King Solomon on Wisdom, Fools, and Folly

The Sea of Galilee in the town of Tiberias, Israel

The Sea of Galilee in the town of Tiberias, Israel

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place.Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

God to Solomon: …”and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king,therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you.” (2 Chronicles 7-12, NIV)


Solomon was the second child born to King David and Bathsheba, and he replaced his father as King of Israel in 967 BCE. One of his major achievements was building the Temple in Jerusalem, and he had many other architectural achievements. God also blessed him with earthly wealth. But, he was known throughout Israel and surrounding lands for his wisdom. People came from near and far to hear his wise words. He wrote 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs, and the Biblical books of Song of Songs, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. But his downfall came when he started marrying foreign women who worshiped pagan gods, and Solomon turned away from the God of Israel and started worshiping foreign gods too.

I spent last week reading and reading the book of Proverbs. Anyone, whether Christian or non-Christian, should immerse themselves in the book of Proverbs. There are practical and spiritual life applications that can save a fool from folly.

Here are 24 of my favorite proverbs from the book of Proverbs:

-For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them (1:32, NIV)

-Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. (3:3, NIV)

-Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (3: 5-6, NIV)

-Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. (3:7, NIV)

-Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (4:23, NIV)

-Drink water from your own well- share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? (5: 16 -17, NLT)

-For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. (5:21, NLT)

-My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. (6:20, NLT)

-People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray. (10:17, NLT)

-Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. (10:19, NLT)

-A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. (11:13, NLT)

-Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave. (12:24)

-There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. (14:12, NLT)

-People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness. (14:29, NLT)

-The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words. (15:28, NLT)

-We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall. (16:33, NLT)

-Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out. (17:14, NLT)

-Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor. (18:12, NLT)

-The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. (18:21)

-Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right. (20:11, NLT)

-Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter. (20:22, NLT)

-The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead. (21:16, NLT)

-When arguing with your neighbor, don’t betray another person’s secret. Others may accuse you of gossip, and you will never regain your good reputation. (25: 9-10, NLT)

-Rich people may think they are wise, but a poor person with discernment can see right through them. (28:11, NLT)