Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Essay on Solomon

The Great Literary Works of Solomon

Kingdom of Judea was one of the biggest ancient kingdoms extending from the Euphrates River in the north to Egypt in the south. The mighty Kingdom of Judea had known many Kings. Some of these kings were evil depredators, some were excellent military leaders and the greatest thinkers of all times. King Solomon is known to be the greatest king of Judea famous for his wisdom, his wealth and his writings (Compton’s Encyclopedia Online). His writings are what I am going to focus on in this short essay, namely the Books of Psalms and Proverbs. The Book of Psalms is the collection of religious hymns that glorifies the worship of G-d as well as his almightiness. The Book of Proverbs, on the other hand, consists of witty proverbs that are brief epigrams or adages addressed to humanity.

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The authorship of both of these books has for a long time been a dispute. All of them certainly were inspired by G-d. When it comes to the book of Proverbs the authorship is a little more obvious because in the first Proverb the name of Solomon appears (“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, King of Israel", Proverb 1:1). However, this does not make it obvious that Solomon is the author because at that time it was common to put the name of the King in every literary work written. Moreover, there are references to Agur and Lemuel as co-authors of the book (Steinmann, 2000). The book of Psalms in Judaism is known to be written by King David. However, Solomon is considered to be the author in many other cultures and according to ancient scriptures. The compromise can be made basing on the words of Torah that says that Solomon composed one thousand and five songs (1 Kings 4: 32), while David composed the rest four-hundred and ninety five (Brueggmann, 2007).

Summarizing both of these Books is rather difficult, because they, unlike other books of the Holy Scripture do not have a specific plot and a set of characters. The main topic of the book of Proverbs is wisdom and obedience to the G-d’s will. The proverbs emphasize the importance of knowledge both when it comes to obtaining education and the knowledge of G-d. One of the topics of the book is to give instructions for the human kind on how to conduct interpersonal relations (Steinmann, 2000).

There are two great themes in the Psalms, these are the prayers for rescue of people from the sin and the praise of the Almighty. In addition to that, some psalms teach the people how to act under various circumstances, some psalms show gratitude to the Almighty. There are psalms telling us about the ancient history and how G-d brought evil on the enemies of Judea (Brueggmann, 2007). Some psalms give us directions about observing the fasts and holy days, as well as other psalms, naturally, talk about the coming of Messiah (Moshiach in Hebrew).

It is remarkable that both the proverbs and the psalms that had been written over three thousand years ago are still relevant today. In my opinion, these books should not only be used for religious worship, but can be applied in our every day life. Moreover, the importance of these books should not be overlooked, because inside of them there are G-dly instructions that could guide us through the thorny paths of modern life.
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