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The next to suffer Joab's fate was Shimei ben Gera, whose treatment of David had outraged every feeling of decency. His death was of evil portent for Solomon himself. So long as Shimei, who was Solomon's teacher, was alive, he did not venture to marry the daughter of Pharaoh. When, after Shimei's death, Solomon took her to wife, the archangel Gabriel descended from heaven, and inserted a reed in the sea. About this reed more and more earth was gradually deposited, and, on the day on which Jeroboam erected the golden calves, a little hut was built upon the island. This was the first of the dwelling-places of Rome. (11)

Solomon's wedding-feast in celebration of his marriage with the Egyptian princess came on the same day as the consecration of the Temple. (12) The rejoicing over the king's marriage was greater than over the completion of the Temple. As the proverb has it: "All pay flattery to a king." Then it was that God conceived the plan of destroying Jerusalem. It was as the prophet spoke: "This city hath been to me a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day."

In the nuptial night Pharaoh's daughter had her attendants play upon a thousand different musical instruments, which she had brought with her from her home, and as each was used, the name of the idol to which it was dedicated was mentioned aloud. The better to hold the king under the spell of her charms, she spread above his bed a tapestry cover studded with diamonds and pearls, which gleamed and glittered like constellations in the sky. Whenever Solomon wanted to rise, he saw these stars, and thinking it was night still, he slept on until the fourth hour of the morning. The people were plunged in grief, for the daily sacrifice could not be brought on this very morning of the Temple dedication, because the Temple keys lay under Solomon's pillow, and none dared awaken him. Word was sent to Bath-sheba, who forthwith aroused her son, and rebuked him for his sloth. "Thy father," she said, "was known to all as a God-fearing man, and now people will say, 'Solomon is the son of Bath-sheba, it is his mother's fault if he goes wrong.' Whenever thy father's wives were pregnant, they offered vows and prayed that a son worthy to reign might be born unto them. But my prayer was for a learned son worthy of the gift of prophecy. Take care, 'give not thy strength unto women nor thy ways to them that destroy kings,' for licentiousness confounds the reason of man. Keep well in mind the things that are necessary in the life of a king. (13) 'Not kings, Lemuel.' Have naught in common with kings who say: 'What need have we of a God?' It is not meet that thou shouldst do like the kings who drink wine and live in lewdness. Be not like unto them. He to whom the secrets of the world are revealed, (14) should not intoxicate himself with wine." (15)

Apart from having married a Gentile, whose conversion to Judaism was not dictated by pure motives, Solomon transgressed two other Biblical laws. He kept many horses, which a Jewish king ought not to do, and, what the law holds in equal abhorrence, he amassed much silver and gold. Under Solomon's rule silver and gold were so abundant among the people that their utensils were made of them instead of the baser metals. (16) For all this he had to atone painfully later on.

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