Heb: Shelomoh (
Son of David through Bathsheba. Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah, a soldier in David's army. After an adulterous affair, Bathsheba was pregnant and David schemed to have Uriah killed in battle. After Uriah's death, David married Bathsheba but God took away their baby. After David repented, Solomon was born to them.
Solomon reigned as King of Israel and expanded its territories during his reign. Had a reputation of being wise
Solomon is also known as a man with many women in the thousands. Islam also agrees that Solomon had many women. For example, in one of the hadiths, he was said to have sex with 70 women in one night (Sahih Bukhari 4.635)!
Solomon fell into idolatry later. The Kingdom of Israel was divided into two after his death.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
(The Prophet) Solomon said, "Tonight I will sleep with (my) ninety wives, each of whom will get a male child who will fight for Allah's Cause." On that, his companion (Sufyan said that his companion was an angel) said to him, "Say, "If Allah will (Allah willing)." But Solomon forgot (to say it). He slept with all his wives, but none of the women gave birth to a child, except one who gave birth to a halfboy. Abu Huraira added: The Prophet said, "If Solomon had said, "If Allah will" (Allah willing), he would not have been unsuccessful in his action, and would have attained what he had desired." Once Abu Huraira added: Allah apostle said, "If he had accepted." (Sahih Bukhari 8.711)
We have no record of Solomon having a half-boy.
Tisdall compares this account with the Targum:
Such is the account the Koran gives us of Queen Of Saba. What it tells us of the Throne differs but little from the Targum, where it is said to have belonged to Solomon, and to have had no other like it in any land. There were six Steps of gold to ascend, and on each twelve golden Lions, while twelve eagles of gold were Perched around. Four-and-twenty other eagles cast their shadow from above upon the King, and when he wished to move anywhere, these powerful eagles descending would lift the Throne and carry it wherever he wished. Thus they performed, according to the Targum, the same duty the Koran tells us the Genii did. But otherwise in respect of Queen Of Saba, her visit to Solomon, the letter sent by him to her, etc., there is a marvellous resemblance between the two, excepting this, indeed, that in place of the Lapwing of the Koran, the Targum Speaks of a Red-cock, - Not a very vital difference after all! The whole story is told in the Targum as follows:-II TARGUM of EstherIn the Jewish statement, we see that the Queen put several enigmas for Solomon to solve; and though this Is not mentioned in the Koran, it is In the Moslem traditions. And so with the story of her legs; for in the Aiaish al Majalis we find the following: - When the Queen was about to enter the Palace, she fancied the glass floor to be a sheet of water, and so she uncovered her legs, that is, to pass over to Solomon; and lo her legs and felt were covered with hair; which when Solomon saw, he turned his sight from her, and called out, The floor is plain glass.
At another time, when the heart of Solomon was gladdened with wine, he gave orders for the beasts of the land, the birds of the air, the creeping things of the earth, the demons from above and the Genii, to be brought, that they might dance around him, in order that all the kings waiting upon him might behold his grandeur. And all the royal scribes summoned by their names before him; in fact, all were there except the captives and prisoners and those in charge of them. Just then the Red-cock, enjoying itself, could not be found; and King Solomon said that they should seize and bring it by force, and indeed he sought to kill it. But just then the cock appeared in presence of the King, and said: O Lord, King of the earth! having applied thine ear, listen to my words. It is hardly three months since I made a firm resolution within me that I would not eat a crumb of bread, nor drink a drop of water until I had seen the whole world, and over it make my flight, saying to myself, I must know the city and the kingdom which is not subject to thee, my Lord King. Then I found the fortified city Qitor in the Eastern lands, and around it are stones of gold and silver in the streets plentiful as rubbish, and trees planted from the beginning of the world, and rivers to water it, flowing out of the garden of Eden. Many men are there wearing garlands from the garden close by. They shoot arrows, but cannot use the bow. They are ruled by a woman, called Queen of Sheba. Now if it please my Lord King, thy servant, having bound up my girdle, will set out for the fort Qitor in Sheba; and having "bound their Kings with chains and their Nobles with links of iron," will bring them into thy presence. The proposal pleased the King, and the scribes prepared a dispatch, which was placed under the bird's wing, and away it flew high up in the sky. It grew strong surrounded by a crowd of birds, and reached the Fort of Sheba. By chance the Queen of Sheba was out in the morning worshipping the sea; and the air being darkened by the multitude of birds, she became so alarmed as to rend her clothes in trouble and distress. Just then the Cock alighted by her, and she seeing the letter under its wing opened and read it as follows: "King Solomon sendeth to thee his salaam, and saith, The high and holy One hath set me over the beasts of the field, etc.; and the kings of the four Quarters send to ask after my welfare. Now if it please thee to come and ask after my welfare, I will set thee high above them all. But if it please thee not, I will send kings and armies against thee; - the beasts of the field are my people, the birds of the air my riders, the demons and genii thine enemies, -- to imprison you, to slay and to feed upon you." When the Queen of Sheba heard it, she again rent her garments, and sending for her Nobles asked their advice. They knew not Solomon, but advised her to send vessels by the sea, full of beautiful ornaments and gems, together with 6000 boys and girls in purple garments, who had all been born at the same moment; also to send a letter promising to visit him by the end of the year. It was a journey of seven years but she promised to come in three. When at last she came, Solomon sent a messenger shining in brilliant attire, like the morning dawn, to meet her. As they came together, she stepped from her carriage. "Why dost thou thus?" he asked. "Art thou not Solomon?" she said. "Nay, I am but a servant that standeth in his presence." The queen at once addressed a parable to her followers in compliment to him, and then was led by him to the Court. Solomon hearing she had come, arose and sat down in the Palace of glass. When the Queen of Sheba saw it, she thought that the glass floor was water, and so in crossing over lifted up her garments. When Solomon seeing the hair about her legs, cried out to her: Thy beauty is the beauty of women, but thy hair is as the hair of men; hair is good in man, but in wonian It is not becoming. On this she said: My Lord, I have three enigmas to put to thee. If thou canst answer them, I shall know that thou art a wise man: but if not thou art like all around thee. When he had answered all three, she replied, astonished: Blessed be the Lord thy God, who hath placed thee on the throne that thou mightest rule with right and justice. And she gave to Solomon much gold and silver; and he to her whatsoever she desired.
Here we would ask whether there is any reality whatever in all this story. There is indeed so much as we find in the First Book of Kings, 10: 1-11 (also see 2 Chronicles 9 1-9) which is as follows:-And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions. And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord; there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the I,ord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice. And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. I Kings 10:1-11Now these are the facts of the Queen's visit, and all beyond mere fiction. The Jews themselves admit it to be so, - excepting, indeed, Solomon's magnificent Throne, though not its being carried aloft. The Koran account of Solomon ruling over Demons, Genii, etc., is in entire accord with what we have cited from the Targum; and it is curious to find, as learned Jews tell us, that the origin of the notion lay in the similarity of two Hebrew words [footnote: Meaning "a lady and ladies" in Ecclesiastes 2:8], with two kindred words signifying demons and genii, and the ignorant Commentator confounding them together led to the strange error.
In concluding our notice of the fanciful tale which we have given from the Jewish Targum, we might say that it reminds one of such stories as we find in the "Arabian Nights." But strange that the Prophet could not have seen it so. Having heard it from his Jewish friends, he evidently fancied that it had been read by them in their inspired Scriptures, and as such introduced it, as we find, into the Koran. (W. St. Clair-Tisdall, The Sources of Islam)
Compare with Second Targum on Esther 1:2 (See above, on Solomon and Queen of Sheba)
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