Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Christianity in Ethiopia
And in Ethiopia, the "everything she desired" line has been interpreted to mean that Solomon seduced the Queen. She had a son, Menelik I, who was the ancestor of the Ethiopian imperial line down to Haile Selassie. Thus, the rulers of Ethiopia through the modern era are believed to be the descendents of King Solomon. (The imperial line is still extant, though no longer in power.)
The Ethiopian tradition holds that Solomon served the Queen a very spicy meal but no beverages and then invited her to spend the night in the palace. She agreed on condition that he not "take her by force" (these were classy times). He promised on condition that she promise not to take anything in the palace by force. (She knew what was happening but thought she could go the night without water.) She awoke in the middle of the night unbearably thirsty and reached for water that had been set by the bed, and the King warned her that water was the most valuable possession in the kingdom and by taking it she was breaking her oath. When she took the water anyway, he was freed from his oath.
Allegedly, Menelik I returned to Jerusalem and started telling people that he was Solomon's son. To test him, Solomon had one hundred and ninety-nine other guys stand in a room with him and then had Menelik sent in. Menelik immediately identified Solomon (despite never having seen him) and Solomon accepted him as his son. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Solomon, Menelik's men were stealing the Ark of the Covenant. They took it to the Church of St. Mary in Axum, Ethiopia. I couldn't go check due to flight problems and also they kill you if you try to sneak in.
Posted by arie at 5:51 PM