"This is not the kind of discovery that Israeli archaeologists will be happy to hear, for political and cultural reasons, but contrary to the classical interpretations of the biblical story - King Solomon was actually a pharaoh in Egypt," claims a British historian and writer who has researched King Solomon's life story for the past twenty years and reached this stressful conclusion.
Ralph Ellis, 54, claims that he has the solution to a 3,000-year-old mystery, which he arrived at after he was unable to find King Solomon's treasure - 500 tons of gold that are currently valued at $3 trillion - in his legendary mines. Treasure hunters continue to search for King Solomon's mines in the hope of finding the King's treasures, but Ellis is sure that those still trying their luck may find themselves sorely disappointed.
According to him, Solomon was not the king of Israel at all - but an Egyptian pharaoh named Shushank the First who ruled Egypt and Israel at the end of the 10th century BC (identified by most scholars with the Egyptian king Shishak mentioned in the Bible).
He compared finding the king's treasure to a historical legend such as a "baptism in the fountain of youth" and said that the story of King Solomon, as we know it, is probably a "misinterpretation" of history.
"Solomon, Pharaoh of Egypt"
In his book, Solomon, Pharaoh of Egypt, he talks about neighboring kingdoms that looted royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt and presented the wealth to Solomon as a gesture to prevent his invasion.
"According to the Bible, King Solomon was incredibly rich. Generations of theologians and archaeologists have scoured the Holy Land in search of his capital city, palace, temple and possessions - without success. In the end, we either have to accept the fact that the Torah is completely fictional or realize that we were looking in the wrong place and after the wrong things." If his theory is correct, Solomon's treasures will easily be found in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, where dozens of objects from that period can be found.
"According to the Bible, King Solomon was incredibly rich. Generations of theologians and archaeologists have scoured the Holy Land in search of his capital city, palace, temple and possessions - without success."Ralph Ellis
"From my research, it appears that there is a factual basis for the story of Solomon and his wealth, but it was hidden and rewritten by the later biblical writers because stories about pharaohs were then considered difficult to digest and to appropriate. They changed history to create pure Israeli heroes," Ellis said.
According to the Bible, Solomon built the First Temple in Jerusalem and was considered incredibly wise. However, biblical history remains shrouded in mystery and experts continue to try to decipher and find evidence for biblical stories.