Friday, September 13, 2013


King Solomon is not a Hindu character, nor he is related to Hinduism in any way. He is very famous Christian Biblical character. He was the last King of Israel just before its division. I had heard his name before also when I was working in Nigeria in a theological library but it was only a name sake only. I did not know anything abut him. But when I came to Ethiopia, lived there for four years, from 1989 to 1992, and worked there in the Institute of Ethiopian Studies Library of Addis Ababa University then only I came to know about him more. Ethiopian kings consider themselves the descendants of Solomon. How?

There is a very old legend about Solomon continuing from about 3000 BC. There was a Queen of Sheba in Ethiopia in those times with her capital at Axum. She went to see the King Solomon and brought his child with her to Ethiopia. She gave birth to a son who later was crowned as the King of Ethiopia by his father Solomon himself. Since then his descendants had been ruling Ethiopia till 1974, when its last ruler King Haile Selassie, the Lion of Judah, was killed. The account of their meeting is written in "Kebra Negast" (means the Glory of Kings) which is very important book of Ethiopia. This story is supported by Bible, Quran and Jews' Talmud also.

It is so popular that a few books have been written on this theme, even a few films have also been made on this story, but still they are so uncommon for common people that they do not know about it unless they are specifically in that field. It is next to impossible to know about it in India, unless somebody has interest in Ethiopian studies, leave alone Hindi readers. There are some paintings also related to them.

When I came to know about it, a curiosity rose in my heart to read it. Luckily I found a book in the Ethiopian Studies Library and I borrowed it. It was so well and charmingly written that it brought the story live to my mind. I finished it in one day only. When I read that book it seemed to me be a beautiful divine love story. It fascinated me so much that I decided to translate that book in Hindi and I did it. This translation is still with me.

Then I read about Solomon also. His life story is also so fantastic that I could not resist myself to tell people about him. I think I have yet to find a king like him in our Hindu history. A selected bibliography of books and films has also been compiled on "Solomon" and "Solomon and the Queen of Sheba", that is also with it.

He was a fantastic king. I will write something about him in my next blog, till then....

Sushma Gupta

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