A Humanist perspective on what we can learn about what is morality from the Bible.
1 Kings 4: How awesome is Solomon?
King Solomon names his princes and appoints 12 officers over Israel. Their job is to provide victuals for the king and his household. Solomon reign over all the kingdoms from the river to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. He had peace on all sides of him. His provisions for a single day was 30 measures of flour, 3 score measure of meal. 10 fat oxen, 20 oxent in pasture, a hundred sheep and heart, roebucks, fallowdeer and fatted foul. He had 40,000 stalls of horses for chariots and 12,000 horsemen. People who came to his table were lacking nothing. Solomon was so wise he was more famous than all men, even more famous than Ethan the Eszahite, Herman, Chalcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. He spoke 3,000 proverbs and he wrote 5,005 songs. People came from all over to hear the wisdom of Solomon, including all the kings of the earth.
1 Kings 4:32 – He spake 3,000 proverbs and his songs were 5,005. I like the idea of him being a poet and a sage. He was the Ben Franklin of his time.
2nd favorite bit:
1 Kings 4:33 – He was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all the nations round about. No clue who these folks are. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia though - http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/4899-darda - apparently Ethan is Abraham, Heman is Moses and Chalcol is Joseph, which means – Solomon was wiser than the founders of Israel, which isn't hard to believe because Abraham was a schizophrenic, Moses was a coward who didn't speak well. On the other hand, Ethan the Ezrahite is probably a reference to a follower of Ezra who will come later. Which means that this is a retelling of the story from a later time which references other people who come after this story – not before. Regardless of how you look at this – Solomon was apparently the wisest of the wise.
1 Kings 4:24, 25 – “He had peace on all sides round about it. And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba all the days of Solomon.” And apparently he made this peace through peace treaties and without having to fight for domination.
1 Kings 4:33 “And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl and of creeping things, and of fishes.” This is a bit odd and out of place. However, it almost sounds like he was a scholar/scientist which is why - he could talk and discuss trees, animals, etc in great detail. I guess making smart people rulers pays off a nice peace dividend.