Solomon ruled the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah in the 10th century BCE. He was the son of King David and is credited with authorship of large portions of the Bible's Book of Proverbs and all of Ecclesiastes, he is also a prophet in Islam and Baha'i.
- The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
- My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
- Proverbs 3:11-13 (KJV)
- Variant translations and selections:
- Happy is the man that has found wisdom, and the man that gets discernment, for having it as gain is better than having silver as gain and having it as produce than gold itself. It is more precious than corals, and all other delights of yours cannot be made equal to it. Length of days is in its right hand; in its left hand there are riches and glory. Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its roadways are peace. It is a tree of life to those taking hold of it, and those keeping fast hold of it are to be called happy.
- Proverbs 3:13-18; New World Translation
- The insight of a man certainly slows down his anger, and it is beauty on his part to pass over transgression.
- Proverbs 19:11, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
- Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
- It is better to be poor and walk in integrity than to be stupid and speak lies.
- Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
- A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
- But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them.
- It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.
- In much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
- I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.
- Who is like the wise man? Who knows the solution to a problem? A man’s wisdom lights up his face and softens his stern appearance. I say: “Obey the king’s orders out of regard for the oath to God. Do not rush to depart from his presence. Do not take a stand for anything bad; for he can do whatever he pleases, because the word of the king is absolute; who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?
- Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
- And also to the alien, who is not of Thy people Israel, but comes from a distant land on account of Thy fame; for hearing of Thy great name and Thy strong hand, and Thine outstretched arm, he comes to this house to pray... do Thou listen in the heavens, the place where Thou dwellest, and perform all that the alien begs of Thee, so that all the peoples of the earth may know Thy name, to fear Thee like Thine own people Israel, and to know that Thy name is proclaimed over this house that I have built.
- I Kings 8:41-43 on the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem
Quotes about Solomon
- That one should not be wise above what is written is well demonstrated in the life of King Solomon. The Torah says that the king whom the Israelites should set over them should not multiply horses to himself, nor wives, in order that he might not cause the people to return to Egypt, and that his heart might not turn away (Deut. 17. 16, 17). 'Then,' argued Solomon, 'since the reason for the paucity of wives and horses is given, I am sure that I can stand proof against these; I can multiply horses and wives and shall not turn away and will not cause my people to return to Egypt.' Unfortunately he was not proof against the prohibitions, as it is recorded against him (in 1 Kings 2. 1-7). And one can also see the wisdom of the Torah in withholding any reason for many commandments it enjoins.
- The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
- Solomon was a 'copper king', and all along that Araba, on both sides, we found many copper mines and smelting stations, all attributable to Solomon and his immediate successors.
- Cyrus H. Gordon, Adventures in the Nearest East (1957)