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as a professed Jew.

Isaac Nathan Soils: Son of David Hays Solis;
lawyer and banker of New York and I'hiladelphia;
born 1857.

Jacob da Silva Soils : Son of Solomon da Silva
Solis and Buuvcneda lleiiriques Valentine; born in
London 1780; died in New York 1829. He was a de-
scendant of Solomon da Silva Solis and Donna Isabel
da Fonseca (a daughter of the Marquis of Turin
and Count of Villa Real and Monterey), both refu-
gees from the Inquisition, who were married as
Jews in Amsterdam about 1670. Family tradition
reports that in 1760, tiie Catholic branch of the house
of Turin and Villa Heal being extinct, thesuccession
was offered to the grandfather of Jacob da Silva Solis
(of the same name, and great-grand.son of Isabel da
Fonseca), on condition of his becoming a Catholic.
On his declining, the Portuguese ambassador, him-
self descended from Maranos. exclaimed, " You fool !
It is one of the greatest dignities of Europe." To
which Da Silva Solis replied, "Not for the whole
of Europe would I forsake my faith, and neither
would my son Solomon."

In 1803 SoHs went to the United States, and in 181 1
married Charity, daughter of David Hays of West-



Solis Cohen
Solomon



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



436



Chester couuty, New York. He aviis in business
^vith !iis brotiier Daniel (b. in Loudou 1784; went
to Ameiicii c. 1800; died in Pliiladelphia 18G7)
in New York cil}' and in Wilmington, Del. In
182G, having business in New Orleans, Jaeob went
thither about the time of the Passover festival;
finding that city without either a maz/.ah bakeiy or
a synagogue, he procured the establishment of both.
The Hhanarai.C'hasset congregation was organized
through liis efforts, and its synagogue dedicated in
the following year (1827). For publication with
the " Constitution " of the congregation, lie compiled
"A Calendar of tlie Festivals and Lunar Months of
Every Year Observed by the Israelites Commencing
A. M. 5589, and Ending in the Year 5G12, Being a
Period of 24 Years.''

Solomon da Silva Solis : Merchant and litter-
ateur; son of Jacob da Silva Solis; born at Mount
Pleasant, N. Y., 1819; died in New York city 1854.
He was one of the founders of the first American
Jewish Publication Society (1845) — of whose publi
cation committee he was a meml)er — the founder and
first president of the Hebrew Education Society of
Philadelphia (1848), and a trustee and director of
synagogues and charitable institutions in both New
York and Philadelphia. He was a friend of and
zealous colaborer with Isaac Leeser, and a frequent
contributor to the "Occident" and other religioiis
periodicals. As a result of his friendship with Grace
Aguilar, whom he met in London, the publication of
her works in the L'nited States was brought about.

Ximenes de Solis : Governor of Martos, Spain.
His young daughter Isabel was captured bj^ the
Moors and taken to the harem of Sultan ]\Iuley Ha-
san. Her great beauty won her the name of ''Zo-
raya" (the morning star). The kingdom was di-
vided eq<ially between her and the sultana. Queen
Isabella induced her and her sons to receive baptism.

Bibliography : Isaac da Costa, Israel and the Gentiles, pp.
406, 4<)8, London, 185."); Leon Hiitmer, The Jeics of New
England. Other than Rhode Maud, in P}d)Ucati()ng Am.
Jew. HiM. Soc. 1903, No. 11, pp. 8-5-86: Markens, The He-
hrewn in America, pp. :iii9, ;{2.5. Philadelphia, 1888; H. 8.
Morals, Tlie Jewx of Pliiladrlijlna. p. 175. ib. 1894 ; Isaac
Leeser, iu Tlie Occident, xii. 331, 2:32; xvi. 6+, 65. :301.

J. E. S.-C.

SOLIS COHEN. See ConE.v, Jacob d.v Silv.\
Solis; Cohen, Soi.o.mon v>\ ttii,v.\ Solis.

SOLNIK, BENJAMIN AARON. See Si.o-

KIK. Bf.NJAMIX AaKDX IlKX AnilAlIAM.

SOLOMON (nro^cO: Third king of all Israel;
reigned from about 971 to 931 B.C. ; .second son of
David and Bath-.sheba (II Sam. .\ii. 23-25). Pie
was called Jedidiah (= " beloved of Ynwn ") by Na-
llian the prophet, the Chronicler (I Chron. xxii. 9)
assuming that David was told by Yhwh that liis
son's name .should be Solomon (= " peaceful"). These
two names are predictive of the character of his
reign, whicii was both highly favored and peaceful.

Biblical Data : The sources for the liistory

of the reign of Solomon are II Sam. xi.-xx. and tlie
corresponding portions of I Chronicles, also I Kings
i.-xi. 43 and I Cliron. xxviii. 1-TI Chron. ix. 31.
Some second- or third-hand material is found in Jose-
phus, Eusebius, and elsewhere, nio.stl}' taken from
the books of Kings and Chronicles. The circum-
stances attending Solomon's birth indicate that he



was "beloved of Yiiwu " (II Sam. xii. 24, 25), and
that Nathan stood in close association with David's
houseliold. Bath-sheba's relations with Nathan at
the attempted accession of Adonijah (I Kings i.)
sliow that she was a woman of no mean talent.
Solomon's respect and reverence for her, even after
his accession to the tlirone, point in the same direc-
tion. By nature and training Solomon was richl}- en-
dowed and well cciuipped for the otlice of leader.

The question of David's successor had come to
the front in Absalo.m's rebellion. That uprising
had been crushed. As David was nearing his death.
Adonijah, apparently (I Chron. iii. 1-4) in order of
age the next claimant to the throne, prepared to
usurp it, but passed over, in the invitation to his
coronation, some of the most intluential friends and
advisers of David, as well as his l)rother Solomon.
This aroused the suspicions of Nathan, Avho so ar-
ranged that simultaneously with Adonijah's corona-
tion the court advisers, by order of David, crown
Solomon, sou of Bath-sheba, king of Israel. Adoni-
jah fied in terror to the horns of the altar, and left
them only on the oath of Solomon that his life should
be spared.

David, before he died, had given Solomon a
cliarge regarding his OAvn actions as a man, and
regarding his attitude toward several of tlie influen-
tial personages about the king's court. As soon as
Solomon had become established over
Beginning the kingdom, Adonijah, through Bath-
of slie1)a, the queen-mother, asked the

Solomon's king for Abishag the Shunammite as
Reign, a wife. This request was equivalent
to asking for coregenc_v, and Solomon .so
regarded it, for he quickl}- sent Beuaiahto slay Adoni-
jah. Abiathar, formerly David's trusted priest,
who had conspired with Adonijah, was sent to the
priest-city Anathotli, to his own fields, and deprived
of his priestly office. Joab, learning the fate of
Adonijah and Abiathar, fled to the altar for refuge;
but Solomon commissioned the same executioner,
Benaiah, to slay him there. Shimei, who had cursed
David, was also in the list of suspects. He was
given explicit orders to remain in Jerusalem, where
his movements could be under surveillance. But
on the escape of two of his servants to Philistia he
left Jerusalem to capture them ; and on liis return he,
too, fell under the sword of the blood}' Benaiah.
This completed the destruction of the characters
whose presence about tlie court Avas likel}' to be a
perpetual menace to the life of Solomon.

Thenceforth Solomon proceeded both safely and

wisely in the development of his government. He

came into possession of a kingdom organized and

prosperous. His part was to increa.se

Solomon's its efficiency and glory and wealth-

Choice, but to succeed in this he needed special
gifts. When he went to Gibeon to
offer sacrifices — a thousand burnt offerings — Yiiwii
appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Ask what I
shall give thee." Solomon, conscious of the heavy
responsibility of the ruler of such a realm, chose the
wisdom that is needful in a judge. His choice of
this rather than long life, wealth, honor, and the
destruction of liis enemies, great!}' pleased Yhwh.

The wisdom of the young king was soon put to



437



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Solis Cohen
Solomon



tlie test. Two Inuiots appeared before him, each
carrying a eliikl, oue living and the other dead.
Their dispute involved a decision as to the mater
uity of the children. Solomon, knowing tlie tender
affections of a mother, ordered the living child to
be cut into lialves with a sword. The problem
solved it.self, and the king's insight and justice re-
ceived due praise in Israel.

Solomon chose as his advisers the inlluentiul men
of his kindgom (I Kings iv. 1-20). His standing
army consisted of 12,000 cavalry, with 4,000 stalls
for his chariots. The commissary dejiartment was
thoroughly organized, and his court was one of
great magnificence. The organization of Solomon's
government car-
ried with it a
definite policy
regarding his
uon-Israelitish
sulijects. Fol-
lowing the cus-
tom of the day,
he secured for
himself a wife
from each of
the neighboring
royal houses,
thus binding the
nations to him
by domestic ties.
These various
alliances intro-
duced to the Is-
raelitish court a
princess from
Egypt (for
whom the king
erected a special
residence), and
others from tiie
Moabite, Am-
monite, Edom-
ite, Zidoniau,
and Hitt ite
courts, who
brought with
them certain
alien customs
and religions,
and, best of all,
a kind of guar-
anty of peace. A court of such mixed elements in-
volved also certain requirements which were a charge
upon the royal treasury, such as homes lor these
foreigners and the installation of places for their
religious observances. Solomon seems to have ful-
filled all his obligations of this nature so lavishly as
to have aroused his people near the close of his
reign to the point of rebellion.

No sooner had tlie king thoroughly organized and
set in motion his civil and military machinery than
he planned to carry out the desires of David by
building a temple to Ynwii. In doing this he util-
ized his father's friendship with Hiram of Tyre to
secure from the latter an agreement to suppl\' cedar
from Lebanon for use in the building. He levied also




Supposed Stables of Solomon at Jerusalem.

(From a photugraph by Bontile.)



upon Ins own j>eople and sent, in courses, 150,000
men to Lebanon to cut and hew the timber. Stones
were cut for the buildings to be con-
Solomon's structed, and the timber was floated
Buildings, in rafts to Joppa and transferred to
Jeru.salem. Stones and timber were
put together noiselessly. Seven yearsof work com-
pleted the Temple, anil thirteen years the king's
palace. The best and most skilled workmen were
Phenicians. Their artistic taste was exercised both
on the buildings ami on the vessels with which
they were furnished (I Kings vii. 13 et seq.). In ad-
dition to comjileting these two chief structures,
Solomon enhanced in other ways the architectural

beauty of the
city.

Solomon's for-
eign alliances
formed the basis
for foreign com-
mercial rela-
tions. From the
Egyiitians he
bought chariots
a n d h o r s e s ,
which he sold
to tlie Hittites
and other peo-
p 1 e s of the
North. With
the Phenicians
he united in
maritime com-
merce, sending
outa fleet once in
three years from
Ezion-geber, at
the head of
the Gulf of
Akaba,lo()phir,
presumably ou
the eastern
c o a s t of the
Arabian jienin-
sula. From this
distant port, and
others on the
w a y , he d e -
rived fabulous
amounts of gold
and t r o J) i c a 1
products. These revenues gave him almost unlimited
means for increasing the glory of his capital city
and palace, and for the perfection of his civil and
military organizations.

Solomon's wisdom seems to have been as resplen-
dent as his power and glory. His tact in dealing with
his subjects and his acquaintance with all that was
known in that day regarding trees, fruits, flowers,
beasts, fishes, and birds gave him great
Solomon's renown. His genius in composing
Wisdom. proverbs and songs was known far be-
yond the bounds of his own kingdom.
His wisdom was said to Jiave surpassed tliat of the
children of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt.
He was wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman,



Solomon



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



438



and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Muhol (I Kings
iv. 30, 31). People came from all parts to see the
wisest man in the world. The Queen of Sheba trav-
eled with a train of attendants, carrying much
wealth, from southwestern Arabia, about 1,500
miles distant, to lest the wisdom of Israel's ruler.
Solomon's religious ancestry and training had
given him a basis for a strong life. His own request
at Gibeon and his zeal in the worship of Ynwii fore-
told a vigorous religious career. But, though he built
the Temple, and in the praj'cr attributed to him ex-
pressed some of the loftiest sentiments of a man
thoroughly zealous in his worship of Israel's God,

his career did not fulfil his early
Solomon's religious resolves. The polytheistic
Religion, worship introduced by his foreign

wives into Jerusalem and his faint
and inellectual opposition to their request that
their gods should be shown respect led to his moral



-In Rabbinical Literature and Legend :



Solomon not only occupies a very important part in
rabbinical legend, but is glorified even from a theo-
logical point of view. It must be added, however,
that the Tannaim, with the exception of Jose b.
Ilalafta, were inclined to treat only of his weak-
nesses and his downfall. Solomon was one of those
men to whom names were given by God before their
birtii, being thus placed in the category of the just
("zaddikim"; Yer. Ber. vii., lib; Gen. R. xlv. 11;
Tan., Bereshit, 30). Besides his three principal
names, Jedidiah (II Sam. xii. 25), Kohelet (Eccl. i. 1
ct passim, Hebr.), and Solomon, various others are
assigned to him by the Rabbis, namely, Agur, Bin.
Jakeh, Lemuel, Ithicl. and Ucal (Prov. xxx. 1, xxxi.
1), the interpretations of which, according to the ear-
lier school, are as follows: "He who gathered the
words of the Torah, who understood them, who later
enunciated them, who said to God in \\\i heart, 'I have













Ui^-. *" -^J^y isi". - a



Solomon's House of the Forest ok Lebanon.

(Restored by Chipiez.)



and religious deterioration, until he lost his hold on
the people as well as on his own faith. Disaffec-
tion in Edom and in Syria, and the utterances of the
prophet Abijah to Solomon's overseer, Jeroboam,
portended disintegration and dissolution. In the
decline of his life his power waned, and his death
was the signal for the breaking up of the kingdom.
The extent of Solomon's permanent literary work
is very uncertain. It is possible that he left several
psalms and a portion of the Book of Proverbs. It
seems to be probable that his life formed the basis
of the Book of Ecclesiastes, and possibly of some
elements of the Song of Songs.

E. G. H. I. M. P.



the power; consequently, I may transgress the pre-
scriptions of the Torah.' " The later school, on the
other hand, adopts the following explanations : Agur

= •' he who girt his loins "; Bin = " he

Importance who built the Temple"; Jakeh = "he

in Jewish, who reigned over the whole world " ;

Legend. Ithiel — " he who understood the signs

of God " ; and Ucal = "he who could
withstand them" (Cant. R. i. 1; Midr. Mishlc xxx.
1 ; Targ. Sheni to Estli. 1. 2). Solomon was also one
of those who were styled " bahurim " (= " chosen "),
"yedidim" (=" friends"), and "ahubim "(=" be-
loved ones"; Ab. R. N., ed. Schcchter, p. 121).
Solomon's instructor in the Torah was Shimei,



439



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Solomcn



whose death marked Solomon's first hipsc iuto sin
(Ber. 8a).

The Rabbis concluded that Solomon was twelve
(in Targ. Sheni I.e. thirteen) years old when he as-
cended tlie throne; he reigned forty years (I Kings
xi. 42), and consequently he lived lit'ty-two years,
as di(i the prophet Samuel (Seder "Olam K. xiv. ;
Gen. R. c. 11; but comp. Josephus, "Anl." viii.
7, ^ 8, where it is stated that Solomon was fourteen
years old when he began to reign, and that he
ruled eighty years; comp. also Abravanel on I
Kings iii. 7). He was considered by tlie Rabbis, who
glorified him, to have been the counterpait of David,
his father: each reigned forty years, and over the
whole world; both wrote booksand composed songs
and fables; both built altars and transported the
Ark of the Covenant with great ceremony ; and in
both dwelt the Holy Ghost (Cant. R. I.e.). Solomon
is particularly extolled by the Rabbis for having
asked in his dream nothing besides wisdom, which
they declare served liim as a shield
His against sinfvd thoughts. In this re-

Prayer for spect Solomon's wisdom was even
Wisdom, superior to that of liis father. Solo-
mon passed forty days in fasting so
that God might bestow upon liim the spirit of wisdom
(Pesik. R. 14 [ed. Friedmann, p. 59a, b] ; Num. R.
xix. 3; Eccl. R. vii. 23; Midr. Mishlei. 1, xv. 29).

Solomon was the wise king par excellence, a fact
which is expressed in the saying, " He who sees
Solomon in a dream may hope for wisdom " (Ber.
57b). He is said to have understood the languages
of the beasts and the birds and to have had no need
of relying on witnesses in delivering a judgment, in-
asmuch as by simply looking at the contending par-
ties he knew which was right and which was wrong.
The words "Then Solomon sat on the throne of
the Lord" (I Chron. xxix. 23) are interpreted to
this effect, and an example of such a judgment
is that pronounced in the case of the two har-
lots (comp. I Kings iii. 16 et seq.), which judgment
was confirmed by a Bat Kol (Cant. R. I.e. ;
Targ. Sheni to Esth. i. 2). Indeed, Solomon's
bet din was one of those in which the Holy Ghost
manifested its presence tlirough a bat kol. Inde-
pendently of this, Solomon is considered as one of
the Prophets, in whom the Holy Ghost dwelt. It
was under the inspiration of the latter tiiat he com-
posed his three works, Canticles, Proverbs, and Ec-
clesiastes (Sotah 48b; Mak. 23b; Cant. R. i. 1 ; Eccl.
R. i. 1, x. 17). His wisdom is stated to liave ex-
celled that of the Egyptians (I Kings v. 10), which
assertion is the basis of the following legend:
" Wlien Solomon was about to build the Temple he
applied to Pharaoh, King of Egypt, for builders and
architects. Plaaraoh ordered his astrologers to choose
all the men who would die in the current year; and
these he sent to Solomon. The latter, however, by
simplj looking at them, knew what their fate was
to be ; consequently he provided them

Solomon with colRns and shrouds and sent them
and back to Egypt. Moreover, he gave

Pharaoh, them a letter for Pharaoh informing

him that if he was in want of articles

required for the dead, it was not necessary for him

to send men, but that he might apply direct for the



materials he needed " (Pesik. R. I.e. ; Pesik. iv. 34a;
Num. \\. \\\. 3 ; Eccl. R. vii. 23). Owing to his pro-
verbial wisdom, Solomon is the hero of many stories,
scattered in the midrashic literature, in which his
sagacity is exemplified. Most of them are based upon
his judgment regarding the harlot's child; many of
them have been collected by Jellinek in " B. H."
iv., one of which is mentioned in Tos. to Men. 37a
as occurring in the Midrash. It nms as follows:
" Asmodeus brought before Solomon from under the
earth a man with two heads, who, being unable to re-
turn to his native place, married a woman from Jeru-
salem. She bore him seven sons, six of whom re-
sembled the mother, while one resembled the father
in having two heads. After their father's death,
the sou with two heads claimed two shares of the
inheritance, arguing that he was two men ; while
his brothers contended that he was entitled to one
share only. They appealed to Solomon, whose sa-
gacity enabled him to decide that the son with two
heads was only one man ; and the king consequently
rendered judgment in favor of the other six broth-
ers " (comp. " R. E. J." xlv. 305 et seq.). The well-
known litigation between the serpent and the man
who had rescued it is stated in Midrash Tanhuma
(see Buber, "Mebo," p. 157) as having taken i)lace
before Solomon, who decreed the .serpent's death.
Solomon applied his wisdom also to the dissemina-
tion of the Law. He built synagogues and houses

in which the Torah was studied l)y

Solonaon's himself, by a multitude of scholars,

Judg- and even b}' little children. All his

ments. wisdom, however, did not make him

arrogant; so that when lie had to
create a leap-year he summoned seven elders, in
whose i)resence he remained silent, considering
them more learned than himself (Cant. R. I.e. ; Ex.
R. XV. 20).

On the other hand, the members of the earlier
school of Solomon's critics represent him in the
contrary light. According to them, he abrogated
the commandments of the Torah by tran.sgressing
against the three prohibitions that the king should
not multiply horses nor wives nor silver and gold
(comp. Deut. xvii. 16-17 witli I Kings x. 26-xi. 3).
He was likewise proud of his wisdom, and,
therefore, relied too much on himself in the case of
the two harlots, for which he was blamed by a bat
kol. Judah b. Ila'i even declared that, hatl lie been
present when Solomon pronounced the sentence, he
would have put a rope round Solomon's neck. His
wisdom itself is depreciated. Simeon b. Yohai said
that Solomon would better have been occupied in
cleaning sewers, in which case he would have been
free of reproach. His Ecclesiasteshas, according to
one opinion, no sacred character, because "it is only
Solomon's wisdom" (R. H. 21b; Meg. 7a; Ex. R.
vi. 1; Eccl R X. 17; Midr, Teh. to Ps. Ixxii. 1; see
Bible Canon).

On account of his modest request for wisdom only,
Solomon was rewarded with riches and an unproc-
edontcdly glorious reign (comp. I Kings iii. 13, v.
I et seq.). His realm is described by the Rabbis as
having extended, before his fall (see below), over the
upper world inhabited by the angels and over the
whole of the terrestrial globe with all its mhabit-



Solomon



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



440



ants, including all the beasts, fowls, and reptiles, as
well as tlie demons and spirits. His reign was then
so glorious that the moon never decreased, and

good prevailed over evil. His con-
His Realm, trol over the demons, spirits, and

animals augmented his splendor, the
demons bringing him precious stones, besides water
from distant countries to irrigate liis exotic plants.
The beasts and fowls of their own accord entered
the kitchen of Solomon's palace, so that they might
be used as food for him. Extravagant meals for
him (comp. I Kings iv. 22-23) were prepared daily
by each of his thousand wives, with the thouglit
that perhaps the king would feast on that day
in her house (Meg. lib; Sanh. 20b; B. M. 86b:
Gen. R. xxxiv. 17; Cant. R. I.e.; Eccl. R. ii. 0;
Targ. Sheni I.e.).

More frequently it was the eagle that executed
Solomon's orders. When David died Solomon
ordered the eagles to protect with their wings his
father's body until its burial (Ruth R. i. 17). Solo-
mon was accustomed to ride through the air on a
large eagle which brought him in a single day to Tad-
mor in the wilderness (Eccl. R. ii. 25; comp. II Chron.
viii. 4). This legend has been greatly developed by
the cabalists as follows: "Solomon used to sail
through the air on a throne of light placed on an
eagle, which brought him near the heavenly yeshi-
l)ah as well as to the dark mountains behind which
the fallen angels 'Uzza and 'Azzael were chained.
The eagle would rest on the chains; and Solomon,
by means of a ring on which God's name was en-
graved, would compel the two angels to reveal every
mystery lie desired to know." According to an-
other cabalistic legend, Solomon ordered a demon to
convey down to the seven compartments of hell

Hiram, King of Tyre, who on his re-
Solomon's turn revealed to Solomon all that he
Eagle. (Hiram) had seen in the nether world

(Zohar ii. 112b-113a, iv. 233a, b;
Naphtali b. Jacob Elhanan, "'Emek ha-Melek," pp.
5d, 112c, 147a; Jellinek, I.e. ii. 86).

With reference to Solomon's dominion over all the
creatures of the world, including spirits, several
stories are current, the best known of which is that
of Solomon and the ant (Jellinek, I.e. v. 22 et seq.).
It is narrated as follows: "When God appointed
Solomon king over every created thing, He gave
him a large carpet sixty miles long and sixty miles
wide, made of green silk interwoven with pure gold,
and ornamented with figured decorations. Sur-
rounded by his four princes, Asaph b. Berechiah,
prince of men, Ramirat, prince of the demons, a lion,
prince of beasts, and an eagle, prince of birds, when
Solomon sat upon the carpet he was caught up by

the wind, and sailed through the air

Solomon's so quickly that lie breakfasted at



Online LibraryIsidore SingerThe Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 11) → online text (page 105 of 160)