The Prayer of Solomon

   Something happened to Solomon late in his career, as he was lured by his many wives into worshiping other gods. Israel rises to a peak in Abraham (1800B.C.), then suffers the Exodos (1700-1300), then takes the promised land, then declines in the very much more primitive period of the Judges. They ascend again with David (1150), and temple is built by Solomon on Mount Moriah(1000-950). Then a period of decline occurs, until, like my ancestors too, they were subsumed in the things of Idolatry, leading to the dispersion of the ten northern tribes and the Babylonian captivity (607-586). Of course, the prophets screamed bloody murder, and Israel would not listen.

   But early in his career, when he wrote the Proverbs, Solomon was a lover of wisdom. The key text, indicating too the relation between the Bible and politics, is the following:

At Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said,… I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out o come in…

Give thy servant therefore an understanding mind to govern thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to govern this thy great people?

   It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you, and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days…

                                                                            1 Kings 3:5-15

   Of many things, one note is that the knowledge of good and evil is not forbidden, no is political philosophy, as Bloom erroneously interprets. Knowledge of good and evil in Genesis is that dawning conscience that first manifests in the self-consciousness implied in shame. “The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord,” the “light that enlightens men,” searching all his innermost parts.” (Proverbs, 20:27; John 1).

   But the primary point is that the heart of a King “is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord, He turns it wherever He will. That is of course a true king, who has been given his crown by Wisdom.


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