The Mysteries of Solomon and Dante's Aristotle
“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 will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
The wisdom of King Solomon is described in this text as the greatest of all time. As a philosopher and a poet, Solomon was certainly prolific, uttering 3,000 proverbs and composing 1,005 songs. His philosophical insights ranged across the natural world, including trees, beasts, birds, reptiles, and fish. His defensive fortifications and prudent alliances displayed masterly political skills, securing tranquility and legendary riches for his kingdom. His recorded prayers reveal a profound knowledge of God and deep theological insights, and his name is associated with the great temple he constructed in Jerusalem. People were astounded by his wise judgments, and he received visitors from far-off lands who wished to converse with him. Indeed, so great was Solomon's impact and reputation that much of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament is ascribed to him.
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