by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Wisest Fool (1 of 16)
Series: Solomon - The Wisest Fool in the Bible
Clarence E. Macartney
Matthew 6:29, 1 Kings 8:38

King James I of England, who also reigned as James VI of Scotland, was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots. He was the king to whom our ''authorized'' King James Version of the Bible was dedicated, but hardly worthy of the high praise bestowed upon him in that dedication, which speaks of his ''many singular and extraordinary graces.'' King James had, however, some literary taste, and wrote a number of works. When James broke with France and made an alliance with Spain, Henry IV of France in a famous sentence described him as ''the wisest fool in Christendom.''

Solomon may well be described as the wisest fool in the Bible. Christ spoke of ''Solomon in all his glory.'' There was no doubt about that glory. God made Solomon the touchstone of human splendor and glory. But in the end all this glory came to nothing. Solomon casts one of the longest shadows in the Bible and in history. His architecture, engineering works, his knowledge, wisdom, riches, splendor, proverbs, and poems have become a tradition. We know much about the outside life and splendor of Solomon; and yet we cannot say that we know him in the way we know Joseph, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Peter, John, or Paul. So much is this so that at the end of his history we are not sure where to place Solomon, whether among the kings who did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, or among those who did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.

Solomon's Youth and Choice

Solomon was the son of Bathsheba, with whom David sinned. If Absalom, who brought so much anguish and sorrow into his father's life, had been the son of Bathsheba, we would have termed it poetic justice and retribution. But it was Solomon who was the son of Bathsheba. Bathsheba was as ambitious for Solomon's future and splendor as she was beautiful in person and in body. As a youth Solomon was given into the cus ...

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