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The Kebra Nagast, by E.A.W. Budge, [1922], at


And then the daughter of Pharaoh appeared before Solomon, and said unto him, "It is good to worship the gods like my father and all the kings of Egypt who were before my father." And Solomon answered and said unto her, "They call gods the things which have been made by the hands of the worker in metal, and the carpenter, and the potter, and the painter, and the hewer in stone, and the sculptor; these are not gods, but the work of the hand of man, in gold, and silver, in brass and lead, in iron and earthenware, and in stone, and ye call 'our gods' the things that are not your gods. But we worship none else than the Holy God of Israel and our Lady, the holy and heavenly Zion, the Tabernacle of the Law of God, whom He hath given us to worship, us and our seed after us."

And she answered and said unto him, "Thy son hath carried away thy Lady Zion, thy son whom thou hast begotten, who springeth from an alien people into which God hath not commanded you to marry, that is to say, from an Ethiopian woman, who is not of thy colour, and is not akin to thy country, and who is, moreover, black." And Solomon answered and said unto her, "Though thou speakest thus art thou not thyself of [that race] concerning which God hath not commanded us that we should take wives from it? And thy kin is her kin, for ye are all the children of Ham. And God, having destroyed of the seed of Ham seven kings, hath made us to inherit this city, that we and our seed after us may dwell therein for ever. And as concerning Zion, the will of God hath been performed, and He hath given her unto them so that they may worship her. And as for me, I will neither sacrifice to nor worship thine idols, and I will not perform thy wish."

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And though she spake in this wise unto him, and though she shewed herself gracious unto him evening and morning, and night and day, he continued to refuse her [request]. And one day she beautified and scented herself for him, and she behaved herself haughtily towards him, and treated him disdainfully. And he said unto her, "What shall I do? Thou hast made thy face evil towards me, and thy regard towards me is not as it was formerly, and thy beautiful form is not as enticing as usual. Ask me, and I will give thee whatsoever thou wishest, and I will perform it for thee, so that thou mayest make thy face (or, attitude) gracious towards me as formerly"; but she held her peace and answered him never a word. And he repeated to her the words that he would do whatsoever she wished, and she said unto him, "Swear to me by the God of Israel that thou wilt not play me false." And he swore to her that he would give her whatsoever she asked for, and that he would do for her everything that she told him. And she tied a scarlet thread on the middle of the door of [the house of] her gods, and she brought three locusts and set them in the house of her gods. And she said unto Solomon, "Come to me without breaking the scarlet thread, bend thyself and kill these locusts before me and pull out their necks"; and he did so. And she said unto him, "I will henceforward do thy will, for thou hast sacrificed to my gods and hast worshipped them." Now he had done thus because of his oath, so that he might not break his oath which she had made him to swear, even though he knew that it was an offence (or, sin) to enter into the house of her gods.

Now God had commanded the children of Israel, saying, "Ye shall not marry strange women that ye may not be corrupted by them through their gods, and through the wickedness of their works and the sweetness of their voices; for they make soft the hearts of simple young men by the sweetness of their gentle voices, and

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by the beauty of their forms they destroy the wisdom of the foolish man." Who was wiser than Solomon? yet he was seduced by a woman. Who was more righteous than David? yet he was seduced by a woman. Who was stronger than Samson? yet he was seduced by a woman. Who was handsomer than ’Amnôn? yet he was seduced by Tamar the daughter of David his father. And Adam was the first creation of God, yet he was seduced by Eve his wife. And through that seduction death was created for every created thing. And this seduction of men by women was caused by Eve, for we are all the children of Eve.

Next: 65. Concerning the Sin of Solomon