Peter Dubovský, Paul Bechter

Was Solomon a Phoenician Vassal?

Volume 11 () / Issue 2, pp. 117-133 (17)
Published 02.09.2022

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This paper analyzes the textual versions of 1 Kgs 5:15/3 Kgdms 5:1. The variant reconstructed as the Old Greek reads that Hiram, king of Tyre, exercised a certain control over Solomon. Using historical-critical methods, we argue that these verses are not a later addition but belong to the oldest layers of the Solomonic narrative. These results are confronted with other biblical texts and extra-biblical data. Because the Phoenician kings were interested in direct trade with Israel and Judah as well as in the trade routes that connected the coast with Arabia, we suggest that the Israelite kings needed some confirmation of their legitimacy by the Phoenician rulers. Therefore, we propose that the Old Greek not only represents a more ancient textual version, but also reflects a more realistic relationship between Phoenician cities and Israel/Judah in IA I and IA II.

Peter Dubovský Born 1965; 2005 ThD from Harvard Divinity School; 1999 SSL from the Pontifical Biblical Institute; dean at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and professor of the Old Testament and history.

Paul Bechter No current data available.


Hiram , OldGreek , Solomon , trade , Vassal