe anderer Texte – zitiert seien nur die ersten Verse von Ode 34, mit ihrer auch für das Buch der Weisheit (vgl. Weish 1,1: ἐν ἁπλότητι καρδίας ζητήσατε αὐτόν . . .) wichtigen Idee des „einfachen Herzens“ des Weisen (Ode 34,1–2):17 Es gibt keinen gefährlichen Weg, wo ein einfaches Herz (ist), auch keine Plage in den rechten Gedanken, auch keinen Sturmwind in der Tiefe des klaren Denkens.

3. Salomo und der Gesalbte Eine ganz andere Spur hat bereits im Jahr 1991 Michael Lattke in der kurzen Miszelle „Wie alt ist die Allegorie, daß Christus (Messias) der wahre Salomon sei?“ gelegt.18 Lattke verweist hier darauf, dass sich in der syrischen Version der (wohl?) auf Athanasius von Alexandrien zurückgehenden Expositio in Psalmos die Allegorie finde, dass „Christus . . . der wahre Salomo sei;“19 in der griechischen Fassung finde sich zudem der Satz: Οὗτος γὰρ ἐστιν ἀληθὴς Σαλομὼμ ὁ εἰρηναῖος. – „Dieser [= Christus] ist nämlich wahrer Salomo, der friedliche.“20

16  Drijvers 1987, 131.133, der im Kontext (131–133 und Fn. 19f. S. 131) vor allem auf Bezüge zur Peshitto-Version des Weisheitsbuches verweist. Zu deren Text vgl. Emerton 1959. – Nicht bei Drijvers in den Blick kommen Bezüge der Texte zu dem ja auch Salomo zugeschriebenen Buch der Sprichwörter. Dass derartige ebenfalls existieren, zeigt sich an einigen Stellen. Verwiesen sei in unserem Zusammenhang auf den Einfluss von Spr 1:20–26 sowie 8–9 LXX auf Ode 33, den Lattke 2005, 77–80, herausgearbeitet hat. 17  Übersetzungen von Texten der Oden Salomos folgen, soweit nicht anders angegeben, Lattke 1995, 192. Zur sprachlichen Problematik dieses auch aufgrund zweier Hapax Legomena nicht einfachen Abschnitts vgl. Lattke 2005, 93–97. 18  Lattke 1991. 19  Lattke 1991. 20 Übersetzung nach Lattke 1995, 19.


tobias nicklas

Daraus ergibt sich die faszinierende Schlussfolgerung:21 Sollte diese allegorische Gleichsetzung so alt sein wie der Titel der Oden Salomos, dann könnte der Grund für die Wahl dieses Pseudonyms ein christologischer sein. Das heißt, die Oden Salomos wären dann eigentlich ‚Oden Christi‘ oder ‚Oden des Messias‘. . . . Bis jetzt ist es allerdings so, daß die genannte Allegorie nicht bis ins zweite Jahrhundert zurückverfolgt werden kann. Also bleibt dieses Einzelproblem antiker Pseudepigraphie offen und ungelöst wie viele andere ähnliche Probleme.

Es stellt sich allerdings die Frage, ob die von Lattke gelegte Spur nicht auch auf andere Weise weiter verfolgt werden könnte, als dies bisher der Fall war. Wäre es nicht denkbar, dass als Hintergrund für die Bezeichnung der Texte als „Oden Salomos“ – neben den bereits genannten Elementen – auch die in frühchristlicher Literatur immer wieder zu spürende Beziehung zwischen Salomo und Christus eine Rolle gespielt haben könnte, ohne dass beide Figuren deswegen schon miteinander zu identifizieren wären? Dann könnten die Oden als in der Form von „Liedern“ verfasste Texte Salomos auf den hin, der als Christus Davidssohn wie Salomo ist, verstanden werden. Ich möchte dieser Spur im Folgenden auf zwei Linien folgen – einerseits anhand von Bildern, die das frühe Christentum von Salomo entwickelt hat, andererseits mit Hilfe von Aspekten vor allem der Christologie des Textes selbst. Die von Lattkes Notiz des Jahres 1991 aufgeworfene Frage nach der Figur Salomos im antiken Christentum wurde im Jahre 1993 von R. Hanig ebenfalls in der Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft aufgegriffen und in entscheidenden Zügen beantwortet. Hanig schreibt:22 „Es wird sich zeigen, daß es zwar einige mögliche Ansatzpunkte für eine Salomo-Christus-Typologie gab, diese jedoch insgesamt nicht sehr weit verbreitet war,“ und arbeitet Linien heraus, die Salomo als Verfasser von (v.a. alttestamentlichen) Büchern, als Weisen, Propheten, Erbauer des Tempels oder Friedenskönig zeigen, von seiner Macht über Dämonen, seinem Reichtum und Ruhm, aber auch seinen Verfehlungen sprechen. Diskutiert hat man in der alten Kirche auch die Frage, ob Ps 71 LXX auf Salomo (vgl. die LXX-Übersetzung: εἰς Σαλωμων) oder auf Christus zu beziehen sei. Als frühesten altkirchlichen Autor, bei dem sich eine klare Salomo-Christus-Typologie aufweisen lasse, erkennt Hanig Origenes, der in einer Reihe von Schriften Salomo und Christus in Bezug gesetzt habe, 21  Lattke 1995, 19–20. In nahezu identischer Formulierung vgl. auch Lattke 2007, 284–285. 22 Hanig 1993, 112.

salomo, christus und die oden salomos


ja von Christus als dem „wahren Salomo“ sprechen konnte.23 Vielleicht könnte man sogar noch einen Schritt weiter zurück als Hanig gehen und an eine allerdings nur in georgischer Überlieferung erhaltene Passage bei Hippolyt (170–235 n.Chr.) denken, die Hanig – etwas versteckt – in seinen Fußnoten anführt.24 In der Vorrede seines Kommentars zum Hohenlied schreibt dieser nämlich:25 Die Weisheit hatte Salomo; nicht, dass er selbst die Weisheit war. Er fand Gnade durch Gott, aber nicht, dass er selbst die Gnade war. Er war der Sohn Davids, aber nicht, dass er selbst auch Christus war.

Ist nicht auch eine solche negative Aussage, die nur Sinn macht, wenn es Identifizierungen Salomos mit Christus gibt, die man abzulehnen bzw. zurückzuweisen hat, Zeichen dafür, dass eine Verbindung zwischen dem Davidssohn Salomo und Christus nicht nur gedacht werden konnte, sondern bereits im 2. Jahrhundert auch gedacht wurde? Wie auch immer: Vor dem Hintergrund meiner in Weiterführung der These Lattkes formulierten Vermutung halte ich es doch für lohnend, zumindest einigen der von Hanig erarbeiteten „Ansatzpunkte“ noch einmal nachzugehen, und dabei zu überlegen, ob sich von ihnen nicht doch Brücken hin auf die Oden Salomos bauen ließen. 3.1 Prophetische Texte auf Christus hin? Als Ausgangspunkt meiner Überlegungen soll das bei Laktanz überlieferte Zitat aus Ode 19 dienen, das gerade deswegen interessant ist, weil es uns wenigstens einen kleinen Hinweis darauf gibt, wie die Oden von einem antiken Autor – wenn auch einer deutlich späteren Zeit – verstanden werden konnten. Immerhin leitet Laktanz den Abschnitt seiner div.inst. bzw. auch des Auszugs des entsprechenden Textes, in dem er auf die Geburt Christi zu sprechen kommt, mit den folgenden Worten ein: Dies könnte als völlig unglaubhaft erscheinen, hätten es nicht die Propheten vor vielen Jahrhunderten im Voraus verkündet: Salomo sagt in seiner 19. Ode Folgendes . . .26 (div. inst. 4,12,1; vgl. auch exc. 39). Es folgt eine Reihe von – damit ganz offensichtlich als prophetisch verstandenen – Testimonien, die mit dem 23 Material bei Hanig 1993, 117. 124–127. 24 Hanig 1993, 131–132, Anm. 106. 25 Übersetzung nach Bonwetsch 1902, 20. 26 Lateinischer Text: quod sane incredibile posset uideri, nisi hoc futurum ante multa saecula prophetae cecinissent. – Zitiert nach Lactance, Institutions divines: Livre IV, ed. Monat 1992, 100. Übersetzung von mir.


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als Prophezeiung der jungfräulichen Geburt Mariens eingeleiteten Zitat aus OdSal 19,6–7 eingeleitet wird, worauf die auch bei Mt 1,23 zitierte berühmte Passage aus Jes 7,14 LXX folgt. Der Text der Oden Salomos wird hier also auf gleicher Ebene wie das Jesajazitat als Prophezeiung Salomos auf Christus hin angesehen. Es stellt sich die Frage, ob dieses Verständnis des Titels der Oden Salomos nicht vielleicht wenigstens in Grundzügen dessen ursprünglicher Intention entsprochen haben könnte. Sicherlich lässt die Quellenlage einen klaren Beweis dieser These nicht mehr zu, einige Indizien aber sprechen dafür, dass es sich hierbei zumindest um eine bereits im 2. Jahrhundert unserer Zeitrechnung denkbare Möglichkeit handelt, steht doch Laktanz, der auch an anderen Stellen Salomo als Prophet bezeichnen kann (div. inst. 4,6,6; 4,8,13), mit dieser Vorstellung im frühen Christentum keineswegs alleine. Ich konzentriere mich im Folgenden auf einige Autoren des 2. Jahrhunderts: Ganz explizit vom Propheten Salomo spricht etwa Theophilos von Antiochien in seiner Schrift An Autolykos 2,10,6 (διὰ Σολομῶνος προϕήτου οὕτως λέγει . . .) zur Einleitung eines Zitats aus Spr 8,27.29–30, welches belegen soll, dass Gottes Wort – hier verstanden als Gottes Geist – und seine Weisheit schon bestanden, als die Welt geschaffen wurde. Salomo kann von Theophilos aber auch in anderen Kontexten als Prophet bezeichnet werden, so etwa, wenn dieser christliche Vorstellungen des Weltendes mit denen paganer Philosophen vergleicht (Autol. 2,38,4) und im Kontext von Mal 4,1 und Jes 30,30 auch Spr 3,8 zitiert, oder wenn er über angemessenes sittliches Verhalten schreibt und bei seiner Einleitung eines Zitats aus Spr 4,25 Salomo als βασιλεὺς καὶ προϕήτης attribuiert (Autol. 3,13,1). Als Prophet kann schließlich auch Clemens von Alexandrien, str. 1,113, Salomo, hier in einer Reihe nach Ahias von Schilo und David, bezeichnen. Damit ist allerdings noch kein Bezug zwischen dem Propheten Salomo und Christus hergestellt. Interessanter im Hinblick auf unsere Frage sind deshalb vielleicht Autoren, die das Bild des weisen Salomo mit Auslegungstraditionen von Spr 8,22 verbinden, die Christus als inkarnierte Weisheit Gottes verstehen, ohne Salomo dabei unbedingt explizit als Propheten bezeichnen zu müssen: Erwähnenswert in diesem Zusammenhang sind zwei Zeugnisse bei Justin. Dieser leitet etwa in dial. 61,3 ein Zitat aus Spr 8,21–36 mit den folgenden Worten ein:27 Zum Zeugen aber wird mir der Logos der ­Weisheit 27 Text nach Marcovich 1997, 175. Übersetzung von mir.

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werden; dieser ist selbst Gott, gezeugt vom Vater des Alls, und Logos und Weisheit und Kraft und Herrlichkeit dessen, der erzeugt. Durch Salomo sprach er dies – es folgt das Zitat. Für Justin also spricht in Salomo, dem Idealbild des Weisen der Geschichte Israels schlechthin, der göttliche Logos selbst, welcher in Christus inkarniert ist.28 Dieser Bezug wird wenig später (dial. 62,4) noch deutlicher greifbar, wenn Justin schreibt:29 Ἀλλὰ τοῦτο τὸ τῷ ὄντι ἀπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς προβληθὲν γέννημα πρὸ πάντων τῶν ποιημάτων συνῆν τῷ πατρί, καὶ τούτῳ ὁ πατὴρ προσωμίλει, ὡς ὁ Λόγος διὰ τοῦ Σολομῶνος ἐδήλωσεν ὅτι καὶ ἀρχὴ πρὸ πάντων τῶν ποιημάτων τοῦτ᾿ αὐτὸ καὶ γέννημα ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐγεγέννητο, ὃ σοϕία διὰ Σολομῶνος καλεῖται . . . Aber dieser, der in der Tat als vor allen geschaffenen Dingen Erzeugtes vom Vater hervorgegangen war, war beim Vater, und mit ihm steht der Vater in Verkehr, wie der Logos durch Salomo kundgetan hat; denn dieser selbst ist es, der, Ursprung vor allen geschaffenen Dingen, als Erzeugtes von Gott gezeugt worden war, und von Salomo Weisheit genannt wird.

Salomo als weiser Autor des Buches der Sprichwörter wird hier also als derjenige gesehen, welcher, indem er sich über die Weisheit Gottes äußerte, über den göttlichen Logos gesprochen habe.30 Auch bei Irenäus von Lyon finden sich zwei zumindest vergleichbare Stellen: Nicht ganz eindeutig erscheint mir, was in haer. 4,20,3 gemeint ist, wenn es heißt, „er“ sage „durch Salomo,“ „dass auch die Weisheit, das heißt der Geist, vor aller Schöpfung bei ihm war:“31 Meint Irenäus, dass hier das eben erwähnte, mit dem Sohn Gottes identifizierte Wort durch Salomo spricht? Dies scheint mir aufgrund des Kontextes doch die wahrscheinlichste Lösung. Eindeutiger ist da haer. 5,24,1, wo es – im Zusammenhang mit der Frage, ob irdische Macht auf den Teufel oder auf Gott zurückzuführen sei, heißt: Et per Salomonem ait verbum – und durch Salomo sagt das Wort, d.h. der göttliche Logos. Als eine Art ersten Zwischenfazits kann somit festgehalten werden, dass es zumindest einige Autoren des 2. Jahrhunderts Salomo nicht nur als Propheten auf Christus hin sehen können, sondern ihn gar explizit als Propheten bezeichnen können, durch den der göttliche Logos, i.e. Christus, gesprochen hat. Damit eröffnet sich neben den bereits genannten Wegen

28 Zur Christologie Justins vgl. Grillmeier ³1990, 202–207. 29 Originaltext bei Marcovich 1997, 177, Übersetzung von mir. 30 Weiterführend zu Einflüssen antik-jüdischer Weisheitstraditionen auf die Entwicklung der Christologie vgl. Lips 1991. 31  Texte des Irenäus von Lyon werden zitiert nach der Ausgabe von Brox 2001.


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eine weitere Linie, die dazu führen kann, eine Sammlung poetischer Texte, in denen von einem Gesalbten die Rede ist, Salomo zuzuschreiben. 3.2 Der Gesalbte der Oden Salomos und Salomobilder im Judentum und frühen Christentum Allerdings ist in den Oden Salomos nur an sieben Stellen vom „Messias“ die Rede (OdSal 9,3; 17,16; 24,1; 29,6; 39,11; 41,3.15; vgl. darüber hinaus auch 36,6), dabei fehlen explizite Aussagen über die Idee eines königlichen Messias (eventuell gar mit Hinweis auf das davidische Herrscherhaus) völlig. Eine Verbindung zu Salomo liegt also gerade in diesen Stellen kaum auf der Hand, obwohl man mit Charlesworth und Lattke einen Bezug zwischen der immer wieder begegnenden Wendung „Messias des Herrn“ bzw. „sein Messias“ (OdSal 29,6; 9,3 und 41,3) und den Psalmen Salomos 18,5 sehen kann,32 wo die Rede von der „Heraufführung seines Gesalbten“ aufgrund des Kontextes, dessen Rede vom „züchtigenden Stab“ des Gesalbten des Herrn (18,7) „als Symbol politischer Herrschaft“ des Gesalbten zu lesen ist.33 Es stellt sich allerdings die Frage, ob mit einer solch letztlich atomisierenden Durchsicht der Einzelstellen, an denen in den Oden Salomos von einem „Gesalbten“ die Rede ist – schon die Bedeutung des „Christus“ für diesen Text erfasst ist, sind die Oden doch für ihr Nebeneinander – oder vielleicht gar Ineinander – von Stimmen bekannt, deren Zueinander im Detail umstritten ist. Zumindest an einigen Stellen (z.B. Ode 8,8–22; 10,4–6; 17,6–16; 22,1–12; 28,9–19; 31,6–13; 36,3–8; 41,8–11; 42,3–20) ist recht eindeutig der Gesalbte Sprecher des Textes, in anderen ein betendes „Ich“ bzw. ein „Wir,“ wieder andere sind mehrdeutig. Aber wird eine eineindeutige Zuordnung von Sprechern, wie sie immer wieder in Textausgaben begegnet,34 dem poetischen, ja geradezu mystischen35 Charakter des Textes gerecht? Könnte nicht gerade ein Text wie OdeSal 3,5–7 als Schlüssel dafür dienen, dass Sprecher und Christus in Wirklichkeit sich in einem Zustand tiefer Einheit, die hier mit dem Zueinander von Liebendem und Geliebtem beschrieben ist, befinden?36 32 Vgl. Charlesworth 2000, 750, und Lattke 2001, 198. 33 Schreiber 2000, 187. Noch deutlicher sieht Charlesworth 1979, 199, einen Bezug auf die Salbung der davidischen Könige her. 34 Eine sehr komplexe Übersicht bietet Lattke 1995, 36–81. 35 Der Begriff „Mystik“ wird hier in einem weiten Sinne gebraucht, ohne eine nähere Definition vorauszunehmen. 36 Übersetzung: Lattke 1995.

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Ich liebe den Geliebten,37 und es liebt ihn meine Seele, und wo seine Ruhe ist, bin auch ich. Und nicht werde ich ein Fremder sein, weil es keinen Neid gibt beim Herrn, dem höchsten und barmherzigen. Ich wurde vereint, weil der Liebende ihn, den Geliebten fand, weil ich lieben werde ihn, den Sohn, damit (auch) ich Sohn sei.

Doch Ode 3 ist nicht der einzige Text der Oden Salomos, in dem von so etwas wie einer Art spiritueller Vereinigung die Rede ist – man könnte auch an Ode 8,22 mit ihrer Rede vom „Bleiben in der Liebe des Herrn“ denken oder an 11,2, wo es heißt, dass der Höchste (ὁ ὕψιστος) den Beter mit seiner Liebe erfüllt habe (ἐπλήρωσέν με τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ), oder an 11,12, die davon spricht, dass die Unvergänglichkeit des Herrn (ἀϕθαρσία) den Beter wieder lebendig macht (ἀναζωοποιέω). Die Reihe ließe sich ­fortsetzen. Sind die Unschärfen mancher Passagen, in denen unklar wird, ob das „Ich“ des Sprechers wirklich noch Gegenüber Christi ist, damit nicht als bewusst gesetzt zu sehen?38 Und wäre es nicht denkbar, dass in einer Zeit, in der Salomo bereits als Gestalt gesehen werden konnte, durch die – als gesalbtem Davidssohn – der göttliche Logos gesprochen hat, solche Texte als Oden Salomos bezeichnet werden konnten? Trotzdem erscheint diese Linie allein etwas zu schwach, um einen klaren Bezug zu Salomo nahe zu legen. So helfen vielleicht weitere Linien, die sich aus den Oden Salomos selbst entwickeln lassen:39 3.2.1  Eine Schlüsselstelle für das Verständnis des Gesalbten in den Oden Salomos finden wir sicherlich auch in OdeSal 36,6, die aus der Perspektive des in den Oden sprechenden Gesalbten selbst formuliert ist:40 Und er salbte mich aus seiner Fülle, und ich war einer seiner Nahestehenden . . .

37 Das Syrische verwendet hier zwei verschiedene Wurzeln, die aber beide gleich wiedergegeben werden können. Vgl. weiterführend z.B. Charlesworth 1973, 20. 38 Vgl. hierzu auch die Überlegungen von Drijvers 1987, 125: „. . . in fact there are not two different singers or speakers. Ultimately they are identical“. 39 Dagegen dürfte die etwa für das Matthäusevangelium interessante Verbindung des Davidssohnes Jesus mit dem Exorzisten Salomo keine Brücke zu den Oden Salomos bilden können. 40 Übersetzung Lattke 1995.


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36,6a wiederum könnte als Anspielung auf Ps 44,8 LXX verstanden werden,41 wo es heißt: διὰ τοῦτο ἔχρισεν σε ὁ θεὸς ὁ θεὸς σου. – der Bezug ist vage und basiert auf dem Zueinander ἔχρισεν σε, wobei Gott als Subjekt gedacht und der Text der Oden aus der Perspektive des Gesalbten gesprochen ist. Dieser intertextuelle Link ist tatsächlich – zumindest aus produktionsorientierter Perspektive – keineswegs eindeutig, als Alternative wäre etwa an Jes 61,1 LXX zu denken, wo ἔχρισεν με mit dem Subjekt κύριος begegnet.42 Sollte allerdings ein Bezug zu Ps 44 LXX tatsächlich bewusst gesetzt sein, dann ergibt sich aus ihm eine interessante Spur, ist doch Ps 44, allerdings nur in der Septuaginta-Version, als ὡδὴ ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ bzw. als ὡδὴ τοῦ Δαυιδ ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ (A), also als „Lied über den Geliebten“ bzw. „Lied Davids über den Geliebten,“ überschrieben. Mit der Rede vom Geliebten aber greift der LXX-Psalter 2 Sam 12,24f. auf: Nach dem Tode von Davids erstem Kind mit Batseba ist hier davon die Rede, dass diese dem David ein zweites Kind, Salomo, gebärt, dass dieses vom „Herrn geliebt“ und ihm deshalb von Natan der Name „Jedidja,“ d.h. Liebling des Herrn,“ gegeben wird.43 Damit aber fällt Licht auch auf andere Stellen der Oden Salomos: Besonders intensiv in Ode 3, aber auch einigen anderen Passagen spielt das Motiv der „Liebe“ eine Rolle,44 an insgesamt drei Stellen (Ode 3,5.7; 7,1; vgl. auch 8,22; 38,11) ist zudem von einem „Geliebten“ die Rede, der in 3,7 zudem als „der Sohn“ bezeichnet wird.45 Besonders prägnant ist Ode 3,2–7 mit einer vor allem an Aspekte der johanneischen Abschiedsreden erinnernden Rede einer durch gegenseitige Liebe erzeugten Gemeinschaft.46 Wenn der Sprecher der Oden sich an einer für sein Selbstverständnis so wichtigen Stelle wie Ode 3 so sehr als Liebender und Geliebter zugleich bezeichnen kann, und Ode 36,6 die Abspielung zu Ps 44 LXX, dem Psalm über den Geliebten, der zugleich „von Gott Gesalbter“ ist, womöglich 41  Vgl. bereits die Hinweise bei Harris und Mingana 1920, 385. 42 Dies hält etwa Lattke 2005, 137, für den wahrscheinlicheren Bezug, weil seiner Meinung nach auch Ode 36,1a auf Jes 61 verweist. 43 Vgl. hierzu auch die ganz knappe Andeutung bei Franzmann 1987, 325. 44 Zum Thema der Liebe im Johannesevangelium und in den Oden Salomos vgl. Lattke 1975, 54–62; sehr komplex auch Lattke 1999, 12–13. – Im Zusammenhang mit der Bedeutung der „Liebe“ in den Oden Salomos könnte natürlich auch an die Bedeutung der Gestalt Salomos als Autor des Hohenlieds gedacht werden. Die vor allem von Battifol 1911, 35–39, erarbeiteten Bezüge zwischen den Oden Salomos und dem Hohenlied aber sind zu allgemein, um alleine einen Bezug begründen zu können. 45 Einen Bezug zwischen der Rede vom „Geliebten“ in Ode 3 und 2 Sam 12,25 sieht auch Pierre 1997, 682. – Deutet sich mit der Rede vom „Geliebten“ eventuell ein christologischer Hoheitstitel an, dann könnten eventuell Bezüge zur Ascensio Isaiae gesucht werden, wo dieser Titel eine prominente Rolle spielt. 46 Übersetzung: Lattke 1995.

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bewusst setzt, dann scheint der Bezug zumindest einiger Schlüsseltexte der Oden zu Salomo offensichtlich bereits auf der Ebene der Entstehung der Texte angelegt. Vor diesem Hintergrund kann nach weiteren Motiven der Oden Salomos gesucht werden, über die sich ein Bezug zur Salomo-Gestalt des Alten Testaments bzw. zu Salomo-Bildern der frühen Kirche nahe legt. Besonders interessant scheinen mir vor allem die beiden folgenden Spuren: 3.2.2  Vom Frieden – griechisch εἰρήνη, syrisch šelāmâ – ist in den Oden Salomos mehrfach die Rede (vgl. OdSal 8,7; 9,6; 10,2; 11,3; 35,1; 36,8). Ode 8,7 spricht vom „Herrn,“ der den „Frieden bereitet,“ laut 9,6 verkündet der Erlöser seinen Heiligen den Frieden, der laut 10,2 die „Frucht seines Friedens,“ d.h. des „Friedens des Herrn“ redet. Der Erlöste wiederum läuft „in seinem Frieden“ auf dem Weg der Wahrheit (11,3): Könnte nicht auch von diesem Motiv her ein Bezug zu Salomo gesehen werden? Ein erster Anhaltspunkt dafür findet sich erneut im Psalter der Septuaginta, wo sich Ps 71 als Psalm für Salomo bzw. auf Salomo hin (εἰς Σαλωμων) versteht und vor allem in den V. 1–7 das Bild einer idealen Friedensherrschaft zeichnet. Tatsächlich spielte Ps 71 LXX, wie R. Hanig, auf dessen Zusammenschau der Quellen ich mich im Folgenden beziehe, herausarbeitet, einen wichtigen Ausgangspunkt altkirchlicher Salomo-Rezeption:47 So stellt sich bereits bei Justin (dial. 34,1–8; 64,5–6) die Frage, ob der Psalm wirklich an Salomo gerichtet sein könne – ich zitiere hier nur Passagen seiner ausführlichen Argumentation:48 Dial. 34,1 Dazu aber und um euch zu überzeugen, dass ihr (= die Juden) nichts von den Schriften versteht, werde ich noch an einen anderen Psalm (= Ps 71) erinnern, der dem David vom Heiligen Geist gesagt wurde, von dem ihr sagt, er sei zu Salomo, der auch euer König gewesen ist, gesprochen, der aber ebenfalls zu unserem Christus gesprochen ist. Dial. 34,7 Ich weiß zwar, dass Salomo, unter dem das so genannte Haus (= der Tempel) in Jerusalem erbaut wurde, als König ausgezeichnet und groß war. Es ist aber klar, dass nichts von den Dingen, von denen im Psalm (= Ps 71 LXX) gesprochen wird, sich bei ihm findet. Denn weder verehrten alle Könige ihn fußfällig, noch herrschte er als König bis zu den Enden der bewohnten Erde, noch fielen seine Feinde vor ihm nieder, um den Staub zu küssen. 47 Zum Folgenden vgl. v.a. die vielfältigen Angaben bei Hanig 1993, 122–126. 48 Originaltext bei Marcovich 1997, 125 und 127. Übersetzung von mir.


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Da der Psalm also von Dingen spreche, die nicht auf Salomo zuträfen, ja – wie dial. 34,8 schließt, die Königsbücher auch von Sünden Salomos sprächen – könne der Psalm sich nicht auf Salomo (allein) beziehen, sondern müsse auf Christus hin gelesen werden. Die von Justin gelegte Auslegungslinie fand ihre Fortsetzung bei späteren Autoren wie Tertullian adv. Marc. 5,9,9–13, Origenes, Comm. Joh 1,28(30); SelPs ad 71 (72) [Echtheit umstritten] oder Eusebius, DemEv 7,3,18–27.55; 8,1,53–54; 8,4,15 und 9,17,16–17, die Ps 71 LXX auf Christus bezogen. Parallel ist auf die in der antiken Kirche erstmals bei Origenes nachgewiesene Namensetymologie Salomos über das hebräische ‫ שׁלום‬als „der Friedfertige“ (vgl. HomJos 11,5; MtCatFrg 433; CommJoh 6,1) zu verweisen, deren Spuren wohl aber bereits bei Irenäus, haer. 4,27,1, vorgezeichnet sind und die sich vorchristlich schon bei Philo von Alexandrien (CongrErud 177) nachweisen lässt. Wenn Salomo also schon sehr früh als der „Friedfertige“ bzw. der gesalbte Friedenskönig Gottes gelten konnte, dann könnte auch dies (trotz der Anklänge des Textes an Jes 4,5–6)49 womöglich einen Hintergrund dafür darstellen, dass Ode 35,1–2 den Erlösten, dessen Nähe zum Gesalbten z.B. in Ode 3 ausgedrückt worden war, die folgenden Worte sprechen lassen kann:50 Die Besprengung des Herrn in der Ruhe überdeckte mich, und eine Wolke des Friedens stellte er über mein Haupt, die mich bewahrte zu jeder Zeit und Erlösung für mich war.

3.2.3  Mit OdSal 35,1 aber ist gleichzeitig eine letzte Linie angedeutet, die für die Oden Salomos von wohl noch größerer Bedeutung als das Motiv des „Friedens“ ist, mit diesem in 35,1 als Motiv der „Erlösung“ aber parallel gesetzt werden kann: das Motiv der „Ruhe.“ Als ein zentraler Text in diesem Zusammenhang erscheint mir zunächst einmal Ode 26,1–3 und 12–13, wo von der „Ruhe des Herrn“ bzw. der „Ruhe des Sängers“ die Rede ist, vor allem aber der Text einen Hinweis auf sein internes Selbstverständnis als „Oden seiner Ruhe“ bietet.51 1–3 Hervorquellen ließ ich den Hymnus für den Herrn, weil ich sein bin. 49 Hierzu vgl. auch Lattke 2005, 109. 50 Übersetzung: Lattke 1995. 51  Übersetzung: Lattke 1995, 175. Der Hinweis auf die Bedeutung der Rede von den „Oden seiner Ruhe“ findet sich bereits bei Franzmann 1985, 410.

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Und aufsagen werde ich seine heilige Ode, weil mein Herz bei ihm ist. Denn seine Kithara (ist) in meinen Händen, und nicht sollen aufhören die Oden seiner Ruhe. . . . 12–13 Denn es genügt zu erkennen und auszuruhen. Die Sänger nämlich stehen in der Ruhe Wie der Fluss, der eine reiche Quelle hat Und fließt zur Hilfe derer, die ihn suchen.

Das in V. 12 zum Ausdruck gebrachte Verhältnis zwischen Gnosis und Ana- bzw. Katapausis wird nicht nur in späteren gnostischen Systemen eine wichtige Rolle spielen,52 sondern findet sich gespiegelt etwa auch bei Clemens von Alexandrien, paed. 1,29,3, wenn er schreibt:53 „Die Gnosis besteht in der Erleuchtung; der höchste Grad der Gnosis aber ist die Anapausis, die als das letzte Ziel (des Verlangens) gedacht wird.“54 Der Sänger der Oden scheint also das Ziel der „Ruhe“ bereits erreicht zu haben. Doch die Oden Salomos sprechen nicht nur hier, sondern in einer Vielzahl an Kontexten von der Ruhe des Herrn (z.B. 16,12). Majella Franzmann fasst den komplexen Befund folgendermaßen zusammen: Within the Odes, rest is at once an attribute of the Lord and, for a human person, a state of being in union with the Lord. Associated with this rest are life and immortality (3:8–9; 28:7); grace and kindness (20:9); peace (35:1); glorification and exaltation (36:3–6); and truth (38:4). Being in rest is not a passive state: It leads one to praise the Lord (14:8; 36:2), to produce spiritual fruits (11:2),and to bring spiritual relief to others seeking it (26:13).55

Was hat dies mit Salomo zu tun? In zwei Artikeln legt Majella Franzmann den interessanten Link zu 1 Chr 22,9–10, wo Salomo als „Mann der Ruhe“ (‫ ;איש מנוחה‬die LXX macht ihn zu einem ἀνὴρ ἀναπαύσεως) bezeichnet wird, eine in der hebräischen Bibel einmalige Wendung.56 Wenn zudem das Motiv der Ruhe im Chronikbuch etwas später erneut im Zusammenhang mit Salomo begegnet, während es im Zusammenhang mit David zurückgedrängt wird (vgl. 1 Chr 17,1 im Vgl. zu 2 Sam 7,1 oder 1 Chr 17,10 im

52 Zu Anapausis und Katapausis als Heilsgut in „gnostischer“ Literatur vgl. z.B. Helderman 1984. 53 Auf diesen Text verweist in diesem Zusammenhang auch Lattke 1995, 176 Anm. 6. 54 Griechischer Text: ἡ μὲν γνῶσις ἐν τῷ ϕωτίσματι, τὸ δὲ πέρας τῆς γνώσεως ἡ ἀναπαύσις, ὃ δὴ ἔσχατον νοεῖται ὀρεκτόν – zitiert nach Clément d’Alexandrie, Le Pédagogue. Livre I, ed. Marrou und Harl 1960, 164. 55 Franzmann 1985, 412. 56 Franzmann 1985, 419–420; 1987, 325–326.


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Vgl. zu 2 Sam 7,11), dann ist durchaus nachzuvollziehen, wenn Franzmann schreibt: It would appear than that the title is a significant one for Solomon. Considering the importance of the concept of rest within the Odes, it is quite likely that the pseudonym, Solomon, was a deliberate choice, if not of the odist himself, then of a final redactor . . . or a later copyist, for the odist could be quite appropriately designated a ‚man of rest‘ (cf. 26:12).57

4. Fazit Die Linien zwischen dem Salomobild des Alten Testaments wie auch dem bzw. denen der Alten Kirche und den Oden Salomos sind vielfältiger und weiter gehend, als es zumindest auf den ersten Blick hin zu sein scheint. Wir können heute zwar weder mit letzter Sicherheit sagen, wer für den Titel „Oden Salomos“ verantwortlich war, noch welche Kombination möglicher Verbindungslinien zwischen dem Text der Oden und den genannten Bildern zu ihrer Attribuierung als Oden Salomos geführt haben mag. Wenn jedoch der genannte Bezug zwischen Ode 36,6a und Ps 44 bewusst gelegt sein sollte, ist m.E. daran zu denken, dass bereits Autor bzw. Redaktor(en) der Oden (und nicht erst spätere Schreiber) für den Titel Oden Salomos verantwortlich gewesen sein mögen. Wie auch immer: Dass von Oden Salomos gesprochen wird, scheint sich keinem Zufall zu verdanken – die Attribuierung macht im Kontext frühchristlichen wie jüdischen Denkens im 2. oder evtl. 3. Jahrhundert durchaus Sinn. So mag sicherlich das „Image“ Salomos als des Autors von Liedern einen Hintergrund dafür gebildet haben, dass man eine Sammlung poetischer Texte als Oden Salomos bezeichnen konnte. Konkreter greifbar werden mögliche Gründe einer Attribuierung aber einerseits durch die in den Texten erkennbaren Weisheitstraditionen, v.a. aber andererseits durch das in den Texten erkennbare Zueinander, ja Ineinander des Beters mit dem Gesalbten, der – wie der Salomo des Alten Testaments – als „Geliebter“ bezeichnet werden kann und an dessen „Frieden“ und „Ruhe“ teilzuhaben Erlösung bedeutet. Wie Salomo, der bereits Gesalbter ist, den man als Davidssohn in Bezug zu Christus setzen kann, kann so der Sprecher der Oden in seinem Beten Christusbeziehung in gegenseitiger Liebe ­aufbauen

57 Franzmann 1987, 325–326.

salomo, christus und die oden salomos


und in diesem geradezu mystischen Zueinander Worte sprechen, die eigentlich Worte des Gesalbten selbst sind. Zumindest implizit nehmen die Oden Salomos somit einige Aspekte dessen auf, was wir als Bild Salomos im Alten Testament kennen, andere Aspekte wie die Rolle Salomos als Tempelbauer und Exorzist treten demgegenüber weitgehend bis vollkommen zurück. Mit dem Titel Oden Salomos machen sie explizit, was in den Texten selbst nur implizit, ja manchmal nur vage angedeutet ist, und transportieren somit wichtige Vorstellungen und Bilder, die sich mit Salomo verbinden, in einen neuen, im weitesten Sinne als „christlich-gnostisch“ zu bezeichnenden Kontext hinein. Literaturverzeichnis Battifol, P., 1911, ‘Les Odes de Salomon’, Revue Biblique 8: 21–59. Bonwetsch, G.N., Hippolyts Kommentar zum Hohenlied (Texte und Untersuchungen 23/2), Leipzig 1902. Brox, N., Adversus Haereses / Gegen die Häresien (Fontes Christiani 8), Freiburg 2001. Bruston, C., 1911, ‘Les plus anciens cantiques chrétiens. Les Odes de Salomon’, Revue Théologique et Philosophique 44: 465–497. Charlesworth, J.H., The Odes of Solomon, Oxford 1973. ——, 1979, ‘The Concept of the Messiah in the Pseudepigrapha’, Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt II 19/1: 188–218. ——, ‘Odes of Solomon’, in: C.A. Evans und S.E. Porter (eds.), Dictionary of New Testament Background, 749–752, Downers Grove IL 2000. Clément d’Alexandrie, Le Pédagogue. Livre I, H.-I. Marrou und M. Harl (eds.) (Sources Chrétiennes 70), Paris 1960. Drijvers, H.J.W., ‘Solomon as Teacher: Early Syriac Didactic Poetry’, in: H.J.W. Drijvers et al. (eds.), IV Symposium Syriacum 1984: Literary Genres in Syriac Literature (Groningen – Oosterhesselen 10–12 September) (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 229), 123–134, Roma 1987. Emerton, J.A., The Peshitta of the Wisdom of Solomon, Leiden 1959. Franzmann, M., 1985, ‘The Odes of Solomon, Man of Rest’, Orientalia Christiana Periodica 51: 408–421. ——, ‘Portrait of a Poet: Reflections on “the Poet” in the Odes of Solomon’, in: E.W. Conrad und E.G. Newing (eds.), Perspectives on Language and Text. Essays and Poems in Honor of Francis I. Andersen’s Sixtieth Birthday, July 28, 1985, 315–326, Winona Lake IN 1987. ——, The Odes of Solomom: An Analysis of the Poetical Structure and Form (Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus 20), Freiburg/CH und Göttingen 1991. Goguel, M., 1911, ‘Les Odes de Salomon’, Revue chrétienne 58/4.1: 152–161. Gressmann, H., 1913, ‘Les Odes de Salomon’, Revue Théologique et Philosophique NF 1: 195–217. Grillmeier, A., Jesus der Christus im Glauben der Kirche 1: Von der Apostolischen Zeit bis zum Konzil von Chalzedon (451), Freiburg et al. 19903. Hanig, R., 1993. ‘Christus als “wahrer Salomo” in der frühen Kirche’, Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 84: 111–134. Harris, J.R. und A. Mingana, The Odes and Psalms of Solomon 2: The Translation with Introduction and Notes, Manchester 1920.


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Helderman, J., Die Anapausis im Evangelium Veritatis: Eine vergleichende Untersuchung des valentinianisch-gnostischen Heilsgutes der Ruhe im Evangelium Veritatis und in anderen Schriften der Nag Hammadi-Bibliothek (Nag Hammadi Studies), Leiden 1984. Holm-Nielsen, S., Die Psalmen Salomos (Jüdische Schriften aus Hellenistisch-Römischer Zeit, IV/2), Gütersloh 1977. Lactance, Institutions divines: Livre IV, P. Monat (ed.) (Sources Chrétiennes 377), Paris 1992. Lattke, M., Einheit im Wort: Die spezifische Bedeutung von ἀγάπη, ἀγαπᾶν und ϕιλεῖν im Johannesevangelium (Studien zum Alten und Neuen Testament 41), München 1975. ——, 1991, ‘Wie alt ist die Allegorie, daß Christus (Messias) der wahre Salomon sei?’, Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 82: 179. ——, Oden Salomos (Fontes Christiani 19), Freiburg, Basel und Wien 1995. ——, Oden Salomos: Text, Übersetzung, Kommentar 1: Oden 1 und 3–14 (Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus 41/1), Freiburg/CH und Göttingen 1999. ——, Oden Salomos: Text, Übersetzung, Kommentar 2: Oden 15–28 (Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus 41/2), Freiburg/CH und Göttingen 2001. ——, ‘Titel, Überschrift und Unterschriften der sogenannten Oden und Psalmen Salomos’, in: H.-G. Bethge, S. Emmel, K.L. King und I. Schletterer (eds.), For the Children, Perfect Instruction. Studies in Honor of Hans-Martin Schenke on the Occasion of the Berliner Arbeitskreis für koptisch-gnostische Schriften’s Thirtieth Year (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 54), 439–447, Leiden und Boston MA 2002. ——, Oden Salomos: Text, Übersetzung, Kommentar 3: Oden 29–42 (Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus 41/3), Fribourg und Göttingen 2005. ——, 2007, ‘Die Oden Salomos: Einleitungsfragen und Forschungsgeschichte’, Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 98: 277–307. Lips, H. von, ‘Christus als Sophia? Weisheitliche Traditionen in der urchristlichen Christologie’, in: C. Breytenbach und H. Paulsen (eds.), Anfänge der Christologie. FS Ferdinand Hahn, 75–95, Göttingen 1991. Marcovich, M., Iustini Martyris Dialogus cum Tryphone (Patristische Texte und Studien 47), Berlin und New York 1997. Nicklas, T. und T. Wasserman, ‘Theologische Linien im Codex Bodmer Miscellani?’ in: T.J. Kraus und T. Nicklas (eds.), New Testament Manuscripts: Their Text and Their World (Texts and Editions for New Testament Studies 2), 161–188, Leiden und Boston MA 2006. Pierre, M.-J., ‘Odes de Salomon’, in: F. Bovon und P. Géoltrain (eds.), Écrits apocryphes chrétiens (Bibliothèque de la Pléiade), 671–743, Paris 1997. Schreiber, S., Gesalbter und König: Titel und Konzeptionen der königlichen Gesalbtenerwartung in frühjüdischen und urchristlichen Schriften (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 105), Berlin und New York 2000. Testuz, M., Papyrus Bodmer X-XII, Cologny und Genève 1959. Wright, B.B., ‘Psalms of Solomon (First Century B.C.)’, in: J.H. Charlesworth (ed.), Old Testament Pseudepigrapha II (Anchor Bible Reference Library), 639–670, New York 1985.

Solomon as a True Exorcist: The testament of Solomon in its cultural setting1 Peter Busch When dealing with the testament of Solomon (T.Sol.), the poison cabinet of Solomon traditions is wide open.2 What you can expect, is the descent to the darkest powers of our Jewish-Christian abyssos, the encounter with demons—male or female—, fear, torture and, at last, exorcisms over and over again. The outline is quickly told: While the temple is being constructed, King Solomon notices a young worker who receives special payment and additional food due to his exceptional commitment. Despite this special treatment, the boy loses a lot of weight. This prompts the king to further investigation, which reveals most unusual events. At night, the young worker is visited by a demon called Ornias, who sucks the boy’s thumb and takes away a large amount of his sustenance. This is the reason why the boy has lost so much weight. The king seeks help, turning to God in prayer, who sends him a ring via the Archangel Michael. This ring, which contains a seal curved in a precious stone, has the power to bind all that is of some demoniac nature. The boy receives the ring, together with the precise instructions by king Solomon, and pushes it against the breast of the unsuspecting demon Ornias, exclaiming “A vaunt: it is Solomon who summons you” thus having him bend to his will and dragging him to Solomon’s throne, who then questions him with insistence and orders him to bring him the Lord of all the demons. Ornias obeys and brings Beelzebul to the throne of Solomon. Sealed with the ring, Solomon questions him insistently in spite of his most arrogant behavior, and haves him present all the other unclean evil spirits. So far for the story as described in the first three chapters of the testament of Solomon. The following chapters 4–25 are about Solomon

1 I am grateful to Wolfgang Loeffler, Lingenfeld, for his detailed philological suggestions. 2 Critical Edition by McCown 1922. After the English translation (with commentary) by Duling 1983, 935–988, the T.Sol. was discussed only by a small contingent of scholars in the last decade. The most notable publications are by are Johnston 2002; Klutz 2003; Klutz 2005; Busch 2006a.


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questioning the demons one by one. Without exception, the questioning is subdivided into sequences, clearly recognizable as a fixed pattern, although not kept up entirely consistent as a stereotype. Solomon seals the demon, asks for his name and his doings, then for his astrological constellation (“In which sign of the zodiac do you live?”), and finally for the name of the angel who is able to thwart the demon’s power. At the end, the demon is appointed for certain works on the temple, such as spinning hemp, sawing marble stone, or lifting heavy stones and passing them on to the workers. Chapter by chapter, demon by demon, the reader of the T.Sol. learns about an exquisite selection of harming spirits, e.g.: the donkey-legged Onoskelis, who seduces and suffocates men. Asmodeus, the womanizer. Lix Tetrax, who has the shape of a cochlea and sows discord among people, the seven stoicheiai as cosmocrators of the darkness, the thirty-six heavenly bodies (the “decanes”), and many more. The “First Reader” Reads the Text The gentle reader of my last couple of sentences has certainly noticed that I switched the narrative perspective: away from the omniscient narrator’s overview down to the special viewpoint of the implied reader. Exactly this perspective, however, seems to be the most challenging approach to this obscure opus. According to several text-linguistic theories of the last thirty years, one can call it the reconstruction of the “cultural lexicon” of the Testament’s first readers. So, let us ask for the main topic in the testament of Solomon, the demons and the way they can be thwarted. In what way is it linked to the First Reader’s “cultural lexicon”? To come to the point right away: Demons are a weighty topic in the religious sign-system of early Christianity. At first, the New Testament’s sections that were read at the divine service are full of exorcisms—recall the appropriate pericopes of the gospels. Jesus, who casts out the demons just by his finger (Lk 11,20) or by his powerful word; the apostles, in particular Paul and Peter dealing with demons as successors of the Lord (Acts 5,12–16). Exorcisms are without any doubt part of the “first reader’s” religious sign-system. Secondly, an educated Christian was aware of the fact, that demons were a common topic of philosophical discussions: At this point the demonologies of the Middle Platonists are to be mentioned, which develop parallel to the generation of the New Testament documents: Plutarch, De defectu

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oraculorum and De genio Socratis, and Apuleius, De deo Socratis, the latter being intensively discussed by Augustine in book 8–10 of his De civitate dei; all these documents show the importance of demons in philosophical discussions. In some respect those probably had then some impact on the Christian discussion, what may be shown by the broad appearance of the topic “demons” in the Pseudoclementines (Homilies 8–9 par. Recognitions 4) or in the book of Augustine mentioned above. Thirdly, the then common religious imaginations deal with demons of any kind: The binding spells on vessels, magical papyri, “defixiones,” leadtablets, gems and amulets show that demons cover a wide range of the common religion‘s plain.3 And last but not least: It cannot be estimated highly enough that nearly every Early Christian had felt exorcism at work on his very own body when he was baptized. At this point, early Christian “baptism exorcism” is to be mentioned. According to Dölger’s monograph,4 the first reference to it can be found in the apocryphal Acts of Thomas (2nd century a.d.). Concerning this practice in Jerusalem, we have some information by Egeria in her Itinerarium (46,1) and by Cyril of Jerusalem in his Mystagogic Catecheses (2,3). So, demons and exorcisms are an ubiquitous part of the religious and philosophical sign-system of any Christian in this period. From this point of view we may ask: which information should be given to the reader when he perceives the presented scale of demons? In this regard it can be assumed, that an ordinary ancient or late-ancient reader already knew those demons that were presented in the Testament of ­Solomon. Imagine any fictitious “first reader,” a contemporary to the emperor Decius, Diocletianus or Constantine, living in the third or fourth century in an urban region in the East of the empire. In the following I briefly present three contexts in which our reader could come across some elements which he then also was able to recognize when reading the T.Sol. An Iconographical Context When visiting a public bath of the Roman Empire and glancing over the floor-mosaic, our “first reader” can see several scenes featuring Neptune, in many cases along with hippocampusi (see Fig. 1, an example from Ostia antica). The implied reader could be reminded of this figure when he 3 Cf. Busch 2006b, 25–81. 4 Dölger 1906.


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Fig. 1. Hippocampi on a mosaic floor in Ostia antica. Photo by author.

reads the story of the demon Kynopegos in T.Sol. 16: the demon “who had the form of a horse in front and a fish in back”.5 Our reader is convinced that the figures being sealed by Solomon’s ring are met also in a wider mythological context. Our “first reader” of the Testament of Solomon could think in a similar way when leaving the public bath and walking around the arterial roads of his city, watching the tombs and the sarcophagi along the road; the reliefs on some of them, deeply cut into the marble and colored in a glaring polychrome way, may depict the gigantomachy, the story of the mythical combat of giants and gods. These pictures may come up to him when he reads chapter 17, when Solomon confronts a demon who introduces himself with the words: “I am a lecherous spirit of a giant man who died in a massacre in the age of giants”. In further interrogation, the demon confesses: “I seat myself near dead men in the tombs and at midnight I assume the form of the dead.”6—Solomon, so our “first reader” may think, also rules the giants of the Hesiodic myths. And, gentle readers, we imagine our “first reader” leaves the sarcophagi and rambles to the tombs and then to the graffiti depicted on them; some of the graves may have been abused by professional magicians at night, and the relicts of their practices may partially be seen, especially the figure of the “akephalos,” the headless demon. This figure, connected with his close relative, the “stethokephalos,” plays a decisive role in magical practices, as Karl Preisendanz7 has shown. The “first reader” of the testament of Solomon may compare these pictures with chapter 9, the demon

5 Transl. Duling 1983, 976. 6 Transl. Duling 1983, 977. 7 Preidendanz 1950, 211–216.

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Fig. 2. Giant Combat Sarcophagus, Aphrodisias (Archaeological Museum, ­Istanbul). Photo by author.


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looking like “a man who had all his limbs, but no head.”8 The demons of the magicians, so our “first reader” may realize, are also ruled by the ring of King Solomon. Concerning the magical iconography of late antiquity, we can mention considerable parallels; one example: a special type of demon, called “Helioros” (the Horos of the sun), is documented in several gems9 and also in magical texts, such as Magical Papyrus I,144 (Preisendanz collection); this demon is very similar to the “lion-shaped demon” in chapter 11 of T.Sol., who “came roaring like a stately lion.”10 So it can be assumed that the demons appearing in the interrogation chapters of the Testament of Solomon are no strangers to the ancient recipient (not as strange as to us, at least), they are—on the contrary— well established in his cultural lexicon. When reading the text, our assumed recipient could recognize some demons he had become aware of in the iconographical sign-system of his everyday life. Fairy-tales about Demons and Ghosts Beyond the iconographical sign-system, also fairy-tales and mythical plots offered an important background to the demonic traditions in the Testament of Solomon. One example: The first demon brought up by Beelzebul’s activity is a female one, Onoskelis; our assumed “first reader” becomes acquainted to her in chapter 4: She had a “beautiful form, her body was that of a woman with a fair complexion, but her legs are those of a mule.” Interrogated by the king, she confesses her deeds: “Sometimes I strangle men; sometimes I pervert them from their true nature . . . ”.11 Onoskelis, so our “first reader” comes to know, is a men-struggling vamp, dwelling in caves and cliffs, practicing bad deeds with definitely sexual connotations. This figure is very popular in antiquity: Plutarch reports in his Parallela minora 29 (mor 312D) on a birth legend of Onoskelis: Aristonymos of Ephesos merged himself with an ass—due to his averseness to women, and so a new creature came to birth, a combination of a wonderful girl and an ass. In the second century, Lucian of Samosata gives an account of the species of the “Onoskelidae” in his Vera historia (2,46f.): inhabitants of an unknown island, who tend to castaways at first, but then make them drunk, ensnare them and, at last, eat them. These stories circulated in the 8 Transl. Duling 1983, 971. 9 Cf. specially a reddish Magnetide, about 3rd/4th Cent. a.d. (see Michel 2001, Nr.52). 10 Transl. Duling 1983, 972. 11  Transl. Duling 1983, 964f.    

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Mediterranean milieu, and we can assume that our “first reader” knew the striking points of those stories and recognized them when reading the Testament of Solomon. In a similar way, when reading through the Testament’s plot, our “first reader” can recognize the stories of the Greek god Eros, the winged little child of the goddess Aphrodite who is used to seduce women (cast in a wonderful story by Apuleius in his Metamorphoses), when he reaches chapter 14 and the interrogation of the “winged dragon”; •  he remembers the mysterious four “Ephesia grammata” (Lix, Tetrax, Damnameus, Aision), cut in the temple of Artemis in Ephesos, when he encounters the demon “Lix Tephras” in chapter 7; •  in chapter 18 he comes across a number of astrological traditions, e.g. those of the 36 havenly bodies, each of them ruling ten decrees of the eclipse and widely known from popular astrology and medicine in antiquity and late-antiquity. Biblical Traditions Last but not least, a third part of the Testament’s traditional background should be mentioned. Not only do pagan iconography and mythology function as models for the demonic conception of the Testament of Solomon, but also the biblical tradition. In chapter 5, our “first reader” hits on the demon Asmodeus, well known from the Book of Tobit; and the Prince of all demons is nobody else but Beelzebul, as in Mk 3:22. So, biblical and in particular also New Testament demonology can be met in the plot of the Testament of Solomon. This last finding may serve as a fist argument of my basic appraisal of the Testament of Solomon as a Christian document. The Testament as a Christian Document The “Christian” assessment of the work is rather special. McCown, congenial editor of the actual authoritative text of the Testament, came to a different conclusion; he used a “literary-critical” model and reached the following conclusions: In the first Century a.d., a Jewish Solomon-haggada came into existence, approximately covering the framework of the T.Sol. This was expanded into the Jewish Testament of Solomon by adding the interrogation chapters and was then reorganized in two recensions, Rec A,


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the one closest to the original, and Rec B, a younger version with Christian interpolations; a third recension, C, is a medieval derivate from B. McCown did a very good job. The hypothesis of the two recensions, which McCown reconstructed on the basis of a number of manuscripts, can be further substantiated by the new manuscripts (the Vienna Papyri) that have come to light and that can easily be compared with his ­recensions. But in my opinion, two parts of his model are dubious or disputable.12 First, the assumption of the first-century Solomon-haggada is an “unnecessary entity” and can be dismissed of using Occam’s razor. In the model I have suggested, it suffices to refer to the manifold Solomonic spells on the one hand, and the variety of haggadic Solomon traditions on the other, to account for the composition of T.Sol. This kind of material was circulating all over the Mediterranean world and T.Sol. can be seen as a free combination of such material. The second point is the suggestion that only Rec B is a Christian text. The following parts are found in both recensions: 6:8: Beelzebul is thwarted by “Emmanuel” 11:3: The demon’s name is legion (Mk 5,9) 11:6: the demons are thwarted by the suffering Emmanuel 12:3: the demon is thwarted by the “Wonderful Counselor” who suffers at the “place of the skull” 17:4: The “Savior” thwarts a demon 22:20: A demon is thwarted by “the one who is going to be born from a virgin and be crucified by the jews.”13 All these accounts of obviously Christian color are present in both recensions, A and B, and must be part of the original version of the Testament of Solomon; it is a very striking argument in favor of my hypothesis that the Testament is—by origin—a Christian document. The Message of T.Sol. in Its Cultural Setting In trying to define the message of the work one should start with the major motif in the Testament’s plot: the domination of demons. Chapter by chapter the demons—from the first down to the last—are ruled by a 12 For a more detailed discussion, see Busch 2006a, 3–37. 13 Transl. Duling 1983, 984.

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mysterious ring, which was sent from heaven to the king. Without this ring, it would not be possible to conquer any of these demons. This obviously is a crucial theme in the whole of the work. When looking for possible sources, one should note that this was apparently a rather ­controversial issue in Early Christianity that was dealt with in two different ways:14 Who Can Cast out Demons? Two Positions The first position defends a ‘democratic approach’ of casting out demons: Any Christian who meets certain qualifications is in principle able to exorcise demons. This line can be seen in the apocryphal additions at the end of the Gospel of Mark (Mk 16:17). Every Christian is able to cast out bad spirits in the name of Jesus. In can also be illustrated from sources of the second century. Justin Martyr in 2 Apol. 6 mentions successful exorcisms in the name of Jesus by many Christians. In the Pseudoclementines, which are perhaps contemporary to T.Sol., Peter says that every baptized Christian was able to heal others by exorcisms (Hom 19.9). The second position holds a more ‘aristocratic approach’. Only exceptionally gifted persons are allowed to perform an exorcism. The mandate Jesus gives the disciples in Matt 10:1 (par. Mk 3:15) to act as exorcists is an early illustration of this position. Only Jesus’ followers receive the authority and the power to do so. This aristocratic approach opens the way for installing professional exorcists in the early church. In his famous Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums, Adolf von Harnack suggests that every larger community had its own exorcists.15 Official exorcists are referred to in the thirdcentury Synodal canones. A letter of the same century by bishop Cornelius of Rome to bishop Fabius of Antioch (Euseb, h.e. VI,43,11), mentions 46 presbyteroi, 7 diacones, 7 subdiacones, 42 akolythai, and 52 exorcists as being employed by the Christian community in Rome. The issue of who could be an exorcist is already struggled with in the New Testament. Matt 7:22 says that “many” who cast out demons in the name of Jesus will be called “evildoers” on the Day of Judgment. Here a kind of ‘mass movement’ is evoked from which the Evangelist distances himself. The controversy receives a new impetus in monastic circles in the fourth century. Evagrius Ponticus in his Antirrhetikos, Athanasius in his

14 Cf. Busch 2006a, 279–290. 15 von Harnack, 19244, 157.


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Vita Antonii, and other early hagiographic documents introduce us to a very special kind of exorcists: people who dislike the developing ecclesiastical communities, that are mostly urban settlements, prefer solitariness and ascetics, and cast out demons very often and successfully. So, in the fourth century two different ways of Christian life, cum grano salis, can be met: the hierarchic structured Christian communities with bishops, deacons and other officials (including the exorcists), and the ascetic desertmonks. John Cassian’s bon mot, “a monk has to flee foremost the women and the bishop” (Inst. 11.18), gives a clear hint at the dissonances between these two ways. In our context, these two groups are related to the two approaches to exorcism. The Message of the Testament How does the Testament of Solomon fit in with these approaches? Remember the redundant element of its plot: Solomon the king, who rules the demons by means of a special ring. Solomon is in no way an ascetic like the desert-monks. He is almost their “anti-type”. And yet it is possible to read the Testament in within the framework of the controversy outlined above. Its message can be summarized as follows: The “true exorcist” is not an ascetic, but rather the contrary; he is the legendary Jewish king, a “son of David,” hence an ancestor of Jesus Christ. This exorcist is not concerned with ascetics or with poverty; quite the opposite: he is celebrated for his extravagant luxury. In line with this, Solomon does a number of things an ascetic as depicted in the early hagiographies would never do: he builds a magnificent temple, welcomes women (the Queen of Sheba in T.Sol. 19–21), and even washes himself, and this at a demon’s behest (T.Sol. 13.2, contrary to Vita Antonii 47). The king’s power as an exorcist is not to be seen in the desert, but in the center of his kingdom, in Jerusalem, where the temple is built. He also proves himself to be the ruler of the desert demons, but it is beneath his dignity to set foot on desert ground. In contrast to the parallel pre-Islamic Arabic Solomon traditions, he does not fly on a carpet, but stays at home, in his palace in Jerusalem. He makes the demons file a report before his throne, also the desert-demon Ephippas (T.Sol. 22). The message is clear: not the desert, but the Temple in Jerusalem (the “typos” of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher) is the appropriate place for exorcisms. Above all, one thing is suggested by the Testament of Solomon: Not everybody has the power to cast out demons; only the “son of David,”

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Solomon, is the true exorcist. And he operates by means of his special ring; this ring is given him from God by Michael, the Archangel, and, in special situations, can be entrusted to a servant: in T.Sol. 1, it is the favorite servant of Solomon, in T.Sol. 22 it is another servant, but they both share one feature: they are active in the temple and officials of the temple. The first reader will easily grasp the message: The true exorcist works with this special ring handed out to King Solomon. The Origin of the Testament The ring mentioned above does exist in the fourth century; it is kept as a relic in the treasure of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. It is the most striking argument to situate the Testament of Solomon in Jerusalem in the second half of the fourth century.16 Christians living in the city most probably were well aware of the topography of former Aelia Capitolina, the Roman City: they must have known where the Temple had stood, they could still see one or two columns of the temple of Jupiter, and they knew about the sanctuary of Venus being settled on a 15m high destruction debris covering the location of Jesus’ crucifixion. The story of the discovery of the cross circulated within the Christian communities of Jerusalem: how Helena, Constantine’s mother, removed the temple of Venus and got rid of the soil above Golgotha, how she found the real holy cross and had churches built on the holy places of Jesus’s death and funeral. This complex, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, attracts lots of visitors and pilgrims. The “Pilgrim of Bordeaux” and the Spanish nun ­Egeria/Aitheria are among the earliest witnesses. By and by, also encouraged and advanced by native tourist guides, a holy topography is constructed: “Here, the place of the origin of Adam, there, the place of the sacrifice of Abraham; and look here, stains of the blood of Zacharias.” In this process, traditions originally linked to the Temple of Solomon are transferred to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher: this Church is now the New Temple, erected by Jesus Christ, the second Temple builder, the second Solomon. Traditions about the ring of Solomon, as reflected in the Testament of Solomon, are still very much alive in those days. About 400 c.e., Egeria wrote in her Itinerarium (37.7) that some relics of Solomon, even of his 16 See once more Busch 2006a, 20–29.


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activities as an exorcist, are preserved in the martyrium of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and can be seen there. She notes that in the liturgy on Good Friday, after kissing the Holy Cross, people would pass by a deacon, who has “anulum salomonis et cornu illud, de quo reges unguebantur.” The horn (in the tradition of 1 Sam 16,1.13; 1 Kgs 1,39) was kissed, the ring just be looked at, obviously in some form of special respect. The “Breviarius de Hierosolyma”, of the sixth century, affirms Egeria’s report:17 Et inde intras in Golgotha . . . ubi est illud cornu, quo David unctus est et Salomon et ille anulus ibidem, unde Salomon sigillavit demones, et est de electro. And thereafter you will enter Golgotha, . . . where the horn is deposed, David and Solomon are anointed by; further that ring, Solomon sealed demons by, and it’s made by amber.

Conclusion If we follow the argumentation outlined above, the Testament of Solomon is to be situated at the background of fourth-century hagiographies and takes its distance from hagiographic tales of ascetic desert-monks performing exorcisms in favor of professional exorcists, which can be identified considered as officials at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. The Testament uses elements from hagiographical literature: there is an interest in biography and the tone is novelistic, aiming at a broad publicity. In this regard, it may be interpreted as a marketing document of the Sanctuary of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem: “We are the best demonrulers, not the anachoretes,” as a modern PR-manager would formulate it. “We, not the desert-monks, use Solomon’s ring” and “We will cast out any demon you want.” Bibliography Baldi, D., Enchiridion Locorum Sanctorum. Documenta Evangelii Loca Respicienda, Jerusalem 1982². Busch, P., Das Testament Salomos. Die älteste christliche Dämonologie, kommentiert und in deutscher Erstübersetzung, Berlin et al. 2006a. ——, Magie in neutestamentlicher Zeit, Göttingen 2006b. Dölger, F., Der Taufexorzismus im christlichen Altertum, Würzburg 1906.

17 Ed. Baldi 1982², 636.

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Duling, D., ‘Testament of Solomon’, in: J.H. Charlesworth (ed.), The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Vol. I: Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments, 935–988, New York et al. 1983. Harnack, A. von, Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten, Berlin 19244. Johnston, S.I., ‘The Testament of Solomon from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance’, in: J.N. Bremmer et al. (eds.), The Metamorphosis of Magic from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern Period, 35–49, Leuven 2002. Klutz, T.E., ‘The Archer and the Cross: Chronographic Astrology and Literary Design in the Testament of Solomon’, in: T.E. Klutz (ed.), Magic in the Biblical World, 219–244, London et al. 2003. ——, Rewriting the Testament of Solomon. Tradition, Conflict and Identity in a Late Antique Pseudepigraphon, London 2005. McCown, C.C., The Testament of Solomon, Leipzig 1922. Michel, S., Bunte Steine—Dunkle Bilder: Magische Gemmen, München 2001. Preisendanz, K., Akephalos. Der kopflose Gott, Leipzig 1926. ——, 1950, ‘Akephalos’, RAC 1: 211–216.

Solomon in Egyptian Gnosticism1 Jacques van der Vliet The literary legacy of Christian Egypt offers rich material for a study of the reception of the originally biblical Solomon figure in late-antique and medieval times. It includes sources varying as widely as the Greek and Coptic magical texts, which bear witness to the continuing interest in Solomon the magician, the medieval literary texts that focus on the Queen of Sheba and, finally, the extensive theological and exegetical output of Alexandrian Gnosticism, part of which has survived in Coptic translations. Since Solomon’s role in magic is dealt with extensively elsewhere in this volume, and since the medieval Coptic traditions about the Queen of Sheba should be discussed in conjunction with similar ones from Ethiopia, the present contribution will focus on the Gnostic sources. As will be seen, these Gnostic sources are of exceptional interest in that they—or at least some of them—present a picture of Solomon that is polemical or even outright negative. The following discussion does not claim great originality: most of the sources are well known and have received due attention in recent studies of King Solomon’s literary Nachleben.2 Yet their controversial and iconoclastic qualities fully justify a separate treatment. Egyptian Gnosticism Gnosticism is an elusive phenomenon that has been interpreted very differently in the scholarly debate over the last two centuries.3 Whereas the theses of a Jewish or even an Iranian background are still occasionally defended, I take Gnosticism to be a basically Christian phenomenon. As 1 Following the Leuven conference, a version of this paper was discussed in the Dutch Gnosticism Seminar, chaired by A.P. Bos and G.P. Luttikhuizen, on 23 January 2010. I thank the attendants of both meetings, in particular J.L. de Jong, for their critical remarks. My Leiden colleague B.P. Muhs kindly revised my English. Translations from Greek and Coptic are mine, unless stated otherwise. 2 In particular in Hanig 1993; Torijano 2002; Klutz 2005; Busch 2006. The earlier study by Giversen 1972, hardly goes beyond an enumeration of text places. 3 For the problems involved, see Williams 1996, and King 2003; for the ancient terminology, Layton 1995. My personal view of Gnosticism has been put forward in various publications, some of which are quoted below.


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a distinct variety within the broader spectrum of nascent Christian theology, it reflects the reception of Jesus’ message of redemption among urban literates, deeply steeped in Hellenistic popular philosophy and science. Although Gnosticism can hardly have been a single uniform movement, a certain shared core of theological and philosophical options can be distinguished. It is characterized foremost by the distinction between an ineffable highest God and lower demiurgic powers, a sharply dualist cosmology and anthropology, and the view of Christ as a supra-cosmic teacher and revealer. In spite of the somewhat blurred picture offered by Gnostic scripture, Gnosticism had social dimensions as well, with groups developing their own ecclesiology and sacramentalism. The heyday of this variegated Gnostic movement is usually situated in the second and third centuries. With the further development and definition of Christian dogma it broadened into a more vaguely defined “esoteric” current that succumbed to mainstream Christianity from the fourth century onwards. The bulk of our primary and even a large number of our secondary sources for ancient Gnosticism stem from Egypt. The most important among these sources are the original Gnostic codices discovered at various moments in Upper Egypt, usually in undocumented circumstances. They make up a small corpus consisting of overtly Christian manuscripts, predominantly in Coptic, that can be dated to the fourth-fifth centuries on paleographical grounds. Best known are the so-called Nag Hammadi library and the “Judas-codex” (properly Codex Tchacos or Codex Magha­ gha) that came to light a few years ago. The evidence of these codices suggests that esoterism of a Gnostic and Hermetic type was widespread in early monastic or semi-monastic circles, but became ideologically undesirable from the year 400 onwards when, in the wake of the so-called Origenist controversy, doctrinal purity became a major issue in the monasteries of Egypt. It is a commonly held belief that all or most of the texts contained in this corpus reflect early or even very early traditions. Yet, in a majority of cases, it is impossible to say exactly how much older they are than the fourth-fifth century manuscripts in which they are transmitted. Even the arguments for an early date of the famous Gospel of Thomas are feeble at best. In this paper, as a rule no position is taken with regard to the presumed original date of the texts discussed. Rather, the corpus as a whole is seen here as the expression of a late-antique esoterism that was rapidly being marginalized by mainstream Christianity. Although this is not a generally accepted point of view, I also consider the famous alchemist Zosimus to be a representative of late-antique

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­Egyptian Gnosticism. Zosimus, who originated from Panopolis in Upper Egypt and wrote in Greek, presumably lived in the late third or early fourth century.4 He was primarily an alchemist and the greater part of his work is purely technical rather than theological. The non-technical parts of his preserved output, however, such as the Treatise on the letter omega or the prologue to the Final quittance, fit in perfectly with what we know of contemporary Egyptian Gnosticism as exemplified by the Nag Hammadi texts.5 There is every reason to consider him a late-antique Gnostic and his texts will be treated here accordingly. This is all the more attractive since many of the acknowledged Gnostic texts preserved in Coptic also have a clear technical side. They show a marked interest in astrology and demonology, in lists and catalogues of secret names and, in general, in practices and procedures that are dubbed “magical” by modern criticism. This is not only true of the Books of Jeou, usually though unjustifiably dismissed as obscure, but also of such a well known, almost emblematically Gnostic text as the Secret book of John.6 A Prophet The best known appearance of Solomon in the corpus of Coptic Gnostic texts is undoubtedly as the author of the Odes of Solomon. Coptic translations of five of the Odes are quoted in the Pistis Sophia, the longest of all Gnostic texts preserved in Coptic.7 Their text has received due attention in the text critical discussion of the Odes, but the context in which they are transmitted and their Gnostic reception have also been studied in recent decades, in particular by M. Lattke.8 Similar to many other Christian apocryphal writings from Egypt, the Pistis Sophia takes the form of a dialogue between the risen Jesus and his disciples on the Mount of Olives. In conformity with the rules of the genre, the work basically develops as a play of question and answer, the disciples asking questions and Jesus providing answers. In addition, an important role is played by narrative and biblical exegesis. The dialogue is contained 4 On his dates, see Mertens 1995, xv–xvii. 5 See Mertens 2002. 6 See the references in note 11 below. 7 The standard edition remains Schmidt 1925, which is used here; his text has been reprinted together with an English translation in Schmidt and MacDermot 1978; for a general introduction and bibliography, see Tardieu and Dubois 1986, 65–82. 8 Lattke 1979, 24–31, 187–225; 1979–1982 (repr. 1979); 2002.


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within a narrative framework but narrative is also an important feature within the question-answer structure: Jesus’ answers do not only explain known facts and events, they also relate unknown facts and events. Both may then be interpreted as the fulfillment of Holy Scripture through an idiosyncratic exegesis of scriptural passages, in particular from the Psalms of David and the Odes of Solomon. The exegetical procedure applied to most of these passages may be called an inverted exegesis. Jesus’ narrative about events that took place in the heavenly world is commented upon in Psalm-like compositions modeled upon biblical Psalms that are subsequently identified as the clue to the very texts for which they served as a model. The effect is quite stunning and deserves to be illustrated. The central personage of the complicated myth told by Jesus in the earlier parts of the book is Pistis-Sophia, a celestial figure who symbolizes the fallen soul. She is kidnapped by the evil rulers over the lower spheres, who try to steal the superior light that inhabits her, but she is rescued by a luminous power emanating from Jesus himself that leads her up to the upper spheres and keeps the lower powers at bay. She then sings a hymn of praise that begins: 1. I will send up a hymn to you, o Light, for I wished to come to you; I will send up a hymn to you, o Light, for you are my savior. 2. Do not leave me in the chaos; save me, o Light from above, for it is to you that I have sung my hymn (ed. Schmidt, p. 113, 4–8).

Seven more verses follow, after which one of Jesus disciples, in this case Salome, makes the link with a known scriptural text that is presented as a prophetic text referring to the events that have just been related and offering at the same time the key to these events. Salome then says: My Lord (scil. Jesus whom she is addressing), my power urges me to give the clue to the words that Pistis-Sophia spoke. In those days your power prophesied through Solomon and said: 1.  I will reveal myself to you, o Lord, for you are my God. 2. Do not leave me, o Lord, for you are my hope.

And seven more verses from the fifth Ode of Solomon follow (ed. Schmidt, p. 114, 8–115, 6). In all, five of the Odes of Solomon are partly or wholly quoted in this way. They were apparently well known compositions, sufficiently familiar to serve as clues to the adventures of the fallen Pistis-Sophia and the “hymns” that voice her fall and redemption. In each of these cases, it is the superior “power” or, more precisely, the “luminous power” of Jesus

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himself who, in the past, had “spoken” or “prophesied” “through Solomon” (or, in the case of the biblical Psalms, “through David”). Both David and Solomon were therefore considered to be inspired prophets who spoke with authority about celestial realities that were only afterwards revealed in all their details by Jesus to his disciples. Solomon is once called “the son of David” (ed. Schmidt, p. 151, 6–7), but otherwise he and his father appear as mere bibliographical references. Solomon is quoted “in his Odes” or, once, “in his nineteenth Ode,” which is actually the first one, thus showing that the Gnostic author used a collection in which the eighteen Psalms of Solomon preceded the Odes.9 The fascinating way in which the author of Pistis Sophia handled the Odes of Solomon shows that they were considered by him as Holy Scripture, as texts that could (and should) be read as witnesses to the Gnostic myth revealed by Jesus. Solomon himself, although clearly identified as a historical figure, “the son of David,” is merely an author, inspired by the “luminous power” of Jesus. Yet, even if he is represented as no more than Jesus’ mouth-piece, it follows that Solomon’s presumed writings, at least his Odes (and presumably his Psalms as well), were considered to be vested with unquestionable authority by the intended audience of the Pistis Sophia. Indeed, Solomon figures as an author and authority in other Gnostic sources as well. An Expert in Demonology Cosmogony as a means of exposing a pattern of primordial fall that accounts for the ontological make-up of the phenomenal world is a common feature of many Gnostic sources. Thus the treatise known under the modern title On the origin of the world (NH II, 5)10 shares with similar Gnostic writings (such as the Gospel of Judas) the extensive description of the mise-en-place of a material kosmos ruled by seven more or less evil archons. The seven-tiered system of this lower world obviously represents the spheres of the seven planets, but its interest here is primarily demonological rather than astrological. The description focuses on listing and naming evil powers, not on specifying their relationship with precise celestial bodies.  9 An observation already made by J. Rendel Harris, who rediscovered the Odes of Solomon, in 1909; see most recently Lattke 2002. 10 The standard edition is that in Layton (ed. 1989), vol. II, 11–134.


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The most wicked among these lower rulers is their chief, Yaldabaoth, an evil character known from a whole range of Gnostic writings, including the Secret book of John and, again, the Gospel of Judas. In what appears to be a variant of the myth of the Fallen Angel, Yaldabaoth is punished for his arrogance, demoted to the underworld, and locked up in the abyss. Subsequently his place is taken by his son, who with a clear allusion to the biblical God is called Sabaoth. This Sabaoth, who is much more positively perceived, is moved to the highest position in the lower world, much to the regret of his spiteful father. Yaldabaoth’s negative feelings then engender Death, and Death comes to occupy the sixth, the uppermost-but-one position in the lower universe, left vacant by the promotion of Sabaoth (102, 11–106, 27; ed. Layton, pp. 38–48). Here the restoration of the seven-tiered demonic order does not end. For Death, who is androgynous, engenders seven male and seven female personified passions that are neatly listed. The male ones are: Jealousy, Wrath, Weeping, Sighing, Mourning, Lamentation, and Sobbing; the female ones: Anger, Pain, Lust, Sighing, Cursing, Bitterness, and Quarreling. These personified passions in turn “had intercourse with each other and each one begot seven (others), so that they amount to forty-nine androgynous demons. Their names and their influences (ἐνέργεια) you will find in the Book of Solomon” (NH II, 5: 106, 35–107, 4). This reference to a Book of Solomon is paralleled by similar bibliographic tags in other Gnostic literature. A well known example is found in the Secret book of John, which in the course of a demonology of the human body refers the reader for further information to “the Book of Zoroastros” (ed. Waldstein and Wisse, synopsis 50, long version). In both cases the references are meant as an extension of lists identifying and naming demonic powers, which the books attributed to Zoroastros and Solomon are supposed to supplement in more detail. Zoroastros and Solomon are quoted as authorities regarding the demonic world, supplying not theoretical, but practical knowledge, listing “the names and influences” of demons. The purpose is clear: knowledge of the “names and influences” of demons conveys power over them. It is therefore precisely this kind of knowledge that is provided by demonological handbooks such as the Testament of Solomon.11 A similar reference to handbook knowledge circulating under the name of Solomon is found in the famous Prologue to Zosimus’ Final quittance. 11 See Van der Vliet 1999. For lists and catalogues as characteristic of magic speech, see Gordon 1999; Kropp 2008, 167–168.

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Zosimus addresses his disciple, a certain Theosebeia. He instructs her how, by taking control of herself and suppressing her passions, she can summon the divine. To this effect, she is advised to offer sacrifices to the demons: But not offerings, nor those (sacrifices) that nourish and entice them, but rather the sacrifices that repel and destroy them, those which Membres dictated to Solomon, the king of Jerusalem, and especially those that Solomon himself wrote as the product of his own wisdom. So doing, you will attain the true and natural (tinctures) that are appropriate to certain times. Perform these things until you have reached perfection for your soul.12

Zosimus refers to ritual acts and recipes that are destined to “repel and destroy” the demons and that were attributed to Solomon, either “as the product of his own wisdom” or because they were transmitted to him by Membres. The latter is presumably the same as the famous magician Jambres, one of the two sorcerers of Pharaoh from Exod 7:11 and 22, who are still anonymous there, but named Jannes and Jambres in various early Jewish and Christian sources, among which 2 Tim 3:8 and the Testament of Solomon 25:4 (ed. McCown, p. 71*).13 Neither Jambres nor Jannes are ever directly associated with Solomon, which is after all chronologically unlikely, but it is easy to imagine that their magical expertise—and perhaps their occurrence in the Testament of Solomon—is the common denominator here. Solomon’s association with the city of Jerusalem (“king of Jerusalem”), rather than with its temple, is found again in the Coptic True testimony, discussed below. Just like the demons in On the origin of the world, Zosimus’ demons are associated with passions. And here as well the “wisdom” of Solomon is practical knowledge, geared at ritually overcoming these demonic passions. It merely clears the road towards the divine and the self ’s spiritual “perfection,” and is no wisdom as a spiritual aim in itself. Elsewhere, Zosimus gives the titles of two demonological treatises attributed to Solomon, the Book of the seven heavens and the Book of the seven vessels (discussed below). We lack sufficient information for identifying either of these with the Book of Solomon quoted in On the origin of the world, even though all these books appear to share a common subject matter, demonology. In any case, the Gnostic sources quoted till now are 12 Greek text apud Festugière 19502 (19441), 367, 24–368, 2; cf. Fowden 1986, 122–123, whose translation is followed here with minor adaptations, and Mertens 1995, lxv–lxvii. 13 For the traditions concerning Jannes and Jambres, see Pietersma 1994, who quotes our text on p. 32.


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primarily concerned with Solomon’s literary legacy and its prophetic and demonological qualities. They refer only obliquely, if at all, to Solomon as a historical or mythical figure. The texts that will be considered next take a somewhat different view. The Builder of Jerusalem The true testimony (also known as The testimony of truth, NH IX, 3) stands out among the Gnostic texts from Nag Hammadi as perhaps the most fiercely polemical.14 Regrettably, the single manuscript in which the text is preserved is much damaged. The author’s polemic is not only directed against the Old Testament and the biblical God as viewed by mainstream Christianity, which is not uncommon in Gnostic sources, but also specifically against fellow Gnostics. His anti-baptismal statements clearly indicate his position: baptism with water symbolizes the reign of sexual reproduction and carnal defilement that is also represented by the Law, the religion of the Old Testament. Real baptism consists in renouncing the world. In this polemical context, attacking the hypocrisy of fellow Christians, the author rather suddenly turns to the theme of idol worship: Some of them (scil. Christians who only pretend to renounce from the world) fall [into the worship] of idols; [others] have demons dwelling with them [as did] King David, who laid the foundations of Jerusalem, and his son Solomon, whom he begot in adultery, the one who built Jerusalem by means of the demons, as he had obtained [power]. When he had finished [building], he imprisoned the demons in the temple and [put them] into seven vessels. They remained there for a long time stored away within the vessels. When the Romans [had gone up] to Jerusalem, they uncovered the vessels and right away the demons fled out of the vessels as (fugitives) escaping from prison. And the vessels remained behind pure. And since those days they (scil. the demons) [dwell] with men who are living in ignorance and [they have remained] upon the earth. Who then is David? And who is Solomon? And what is the foundation? And what is the wall that surrounds Jerusalem? And who, furthermore, are the demons? And what are the vessels? And who are the Romans? These are mysteries [. . .] (NH IX, 3: 69, 32–70, 30).

14 For the nature of its polemics, see Koschorke 1978, 91–174; Pearson 1990, 188–193; editions of the text are available in Pearson (ed. 1981), 101–203 (S. Giversen and B.A. Pearson); Mahé and Mahé 1996.

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Mysteries indeed, for the upper part of the following page is almost entirely lost and the author’s questions remain unanswered. He apparently proposes an allegorical interpretation of the various agents of the story, but since the key to his interpretation is missing, the scope of the passage has been reconstructed variously.15 The following remarks are an attempt at clarifying the role of Solomon in the polemical argument of The true testimony. It is clear from the outset that, in this polemical context, David and Solomon are not authoritative prophets, as in the Pistis Sophia, but negative characters. They are associated with idolatry, adultery and, in particular, demons. Moreover, both father and (illegitimate) son are active as builders, David laying the foundations of Jerusalem, and Solomon doing the actual building. The description of their respective roles is reminiscent of Acts 7:46–47. Rather than specifically builders of the temple, however, David and Solomon are portrayed as the builders of the city of Jerusalem. In addition to the temple, “the foundations of Jerusalem” and “the wall that surrounds Jerusalem” are mentioned. Dealing with demons and building Jerusalem are clearly the two central themes in the negative picture of Solomon that is outlined by the text. In either case, the author of The true testimony was all but original. Solomon also appears as the builder of Jerusalem in other texts, in particular in the Testament of Solomon 1:7, whereas the passage from Zosimus that calls Solomon “the king of Jerusalem,” quoted above, may retain an echo of the same idea. That Solomon built Jerusalem (or its temple) with the help of demons is likewise well attested in various early Jewish and Christian sources, among them again the Testament of Solomon.16 The Testament of Solomon is also the best known authority for the motif of Solomon locking up the demons in vessels. Furthermore, the same motif is found in a passage from a treatise by Zosimus, preserved in an apparently rather garbled Syriac translation, and in several later Greek sources.17 In fact, the Testament of Solomon and the treatise by Zosimus offer the best point of departure for a plausible exegesis of the passage from The true testimony. The story as it is told in The true testimony has its closest parallel in the Testament of Solomon and there can be no doubt that some kind of 15 See e.g. Pearson 1980, 315–317; Mahé and Mahé 1996, 210–212. 16 See e.g. Pearson (ed. 1981), 192, note ad 70, 7–9; Hanig 1993, 117–118; Busch 2006, 101–102. 17 Magical: medieval exorcisms, quoted in Reitzenstein 1904, 295 (cf. Busch 2006, 209; Greenfield 1988, 262–264); literary: Ps.-Gregentius, Disputatio (CPG 7009), quoted by Torijano 2002, 114–115, n. 27.


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l­ iterary dependency between both sources must exist. The precise nature of this relationship is not important here, however, only the structural analogies and meaningful differences between what can actually be considered two versions of one story. In the first chapter of the Testament, Solomon is given his famous ring with the following words: Take, Solomon, son of David, the gift that was sent to you by the Lord, the highest God, Sabaoth, and you will lock up all the demons, both female and male, and with their help you will build Jerusalem (1:7; ed. McCown, p. 10*).

Towards the end of the book, the demons—unhappy with their treatment at the hands of Solomon—confront him with the following prophecy: This is then, King Solomon, what you do to us. But after a while your kingdom will collapse and this temple will be torn asunder and the whole of Jerusalem will be destroyed by a king of Persians, Medians and Chaldeans. And the equipment of the sanctuary that you are building will serve (foreign) gods. Together with these, also the vessels in which you lock us up will be broken by the hands of men and then, in full power, we will swarm out in all directions, and we will disperse over the world. And we will lead the whole of mankind astray, till the Son of God will be stretched onto wood. For not earlier did a king arise such as this one, who subjects us all and whose mother will not consort with a man (15:8–10; ed. McCown, p. 47*).18

As can be seen, the allegorical re-working of the material in The true testimony basically retains the structure of the story as its is told in the Testament. Both versions mention the empowerment of Solomon that allows him to use the demons’ assistance in building Jerusalem as well as their subsequent imprisonment in vessels, and, most importantly, both describe the demons’ release by a foreign power and the resulting spread of error among mankind. This negative effect is balanced by a positive development in both versions: the purification of the vessels in The true testimony and Jesus’ subjection of the demons in the Testament. Significant differences that can be observed are the chronology of the events and the number of seven vessels, which is stated in The true testimony, but not in the Testament. An explanation of the number seven is provided by another closely related text, the treatise from the Syriac Zosimus.19 18 Cf. Busch 2006, 201–210. 19 Edited and translated from a single manuscript in Cambridge by R. Duval in Berthelot (ed. 1893); cf. Mertens 1995, lxxiv–lxxvi. The relevant passage occupies ff. 87vo–88vo of the ms.; I follow Duval’s translation, in Berthelot, pp. 264–266, as it is quoted and studied in Torijano 2002, 180–183.

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Book Twelve of the Syriac Zosimus deals with the qualities of electrum and it is from this metal that Solomon’s vessels were made according to Zosimus. As in Zosimus’s other writings, Solomon appears here in an entirely favorable light, as an author of scholarly works and an expert in combating demons. The Syriac Zosimus quotes two books attributed to Solomon, one on “the seven heavens” and directed “against the demons,” and another one on “the seven vessels” and of similar purport. Only the second, according to Zosimus, is really by Solomon, whereas the first may derive from an unfinished original by Solomon, but was expanded and partly corrupted by others. Whatever doubts Zosimus may have entertained about their authenticity, it is clear from his account that both pseudo-Solomonic books share a similar interest and subject matter. They are about the seven vessels that Solomon used, in addition to other means, to subject the demons and that were kept in “the lower abyss of Jerusalem.” Their number, according to Zosimus, is chosen to correspond with the number of the planets and, therefore, appears to be expressive of their intrinsic relationship with “the seven heavens.” The number seven is absent in the Testament of Solomon and the later sources for the confinement of the demons in vessels, but it does occur in the account of The true testimony. We may infer that also in the latter source the number seven relates to “the seven heavens” and that a cosmological explanation applies to the Solomon passage in The true testimony.20 In Gnostic terms, the number of “seven vessels” would then refer to the seven-tiered domain of the archons, symbolized by the seven planetary spheres. Although Zosimus provides a valuable key to understanding the seven vessels and their symbolism, the Testament of Solomon offers a much closer literary parallel for The true testimony in most other respects, apart from chronology. Without substantially altering the structure of the story, The true testimony significantly shifts the moment of the release of the demons from Old Testament times, the Babylonian destruction of the temple, to New Testament times, “when the Romans [had gone up] to Jerusalem,” and the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and its temple, predicted by Jesus according to Matt 24 and parallels.21 From the radical Gnostic perspective of the author of The true testimony, Jerusalem—as well as David 20 Contrary to Mahé and Mahé 1996, 212, I do not believe that “the water vessels that are in Egypt” in On the origin of the world (NH II, 5: 122, 18–19) have anything to do with Solomon; for a discussion of these, see Tardieu 1974, 262–269. 21  Significantly, like The true testimony, these New Testament passages associate the destruction of the temple with the spread of error and the end of the (material) world.


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and Solomon themselves—must have represented the Law,22 just as “the seven heavens,” represented by the seven vessels inhabited by demons, must have represented the archontic world, ruled by the planetary powers. The allegorical reading of the story in The true testimony projects the simultaneous downfall of both onto the times of Jesus. The true testimony thereby retains the soteriological perspective of the Testament of Solomon, but broadens it to include the end of the Law, the edifice erected by Solomon and his father David. Chronologically and soteriologically, the purificatory release of the demons and the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple come to converge in the mission of Jesus, who was crucified under Roman rule and whose intervention in history marks the simultaneous end of both the Law and the reign of astral Fate.23 Henceforth, “the vessels remained behind pure,” which in a cosmological interpretation can only mean that the ascendancy of the cosmic powers was broken. The demons escaped and, evacuating the seven heavens, “remained upon the earth,” now dwelling “with men who are living in ignorance,” that is with the opponents of the author of The true testimony, who were said to commit idolatry and “have demons dwelling with them” in the beginning of the passage. Solomon’s dealings with demons were occasionally also seen as a flaw by other ancient authors, for example by Origen.24 The author of The true testimony takes a far more radical position, however. He offers an allegorical interpretation of the material found in the Testament of Solomon, in which he gives the story a definite cosmological twist. As the architects of an archontic world, symbolized by Jerusalem and the seven vessels, David and Solomon come to resemble another Gnostic father-son couple, which we met above in our discussion of On the origin of the world, Yaldabaoth and Sabaoth, both avatars of the demiurge of the Old Testament.25 That this interpretation neatly reflects the position of the author of The true testimony is shown by the very opening lines of the text, where he attacks those Christians who—in his opinion—remain under the influence of “the old leaven of the Pharisees and the scribes of the Law.” He then goes on to explain “the old leaven” as “the misleading lust (inspired) by the angels and the demons and the stars,” and “the Pharisees and the scribes” 22 See Mahé and Mahé 1996, 63–64. 23 For this latter theme and its reception in Gnostic sources, see van der Vliet 2005. 24 Hom. in Numeri VI, 3, 6 (ed. Baehrens / Doutreleau, Sources chrétiennes 415, 154–155). 25 I owe this idea to J.L. de Jong (see n. 1 above), but see already the excellent commentary in Mahé and Mahé 1996, 63–67. In The true testimony, “the powers of Sabaoth” are mentioned in 73, 29–30.

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as “the partisans of the archons under whose authority they fall” (NH IX, 3: 29, 11–21), explicitly associating the Law with the rule of astral Fate, “the demons and the stars.” The polemical objectives of the author of The true testimony turn Solomon into an emblematic figure of the demiurgic world, a world built like a prison that was only opened with the coming of Christ. A Laughingstock Other texts from the Nag Hammadi corpus reveal similar negative interpretations of the biblical figure of Solomon. A further instance is provided by the Second treatise of the great Seth (NH VII, 2, abbreviated Great Seth here).26 In addition to other striking examples of Christian Gnostic exegesis, this text comprises a long, litany-like harangue, attributed to Christ himself, that ridicules the main characters of the Old Testament, from Adam and the Three Patriarchs to David, Solomon and the Twelve Prophets, up to and including the biblical God himself (62, 27–64, 29). It has been suggested with a certain likelihood that this “litany” derives from the liturgy of some Gnostic group.27 Each of its stanzas is devoted to one or more biblical characters, and each follows a more or less similar layout, opening with the phrase: “a laughingstock was so-and-so.” All prophets and patriarchs summed up were “a laughingstock” because they were mere puppets of “the Seventh,” the archontic ruler of the seven-tiered phenomenal world, whose arrogance made him feel superior even to the transcendent God of the Gnostics. In the final phrase of each stanza, the Gnostic we-group that speaks here through the mouth of Christ asserts its independence vis-à-vis “the Seventh.” The passages on David and Solomon run as follows: A laughingstock was David, whose son was named “the Son of Man,” while he acted under the influence of the Seventh, as if he (scil. the Seventh) had become stronger than me and those of my race. But we are innocent with respect to him, as we did not sin. A laughingstock was Solomon, who thought that he was a Christ, since he had become arrogant through the Seventh, as if he had become stronger

26 Editions, with sometimes pertinent commentaries, are available in Painchaud 1982; Pearson (ed. 1996), 129–199 (G. Riley). 27 Painchaud 1982, 128–130.


jacques van der vliet than me and my brothers. But we are innocent with respect to him, as we did not sin28 (NH VII, 2: 63, 4–17).

As in The true testimony, Solomon appears to be quoted here in the first place as a prototypical representative not only of wrong religion, but of the hold of the material world over the spiritual, a hold which came to an end only with the coming of Christ. Yet the text offers more precise criticism. Solomon is blamed specifically for receiving the name of “Son of Man,” even if at first sight this error seems to be imputed to his father David, and pretending to be “a Christ.” Therefore, Solomon is not only deemed a laughingstock because he was an instrument of the chief archon. He is criticized in particular for his usurpation of messianic titles that were the exclusive prerogative of the Savior, the Son of the highest ineffable God (as is clearly apparent from other passages in the text, in particular 65, 18–19). In his arrogance he imitates the arrogance of the chief archon who claims that “I am God and none is greater than me” (64, 19–20). It has been suggested that Solomon’s disputed claim to the messianic status hints at early “Jewish-Christian contests over the relative merits of Solomon and Jesus.”29 Although these contests do not seem to be overtly voiced in the Gospels, it has been argued that they are reflected in passages such as Matt 12:42 / Luke 11:31 (“More than Solomon is here [scil. Jesus]”) and others that relate to Jesus’ qualities as a miraculous healer.30 The subject of the SolomonJesus rivalry, as reconstructed on the basis of these texts, may have been the title “Son of David.” If this holds true, the Great Seth episode might represent an echo of earlier polemics focused on the title “Son of David,” but here pitched onto a Gnostic key. For the title “Son of David,” which may have held little appeal for a Gnostic audience, the positively Christological terms “Son of Man” and “Christ” were substituted. This train of reasoning presupposes that the author of Great Seth had access to sources articulating a Solomon-Jesus rivalry that remains largely implicit in the Gospels and is moreover very hypothetical (Solomon is nowhere called “Son of David” in the canonical New Testament). A more likely context for Great Seth’s condemnation of Solomon’s Christological titles, and more precisely the substitution of the title “Son of Man” for the (historically correct) title “Son of David,” is to be found 28 Thus corrected; codex: I did not sin. 29 Klutz 2005, 91. 30 I am much indebted here to the chapter “Solomon the son of David” in Torijano 2002, 106–128, who also quotes the relevant literature; cf. Hanig 1993, 127–128.

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in the rise and spread of the mainstream Christian typology that turned Solomon into a precursor of Christ.31 Even if the qualification of Christ as a “true Solomon” is usually connected with Athanasius, its roots can easily be traced back to Origen.32 The Gnostic author’s juggling with messianic titles would then not be primarily about the historical or mythical Solomon himself nor about hypothetical debates that may have taken place in the life-time of Jesus, but about Solomon as an adumbration of Christ as he was conceived by contemporary fellow Christians. A Rapist Similar criticism underlies the unflattering representation of Solomon in the Apocalypse of Adam (NH V, 5).33 The Apocalypse of Adam presents itself as a spoken testament left by Adam to his son Seth and recounts from a Gnostic bias the adventures of the first human couple while at the same time prophesying in an apocalyptic form the future salvation of the Gnostics. Several students of the text have claimed its high antiquity, most likely under the influence of its veiled and mystifying language.34 Clearly dependent on the early-Christian Life of Adam and Eve in its opening parts, it is, once again, a very polemical text. It offers a vicious caricature of the Old Testament God and vehemently rejects baptism by water. The apocalyptic portions (from 76, 8 onwards) describe the arrival of “the Illuminator,” to be identified with Christ, whose power is superior to that of “the God of the powers,” the God of the Old Testament. His arrival creates confusion and error among the lower powers and their representatives, which in turn generate mistaken ideas about the identity of Christ. The Apocalypse of Adam enumerates these erroneous views of Christ in the form of thirteen divergent opinions about his origin. Each of these is assigned to a different “kingdom.” The kingdoms are not merely or even primarily conceived as historico-political units, as in other apocalyptic literature from Daniel onwards, but rather correspond on a cosmological level to the thirteen lower eons (often split up into twelve plus one) that 31  As was already suggested by Hanig 1993, 131–132, n. 106. 32 For the earliest history of the Solomon-Christ typology, see the rich references in Hanig 1993. Note that several other Christian authors, like Clement of Alexandria (Ecl. proph. 53, 3) or Hippolyt (Comm. Song of Songs), but also later ones, for various reasons opposed Solomon to Jesus. 33 Editions are available in Parrott (ed. 1979), 151–196 (G.W. MacRae); Morard 1985. 34 See e.g. Parrott 1989, 68: “a first century C.E. date would not be surprising;” even preChristian dates have been defended, most recently by Welburn 2008, 61–83.


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are found in various other Gnostic writings. Thus, according to the Gospel of the Egyptians, the saints (that is the true Gnostics) should “renounce the world and the god of the thirteen eons” (NH III, 2: 63, 17–18). The term “kingdoms” or “kingships” (the Coptic word carries both meanings) used to denounce these various erroneous opinions on Christ, not only gives the passage an apocalyptic ring, suggesting a succession in time, but is also expressive of an ontological distinction: the true Gnostics are called “the undominated race” and not therefore subject to any form of “kingship” or “kingdom” (82, 19–20).35 The passage about these kingdoms and their respective views of the Illuminator is also remarkable on account of its formal features. Like the passage on the Old Testament characters in Great Seth, it has a hymnlike structure with thirteen stanzas each of which follows a more or less identical pattern.36 Each stanza gives a different account of the miraculous origin of an Illuminator, who is endowed with glory and power and finally “comes to the water.” The latter statement is repeated at the end of each of these thirteen stanzas.37 It is certainly not a reminiscence of Ancient Egyptian creation myths, as was surmised by earlier scholars,38 but a reference to the rejected practice of baptism by water, a polemical theme also found in The true testimony, discussed above.39 In the end, these thirteen accounts, each introduced as an opinion (“the suchand-such kingdom says . . .”), are confronted with the opinion of the true Gnostics (“the undominated race says . . .,” 82, 19–21). Whereas the thirteen earlier accounts state that the Illuminator “came to the water,” and in one case supplies: “in order that the lust of those powers (scil. the inferior powers who rule the lower world) be satisfied,” the Gnostics are praised, since “they have not been corrupted by their lust (for intercourse) with the angels nor accomplished the works of the powers” (83, 15–19).40 The work then ends with an overt anti-baptismal polemic, accusing three of

35 See further Fallon 1979, 271–288. 36 The similarities with the Great Seth litany were already noted by Morard 1985, 103–105. 37 This phrase is frequently translated as “comes upon the water,” but the Coptic preposition used here, when followed by a complement denoting the sea, a river, a well or the like, normally means “at, beside, on the shore of,” which is the unmarked option here as well. 38 First by Parrott 1989. 39 Thus already Sevrin 1986, 145–181; cf. van der Vliet 1996, 362–364. 40 The terminology has heavy sexual overtones; baptism by water and sexual defilement are similarly associated in The true testimony, discussed above.

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the angels presiding over the Gnostic (spiritual) baptism to have “defiled the water of life” (84, 17–18).41 Solomon makes his appearance in the fourth stanza of the kingdoms hymn: [The fourth] kingdom says [about him, scil. the Illuminator] that he came forth from a virgin [lacuna]. [N.N.] searched for her, he and Phersalo and Sauel and his armies, which had been sent out. Also Solomon sent his army of demons to seek out the virgin. And they did not find the one whom they sought. Instead, they fetched the virgin who was given to them. Solomon took her. The virgin became pregnant and gave birth to the child at that place. She nourished him in a desert valley. When he had been nourished, he received glory and power from the seed from which he had been begotten, and thus he came to the water (NH V, 5: 78: 27–79: 19).

Regrettably this passage is disfigured by a lacuna of almost a full line, yet sufficient interesting features remain to be discussed.42 As in the preceding third stanza, the illuminator is born of a virgin mother, an idea that is thus clearly rejected by the author of the Apocalypse of Adam. Military operations are launched by a first person, whose name is lost,43 and then by Phersalo and Sauel, in order to find this virgin. It is unclear who Phersalo is, perhaps Achilles, as has been suggested,44 but Sauel is most likely Saul (Saoul), the first king of the Israelites.45 Whereas these commanded mortal soldiers, Solomon is in command of an army of demons, on account of his well known association with the demons, also exploited in The true testimony, discussed above. But even these are not infallible since they turn up the wrong virgin. Solomon then makes her pregnant; she bears a son, the Illuminator, and withdraws into the desert with the young child. The military operation in search of the proper virgin and the desert motif are reminiscent of Saul’s hunt for David (1 Sam 19ss.) or, perhaps more appropriately, Herod’s search for the young Jesus (Matt 2). Withdrawal into the desert is a stereotypical reaction to persecution in an apocalyptic context.46 41  Discussed, in partial disagreement with Sevrin 1986, by van der Vliet 1996, 379–382. 42 For a radically different interpretation of the “fourth kingdom” passage, see Welburn 2008, 137–159. 43 This cannot have been Solomon, as was proposed by some editors and translators: his name does not fit the traces in the lacuna (78, 30) and Solomon seems to be newly introduced in 79, 3–4. 44 He is called Pharsalos, perhaps after the well known city of Pharsalus in Thessaly, in Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis 812 (according to Morard 1985, 107). 45 For other suggestions, see Morard 1985, 107. 46 Cf. Apoc. 12 and Bousset 1895, 139–143.


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As for the depiction of Solomon, it must remain a moot point whether the fact that the fourth kingdom makes the Illuminator a son of Solomon could reflect an opposition Solomon—Christ similar to that in Great Seth, discussed above. More likely, the author of the Apocalypse of Adam merely wanted to stress that the Illuminator is not a descendant of Solomon (and David), as is implied in the genealogy of Matt 1, but—as the text has it—is “chosen by God from all the eons” (82:21–22). In any case, two traditional features can be observed in the author’s portrayal of Solomon: his power over the demons and his dubious dealings with women, which cause his downfall and the loss of his authority over the demons according to the final chapter of the Testament of Solomon and various other early Christian sources.47 His entire behavior, moreover, makes him a paragon of error, if not outright evil: he has armies of demons, but they procure the wrong virgin, his offspring is a pseudo-Christ only, and his actions evoke a Herod-like persecutor. It is true that this unflattering portrait of Solomon is attributed to “the fourth kingdom,” but its traditional features suggest that it was meant to provoke recognition among the author’s intended audience. Solomon as the father, or forefather, of the Illuminator is an unlikely character and this fact alone disqualifies the view of the fourth kingdom as well as, perhaps more importantly, the genealogy of Matt 1. Conclusions The various Gnostic sources from Egypt discussed briefly above do not present a uniform picture. In a first group of sources, which include the writings of Zosimus, Solomon appears mainly as a bibliographical reference. He is the author of authoritative prophetic texts (the Odes of Solomon) or demonological and magical treatises (the Book of Solomon, the Book of the seven heavens, the Book of the seven vessels, and the unnamed compositions to which Zosimus alludes). As an author, his inspiration derives from the Godhead itself, through the “luminous power” of Jesus (Pistis Sophia), Membres (who, in spite of the disturbing anachronism, may be the famous Jambres) or “his own wisdom,” that is knowledge of the demons (Zosimus). He is seen as a prophet and a sage, an expert in subduing demons. An altogether different picture emerges from a second group of three texts. Here Solomon’s literary output is less important than his contested 47 See Hanig 1993, 121; Busch 2006, 273–278.

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status as a historical or rather mythical figure of religious impact. It is true that in two of these texts he is also represented as an expert in handling demons, but rather than being a merit it makes him seem all the more evil. Remarkably, even though all three texts share a polemical view of Solomon that links him with the archontic rule of the world, each of them differs in its scope. Accusing fellow Christians of succumbing to the worship of idols and demons, The true testimony proposes an allegorical interpretation of Solomon as a master of demons, in which he becomes a symbol of the demiurge, the architect of a prison-like world ruled by the Law and the stars. In the Second treatise of the great Seth, Solomon might seem to be just one of the characters of a rejected Old Testament, here again associated with the reign of cosmic evil. Yet the emphatic use of inappropriate Messianic titles (the Son of Man, Christ) suggests that here the target of the author was more specifically the mainstream Christian view of Solomon as an adumbration of Christ. Finally, the Testament of Adam, which opposes various erroneous conceptions of the nature and origin of Christ (“the Illuminator”), is again sharply critical of the Old Testament and its conception of the divine. Yet it would seem that through the negative portrayal of Solomon mainly wrong ideas about the descendance of Christ, perhaps in particular the genealogy of Matt 1, were attacked. Even these three texts, therefore, which share a considerable number of similarities, such as the rejection of the Law, the identification of the Law and the rule of cosmic and astral evil, and the rejection of baptism by water, are not uniform in their treatment of the figure of Solomon. This is undoubtedly because, for each of the individual Gnostic authors, Solomon was merely an emblematic figure, not someone in whom they were much interested for himself. As an Old Testament figure, at once familiar and vilified, his place in these texts reflects the paradoxical attitude of many Gnostic authors towards the Old Testament itself. On the one hand it provides a useful mythic paradigm, on the other hand it is declared obsolete and at best “the old leaven of the Pharisees and the scribes of the Law.” Such a double attitude could only have been born within a Christian milieu, for even within mainstream Christianity the relationship between the New Testament and the Old is bipolar and dialectic, rather than monolithic and straightforward. What is more, in each of the three polemical texts, the polemics are not aimed at Judaism or the religion of Ancient Israel as such, but at fellow Christians and even fellow Gnostics.48 48 Cf. Luttikhuizen 1997, 100–101.


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This holds a fortiori for such inner-Christian discussions as are reflected in the Second treatise of the great Seth and the Apocalypse of Adam. In each case, the figure of Solomon is subordinated to the rhetorical and ritual strategies by which radical Gnostic groups seek to negotiate their place within the broader spectrum of late-antique Christianity. Finally, the paradoxical attitude of our Gnostic authors towards the Old Testament is also apparent in their sources. Both groups of texts, the bibliographical and the polemical one, are predominantly drawing upon non-biblical material. Solomon the king, as he is portrayed in the historical books of the Bible, is absent from the Gnostic texts, as is Solomon the author of the canonical sapiential works. Instead, he is the author of the Christian Odes of Solomon as well as a number of magical and demonological works, and a master of demons himself. The source material for the Gnostic picture of Solomon is much less the Bible itself than Christian or Christianized apocryphal and magical literature, of which the Testament of Solomon offers the best example. Bibliography Berthelot, M., La chimie au Moyen Âge, vol. II: L’alchimie syriaque, Paris 1893. Bousset, W., Der Antichrist in der Überlieferung des Judentums, des Neuen Testaments und der alten Kirche. Ein Beitrag zur Auslegung der Apocalypse, Göttingen 1895. Busch, P., Das Testament Salomos. Die älteste christliche Dämonologie, kommentiert und in deutscher Erstübersetzung (Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 153), Berlin and New York 2006. Fallon, F.T., 1979, ‘The Gnostics: The Undominated Race’, Novum Testamentum 21: 271–288. Festugière, A.-J., La révélation d’Hermès Trismégiste, vol. I: L’astrologie et les sciences occultes, Paris 19441, 19502. Fowden, G., The Egyptian Hermes: A Historical Approach to the Late Pagan Mind, Cambridge 1986. Giversen, S., ‘Solomon und die Dämonen’, in: M. Krause (ed.), Essays on the Nag Hammadi Texts in Honour of Alexander Böhlig (Nag Hammadi Studies 3), 16–21, Leiden 1972. Gordon, R., ‘ “What’s in a List?”: Listing in Greek and Graeco-Roman Malign Magical Texts’, in: D.R. Jordan et al. (eds.), The World of Ancient Magic (Papers from the Norwegian Institute at Athens 4), 239–277, Bergen 1999. Greenfield, R.P.H., Traditions of Belief in Late Byzantine Demonology, Amsterdam 1988. Hanig, R., 1993, ‘Christus als “wahrer Salomo” in der frühen Kirche’, Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 84: 111–134. King, K.L., What is Gnosticism?, Cambridge MA and London 2003. Klutz, T.E., Rewriting the Testament of Solomon. Tradition, Conflict and Identity in a Late Antique Pseudepigraphon (Library of Second Temple Studies 53), London and New York 2005. Koschorke, K., Die Polemik der Gnostiker gegen das kirchliche Christentum (Nag Hammadi Studies 12), Leiden 1978. Kropp, A., Magische Sprachverwendung in vulgärlateinischen Fluchtafeln (defixiones) (ScriptOralia 135 [Reihe A, 39]), Tübingen 2008.

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Lattke, M., Die Oden Salomos in ihrer Bedeutung für Neues Testament und Gnosis. Bd. I (Orbis biblicus et orientalis 25/1), Fribourg and Göttingen 1979. ——, 1979–1982, ‘The Gnostic Interpretation of the Odes of Solomon in the Pistis Sophia’, Bulletin de la Sociéte d’archéologie copte 24: 69–84; repr. in: Die Oden Salomos in ihrer Bedeutung für Neues Testament und Gnosis. Bd. IV (Orbis biblicus et orientalis 25/4), 1–15, Freiburg and Göttingen 1998. ——, ‘Titel, Überschriften und Unterschriften der sogenannten Oden und Psalmen Salomos’, in: H.G. Bethge et al. (eds.), For the Children Perfect Instruction: Studies in Honor of Hans-Martin Schenke (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 54), 439–447, Leiden and Boston MA 2002. Layton, B., ed. 1989, Nag Hammadi codex II, 2–7 (Nag Hammadi Studies 20–21), Leiden. ——, ‘Prolegomena to the Study of Ancient Gnosticism’, in: L.M. White and O.L. Yarbrough (eds.), The Social World of the First Christians: Essays in honor of Wayne A. Meeks, 334–350, Minneapolis MN 1995. Luttikhuizen, G.P. ‘The Thought Pattern of Gnostic Mythologizers and Their Use of Biblical Traditions’, in: J.D. Turner and A. McGuire (eds.), The Nag Hammadi Library after Fifty Years: Proceedings of the 1995 Society of Biblical Literature Commemoration (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 44), 89–101, Leiden 1997. Mahé, A. and J.-P. Mahé, Le Témoignage véritable (NH IX, 3): Gnose et martyre (Bibliothèque copte de Nag Hammadi. Textes 23), Québec and Louvain 1996. McCown, C.C., The Testament of Solomon (Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 9), Leipzig 1922. Mertens, M., Les alchimistes grecs, vol. IV, 1re partie: Zosime de Panopolis, Mémoires authentiques (Collection Budé), Paris 1995. ——, ‘Alchemy, Hermetism and Gnosticism at Panopolis c. 300 a.d.: The Evidence of Zosimus’, in: A. Egberts, B.P. Muhs, J. van der Vliet (eds.), Perspectives on Panopolis: An Egyptian Town from Alexander the Great to the Arab Conquest (Papyrologica Lugduno-Batava 31), 165–175, Leiden 2002. Morard, F., L’Apocalypse d’Adam (NH V, 5) (Bibliothèque copte de Nag Hammadi. Textes 15), Québec 1985. Painchaud, L., Le Deuxième traité du grand Seth (NH VII, 2) (Bibliothèque copte de Nag Hammadi. Textes 6), Québec 1982. Parrott, D.M., ed. 1979, Nag Hammadi codices V, 2–5 and VI with Papyrus Berolinensis 8502, 1 and 4 (Nag Hammadi Studies 11), Leiden. ——, 1989, ‘The 13 Kingdoms of the Apocalypse of Adam: Origin, Meaning and Significance’, Novum Testamentum 31: 67–87. Pearson, B.A., 1980, ‘Gnostic Interpretation of the Old Testament in the Testimony of Truth (NHC IX, 3), Harvard Theological Review 73: 311–317. ——, ed. 1981, Nag Hammadi codices IX and X (Nag Hammadi Studies 15), Leiden. ——, ‘Anti-Heretical Warnings in Codex IX from Nag Hammadi’, in: Gnosticism, Judaism, and Egyptian Christianity (Studies in Antiquity and Christianity), 183–193, Minneapolis MN 1990. ——, ed. 1996, Nag Hammadi codex VII (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 30), Leiden. Pietersma, A., The Apocryphon of Jannes and Jambres the Magicians (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World 119), Leiden 1994. Reitzenstein, R., Poimandres: Studien zur griechisch-ägyptischen und frühchristlichen Lite­ ratur, Leipzig 1904. Schmidt, C., Pistis Sophia (Coptica II), Copenhagen 1925. Schmidt, C. and V. MacDermot, Pistis Sophia (Nag Hammadi Studies 9), Leiden 1978. Sevrin, J.-M., Le dossier baptismal séthien: études sur la sacramentaire gnostique (Bibliothèque copte de Nag Hammadi. Études 2), Québec 1986. Tardieu, M., Trois mythes gnostiques: Adam, Éros et les animaux d’Égypte dans un écrit de Nag Hammadi (II, 5), Paris 1974.


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Tardieu, M. and J.-D. Dubois, Introduction à la littérature gnostique, vol. I (Initiations au christianisme ancien), Paris 1986. Torijano, P.A., Solomon, the Esoteric King. From King to Magus, Development of a Tradition (Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 73), Leiden 2002. Van der Vliet, J., L’image du mal en Égypte: Démonologie et cosmogonie d’après les textes gnostiques coptes, Ph.D.-diss. Leiden University 1996. ——, ‘The Coptic Gnostic Texts as Christian Apocryphal Literature’, in: S. Emmel et al. (eds.), Ägypten und Nubien in spätantiker und christlicher Zeit: Akten des 6. Internatio­ nalen Koptologenkongresses, Münster (Sprachen und Kulturen des christlichen Orients 6), vol. 2: 553–562, Wiesbaden 1999. ——, ‘Fate, Magic and Astrology in Pistis Sophia, Chaps 15–21’, in: A. Hilhorst and G.H. van Kooten (eds.), The Wisdom of Egypt: Jewish, Early Christian, and Gnostic essays in honour of Gerard P. Luttikhuizen (Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity 59), 519–536, Leiden and Boston MA 2005. Waldstein, M. and F. Wisse, The Apocryphon of John: Synopsis of Nag Hammadi Codices II, 1, III, 1, and IV, 1 with BG 8502, 2 (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 33), Leiden 1995. Welburn, A.J., From a Virgin Womb: The Apocalypse of Adam and the Virgin Birth (Biblical Interpretation Series, 91), Leiden and Boston 2008. Williams, M.A., Rethinking ‘Gnosticism’: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category, Princeton NJ 1996.

Solomon in Ethiopian Tradition Witold Witakowski and Ewa Balicka-Witakowska The figure of Solomon (Eth. Sälomon) plays an important role in the tradition of the Abyssinians, that is, those inhabitanits of Ethiopia who have been bearers of the traditional political, cultural, as well as religious identity of the Ethiopian politeia. This means that the named tradition can be traced among the Christian Ethiopians, the speakers of Ethio-Semitic languages of what is today northwestern Ethiopia, mainly the Amharas and the Tigreans (the latter living today in both Ethiopia and Eritrea). The traditional literature of these peoples was written in Geʿez, known as the Classical Ethiopic language, the “Latin of Ethiopia,” a language that ceased to be spoken some time between the 7th and the 10th century c.e., but which was used as the literary language through to the 19th century, and serves as the liturgical language of the Ethiopian (and Eritrean) Orthodox Church(es), to this day. Ethiopia always maintained contact with the Mediterranean world in the pre-Christian as well as Christian epochs, notwithstanding its political isolation from that world following the Muslim conquests of Egypt and Nubia. Particularly important were the contacts with Christian Egypt, with which Ethiopia, for most of its history as a Christian country, had ecclesiastical bonds being a province of the Coptic (Miaphysite) Patriarchate of Alexandria. Other bonds in the pre-Christian epoch—still not sufficiently researched— were with Ancient Israel, as the Judaic elements in the official and nonofficial religious life of Ethiopia testify. These elements stem from the Judaic substrate that was established in the country when, before the arrival of Christianity, Jews, not very numerous, migrated from Palestine via South Arabia. Some scholars are unconvinced about the provenance of these elements, and believe that they are due rather to the internal religious-cultural development of Ethiopian Christianity leading to the patterning of the religious life of both church and people on the Old Testament and traditions emanating from it.1 The authors of the present text 1 The positions in this controversy were most clearly formulated by two scholars: Ullendorff 1973, chapter 5, and Rodinson 1964.


witold witakowski and ewa balicka-witakowska

accept the first hypothesis,2 based on our improved understanding of the early history of the Jewish presence and influence on the eastern side of the Red Sea, roughly in what is today Yemen, where Jews lived from the early centuries a.d., if not earlier, until the 1950s. In fact, the role of Solomon in the imagination of Ethiopians can be regarded as an indicator of the traces that Jewish influences left in the country, notwithstanding the subsequent acceptance of Christianity. The most important appearance Solomon makes in Ethiopic literature is in the work that has acquired a role of the Ethiopian national epos, The Glory of the Kings (Kǝbrä nägäśt, ክብረ፡ ነገሥት፡).3 Here Solomon emerges as the protoplast of the dynasty that for seven centuries reigned in Ethiopia, through his being the father of Menelik (Mǝnǝlik), the legendary founder of the dynasty. The Glory has a complicated literary structure and consists of several parts, but the most central of them is the narrative that has its starting point in 1 Kgs 10:1–13 (paralleled by 2 Chr 9:1–12), where the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon’s court in Jerusalem is narrated. In the epos, she is first called the Queen of the South, but later her proper name, Makeda (Makǝdda), is introduced. Having heard from Tamrin, a merchant, about King Solomon’s wisdom, she decided to meet him and set out on a trip to Jerusalem. Once in the city, she had a series of conversations with Solomon and eventually was invited by him to share a meal and to stay overnight. She agreed only if Solomon would promise not to touch her, to which he agreed, on condition that she would not take anything that belonged to him. The king cunningly ordered a spicy dinner and when Makeda got up in the night to drink water he seized her, and, as a result, she fell pregnant. She returned to her country where she gave birth to Solomon’s son, Menelik. When he grew up, she sent him to Jerusalem to his father, who recognized him because of his resemblance to his father, with additional proof provided by the ring he had with him that his mother had received from Solomon. After some time, the king sent his son back to Ethiopia, having given orders that the firstborn sons of Judaean aristocracy (Menelik was Solomon’s first born, too) would join him on his return trip to his country and stay there. Menelik and his retinue, however, in an understanding reached with Azariah, the son of Archpriest Zadok, stole the Ark of the Covenant from the Jerusalem Temple and in this way it reached Ethiopia. It is believed to be preserved to this day in the Cathedral of Zion in the city of Aksum. 2 For the opposite view, see Gamst 2007. 3 The edition was provided by Bezold 1905.

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The Glory of the Kings was composed in the 13th century, but its sources are certainly older. It is the work of one Isaac (Yǝsḥaq), archpriest (nǝburä ʾǝd—“the one on whom the hand was imposed,” a religious and civil chief of Aksum), and was written between 1314 and 1322, during the reign of Amdä Seyon (ʿAmdä Ṣǝyon, 1313–1344). As if it were ordered by the king, it was used for the glorification of his dynasty,4 and thus gave rise to a political myth that the dynasty had ruled Ethiopia in ancient times, that is, allegedly from the reign of Solomon’s son, Menelik, including the Aksum epoch, but that “usurpers” had subsequently seized power. The “usurpers,” the Zagwes, were of Agäw (that is, Cushitic) origin and ruled Ethiopia for some 250 years. However, with the accession of Yekunno Amlak (Yǝkunno Amlak) in 1270, the grandfather of Amdä Seyon, the old “legitimite” dynasty regained the throne. Thereafter, the dynasty ruled the country until the revolution of 1974, when its last scion, Emperor Haile Sellassie (Ḫaylä Śǝllase) was deposed and the monarchy abolished. However, over the 700 years or so of the dynasty’s rule, the legend noted above became part of the national tradition of Ethiopia, rooted deeply in the Ethiopians’ consciousness. Indeed, it practically became official doctrine of the state, to the extent that the Constitution of Ethiopia of 1955, art. 2, proclaimed that: “Imperial dignity shall remain perpetually attached to the line of Haile Sellassie I, descendant of King Sahle Sellassie (Śahlä Śǝllase), whose line descends without interruption from the dynasty of Menelik I, son of Queen of Ethiopia, the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon of Jerusalem.”5 The Queen of Sheba’s becoming the Queen of Ethiopia is the result of the erroneous identification of the “Queen of the South,” under which name the Queen of Sheba appears in the New Testament (Mt 12:42, Lk 11:31), with “Candace, queen of the Ethiopians” (Acts 8:27). “Candace” or kandake was the title of the queens of Meroe, but was taken in the New Testament as a proper name. The Greek term Aithiopia had a different meaning in Antiquity from what it has today: it was indiscriminately applied to a vast area south of Egypt, that included Nubia, what is today Ethiopia, and sometimes even South Arabia and southwestern India. Nevertheless, the Ethiopians came to understand the name found in Acts 8:27 as referring specificly to their country. 4 The possibility that it was initially composed for the benefit of the ruling local dynasty of Enderta, a region in northern Ethiopia, south-eastern Tegray, and only subsequently taken over by Amdä Seyon (Marrassini 2007, 366), does not change the national function of the epos. 5 Ullendorff 1974, 105.


witold witakowski and ewa balicka-witakowska

The literary motif of the Queen of Sheba in the Glory was relatively well known all over the Near East and the north-east African area.6 Several legends connected with her, Jewish, Christian and Muslim, circulated, of which at least the version provided by the Targum Sheni to Esther7 should be named. Many details present in the Glory can be found in that version (including the motif of seduction) but also in other texts, Jewish (Alphabeth of Ben Sira), and Muslim, including the Koran (sura 27, 15–45).8 But the main story in The Glory of the Kings, that Solomon and the Queen of Sheba were the parents of Menelik, the first king of Ethiopia, is the invention of the Ethiopian author. Also, instead of presenting the Queen as trying to hide the handicap (in the Targum her feet were reported to be hairy) that Solomon tricked her into revealing, thus puting her in an awkward position, here she is “promoted” to a person more equal to Solomon. This move may have been prompted by the Ethiopic translation of the Old Testament: in 1 Kgs 10:1, she is said to approach Solomon “with wisdom,” instead of “with riddles,” as in the Septuagint, from which the Ethiopic Bible translation was made. Consequently, it appears that she was treated almost as equal in wisdom to Solomon who was widely known as the wise king par excellence. Even Menelik’s other name used in the Glory, Ibn alHakim9—“the son of the Wise” (in Arabic), testifies to that. But the sheer fact that the legend such as the Glory of the Kings was composed shows also the apparently unprecedented10 ambition by at least some Ethiopians to draw the pedigree of the ruling dynasty back to ancient Israel. In this way, nǝburä ʾǝd Yǝsḥaq proved that “Ethiopia was the lawful successor and heir of Israel as the chosen people of God.”11 This was more than a propaganda pamphlet written to bring greater splendour upon the new dynasty: drawing Ethiopia’s pedigree back to ancient Israel reveals a wish to show the Ethiopians as a verus Israel (notwithstanding the Christian connotation of the term), who were, moreover, the custodians of the true Ark. The visit of the Queen of the South to Solomon also had religious consequences: having learnt about Solomon’s god she abandoned her pagan  6 Ullendorff 1968, 131–145.   7 Of uncertain date, estimated to be written between the 4th and 11th century.   8 The sources of the Glory of the King were analysed by David Hubbard in his doctoral thesis presented to St. Andrews Univeristy in 1956. The work remains unpublished.   9 Garbled in Ethiopic to: Bayna-Lǝḥkǝm (በይነ፡ ልሕክም፡), but at least one ms. has preserved the form which is closer to the Arabic: ʿIbna ʾǝlḥakǝm (ዒብነ፡ እልሐክም፡). 10 Gamst 2007, 305, writes that this was not unusual “among the Christians elsewhere.” He does not, however, provide any other example. 11  Ullendorff 1974, 108.

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beliefs (in the sun, trees, idols, etc.) and converted to the faith of the God of Israel (chapter 28). Furthermore, Menelik, when in Jerusalem, learned the tenets of Israel’s religion before returning to Ethiopia. He was also anointed the king of his country by Zadok, the Israelite priest (ch. 39). Eventually, the people of Ethiopia also converted to the religion of Israel. This can be seen as a fulfillment of Solomon’s dream in which he saw the sun leaving Israel, but shining instead over Ethiopia (ch. 30). There is yet another aspect of the relationship between Solomon and the “Queen of Ethiopia,” which Edward Ullendorff drew attention to. In some modern popular paintings (see below), copied in Ethiopia even today, which depict the story of Solomon and Makeda, Solomon is represented in profile, the pose used to portray evil people, whereas the Queen is always en face, that is, in the position reserved for positive figures.12 This reversal of the ethical attributes of the two main figures of the story is the more surprising as Solomon is otherwise treated as the wise man, and, in the context of magic, the protector against demons. Over time the Glory has become a repository of national and religious feelings, and is not only a literary work. In addition to providing an impressive pedigree for the “Solomonid” dynasty, the royal manuscript copy of the epos seems to have become a national palladium or a talisman, without which it was not possible to rule the country. This can be seen in the famous letter that Emperor John IV (Yoḥannǝs) sent to Queen Victoria. During the British invasion of Ethiopia in 1867–68, and the siege of Mäqdäla, Emperor Tewodros’s fortress that was eventually captured, the emperor committed suicide, whereas his library was confiscated. Most of the collection was brought to Britain and deposited in the British Museum. The new Ethiopian emperor John IV (1872–89), Tewodros’s successor, found himself in a delicate position, since he was deprived of one of the Ethiopian imperial attributes, the palladium of both the Solomonid dynasty as well as of the state. Apparently its physical presence at the court as an attribute of imperial power was so important that John wrote a letter to Queen Victoria and the Earl of Granville, the British Foreign Secretary, asking them to return the manuscript of Tewodros13 (already entered into the British Museum acquisition list as Ms. Oriental 819).14 The Trustees of the museum complied and the manuscript was sent back to Ethiopia in 1872. 12 Ullendorff 1974, 111; Staude 1954. 13 Ullendorff 1968, 74–75. 14 Wright 1877, 297, footnote.


witold witakowski and ewa balicka-witakowska

However, the Glory of the Kings is not the only Ethiopic composition in which Solomon appears. In the other texts, his character depends very much on his fame as a wise man or philosopher. At the beginning of the 16th century (between 1510 and 1522) a collection of aphorisms found its way into Ethiopic literature after being translated from Arabic, but with roots, most probably, in Hellenistic gnomology. It is entitled The Book of the Wise Philosophers (Mäṣḥafä fälasfa ṭäbiban; መጽሐፈ፡ ፈላስፋ፡ ጠቢባን፡).15 The collection contains sayings or aphorisms of mostly Greek philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle (the original part), but also of Biblical figures (including King David), Persian figures (Chosroes), as well as the Church Fathers (the latter seem to be later additions, from the 19th/20th centuries).16 Consequently, it is no surprise that sayings also attributed to Solomon can be found in the collection.17 The fame of Solomon as the wise man or wise philosopher, seems also to be the source of the role he plays in Ethiopian magic. This is not an Ethiopian invention but is yet another cultural phenomenon attesting to the contacts with the eastern Mediterranean world. This role developed on the basis of the biblical passage in 1 Kgs 4:30, according to which his wisdom “was greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.” In the Hellenistic epoch, Solomon’s fame as a major magician was established first among the Jews, but over time also among other peoples. One account can be found in the Jewish Antiquities by Josephus Flavius, in which he writes that Solomon received from God the power of defeating demons in order to heal people.18 He also composed charms that people could make use of to expel the demons for good ( JA 8.2; 5.44–49). We cannot trace here the ways by which Hellenistic magic reached Ethiopia and, along with it, magical prayers attributed to or connected with Solomon. An important role was certainly played by the Greek composition entitled the Testament of Solomon, although a thorough analysis of the influences of the named text has not been provided so far. One thing is, however, certain: Solomon has become an important figure in Ethiopic magic. Already in the Glory of the Kings, it is said that Solomon “made the demons serve him by his wisdom.”19 It is, however, difficult to say how 15 Cornill (ed. 1875); Sumner 1974. 16 Pietruschka 2002 and 2005. 17 Guidi 1932, 82. 18 Rodinson 1992, 133. 19 Ed. Bezold 1905, 18a, 9. Budge’s translation “and he forced the devils to obey him by his wisdom.”

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old other magical texts that involve Solomon are, but there is no questions about their popularity in Ethiopia. Stefan Strelcyn in his study of Ethiopic magic20 provides a classification of the magical texts and in his first group, which contains magico-religious texts, there are several items attributed to Solomon.21 These may be further divided into two groups, the so-called “names” (ʾasmat, አስማት፡) and the prayers (ṣälotat, ጸሎታት፡). Within the first group Strelcyn lists the following examples: 1. The names that God gave Solomon (to be placed) on the rings of his fingers and of his hands, thanks to which the demons obey him (አስማት፡ ዘወሀቦ፡

እግዚአብሔር፡ ለሰሎሞን፡ በሕልቀተ፡ አጻብኢሁ፡ ወእዳዊሁ፡ በዘይትአዘዙ፡ ሎቱ፡ አጋንንት፡);

2. By these names, Solomon saved himself from the hands of the smiths (በዝንቱ፡ አስማት፡ ድኅነ፡ ሰሎሞን፡ እምእዴሆሙ፡ ለነሀብት፡); 3. The names by which Solomon summoned the magicians, all the evil demons and healers, made them take an oath and anathematized them (አስማት፡ በእንተ፡ ዘጸውዖሙ፡ ሰሎሞን፡ ለመሠርያን፡ ወለኵሎሙ፡ አጋንንት፡ ርኩሳን፡ ወለዓቃብያነ፡ ሥራይ፡ በዘአምሐሎሙ፡ ወአውጋዞሙ፡); The ʾasmāt were usually written on scrolls and worn either around the neck or waist. They contain names of maladies and/or the demons causing them, but also the names of divine figures based on words of Hebrew, Greek and Arabic origin, or created in Ethiopia with elements borrowed from these languages.22 An example of a magical prayer is: 4. The prayer against all the (evil) eyes and the eyes of all the evil people that Solomon uttered (ጸሎት፡ በእንት፡ ኵሎን፡ ዓይነት፡ ወዓይነ፡ ኵሎን፡ እኩያት፡ ዘይቤ፡ ሰሎሞን፡).23 In addition to the magical “names” and prayers, there are also two larger texts connected specifically with Solomon. These are The Net of Solomon and The Mirror of Solomon. The Net of Solomon (መርበብተ፡ ሰሎሞን፡),24 is the short title of a text whose title in full is: The Prayer concerning the net of Solomon that God gave him, 20 Strelcyn 1960. 21  Ibid., 150; cf. too Kaplan 2010. 22 Chernetsov 2003, 381. 23 Strelcyn 1960, 150. 24 Euringer 1928 and 1929.


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(and) that he stretched (to catch) demons as a net for the fish of the sea (ጸሎት፡ በእንተ፡ መርበብተ፡ ሰሎሞን፡ ዘወሀቦ፡ እግዚአብሔር፡ ዘረበቦሙ፡ ለአጋንንት፡ ከመ፡ መርበብተ፡ ዓሣ፡ ዘባሕር፡). As was the case with the magical texts mentioned above, it is also usually written on a scroll25 to be hung on a string and worn about one’s neck or waist. The Net consists of eight (in the version published by Euringer) incantation units (lit. prayers) in which the magical words uttered by Solomon break the power of demons and cure the illnesses caused by them. The spells are framed by a story in which Solomon is told to be captured by demons and brought to their king. The king tells him of many evil actions by demons against various persons, including priests, monks, widows and virgins, whereupon Solomon utters the magical words and thus annihilates the power of the demons and their king. However, according to Sevir Chernetsov, the framing story is longer, but no single manuscript (scroll) contains the whole story.26 This is because the set of charms is always adapted to the needs of the person who orders them. Moreover, the magical texts are generally written not to be read by the owners (who are very often illiterate), but only to be worn by them. A version of the other magical Solomonic text, The Mirror of Solomon (መጽሔተ፡ ሰሎሞን፡) was published by Sebastian Euringer,27 but a further version was published (in facsimile), translated and studied by Oscar ­Löfgren.28 The results of the latter’s research show that the Mirror is made up of several (variabale ?) sections, each built according to the same pattern. The sections most often begin with the formula: “Solomon said to the demon, whose name was . . .” (ይቤ፡ ሰሎሞን፡ ለጋኔን፡ ለዘስሙ፡ . . .), whereupon names of the various demons follow with a short characterization of each of them. In the subsequent sections of the charm units Solomon asks them how they harm, injure, make sick or kill men. The demons answer the question, whereafter a therapeutic part is provided that is uttered by Saint Victor (Eth. Fiqṭor, ፊቅጦር፡). He names various substances, mineral or botanical (often unidentifiable), as well as special actions by the patient (including sexual abstinence for a period) that are supposed to help against the harm that the demon questioned by Solomon has just 25 This is by far the most often met carrier of the text. On the other hand the so-called däbtära, who function as educated copyists, have their own books (codexes), in which various magical texts are put down, and from which they copy the text ordered by their customers for their specific needs. 26 Chernetsov 1974, 18. 27 Euringer 1937. 28 Löfgren 1972.

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described. Then follows the final part which is supposed to drive the demon away from the patient. The words of expulsion in this part are pronounced by yet another figure, Archangel Michael. The Mirror can be written or copied as an ordinary text in manuscripts (codexes), and can include several sections: the example published by Löfgren has 25 sections. But, of course, there are items, such as the one published by Euringer,29 that are single, having been copied on specific instructions for a given patient, in accordance with his personal needs. Euringer’s item (from Jerusalem, early 20th century) is written in circles in concentric lines, starting from the centre and developed by copying each successive line around the preceding line. The text of the Mirror may be furnished with magical drawings. There is yet another magical prayer connected with Solomon, that which has its power “by the virtue of King Solomon’s seal” (በማኅተመ፡ ንጉሠ፡ ሰሎሞን፡).30 Another magical device connected with Solomon is his ring. It is referred to in a prayer against the evil eye of the demons barya and legewon, who can be deprived of their power by the virtue of the secret ʾasmāt/ words contained in Solomon’s ring; “. . . the prayer concerning the (evil) eye of Barya and Legewon; and the ring of Solomon was between his fingers . . . and its inscription reads Čača⁠ʾel (7 times) . . .” (ጸሎት፡ በእንተ፡ አይነ፡ ባርያ፡ ወሌጌዎን፡ ወሀለወት፡ ህልቀቱ፡ ለሰሎሞን᎓ በማዕከለ፡ አፃቢሁ፡31 . . . ወጽሕፈት፡ ከመዝ፡ ይብል፡ ጫጫኤል፡ . . .). This prayer is preserved, inter alia, in a 19th century scroll in the Wellcome Institute, London. The magical square containing the name of Solomon should also be named. It consist of 16 (4 × 4) small squares containing the letters in the name of Solomon (ሰ፡ ሎ፡ ሞ፡ ን), which, together with other nonsensical words, make up a square of the Sator-Arepo type, the widely known Latin palindrome.32 There is a living tradition in the country regarding the so-called caractères à lunettes (glasses characters). These are the small looped characters resembling glasses that are added to the end of each line. In fact, the custom comes from the ancient Hermetists, but it spread into the magic texts of all Near Eastern peoples and can be found in Hebrew, 29 See above, n. 27. 30 Strelcyn 1972, 40 (no. 31). 31  For AcbOh. 32 Löfgren 1962, 117.


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Coptic, Byzantine and Arabic magic texts, as well as in Ethiopic. In the latter such letters are quite frequent, and are interpreted as the script for the language of the demons that Solomon knew,33 or as their cries they utter when they are summoned by Solomon. The name “Solomon” (Eth. Sälomon) itself serves as a magical word (ʾasmat), as in the case of a prayer against the evil eye to be repeated seven times,34 or in a magical scroll translated by W.H. Worrell, which he dated to the 17th–18th century.35 It has to be mentioned, however, that “Sälomon” is also the name of a malicious demon, a zar.36 The oldest depictions of Solomon in Ethiopian art appear in the Psalters dating to the mid- and to second half of the 15th century. The full-page miniatures introduce the text of the Song of Songs, which in Ethiopian Psalter manuscripts customarily follows the psalms. Two types of representations were used for these frontispieces. On one, the king sitting on the throne is accompanied by a courtier carrying the royal insignia—a ceremonial whisk and an umbrella. Solomon either holds a sword (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, d’Abbadie 105, fol. 121v)37 or is drawing it from its scabbard (Paris, private collection, fol. 129v)38—an allusion to his famous judgement (1 Kgs 3:26). The other type illustrates this event. In the Psalter from the monastery of Däbrä Wärq in Goǧǧam, the king holding a sceptre sits on the throne, his feet resting on a cushion. In front of him stand two women with a child between them, and below stand the people, who, according to an inscription, are praising his wisdom39 (fig. 1). The miniature in the manuscript Gəbrä Ḥəmamat (the Ritual for Passion Week) fol. 210v, in the monastery of Märʾawi Krəstos, Šire, also from the end of the 15th century, connects both types. It shows Solomon pulling the sword from its scabbard and assisted by an insignia bearer, while below him stand two women holding a child and a soldier with an unsheathed sword

33 Mercier 1997, 51. 34 Griaule 1930, 13–14. 35 Worrell 1910, 84. 36 Strelcyn 1955, 427b. 37 Balicka-Witakowska 1983, 23 fig. 29. 38 Balicka-Witakowska 1984–86, 24, fig. 5. 39 The manuscript, badly damaged by dump and fire was never published; for some of its miniatures cf. Mäzgäbä Se’elat—Treasury of Ethiopian Images, http://ethiopia.deeds username: student; password: student: EBW-0001.001.001-015 and EBW-001. 002.001–014.

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Fig. 1. Judgement of Solomon; Psalter, Däbrä Wärq monastery, folio unknown; 15th c. (courtesy of Paul Henze).


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ready to cut it in two.40 In most of these representations, the king has a halo, which emphasizes his special position as an equal of the saints. At the end of the 15th century and through the 16th century, when the less popular narrative scenes gave way to long galleries of holy figures grouped according to a different principle, Solomon is coupled with his father David. They can be represented side by side, as for instance in the Gospel Book from the monastery of Gundä Gunde famous for its painting workshop. The kings who appear in the larger group of prophets are distinguished by their common attributes: David holds the stringed bägäna instrument and Solomon a sceptre (fig. 2).41 Another variant shows the kings facing each other—the iconographical scheme suggesting that the persons are engaged in a conversation. This mean of expression was used, for instance, on the painted liturgical fan kept in the church of Däbrä Sälam, Tigre. The kings who belong here to a mixed group of Old and New Testament figures are devoid of all royal attributes. Decorated with haloes, like all other saints and each holding a cross, they would not be distinguishable if it were not for their names inscribed on the books they present.42 The “dialogue scheme” was also used for the 16th century wall painting in the church of Yädəbbä Maryam.43 David and Solomon sit facing one another, this time not on thrones or chairs but on the decorative seats. David is playing the kərar, another Ethiopian stringed instrument, while Solomon holds a sword. The difference in generation between them is marked in their hair: white for David, black for Solomon. Two schematically rendered buildings in the background remind viewers of the involvement of the two kings in the construction of Jerusalem’s temple. With the style of painting known as the First Gondarene School, which flourished some hundred years after the mid-17th century, the figure of Solomon was incorporated as part of the programme of wall paintings designed to decorate the external walls of church sanctuaries. He is included in a group of Israel’s kings depicted on the eastern wall. All his royal attributes—a crown, a sword in its scabbard, here covered by his coat, an umbrella and a ceremonial whisk carried by two attendants 40 Grierson 1993, nr. 89. 41  Cf. similar representations also belonging to the same painting school in the Gospels kept in the churches Täklä Haymanot Guya, Tämben and Maryam Sawné, Asbidära, Mäzgäbä Se’elat (n. 39) MG-2002.051:011 and MG-2004.079:025. 42 Balicka-Witakowska 2004, 28; Mäzgäbä Se’elat (n. 39): MG-2000.082:019-020 and 086:012–013. 43 Raunig 2005, 187f., fig. 152.

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Fig. 2. Solomon and David among the prophets; Gospels, Gundä Gunde monastery, fol. 4r; 15/16th c. (courtesy of Michael Gervers).


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f­ lanking his throne—are the same as for the other kings. Again, he can be identified only by the name written above his depiction. Not many examples of these paintings are still preserved, but at least two can be mentioned: in the Däbrä Sina church near Gorgora (fig. 3) and in Qoma Fasilädäs church, South Gondär.44 This type of representation was limited to the First Gondarene School and disappeared in the middle of the 18th century when the programme of church decoration changed. In the late 19th century, some churches decorated with murals added some rarely depicted biblical stories to the standardized repertoire. In this context, we find two episodes from Solomon’s life in the first ambulatory of the Däbrä Marqos church in Goǧǧam, both illustrating the event epitomizing the famous wisdom of the king. In the first (fig. 4A) Solomon is making a generous burnt offering in the sanctuary in Gibeon, after which God appears to him asking what he wants to be given. The young king asks for an understanding mind and ability to discern good and evil (1 Kgs 3:9). The second is a proof that Solomon’s wish was fulfilled—the scene of his judgement (fig. 4B). Unlike the old, abbreviated and stylized pictures, this one is rendered with great realism and narrative skills. The king, with a sceptre in his hand, sits on an elevated throne placed at the top of a staircase, on each step of which a lion is lying. The king’s servant holds a child with its head down and has raised the sword to cut it in two in front of the women who by their reactions reveal themselves. People gathered behind the throne marvel at the king’s judiciousness.45 Although the manuscripts of the Glory of the Kings were never illustrated, at the beginning of the 20th century the story was given artistic expression and immediately became one of the most popular subjects in Ethiopian folk painting. The composition, which included numerous episodes, arranged in a cartoon-like suite of scenes, was, customarily executed on canvas or tanned skin using very bright, commercially produced colours. This artefact was, and still is, manufactured in uncountable amount of copies, mostly destined for the tourist market.46 It is possible that the idea of illustrating the story came from the French journalist and novelist Hugues Le Roux, who in about 1900 commissioned a series of five pictures for the book entitled Magda Queen of Sheba from the painter Mika’el Ǝngəda Wärq. 44 Mäzgäbä Se’elat (n. 39), SC-012:009:001; Wion 2001, 294. 45 Despite that the picture is perfectly clear, the accompanying inscriptions both describe the subject and almost verbatim quote the biblical passage with the women’s speeches. 46 Balicka-Witakowska 2007, 679–681.

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Fig. 3. Solomon with two attendants; church of Däbrä Sina near Gorgora; wall painting, eastern wall; mid-17th c. (courtesy of Paul Henze).


Fig. 4A. Solomon offring in Gibeon; Däbrä Marqos, wall painting, first ambulatory; 19th c. (courtesy of Michael Gervers).

234 witold witakowski and ewa balicka-witakowska

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Fig. 4B. Judgement of Solomon; Däbrä Marqos, wall painting, first ambulatory; 19th c. [idem.].



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The early examples depict only the main events contained in the text of the Glory of the Kings: the circumstances of Makeda’s visit to Solomon, their meeting and the queen’s departure to her fatherland. The further development of the pictorial narrative went in two directions. First, the illustration of a Tigrean folk tale of the hero killing a snake and identified as Menelik’s father was added at the beginning, creating a kind of introduction. Later, this prolongued account received an epilogue based again on the Glory of the Kings and depicting the story of Menelik, his birth, visit to his father and return to Ethiopia with the Ark of the Covenant. From this tripartite suite of pictures, the “classical” format of painting emerged, with 44 scenes displayed in four rows, each depicting 11 episodes. The scenes are separated from each other by the frames, which also provide a background for a text in Amharic describing each event depicted.47 Besides the multipictorial representations of the legend, there are pictures having a single scene as their subject. For instance, a piece belonging to the American Museum of Natural History (acq. 19.1/6173) depicts Solomon and Makeda banqueting, while another one in the Basel Museum of Ethnology shows the arrival of Makeda before Solomon (nr. 12849), and a painting in London’s Horniman’s Museum (nr. 19.4.66/20×) depicts Makeda giving Solomon a golden chain.48 The magical texts connected with Solomon and written on magic scrolls are often illustrated with the figure of the king and with the representations of the devices he was using for magical activities and for subduing demons. The most common are the ring bearing the seal of God, Solomon’s Knot and, more rarely, a labyrinth and a mirror. As in the the religious representations in most of the magic scrolls, the king appears clad in full royal attire and flanked by the attendants—the elements that emphasize his majesty49—despite the fact that in this context it is his abilities as a magician that are in demand. Sometimes, his crown is ornamented with crosses in accordance with the conception that Solomon was the antitype of Christ. The idea, which in Ethiopia was initially transferred by the Glory of the Kings,50 clearly emerges from a picture belonging to a scroll in the Littmann collection (Berlin, Deutsche Staats47 Cf. some examples in colour in: Fisseha and Raunig 1985, figs 1,2,8,9; Mäzgäbä Se’elat (n. 39), MG-1995.003:016-026. 48 Mäzgäbä Se’elat (n. 39), MG-1995.003:009. 49 Cf. for instance the scrolls IES nr. 182, Mercier 1979, nr. 11; Mainz Universitätsbibliothek, aeth. 38 and aeth. 38, Wagner 1967, 725 and figs. 7,8; Berliner Museums, Ms. 4066, Jäger 1966, fig. 16. 50 Chapter 66, cf. above n. 3.

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bibliothek, Ms. Or. Oct. 4068). Solomon is represented twice, once as the king of Israel wearing a horned crown and flanked by the vessels of the Jerusalem temple, and the second time—in horizontal mirror inversion— wearing the crown topped by a cross and flanked by two other crosses. Two half-figures of the king are divided (or joined) by three faces, which have been interpreted as two angels and one evil spirit.51 Two cephalic snakes or dragons that enclose his bust are most probably a variant of a picture, common in Ethiopian magic books and scrolls, representing the Lamb of God bearing a cross and encircled by two serpents.52 In Ethiopian scrolls, Solomon may be represented in a conceptual way. Strongly geometrical figures with “rayed” face and dominated by large eyes on the scroll in Addis Ababa, IES nr. 293,53 are interpreted as representing the king sitting on his throne. Crosses flanked by heraldic birds are visible on his chest at the top of his head and in the upper part of the picture, perhaps an allusion to a legend of Solomon, known, for instance, from an Arabic version, which tells that the king mastered the language of the birds.54 The similar picture in the scroll Paris, MAAO nr. 34 even includes a demon bearing the throne of the king.55 Among Solomon’s legends that circulated in the East, one tells of the labyrinth which the demons built for the king where he kept his harem. An Ethiopian version of the story adds that Sirak the Wise entered it by an underground passage and seduced one of the king’s concubines.56 The picture of the labyrinth appears in some Ethiopian scrolls understood as a protected place where the owner of the talisman cannot be charmed by evil spirits. Usually, at the top of these drawings, the king is represented in half figure flanked by the courtiers, while below there is his labyrinth, the entry to which is either guarded by lions or locked by a seal, as for instance, in the scroll Paris, MAAO nr. 4.57 The magic texts containing ʾasmat and ṣälotat have as a background the story of Solomon when he was captured by the blacksmith kings, but was able to vanquish them by pronouncing the sacred names of God, the topic which entered the Net of Solomon.58 In some magic pictures, the 51  The picture is labelled by the inscription: Sälomon rəʾsä ṭäbin [sic!]—‘Solomon wise head’; a reproduction in colour in: Mercier 1979, nr. 27. 52 On this motif cf. Rodinson 1992, 131, fig. 83; Mercier 1997, 54 fig. 53 Mercier 1979, nr. 11. 54 Decourdemanche 1880, 83–106; cf. also Wagner 1967, 725 and fig. 8. 55 Rodinson 1992, 134, fig. 85. 56 Mercier 1979, 29; Rodinson 1992, 135. 57 Mercier 1997 (private collection); Mercier 1979, fig. 15 (Paris, MAAO nr. 4). 58 Euringer 1928, 81f.


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tale is only alluded to by representing the king flanked by demonic eyes (Paris, MAAO, nr. 12).59 In others, the story is depicted in details, as in one bearing the inscription “How Solomon killed the kings of the smiths” (Paris, MAAO, nr. 44).60 This shows the mounted king hurling spears at the demons armed with swords, with two of them already hit. They are rendered as human beings but with faces presented in profile.61 An oral tradition transmitted by Ethiopian clerics tells of how Solomon drew portraits of the summoned demons and collected them in a book. This was taken to Ethiopia by his son Menelik and used to depict demons in a protective scroll. These portraits are considered to be as effective as the spells because the bad spirits confronted by them felt exposed and fled.62 It is believed that many pictures of demons that illustrate the texts written in the scrolls originate from this source. The tradition has a counterpart in the text of the Mirror of Solomon, where the names of the demons uttered by Solomon function as the means to uncover their personalities and evil deeds. The magic sign called the “Seal of Solomon” and mentioned in the Testament of Solomon was well known in the Roman East and the Orient. An Ethiopian legend tells that it was the seal of God engraved on a ring that Solomon received from the Archangel Michael. This was the most powerful device in the king’s possession for subduing demons and forcing them to carry his throne, to help him in trading gold and building the labyrinth. The picture of an eight-, six- or five-pointed star with a face in its centre that appears in several Ethiopian scrolls is often understood as the “Seal of Solomon.”63 Its variant, extremely popular, is known as the “Knot of Solomon” and was also a device to catch demons. It was widely used as a decorative motif but also as an apotropaic sign. Some Ethiopian magical pictures show a demon already caught in a knot.64 Judging from the frequency of Solomon’s depictions in sacral art and in the magic scrolls, it is clear that in Ethiopia the king was recognized first as a magician and then as a biblical and holy figure.

59 Mercier 1997, 48, fig. 40; Rodinson 1992, pl. 11. 60 Mercier 1979, 38f; Rodinson 1992, pl. 7f. 61  A common way to represent the negative persons and the bad spirits in order to diminish the power of their gaze. 62 Mercier 1997, 49f; 1979, 29; the depictions cf. nrs. 13, 14, 24–26, and Rodinson 1992, pls. 42, 45–50, 143–151. 63 About this motif and its transformation cf. Wagner 1967, 725f; Mercier 1975, 143–146. 64 Mercier, 1979 nr. 45 and nr. 35; Paris, MAAO nr. 5; Rodinson 1992, pl. 18.

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Bibliography * Abbreviations: IES: Addis Ababa, Institute of Ethiopian Studies. MAAO: Paris, Musée National d’Art d’Afrique et d’Oceanie. Balicka-Witakowska, E., ‘Le psautier éthiopien illustré de Belen Sägäd’, in: Imagines Medievales (Ars Suetica 7), 1–46, Uppsala 1983. ——, 1984–86, ‘Un psautier éthiopien illustré inconnu’, Orientalia Suecana 33–35: 17–48. ——, 2004, ‘The Liturgical Fan and Its Ethiopian Examples’, Rocznik Orientalistyczny 57/2: 19–46. ——, ‘Makədda in art’, in: S. Uhlig (ed.), Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, 3: 679–681, Wiesbaden 2007. Bezold, C., Kebra Nagast: Die Herrlichkeit der Könige . . . mit deutscher Übersetzung (Abhand­ lungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 23), München 1905. English: The Queen of Sheba and Her Only Son Menelik, E.A.W. Budge (trans.), London 1922. Polish (partial), Kebra Nagast czyli Chwala królów Abisynii, S. Strelcyn (trans.), Warszawa 1962. French: La gloire des rois (Kebra nagast): Épopée nationale de l’Éthiopie, G. Colin (trans.), Genève 2002. Norwegian: Kebra Nagast, Rolf Furuli (trans.) (Verdens hellige skrifter), Oslo 2007. Chernetsov, S.B., ‘Ëfiyopskiye magicheskiye svitki: opït filologo-ëtnograficheskogo issledovaniya’, Avtoreferat dissertatsii na soiskaniye uchenoy stepeni kandidata istoricheskikh nauk, Leningrad 1974. ——, ‘Asmat’, in: S. Uhlig (ed.), Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, 1: 381, Wiesbaden 2003. Cornill, C.H. (ed.), Das Buch der weisen Philosophen nach dem Aethiopischen untersucht, Leipzig 1875. Decourdemanche, J.A., 1880, ‘Salomon et les oiseaux: Légende populaire turque’, Revue de l’Histoire des Religions, 2: 83–106. Euringer, S. (ed. & trans.), 1928, ‘ “Das Netz Salomons: Ein äthiopischer Zaubertext,” nach der Hs. im ethnographischen Museum in München’, Zeitschrift für Semitistik und verwandte Gebiete 6: 76–100; 178–199, 300–314; 7 (1929) 68–85. French in: Enseignement de Jésus-Christ à ses disciples et prières magiques, R. Basset (trans.) (Les apocryphes éthiopiens traduits en français 7), 26–30, Paris 1896. —— (ed. & trans.), 1937, ‘Der Spiegel Salomons: Ein abessinisches Amulett’, Zeitschrift der Deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft 91: 162–174. Fisseha, G. and W. Raunig (eds.), Mensch und Geschichte in Äthiopiens Volksmalerei, Innsbruck 1985. Gamst, F.C., ‘Judaism’, in: S. Uhlig (ed.), Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, 3: 303–308, Wiesbaden 2007. Griaule, M. (ed.), Le livre de recettes d’un dabtara abyssin (Travaux et mémoires de l’Institut d’ethnologie 12), Paris 1930. Grierson, R. (ed.), African Zion: the Sacred Art of Ethiopia, New Haven CT and London 1993. Guidi, I., [Breve] Storia della letteratura etiopica (Pubblicazioni dell’Istituto per l’Oriente), Roma 1932. Jäger, O., 1966, ‘Äthiopische Zauberrollen und ihre Bilder’, Baessler Archiv, neue Folge 14: 139–180. Kaplan, St., ‘Solomon’, in: S. Uhlig (ed.), Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, 4: 687–688, Wiesbaden 2010. Löfgren, O., 1962, ‘Äthiopische Wandamulette’, Orientalia Suecana 11: 109–116. ——, ‘Der Spiegel des Salomo: Ein äthiopischer Zaubertext’, in: Ex orbe religionum: Studia Geo Widengren . . . oblata, I, 208–223, Lugduni Batavorum 1972. Marrassini, P., ‘Kəbrä nägäśt’, in: S. Uhlig (ed.), Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, 3: 366, Wiesbaden 2007.


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Mercier, J., 1975, ‘Les peintures des rouleaux protecteurs éthiopiens’, Journal of Ethiopian Studies 13: 107–146. ——, Rouleaux magiques éthiopiens, Paris 1979. ——, Art that Heals: The Image as Medicine in Ethiopia, New York 1997. Pietruschka, U., 2002, ‘Das Mäṣḥafä fälasfa ṭäbiban und sein Verhältnis zu griechischen und arabischen Gnomensammlungen’, Aethiopica 5: 139–155. ——, ‘Fälasfa ṭäbiban: Mäṣḥafä fälasfa ṭäbiban’, in: S. Uhlig (ed.), Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, 2: 485–486, Wiesbaden 2005. Raunig, W. (ed.), L’Art en Éthiopie, Milano 2005. Rodinson, M., 1964, roulaux of Ullendorff, Ethiopia, Bibliotheca Orientalis 21: 238–245. ——, ‘Comment un roi israélite est devenu un magicien universel’, in: Le roi Salomon et les maîtres du regard: Art et médecine en Éthiopie, [catalogue of the exhibition] Musée national des arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, 20 octobre 1992—25 janvier 1993, 132–135, Paris 1992. Staude, W., 1954, ‘Die Profilregel in der christlichen Malerei Äthiopiens und die Furcht vor dem “Bösen Blick” ’, Archiv für Völkerkunde 9: 116–161. Strelcyn, S., Prières magiques éthiopiennes pour délier les charmes (Mäftǝḥe šǝrāy), Warszawa 1955 (= Rocznik Orientalistyczny 19). ——, ‘La magie éthiopienne’, in: Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi Etiopici (Roma 2–4 aprile 1959) (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei: Problemi attuali di scienza e di cultura, Quaderno 48), 147–165, Roma 1960. ——, 1972, ‘Catalogue of Ethiopian Manuscripts of the Wellcome Institute of the History of Medicine in London’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. University of London 35: 27–54. Sumner, Cl., Ethiopian Philosophy, 1: The Book of the Wise Philosophers, Addis Ababa 1974. Ullendorff, E., Ethiopia and the Bible (The Schweich Lectures, 1967), Oxford 1968. ——, Ethiopia: An Introduction to Country and People, Oxford 1973. ——, ‘The Queen of Sheba in Ethiopian Tradition’, in: J.B. Pritchard (ed.), Solomon and Sheba, 104–114, London 1974. Wagner, E., ‘Die Illustrationen der äthiopischen Zauberrollen der Sammlung Littmann’, in: Der Orient in der Forschung: Festschrift für Otto Spies, 706–732, Wiesbaden 1967. Wion, A., 2001, ‘Un nouvel ensemble de peintures murales du premier style gondarien: Le monastère de Qoma Fasilädäs’, Annales d’Éthiopie 17: 279–308. Worrell, W.H., 1910, ‘Studien zum abessinischen Zauberwesen’, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 24: 59–86. Wright, W., Catalogue of the Ethiopic Manuscripts in the British Museum Acquired since the Year 1847, London 1877.

The Ikhwān aṢ-Ṣafāʾ on King-Prophet Solomon Jules Janssens The Ikhwān aṣ-Ṣafāʾ, “the Brethren of Purity,” are famous for their encyclopaedic work, entitled Rasāʾil, Epistles. However, many mysteries have always surrounded and continue to surround their specific identity and their place of origin. Nevertheless, there are serious indications that their main activity has to been situated at the end of the tenth century or, at the latest, in the first half of the eleventh. Among these are two contemporary sources that provide us the names of some of their members.1 These names all point in the direction of Basra, Iraq, which therefore constituted their likely place of origin, or, at least, their mean activity centre. Furthermore, although the Brethren nowhere reveal which Muslim creed they adhere to, Yves Marquet, one of the twentieth century’s leading scholars on the Brethren, offers good arguments in favour of identifying it with Ismailism. Although the Ismailis formed a minor group of the Shi‘a, at that time they were very active and somewhat influential.2 Anyhow, the Brethren were clearly not narrow-minded, and did not hesitate to take information from a wide range of sources, whether Islamic or not. In Epistle 45, On the manner of social interrelations between the Brethren of Purity, they explicitly mention four kinds of sources of their knowledge: 1.  philosophical books (on mathematics and natural sciences) 2. revealed books (Torah, Gospel, Qur’an) 3. the books of nature (on the forms of the figures of all existing things, celestial or terrestrial) 4. the divine books (on the soul and its purification) (R IV:42,7–43,8).3 It is striking that they distinguish between theoretical (1–2) and practical (3–4) knowledge, and that within this division they make a further distinction between ‘natural’ (1 and 3) and ‘supernatural’ (2 and 4). However this does not correspond to the actual division of their encyclopaedia into: 1 Baffioni 2005, 450. 2 Marquet 1985, 57–79. 3 References are to the edition of Bustānī 1957, repr. 1983 (using the abbreviation ‘R’ followed by the numbers of volume, page and lines).


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a  mathematics (14 chapters, including applied mathematics, but also the division of the sciences, morals, and logic) b. corporeal-natural investigations (17 chapters, including the usual natural sciences, but also on Man as microcosm, on human knowledge, on death and life, and on the origin of the difference of languages) c. psychological-intellectual investigations (10 chapters, on such different issues as rational entities; the world as “macranthropos”; love; resurrection; motion, and definition) d. (natural) divine laws and the revealed Law (nāmūsiyyat ilāhiyyat wa-lshariʿat; 11 chapters on diverse beliefs, including considerations on the kinds of spiritual states and on magical phenomena). This quick survey shows that the encyclopaedia covered a wide variety of themes, yet structurally lacked rigorous logical coherence. In this respect, it comes as little surprise that the Brethren evoke in different contexts the Biblical-Koranic figure of Solomon. As we will see in what follows, they offer a picture, several aspects of which exceed the strict data of the Biblical and/or Koranic stories. To begin, certainly not surprising, at least from an Islamic point of view, is the fact that the Brethren, in epistle 42, On opinions and beliefs, present Solomon both as a king and a prophet: “Know that God has assembled in prophet Muhammad both the characteristics of kingship and prophecy as He had united them (already before) in David and Solomon, as well as in the veridical Joseph” (R III: 496, 1–3). One easily detects that this affirmation has a direct source in the Qur’an’s references to Solomon (Sulaiman), e.g., twice in lists enumerating different prophets, i.e., Q. 4,163 and Q. 6,84 (to which one might add Q. 21,78–82, the larger context being the sura’s title “The prophets”), and in Q. 27,34, where he is presented as a king (the context being the story concerning the queen of Sheba).4 However, the Brethren do not limit themselves to simply reaffirming the Koranic characterisation; rather, they use it in order to defend the authenticity of Muhammad as a prophet. “Since this question [i.e. whether someone can be at once king and prophet] is problematic for the Jews and the Christians, they opposed and doubted Muhammad’s prophecy after they 4 Regarding David and his prophecy, see the same references; as to his kingdom, see e.g. 38,20–21. Regarding Joseph, his name is present in the list of prophets of Q. 6,84. He is not properly called a king, but is assigned a high function at court (see Q. 12,4–101, esp. verses 54–57). Note however that verse 100 makes mention of “raising his (i.e., of Joseph) parents on the throne” (my italics).

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had seen that both kingdom and prophecy belonged to him. At that time God revealed the story of David and Solomon in order to compel the Jews and the Christians (to admit this possibility), since the latter were (both) convinced of the former’s prophecy. God had already united in both of them kingship and prophecy, while their kingship did not infringe upon their prophecy. One has to judge Muhammad in the same way; indeed, his kingship does not infringe upon his prophecy” (R III: 496,18–22). According to the Qur’an, Muhammad was, besides a prophet, certainly also a political leader, but this latter is never expressed in terms of kingship. A possible efficient cause, so to speak, of such an idea may have been a part of the Brethren’s target audience, namely, the Jews and Christians of the day. The question, then, is whether these groups could have held the view that Solomon was a ‘prophet’. Certainly, one may detect in early Christian circles a tendency to consider some major figures of the First Testament as prophets, including Solomon. In this respect, one might refer to Augustine, De civitate Dei, l. X,: “prophetasse etiam ipse (= ­Solomon) reperitur in suis libris, qui tres recepti sunt in auctoritatem canonicam: Proverbia, Ecclesiastes, et Canticum canticorum.”5 However, the very fact of being able to prophesy does not yet make someone a prophet in the full sense of the term. Yet, other early Christian authors, such as Lactance, Theophilus of Antiochia, and Clement of Alexandria, clearly qualify Solomon as a prophet.6 As for the Jews, both Chronicles and Kings have created a picture of Solomon as a Messenger of God, hence as a prophet. So, the idea that Solomon is both king and prophet can have really circulated in Jewish and Christian circles at the time of the Brethren.7 Nevertheless, Solomon is strikingly raised by the Brethren to a very high and exceptional status, namely as prefiguring in a unique way one of Muhammad’s most specific characteristics, i.e., the full combination of state and spiritual power. Certainly, he is not the only figure in salvific history to do so: the Brethren, as indicated above, affirm expressis verbis that David and Joseph also combined these powers. Hence, Solomon clearly belongs to a very small group of exceptionally blessed prophets. Consider: even major prophets as Moses and Jesus were not granted such a quality. 5 Ed. Dombard 1955, 586. 6 For more specific details, see in the present volume the contribution of Tobias Nicklas, which helpfully clarifies this particular issue. 7 It would be worthwhile to do a systematic research in this respect, but this clearly exceeds the limits of the present essay.


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Also not surprising, this time from a Biblical point of view, is Solomon’s characterisation in epistle 19, On the origination of minerals, as a builder (R II: 128,24–129,1). Of course, Solomon’s role in the construction of the Temple of Jerusalem is particularly emphasized in the Bible (see e.g., 1 Kgs 5–7), whereas the Qur’an never mentions this (although it might allude to it in Q. 34,13, when it links Solomon’s name with the construction of—otherwise unspecified—sanctuaries). However, the Brethren do not refer to the Temple as such, but to the masjid Īliyāʾ, “the Mosque of Jerusalem”. This seems to stand in line with the Muslim conception according to which the Temple was considered a ‘Muslim’ sanctuary. Significant here is, of course, Muhammad’s original orientation of prayer towards Jerusalem (Q. 2,142), but, above all, of importance here is his nocturnal trip, the miʿrāj, from the Mosque of Mecca to that of Jerusalem, called masjid al-Aqṣā (Q. 17,1). However, the Brethren do not use this Koranic expression, but instead make mention of the “Mosque of Jerusalem”. This gives the impression that they had in mind the at that time already existing Dome of the Rock.8 Moreover, the Brethren insist that the very building was not the work of Solomon’s own hands, but was ultimately based on his will and order (R II: 129,3–4). This remark might have its ultimate inspiration in 1 Kgs 5:13, where it is said that Solomon had engaged 30,000 workers. It is worthwhile to note that in the present context, the Brethren do not mention any supernatural help in the construction of the Temple, as in the Testimony of Truth (Nag Hammadi, 69,31–70,24), although they elsewhere affirm, as we immediately will see, that Solomon charged the jinn, i.e., a kind of spirits between men and angels, with heavy works. In Q. 34,12, it is affirmed: ‘and there were jinn that worked in front of him [i.e., Solomon] by the leave of his Lord’. Elsewhere, i.e., in Q. 21,82 and 37,37, it is mentioned that some of the demons (shayāṭîn) did different works for Solomon, hence were subservient to him. This means that God granted Solomon power over the jinn, an idea already present in Targum Sheni, where it is said: “the Lord has given me power over . . . demons and spirits”.9 The same idea is also present in Ginza: “Er (Solomon) baut den Ort Jerusalem, und die Dämonen und Dews unterwerfen sich ihm”.10 This   8 I wish to thank the participants in the discussion of the conference to have drawn my attention to this fact.   9 Grossfeld 1991, 115. 10 Ginza, right part, German transl. Lidzbarski 1925, 46, l. 14–15; see already Speyer 1931, repr. 1961, 387. One should note that the ultimate origin of the conception of Solomon’s power over demons may lie in the Bible itself, i.e., in Psalm 72:9, see Särkiö 2004, 308 and 314.

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dominion over the jinn and the demons is fully valorised by the ­Brethren in epistle 22, On how the animals and their genres are formed, better known as the Dispute between animals and men (in fact, a part of it): “When the time of Solomon, son of David, had arrived, and God had fortified his kingdom, and had subjected to him the jinn and the demons, and Solomon reigned over all the kingdoms of the world, the jinn vaunted that this has happened thanks to their helping Solomon” (R II: 231,11–13). As in Targum Sheni, Ginza and the Qur’an, the extraordinary kingly power of Solomon extends over different kinds of spirits, i.e., both jinn and demons. It is worth noting that power over the jinn seems to have already been attributed to Solomon in pre-Islamic times, e.g. among poets like al-Aʿshā or al-Nābigha, although it is difficult to ascertain whether they really are the authors of the verses ascribed to them, since most of the time they are only attested in later sources, as e.g. al-Bukhtûrî (d. 897).11 Whatever be the case, one cannot doubt that the belief in jinn predates the Islamic revelation, since Q. 37,158 unambiguously states that the ancient pagan Arabians (referred to by ‘they’) had established a kinship between God and the jinn. The exaggerated pride of the jinn, i.e. their pretension to know the Hidden, gets special attention from the Brethren. The exposé continues: “The jinn said: ‘Had Solomon not received (any) help of the jinn, his power (or: status, ḥukm) would have been that of every king of the children of Adam.’ The jinn let the human beings believe that they new the Hidden (or: Unseen)” (R II: 231,13–15). When Solomon died, it became obvious that their claim was unfounded, because they did not realize he had died. Had they realized that Solomon was no longer alive, they certainly would not have continued performing the humiliating tasks with which Solomon had charged them: “When Solomon died, the jinn, while undergoing a humiliating punishment, did not perceive his death. Hence it became clear that, if they (really) had possessed knowledge of the Hidden, they would not have persisted in their humiliating punishment” (ibid., 15–17). In all this one easily recognizes a direct influence of Q. 34,14, where it is explicitly stated that they would not have continued their despised toil if they had truly known the “Unseen”. But the Qur’an specifies that the jinn only realized Solomon’s death when a worm had gnawed the staff on which he was leaning. This motif reminds one of the worm Shamir—a 11 This is a most delicate issue on which there is much diversity of opinion. However, we have not to deal specifically with it, since the verses expressing a strong belief in the jinn, whether they are pre-Islamic or not, anyhow predate the Epistles of the Brethren.


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stone-cutting worm, the existence of which Solomon had been taught by the prince of demons, Ashmedai—in the Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 68a.12 As far as I can see, the Brethren do not mention this story, or even hint at it, but they probably imagined that their Muslim readers were so familiar with it that there was no need for any explicit reference. That the jinn had not voluntary submitted themselves to Solomon is developed in what can be qualified as a shortened and somewhat modified version of the story of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, in Q. 27, 22–44. The Koranic version shows many similarities—despite obvious differences—with the version in the Targum Sheni.13 As to the Brethren, they formulate story thus: When the Hoopoe brought the message of Biqlīs [i.e., the Queen of Sheba], Solomon spoke to the assembly of jinn and men: ‘Who brings me (her) throne?’ (Q. 27,36). The jinn boasted and an Ifrīt [a leading jinn], i.e., Iḍṭar ibn Māyān, said: ‘I will bring it to you before you rise from thy Council (Q. 27,39), i.e., the Court of Wisdom.’ Solomon replied: ‘I want it quicker than that.’ Said the one who had in him knowledge of the Book (al-Kitāb), i.e., Âṣaf ibn Barkhiyāʾ: ‘I bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye (Q. 27,40).’ When Solomon saw the throne, he, having examined it, prostrated while worshipping God. The superiority of men over the jinn had been shown. The court was ended, and the jinn went away, being ashamed and bowing their heads. The mob of men had been heavenly shaken in (accepting) the influence of the jinn or (following) their trace. They dissociated themselves from the jinn, while enjoying their misfortunes’ (R II: 231,17–232,4).

Compared with the version present in both the Qur’an and the Targum Sheni, the story has been sensibly reduced. It has been restricted to a special request of Solomon, i.e., the bringing of the throne of the Queen of Sheba. This request has no other purpose than to prove the superiority of men over the jinn. The underlying spirit of this notion is unquestionably Islamic, for according to the Qur’an, the angels, although higher in rank than men, have to prostate before Adam (see e.g., Q. 20,116). Note, however, that in both the Koranic and Targumic versions this notion plays no discernible role whatsoever. It is possible that the Brethren’s variant of the story resulted from, or, at least, was inspired by still other versions,

12 This reference is already in Geiger 1833, repr. Leipzig 1902, 185. 13 Grossfeld 1991, 114–117. Also this fact has already been noticed by Geiger 1833, repr. 1902, 183–184.

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e.g., those present in earlier Arabic literature or in Ethiopian-Christian sources.14 Just as some of the Angels (more precisely, Iblīs and his followers) did not obey God’s order to prostrate before Adam, some of the jinn did not submit to Solomon, and hence to men. Even after Man had clearly shown his superiority, they demurred: “When had happened what I have told, a group of jinn ran away from Solomon. Some of them rebelled against him. Hence, Solomon sent (soldiers) of his army in search of them. He taught them how to catch the jinn by spell, incantations, formulae, revealed verses (āyāt), or how to capture them by magical circles. He wrote a book on this that was found in his treasury after his death. Solomon busied the despots of the jinn with heavy works till they died” (R II: 232,5–10). Solomon is not only presented here as the one who possessed power over the jinn, as already known, but also as a dispenser of special magical knowledge-based weapons. Note that they definitely belong to white magic, not to black magic; it is wizardry and not sorcery. Surprisingly, even revealed verses are included among these weapons. This suggests that Solomon was not just a minor prophet, but instead, having received his own revelations, he belonged to a special rank very near, yet perhaps still beneath, that of the major prophets. By the way, as far as the attribution of magical powers to Solomon goes, this is certainly not new with the Brethren. Already in the Septuagint one finds a tendency to overemphasize Solomon’s magical-medical knowledge, probably related to the affirmation of his all-encompassing wisdom in 1 Kgs 4:13. In a similar vain, Wisdom of Solomon 7:20, asserts that Solomon knew the powers of the spirits and the varieties of magical-medical roots and plants.15 Very significant is also the view of Flavius Josephus: “God enabled Solomon to learn that skill which expels demons, which is a science useful and sanative to men. He composed such incantations also by which distempers are alleviated; And he left behind him the very manners of exorcisms”.16 Finally, a similar idea comes to the fore in the ­Testament 14 The story of the Queen of Sheba has been recorded in Arabic literature by Wahb b. Munabbih al-Yamānī (d. 732) in his history of the Himyarī Kings (Kitāb al-Tījān fî mulûk Ḥimiyār, conserved in the version of Ibn Hishām, d. 833). Unfortunately I had no access to this work. Norris has qualified it as a “mine of Arabian fable, legend and garbled chronicles”, but, above all, as showing “the powerful influence of Rabbinical Syriac and Persian lore in both poetry and prose”; see Norris 1983, 385. As to the possibility of EthiopianChristian influences, see Speyer 1931, repr. 1961, 396, note 1. 15 Klutz 2005, 77–78. 16 [Flavius] Josephus, Complete Works, transl. Whiston 1867; repr. 1960, Antiquities VIII, 2, 5, p. 173.


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of Solomon 6.5 and 12.4, where Ephippas is described as a destructive wind-demon that had recently wreaked havoc in Arabia and could only be captured with the help of Solomon’s ring and a leather flask.17 All this makes clear that a wizard-like Solomon very much existed in both Jewish and Christian circles during the Common Era’s early centuries, and moreover that this magic was conceived as something positive, e.g., allowing to effectuate exorcisms.18 However, the Brethren seem to have expanded in a significant way the scope of these magical powers. The Brethren moreover specify that Solomon has written a book on the magical art. This was—to put it mildly—a not very common idea in contemporary Jewish or Christian circles. Only in Zosimus of Panopolis, a Greek alchemist and Gnostic mystic who lived during the end of the third and beginning of the fourth centuries, one finds a clear image of Solomon as a composer of books.19 Incidentally, it cannot be excluded that the Brethren had access to Zosimus’ qualification of Solomon as a writer, since some fragments of his works have been preserved in Arabic.20 Whatever the case, the Brethren might have been inspired by the Qur’an itself, more precisely by the enigmatic and most debated verse Q. 2,102, which begins as follows: “And they followed that which the ‘satans’ have recited concerning the reign of Solomon. Solomon did not reject faith; rather the ‘satans’ rejected faith. They taught people magic and that which was sent down to the angels in Babylon, Harut and Marut”. It may be noted that various interpretations of this difficult verse circulated already at the time of the Brethren. According to al-Ṭabarī (d. 923), one of the most famous and earliest exegetes of the Qur’an, light might be cast on these lines if we propose the existence of a magic book authored by the devils at the time of Solomon’s death. In order to mislead people, the ‘satans’ wrote on its cover: “Here is what Âṣaf ibn Barkhiyāʾ the prophet has written for King Solomon,” and placed a seal upon it that cleverly resembled the royal seal of Solomon. The book was then buried under Solomon’s throne until the Jews later discovered it—hence the subsequent claim that Solomon was a magician. al-Ṭabarī explicitly bases this version of events upon a tradition related by Ibn Isḥāq. (d. 767), one of the earliest collectors of traditions and who lived in Medina. However, 17  I owe this information to Klutz 2005, 100. 18  Regarding Solomon’s power of exorcising, see Särkiö 2004, 314–317. 19  See Festugière 1981, I, 367–368. I took this reference from Jacques van der Vliet’s essay (see pp. 197–218 in this volume). 20 El-Khadem 1996.

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al-Ṭabarī offers still another version of events, which is also based upon a tradition that is linked to Ibn Isḥāq. According to this version, Solomon, after having been stricken of his kingship by God and after the mass apostasy of men and jinn, gathered the books of magic he had collected during this period and buried them under his throne. Satan later unearthed them, whereupon people claimed the books were actually revelations sent down by God and hence were scriptures.21 Thus already in early Islamic traditions, one finds serious indications for the belief in the existence of a magical book, or books, written for or revealed to Solomon. As already observed above, in the Brethren’s view Solomon was the author of the book. However, later in the same epistle they also stress that Solomon’s work was not original in content, but rather constituted a translated compilation of existing (parts of ) works from foreign cultures. Leaving no room for doubt about the non-original character of its content, they write: “Where from possess the children of Israel the knowledge of artefact and magic, of incantations, of the manufacturing of talismans, and of the uttering of divinations, if Solomon had not taken them from the treasures of the kings of other nations, after he had vanquished them, and if he had not translated them into the language of the Hebrews and transferred them to the region of (great-)Syria, given that his kingdom was in the land of Palestine?” (R II, 288, 13–6).22 This recalls the second version of al-Ṭabarī. However, the Brethren might have also been influenced by Hermetic texts in which Solomon appears to have been the disciple of he Egyptian theurgist Mambris.23 Again, Solomon is presented as a translator. It just so happens that in the thirty-first epistle, entitled On the reasons for the difference of languages, forms of letters, and verbal expressions, this characteristic is particularly stressed: “Each sage among the sages, or each king among the kings, when he wants to translate (or transfer) knowledge or wisdom, belief or religion from one language to another, or from one nation to another, is able to do this with (the aid) of divine grace, which causes in him production and happiness. In such a way it becomes possible what for example Solomon has done. After God had given him kingship and provided him with power and strength, (look) how he translated into the language of the Hebrews all the sources and wisdom of all the tongues, as soon as he 21  al-Ṭabarī 1954, II, 407–408, summarized in Ayoub 1984, 129. 22 For the notion of (Great-)Syria, see Bosworth 1997. 23 Walker [-Fenton] 1997, refers to G.R.S. Mead, Thrice-Greatest Hermes: Studies in Hellenistic Theosophy and Gnosis (York Beach, Maine: 1992 [1906]), IV, 283).


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had subjugated the kings (or rulers) and subjected the governors (of he lands where these tongues were spoken)” (R III: 150,10–15). Besides being yet another expression of Solomon’s extraordinary wisdom, as far as I can see, this idea of divinely-empowered translation is absolutely original with the Brethren. Note that in the present quotation no mention is made of magic. However, white magic was in all likelihood considered by the Brethren as being part of genuine wisdom. Another salient sign of Solomon’s wisdom is his ability to understand the language of birds, and other animals, and to be able to communicate with them. In full accordance with Q. 27, 16, it is stated, once again in the Epistle on the Animals (R II: 327,20) that God had taught Solomon the language of the birds. Most significant in this respect is the story of the hoopoe, mentioned in Q. 27, 22–25, and repeated by the Brethren in a larger context where the former is presented to the king of the birds, Simurgh, by the peacock: “Certainly, the spying hoopoe, the companion (or: friend) of the prophet (nabī) Solomon, is that being there, standing still, (having) s sublimely coloured dress, (but) a stinking smell. It has put a burnoose on his head; it picks up (a grain) as if it bows down (in worship) and makes a ra’ka [i.e., ritual prostration]. It is the one who command the allowed and proscribes the forbidden. It is the one who spoke in a speech to Solomon: ‘I have compassed (territory) which thou hast not compassed, and I have come to thee from Sabâ with tidings true. I found there a woman ruling over them and provided with every requisite; and she had a magnificent throne. I found her and her people worshipping the sun besides God’. Satan had made their deeds seen pleasing in their eyes, and has kept them away from the Path—so that they receive no guidance (and) so that they worship not God, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what ye hide and what ye proclaim” (R II, 249,13–250,4). This story, as already indicated earlier, was inspired by the Targum Sheni.24 Hence, the idea that Solomon was able to talk with birds, as attested here and also in such texts as the Midrash on the Song of Solomon I.9, or the Syrian Apocalypse of Baruch 77.25.25 But the Brethren, once again in accordance with the Qur’an, expand this capacity to other animals as well, more specifically to the ants. Once again in the debate between human beings and animals, one finds the following story in an exposé on the different behaviours of the animals: 24 See supra, p. 244. In Grossfeld’s English translation the bird is called the ‘wild rooster.’ I do not know whether the term could correspond to the Arabic hudhud. 25 For the details of these references, see Speyer 1931, repr. 1961, 384.

the ikhwān aṣ-ṣafāʾ on king-prophet solomon


“Other animals repel the inconvenient and the harmful by securing, or more precisely by hiding themselves in pits and holes, as for example mice and ants do. As God has said: ‘(One of the ants said: Oh ye ants), get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it’ (Q. 27,18). When Solomon heard this, he ordered the ant to be brought to him. After having entered, the ant said: ‘Peace on you, oh prophet, I got in a situation in which I (must) guard against him [i.e., Solomon]’. Solomon was surprised by (these) words. After he put the ant upon the palm of his hand, he asked her: ‘Why do you say: “lest Solomon and his hosts crush you?” Are you not aware that I am not the vilest person and do you not accept that my army do (not) act unjustly? Hence, if you would have heard such kind of thing, inform me. Why do you say: “I have got in a situation in which I (must) guard against him?” Do you not know that I am not oppressive of, nor unjust to, God’s creatures; hence, why do you say this?’ The ant answered: ‘God forbid that I have in view with these directives what you understand. On the contrary! I meant that God has given you a kingdom in such a way that none of the others has in comparison with yours the same beauty, justice or equity. For this reason, I have called (the other ants) not to leave their houses and not to be preoccupied by (the activity of ) inspecting, in order that remembrance of God would not cease within them. This was the meaning I had in mind with this directive’ ” (R II: 270,12–24). Although there does exist a clear link with Q. 27,18–19, the overall story is quite different insofar as in the Qur’an Solomon is amused by the words of the ant and is moved by them to ask from God an attitude of gratitude and of righteousness. There is also no direct link with the story of the ants as present in Hullīn, 57b in connexion with Simon b. Halaftā, since that is quite different from that of the Brethren.26 The Brethren, on the contrary, emphasize that it may be better to retire from the world than to be worried by political or daily life problems, even if one has to do with a just ruler, as Solomon certainly is. This is the deeper wisdom implied in the ants’ words. In his context, Solomon is evidently not presented as the incarnation of extreme wisdom, but rather as the penultimate righteous prophet-king. In this sense, he might represent the highest possible perfection achievable on the exoteric level. At the same time, the deeper truth seems to lie on the esoteric mystical

26 According to Speyer 1931, repr. 1961, 401–402, this story would have influenced the Koranic version, but this is far from obvious. Only a new critical comparison can show the existence, or non-existence, of a link between the two.


jules janssens

level, which ultimately implies a seclusion from worldly affairs. If so, then he Brethren are undoubtedly expressing their own ideal way of life. A final characterisation of Solomon by the Brethren is that of a pious man who is always grateful to God, even if he is aware that the latter has tested him. This notion appears in Epistle 42, On opinions and beliefs, central to which is a Koranic verse (Q. 27,40), taken from the story of the Queen of Sheba, but without its original Koranic context. In fact, the contextualisation is significantly different, insofar as the Brethren omit any reference to the Queen of Sheba. Rather they present Solomon, amidst David and Muhammad, as an example of a pious man: “God has reminded (us) in the story of David ‘that he was ever turning’ (Q. 38,17), gentle; and in the story of Solomon: ‘This is by divine grace of my Lord to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful (Q. 27,40).’ Similarly, the Prophet (Muhammad) was forsaking this world, (but) desiring the Hereafter” (R 42, III: 497,16–17). In the Koranic story, Solomon’s remarks comes after he sees the throne of the Queen of Sabā, as promised by the one who knew the ‘Book’. The Koranic story stresses that gratitude towards God or the lack thereof is only beneficial or harmful for human beings and does not really affect God, Who is self-sufficient. Such an idea is completely absent in the formulation of the Brethren, who instead stress that the attitude of gratitude implies a fundamental other-worldly direction. This is clear from the qualification brought forth with respect to David and Muhammad. In other words, Solomon is absolutely not preoccupied with the things of this world. In this case, he seems to express the highest possible perfection achievable on the esoteric level. To conclude, clearly the Brethren have elaborated a very rich picture of Solomon, the king-prophet, who disposes of magical powers and reigns over spirits; who speaks the language of the birds and translates books into Hebrew; who is righteous and other-worldly oriented,—in other words, possesses a high degree of perfection on both the exoteric and esoteric levels. The overall picture remains Islamic, as is best illustrated in the idea that the spirits have to submit themselves to Man. Moreover, the Qur’an is quoted regularly. Nevertheless, the Brethren take some freedoms in interpreting the text, inter alia by de-contextualising some verses and/ or by offering most unusual interpretations. Finally, they present some ideas absent in the Qur’an. In these incidents, they might have used nonIslamic sources, which, as argued above, was likely not a serious problem for them. However, only an in-depth detailed analysis of each incident in itself can prove that there was indeed real influence from non-Islamic

the ikhwān aṣ-ṣafāʾ on king-prophet solomon


sources. Thus, it is hoped that the present paper can provide a useful starting point for such research. Bibliography Augustinus, De civitate Dei I–X, ed. B. Dombard (Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina 47), Turnhout 1955. Ayoub, M.M., The Qurʾān and Its Interpreters, Albany NY 1984. Baffioni, C., ‘Gli Iḫwān al-ṣafāʾ e la lora enciclopedia’, in: Cr. d’Ancona (ed.), Storia della filosofia nell’Islam medievale, I (Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi 285), 449–489, Torino 2005. Bosworth, C.E., 1997, art. ‘al-Shām’, Encyclopaedia of Islam IX2: 269–270. Bustānī, B., Rasā ʾil Ikhwān aṣ-Ṣafāʾ wa-Khullān al-Wafāʾ, 4 volumes, Beirut 1957, repr. Beirut 1983. Festugière, A.-J., La révélation d’Hermès Trismégiste (Collection d’études anciennes. Série grecque), Paris 1981. Geiger, A., Was hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthume aufgenommen?, Bonn 1833, repr. Leipzig 1902. Grossfeld, B., trans. 1991, The Two Targums of Esther (Aramaic Bible 17), Edinburgh. [Flavius] Josephus, Complete Works, transl. W. Whiston, Edinburgh 1867, repr. Grand Rapids 1960. El-Khadem, H.S., 1996, ‘A Translation of a Zosimos Text in an Arabic Alchemy Book’, Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 843: 168–178. Klutz, T.E., Rewriting the Testament of Solomon: Tradition, Conflict and Identity in a Late Antique Pseudepigraphon (Library of Second Temple Studies 53), London 2005. Lidzbarski, M., trans. 1925, Ginza: der Schatz oder das grosse Buch der Mandäer (Quellen der Religionsgeschichte. Gruppe 4. Band 13), Göttingen and Leipzig. Marquet, Y., 1985, ‘Les épîtres des Ikhwān aṣ-Ṣafāʾ’, Studia Islamica 62: 57–79. Norris, H.T., ‘Fabels and Legends in Pre-Islamic and Early Islamic Times’, in: A.F.L. Beeston, et al. (eds.), Arabic Literature to the End of the Ummayyad Period (The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature), 374–386, Cambridge 1983. Särkiö, P., 2004, ‘Salomo und die Dämonen’, Studia Orientalia 99: 305–322. Speyer, H., Die biblischen Erzählungen im Qurʾān, Gräfenhainichen 1931, repr. Hildesheim 1961. al-Ṭabarī, Abū Jaʿfar, Jamiʿal-bayān ʿan taʿwīl, anonymous edition, Cairo 1954. Walker, J. [-P. Fenton], 1997, art. ‘Sulaymān b. Dāwūd’, Encyclopaedia of Islam IX2: 857– 858.

INDEX OF NAMES Abadie, Ph. 102–103 Aberbach, M. 135, 136, 142 Abū ʽAssāf, A. 79, 81 Ahlström, G.W. 15, 41 al–Amri, Y.A.S. 67, 79 Alt, A. 11, 41 Arellano, I. 114, 125 Attridge, H.W. 101, 103 Auld, A.G. 8, 41 Avigad, N. 59, 79 Ayoub, M.M. 249, 253 Bacqué-Grammont, J.-L. 6, 87, 103 Baehrens, W.A. 208 Baffioni, C. 241, 253 Baldi, D. 194 Balicka-Witakowska, E. 5, 219–240 Barnes, W.E. 27, 41 Barr, D.L. 123 Barrett, C.K. 145–148, 150, 162 Basset, R. 239 Battifol, P. 176, 181 Bauckham, R. 125 Baumgartner, W. 54, 55 Beeston, A.F.L. 253 Begg, C.T. 85, 86, 90–101, 103, 104 Ben-Noun, Liubov 9, 41 Benzinger, I. 12, 13, 19, 32, 34, 42 Berthelot, M. 206, 216 Bethge, H.-G. 182, 217 Betz, H.D. 115, 123 Betz, O. 86, 92, 104 Bezold, C. 220, 224, 239 Bilde, P. 103, 104 Blenkinsopp, J. 53, 55 Blum, E. 81 Bogaert, P.-M. 94, 104 Bohak, G. 107, 108, 113, 123 Bonwetsch, G.N. 171, 181 Borger, R. 22, 41 Bos, A.P. 197 Bosworth, C.E. 249, 253 Bousset, W. 213, 216 Bovon, F. 182 Boyarin, D. 141, 142 Braun, R. 102, 104, 150 Bremmer, J.N. 124, 195 Breytenbach, C. 182

Briend, J. 98, 104 Bright, J. 17, 42 Brox, N. 173, 181 Brueggemann, W. 6, 87, 91, 94, 99, 102, 104 Bruston, C. 181 Budge, E.A.W. 224, 239 Burnett, C. 123 Burnside, J. 36, 42 Busch, P. 4, 183–195, 197, 205, 206, 214, 216 Bustānī, B. 241, 253 Butler, E.M. 122, 123 Calderón de la Barca, P. 114, 123 Cantrell, D.O. 61, 79 Carter, W. 156–158, 162 Cassuto, U. 25, 42 Castañeda, J.A. 114, 124 Cepregi, I. 123 Charlesworth, J.H. 109, 124, 154, 162, 167, 174, 175, 181, 182, 195 Chernetsov, S.B. 225, 226, 239 Cogan, M. 10, 13, 29, 32, 42 Cohen, C. 56 Colin, G. 239 Collins, J.J. 144, 162 Conrad, E.W. 181 Cooke, G. 22, 23, 42 Cornill, C.H. 224, 239 Cox, C. 106 Curtis, E.L. 28, 42 d’Ancona, Cr. 253 Dante Alighieri 84, 113, 123 Davies, P.R. 45, 55 Davies, W.D. 148, 162 Davila, J.R. 125 Decourdemanche, J.A. 239 Deines, R. 86, 93, 104 de Jong, J.L. 197, 208 Delatte, A. 121–123 den Hertog, C.G. 80 de Vaux, R. 12, 19, 25, 42 Dever, W.G. 46 DeVries, S.J. 8, 10, 32, 42 Diethard Römheld, K.F. 104 Dietrich, W. 7, 15, 42, 47, 50, 55


index of names

Dirksen, P.B. 28, 36, 37, 42 Dodds, E.R. 123 Dölger, F. 185, 194 Dörrfuss, E.M. 37, 42 Dombard, B. 243, 253 Doutreleau, L. 208 Drijvers, H.J.W. 168, 169, 175, 181 Dubois, J.-D. 199, 218 Duling, D.C. 86, 104, 109, 111, 112, 124, 154, 162, 183, 186, 188, 190, 195 Duncan–Flowers, M.J. 116, 124 Durand, J.-M. 6, 87, 103 Duval, R. 206 Edelman, D. 144, 162 Egberts, A. 217 Ehrlich, A.B. 17–19, 42 Elder, L.B. 123 Elliott, J.K. 112, 124 Embry, B. 161, 162 Emerton, J.A. 56, 169, 181 Emmel, S. 182, 218 Euringer, S. 225, 226, 237, 239 Evans, C.A. 105, 181 Faber van der Meulen, H.E. 88, 104 Fallon, F.T. 212, 216 Feldman, L.H. 85, 87–89, 93, 95, 96, 99–101, 104, 105, 106, 125, 146, 162 Fernández González, A.R. 114, 125 Fernández, N. 114, 123 Festugière, A.-J. 203, 216, 248, 253 Finkelstein, I. 45–48, 50, 55, 61, 79 Fisseha, G. 236, 239 Fitzmyer, J.A. 144, 145, 148, 162 Foakes Jackson, F.J. 92, 105 Förster, N. 86, 93, 105 Fowden, G. 203, 216 Franzmann, M. 166, 176, 178–181 Frey, J. 106 Furuli, R. 239 Galling, K. 28, 42 Gamst, F.C. 220, 222, 239 García Martínez, F. 111, 124, 151, 162 Gehman, H.S. 8, 10, 15, 16, 32, 33, 43 Geiger, A. 246, 253 Géoltrain, P. 182 Gerrers, M. 231, 234 Ginzberg, L. 128, 142 Giversen, S. 86, 105, 197, 204, 216 Goethe, J.W. 114, 124 Goguel, M. 168, 181 Gollanz, H. 117, 122, 124

Gordon, C.H. 116, 124 Gordon, R. 202, 216 Grabbe, L. 45, 46, 55 Gray, J. 14, 16, 31–34, 42 Greenfield, R.P.H. 117, 124, 205, 216 Gressmann, H. 10, 42, 168, 181 Griaule, M. 228, 239 Grierson, R. 230, 239 Grillmeier, A. 173, 181 Grossfeld, B. 244, 246, 250, 253 Guidi, I. 224, 239 Gundry, R.H. 155, 163 Hagner, D.A. 157, 161, 163 Handy, L.K. 106 Hanig, R. 170, 171, 177, 181, 197, 205, 210, 211, 214, 216 Harl, M. 179, 181 Harnack, A. von 191, 195 Harris, J.R. 168, 176, 181, 201 Hartenstein, F. 70, 79 Hata, G. 104, 106, 125 Hauptmann, A. 67 Heil, C. 155 Heim, R. 116, 124 Helderman, J. 179, 182 Henze, P. 229, 233 Herzberg, H. 53, 55 Hilhorst, A. 218 Höffken, P. 102, 105 Hoffman, Y. 42 Hogeterp, A.L.A. 4, 143–163 Holm-Nielsen, S. 166, 182 Hubbard, D. 222 Ibn Hishām 247 Ibn Isḥāq 248, 249 Ishida, T. 7, 9, 12–15, 18, 35, 42 Jackson, K.P. 43 Jacobson, H. 109, 124 Jäger, O. 239 Jamieson-Drake, D.W. 49, 55 Janssens, J. 5, 241–253 Japhet, S. 39, 42 Johnston, S.I. 114, 124, 183, 195 Jokiranta, J. 56 Jonquière, T.M. 101, 105 Jordan, D.R. 216 Kalimi, I. 1, 7, 8, 12, 15, 21–30, 35, 40–42 Kalms, J.U. 105 Kamlah, J. 50, 55 Kaplan, St. 225, 239

index of names

Kaufmann, Y. 17, 18, 43 Keel, O. 48, 53–55 Keller, G. 62 El-Khadem, H.S. 248, 253 King, K.L. 182, 197, 216 Kittel, R. 12, 28, 43 Klein, R.W. 28, 43 Klostermann, A. 10, 11, 13, 14, 30, 43 Klutz, T.E. 109, 124, 183, 195, 197, 210, 216, 247, 248, 253 Koehler, L. 54, 55 Koschorke, K. 204, 216 Koulagna, J. 86–89, 91–94, 97, 98, 100, 101, 102, 105 Kraus, T.J. 182 Krause, M. 105, 216 Kropp, A. 202, 216 Kunz-Lübcke, A. 54, 55 Lange, A. 104 Langer, G. 3, 127–142 Laqueur, R. 103, 105 Lattke, M. 165–170, 174–176, 178, 179, 182, 199, 201, 217 Layton, B. 197, 201, 217 Lemche, N.P. 45, 55 Le Roux, H. 232 Lewis, J.P. 124 Lewy, H. 12, 43 Lichtenberger, H. 104 Lichtert, C. 6, 87, 98, 103–106 Lidzbarski, M. 244, 253 Lips, H. von 173, 182 Loeffler, W. 183 Löfgren, O. 226, 227, 239 Luckenbill, D.D. 22, 43 Luttikhuizen, G.P. 197, 215, 217 Lux, R. 6 Luzzatto, A. 128, 142 MacDermot, V. 199, 217 MacRae, G.W. 211 Madsen, A.A. 28, 42 Maguire, H.P. 116, 124 Mahé, A. and J.-P. 204, 205, 207, 208, 217 Maier, S. 98, 105 Malamat, A. 98, 105 Malbon, E.S. 123 Mann, T. 114, 124 Marcovich, M. 172, 173, 177, 182 Marcus, R. 26, 27, 44, 146, 163 Marlowe, P. 113, 114 Margalioth, M. 118, 124 Marquet, Y. 241, 253


Marrassini, P. 221, 239 Marrou, H.-I. 179, 181 Marsman, H.J. 19, 43 Mason, S. 89 McCormick, C.M. 62, 79 McCown, C.C. 183, 189, 190, 195, 203, 217 McGuire, A. 217 Mead, G.R.S. 249 Mendels, D. 95, 105 Mercier, J. 228, 236–238, 240 Mertens, M. 199, 203, 206, 217 Mettinger, T.N.D. 19, 43 Metzger, J.A. 157, 163 Meyer, H. 61, 79 Michel, S. 188, 195 Mingana, A. 176, 181 Mira de Amescua, A. 114, 124 Moehring, H.R. 92, 105 Monat, P. 171, 182 Montgomery, J.A. 8, 10, 15, 16, 32, 33, 43 Morard, F. 211, 212, 217 Morgan, M.A. 119, 124 Morón, C. 114, 125 Mosis, R. 37, 43 Muhs, B.P. 197, 217 Mulder, M.I. 10, 32, 34, 43 Myers, J.M. 30, 43 Naveh, J. 113, 115, 116, 124 Newing, E.G. 181 Nicklas, T. 4, 165–182, 243 Niemann, H.M. 50, 55 Nissinen, M. 56 Nocquet, D. 87, 103–106 Nolland, J. 160, 161, 163 Norris, H.T. 247, 253 North, C.R. 29, 43 Noth, M. 8, 9, 11, 18, 36, 43 Oswald, W. 15, 43 Ovadiah, A. 104 Painchaud, L. 209, 217 Pakkala, J. 56 Parker, K.I. 101, 105 Parpola, S. 12, 44 Parrott, D.M. 211, 212, 217 Paul, S.M. 21, 23, 43 Paulsen, H. 182 Pearson, B.A. 204, 205, 209, 217 Perdrizet, P. 116, 124 Person, R.F. Jr. 8, 43 Peterson, E. 117, 124 Pierre, M.-J. 176, 182


index of names

Pietersma, A. 203, 217 Pietruschka, U. 224, 240 Pike, D.M. 23, 43 Porten, B. 86, 105 Porter, S.E. 181 Poulssen, N. 29, 43 Practico, G. 59, 79 Preisendanz, K. 87, 105, 115, 124, 186, 195 Pritchard, J.B. 13, 44, 106, 240 Qimron, E. 158, 163 Rajak, T. 103, 105 Raulwing, P. 61, 79 Raunig, W. 230, 236, 240 Reitzenstein, R. 205, 217 Renz, J. 48, 55, 59, 80 Riley, G. 209 Robinson, J.M. 17, 44, 155 Rocca, S. 100, 105 Rodgers, Z. 105 Rodinson, M. 219, 224, 237–238, 240 Röllig, W. 48, 55, 59, 80 Römer, Th. 86, 87, 105 Rofé, A. 7, 43 Rost, L. 7 Rudnig, T.A. 7, 43, 52, 53, 56 Rudolph, W. 36, 37, 43 Russell, J. 116, 117, 124 Särkiö, P. 1, 2, 38, 43, 45–56, 244, 248, 253 Sarowy, W. 85, 105 Schenker, A. 86, 106 Schletterer, I. 182 Schmidt, C. 199, 200, 201, 217 Schreckenberg, H. 100, 101, 103, 106 Schreiber, S. 174, 182 Schubert, K. 106 Schüssler Fiorenza, E. 104 Schwartz, M. 116, 124 Sermonti, V. 113, 123 Sevrin, J.-M. 212, 213, 217 Shaked, S. 115, 116, 123, 124 Shimoff, S.R. 88, 106 Siegert, F. 105 Silberman, L.H. 92, 106 Silberman, N.A. 45–48, 50, 55 Sims-Williams, N. 125 Skinner, A.C. 43 Smend, R. 47 Smith, M. 86, 106, 110, 125 Sorlin, I. 116, 125 Sperber, A. 19, 43 Speyer, H. 244, 247, 250, 251, 253

Spilsbury, P. 85, 90–101, 104 Spottorno, V. 86, 106 Staude, W. 223, 240 Steed, H.W. 11, 43 Stern, D. 141, 142 Strack, H. 43 Streck, M. 23, 43 Strelcyn, S. 225, 227, 228, 239, 240 Strugnell, J. 158, 163 Sumner, Cl. 224, 240 Sweeney, M.A. 51, 52, 56 Tadmor, H. 34, 44 Tardieu, M. 199, 207, 217, 218 Testuz, M. 165, 182 Thackeray, H.St.J. 26, 27, 44 Thompson, T. 45, 56 Tigchelaar, E.J.C. 151, 162 Tirso de Molina 114, 125 Torijano, P.A. 3, 86, 93, 106, 107–125, 197, 205, 206, 210, 218 Trachtenberg, J. 116, 125 Turner, J.D. 217 Uhlig, S. 239, 240 Ullendorff, E. 219, 221–223, 240 van der Kooij, G. 66, 79 Van der Vliet, J. 5, 197–218, 248 van Keulen, P.S.F. 8 van Kooten, G.H. 218 Veijola, T. 7, 10, 44, 47, 51, 52, 56 Vélez de Guevara, L. 114, 125 Verheyden, J. 2, 6, 85–106 Villalba i Varneda, P. 86, 91, 96, 106 Visotzky, B.L. 140, 142 Vogel, M. 85, 106 Voitila, A. 56 Wälchli, S. 51, 56 Wagner, E. 236–238, 240 Waldstein, M. 202, 218 Wasserman, T. 165, 182 Weidner, E. 12, 44 Weinfeld, M. 44 Weitzman, S. 6 Welburn, A.J. 211, 213, 218 Wénin, A. 95, 106 Whiston, W. 247, 253 White, L.M. 217 Wilda, G. 29, 44 Williams, M.A. 197, 218 Williamson, H.G.M. 27, 44 Winkler, H.A. 117, 125

Winston, D. 110, 125 Wion, A. 232, 240 Wisse, F. 202, 218 Witakowski, W. 5, 219–240 Worrell, W.H. 228, 240 Wright, B.B. 166, 182 Wright, W. 223, 240 Würthwein, E. 8–11, 19, 44

index of names Yarbrough, O.L. 217 Yadin, Y. 46, 56 Zalewski, S. 9, 14, 17, 27, 30, 44 Zevit, Z. 46, 56 Zöckler, O. 43 Zwickel, W. 2, 57–84


INDEX OF BIBLICAL REFERENCES Hebrew Bible Genesis 3–12 3:24 4:1 7:12 24:1–9 24:12–14 24:16 24:17–21 24:42–44 24:45–46 27:1–28:5 35:22 38:26 41:1–7 41:17–24 49

23 72 10 9 31 25 10 25 25 25 31 16 10 25 25 31

Exodus 1:21 7:11 7:22 14:9 14:17–18 14:25 14:28 15:4 15:19 15:26 19:23 21:12–14 21:14 21:24 22:27 24:18 25:1–31:11 25:9 25:40 26:30 35:4–39:43

21 203 203 13 13 13 13 13 13 20 70 36 36 33 33 9 25 38 38 38 25

Leviticus 16:21


Numbers 7:12–83 7:61 24:4 24:17 25:3

25 131 140 54 54

Deuteronomy 4:6 4:29 6:5 7:3–4 7:12 7:15 10:12 11:1 11:13 13:4 16:12 16:19 17:14–20 17:15–20 17:16–17 17:19 23:24 24:8 26:16 28:13 28:27 28:35 29:8 30:2 30:6 30:14 31:23 31:24–32:47

34 34 34 54 34 20 34 34 34 34 34 132 51 156 132 133 34 34 34 34 20 20 34 34 34 34 34 35

Joshua 1:6 1:8 1:9 1:18 6:26

34 34, 37 34 34 34

index of biblical references

Joshua (cont.) 19:18 22:3 22:5 23 23:14 24:1–28

10 34 34 35 34 35

Judges 2:1–5 5:31 8:22–23 8:28 13:1

35 9 29 9 9

1 Samuel 1:23 2:35–36 3:12–13 4:9 8 8:4–22 8:11 8:13 9:16–10:1 9:16 9:27–10:1 10:1 10:17–24 10:20–21 10:24 10:27 11 11:14–15 12 13:14 14:50–51 15:1 15:10 15:30 16:1–13 16:1 16:13 16:14–23 17:10–11 17:17–29 19:1–24:3 21:8 22:5 22:14 22:17 24:4–20

34 34 34 34 156 29 13 10 24 26 26 25, 26 26 23 25 26 59 27 35 26 57 24 24 24 24, 27 194 25, 194 109 31 31 31 57 15 57 13 31

24:5 25:30 26:1–2 26:3–25 28:4 31:4–7 2 Samuel 2:4 2:23–39 2:32 3:3 3:4 3:26–30 3:31–39 5:1–3 5:4–5 5:5 5:14 6 6:17 6:21 7 7:1 7:8 7:10–11 7:11–12 7:11 7:12–14 7:12–13 7:15–16 7:16 8:3 8:4 8:15 8:16 8:17 8:18 9–20 10–12 11–12 11:3–4 11:4 11:5 12 12:7 12:8 12:15–24 12:24–25 12:24 12:25 12:26–27

261 9 26 31 31 10 57 27 31 31 12 24 31 33 11, 27 9, 32 11 19, 161 70 25 26 15, 20, 39, 150 179 24 150 21, 33 21, 180 23 39, 150 35 28 36 60 137 57 58 57 7 52 16, 20, 40, 52 16 53 53 15, 17, 18 17 16 52 21, 176 52 53, 130, 166, 176 16


index of biblical references

2 Samuel (cont.) 13:1–30 13:23–39 13:24–39 14:5 14:24 14:25 15:1 15:2–18:17 15:7–17:29 15:7–12 15:10 15:11 16:5–13 16:16 16:21–22 18:5 18:9–15 18:12 18:14–15 18:29 18:32 19:1–5 19:1–2 19:1 19:5 19:17–18 19:19–24 19:32–40 19:33 20:8–10 20:8–9 20:23 20:24 20:25 21 24:11–19 24:17

12 31 14 11 14 13 13 13 31 13 13 14 31 25 16 31, 33 12, 31 31, 33 33 31 31 31 33 31 33 31 31 31 9 31 31 57 57, 58 58 33 15 9

1–2 Kings

86, 243

1 Kings 1–2 1 1:1–4 1:1 1:4 1:5–53 1:5–10 1:5–8 1:5–6 1:5 1:6 1:7

8, 49, 86, 102, 107 7, 15 15, 21, 27, 36 8–10, 20, 31 9 10 8, 20 16, 49 9 13 13, 16 12, 13 25

1:8–10 1:8 1:9–10 1:9 1–11 1–10 1–2 1:10 1:11–53 1:11–14 1:11 1:12 1:13 1:14 1:15–16 1:15 1:16 1:17 1:18 1:19 1:20 1:21 1:22–23 1:23–27 1:23 1:24–25 1:25 1:26 1:27 1:28–35 1:28–31 1:32–35 1:32 1:33 1:35 1:36–37 1:37 1:38–40 1:38 1:39 1:41 1:43 1:44–48 1:44 1:46–48 1:46 1:47–48 1:47 1:48 1:49–53 1:49 1:50–53 1:52–53 1:52

15 25 14 13, 24 153, 156, 158 52 1, 7, 24, 40, 51, 52 18, 25 20 15 16 16, 17 16, 17 17 10 10 11, 18 17 16 16, 24 12, 17, 20 16 10 17 10, 18 16 24, 25 15, 18 12, 20 18 10 21, 25 10, 25 161 11, 26 18 30 25 25 27, 194 14 20 25 25 10 25, 28 20 10, 18, 30 21 49 14 36 90 90, 91

1 Kings (cont.) 2–11 2 2:1–46 2:1–9 2:2–4 2:2 2:3 2:4 2:5–9 2:5–6 2:5 2:7 2:8–9 2:10–12 2:10 2:11–12 2:11 2:12–25 2:12 2:13–46 2:13–25 2:13–18 2:15 2:19 2:20 2:22 2:23–24 2:24 2:26–27 2:26 2:27 2:28–35 2:28–34 2:28 2:31–33 2:31 2:35 2:36–46 2:44 2:45 2:46 3–11 3 3:1–2 3:1 3:2 3:3–15 3:4–10 3:7 3:9 3:10–14 3:10–13 3:10

index of biblical references 85 36 8 30, 35, 40, 51 30, 34, 36, 37 34 34 34 30 14, 30, 32, 36 97 30 30, 32 32 95 30 9 95 8, 25, 28, 29, 32 29, 32, 38 9, 16, 29 90 12, 21 19 95 12, 25, 91 91 21, 33 29, 33 14, 58 34 29 36 25, 32 32, 36 33 19 29 32 97 29, 32 1, 50, 51, 94 140 38 39, 65 29 38 89 21, 89 95, 155, 232 156 155, 157 97

3:13–14 3:13 3:16–28 3:26 3:28 4 4:1–5:14 4:2 4:3 4:4 4:5 4:6 4:7–19 4:13 4:20 4:30 4:31–33 5–7 5 5:1 5:4 5:6 5:9–32 5:12 5:13 5:15–28 5:19–20 5:27–32 6–7 6:1–7:51 6:1–14 6:5 6:15–22 6:23–28 6:29–35 6:29 6:32 6:35 6:37–38 6:38 7:1–12 7:8 7:13–14 7:13 7:15–22 7:22 7:23–26 7:26 7:27–39 7:40–51 7:40 7:46 7:51 8:4

263 97 157 39, 91, 137 228 91 19 39 58 57, 58 57, 58 19, 58 57, 58 50, 58 247 156 224 92 244 141 129 53, 129 13 37 141, 168 244 39 39 52 2, 62, 66, 68 40 81 64 81 82 82 72 72 72 38–40 128 39, 64 39, 65 60, 82 66 82 159 62, 83 159 83 83 66 66 128 25

264 1 Kings (cont.) 8:10–14 8:15–53 8:23 8:25 8:27–29 8:47 8:65 8:66 9 9:5–7 9:11–13 9:15 9:16 9:17 9:18 9:19 9:20 9:24 9:26–28 9:26 10 10:1–29 10:1–13 10:1 10:7–9 10:9–10 10:9 10:10 10:11 10:23–29 10:23 10:26 10:28–29 10:29 11:1–43 11:1–13 11:1–8 11:1 11:4 11:5 11:6 11:7–8 11:9–11 11:9 11:10–12 11:11 11:14–24 11:14–22 11:14 11:17–20 11:23 11:25–40 11:25

index of biblical references 66 149 101 34 149 138 36 20 156 34 95 98 39, 65 98 36, 98 13 98 39, 65 60 60 156 153 160, 220 139, 222 140 22 28 96 60 155 160 13 13, 60, 65 135 156 85 2, 54 39, 65, 130 100, 101, 135 100 101 100 55 54 136 138 61 67 130 98 130 61 67, 130

11:29–31 11:38 11:40 11:41 11:43 12 12:1–16 12:1–4 12:4 12:15 12:17 13:1–2 13:29–32 14:25 14:26 14:27–28 15:12 15:13 18 18:46 19:8 22:49

25 98 98 35 11 50, 51 11 156 99, 156 34 11 34 34 65 65 13 20 19 66 13 9 60

2 Kings 4:8 4:12 4:25 4:36 8:21 9:1–14 10:10 10:13 10:17 10:25 11:4 11:6 11:11 11:12–14 11:12 11:15–16 11:19 16:17 16:34 17:7–23 20:5 22:8 23:16–18 23:8 24:15

10 10 10 10 61 25 34 19 34 13 13 13 13 25 25 36 13 63 34 35 26 34 34 59 19

1–2 Chronicles


1 Chronicles 2:36


1 Chronicles (cont.) 3:2 3:5 7:17 11:2 17 17:1–27 17:1 17:9–10 17:10 17:11–13 17:11–12 17:14 18:3 21:9 21:16 22 22:2–19 22:5–19 22:5–11 22:5 22:7–19 22:7–10 22:9–10 22:10 22:11–13 22:11 22:12–13 22:14 23:1–32 23:1 24:1–19 24:7–19 25:1–31 26:1–32 28–29 28 28:1–10 28:2–29:20 28:3 28:4–5 28:5 28:6–7 28:9–10 28:10–29:9 28:10–19 28:20 29:11 29:12 29:18–19 29:20–25 29:20–24 29:20–21 29:21

index of biblical references 12, 24 41, 161 24 26 20, 39 150 179 150 179 23 39, 150 21, 28 36 15 9 39 38 37 22 39 35 36, 40 166, 179 23 36, 37 36, 38 37 37 20 20, 26, 28, 37 20 145 20 20 20, 28, 153 23, 39 28 35 36 23 28 23 36 38 38 37 21, 28 30 37 26-28 37 39 26

29:22 29:23–25 29:23–24 29:23 29:25 29:26–28 29:29

265 27 24 38 26, 28, 129, 133 30, 38 30 15, 19

2 Chronicles 1–9 1:1–13 1:1 1:8 1:9 1:12 1:18 2–11 2:1 2:2–15 2:2–11 2:4–8 3:1–5:1 4:6 5:5 6:42 7:8 7:10 8:3 8:11 9 9:1–31 9:1–12 9:8 9:9 11:17 11:18–23 13:4–12 13:8 15:16 16:7–12 21:3 21:18–19 23:14–15 24:20–22 26:16–21 29:25 30:26 32:24–26

102 153 38 30 21 22 30 39 1 39 39 37 39 40 73 25 137 36 20 36 39 156 153 160, 220 22, 28 96 20, 40 12 35 21, 29 19 20 12 20 36 36 20 15 40 20

Ezra 1:1–4


Nehemiah 9



index of biblical references

Nehemiah (cont.) 9:6–31 9:32–37 9:38–10:39 13:26–27 13:26

150 150 150 54 22

Esther 1:2 5:2–3 6:8 6:9–11

132, 134 11 25 25

Job 12:3


Psalms 18:5 18:7 19:7–19:9 24:9 25:8 25:10 44 44 LXX 44:8 LXX 71 LXX 71:1–7 72 72:7 72:8 72:9 72: 10–11 76:13 86:17 89:4 95:10 98:6 105:15 106:6 110:3 132:13

200 174 174 133 136 137 136 180 176 176 170, 177, 178 177 138 131 129 244 129 26 136, 137 24 9 29 137 138 54 136

Proverbs 1:1 1:20–26 2:6 3:8 3:18 4:25 8–9 LXX 8:21–36 8:22 8:27

131, 243 129, 130, 153, 158 169 139 172 159 172 169 172 172 172

8:29–30 10:1 20:22 24:29 25:1 25:21–22 30:1 31:4

172 130 31 31 130 153 130 130

Ecclesiastes 1:1 1:2 1:12 7:20 10:16

131, 153, 166, 243 153 130 129 153 140

Song of Solomon 1:1 2:16 3:7–8 3:7 6:2–3 7:1

131, 153, 228, 243 153 159 129 128 159 10

Isaiah 1:27 3:10 4:5–6 6 7:14 LXX 30:30 41:21 43:15 44:6 49:1 52:7 61:1 LXX 66:1–6

138 137 178 71 172 172 29 29 29 22 29 176 149

Jeremiah 1:4–5 13:18 29:2 32:31

22 19 19 136

Ezekiel 20:33 26:7 28:1–19 28:14 37:22–25 41:18

29 13 26 72 29 72

index of biblical references

Daniel 7:14 9:5 9:21

129 138 147

Hosea 3:5



Jonah 3:4


Malachi 4:1


New Testament Matthew 1 1:1–17 1:6–7 1:16 1:21 1:23 2 2:1–12 2:17 3:3 4:14 5–7 6:24 6:25–34 6:28–30 6:28–29 6:28 6:29 6:33 7:22 9:27–31 10:1 12:22–30 12:22–24 12:38–42 12:39 12:42–45 12:42 12:45–46 15:22 20:20–34 21:14 24 24:15

214, 215 161 157, 161 161 23 172 157, 213 161 153 153 153 155 155 154, 155 154, 157 159 155 156, 157 156 191 109 191 109 109 157, 160 160 109 157, 160, 210, 221 109 109 109 147 207 153

Mark 3:15 3:22 4:18–19 5:9 7:10 10:46–52

191 189 155 190 153 109

12:26 12:36 16:17

153 153 191

Luke 1:5–23 1:5 2:21 2:22–52 2:25 3:19 3:23–38 3:31 4:17 7:35 9:7–9 11:20 11:29–32 11:29 11:31 11:49 12:13–21 12:22–34 12:27–28 12:27 12:31 12:32–34 12:33–34 12:34 13:31 18:35–43 19:29–40 23:11–12 24:52

144 145 23 144 147 152 161 161 153 160 152 184 160 160 160, 210, 221 160 155 154, 155 154 159 156 155 157 155 152 109 161 152 145

John 10:22–23 10:23 10:33

145 146 145

Acts 2:5 2:9–11

147 151

268 Acts (cont.) 2:16 3:1–11 3:1–10 3:1 3:2 3:10 3:11 3:12–26 3:14 4:1–7 4:1–4 4:1–3 4:15–17 4:21 4:27 5:12–16 5:12–15 5:12 5:17–18 6:1–7 6:9 6:11 6:13 6:14 7 7:1 7:2–53 7:2–46 7:38 7:44–50 7:44–46 7:46–47 7:47–53

index of biblical references 153 147 145 147 145 145 145, 146 145 149 147 152 145 147 146 152 184 147 145, 146 147, 152 148 147 149 149 149 148 151 149 149, 150 151 147 149 151, 205 150

7:47–50 7:47 7:48–53 7:48–50 7:51–53 7:52 8:2 8:27 9:10–19 12:1 12:6 12:11 12:19 12:21–23 21:17–26 21:27–28 22:12

149 147 148 148, 149, 151 149, 151 149 147 221 147 152 152 152 152 152 147 151 147

Romans 3:10–20 9:15 9:25 9:27–29 10:19 10:20 12:20 12:21

153 153 153 153 153 153 153 153

1 Corinthians 3:16


2 Timothy 3:8


Apocrypha and Septuagint Judith 9:1


1 Maccabees 4:59


2 Maccabees 2:8–10


Ecclesiasticus 47:12–22 47:14–15 47:20

158 158 158, 159


134, 189

Wisdom 1:1 3:9 4:15 7 7:17–21 7:17–20 7:18–20 7:20

166 169 168 168 118 109 110 118 247



Alphabeth of Ben Sira


Apuleius On the God of Socrates Metamorphoses

185 189

Euripides Iphigenia in Aulis 812



Ascensio Isaiae


Athanasius Life of Anthony 47

167, 169 191–192

Augustine City of God 1. X 8–10

Eusebius Church History VI,43,11 191 Demonstration of the Gospel 7,3,18–27.55 178 8,1,53–54 178 8,4,15 178 9,17,16–17 178

243 185

2 Baruch 77,25


The Book of the Wise Philosophers


Clement of Alexandria Eclogae propheticae 53, 3 Paedagogus 1 1,29,3 Stromata 1,113

211 181 179 172

Cyril of Jerusalem Mystagogic Catecheses 2,3 185 Dead Sea Scrolls 4QMMT C 18–19 18 23–24 11QPs11 Temple Scroll XXIX,8–10 LVI–LIX

158 158 158 111, 113 151 151

Egeria Itinerarium 37:7 46:1

194 193 185 213



Evagrius Ponticus Antirrhetikos


Flavius Josephus Against Apion 1.110 1.111 1.114–115 2.132 Jewish Antiquities 5.44–49 5.129 6.280 7.110 7.338 7.343 7.345–346 7.350 7.354–358 7.356 7.360 7.362 7.374 7.381 7.382 7.384

2, 3, 247, 253 96 158 158 158 85, 108 224 99 93 95 93, 95, 97 9–10 90 25 27 93, 95 26 90, 91 93, 95 91, 96 27 93


index of other references 7.386 7.389 7.392 8–10 8 8.1–212 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.6 8.8 8.9–13 8.9 8.19 8.20 8.22–25 8.22 8.23 8.24 8.26–34 8.26 8.30 8.32 8.34 8.35–37 8.38 8.39–41 8.41 8.42–49 8.42 8.43–44 8.45–49 8.45–46 8.45 8.46–48 8.48 8.49 8.52 8.55 8.56 8.57–129 8.58 8.61–75 8.90–98 8.107–119 8.109–110 8.111–112 8.112 8.114 8.124 8.125–129 8.129 8.131 8.132–140

97 9 95 85 110 2, 87–102 224 90 90, 99 90 95 97 90, 95 96 96, 97 98 94 89, 91, 95 97, 101 91 91 92 92 91, 93 92 92, 99 92 98 158 92 92 86, 92, 93 110 93 111 93 93 95 87 102 94 99 86 86 101 101 95 95 150 99 98 99 94 94

8.133 8.137 8.140 8.141–142 8.144–146 8.146 8.147–149 8.149 8.150 8.151–152 8.154 8.171 8.174 8.175 8.176–184 8.190 8.191–195 8.195 8.196 8.199 8.204 8.208 8.210 8.211 8.213 14.65 15.68 15.380–425 15.380 15.385–387 15.396–401 15.398–402 15.417–419 16.21 16.181–183 20.220–221 20.221 20.247–249 Jewish War 1.648–650 5.184–185 5.185 George Cedrenus

94 94 101 95 89 90 89 89 98 98 98 92 96 96 99 100, 101 100 101 101 101 98 98 98 101 99 147 100 144, 151 151 152 146 146 147 100 151 146 146 152 85 152 146 146 101

Gnostica Secret Book of John 199, 202 Books of Jeou 199 Zosimus 198, 199, 202, 203, 205-208, 214, 248 Gospel/Questions of Bartholomew


index of other references

Gospel of the Egyptians


Gospel of Judas

201, 202

Gospel of Thomas


Gregentius of Taphra


Hippolytus Commentary on the Song of Songs

171 211

Irenaeus of Lyons Against Heresies 4,20,3 4,27,1 5,24,1

173 178 173

John Cassian


Justin Dialogue with Trypho 34,1–8 34,1 34,7 34,8 61,3 62,4 64,5–6 Second Apology 6

177 177 177 178 172 173 177 191

Kebra nägäst (Glory of the Kings) 166, 220-224, 232, 236 Lactantius Divine Institutes 4,6,6 4,8,13 4,12,1–3, epit. 39 (44), 1–2 4,12,1

165, 171

Leontios of Byzance


Life of Adam and Eve


Lucian of Samosata True History 2,46–47


4 Maccabees 18:15–16 18:16

159 159

172 172 167 171

Magical Works Book of the seven heavens Book of the seven vessels Book of Solomon Hydromancy of Solomon (Epistle to Rehoboam) Key of Solomon (Clavicula Solomonis) Magical Papyrus I,144 Magical Treatise of Solomon The Mirror of Solomon The Net of Solomon Sefer ha-Razim Selenodromion of David and Solomon


214 214 214 118, 119, 121 118, 122 188 119, 121, 122 225–227, 238 225, 226, 237 118, 121 119

Nag Hammadi On the Origin of the World (NH II, 5) 201 106, 35–107, 4 202 122, 18–19 207 The Gospel of the Egyptians (NH III, 2) 63, 17–18 212 82, 19–21 212 82, 19–20 212 82, 21–22 214 83, 15–19 212 84, 17–18 212 NH V, 5:78: 27–79: 19 213 NH IX, 3:29, 11–21 209 NH IX, 3:69, 32–70, 30 204 Apocalypse of Adam (NH V, 5) 211, 213, 214, 216 12 213 78, 30 213 79, 3–4 213 Second Treatise of the Great Seth (NH VII, 2) 209, 210, 212, 214–216 62, 27–64, 29 209 63, 4–17 209 64, 19–20 210 65, 18–19 210 Testimony of Truth (NH IX, 3) 203–210, 213, 215 69,31–70,24 244


index of other references

Odes of Solomon 154, 199–201, 214, 216 1:1–5 165, 167 3 175, 176, 178 3:2–7 176 3:5 176 3:7 176 3:8–9 179 5:1–11 165 6:8–18 165 7:1 176 8:7 177 8:8–22 174 8:22 175, 176 9:3 174 9:6 177 10:2 177 10:4–6 174 11:2 175, 179 11:3 177 11:12 175 14:8 179 16:12 179 17:6–16 174 17:16 174 19 167, 171 19:6–7 165, 172 20:9 179 22:1–12 165, 174 23:1–3 168 24:1 174 25:1–12 165 26:1–3 178 26:12–13 178 26:12 179, 180 26:13 179 28:7 179 28:9–19 174 29:6 174 31:6–13 174 33 169 34:1–2 169 35:1–2 178 35:1 177–179 36:1 176 36:2 179 36:3–8 174 36:3–6 179 36:6 174, 176, 180 36:8 177 38:4 179 38:11 176 39:11 174 41:3 174

41:8–11 41:15 42:3–20

174 174 174

Origen Homilies on Numbers 6,3,6 Homilies on Joshua 11,5 Commentary on the Psalms 71 (72) Catena Fragments on Matthew 433 Commentary on John 1,28(30) Commentary on John 6,1

170, 208 208 178

178 178

Paul the Deacon


Philo of Alexandria On Mating

87 177, 178

178 178

Pistis Sophia 165, 167, 199–201, 205, 214 Plato Plutarch of Chaironeia Moralia 312D On the Failure of Oracles On the Sign of Socrates

224 188 184 185

Psalms of Solomon 17.21–25 17.21 17.32

144, 166, 201 161 161 161

Pseudo-Clementines Homilies 8–9 Homilies 19,9 Recognitions 4

185 191 185

Ps.-Gregentius, Disputatio


Pseudo-Philo Biblical Antiquities

108, 109

Qur’an and Islamic Authors 2,102 2,142 4,163 6,84 12,4–101 17,1

248 244 242 242 242 244

index of other references 20,116 21,78–82 21,82 27,15–45 27,16 27,18–19 27,18 27,22–44 27,22–25 27,34 27,36 27,39 27,40 34,12 34,13 34,14 37,37 37,158 38,17 38,20–21 al-AʽShā al-Bukhtûrî al-Nābigha al-Ṭabarī Brethren of Purity Wahb b. Munabbih al-Yamānī Rabbinic Literature Shabbath 30a Shabbath 56b ʽErubin 21b Yoma 36b Yoma 2.1 Megillah 11b Megillah 31a Yebamoth 76ab Sotah 48b Gittin 7a Gittin 68ab Sanhedrin 10.2 Sanhedrin 20b Sanhedrin 21b Sanhedrin 70b Sanhedrin 104b Sanhedrin 107b Makkoth 10a Hullīn 57b Niddah 70b b. Berakoth 62b b. Shabbat 56b b. Gittin 68a p.Berakoth I,6,4a p.Yoma II,7,40d

246 242 244 222 250 251 251 246 250 242 246 246 246, 252 244 244 245 244 245 252 242 245 245 245 248, 249, 253 241-252 247 136, 137 136 141 138 138 131 128 130 134 136 134 137 131 135 136 137 136 137 251 136 9 135 246 128 137

p.Shebuoth I,7(5),33b Mek Pisha 16 (L 134) Pesiktha di R. Kahana 1 4.3 5.3 26.2 27.3 Pesiktha Rabbathi 2.5 6 6.4 6.6 14.7 14.8–9 Pirke di R. Eliezer 32 Rosh Hashanah 21b Sifra Ahare 2 Sifre Devarim § 9 Targum Sheni TS Esther GenR 85.12 ExodR 15.26 ExodR 30.15 LevR 12.5 LevR 30.3 NumR 11.3 NumR 12.17 NumR 13.14 NumR 14.3 NumR 19.3 1 KgsR 1–11 EstherR CantR CantR 1 CantR 1.1.10 CantR 1.1.11 EcclR EcclR 1.1.2 EcclR 2.11 EcclR 2.2.5 EcclR 2.24.1 EcclR 4.3.1 EcclR 5.10.2 EcclR 7.23 EcclR 10.17 MidrEsthR MidrProv MidrProv 1.1 MidrProv 1.2–4 MidrProv 20 MidrProv 22 MidrPss MidrPss 7.6

273 137 128 127 134 140 131 134 138 127 136 128 128, 137 128 138 138, 140 128 129 137 134 246, 250 222 140 131 138 136 138 134, 135 134 129, 131 136 140 86 132, 134 127, 131 138, 141 130 128, 129 127, 137 136 139 140 140 137 137 140 140 132 127 138 139 129 137 127 137


index of other references

MidrPss 24.10 MidrPss 78.12 MidrPss 122.1 MidrSong of Solomon 1.9 Tanchuma B Wa–era 2 Tan Behuqqot Tan Wa–era 5 Tan(B) Metsora 1 Abba Gurion Gersonides (R. Levi ben Gershon) Kimchi, D. Panim Aherim Rashi Pseudo-Rashi Sallustius The Conspiracy of Catiline 5

136 134 137 250 134 138 134 137 127, 132, 134 30 9, 10, 27 127, 134 9, 39, 138 27


Tertullian Against Marcion 5,9,9–13 178 Testament of Adam


Testament of Solomon 109, 114, 166, 183, 185, 202, 206–208, 214, 216, 224, 238 1 193 1:1–5 112

1:7 4–25 4 5 6:5 6:8 7 9 11 11:3 11:6 12:3 12:4 13:2 14 15:8–10 16 17 17:4 18 19–21 22 22:20 25:4 Theophilos of Antioch Apology to Autolycus 2,10,6 2,38,4 3,13,1

205, 206 183 188 189 248 190 189 186 188 190 190 190 248 192 189 206 186 186 190 189 192 192, 193 190 203

172 172 172

The Figure of Solomon in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Tradition: King, Sage and Architect  

The Figure of Solomon in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Tradition: King, Sage and Architect (Themes in Biblical Narrative: Jewish and Christi...

The Figure of Solomon in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Tradition: King, Sage and Architect  

The Figure of Solomon in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Tradition: King, Sage and Architect (Themes in Biblical Narrative: Jewish and Christi...