And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt
Pharaoh was a common name of the kings of Egypt, of whom no mention is made in Scripture from the times of Moses until this time; which may seem strange, when it is considered that that kingdom was a potent one, and near the land of Canaan; but it was governed by a race of kings in this period of time, of whom, as Diodorus Siculus F9 says, there is nothing worthy of relation. The name of this Pharaoh, according to Eupolemus F11, an Heathen writer, was Vaphres; for he says, that David contracted a friendship with this king, and he relates some letters which passed between him and Solomon, concerning sending him workmen for the building of the temple, which are still preserved; but Calvisius F12 thinks it was Sesostris; what this affinity was is next observed:
and took Pharaoh's daughter:
that is, married her; who, according to Ben Gersom, was proselyted first to the Jewish religion; which is very probable, or otherwise it can hardly be thought Solomon would marry her; and as the forty fifth psalm, ( Psalms 45:1-17 ) , and the book of Canticles, supposed to be written on that occasion, seem to confirm; to which may be added, that it does not appear she ever enticed or drew him into idolatry; for, of all the idols his wives drew him into the worship of, no mention is made of any Egyptian deities. The Jews say
F13 Rome was built the same day Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter, but without foundation: this was not Solomon's first wife; he was married to Naamah the Ammonitess before he was king, for he had Rehoboam by her a year before that for Solomon reigned only forty years, and Rehoboam, who succeeded him, was forty one years of age when he began to reign, ( 1 Kings 11:41 ) ( 14:21 ) ;
and brought her into the city of David;
the fort of Zion:
until he had made an end of building his own house:
which was thirteen years in building, and now seems to have been begun, ( 1 Kings 7:1 ) ;
and the house of the Lord;
the temple, which according: to the Jewish chronology F14, was begun building before his marriage of Pharaoh's daughter, and was seven years in building; and therefore this marriage must be in the fourth year of his reign; for then he began to build the temple, ( 1 Kings 6:37 1 Kings 6:38 ) ; and so it must be, since Shimei lived three years in Jerusalem before he was put to death, after which this marriage was, ( 1 Kings 2:37 ) ;
and the wall of Jerusalem round about;
all which he built by raising a levy on the people, ( 1 Kings 9:15 ) ; and when these buildings were finished, he built a house for his wife, but in the mean while she dwelt in the city of David.
F9 Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 42.
F11 Apud. Euseb. Praeparet. Evangel. l. 9. c. 30, 31, 32.
F12 Chronolog. p. 191, 192.
F13 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 56. 2. & Sanhedrin, fol. 21. 2.
F14 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 15. p. 41.