The Hebrew scriptures relate that the Cannanite city of Gezer had never fallen before the Israelites from Joshua to David.
This situation changed when the Egyptian army invaded the city, ethnically cleansed the populace and Pharaoh turned it over to his daughter as a wedding gift, whereby it became the property of Israel.
1 Kings 9:17 shows that Gezer “was now rebuilt and made a fortified city of Solomon.”
The historian Josephus gives a similar account in his Antiquities of the Jews, Bk 8, Ch 6, Sec. 1: "...he [Solomon] also built cities which might be counted among the strongest, Hazor and Megiddo, and the third Gezer, which had indeed belonged to the Philistines; but Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had made an expedition against it, and besieged it, and taken it by force; and when he had slain all its inhabitants, he utterly overthrew it, and gave it as a present to his daughter, who had been married to Solomon; for which reason the king rebuilt it, as a city that was naturally strong, and might be useful in wars, and the mutations of affairs that sometimes happen. Moreover, he built two other cities not far from it, Beth-horon was the name of one of them, and Baalath of the other. He also built other cities that lay conveniently for these, in order to the enjoyment of pleasures and delicacies in them, such as were naturally of a good temperature of the air, and agreeable for fruits ripe in their proper seasons, and well watered with springs."
According to 1 Kings 9:20-23, Solomon enslaved, "All the people that were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites" and he had members of "the children of Israel...rule over the people that wrought in the work." The slaves produced many structures for Solomon including a palace for Pharaoh's daughter.
"And [Solomon built] his [own] house where he might dwell, in the other court, within the porch, was of the like work. He made also a house for Pharaoh's daughter, whom Solomon had taken to wife, like unto this porch. All these were of costly stones, according to the measures of hewn stones, sawed with saws, within and without, even from the foundation unto the coping, and so on the outside unto the great court. And the foundation was of costly stones, even great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits. And above were costly stones, after the measure of hewn stones, and cedar-wood. And the great court round about had three rows of hewn stone, and a row of cedar beams, like as the inner court of the house of the Lord, and the court of the porch of the house."
“But Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house which Solomon had built for her; then did he build Millo.”
The Jewish scholar Rashi's commentary on the passage from 2 Chronicles shows that this relocation was not limited to Pharaoh's daughter. He states "Scripture explains: '…for he [Solomon] said, A woman shall not live with me in the city of David'".
Pharaoh's daughter was the only wife to be moved into her own palace.
The Hebrew scriptures cast Pharaoh's daughter and all of Solomon's wives as leading Solomon into the temptation of straying from the true worship of Yahweh.
Josephus gives a similar account in his Antiquities of the Jews, Bk 8, Ch 7, Section 5, “Solomon was fallen headlong into unreasonable pleasures, and regarded not those admonitions; for when he had married seven hundred wives, the daughters of princes and of eminent persons, and three hundred concubines, and those besides the king of Egypt's daughter, he soon was governed by them, until he came to imitate their practices. He was forced to give them this demonstration of his kindness and affection to them, to live according to the laws of their countries. And as he grew into years, and his reason became weaker by length of time, it was not sufficient to recall to his mind the institutions of his own country; so he still more and more contemned his own God, and continued to regard the gods that his marriages had introduced nay, before this happened, he sinned, and fell into an error about the observation of the laws, when he made the images of brazen oxen that supported the brazen sea, and the images of lions about his own throne; for these he made, although it was not agreeable to piety so to do; and this he did, notwithstanding that he had his father as a most excellent and domestic pattern of virtue, and knew what a glorious character he had left behind him, because of his piety towards God.”
1 Kings 11:26-32 tells of another figure that is moved to act against Solomon:
"Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam; but Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt" (1 Kings 11:40) he would return to lead a civil war against Solomon's son Rehoboam that would divide the United Kingdom of Israel (as relayed by 1 Kings 12:19-25). 1 Kings 12:3 says the main reasons that Jeroboam received popular support was because of the taxes and labour caused by all of Solomon's building projects which included the palace and Millo for the upkeep of Pharaoh's daughter. They told Rehoboam "Thy father made our yoke grievous; now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee." Rehoboam refused to listen (1 Kings 12:9-19).
The majority of scholars who believe that Solomon was the author of the work Song of Solomon hold that the woman addressed in the song is Pharaoh's daughter. One of the points cited for this is the passage at Song 1:9 that states "I have compared thee, O my love, to a steed before Pharaoh's chariots." At Song 1:5 she is reported to say "I am black" and at Song 4:8-12 the woman is described as "my bride". A minority of scholars maintain that the song is actually about the Queen of Sheba.
Some sources refer to the object of Solomon's song as The Shulamite.
John Wesley held that Psalm 45 (which he saw as "a kind of abridgement" of the Song of Solomon) also "alludes to the marriage between Solomon and Pharaoh's daughter.
This objection is held to be addressed by some as the Talmud at Yevamos 76a says that Pharaoh's daughter converted to Judaism before she married Solomon. Yaakov goes on to outline Jewish thought on whether this caused the union to be ritually pure, "Some rabbis held that intermarriage would only be forbidden if the non-Israelite party to the marriage does not convert, but others held that converting them in order to marry is also forbidden." Some Tannaim look at the story of Solomon marrying Pharaoh's daughter and declare it a "criminal act."
There is also a discussion on Judaism's policy (which is found in the Talmud at Yevamos 24b) of forbidding conversion unless the "Jewish people is downtrodden." R' Shlomo Ganzfried outlines the policy saying that "during the reigns of King David and King Solomon, when the Jews enjoyed political autonomy and financial prosperity, no converts were accepted, since they were likely to be motivated by a desire for personal security and monetary gain. Likewise, proselytes will not be accepted in the Messianic era." This is held not to be the case with Pharaoh's daughter as "the Talmud explicitly states that this did not apply to the daughter of Pharaoh, who had enough wealth not to need to marry Solomon for money (Talmud Yevamos 76a)."
A less settled question is whether Solomon could have converted and then married an Egyptian woman when Deuteronomy 23:8-9 states "thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian, because thou wast a stranger in his land. The children of the third generation that are born unto them may enter into the assembly of the Lord." Yaakov says that "this objection is countered by a tradition (not accepted halachically) that the referenced verse applies only to an Egyptian male but not to a female (which would make the law of the Egyptian parallel to the law forbidding a Moabite but not a Moabitess [such as Ruth] from ever entering the Assembly)".
The Talmud at Sanhedrin 21b says Solomon knew that there were regulations in the Torah against some of his actions but at the time he felt he was wise enough to disregard them and not fall into sin "it is written: He shall not multiply wives to himself, whereon Solomon said, ‘I will multiply wives yet not let my heart be perverted.’ Yet we read, When Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart. Again it is written: He shall not multiply to himself horses; concerning which Solomon said, ‘I will multiply them, but will not cause [Israel] to return [to Egypt].’ Yet we read: And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six [hundred shekels of silver]."
Avraham ben Yaakov tries to understand Solomon's motivations in the scripture texts saying "Since PHARAOH represents the OREPH ("back of the neck", same Hebrew letters as Pharaoh) of creation as opposed to its inner face, the conversion of his daughter by Solomon and her integration into the holy edifice that he was building was a 'coup' similar to the conversion of Batya, the daughter of Pharaoh who drew Moses out of the water. The 'daughter of Pharaoh' represents the source of all the different kinds of worldly wisdom (which are her 'handmaidens'). By 'converting' and 'marrying' her, Solomon was perhaps very daringly and ambitiously striving to deepen and enhance the revelation of God's unity on all levels of creation. If so, it was apparently still over-ambitious, because Solomon proved unable to hold his 'catch' within the bounds of holiness, and indeed he himself strayed beyond them." Yaakov also points out "Despite the many questions that surround it, we do not find Solomon's marriage to Pharaoh's daughter criticized in our text as being intrinsically sinful: verse 3 [1 Kings 3:3] does implicitly criticize Solomon for sacrificing at many high altars but does not criticize him for marrying Pharaoh's daughter. It was only in his old age, when Solomon took many wives, that he was criticized for allowing them to turn his heart aside from God."
Rashi explains that Solomon sealed up a place that was in Jerusalem, enclosed by a low wall and was filled with dirt called the Millo (mentioned in 1 Kings 11:26-32). He did this "to build within it houses for her manservants and maidservants. Concerning this Jeroboam admonished him, saying: Your father left it open for the pilgrims, and you enclosed it to make a labor force for Pharaoh’s daughter. ...the Millo he did not build for any greatness, for his father had left it for the pilgrims to pitch their tents therein, but since Pharaoh’s daughter had gone up to her house, and the Millo was adjacent to that house, then he built up the Millo."
Stephen Franklin claims that she is the daughter of Pharaoh Shoshenq I and cites the Yikhus Letter of the Sans Hassidim to claim her name is Nicaule, or Tashere.
The Catholic Encyclopedia states that "The Pharoah was probably Psieukhannit (Psebkhan) II, the last king of the 21st dynasty, who had his capitol at Zoan (Tanis), and ruled over the Delta."
Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews - Bk 8, Ch 6, Segment 2 states “the kings of Egypt from Menes, who built Memphis, and was many years earlier than our forefather Abraham, until Solomon, where the interval was more than one thousand three hundred years, were called Pharaohs…As for myself, I have discovered from our own books, that after Pharaoh, the father-in-law of Solomon, no other king of Egypt did any longer use that name; and that it was after that time when the forenamed queen of Egypt and Ethiopia came to Solomon, concerning whom we shall inform the reader presently; but I have now made mention of these things, that I may prove that our books and those of the Egyptians agree together in many things.”
The only mention in the Bible of a Pharaoh who might be Siamun is the text from 1 Kings and we have no other historical sources that clearly identify what really happened. The Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen (and others) argue that that Siamun conquered Giza and gave it to Solomon. Others such as Paul S Ash and Mark W. Chavalas disagree, and Chavalas states that "it is impossible to conclude which Egyptian monarch ruled concurrently with David and Solomon". Professor Edward Lipinski argues that Gezer, then unfortified, was destroyed late in the 10th century (and thus not contemporary with Solomon) and that the most likely Pharaoh was Shoshenq I. "The attempt at relating the destruction of Gezer to the hypothetical relationship between Siamun and Solomon cannot be justified factually, since Siamun's death precedes Solomon's accession.
Egyptologists see a problem with the story of Solomon and Pharaoh's daughter. The issue lies in the fact that there is no record of Egyptian princesses around this time being used to form marriage alliances. As Brian Roberts stated "The problem is not with the synchronism of Solomon and [Pharaoh] Siamun per se, yet with the problems of attempting to fit the process of marrying out a daughter to a foreign leader. It is not a thing the ultra-orthodox Dynasty 21 would have done. ...We have an earlier example of the opposite, in fact. The king of the Mitanni had asked Amenhotep II for his daughter's hand in order to cement a political alliance. Amenhotep refused, offended by the suggestion that an Egyptian princess be submitted for that ridicule of being married off to a foreign leader."
Another source points out that except for the story in the Hebrew scriptures there is no other claim that this happened. It states "Royal women were married to their brothers or in some cases the father to keep the throne in the family. Royal women were never married to foreign kings or princes. ...There is a written account that the King of Babylon sent a princess to King Amenhotep III to marry and requested an Egyptian Princess be sent to Babylon to marry him. Amenhotep III turned down the request replying "That since the days of old no Egyptian king’s daughter has been given to anyone." Foreign princess were welcomed to marry the Pharaoh but Egyptian princess did not marry foreign kings or princes. Any foreign princess that married the Pharaoh came with a large dowry and many attendants, she settled into life at the palace by taking an Egyptian name and becoming a minor (second) wife".
A contemporary theory among some modern archaeologists and biblical scholars is that the stories in the Hebrew scriptures about the range and power of the United Kingdom of Israel are exaggerated by its authors. Charles Pope outlines the work of Ahmed Osman in support of one aspect of this theory, "that the story of Solomon was patterned specifically after the life of Amenhotep III." The article points out that “To be consistent with the pattern of other great Bronze and Iron Age cultures in the ancient Near East (Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Hittite), it would be expected that numerous documents, art, and inscriptions on buildings or public monuments would have been left by such a great king or by his descendants later in honor of him. Yet no article of any kind bearing his name has ever been found.” At Gezer "The name of Solomon was not found, but the cartouche of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep III instead. ...It was during Amenhotep III's reign that Gezer and other major Palestine cities were refortified as royal Egyptian garrisons, and endowed with fine temples and palaces." While no record of an Egyptian princess being given to a foreigner exists outside the Bible, "It was customary and obligatory for Amenhotep III to marry 'the daughter of Pharaoh' in order to secure the throne. This is precisely what was done when he was married to Sitamun, the daughter of his father, Pharaoh Thutmose IV."
Amenhotep III’s “harem included two princesses from Babylon, two princesses from Syria, two princesses from Mitanni, and like Solomon's harem, it included a princess from each of the seven nations listed in 1 Kings 11:1. As the mightiest king of the Middle East, Amenhotep did not send any of his own daughters to other kings in exchange, nor did any other Pharaoh of this dynasty (or likely any other throughout Egypt's history). He specifically denied a request by the king of Babylon for an Egyptian wife. Importantly, the Bible emphasizes Solomon's Egyptian bride, but does not mention that Solomon had any Hebrew wives. Rehoboam, who is said to have succeeded Solomon, was the son of an Ammonite princess.”
As Amenhotep III entered his old age, "The long years of indulgence had taken their toll and he had many ailments. As a compassionate gesture, his Mitanni brother-in-law sent him an idol of the [Mesopotamian] goddess Ishtar". Similarly the story of Solomon describes him in his old age being influenced by foreign religion through members of his family.
Other parallels are presented and the article concludes, "Solomon is said to have had 'a thousand and four hundred' chariots (1 Kings 1:26). This represents a prodigious army by ancient standards, and one which could only have been amassed over a long period of time by an established civilization. Yet we are told that only five years after the great King Solomon's death, the Egyptian Pharaoh Shishak and his allies invaded Judah and captured its fortified cities with little or no military resistance (2 Chron. 12). The Bible adds that Jerusalem itself was spared only after delivering up the entirety of King Solomon's accumulated wealth to Shishak. The rapidness with which Solomon's empire was established, as described by the Bible, and the ease with which it shortly thereafter submitted to a foreign power is also not consistent with the pattern set by other great ancient civilizations."
Another scholar, critical of the above theory, says that the problem lies with the chronology accepted by most archaeologist and that “Amenhotep III did not live 400 years before Solomon but 60 years after him. …[so] It appears that Amenhotep III patterned his life after that of Solomon.”