Solomon's Seal

Growing by our chapel’s gates are some rather fine examples of Solomon’s Seal. These plants grow long stalks of white, droplet-like flowers, which swing rather majestically in the wind. Quite why it bears the name of the ancient Jewish King, I cannot be certain. Its formal Latin name, however, polygonatum, comes from Greek for ‘many knees’. Through King Solomon’s agency, many knees bowed before the LORD, including Sheba’s Queen and Tyre’s King and a host of Israelites who anticipated Messiah’s coming by Solomon’s Temple worship. Yet he also led Israel astray with his seeking after his foreign wives’ gods. If James I was ‘the wisest fool in Christendom’, King Solomon was the wisest fool in Israel. You have not many knees, but two, and the LORD your God desires both bend before Him and none other.

Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. Deuteronomy 10:20

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. 1 Kings 11:4