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ISIS: Denying History in Palmyra

Most will recognize these words from the opening chapter of Ecclesiastes and credit them to King Solomon, whose title in that book is “The Teacher.” The son and heir of David has many claims to fame, many of them contradictory. The Bible presents him as the wisest man who ever lived, yet one plagued by insecurity. His reign was Israel’s golden age, but he was the last king before Israel’s division with Judah. He found no meaningful fulfillment in indulging the appetites, yet he kept 300 wives and 700 concubines. He built the temple of God (the one that caused old men to weep when comparing their memories of it to Zerubbabel’s remodel), yet he himself worshiped idols: “For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.”

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