• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Solomon: World Class Ruler or Poor King?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Solomon: World Class Ruler or Poor King? 1 Kings 1-11 describes the reign of King Solomon as a glorious and well respected ruler of the ancient world. However there are several weaknesses in this belief that the following authors analyze from varying perspectives. It is certain that Solomon wasn't all he was portrayed as. K. Lawson Younger Jr. in his article The Figurative Aspect and the Contextual Method in the Evaluation of the Solomonic Empire (1 Kings 1-11), debates the figurative and ideological aspects of the Solomon biblical narrative. Younger finds fault in the claim of biblical scholars, that the story of Solomon in 1 Kings should be accepted as literally as it is written because of its detailed descriptions of officials and other aspects of the reign of Solomon. He refutes this idea with his belief that the text is loaded with hyperbole and political ideology, and should not be interpreted literally. Younger bases his argument on the language of the ancient Near East of other kingdoms and rulers, and shows that the use of hyperbole was quite frequent and common. On pages 160 and 161 he quotes descriptions of monuments erected by rulers, and phrases like "Nothing like it had ever been made...," and "the likes of which had not existed since the begginning..." ...read more.

Middle

Because of this belief he takes a minimalist approach, by dismissing all events that are not backed by evidence. Knauf tears apart the credibility of the claims of glory made by the author of 1 Kings 1-11, with a well-researched assault. The issue that receives the title of his article, that is the enormous amount of copper used to build his temple, is refuted through his proof that Solomon never actually built a temple. Rather, Solomon faded Yahweh away and introduced El as the true God. "Because the historic Solomon never built a temple, he did not need Phoenician craftsmen and expertise for that purpose" (can't make out page number). This is the reason Knauf gives for the descriptions of the temple as being Canaanite in design. He further goes to lengths to disprove completely that 50 tons of copper is unrealistic as well as the 180,000 corvee workers, who Solomon was supposed to have at his disposal. This is done through a historical analysis of the economic and political relationships of the nations in the ancient Near East. In this argument, he discredits the claim that Solomon was wise and well respected by other rulers in the region, as Knauf claims him to be merely a satellite of Egypt. Knauf also makes important use of the concepts of time and relationships between states in the ancient world. ...read more.

Conclusion

Miller, like Knauf, places the time of the authors of 1 Kings 1-11 at around the Exile. He states that the authors would naturally use "royal language"(31) to describe the glory days of Israel's existence. He discredit's Younger's argument with this statement, and further exemplifies some contradictions in his article. While stating these beliefs, Miller maintains that all these conclusions are probable. Also most of the beliefs in dispute, i.e. how well Solomon was respected, are based upon the opinion of the day and can never be proved through scholarship. The description of the reign of King Solomon comes under criticism by all three authors discussed, each coming at the argument from a different angle. Younger concentrates on the ideological aspects of the writing, and the writing of other rulers from the time period. Knauf focuses on the historical evidence, believing that it is the ultimate truth in the matter. Miller takes a less definitive approach and discusses the textual and definitive archaeological evidence. All three conclude that the writings of 1 Kings 1-11 are exaggerated to some degree. Knauf at the extreme believes that it's totally inaccurate, while Younger and Miller believe it is exaggerated to a point. The three arguments present an intricate look at the truth behind the Solomonic history, and one can conclude that Solomon was no world-class ruler of the ancient Near East, nor was he wealthy in terms of the region. The extent of his prominence is one that neither agree on, and no one will ever know for sure. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer essays

  1. How is Unity Mansion like a 'microcosm' of the country?

    When the government 'strip' Mr Short and Mrs Tall house, it also implicates that the Government has the 'power' to take things away from people whenever they wanted to. Children also began to learn and pick up the attitudes of their parents, and would 'burst out laughing' and 'splutter with laughter.'

  2. creative writing

    the gleaming scale model of a Ferrari F430 he so dearly dreamt of owning. He must have knocked it off its shelf, for it lay upside down on the floor in the corner of the room, by the door. On the wall opposite his bed, he noticed the signed, Princess Diana photograph which his wife cherished so dearly.

  1. Creative writing - The Disappearance.

    Nervous, he'd thought, yearning to be chosen. But when she had looked up at him gracefully, that's when he fell in love with her. That's when he knew she was the one. Her heart-shaped face and dusky radiant complexion created a flow amidst the room. Her sultry, almond eyes met his, filled with dreams, aspirations, needs to be fulfilled.

  2. What is established in the opening to the 'Turn of the Screw' by Henry ...

    Not only is the story frozen but also his feelings. The prologue that Douglas gives us is also very untypical of a ghost story. We would expect to have the characters introduced and any other information that is needed to explain the story to come at the very beginning.

  1. From the time of his birth, in December of 1891, to his death in ...

    finally had the freedom he needed to write his first masterpiece, "Tropic of Cancer", a chronicle of Miller's lives and loves as an expatriate in Paris. Mansfield joined him in France in the fall of 1930 and they struggled for money.

  2. Okonkwo, a wealthy, respected warrior, is a member of the Umuofia clan, a lower ...

    After the Week of Peace, the people begin to clear the land in preparation for planting their farms. Nwoye and Ikemefuna help Okonkwo prepare the seed-yams, but he finds fault with their work. He wishes his criticism to drive his son to be a great man and a great farmer.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work