Solomon King of Israel – Marriage or Celibacy

  • The King of Israel in the times of the Bible was chosen by a Prophet or lineage. There were no elections.
  • King Solomon had 1,000 wives. Today to choose one wife is difficult.
  • The world has become over populated. Where once the priority in religion was to have a family, today it is to know God and the Messiah.

Israel is today a democracy.  In the times of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem it was a theocracy with a King. There were no elections like in Israel today. The King was chosen by a prophet. The first King was King Saul appointed by the prophet Samuel. The son-in-law of Saul and warrior in his army was David who became the successor to King Saul. The son of King David was Solomon who became King at the age of 12 years old and reigned for forty years.

Song of Songs a beautiful maiden.

King Solomon is called the wisest of all men. He wrote three books included in the Holy Bible which are the Song of Songs, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.  The Song of Songs is a poem of symbolic love between a bride and groom. Ecclesiastes is a book of advice to humanity about the way to make a good life.  There are also 14 Psalms from 120-134 attributed to Solomon King of Israel. Solomon is recognized for his wisdom by all faiths and is even considered to be a prophet. The Zohar the book of Splendor esoteric Judaism praises Solomon for his wisdom and as a man of peace. During the forty years of the Kingship of Solomon there were no wars.  Solomon built the first holy temple in Jerusalem which stood for more than four hundred years. The greatness of King Solomon is unquestionable. the Bible questions how King Solomon was able to take over one thousand wives and concubines when the Torah says not to take many wives.  King David his son had only eighteen wives.

Only the names of three of the wives of King Solomon is mentioned in the Bible which are Naamah, the queen of Sheba, and the daughter of Pharoah. The mother of Rehoboam his successor was Naami. His marriage to the daughter of Pharaoh was controversial and many scholars claim that it was his downfall.  The main reason given why King Solomon took many wives was in order to make peace with the nations around him. Solomon would make peace with these nations through marrying their princesses.

King Solomon judges the people.

It says that King Solomon loved all his wives and concubines. Nevertheless through having many wives especially those which were not from his own faith later made for him problems. The Jewish people lost faith in the righteousness of their king. The next generation they rebelled against the Kingdom of Judah and divided Israel in two parts which was Judah and Samaria.

King Solomon is remembered for having built the holy temple and for having a thousand wives. Even though the Torah advises that the King should not have many wives it cannot limit the King. He can have abundant wives all the time that he is able to maintain his righteousness.  In the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon mentions three things about woman. He says that a person should love and honor his wife. He says that to be careful when choosing a wife. A bad wife is like death. He says that he examined one thousand men and could only find one good man amongst them; in examining one thousand woman even one good woman he couldn’t find. Woman are considered dangerous. What man can do without a woman?

Thousands of Hindu woman march against the God of celibacy.

In India two women defied a century old ban on entering a Hindu temple in the Indian state of Kerala which sparked protests. It seems that in this temple was emphasized celibacy and followed strict separation of sexes. In Judaism also has Orthodox temples where men and women are separated by a closed wall or women are seated in the balcony. Conservative and reformed synagogues allow men and woman to sit together. Woman in Judaism were always excluded from Torah classes, especially Talmud learning. In the morning blessings, men recite the blessing thanking God for not making them a woman.  Woman are accused for extinguishing the light of  the Garden of Eden when Eve was tricked by the snake to eat from the forbidden tree and she gave her husband Adam to eat from it. They were both expelled from the Garden. The Garden of Eden remains a hidden secret for their children who were born in sin.

Nuns the widows of Jesus their King.

Woman today will not accept to be accused like they were before in India, or in other parts of the world. However today Christian Catholics maintain the custom for their holy women called nuns to remain celibate. They have taken upon themselves devotion to their master Jesus who died for the sins of mankind. They consider themselves his widows and do not desire another man.  There are over fifty thousand nuns in the world; Jesus has fifty thousand wives who are his widows.

King Solomon reached 1,002 wives in his life. He had a difficult time with them and they are blamed for his children losing their kingdom. Jesus who resurrected and lives in an eternal world has 50,000 wives but in his world there is no temptation like in our world. Between Judaism and Christianity there is always competition. Judaism does not allow celibacy. Each person must take a chance one time in his life to find out more about who he has married; a good one or bad one. Having children is the reward for making this decision. Pope Francis is quoted as saying, family is the cradle of life.

The Zohar reveals that it will reach a point in creation when the world will become over-populated and people will return to God. The Zohar says man is not perfect and the children of man are born in pleasure, natural love which is part of their imperfection. God will be revealed and the Messiah will be revealed.

Judaism was the first monotheistic religion on earth receiving their law from Moses on Mount Sinai.  The world needed to be populated after the flood of Noah. Having children and making a family was of first importance. God told Abraham that from him will come great nations. Israel and Islam are the nations in the world the descendants of Abraham. Both of their religions stress family life and are against celibacy. Christianity was the first religion in the western world to endorse celibacy.

Celibacy is still part of the Catholic Church for men and women. Populating the world is no longer a problem. Today more important is the knowledge of God than populating the world. Judaism has changed over the past eight hundred years through adopting esoteric teachings of the Bible. When the world has become smaller and technology has developed capabilities of mass destruction, peace has become first priority for all of mankind. The name of God is Shalom.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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