S-T/ Salomon - Thomas



The son of David and Bathsheba, he succeeded his father in 970 BC, but at his death in 931, the kingdom was divided. His reign marked the apex of the kingdom; he had the Temple of Jerusalem built, he entertained relations with faraway countries (see the Queen of Sheba). The king has remained famous for his wisdom and he is credited with numerous writings and the famous Judgment.




Inhabitant of Samaria, which the name of the kingdom of the North after Solomon’s death (as opposed to Judea, the kingdom of the South). After the Exile in Babylon, the Samaritans opposed the reconstruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in Judea. The hostility between Samaritans and Judean Jews grew and remained strong at the time of Jesus. To choose a Good Samaritan as an example and to talk to a Samaritan woman are thus scandalous for his Jewish hearers.




“the sun”, in Hebrew. From their settlement in the Promised Land to the period of Kings, the Hebrews were ruled by Judges, who were sorts of warlords. There were 12 Judges and the last one, Samson is famous for his feats, his strength but also Delilah’s treachery.





“his name is El”, in Hebrew. Devoted to God from his infancy, he becomes a prophet. It is he who consecrates Saul as King and then chooses David as his successor.




See Devil



“princess”, in Hebrew. The wife of Abraham, barren, she allows her husband to have a son with Hagar, her servant; he is called Ishmael. But God gives her Isaac in spite of her great age (Abraham and the three angels). She will have Agar and Ishmael expelled.




The Israelites were originally a pastoral people (i.e. shepherds). The image of the good shepherd who tends, protects and saves his flock of sheep is often used. God is the Shepherd par excellence and Jesus took up the comparison for himself. John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus was the Lamb of God; that is why he has often been represented with a lamb thou he himself is not a shepherd.




From the Greek Stephanos, “crown”. A Jew from Jerusalem but of Greek culture, converted to Christianity, he was chosen by the Apostles to become a deacon. Accused before the High Priest’s tribunal, he was condemned and lapidated in 34 A.D. Paul (then Saul) attended to his death. He is the first Christian martyr.




“lily”, in Hebrew. The heroine of a passage of the Book of Daniel only known in Greek, therefore absent from the Hebrew Bible. Susanna is a beautiful and pious wife but two old men try to take advantage of her charms while she is bathing. She is eventually saved by Daniel.



Temple of Jerusalem

King Solomon had it built in Jerusalem in about 960 BC on the model of pagan temples but is must remain one of a kind like God and without any divine representation (see the Burning Bush). It was destroyed in 587 by Nabuchodonosor. Rebuilt in a more modest way on the return from exile, it was profaned by the Greek king Antiochus IV in 169. King Herod had it extended and embellished between 20 and 4 BC. It was then a new temple, the sole centre of religious life, which Jesus knew. It was there that Jesus was presented as an infant, that he debated with the Doctors of the Law, that he taught and chased the merchants away... The Temple was destroyed together with the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Roman emperor Titus. It was never rebuilt; only one wall from the terrace remains standing, the Wall of Lamentations.




“testament” means “alliance”. The New Testament is a collection of books including the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the letters or epistles written by the Apostles and the Book of Revelation. For Christians it is an addition and a complement to the Hebrew Bible. Hence the term “New” in relation to the Old Testament, the name given by Christians to the Hebrew Bible.




“twin” in Aramaic. He is one of the twelve apostles. Absent at the apparition of the risen Christ to the other apostles, he doubts and asks for concrete signs of this resurrection.


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