In today’s post, we will be examining another fascinating ancient symbol that has made its way to several cultures and religions alike. Everything you should know about the Seal of Solomon including its meaning, symbolism, legends regarding its origin and its importance in different systems of faith is here.
But who was King Solomon? Let us give you some background before we start explaining the symbol.
Who Was King Solomon?
Often referred to as the richest man in Babylon and the wisest of kings, Solomon was the third and the last ruler of the United Kingdom of Israel.
He took over the reign from his father, King David – the founder of the Judean dynasty – in 970 BC and ruled over the Israeli tribes for 40 years, until 931 BC. During those 40 years, he brought unprecedented prosperity to the Israeli state and people.
Although he is firstly known for being a key figure in Judaism, King Solomon holds importance for Christian and Islamic belief systems, too.
Apart from his wealth and wisdom, King Solomon was known for building the first Temple of Jerusalem, commonly referred to as the Temple of Solomon or Solomon’s Temple. He was also a poet. Many of his writings can be found in the poetry section of the Old Testament. In history, references to King Solomon also appear with the names Jedidiah and Shelomo.
The Seal of Solomon is a signet ring seal that was believed to have given King Solomon the supernatural powers of talking to animals and controlling demons.
The Origin of the Seal of Solomon Symbol
According to the Testament of Solomon, when the construction of his temple was underway, a master workman of King Solomon was possessed and harassed by a demon (although some sources suggest it was the son of this workman).
Seeing this, Solomon asked God for help and was given the Seal of Solomon. It was a signet ring with an engraving of a pentagram or a hexagram (depicted differently in various historical accounts) within a circle.
According to another story narrated in One Thousand and One Nights, the seal had an inscription of “the Most Great Name of God”.
The ring was half iron and half brass and gave Solomon the power to free his workman from the demon and gave him influence and control over all demons and spirits, good and bad. King Solomon’s ability to speak to animals is also believed to have come from this magical ring.
Legend has it that King Solomon exercised this power to make demons participate in building his Temple.
The Seal of Solomon Meaning and Symbolism
The Seal of Solomon was mostly depicted with a pentagram or a hexagram inside a circle.
It is important to note that the hexagram mentioned here is often confused with the Star of David. While these two look quite similar, they are two different symbols. The Star of David is formed by two overlapping and oppositely faced triangles, whereas the Seal of Solomon’s hexagram is formed by two oppositely faced interlocking triangles.
According to one explanation, the two ends of the seal represent ground and heavens, and the ends of the star touching them symbolizes the “harmony of opposites”.
The interwoven triangles on the Seal of Solomon are also believed to serve as a visual talisman. Some also believe the triangles pointing towards opposite sides symbolize water and fire, while others believe that the four corners of the seal represent the four core elements of nature, namely, water, air, fire, earth, and the central space reflects the fifth element of ether.
According to another interpretation, the six points of the star and the central space symbolize the energy centers of human beings; some even believe these points and the space in the center signify the seven rays of light.
The Seal of Solomon also represents one of the most important alchemy symbols; the magical Philosopher’s Stone which is believed to turn any base metal into gold.
In some traditions, Solomon’s seal is also considered a symbol of good luck and is believed to bring fortune.
In cosmic symbolism, the pentagram and hexagram are considered manifestations of the connection between heaven and earth as well as spirit and matter.
Similar to this notion, in Islamic symbolism and art, the Seal of Solomon is seen as an emblem of the correlation between the two worlds.
Today, it is popularly referred to as a Jewish and Zionist movement symbol since the Israeli national flag features a hexagram.
The Seal of Solomon As a Protection Symbol
While there are many meanings attached to the Seal of Solomon, the most widely believed and popular notion is that it works as a talisman and offers protection to its bearer.
Since ancient times, mystics have believed that the Seal of Solomon offered spiritual protection to its bearer against all types of evil forces, including demons and the evil eye. During the late Middle Ages, the Seal was also believed to offer protection against fire.
Historical evidence shows that the Seal of Solomon’s design had been commonly used on protective shields and armors during different eras, which reflect its popularity as a protection symbol. It has also been used (in magic) as a tool to call, command, and control spirits since at least the 11th century.
The Seal of Solomon in the Bible
Although it has long been a part of Christian legends, there is no proper reference to the Seal of Solomon in the Bible. There are, however, a few verses that some people believe to be hinting towards the symbol. The Bible does include stories about King Solomon’s unparalleled wisdom and authority.
See you in the next post!