The Solomon Problem

Theory review:  The earliest Christians remembered and altered an older version of Judaism which was more Henotheistic than the day’s Orthodoxy.  This version had less concern for Moses’s law, and at the root of their mystery, had a deep concern for Asherah, the Queen of Heaven, who they remembered as, among other things, the tree.  Accordingt to the Old Testament, Asherah was prominently featured for much of the 1st temple period in Solomon’s temple. The Nasar were the keepers of this older memory.  It is not a coincidence then that Nasar also means branch in Hebrew (the written ancient Hebrew had no vowels, which allowed for much modulation between the written and spoken language).  Branches are children of trees.  This movement had lived for hundreds of years, particularly throughout the Diaspora.  Jewish Orthodoxy countered this movement by rewriting the Pentateuch, and in particular, bastardizing an older tradition that gave reverence to the tree by contrasting two separate trees in Eden.  The tree of Wisdom (Asherah was Wisdom) became associated with the serpent, and was altogether obsolete (the root of humanity’s fall).  Wisdom was contrasted with the tree of life, which was a metaphor for Moses’s law.

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For people who remembered the Queen of Heaven, they saw her as a Spirit which underlay the Holy City, and they awaited her return, perhaps expecting a male counterpart to be their proxy to her.  This is represented in 2 Esdras 9-10, as well as Revelation 21.  This is part of why there was so much concern for the New Jerusalem among early Christians.

There are various problems with this theory; one of the biggest problems is what I call the Solomon problem.  Solomon is not remembered kindly in texts found at Nag Hammadi – the very texts which one would intuitively expect to remember Solomon kindly, if this theory were true.

Consider this excerpt from the Apocalypse of Adam:

Solomon himself sent his army of demons to seek out the virgin. And they did not find the one whom they sought, but the virgin who was given them. It was she whom they fetched. Solomon took her. The virgin became pregnant and gave birth to the child there.

Here is an excerpt from the Testimony of Truth

…and his son Solomon, whom he begat in adultery, is the one who built Jerusalem by means of the demons, because he received power. When he had finished building, he imprisoned the demons in the temple.

Why should we see such a poor opinion of Solomon in these texts?  These authors seem to equate Solomon to the dragon who chased the crowned lady from heaven (Rev 12).  One might chalk this up to evolution within the mystery over centuries and disparate cultures.  Pre-Deuteronomists met post-Deuteronomists, and eventually the later Jewish Orthodoxy’s views won out.

Another possibility is that, in Christianity’s evolution, a dualism emerged which required material makers to be on the dark side.  Indeed we see in Gnostic thought that Sophia gave rise to the Demiurge, who was responsible for material creation.  She then became trapped by him.  In other words, it might be that Solomon, the creator of the Holy and revered temple, represented material, while the lady of the temple represented Spirit – the Wisdom emanating from heaven.  Her wisdom was blocked as the Moses sect came to control the 2nd temple.

Wisdom’s stifling explains why Jesus had to be offered up (in the process, tricking material’s rulers).  The trick that was played (offering up a spiritually pure man), caused a rift in the material realm.  The temple veil tore, and it opened up a pathway that had previously been closed by the Aaronic (Moses) priesthood.

 

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Author: Tim...Stepping Out

Tim Stepping Out

10 thoughts on “The Solomon Problem”

  1. Jesus is the serpent. In Saint Luke’s story of the first appearance after the resurrection, Jesus breaks bread and gives it to two dispiples, whence their eyes were opened – like in the book of Genesis when the snake gave the two people an illegal fruit to consume. This is the origin of the eucharist.

    The Judaizers of christianity turned it all step by step upside down and made Jesus the ultimate agent of the Jewish god and the eucharist a meal inspired by passover celebrations.

    The texts in Nag Hammadi generally stand somewhere inbetween or on a side track.

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  2. I was thinking that David, Solomon, Sheba and Bathsheba were originally deities, and Solomon is being equated with the dragon that pursued the Queen.
    There were some very interesting developments here:

    It says that the woman he found was not the one he pursued (or something of the sort). It seems that the Queen of Heaven managed to play some sort of trick here, but it is unclear what.
    The first temple had these demons stored in water jars, and these were released when the Romans destroyed the temple. This I assume means they equate the two temples as the same thing – a prison for the Queen of Heaven.

    When the Romans destroyed the temple, the demons were released: I know this reminds me of Mary Magdalene who had seven demons cast out of her.

    The water jars also remind me of the Wedding at Cana, but the number of jars does not match.

    ‘Sheba’ means ‘promise’ if that makes any sense.

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    1. The lady in Revelation was protected by the earth, just as she is in Apocalypse of Adam (AoA). My next step is to read Rev 12-14 in conjunction with the Apocalypse of Adam and the Apocalypse of Weeks in 1 Enoch. I’ve been meaning to compare language for a couple weeks now, and just haven’t gotten around to doing it.

      The part preceding this segment in AoA says “Then [the Demiurge or equivalent] will arouse a great wrath against that man [presumably the Christ – the receiver of Spiritual knowledge]. And the glory will withdraw and dwell in holy houses which it has chosen for itself.” In other words, this picks up on an adoptionistic motif where Spirits are bouncing from place to place (people, buildings, etc).

      Then it says “Then they will punish the flesh of the man upon whom the holy spirit came”. Again, tapping into the notion that the Christ bounced out of the man, and the rulers punished an innocent man.

      The part I referenced is in the 4th kingdom. [Adam] is describing each of the 13 “kingdoms”, and what people think about where the man [Jesus] came from…in other words, he was describing different Christian sects. So in AoA, we basically have a Gnostic version of Irenaeus. I don’t think we necessarily must imply that the writer saw Solomon the way he says the 4th kingdom saw him…

      RE: The trick. I had not thought of that, but that really is intriguing. Eve was performing some tricks of her own in Gnostic texts, including hiding in the tree.

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      1. The different Kingdoms I found fascinating. I understood these to be like different spiritual realms in which the Christ manifested in different ways – like a Plato system.
        However, I thought it was also an accommodating statement of different traditions about the Christ.
        The story about the Christ coming from the stone is likely the Buddhist tradition about the Monkey Spirit.

        The demons imprisoned in clay water pots must mean something, and their relationship to the bondage of the Queen of Heaven is unclear. I am not sure if the release of the demons is an apocalyptic event – like Cassandra opening Pandora’s box, or if it just means that The Queen of Heaven is released from her bondage which the demons had somehow facilitated – hence the parallel to Mary Magdalene. There are so many references to Jesus being able to cast our demons, and bind the strongman etc, that I think there is a good gnostic riddle here.

        It seems here that celibacy is very important to their ability to transcend their material realm here, and they appear to believe mainstream Christians are completely in the dark. Which makes me think the jesus quotes like “They hear, but they don’t listen”, are gnostic statements against mainstream sects.
        Regarding the descriptions of the gnostic sects – the ravages of time have robbed you of the juiciest part?
        From the little we have, I think the writer has a patronising attitude to their fellow gnostics, but is nevertheless, not as dogmatic as Irenaeus.

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  3. Hey Tim, not to derail but I found a YouTube channel you might get interested with.

    It’s interesting that he brought up Rene Descartes and his theories on the body and spirit. It makes me wonder if Descartes was a Gnostic.

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