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Rihanna as Cleopatra

Solomon's Faithful African Queen

Does anti-Black racism cast her in a dark light?  



 The Firpo Files Digital Newsmagazine


[Note: This article is in English only. Permission to translate is hereby granted.] 


by Firpo Carr, PhD

Member: American Psychological Association (APA)

Division 36: Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

Division 38: Society for Health Psychology

Division 40: Society for Clinical Neuropsychology

Division 48: Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict and

Violence: Peace Psychology Division

Division 52: International Psychology

Religious Scholar, Seminary Graduate:

Master of Arts in Urban Ministry 

December 23, 2020



While Rihanna makes a beautiful Cleopatra, wise King Solomon was never married to the African queen. How could he? She wouldn’t be born until centuries later. But that doesn’t mean he was unfamiliar with Black queens, all of whom have been victimized by anti-Black racism in religious circles.

For example, consider the Queen of Sheba.[1]

The Queen of Sheba: She is one of several Black queens of the Bible mentioned in this article who was a contemporary of King Solomon.

According to the Kebra Nagast, she was beautiful.

Biblical Archaeology Society (October 21, 2020) explains: “Dated between the 6th–14th centuries C.E., the Kebra Nagast (The Glory of Kings) is an important text to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It names the Queen of Sheba as the beautiful queen Makeda and identifies the land of Sheba as ancient Ethiopia” (see Figure 1).[2]




 Figure 1: An artist’s depiction of the Queen of Sheba found in the medieval manuscript Bellifortis by Conrad Kyeser (c. 1405).


The Queen of Sheba hears of Solomon’s God-given afflatus and travels from afar “with a very impressive entourage” to pepper him with “perplexing questions,”[3] which Solomon answers with ease (1 Kings 10:1-13; 2 Chronicles 9:1-12, New World Translation).

For her to cerebrally generate “perplexing questions” for Solomon (1 Kings 10:1, or “riddles,” NWT, footnote); to be drawn to his fame for being wise (1 Kings 3:12; 4:29; 10:23; 2 Chronicle 9:23); and to be motivated to travel at great expense--with portable wealth to offer as a gift--to visit him, speak volumes about her own character, education, motivation, and intelligence.[4]

With that being said, she was nonetheless circumspect.

Enigmatically, she doubted the veracity of Solomon’s fame (1 Kings 10:7). But after seeing with her own eyes and hearing with her own ears, she shared “everything that was close to her heart” with the king (1 Kings 10:2b) and submitted: “May Jehovah your God be praised, who has taken pleasure in you by putting you on the throne of Israel” (1 Kings 10:9).

Intriguingly, when Solomon met this Black African Queen of Sheba whom, as noted in the first footnote, Jesus called the “queen of the South” and guaranteed would be resurrected and in her righteousness and faithfulness to Jehovah would render judgment on a generation of unfaithful Jews of his day (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31), Solomon was married to an unnamed Black African princess, the daughter of Pharaoh, and had two biracial daughters, as discussed below.

So, how does anti-Black racism enter this broad, multidimensional picture?

Demonizing Solomon’s African Queen: Sans Scriptural justification, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses (hereafter “GB”) feels compelled to demonize Solomon’s African queen for reasons known only to them but smack of anti-Black racism.

Although she was a faithful servant of Jehovah God (which will be demonstrated shortly), the GB mischaracterizes her as a “false worshipper.”[5]

While giving them the respect they deserve, I have crossed ideological swords with them on their gross miscalculation.

Here’s our history to date:

My General Explanation (2010): Over ten years ago, I basically argued[6] that King Solomon traveled to Africa, married a fellow believer instead of a “false worshipper,” and returned with her to the City of David, also known as Zion or Mount Zion (1 Kings 3:1).

As ancient Jerusalem’s oldest neighborhood, Zion or the City of David is in the southeastern part of the city[7] (2 Samuel 5:7; 1 Chronicles 11:4, 5; 2 Chronicles 11:7).

GB’s Collective Rebuttal (2011): The next year after publishing my article, the GB reiterated its decades-long position[8] of coloring the African princess as a pagan who King Solomon unwisely married.[9]

GB Reply #1: “Solomon may have [my emphasis] seen political advantages in marrying an Egyptian princess,” writes the GB, “yet could he justify it? Long before, God had forbidden the marrying of pagan Canaanites, even listing certain peoples.”[10]

My Response #1: The GB speculates why Solomon married a so-called “false worshipper,” but ignores the immediate context (as well as other indicators discussed below) that shows Solomon married a fellow worshipper.[11]

Instead of having violated God’s statute forbidding marriage to pagans, after marrying the African princess, the immediate context says that “Solomon continued to love Jehovah by walking in the statutes of David his father” (1 Kings 3:3; 1 John 5:3), which included the statute prohibiting marrying a pagan (Exodus 34:11-16).   

That means that rather than being condemned for having married a “false worshipper” early in his reign, the inspired account describes Solomon as having walked in Jehovah’s statutes before marrying his African wife and “continued” to do so during and after the ceremony. Therefore, he didn’t need to “justify” anything.

Indeed, Jehovah wasn’t shy about letting someone know if they have not followed in David’s faithful footsteps.

He pointedly told Jeroboam, the first king of the 10-tribe kingdom of Israel after Solomon’s death, “you have not become like my servant David, who kept my commandments and who walked after me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes” (1 Kings 14:8; see also, e.g., 15:3-5, 11).

To be sure, after Solomon married the African princess, Jehovah told Solomon the exact opposite of what he said to Jeroboam.

Astonishingly, about 60 years after the reign of Jeroboam,[12] the GB documents that Israel’s King Ahab “allowed Baal worship to infect Israel on an unprecedented scale due to his early marriage to Jezebel [my emphasis].”[13]

In contradistinction to what happened when Solomon married a Black foreign princess, the biblical account says that Ahab “took as wife Jezebel[14] the daughter of Ethbaal, the king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and to bow down to him. Further, he set up an altar to Baal at the house of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made the sacred pole” (1 Kings 16:31b-33).

Whether earlier or later in his marriage, Solomon’s African queen never influenced him to serve any false god and erect a building for him in which he installed an altar as wicked Queen Jezebel influenced Ahab.

The faithful African queen wife of Solomon only did right by him, but, regrettably, the GB casts her in a dark light.

Furthermore, the GB speculates that Solomon supposedly married the African queen for “political advantages.” This is probably not the case since he could have established a treaty without marriage, just as he did with Hiram, king of Tyre (1 Kings 5:1, 12; see also 1 Kings 15:19). 

The GB’s erroneous conclusion is simply faulty hermeneutics. The hope is that they find a way to curb their ostensibly irrepressible urge to demonize Solomon’s African queen.

The Real “False Worshippers”: Of course, things changed when an older King Solomon married real false worshippers.

Similar to what King Ahab would do later for his wife Jezebel (as referenced above), instead of building a palace for any of them or all of them, King Solomon “built a high place to Chemosh, the disgusting god of Moab, on the mountain in front of Jerusalem and to Molech, the disgusting god of the Ammonites” (1 Kings 11:1-8).

When that happened, “Jehovah became furious at Solomon, because his heart had inclined away from Jehovah the God of Israel” (1 Kings 11:9-10).

Significantly, Jehovah was never “furious” at Solomon for marrying the faithful African queen as she most assuredly did not incline Solomon’s heart “away from Jehovah the God of Israel.” The king was blessed for having married her.[15]

By way of stark contrast, when he married the pagans, Jehovah further explained: “You have not kept my covenant and my statutes as I commanded you” (1 Kings 11:11; again, juxtapose this with 1 Kings 3:3; for other examples, compare also 1 Kings 11:33-34, 38; 18:18).

Factually, King Solomon chose honorable marriage, which Jehovah blessed (as noted), to the beautiful African princess he actually fell in love with (1 Kings 11:1a, 2c),[16] which simultaneously formed an alliance. It was anything but an impersonal, clinical marriage of convenience, as the GB advocates.

GB Reply #2: After questioning Solomon’s reasoning and accusing him of rationalization, the GB wrote that Solomon’s “course [in having married his African wife] ignored the clear risk that Jehovah had mentioned--that of turning an Israelite from true worship to false.--Read Deuteronomy 7:1-4.”[17]

My Response #2: It is both bold and audacious of the GB to accuse a humble, young King Solomon of blatantly ignoring God’s law forbidding marriage to pagans to facilitate accommodation of their mistaken conclusions.

In addition to “My Response #1,” I submit that the Egyptians themselves--at this point during Solomon’s young reign--honored God’s statute against marrying “pagan Canaanites,”[18] so much so that the God-fearing pharaonic father of Solomon’s African queen killed all potential false-worshipping Canaanite marriage mates in the nearby Gezer and gave the city to his daughter as a parting wedding present (1 Kings 9:16).

So, aside from her own custom-built palatial house Solomon would eventually build for her (1 Kings 7:8; 9:24; 2 Chronicles 8:11a), this Black African queen of Israel had her own city she could creatively rebuild as well!  

GB Reply #3: The GB writes: “In time Solomon built a house for [his African wife, as stated] (and perhaps her Egyptian maids) outside the City of David [my emphasis]. Why? The Scriptures say that he did so because it was not fitting for a false worshipper to dwell near the ark of the covenant [emphasis supplied].”[19]

My Response #3: For the record, not only was Solomon’s wife’s palace “outside the City of David” (punitively so, says the GB), but so were (a) the ark of the covenant, (b) Solomon’s own house, and (c) the very house of Jehovah.

They were all carefully planned out and constructed in the Temple area![20]

Getting Topographical Perspective: In simple terms, ancient Jerusalem is on the side of a large hill and was built from the bottom (south) of the slope upward (north). The slope was separated into three segments.

Therefore, in order of development, these segments were bottom, middle, and top (see Figure 2).

The bottom segment contained a small hill while the top segment had a larger one. The middle segment amounted to a bulge that was part of Jerusalem’s overall slope as it separated the bottom and top segments.

Segment Names: The smaller hill on the bottom segment was called Mount Zion but is also called the City of David. The larger hill in the top segment was called Mount Moriah.

In case you were ever confused before, Mount Zion and Mount Moriah were both within the walls of ancient Jerusalem but located on opposite ends of the city.



Figure 2: The three segments of ancient Jerusalem during Solomon’s rule:

(a) bottom segment (orange), City of David, Mount. Zion;

(b) middle segment (green), the community of Ophel;

(c) top segment (blue/gray), Temple area, Mount Moriah 


All of Mount Moriah was considered the Temple area since the Temple itself was located there, along with “Solomon’s Palace,” the “House of Pharaoh’s Daughter” (which was basically a wing attached to Solomon’s palace), and other government buildings (see Figure 3).    


 Figure 3: In the Temple area shown here (top segment), Ophel (the far left middle segment neighborhood) 

is outside the Temple area’s southern boundary, while the “House of Pharaoh’s Daughter”

(to the right of Ophel) is within the temple area itself.


As can be clearly seen, not only was the House of Pharaoh’s Daughter “outside the City of David,” but the entirety of the Temple area complex itself was “outside the City of David.”

If what the GB says is accurate in saying that Solomon built his wife’s house outside the City of David (bottom segment) because she was a “false worshipper” and as such, she couldn’t dwell near the ark, then King Solomon essentially rewarded her as a “false worshipper” by placing her closer to the Temple, in the actual Temple area on Mount Moriah (top segment).

Of course, that doesn’t make sense.

Fact: Put simply, King Solomon did not build his wife’s palace “outside the City of David” away from the ark because she was supposedly a “false worshipper.”

Undoubtedly, she was near the ark for over a quarter of a century, as is indicated by this revealing sequence of events:  

Travel History of the Ark: During the reigns of David and Solomon, the ark of the covenant was (a) initially brought to the City of David by King David himself (1 Chronicles 15:2, 15), (b) remained there until the end of his rule (2 Samuel 6:12-17; 11:11), and (c) dwelled there well into Solomon’s reign, as we shall see.  

Relevantly, as we know so well, Solomon brought his Black African queen from Egypt to the City of David (bottom segment), where the ark already resided until he finished his building projects (1 Kings 3:1; 2 Chronicles 8:11a).

So, she was obviously near the ark there in the City of David.

But for how long?

How long did it take for Solomon to complete his building projects?

Duration of Building Projects: Solomon spent seven years building the temple (1 Kings 6:37-38) and 13 years building his palace (1 Kings 7:1), for a total of 20 years (1 Kings 9:10; 2 Chronicles 8:1).[21]

Since the queen’s palace was “similar in workmanship” (1 Kings 7:8) but about a third of the size of the king’s,[22] it conceivably took another two or three years to construct, plus the time it took him to build the sprawling wall around Jerusalem[23] (1 Kings 3:1; 9:15). Therefore, his building projects possibly spanned well over 25 years.

During all that time, both the ark of the covenant and Solomon’s African wife dwelled near each other in the City of David, well into Solomon’s reign (1 Kings 8:1-4, 6; 9:24; 2 Chronicles 5:2-10).

So What Did Solomon Really Mean?: But, after bringing her up from the City of David (again, where she was together with the ark for maybe 25 years or more), Solomon is recorded as having said:

“Solomon also brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the City of David to the house that he had built for her, for he said: ‘Although she is my wife, she should not dwell in the house of King David of Israel, for the places to which the Ark of Jehovah has come are holy’” (2 Chronicles 8:11).

This text serves as a basis for the GB calling her “a false worshipper” since she was restricted from dwelling “in the house of King David.”

But what did Solomon really mean?

          Another version of the Bible adds clarity:

“Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her, for he said,  ‘My wife must not live in the palace of David king of Israel [or, the temple], because the places the ark of the LORD has entered are holy’” (2 Chronicles 8:11, New International Version]).

Solomon no doubt made this public announcement at the end of the official, royal procession that led the queen “from the City of David to the palace he had built for her.”

David’s Palace Is the Temple: David’s original palace was in the City of David (bottom segment, Figure 2), as was the ark, which was under a tent nearby. They were both in the same enclosure,[24] and because of their proximity, the “palace” and the “temple” were used interchangeably.

A single Hebrew word establishes this point, which the GB itself acknowledges.  

They write, “one Hebrew word for palace, heh·khalʹ [הֵיכָל], often was applied to the temple as the dwelling place of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.”[25]

In the GB’s New World Translation, heh·khalʹ [הֵיכָל] even refers to “the Holy, which was in front of the Most Holy” (1 Kings 6:17, footnote).

At the same time, elsewhere in the New World Translation, heh·khalʹ [הֵיכָל] is translated “palace.”

For example, we read of “the palace [heh·khalʹ, הֵיכָל] of Ahab” (1 Kings 21:1) and “the palace [heh·khalʹ, הֵיכָל] of the king of Babylon” (2 Kings 20:18).

For over 25 years, during the construction as mentioned earlier, King Solomon sat on the throne of his father King David with his Black African queen at his side as they both lived in “David’s Palace” (or, the temple; see the upper part of the bottom segment, Figure 2), in the City of David (1 Kings 2:10-12).

The Procession and Announcement: With the above in mind, we can now revisit the text in question and get a more precise meaning from Solomon’s public declaration:

“Solomon also brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the City of David to the house that he had built for her, for he said: ‘Although she is my wife, she should not dwell in the house of King David of Israel, for the places to which the Ark of Jehovah has come are holy’” (2 Chronicles 8:11, NWT).

There was no doubt a royal ceremonial procession as the queen was brought from the City of David to her magnificent, extraordinary, newly-built palace[26] (compare 1 Kings 1:38-39; Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:7-11; John 12:9-15; see also 1 Corinthians 4:9).

Before the gathered crowd, Solomon announced that although she dwelled in the temporary “house of King David of Israel” (2 Chronicles 8:11b, NWT), in the same enclosure as the ark in the City of David on Mount Zion (as discussed), she “must not live in the palace of David king of Israel” (2 Chronicles 8:11b, NIV) in the new, permanent location on Mount Moriah.

Even the GB acknowledges that “the Ark had no permanent resting-place until the erection of Solomon’s temple.”[27]

Also, recall that “temple” and “palace” can be substitutable terms.

Clearly, then, the “house of King David of Israel” is really the “temple” because “the places to which the Ark of Jehovah has come are holy,” and--again for emphasis--the ark had come into the newly-constructed Temple on Mount Moriah (1 Kings 8:1-13).  

GB Reply #4: “Did Solomon reason that Egypt was not one of those listed nations [God warned Israel to avoid marriage ties with]?”[28]

My Response #4: As already entertained, at least some Egyptians worshipped Jehovah, perhaps as a nation, during the early part of Solomon’s reign.

Whatever the case, Egyptians were not on the list of pagan nations that Jehovah condemned, the very nations with women whom Solomon fell in love with (1 Kings 11:1-10; see also 2 Chronicles 8:7-8).

Solomon’s Daughters and Other Black Queens: In ancient times, the term “queen” had different meanings, depending on the culture. For example, the queen may or may not have had governmental or ruling powers.

As is the case today, “queen” could mean “consort,” which is defined as “a wife, husband, or companion, in particular the spouse of a reigning monarch” (Oxford Dictionary).

It’s similar to the arrangement in the United Kingdom.

The Queen of England doesn’t have governmental authority, and her husband is not the King of England. Rather, he is her consort. More formally, he is Prince Philip or the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen of Ethiopia (Acts 8:27) and the Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:1) were autocrats. Neither one had a husbandly king.  

Solomon’s Queens Sans Kings: A little-known fact is that King Solomon had two biracial daughters who, though they weren’t married to kings, were queens by association. Like their parents, both were raised to be worshippers of Jehovah.

The first one mentioned is Taphath, “Solomon’s daughter” (1 Kings 4:11). She was married to a fellow worshipper serving as one of the king’s deputies.

The second daughter, Basemath, was “another of Solomon’s daughters” (1 Kings 4:15), also married to a fellow worshipper who was another of the king’s deputies.[29]

Taphath and Basemath could genuinely be called queens because their paternal grandfather was Jewish King David, and their maternal grandfather was Pharaoh, the Black African king of Egypt.

A pair of powerful grandfather kings!

And, yes, a daughter could be called a queen instead of a princess.

For instance, Bithiah was “the daughter of Pharaoh” who shared her husband Mered with a “Jewish wife” (1 Chronicles 4:18), but instead of being called “princess,” Bithiah’s name in Egyptian means “queen.”[30]  

And then there is the Black African wife of yet another Pharaoh who lived toward the end of Solomon’s reign who is identified as “Tahpenes the queen” (1 Kings 11:14-19). This pharaoh was not the same as his father-in-law (compare 1 Kings 3:7 with 1 Kings 11:4a).[31]

Sadly, it appears that the GB turns a blind eye to the fact that Solomon, his African queen wife, and their two little queen daughters served Jehovah faithfully for years before he marred the marriage and disrupted the peace of the family by becoming involved with pagan wives and concubines.

In so doing, the king likely also alienated himself spiritually from his two faithful deputy sons-in-law, as well as from all faithful Israelites (1 Kings 12:1-15).

Ultimately, Solomon was the one who turned out to be a “false worshipper,” not his faithful African wife.  

Conclusion: The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses sponsors the most prolific dissemination of Bible-related material in history, although Jehovah's Witnesses as a whole have just experienced an unprecedented decrease in numbers.[32]

Still, no other organization, religious or otherwise, has a website available in 1,026 languages, including 100 different sign languages.[33]

Given these figures, it’s challenging to make an argument against their claim that they are preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom like no one else and that this collective action is the precursor to the monumental transition for the good that’s about to take place on a global scale (Matthew 24:14).

Be that as it may, along with some impressive exegesis in their writings, said publications are at times regrettably tinctured with bias, textured with racism.

As we have seen in the case of Solomon and his faithful, Black African wife, the GB has been blinded by bias as they bend Scripture to accommodate their anti-Black racism. They have engineered an atmosphere of subterfuge and omission.[34]

But, even with the historical deficiencies in Watch Tower Society literature that amount to nothing less than an egregious affront to fairness, they’ve offered more than a slither of hope to millions who say the good the GB does far outweigh the bad.

Of course, that’s for each one to decide on an individual basis.

Personally, after a thorough, decades-long investigation into the religion, I have observed the GB making constant corrections (they call them “adjustments”) in their theology, exegesis, and hermeneutics.

Disconcertingly, though, they at times take one step forward and two steps back. And since they strongly discourage members from innocuous academic pursuits, the GB exclusively provides the faithful the only window to the world and disallow access to other legitimate views.

In short, one would be hard-pressed to disproved that the average Witness is intellectually imprisoned in a cocoon of contrived ignorance and is rewarded with praise from the GB and fellow incarcerated Witnesses.

I don’t mean to sound harsh.

Navel-gazing is not my goal.  

Peace and blessings to all, including the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Witnesses themselves, amen.

[NOTE: See related article on Black pharaohs (Pharaohs! (firpocarr.com).] 

[1] “The Queen of Sheba was from Sheba province, located in modern-day Yemen. This area is at the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula across from Ethiopia. This woman was the Queen of the territory of Sheba and of Ethiopia, both a part of one empire at the time.…Sheba was also known as the Queen of Ethiopia and the Queen of the South” (The Original African Heritage Study Bible, King James Version, General Editor, Cain Hope Felder, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament Languages and Literature, Howard University, Washington, DC, p. 562). See also https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-near-eastern-world/who-is-the-queen-of-sheba-in-the-bible/.  

[3] Or, “hard questions” (1 Kings 10:1; 2 Chronicles 9:1, King James Version).

[4] One scholarly source says that the Queen of Sheba “had the privilege of an education. She was trained in and acquired a formidable knowledge of natural history, music, and astronomy. Her knowledge of the world was vast,” and that she was “a woman who was inquisitive of philosophy, and eager for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding”  (“Queen Makeda and the Establishment of Belief in the One True God, Jehovah,” The Original African Heritage Study Bible, King James Version, General Editor, Cain Hope Felder, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament Languages and Literature, Howard University, Washington, DC, pp. 937-938).

[5] The Watchtower, “Is He a Good Example for You or a Warning?” December 15, 2011, p. 10, par. 13. Similarly, while not accusing her of being a rival worshipper, Moses’ older siblings Miriam and Aaron assailed him for marrying a Black African woman (Numbers 12:1). As such, she occupied the queenly position of First Lady, as it were, of the man God chose to lead the Children of Israel and write the Torah.

[6] Before I stopped regularly donating my research to the Los Angeles Sentinel as a columnist, I wrote the article “The Colored King & His Caucasians” (April 8, 2010) https://lasentinel.net/the-colored-king-his-caucasians.html

[7] Insight on the Scriptures (Vol 1), “City of Jerusalem (David/Solomon” map, p. 752.

[8] Insight on the Scriptures (Vol. 1), “Alliance,” p. 76.

[9] The Watchtower, “Is He a Good Example for You or a Warning?” December 15, 2011, p. 10, par. 13.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Consider this: If the Black African Queen of Sheba, whom Jesus praised, credited Jehovah with having blessed Solomon, why couldn’t Pharaoh’s daughter also comprehend that Jehovah was the true God and thereafter worship Him?

[12] New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (2013), Appendix A6, “Chart: Prophets and Kings of Judah and of Israel,” p. 1745.

[13] Insight on the Scriptures (Vol. 1), “Ahab,” p. 59.

[14] Beguilingly, one noted African American scholar believes “Jezebel was a black Sidonian (Phoenician) woman” (The Original African Heritage Study Bible, King James Version, General Editor, Cain Hope Felder, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament Languages and Literature, Howard University, Washington, DC, p. 576).

[15] Solomon’s faithful queen was also doubtlessly “furious” with him as he blindsided her with his spiritually adulterous acts.

[16] Like Solomon and his Black African wife's union, history hints at a mixed marriage motif in mythology where a Greek White man of stature marries an attractive African princess in the story of Perseus and Andromeda. Although both were royalty, allying does not appear to be their primary reason for marrying.

[17] The Watchtower, “Is He a Good Example for You or a Warning?” December 15, 2011, p. 10, par. 13.

[18] From the days of Moses, Egyptians had a long history of being faithful worshippers of Jehovah. The GB makes a fair point along these lines: “Along with Israel went out ‘a vast mixed company.’ (Ex 12:38) These were all worshipers of Jehovah, for they had to be prepared to leave with Israel while the Egyptians were burying their dead. They had observed the Passover, otherwise they would have been busy with Egypt’s mourning and burial rites. To a certain extent this company may have been made up of those who were in some way related by marriage to the Israelites. For example, many Israelite men married Egyptian women, and Israelite women married Egyptian men. A case in point is the person who was put to death in the wilderness for abusing Jehovah’s name. He was the son of an Egyptian man and his mother was Shelomith of the tribe of Dan. (Le 24:10, 11)” (Insight on the Scriptures, Vol 1, p. 780).

[19] The Watchtower, “Is He a Good Example for You or a Warning?” December 15, 2011, p. 10, par. 12.

[20] Insight on the Scriptures (Vol 1), “City of Jerusalem (David/Solomon” map, p. 752.

[21] Constructing a complex of government buildings, both in Solomon’s time and today, can be somewhat daunting. Future renovations are also challenging. Along these lines, note former President Barack Obama’s observations on White House reconstruction: “When Teddy Roosevelt came into office, he determined that a single building couldn’t accommodate a modern staff, six boisterous children, and his sanity. He ordered construction of what would become the West Wing an Oval Office” (A Promised Land, 2020, p. 3).

[22] See Insight on the Scriptures [Vol. 1), p. 752, map, numbers 6 and 7 under “Numbers on the Map.”

[23] Some years after Solomon’s death, the wall was neglected. However, working day and night, it took “52 days” to repair it (Nehemiah 6:15). Of course, it would take much longer to build such a wall.

[24] See Insight on the Scriptures [Vol. 1), p. 752, map, numbers 9 and 10 under “Numbers on the Map.”

[25] Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 2, “Palace,” p. 568.

[26] Ibid., see numbers 6 and 7 and notice there is approximately half a common wall between the two palaces.

[27] Insight on the Scriptures (Vol. 1), “Ark of the Covenant,” p. 167.

[28] The Watchtower, “Is He a Good Example for You or a Warning?” December 15, 2011, p. 10, par. 13.

[29] Although Solomon’s age cannot be stated with certainty, his daughters were likely in their late teens or, early 20’s when they married.

[30] Insight on the Scriptures (Vol. 1), “Bithiah,” p. 320. See also the footnote of 1 Kings 11:19 in the New World Translation that says of Bithiah, “Not a ruling queen.”

[31] Discover more fascinating Black African Bible characters, as well as other historical Black figures associated with biblical manuscripts, in my book Black Bible Manuscripts: Why the Bible Isn’t the White Man’s Book (2015). But you may want to wait for the revised edition in the first quarter of 2021. In the meantime, please feel free to read the description on Amazon.com.

[33] https://www.jw.org/en/

[34] Disappointingly, the GB only features non-Black women as examples for all Witness women to follow, as shown in this link https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/women-in-the-bible/.