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Royal Wisdom

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Chapter Summary

The administration of justice in Israel, as elsewhere in ancient east, does not seem to have rested on the basis of statutory law codes. For the decision of hard cases which came before the king there was need for more than ordinary insight. The wise woman of Tekoa, credits David with superhuman wisdom, and it apparently consists not only in the skill to decide hard cases but in 'knowledge of all things that are on the earth'. It was with Solomon in particular, however, that Jewish tradition connected the idea of wisdom, so much so that later books of wisdom, both canonical and extra-canonical, were attributed to him. We are told that 'God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and largeness of mind like the sand on the sea-shore, so that Solomon's wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt'.

Keywords: David; Israel; Jewish tradition; royal wisdom; Solomon

10.1163/9789004275263_020
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