"Consider the lilies of the field. Not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed as well as these."
- Author Filibuster: Ecclesiastes. The topic? "Life Sucks Without God."
- Benevolent Mage Ruler: Some legends and traditions portray him as this.
- Broken Ace: Was the wisest, richest and most famous man of his time, and credited as a scholar, author and songwriter. Yet, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!"
- The Casanova: He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, which is more than anyone else in The Bible. Also, if you read the Song of Songs, you can see that he sure knew how to sweet talk women.
- Though numbers are often exaggerated or metaphorical particularly in the Old Testament.
- Elemental Powers / Speaks Fluent Animal: According to Islamic tradition.
- The Emperor: He was never called "Emperor," and may have ruled an "empire" about the size of New Jersey (or, about twice the size of Yorkshire), but when one hears the name "Solomon," one thinks of grandeur, riches, power and fame.
- Emperor Scientist: He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts and of birds and of reptiles and of fish. (1 Kings 4:33)
- Fallen Hero: The man who built Judaism's greatest monument fell to pagan worship.
- Fatal Flaw: One could argue it was his tendency to think with the wrong body part. He started out as a good king, and even before being especially blessed with wisdom from God, was wise enough to know to ask for wisdom in the first place. But his love for women pulled him away from the worship of God and would have disastrous consequences for Israel in future generations.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Wrote the Song of Songs (aka the Song of Solomon). Some interpret it as being a metaphor for self-sacrificing love between God and his people, while others interpret as being a steamy love poem. Still others take the view that it is meant to be read as both, equally and simultaneously.
- The High King: The Queen of Sheba and King Hiram of Lebanon, and likely others, pay homage to Solomon.
- Infant Immortality: See Take a Third Option below.
- Judgment of Solomon: Trope Namer.
- Lonely at the Top: According to Ecclesiastes, not even the wisdom he asked from God had made him happy.
- Polyamory: Again, he had a thousand women. Who led him to worship pagan gods, leading to the kingdom of Israel fracturing.
- The Purge: Appointed as the next king and secured it by killing all his rivals, including his brother and David's general Joab.
- Really Gets Around: He was so promiscuous that made his father look like a celibate monk.
- Secret Test of Character: Nobody seriously believes he was actually going to cut a baby in half.
- The Smart Guy: There was a reason why he was consulted for miles around for answers to problems.
- Take a Third Option: Two woman came up to him with a baby, one of the woman had accidentally smothered her own child in her sleep and swapped it with the other woman's baby. Now both claim to be the mother of the surviving child. How does Solomon decide which woman should get the baby? He orders it to be split in half, with each woman getting one half. One woman, bizarrely, is perfectly okay with this; the other begs him to give the baby to the other woman. He gives it to the woman who actually cared about the baby. It was his plan all along; he never intended to actually cut the baby in two.
- Took a Level in Badass: Jewish and Islamic legends say he fought demons.
- Up to Eleven: David had multiple wives and originally cheated on all of them with Solomon's mother before marrying her. Solomon outdoes his father and, well... see the numbers above.
- Youngest Child Wins: Became king despite being the youngest of David's first eight children; he was also the second child of Bathsheba, David's favorite wife.
The Queen of Sheba
- Did They or Didn't They?: Debate rages to this day as to whether or not she was ever intimately involved with Solomon during her visit. (The Ethiopian monarchy claimed to have secret books that not only say they did, but that the resulting child founded their dynasty. Most other texts, however, make her visit to Solomon out to have been strictly a business deal.)
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": She is only ever known as The Queen of Sheba.
- Hero of Another Story: The great wealth she brings to Israel suggests the Queen of Sheba was a great monarch in her own right. Also, according to tradition, her trip to Israel introduces Judaism to the horn of Africa, and she is still revered in Ethiopia today.
- The Smart Girl: Was pretty well-read and eloquent.
- Where The Hell Is Sheba?: Debates range to this day, with the two leading candidates being modern-day Ethiopia and Yemen because of the spread of Judaism to both places.
Rehoboam, king of Judah
- Age Lift: 41 at the time of his coronation in the Masoretic Text, but 16 in the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint.
- Badass Boast: Which convinces the ten Northern tribes to secede. However this serves as a Deconstruction as it left both Israel and Judah vulnerable to their enemies.
- Jerkass: That little speech to his people promising to increase their workload after they'd come to him petitioning for relief proved to be a terrible mistake. He did eventually "grow in office" and learn from his mistakes, though it was too late to reunite the kingdom.
- Last of His Kind: Last king of a united Israel, and that for a painfully short time.
- Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Listening to his peers, who were encouraging him to throw his weight around and try to intimidate his people, proved to be a costly mistake.
- Sucksessor: Israel goes from the height of fame, wisdom, and power under Solomon to losing 10 out of the 12 tribes of Israel during Rehoboam's first year as king.
Jeroboam, king of Israel
- Arch-Enemy: To Solomon.
- Fallen Hero: Started as The Chosen One. Before Ahab, bad Israelite kings were described as "walking in the ways of Jeroboam, who led Israel to sin."
- Noble Fugitive: Fled to Egypt after antagonizing Solomon and came back only when he died.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His actions ultimately lead to Israel falling to sin for many generations, which in turn caused tons of unpleasantness to afflict its people.
Zimri, king of Israel
- Driven to Suicide: Set his palace on fire.
- Klingon Promotion: Became King by assassination. His "reign" lasted a week. Before Judas, Zimri was the byword for "traitor." Jezebel called Jehu a "Zimri."
- The Starscream: Zimri was commander of half of King Elahs chariots when he overthrew the king.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: His death in battle. Did he go because he thought the prophecy of his death might be false... or did he believe it, but went regardless, because the battle was agreed upon with allies, and even if he died, the prophecy didn't say anything about the outcome of the battle itself.
- Boss in Mook's Clothing: Tries to escape his prophesied death in the battle of Ramoth Gilead by dressing as one of his soldiers, but still gets killed when an arrow shot at random pierces his armor.
- Corner of Woe: After Naboth refused to sell his vineyard to Ahab, Ahab proceeded to curl up on his couch, refuse to eat and go into a truly royal sulk.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even at the worst of his moral decline, he has a Heel Realization recognizing that murdering Naboth for his vineyard was a bridge too far.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: At times, when listening to Elijah, he could be brave and righteous. (He even dared to taunt Ben-Hadad in 1 Kings 20:11 about his Assumed Win.) Yet Jezebel kept dragging him back into his old wicked habits. Even after repenting of murdering Naboth for his field at Elijah's rebuke and thereby being spared his punishment, Ahab soon went back to committing idolatry with Jezebel.
- Heel Realization: After Elijah declared to him the fate of his family, Ahab tore his clothing and fasted, humbling himself before God.
- Henpecked Husband: Jezebel is pretty easily able to manipulate him into some pretty spectacular corruption and idolatry.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His plan to have King Jehoshaphat dress as him to draw fire away from him while he disguised himself as a common soldier backfired when one of the arrows the enemy archers were firing into Israel's armies at random struck him down just like any other common soldier.
- Karmic Death: Lampshaded by God via Elijah regarding Naboths murder: In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick up your blood.
- Manipulative Bastard: He was always scheming to displace the Davidic dynasty in Judah with his own through intermarriage, though that was more Jezebel's plan than his idea.
- The very dogs will eat up Jezebel in the plot of land of Jezreel.
- Apocalypse Maiden: She certainly brought a major holocaust to Israel with her assault on God's prophets and other true believers.
- Arch-Enemy: To Elijah the Tishbite.
- Arranged Marriage: Was a Phoenician princess given to Ahab as a means to seal a political alliance between their two nations.
- Beauty Is Bad: According to some, the Trope Codifier
- Character Exaggeration: Over the years, her defining feature has become a sexual, seductive nature when, in reality, she was an influential and powerful, if evil, queen.
- Curse: Elijah foretold that Jezebel would be eaten by dogs when she died. He was right, and it gets described in gory detail.
- Disney Villain Death: At least the thrown-out-of-the-tower bit. What comes after, on the other hand...
- Defiant to the End: Basically, her taunt to Jehu meant "Considering what happened to Zimri, what makes you think you'll fare any better?" She knew she was beaten, but she wasn't going to repent.
- The Dreaded: Even Elijah, who could call down fire from Heaven, was scared of her.
- Face Death with Dignity: She knew that she wasn't going to survive her confrontation with Jehu, so she just put on her best clothes and got ready for whatever he might do.
- God Save Us from the Queen!
- Kick the Dog: After her husband failed to buy Naboth's vineyard, she just coldly arranged his death. And embarrassed him in the process.
- Lady Macbeth: The Older Than Feudalism example.
- Not Enough to Bury: When all is said and done only her head and a few appendages are left.
- Poisonous Friend: Lead her husband Ahab down the path of Baal worship and is usually considered to be a bit more evil than he.
- The Purge: Ordered the deaths of the Israeli prophets.
- Rasputinian Death: She gets thrown from a tower, run over by a chariot and has most of her body eaten by dogs. By the time its all over she's little more than a head resting in a pile of gore.
- Sore Loser: After Elijah defeats the priests of Baal at Mt Carmel, Jezebel refuses to acknowledge the LORDs superiority and instead orders Elijah to be killed. Though, to be fair, Elijah did have all the Baal priests at Carmel killed.
- Trope Namer: Her name is associated with the flanderization.
Elijah the Tishbite
- He went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
- Angel Unaware: Jewish tradition has him taking up this role. Elijah was human back in Biblical days, but he never died and, according to legend, ascended to Heaven while still alive. To this day, it is believed he turns up on Earth sometimes to deliver unexpected help.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He went to Heaven in a fiery whirlwind, rather than die. When he ascended, his robes/coat fell onto his apprentice/friend/padawan Elisha, thus inventing the phrase "Taking up the mantle of the prophet." Many still leave a seat open for him at feasts, because they believe that he will come back. In fact, the last verse of the Old Testament refers to Elijah coming back to announce the Day of the Lord.
- Badass Longcoat: The Coat, or Mantle of The Prophet. It was instrumental in Elijah and Elisha's first meeting, Elijah threw The Coat at Elisha, who instinctively caught it. Later, Elijah parted a river with with it, just before giving it to Elisha, who also used it perform miracles.
- Clever Crows: God sent ravens to feed him.
- Friend to All Living Things: When he was hungry, ravens would bring food to him. Despite his skill in killing people, he was very good with animals and kids. It might have something to do with how he grew up in the wilderness.
- Last of His Kind:
- He thought that he was the last surviving prophet and the last faithful person left for a while. God told him that he was not alone and, even if he is the last prophet, he can always train some more prophets, like Elisha.
- He and Elisha were also the last major Old Testament characters to work miracles. (Though many characters in the New Testament worked miracles.)
- Playing with Fire: His specialty.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Him and the widow, arguably.
- You Are Not Alone: God showed up, not in a maelstrom of fire, not in a howling wind/hurricane, but in a still, small voice to tell Elijah this.
- The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha.
- Arc Words: His last words to Elijah, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof," were spoken to him also as he lay dying. No one knows what it means even now.
- Badass Longcoat: Given to him by Elijah, later used to part the sea, proving himself the true prophet, thus inventing the phrase "Taking up the mantle of the prophet."
- Bald of Awesome: Never, under any circumstances, insult him for it. Ever. Forty-two youths learned this the hard way.
- Bears Are Bad News: Summons them to maul his enemies.
- Berserk Button: Never insult his mentor and NEVER mock his baldness in front of him.
- Beware the Nice Ones: If summoning two bears to maul 42 youths because they mocked your baldness is any implication. To be fair though, some interpret that scene as those youths threatening to kill him.
- Dub Induced Plothole: A nice prophet guy summoning bears to maul what King James and co. translate as "children" makes a lot more sense when you look at the actual Hebrew word and see what it means and how it was used. He was being mocked by a gang of 42 young men (as in late teens to early 20's), which could have been a threat, especially if they were soldiers or bandits.
- Nice Guy: Surprisingly so, especially when compared to his mentor, Elijah. While most of Elijah's miracles were powerful, violent and fiery, Elisha's miracles were mostly to heal, save or help people. Elijah showed thousands of people the power of God, while Elisha preached to individuals and showed God's helpful, loving side. Just don't insult Elijah, or mock his Bald of Awesome. However, Elisha was not good with kids, nor was he as good with animals as Elijah. Maybe it was because he was a city kid?
- Punished for Sympathy: Elisha forgives the Syrian army for coming to kill him and instead feeds them and lets them return to Syria. When the Syrian army returns and puts all of Samaria under siege, leading to a countrywide famine, the king of Israel calls for Elisha to be beheaded.
- Think Nothing of It: He refused to take a material reward for curing Naaman of leprosy; however, his friend Gehazi gladly took Naaman's stuff, and for that, he got leprosy himself.
Jehu, king of Israel
- And his captains threw their capes in the air, blew their trumpets and shouted "Jehu is king!"
- '90s Anti-Hero: Jehu is an Ur-Example: a psychopath who brutally kills all his enemies, drives his chariot "like a madman", and even throws out a Pre-Mortem One-Liner when he kills Joram.
- Drives Like Crazy: His master the king recognized him (2 Kings 9:20) because he drives his chariot "like a madman."
- Karma Houdini: He never receives any punishment for assassinating King Ahaziah of Judah.
- Klingon Promotion: He earned his with a vengeance.
- Knight Templar: Though God generally approved of Jehu's purging of Jezebel's idolatry, an oracle to Hosea later condemned him for overdoing it by slaughtering so many others. Also, his zeal for violence didn't translate so much into an actual zeal for worshiping God, since he allowed the golden calves from Jereboam's day to go on standing.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Among those he killed was his master's cousin, the king of Judah. This triggered Athaliah's purge.
- The Purge: Killed Jezebel and all Baal priests as well as Ahab's relatives.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Appointed by God to eradicate pagan worship in Israel, he carried out his assignment with great enthusiasm, to the point that he badly exceeded his mandate.
Joash, king of Judah
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Became king at only 7 years old.
- Best Served Cold: Why he was murdered.
- FaceHeel Turn: Had the son of the man who saved his life killed for speaking out against his reign.
- Hidden Backup Prince: Saved from being killed during his grandmother's purge.
Athaliah, queen of Judah
- Chekhov's Gunman: First referenced as the mother of Ahaziah. Considering maternal lineage is rarely mentioned, Athaliah's inclusion suggests she will be important. Athaliah later usurps the Judean throne after Jehu kills Ahaziah and tries to wipe out the House of David.
- Generation Xerox: Tries to carry on her mother Jezebel's legacy.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Was one kid close from destroying David's royal line.
- Offing the Offspring: She very nearly succeeds, too.
- The Purge: What her father Ahab couldn't do with intrigue and manipulation, she tried to do with force.
Hezekiah, king of Judah
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: He gets a bad case of this trope after God cures his illness and blesses him with unfathomable riches.
- Ill Guy: Once was this close to death...
- Tragic Mistake / Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Showing Babylonian envoys all Judah's treasures put his nation on Babylon's hit list.
Manasseh, King of Judah
- The Atoner: After living a life of wickedness he finally accepts the Lord after being captured by the Assyrians and dedicates the rest of his life to undoing the damage he had done. Unfortunately, his son turns out to be even worse.
- HeelFace Turn: He has a "Come To Jehovah" moment after being captured by the King of Assyria, and spends the rest of his reign attempting to reverse the damage he caused.
- Human Sacrifice: The sacrifice of his son to Molech before his HeelFace Turn is the direct catalyst that convinces God to hand Judah into the hands of Babylon.
- Offing the Offspring: He offers his own child as a Human Sacrifice before his HeelFace Turn.
Amon, King of Judah
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He takes the throne in his early twenties and only reigns two years before being killed by his own servants.
Josiah, king of Judah
- Heroic BSoD: He found a "Book of the Law" (possibly Deuteronomy) and ripped his clothes and mourned because he realized how far his nation had forgotten its roots.
- Only Sane Man: He seems to be the only king of Israel to realize that spitting in the face of God is a bad idea. Even David and Solomon, two of the very best kings to ever rule, fell to their sinful vices at some point and angered the lord.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: After he dies, his kingdom falls right back into the sinful practices he worked to end.
- Tragic Mistake: Going to war with Egypt. He was killed in battle and Judah just couldn't recover.
- "Go and get married; your wife will be unfaithful, and your children will be just like her. In the same way my people have left me and became unfaithful."
- Arranged Marriage: God told him to marry an unfaithful harlot as an object lesson to Israel's idolatry.
- Love Martyr: Part of the point God was making was to tell Hosea's audience "Look at what Gomer is doing to him: he gives her his home, his reputation, his good name, and everything, and see how she repays him! How can he go on loving her and taking her back when she treats him that way, you may ask? Well, I've been asking myself the exact same thing about you people, because that's the exact same way you've been treating me!"
- I Can Change My Beloved: Tries to change Gomer's wanton ways. It does not work.
- My Girl Is a Slut: A rather tragic subversion, in that Hosea was trying to make a respectable wife out of her, but she kept going back to old habits.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Amos' Red. He spoke out against Israel's internal spiritual problem.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech
- "Let justice flow like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!"
- Bears Are Bad News: 5:19
- Justice Will Prevail: He starts off condemning each of Judea's neighbors for their sins and prophesying how they'll be punished for them, and then circles home to Judea and finally Samaria (northern Israel), telling people they'd better either shape up and start embracing justice and righteousness again, or God will bring them to justice by punishing them severely for their unrighteousness.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Hosea's Blue. He was a plain-spoken Judean farmer who railed against Israel's corrupt affluence.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: See above.
- "Wherever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of God has brought me insult and reproach all day long."
- All of the Other Reindeer: Jeremiah could not catch a break from anyone in Jerusalem, even stating that his "friends" were all waiting for him to slip up so they could get him arrested for treason and silence him.
- Bearer of Bad News: See quote above. It was basically his job to foretell Judah's downfall to Judah's own people - who reacted to this about as well as you would expect.
- Cassandra Truth: Even after Jerusalem's destruction, the remaining Jews who'd seen every last one of his prophecies come true still refused to follow his advice to stay where they were and submit to Babylon, dragging him off to Egypt with them where he made his final prophecy that Babylon would also eventually conquer Egypt (which it did) and therefore they had fled there in vain (as they had).
- The Eeyore: The burden of The Awful Truth about Jerusalem's eventual fate leaves him in a constantly depressed state through most of his writings. One of the books of the Bible credited to him is literally called "Lamentations."
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Jeremiah is known as the "weeping prophet" for his oracles, which sound like the laments of a man living in a waking nightmare. On several occasions, he speaks of being suicidally depressed and wishes he'd never been born.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Ezekiel's Red. Jeremiah spends a lot of time weeping buckets and pleading with God to stop forcing him to keep prophesying all the disasters to come, but God refuses to relent.
- "They are a hard and obstinate people so I will make you as hard and obstinate as they."
- Celebrity Is Overrated: People finally listened to Ezekiel when Jerusalem fell, but it was clear to him that they still had not taken God's words to heart.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: At one point, Ezekiel makes a model of Jerusalem and besieges it in the city square for about fourteen months. Another time, he shaves his head and beard with a sword, then runs about town with a portion of the hair, hitting it with the sword.
- Good Shepherd: He cultivated the image of God as a shepherd better than anyone.
- Extreme Omnivore: Ate a scroll containing God's word. According to him, it tasted like honey.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Jeremiah's Blue. God promised to make him just as stubborn and hard-headed as the unrepentant Israelites to whom he was preaching.