In this series, we have commented on the tremendous value of wisdom. The wisdom literature, especially Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, gives us many insights into our daily lives. Yet wisdom alone cannot solve all our problems. This is vividly illustrated by the life of Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.
References to: Ecclesiastes
Thesis: chapter 1:1-2
Solomon packed more experience into one lifetime than most people dream of. He built the great temple in Jerusalem and numerous other projects. He studied and taught about many aspects of nature: animals, birds, reptiles, fish and plant life (1 Kings 4:32-34). He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. He wrote songs and spoke proverbs, many of which are preserved in the book of Proverbs. Toward the end of his life, Solomon looked back on what he had learned. He recorded his observations in what is now known as the book of Ecclesiastes.
|Solomon boasted: "I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them" (Ecclesiastes 2:4-5).|
Some people insist on forcing contrived numerical patterns into the biblical text, which lead to spectacular, but unwarranted, conclusions. Such methods should not be used to establish doctrines, personal or church traditions, or to calculate precise dates for the future fulfillment of prophetic events. Nevertheless, the Hebrews did use alphabetical and numerical patterns for structural purposes, and discovering those patterns will help us to appreciate the skill with which they imparted their wisdom.