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date: 29 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

King Solomon is presented in the Historical Books as a multivalent character. Known for his wisdom, he makes foolish choices about multiplying his wives. Though he built and dedicated the temple for the LORD, his heart turned away from the LORD, after which the kingdom of Israel was divided into two. The multivalent biblical Solomon becomes even more multifaceted in reception history: communicating with birds and animals, controlling demons with a magic ring, fathering the Ethiopian dynasty, and working with water and planets to practice divination. Opinions are split on whether or not he repented or was forgiven for his wrongdoings; others see him as a type of Christ. Solomon’s rich reception history demonstrates how there is no single perspective on any biblical text or character, but, rather, always a variety of interpretive possibilities.

Keywords: Solomon, queen of Sheba, demons, Temple, wisdom, Shamir, Freemasons, wives

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