1 Kings 4

1 Kings 4:29-34
4:29 God [the source of Solomon’s wisdom] gave [cf. Jas. 1:5] Solomon wisdom [cf. 1 Kings 3:16-28 re: the application of wisdom in determining the mother of an infant; cf. 1 Kings 4:1-19 re: the use of wisdom to organize and govern Israel more effectively] and very great insight [cf. Ps. 119:99], and a breadth of understanding as measureless [impossible to measure] as the sand [imagery of each grain of sand representing a piece of understanding] on the seashore.

4:30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than [surpassed] the wisdom of all [all who lived to that point] the men [cf. 4:31] of the East [included Mesopotamia and Arabia; cf. Matt. 2:1], and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt [cf. Gen. 41:8; Ex. 7:11].

4:31 He was wiser than any other man, including [noted wise men of Solomon’s day included…] Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations.

4:32 He spoke three thousand proverbs [a proverb is a comparison drawn from life; not all of these are included in the Book of Proverbs] and his songs [Pss. 72; 127 are credited to Solomon] numbered a thousand and five.

4:33 [Solomon’s interests and knowledge included botany and biology] He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon [used in royal building projects (2 Sam. 5:11; 1 Kings 6:9); ideal building material that resisted dry rot and insects, had a grain suitable for carving, and had a pleasant fragrance] to the hyssop [“cedar” and “hyssop” used in worship (cf. Lev. 14:4; Num. 19:6); hyssop used to place blood on doorframes at Passover (Ex. 12:22); Ps. 51:7] that grows out of walls. He also taught [described] about animals and birds, reptiles and fish [many of Solomon’s observations from nature are recorded in Proverbs (e.g. Prov. 6:5-6; 19:12)].

4:34 Men [also the queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:1)] of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.

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