The public is generally unaware of the amount of monetary influence the traffic in arms plays in the American economy. There are even fewer aware that there was a precedent for such activity.
There is only one line in the Old Testament that mentions Solomon’s trade in war chariots, but several that mention his building of “chariot cities” that could stable 400 horses and their contingent of fighting men. There is more to the story.
Shortly after David died, the king of Egypt brought his daughter, an only child, to Solomon as his first, or primary, wife. That also transferred the title of the ruler of Egypt to their son. This effectively joined the two nations into one political entity, the final result of which is that Egypt will be one of the three nations in the coalition in the world of peace that is established during the time of peace after the reuniting of all 12 tribes.
“In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land:” (Isa. 19:24)
The defining telling of this status is that Sheshonk, Solomon’s son by this Egyptian wife, invaded Judah and took all the valuables from Rheoboam, put them into a store-building while his ankle healed from being injured on Solomon’s stairs, then transferred all of them down into Egypt, leaving Rheoboam on the throne in an impoverished Judea.
The name “Sheshonk” means “broken foot”, and it occurred in this way.
Solomon had a throne built for himself that was a marvel in its day. It was a raised platform with a majestic chair in the center, smaller chairs on either side, and a set of steps leading up to it that had a silver statue of a lion on each end of each step. When someone was called by Solomon to come up on this platform, the lions would roar each time the person stepped on the step the lions were on. If the person attempted to come up to the throne and had not been invited, the stair would give way, then snap back, trapping their ankle between the steps and breaking the bones. When Sheshonk attempted to ascend to sit on the throne of his father, the safety switch had not been set and it crushed his ankle. That platform and throne are in the basement of the Vatican today.
But back to his mother. The religion of Egypt was considered “pagan” in Solomon’s days, and was not permitted by law to be practiced on the temple mount. The other laws that pertained to the temple were these:
No woman who was in her monthly flow of blood was permitted on the mount.
No man who had conjugal relations with his wife the night before was permitted on the temple mount.
No woman who had conjugal relations with her husband the night before was permitted on the temple mount.
No man who had a night emission the night before was permitted on the temple mount. If a priest experienced this while on his usual shift, he had to leave the mount immediately and was excused for the remainder of his duty period.
No man or woman who had touched a dead body within the past week was permitted on the temple mount.
There was a smaller gate next to the eastern gate, the one with the golden mirror attached, that only the king could use to enter. Once inside the precinct, only the king was permitted to sit down. Not even the high priest was permitted to sit anywhere outside the room reserved for him while he was on duty.
And there were other laws of like nature.
Solomon displayed complete contempt for all the laws pertaining to the temple mount. He built his private dwelling on the mount adjoining the wall of the temple, dug a tunnel into the temple itself, and went there any time he wanted to. That means he slept with his wife on the temple mount itself, his wife went through her monthly cycles on the mount, all of the prohibited acts were performed on the mount. Some of Solomon’s other acts are attributed to a demon because they are so disgusting. Then, according to the legend, this demon that had displaced Solomon and taken over his throne to do all these abominations, was thrown out when Solomon returned from his exile. Solomon built a home for his Egyptian wife in Egypt and moved her there under the pretense of setting her over his Egyptian chariot import business, and began living a sane life, except that he didn’t cleanse the temple of all the pagan influences that Hiram’s daughter brought with her, including the chariot of the sun over the eastern gate.
And all the time of his reign, war chariots were being manufactured in Egypt and imported into Israel. Then times got lean in Solomon’s old age, and he began to push the sale of chariots and horses to his neighboring countries, as much of his income relied on this trade. He raised taxes on the people so high that they revolted. He taxed and charged the merchants traveling through his cities so much that the merchants stopped coming. He tried to raise revenue in every way he could think of, but everything he did turned against him, and he continued to slip into such poverty that Hiram called the five cities that Solomon paid him for a debt, “garbage dumps”.
Solomon died in a bankrupt kingdom that was in revolt because of the poverty of the people. His chariot trade didn’t produce the revenue he had anticipated. Rather, the cost of upkeep of this many horses and soldiers bankrupted the kingdom, and the ones he sold eventually came back to him in the form of invading armies.
Solomon may have been wise, but he was not street-smart. He alienated the only people who were capable of telling him what the weather would be like in the future, the astronomers who knew the cycles of the sun, moon, planets, and the cycles resulting from our sun’s orbit around its sister star, Sirius. The result was his being caught in a period of drought for which he was not prepared, and the sinking of the nation into extreme poverty, the revolt of the people, and the splitting of the kingdom.
The astronomers were able to advise the kings when war would be successful because they could define the years when there would be enough rain to provide the forage for their horses, donkeys and cattle. We are told that Abraham was sitting out in the fields on a specific night of the year to observe the stars so that he would know the amount of rainfall the rest of the year. That day is only identified in the Qumran calendar. There is no weather information in the moon-based calendar, nor is there indication of when to plow, plant or reap. It progresses backward through the year so that what should be the middle of summer occurs in the middle of winter, not a good time to reap crops during winter rains.
When Solomon finally came to his senses, it was too late to undo the damage already done, and the kingdom was not only broke, the upkeep of a thousand women was impossible to get rid of, plunging him into dire poverty for the foreseeable future. His only course of action was to do what every nation has done since the beginning of time: raise taxes or go to war. He chose to raise taxes. His son tried the same thing, but the population no longer remembered his father, David, and refused to accept this solution. The kingdom fell, first into internal conflict when Judea tried to force the other 10 tribes to capitulate, and when that failed, and trade was so distressed that the Phoenicians were dying from malnutrition and starvation, the kingdom became a prize to be taken by others who had been more prudent.
All of this could have been prevented by the simple process of respecting the Land Sabbath years, allowing the soils to become more fertile, not barren.
The fertility of the soil is the basis of the wealth of the people. When the Land Sabbaths are not kept in the prescribed manner, the microbes, fungi, and all the supporting cast of the roots of plants lose their vitality and die, then the roots die, then the plants die, then the cattle die, then the people starve to death or migrate to more promising futures elsewhere, as northern Israel did.
The soil cycle is determined by the weather cycle, which is determined by the sun, which acts as a filter for the diallel forces it receives from every other source in the entire universe. The two most dramatic results of these forces from the sun to earth are the “little ice ages” such as the one in which the Thames river froze so solid for so many years that streets and shops were built on the ice over it. The next most influential is the 30-year drought cycles such as the one that caused the “dust bowl” in the American wheat-growing district during the “great depression”, one of those “which came first, the chicken or the egg” scenarios in which so many people suffered so greatly.
But Solomon didn’t know, and his pride never let him find out, and his kingdom fell.