Painting: De Min, Giovanni (1789–1859), Solomon and The Queen of Sheba
Solomon, the son of David, was a great king of Israel. He was known for a number of things, including his wisdom, his great wealth, his famous temple, and his many women. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. In many ways, King Solomon is case study material, but that is for some other day. Earlier today, my friend and chief tormentor, Abigail, tweeted something interesting about King Solo (King Solo sounds cool; right?). Have a look:
Solomon liked women, but women also liked Solomon. Why did 1000 women agree to be identified with Solomon…including queens?
— Aunty Abigail (@Anabagail) December 2, 2014
Someone would argue that back then, women were treated like property, and so perhaps Solomon just took which women he wanted. But that has been addressed in part by the fact that even queens sought to be identified with him. The queen of Sheba was a ruling monarch and was in no way subject to King Solo (or K Solo; that’s not a bad nickname either; is it?). As a matter of fact, the story reads like she really was a formidable ruler too. Yet, she travelled from afar to come see for herself.
Psst: This was 970 to 931 BC, and we see that Sheba and other nations had queens. Patriarchy didn’t seem to have prevented such an “abomination” as female rulers from happening. *cough! cough!* We might also need to research how women fared under these female rulers. I am betting that the results will be interesting. Don’t believe everything you read about men being responsible for subjugating women and all what not.
Anyway, K Solo liked women, but it is also clear that women liked him a lot too. Many of his wives were foreign queens and princesses. What was it about him that made all those women want to be identified with him? His wisdom, his wealth, or both? We know that many women are attracted to intelligent, wealthy and powerful men, and K. Solo was all three. But perhaps there was also something else.
Who knows? Maybe there was also a legend about his phallus, his romantic ways, or his skills in bed? The bible wouldn’t dare mention that now; would it? But who is it that the Song Of Solomon is attributed to again?