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How Wise Was King Solomon? The Three Instances He was Outwitted

How Wise Was King Solomon? The Three Instances He was Outwitted
Solomon's Temple Jerusalem (source: Wikipedia)

According to several historical accounts, King Solomon remains the wisest man to have lived the earth. From Christianity to Islam to several Hermitic beliefs, the reign of King Solomon is one of the historical references that often emerge when dissecting the transient nature of power.

According to an account often referenced by Muslims, when Solomon had the opportunity to ask for one thing from God, he only beseeched God to increase him in wisdom. God was very impressed by such noble request so He decided to not only grant Solomon’s request but also fortified him with the riches of the darkness. This, according to the narration, was because riches and wisdom were meant to work in harmony.

Thus, Solomon had the power to hear the language of the birds. The wind was at his behest. And he had a large army of workers which included humans, spirits and animals. However, despite all these powers wielded by King Solomon, he could not overcome his human nature, the tendency to err, which largely contributed to the rise and fall of his empire.

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The following are factors and instances that led to the fall of Solomon:

Acting on grapevine

The first error that led to Solomon’s misfortune is found in his encounter with Hopoe, one of his army of workers. One day, Solomon examined his assembly of men and discovered Hopoe was absent without an official leave. The furious king promised to deal with him except he has a tenable reason for his action.

Of course, Hopoe knew he had to save himself from the wrath of the King. So he came to the King with an unsolicited report of his self-imposed recess. He told the king he had seen a powerful Queen who rules over another vast empire with twice as many of the King’s army. While the existence of the Queen was a fact, Hopoe’s skewed account of his experience was intended to save himself by agitating the King. Immediately the King ordered the debasement of the Queen whom he’d had no direct experience with.

Acting on Emotion

Lack of emotional control always leaves one helpless to the scheme of grapevine. One without emotional control often act based on impulse rather than critically analyzing the situation and deal with the important facts. Hopoe probably realized this weakness in his master and he used it to his advantage.

Another form of lack of emotional control by the King emanated in his expression of love. The subjugation of Queen Sheba would later be a major cause of Solomon’s strained relationship with God. Having cast a spell of love on Solomon, the Queen of the East tricked the King to commit idolatry which is considered to be the gravest sin against God.

Acting on Ego

Solomon had recruited Asmodee, the prince of demons, to lead the construction of his temple made purely of bronze and iron. Asmodee was so powerful that he executed the project in the stark night without raising a sound. So nobody knew when the project was started and when it was completed. After Asmodee completed the task, Solomon decided not to release the demon so he could continue to serve him in the palace.

One day, seeing Asmodee completely overpowered, Solomon teasingly asked the demon why he could not free himself if he’s as powerful as he’s thought to be. Then, Asmodee told Solomon to remove the ring he was wearing. On the ring was inscribed the name of God.

Because Solomon was curious to know what the prince was capable of, he accepted his challenge. Immediately Solomon removed the ring, he became powerless and Asmodee was able to throw him thousands of miles far off the kingdom and took on his image and ruled over the kingdom while people didn’t realize this for many years.

Since the time of Solomon, many great empires, individuals and businesses have fallen off power and relevance. Usually, the causes of their fall have not been any different from that of Solomon’s. On the other hand, those that have endured share certain characteristics in common. These have been extensively discussed to include; emotional intelligence, humility, and reason which include the ability to uncover the hidden intention of something, for example a gossip, through logic and critical thinking.

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