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Like it or not, the legendary King Solomon was the son of an African woman. His mother Bathsheba was a Gilonite… which was one of the Canaanite tribes that Judah didn’t remove from the land. The Gilonites and the Hittites were among several Canaanite tribes that lived among Judah.
For those that are rusty on Biblical lineage, the Hittites were the sons of Heth, which were the sons of Canaan, who was the son of Ham. The Gilonites also descended from Ham as well. If you’d like to read more in depth about Solomon’s mother Bathsheba and her Hittite husband Uriah, please check out the following articles:
Let’s look at Solomon’s relationships with African women.
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King Solomon’s Unnamed Black Lover
In the book, Song of Solomon, we are introduced to Solomon’s unnamed black lover. While we don’t know much about her, other than her love for the king, there are a couple of very interesting verses that stand out:
“I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.” – Song of Solomon 1:5-6
Twice, Solomon’s lover tells us she is black, and she does so while making sure that we understand that’s it not a metaphor or a feeling:
- Black as the tents of Kedar
- Black as the tents of Solomon
- Black because of the sun
While we are not told here lineage, we do know that she was either a Hebrew descendant of Shem, or an African descendant of Ham. This is based on the location of Israel (in Canaan), and the fact that they lived side by side with several Canaanite tribes.
King Solomon and Pharaoh’s Daughter
In ancient times, two kingdoms would often intermarry the royalty to form an alliance and avoid war. This was likely the case, since Israel and Egypt are next door neighbors. In addition to Pharaoh’s daughter, Solomon had an entire list of African and non African women that he loved.
“But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; 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.” – 1 Kings 11:1-2
- Daughter of Pharaoh (Egyptian)
- Moabites (Hebrew descendants of Lot)
- Ammonites (Hebrew descendants of Lot)
- Edomites (part African descendants of Esau and Ishmael’s daughter)
- Zidonians (descendants of Ham’s son Canaan)
- Hittites (descendants of Ham’s son Canaan)
Scripture tells us that Solomon had 1,000 women in his harem, and most of them were of African descent, except for the Moabites (Lot’s oldest daughter’s son) and the Ammonites (Lot’s youngest daughter’s son).
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The Queen of Sheba
“And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.” – 2 Chronicles 9:1
Ethiopians were considered Cushites, which were the descendants of Ham’s son Cush. If you’d like to read more in depth about the Queen of Sheba, please click here. According to legend, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba had a son named Menelik I. He went on to found the Solomonic Dynasty of Ethiopia, and many Ethiopians claim direct descent from King Solomon.
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