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ODE TO THE PAST (with the occasional nod to the present)

King Solomon's Love

King Solomon has been the subject of extensive research in my office, first for The Riddle of Solomon (Book Two in The Sarah Weston Chronicles, the sequel to The Tenth Saint); and also for The Judgment, a historical novel set to release in May 2016.

There are so many fascinating aspects to the biblical king's character. Wealth, wisdom, wives ... he had it all. Everyone, however, seems to be curious about his prolific love life. It is debated whether the biblical Song of Songs, presumably authored by Solomon, is a literal account of his romantic encounters or an allegorical description of the love between God and Israel.

Consider one passage:
While the king was at his table,
my perfume spread its fragrance.
My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
resting between my breasts.
My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
from the vineyards of En Gedi.

Either way you look at it, it's pretty racy for the Bible. King Solomon was definitely not a fainthearted character, and everything he did, he did with gusto. Why not his love life as well?

Though the king had seven wives and hundreds of consorts, his love for one exceeded the others: Nicaule, daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh not named in any of the literature. (The theories name three pharaohs: Siamun, Psusennes II and Sheshonq I.) He cared for her like no other wife, and provided for her every whim. He even built her a separate palace, and built the Millo around Jerusalem for her benefit. He let her worship her own culture's gods, which was a grave misstep that ultimately brought about his decline.

How could a wise and honorable king like Solomon be led astray by a woman? He was divinely guided, yes, but he was human above all else. The irony and the tragedy was that earthly (versus divine) love and trust caused his decline.

I'm exploring this aspect of his character for a new work. I'll keep you posted.
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