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King Solomon

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Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

18 Adar II 5765
Question
How many wives and concubines did King Solomon have? I read somewhere that Kings should limit the number of wives and horses that they have. Being the wisest of all men, did he just yield to temptation, etc.? How many wives were the Kings generally allowed?
Answer
A king is aloud to have eighteen wives. (Rambam Melachm 3;2) King Solomon had 300 wives and 700 concubines.(kings 1 11; 3) The rabbis see this as a sin of King Solomon yet we should be extremely careful when we come to criticize him. (see commentators ibid) He had only the best of intentions – for the sake of heaven – but after all it is a sin.
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