King Solomon had an ring with a seal and resisted harmful spirits.
The program Legendquest reported an adventure of an explorer who looked for King Solomon's legendary ring.* The program delved into the legends surrounding King Solomon, his ring, and the spiritual forces he dealt with.
Yet nowhere in the Bible does it say Solomon even wore a ring, or that he cast out demons.
* Solomon's Ring, http://www.syfy.com...
1. In this debate I will support the proposition in the title that Solomon had a signet ring and resisted dark forces or demons.
2. The contender will argue against the claim.
3. The first round is for acceptance only. So in the first round the contender can introduce himself or herself and say how he or she finds the topic interesting.
I accept Pro's challenge, and wish him the best. I find biblical, theological, and philosophical arguements the most interesting.
Pro, I will now leave it up to you to please state your case:D
In this essay, I set out to prove two things: First, that King Solomon had a ring with a seal on it, and Second, that he resisted evil spirits.
However, the issue we really run up against before going further is whether King Solomon existed in the first place. Presumably, he did. The Bible is quite detailed and was written in ancient Israelite times. King Solomon was the king who built Jerusalem's temple before the Babylonians destroyed it in the 6th century. He was quite famous and lived somewhere in the 11th-10th centuries, B.C.
One may imagine that King Solomon did not in fact exist, and that he is merely a literary figure in the Bible. However, for purposes of this debate, that possibility does not prevent me from arguing that he had a magic ring or resisted evil spirits. Rather than arguing about what a real person did, it becomes a matter of arguing what a fictional character did, much like arguing whether Oliver Twist in Charles Dickens' novel was at least two feet tall. Certainly, Oliver Twist was at least two feet tall, because as a reader, you strongly expect him to be a normal human and not so drastically stunted, despite his malnurishment due to the British Orphanage and School system. Just as clearly as Oliver Twise was at least two feet tall, King Solomon had a ring and resisted spirits, based on the stories of the Biblical canon, as well as later writings that gave a fuller picture of him.
First, it is easy to show that Solomon had a ring with a seal on it. This is because the patriarchs of Judah and the kings of his ancient era had rings with seals on them.
In Genesis 38:18, Judah the Patriarch asks a woman who he wanted to sleep with:
In this passage, it calls the signet "hothawm", which means a seal, or a ring with a seal. Notice that the things mentioned were things that you carry in your hand- bracelets and a staff. Most likely then the seal was something also carried in the hand in this passage, so it must be referring to a ring with a seal, carried on the hand.
Likewise, to show his approval of Joseph, the Egyptian pharaoh in Genesis 41:42 "took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck." In this case the ring was a sign of pharaoh's authority.
In 1 Kings 21:8, the Israelite ruler Ahab's wife decided to make political decisions, so she "wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth." In this example, the seal is shown to be a tool in order to make decisions and show authority.
Then, later, when the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar wanted to put Daniel in the lion's den, "a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel."(Dan. 6:17) In this instance, the seal was used to make an order. The "signet" here would have been like the others - a ring with a seal or "sign" on it.
In Esther 8:8, the Persian King Ahasuerus told Esther and Mordechai: "You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.” In fact, the book of Esther several times talks about the king's signet ring.
Looking over the number of cases when major kings had rings with seals on them it makes sense that King Solomon, as a major Israelite ruler would have one too. If the Persian, Babylonian, and Egyptian rulers all had rings with seals, it makes sense that Solomon would want to have one. Indeed, as a major king, he would be expected to have one. On top of that, two of his major predecessors, the Patriarch Judah and the judge Ahab, who ruled when Israel was under a judge instead of a king, were each specifically identified as having seals. Following in their footsteps, Solomon would be expected to have one too. In each of those cases, the rings or seals were seen as bestowing or conveying authority - and Solomon certainly was a figure of primary authority in Israel.
One can make two objections: First, that the seals or rings mentioned in those cases were not rings with seals, and Second, that the mere fact they had rings with seals does not mean he did.
As to the first objection, the term hothawm, used in Genesis to describe the patriach Judah's "seal" does have a dual meaning of seal or ring with a seal, as Strong's Hebrew Dictionary shows. Plus, the context shows that the seal was apparently worn on the hand like the other items mentioned. This word hotawm is repeatedly used in the Bible as well to describe a seal on a ring, as in Jeremiah 22:24, when God says that the king of Judah would be like a signet on God's hand.
Esther 8:8 doesn't use the word seal (hothawm), but rather the word "ring" (tabbaath in Hebrew), but there it says that Esther would seal things with the ring. The conclusion is that even in that case, the ring had a seal on it.
As to the second objection, even if Solomon did not wear a ring for some unusual reason, he would certainly have had a ring with some kind of design in his vast treasury. In 2 Chronicles 1, God says to Solomon: "I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like." Solomon's wealth was reflected in his massive Temple, not to mention his palace, which had many sculptures of lions.
Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter, and as mentioned earlier, one of the Egyptian pharaohs had a ring he was willing to give Joseph. The pharaohs were quite rich and Solomon's father-in-law would have had many things like rings to give Solomon. Even if he did not give Solomon one, his wife would have the wealth to purchase one for his treasury.
Based on this information, we can assume with a solid degree of certainty that Solomon had a ring with a seal on it. It was standard for the kings of his era to have rings with seals, and it was also characteristic for the rulers of Israel. If for some reason Solomon did not actually wear a ring with a seal or design on it, he certainly would have possessed one in his vast treasury.
The second main issue in this debate is whether Solomon resisted harmful spirits. This can also be shown due to the fact that spirits were taken to include forces or things like wisdom or entities like demons. Harmful spirits therefore were warded off in the Psalms of David, like Psalm 91, which would have been passed to Solomon for spiritual guidance as they were to all Israel.
Seal of Solomon:
The idea of Solomon owning a seal ring is based of Islamic Medieval tradition. It also became a form of occult practice in the West. The Star has been know to be in the shape of a hexagon or pentagram sometimes as well. As you can see here down below.
How the Legend of Solomon's Ring Developed:
the Seal of Solomon was developed primarily by medieval Arabic writers that thought the ring or seal was given by God to King Solomon. The tale developed from Greek Mythology, Primarly from Herodatus and Polycartes. The legend had been circulating around since the early 1st century in the Talmud and from Josephus.
There is not enough good evidence or reasons for thinking Solomon had a seal. A ring? Maybe
 BaiL93;awi, ii. 187; M88;abri, "Annales," ed. De Goeje, i. 592 et seq.).
 Lane, "Arabian Nights" (1859; 1883), note 93 to chapter 20.
I wish to thank Janet for replying with an interesting historic fact: that the legend of Solomon's ring existed in Islamic culture and became a magical practice in the West. In fact, the legend of Solomon's signet (ie. with a "sign") ring goes back at least to the story of the "Testament of Solomon", dating to the 1st-4th centuries AD and including Jewish and Christian elements. Along with this, Janet writes that the legend circulated since the 1st century AD. Since this was about 1000 years after Solomon, I make a claim independent of the legends: that one should assume Solomon had a ring with a seal because contemporary kings and his Israelite predecessors did, regardless of the legends. Further, a seal on a ring merely refers to a marking or sign on the ring of any kind, and it is quite simple and easy for a ring to be marked in some way, so there is nothing particularly unlikely about having a design, mark, or other art on it.
However, this raises an important issue. Since major sources do mention Solomon's ring, albeit centuries later, this widespread mention adds at least weak authority to the idea that he did. Josephus was a famous 1st century historian, and the Talmud is a central work of Rabbinical Judaism. The Testament of Solomon represented some ideas unique to Christianity, like the savior Emmanuel's crucifixion. Further, in the 4th-6th century AD, Christian pilgrims to Byzantine Jerusalem were shown what was said to be Solomon's ring. The pilgrim Egeria wrote how on good Friday there, "a deacon stands holding the ring of Solomon", and the faithful "gaze at the ring". One may doubt whether the Byzantines had the real ring, but the deacons showing it on Good Friday, when they showed visitors the Cross, is a stamp of approval on the story. What is remarkable is the existence of the story among major Christian and Jewish traditions.
Turning to King Solomon, the Bible shows that he knew about Spirits. 1 Samuel 16 mentions how God sent a bad spirit on King Saul, and Solomon's father David resisted the spirit's power in Saul by playing a harp so that Saul calmed down. 2 Chronicles 1 describes how God gave extensive wisdom to Solomon. And in the Wisdom of Solomon 7, Solomon says:
Where it says Solomon knew the violence of winds, the text is also translated as Solomon knowing the "strivings of spirits". This fits even better because the Greek word fits between beasts and men, and a spirit can be an entity, like a beast or human.
Solomon was also aware of bad spirits, as he wrote in his Proverbs (16:2): "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits." That is, not all spirits are so good, and God judges them. A person should do good, and this results in a better judgment of spirit.
He wrote in Proverbs 16:18: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Solomon knew about this, and by spelling this out it shows that he naturally would have tried to resist having a haughty spirit.
His father David in particular made the prayer of Psalm 91to resist harmful spirits or demons:
The Psalms were for the people Israel, and this is how they came into our Bible. Thus, Solomon would have known of it or other prayers against bad spirits, especially as his father wrote it.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are some of the oldest copies of the Bible, and among them is a series of 4 Psalms against harmful spirits. One of them is Psalm 91. Another is a Psalm attributed to Solomon that is not in the Bible and is dedicated to resisting demons by using God's name Yahweh.
In summary, one should assume that Solomon owned a ring with a seal, and also conclude that he resisted harmful spirits. Solomon had a rich and plentiful treasury, so even if he did not wear a ring with a seal (ie. a mark, art, or design), he certainly had it in his treasury. The Bible repeatedly tells how his ruling Israelite predecessors and the ancient kings of his region wore signet (ie. seal) rings and used seals as symbols of their authority. The fact that there are later significant stories in Jewish and Christian traditions of Solomon using a signet ring to control, resist, or expel demons gives additional authority to this presumption.
Finally, Solomon's awareness of spirits and his resistance to bad ones is shown and reflected in Proverbs and Psalms.
It is interesting my opponent brought up the “Testament of Solomon”. The Testament of Solomon is a pseudepigrapha or forgery. Most, if not all of the manuscripts in which the text now exists all date from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Some of the later accretions are written in late Byzantine Greek, and can be identified with relative ease. There is at least one early assertion in this forgery from the 4th century A.D. 
While I do agree with my opponent’s use of 1st Samuel, 2nd Chronicles, I disagree with my opponent’s use of the Wisdom of Solomon. The Wisdom of Solomon or Book of Wisdom, is a deuterocanonical book and forgery. Even the Catholic Encyclopedia says: "at the present day, it is freely admitted that Solomon is not the writer of the Book of Wisdom, which has been ascribed to him because its author, through a literary fiction, speaks as if he were the Son of David." Scholars believe that the book represents the most literary post-classical Greek language found in the Septuagint, having been written during the Jewish Hellenistic period (the 2nd or 1st century BC).
Did Solomon have a ring? Yes, Did Solomon have a ring and seal to cast out demons? Probably not. Did Solomon battle demons? As we can see, there are no good reasons for thinking that to be true since most of it is from legend and fictional material that was forged. I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate with me, and remember to vote fairly:D
 The Catholic Encyclopedia
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