A few months ago, I decided to do a word study on "Wisdom" throughout the Bible, using Strong's concordance as a guide. Someone recently expressed a desire to see my study notes, so I thought it might be nice to type them up and post them online. Since I have already accumulated several months of notes, I have decided to type them up a few at a time, in chronological order.
Although I have prayerfully approached each passage asking God for insight and guidance, these are really just my own thoughts and observations. I have no illusions of being a theologian and my understanding of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek are limited to the translation help provided by Biblos.com.
~ 1 Kings 10:4,5 "When the queen of Sheba perceived all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his servants, the attendance of his waiters and their attire, his cupbearers, and his stairway by which he went up to the house of the LORD, there was no more spirit in her."
These verses indicate that Solomon's great wisdom was blatantly apparent in the way that he built his palace, seated his officials, dressed his servants, and brought sacrifices to God. Even though the queen of Sheba was very wealthy, she was still overwhelmed by what she saw. So it was more than just the splendor of wealth that impressed her; it was also the way that things were arranged and implemented, revealing Solomon's ingenuity and aesthetic talent. These are both intrinsic elements of wisdom.
~ 1 Kings 10:8 "How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!"
It truly is a pleasure and a privilege to be under the leadership of someone who is wise! And, although this is a rare experience for must of us in the natural world, we must remember that we are all ultimately under the leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is our pleasure and privilege to serve Him, to continually stand before Him and hear His wisdom.
~ 1 Kings 5:12 "The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, just as He had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty."
It was by wisdom that Solomon was able to establish and maintain a peaceful and mutually beneficial relationship with Hiram, King of Tyre.
~ 1 Kings 7:14 "...He was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass."
Huram, a craftsman from Tyre, was hired by Solomon to create items of bronze for the Lord's temple. Wisdom can be "specialized" - someone can have exceptional wisdom in one specific area.
~ 1 Kings 4:29 "God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore."
Many translations of this verse interpret "breadth of understanding" to be "largeness of heart." Wesley's notes state, "Largeness of heart - Vastness of understanding, a most comprehensive knowledge of all things both Divine and human." The wisdom that God bestowed upon Solomon encapsulated great intelligence and capacity for knowledge. He studied and was able to understand the natural world around him, including plants, birds, animals, insects, and fish. He truly was a "super genius!"
~ 1 Kings 4:30, 31 "Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater that all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than any other man..."
~ 1 Kings 4:34 "Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom."
These verses indicate to me that wisdom is apportioned by God, and that even people of ungodly nations such as Egypt, still received their wisdom from God, even though they did not serve HIm. Solomon's wisdom also included the ability to teach. He communicated his vast wisdom through 3,000 proverbs, and was famous throughout the world.
The example of Solomon is an encouragement to me because Solomon was already well into adulthood when God blessed him with this extraordinary wisdom. We tend to think that we are limited to only the gifts and talents that we were born with, and that true success must be achieved early in life. But these limits are meaningless to God. He can endow us with new gifts, skills and talents at any time in our life.
~ 1 Kings 3:28 "When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice."
After Solomon's famous discernment of the true mother of the disputed child in 1 Kings 3:16-27, all Israel stood in awe of him. The word that is translated here as "awe," conveys a feeling much greater than mere admiration or amazement, it connotes a fearful reverence. The people recognized that Solomon possessed discernment that surpassed human capability. This is not surprising, for the Lord had promised Solomon that He would give him such a wise and discerning heart that there will never have been anyone like him, nor will there ever be (1 Kings 3:12).
~ 1 Kings 2:6 "Deal with him according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to the grave in peace." (re: Joab)
~ 1 Kings 2:9 "But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him." (re: Shimei)
David wanted Solomon to tie up some "loose ends" regarding Joab and Shimei who, for complex reasons, had escaped justice during his reign. David was able to rely upon Solomon's good judgment because he recognized that his son possessed godly wisdom, even though this was prior to the famous outpouring of wisdom that God would later bestow upon Solomon.
~ 2 Samuel 20:22 "Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab."
This is another example of Joab being assisted by a "wise woman," but in this case it is the woman who takes the initiative to offer her assistance. She sees that it would be in the best interest of her city to offer the fugitive Sheba to Joab, rather than be besieged by his troops. On the face of things, this solution seems to be a "no-brainer," but sometimes people are hesitant to seek the most obvious solution to a problem due to personal bias or emotional involvement. It was wisdom that enabled this woman to assess the situation objectively, and it was her reputation of wisdom that compelled the people of the city to listen to her advice, bringing about a solution that was agreeable to everyone except, of course, to Sheba!
~ 2 Samuel 14:20 "My lord has wisdom like that of an angel of God - he knows everything that happens in the land."
These are words spoken by a wise woman of Tekoa to King David, after he rightfully discerned that Joab had coached her to petition him regarding the banishment of David's son, Absalom. This verse has no real significance to my study, other than to confirm the divine nature of wisdom, for she goes on to say of David, "He knows everything that happens in the land." This, of course, was not true of David, but it is true of God.
In 2 Samuel 19:27, Mephibosheth says something similar to David, "My lord the king is like an angel of God, so do whatever pleases you." Although David did not possess the great reputation for wisdom that Solomon had, it is apparent that he still had a reputation for being full of the wisdom of God. Godly wisdom is something that is recognizable in others.
~ Deuteronomy 4:6 "Observe them carefu