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Solomon’s Servants

SOLOMON’s SERVANTS. A class of state slaves in Israel instituted by Solomon. All subordinates of a king might be considered his servants. The feast which Solomon gave for all his “servants” (1 Kings 3:15) certainly included his officials, if not exclusively so. These officials are named in 1 Kings 4:1-19. But the Heb. term עַבְדֵ֣י שְׁלֹמֹ֑ה, tr. “Solomon’s servants,” does not refer generally to all those who served Solomon in any capacity. Rather, it is a technical term referring to a class of state slaves in Israel. Bibliography R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel (1965), 88-90, 141, 142; M. Haran, “The Gibeonites, the Nethinim and the Servants of Solomon” in Judah and Jerusalem (1957), 37-45; I. Mendelsohn, Slavery in the Ancient Near East (1949), 92-106; A. F. Rainey, “Compulsory Labour Gangs in Ancient Israel,” IEJ (1970), 191-202. Article 2 SOLOMON’S SERVANTS (Heb. ‘avedhê shelōmōh). The descendants of Solomon’s servants are named among those returning from Babylon to Jerusalem under