King Solomon, as most rulers in ancient times, would judge over various matters brought before him. There was no trial by peers. A wise, fair, and just ruler was respected and revered when he displayed wisdom to enact justice. In the following novel excerpt, I surmised how Solomon answered the Queen of Sheba’s question why he purposely provoked a fool accused of murder, to anger and admit his guilt. The novel is a contemporary application of a story form to promote understanding of proverbs and ancient wise sayings in relation to our modern times.
“Solomon, you purposely vexed the carpenter to lose his temper to say something foolish by personally insulting him. In other words, you tricked him into losing his temper and admitting his guilt. You have explained how anger will bring about discourse in a debate. Explain your reason for using this same tactic to pursue justice.”
I starred a Bilqis for a long moment before I answered.
“Bilqis, you are indeed a perceptive woman. Whenever someone cannot prove their point, they employ personal attacks to try to change the subject of the original issue. A skilled debater may use this same tactic to enrage a foolish action or reply.”
“I did indeed take advantage of carpenter by provoking him when he gave me a clue of his guilt. I also prepared in advance before the trial because I purposely chose to allow this matter be brought before the gathering to instill a valuable lesson to them. An essential rule of wisdom, especially for those in high office, is to keep the temperature down for reasonable discussions. A ruler and his advisors must think like a general when they debate. A general that becomes angered in battle may lead a senseless charge with disastrous results to capture a city. Better if he kept his self-control and waited for the best strategy to prevent great losses for his army.” An even-tempered man is better than a great soldier and a man with self-control than one who captures a city. (Proverb 16:32)
“What was the clue you just stated he gave you that caused you to first decide his guilt?”
“Bilqis, I saw the speaker he hired wink at the carpenter before he came up to attempt to speak on his behalf. The carpenter replied by pursing his lips. You can often tell what a person is up to by their mannerisms. If they are plotting intrigue, they wink at each other. A nasty person will purse his lips after he has committed evil.” He who winks his eye is planning intrigue; he who purses his lips has completed mischief. (Proverb 16:30)
“The fool winked at the wrong time, and you just happened to look at him when he winked, that’s what I call bad luck.” Bilqis declared.
“No, I do not believe it was bad luck.” I replied.
“Then what was it?”
“I believe Yahweh sees all and directed my eyes to see the evil wink.” Yahweh’s eyes are everywhere, watching both evil men and good. (Proverb 15:3)
As A Lily Among Thorns – A Story of King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Goddess of Wisdom by Rudy U Martinka
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