Proverbs 1:1, ESV: “The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel”
Who better to comment on the details of earthly existence than Solomon, the son of David, the king of Israel? As the man Solomon, he had exceptional God-given insight and understanding. As the son of David, he had the promise of a kingdom for God, a special relationship with God, and steadfast love from God. As the king of Israel, he had both power and unparalleled wealth. These three resources – God’s wisdom, God’s promise, and great wealth – made Solomon uniquely qualified to compose proverbs. Let’s examine them in order in the next few posts.
1. God’s Wisdom.
Solomon asked God for “an understanding mind to govern” God’s people so he could “discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9),and the Lord promised to honor Solomon’s request (1 Kings 3:12). On account of his wise judgment, all Israel “stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice” (1 Kings 3:28).
Solomon’s God-given wisdom surpassed that of all the sages of the East and of Egypt (1 Kings 4:29-31). This means he was smarter than Confucius and cleverer than the Buddha. He spoke 3,000 proverbs (about 900 of which are in the book of Proverbs), and his songs were 1,005 (1 Kings 4:32). (The best one – The Song of Songs – is also memorialized in scripture.) He spoke of many details of life, such as trees, birds, reptiles, and fish (1 Kings 4:33). International students from every corner of the globe competed for a seat in his classroom (1 Kings 4:34). Solomon was both more prolific and more elegant than any other scholar of his day because he had direct access to the mind of the Lord of heaven and earth.