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Such insincere conversions were not accepted, and will not be accepted in the future. The answer is that an exception was made for the future wives of the king and a special court was set up to handle their conversions.

Since many of these weddings were arranged for political reasons it is certain that some of the conversion were not entirely sincere nor did all Solomon's wives completely abandon their idolatrous practices.

Solomon answers: "Because you have not requested riches and honor but only that which would benefit all the people, I will give you not only an understanding heart like none other before or after you ...

but also riches and honor like no other king in your days." (1 Kings 3:7-13) Born in 848 BCE, Solomon dies at age 52 in 796 BCE, ruling as king for 40 years -- the best years in all of Israel's history -- 40 years of peace and prosperity.

Before we can deal with the problems some of these wives caused, we have to deal with a bigger question. (Avodah Zarah 3b) The motivation to convert should come solely out of a love of truth and a sincere desire to join the Jewish People despite the tremendous obligations that a Jewish lifestyle entails and the external dangers that the Jewish People have always faced.

In short-the prospective convert must demonstrate total commitment in spite of any difficulties or danger.

This, of course, does not mean that King Solomon became an idolater, but the Bible uses these harsh words because he did not prevent his wives from carrying on their idolatrous practices.

As a king, he is held responsible for the actions of those under his influence.

The first question is why did Solomon "need" so many wives? Throughout history the overwhelming reason for marriage amongst nobility and royalty was to create political alliances.Yet have regard for the prayer of Your servant, and for his supplication, O Lord my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer, which Your servant prays before You today; that Your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which You have said, 'My name shall be there,' that You may listen to the prayer ... The Torah placed limits on the number of wives and wealth the king could have so that he would stay focused on his responsibilities and not be distracted and corrupted by materialism and power.of your people Israel ..." (1 Kings -29) This is the pinnacle of Jewish history. Their neighbors don't bother the Jews -- in fact, they come to learn from the Jews. This is as good as it gets for Israel-the closest ancient Israel gets to achieving the Messianic ideal of creating an ideal nation that is alight to the nations. Solomon was certainly aware of these prohibitions, but felt that his great wisdom and spirituality would enable to handle these challenges and be an even greater king.He is known as chacham mi'kol ha'adam, "wisest of all the men." The Bible relates that kings from all over the world came to hear his wisdom, which included not only Torah wisdom, but also wisdom in secular knowledge and science.His fame spread through all the surrounding nations. He discoursed about trees, from the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows from the wall.

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