Old Testament 102: Goldsworthy on Wisdom and Solomon

“The Biblical evidence supports the view that Solomon, despite his failings, was a key figure in the development of wisdom in Israel”

1. Solomon’s wisdom had common ground with foreign wisdom, but was superior to it.
2. Solomon was capable of making shrewd judgments.
3. He was concerned with understanding the natural world.
4. The material glory of the kingdom was related to wisdom.
5. The temple was the means by which Israel could rightly make sense of the universe – because it pointed to the activity of God in seeking restoration.
6. The focal point of wisdom was the “fear of the Lord” which meant faith in the redeeming acts of God.

“Even pagans will have the wisdom to see that it is the height of folly to forsake a God who has proved his greatness in the way he has led and saved his people.”

Goldsworthy says 1 Kings 4:20-21 is an obvious reference to the promises made to Abraham so that their fulfilment is identified with Solomon’s reign.

In 1 Kings 4:29-34 Solomon’s wisdom is compared with that of all the wise men of the nations surrounding Israel, including Egypt.

Representatives from these nations recognised Solomon’s wisdom, and they flocked to hear it.

1 Kings 4:32-33 notes Solomon’s interest in nature (the way the world works) – which may explain the type of wisdom representatives from other nations were coming to hear.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.