King Solomon was the Wisest and Wealthiest King of All Time With a Net Worth 10 Times Greater Than Elon Musk’s
If one considers the wealthiest men in the world, most will filter their views through the current economic climate of the world today. It would not be surprising to find the likes of Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates headlining our formulated lists. After all, they are some of the richest billionaires on the planet right now.
While Elon Musk is the most distinguished man of value at the current moment, with a net worth exceeding $250 billion (2022), there have been several men in history that have dwarfed his wealth. For instance, ancient King Solomon’s net worth was $2 trillion dollars in today’s money. Despite a massive inheritance from his father, King David, before him, he would collect billions in gold per year and receive massive tributes from various rich kings on a regular basis. He is a historical marvel and the Holy Bible notes that King Solomon’s net worth was greater than all the kings of the earth and that he was the wisest man at the time (1 Kings 10:23). While it’s difficult to calculate the magnitude of riches in this ancient era, the estimations are fair.
Sure, many people still doubt the validity of the biblical claims about the existence of Solomon, however, most historians tend to agree with his existence since there is evidence of the existence of David. There is also a divided theory about whether the kingdoms they ruled were as vast as the biblical accounts provide. But one needs to remember that the biblical canon is a compilation of books spanning thousands of years. Solomon is mentioned several times across the space of time, which certainly grants merit to his existence. Then, of course, he is also mentioned in the Islamic holy texts of the Quran.
King Solomon’s Net Worth Compared with Other Rich and Powerful Men
He reigned between 970 and 931 BC in the Palestinian regions of Asia. Most of his life is recorded in the Biblical Old Testament, while the Quran also mentions and reveres him as a noble prophet. In modern literature, even the Britannica encyclopedia has a decent write-up on who he was. He was truly one of a kind when it comes to wisdom and riches, and it is these two qualities that combined to provide what is known as Israel’s “Golden Age.”
You may be surprised to learn that there are actually a number of men who have managed to reach a higher net worth than Elon Musk and the billionaires of today. The table below reveals the top 5 richest people to have ever lived.
|Rank||Richest Men||Est. Net Worth||Era|
|1st||King Solomon||$2 Trillion||Reigned from 970 BC to 931 BC|
|2nd||John D. Rockefeller||$660 Billion||1839 – 1937|
|3rd||Mansa Musa||$400 Billion||1280 to 1337|
|4th||Andrew Carnegie||$310 Billion||1835 to 1919|
|5th||Tsar Nicholas II of Russia||$300 Billion||1868 to 1918|
How Did Solomon End Up So Rich?
While Solomon was the King of Jerusalem and greater Israel, his geographical kingdom was much smaller than many in the East. But he was perfectly situated to benefit from massive gains. That’s not all though. Here are some of the other factors we need to take into consideration when it comes to how he mustered his wealth.
⭐ Inheritance through David
King Solomon’s father was the famous King David. David was only the second King of Israel, but the first to unite all the tribes under one monarchy. He is well known for his military might and is most certainly a catalyst for the success of the Jewish people in his day.
David’s heart’s desire was to construct the first real temple to the God of Israel, but he never managed to realize this goal himself. Instead, he gathered the materials and riches needed to perform the task and left them to his heir, Solomon, who built the temple in his stead. His inheritance through David already left King Solomon with an impressive net worth figure.
⭐ Annual Earnings in Gold
It is recorded in 1 Kings 10:14 that Solomon used to receive around 666 talents of gold per year. That is the equivalent of 22 tons (22,000 kg) of gold per annum. At the present gold value of around $55,370 per kilo, that’s an annual income of $1.2 billion for the 22 tons. Over a 40-year reign, that amount equates to $48 billion purely from the intake of gold from his fleet’s travels. They do not even venture to calculate the value of the gems and the silver that they accumulated.
The yearly intake of gold recorded above is reported to be separate from several other income streams.
⭐ Tributes from Kings and Governors
Each year, the King of Jerusalem would receive wealthy tributes from the kings and governors of Arabia. The monetary gifts were a big upward nudge for the net worth of King Solomon. He had managed to find favor with many nations around him because of his vast wealth and wisdom.
Leaders from all around would come and seek his counsel because of his great wisdom, bearing expensive gifts with them when they came. One such leader was the Queen of Sheba. Upon a visit to heave an audience with the sage king, the Ethiopian monarch brought him a caravan full of riches and spices. She, alone, gave him 120 talents (4 tons) of gold, which is worth over $200 million today. The gifts also included other treasures and spices.
You can read up on much of King Solomon’s wisdom in the biblical books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
⭐ Control of the Trade Routes
Israel and Palestine were set in the heart of the “fertile crescent”. As such, it was in the center of the Asian/North African trade route. It is alleged that he had a huge military presence and that he controlled the greater part of Palestine. He, therefore, had control of the trade route by sea and land in the region.
Israel sat in the corridor between some of the most influential empires of ancient times. It guarded the passage between Egypt and Assyria and controlled the major ports on the Mediterranean coast that controlled passage in and out of Arabia.
The Lavish Lifestyle King Solomon’s Net Worth Afforded Him
Well, fast and furious cars and modern mansions were certainly not around in the days of King Solomon. But this doesn’t mean that there were no means to show off his riches. There were numerous tell-tale signs of his immense wealth.
Some of the signs of Solomon’s High Net Worth:
- 🔶Solomon’s throne was made of pure gold and was inlaid with precious ivory. It also had a golden footstool (1 Kings 1:18).
- 🔶His throne had 6 stairs, with 12 golden lion statues guarding the throne.
- 🔶He was so rich that he made battlements with gold. Accounts show that he at one time crafted 200 golden shields.
- 🔶All the goblets, cutlery, and crockery in Solomon’s household were made from pure gold (1 Kings 10:21).
- 🔶Solomon was so rich in gold that silver was regarded as pebbles during his reign (I Kings 10:27).
- 🔶Even cedar was devalued in Israel, though other countries valued it highly (I Kings 10:27).
- 🔶He owned 1,400 chariots and thousands more horses. These were all directly imported from Egypt.
- 🔶Solomon owned two fleets of ships (1 Kings 10:22).
Where None Have Gone Before
If you choose to believe the biblical account of this character, then you should be left with no doubt that King Solomon truly had the largest net worth of any man ever. No man in history has ever reached the trillion-dollar mark, however, Solomon’s net worth is estimated to double that. It’s not known whether anyone would reach such a wealthy status again. However, if it does happen, it is unlikely to occur in our lifetime.