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Definition of SOLOMON
: a son of David and 10th century b.c. king of Israel proverbial for his wisdom
Origin of SOLOMON
Late Latin, from Hebrew Shĕlōmōh
First Known Use: before 12th century
(flourished 10th century BC) Son and successor of David. Nearly all that is known about him comes from the Bible (1 Kings 1–11 and 2 Chronicles 1–9). Through the efforts of his mother, Bathsheba, and the prophet Nathan, Solomon was anointed king while David was still alive. On accession to the throne, he liquidated his opponents ruthlessly and installed friends in key posts. He established Israelite colonies outside his kingdom's borders, cooperating with such friendly rulers as the Queen of Sheba to increase commerce. Fortification of his far-flung empire necessitated a vast building program, the crowning achievement of which was the Temple of Jerusalem. He reorganized the nation into 12 tribes with 12 administrative districts. He is said to have had a harem of 700 wives and 300 concubines. After the ascension to the throne of his son Rehoboam, the northern tribes seceded and formed their own kingdom of Israel, bringing an end to Solomon's empire. His legendary wisdom is recorded in the Book of Proverbs, and he is traditionally named as the author of the biblical Song of Solomon. He was regarded as the greatest king of Israel.