King Solomon's Wives

Painting of Queen of Sheba meeting King Solomon, 1890. Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Queen Sheba visits King Solomon and his wives.

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King Solomon, son of King David and Bathsheba, is renowned in the Old Testament for his God-given wisdom, writing, wealth, and women. Solomon was the king of the United Monarchy of Judaea and Israel and was known for his massive harem.

The most often mentioned wife of Solomon is the daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh. However, Solomon cemented alliances with the other neighboring Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Zidonian, and Hittite monarchs by marrying to their eligible young women whose polytheistic religious practices he allowed—despite his own Jewish beliefs. Solomon's heir, Rehoboam, was the son of an Ammonite woman named Naamah (2 Chronicles 12:13). Although many of his concubines were foreign, it's believed that Naamah was his only foreign wife.

According to I Kings 11, Solomon had hundreds of wives and hundreds of concubines. His harem consisted of approximately 700 wives and 300 concubines. The round numbers listed in the passage from I Kings 11 is a clue to the fact that it is an approximation.

Passages from I Kings 11 (KJV)

11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites:
11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.

Edited by Carly Silver