What did King Solomon do in his spare time?
If you consider all the stories and legends written and told about the accomplishments of King Solomon, one may wonder how he had any spare time at all. He purportedly found time to build a great temple, palaces, fortifications, stables, all while traveling around making numerous peace and trade agreements, judging and ruling wisely over a Kingdom that became prosperous and remained in peace for forty years.
It is also said that he wrote and could recite from memory over three thousand proverbs and wise sayings, was a talented story teller, solver of riddles, all while studying and identifying and recording thousands of plants, animals, planets and stars. Then as to add a whopping topping on his cake, he purportedly acquired seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. Yes indeed, how did he ever have managed to find any spare time?
Never the less, in a novel excerpt, I surmised how he may have answered the Queen of Sheba when she visited him and asked him this question. After all, he was a wise man, and she a wise woman. They both must have known, being wise and powerful leaders, that according to another wise saying, a life of all work without any personal enjoyment, play and/or quite time, in the long run, would be detrimental to a person becoming healthy, wealthy, and wise.
The novel is a contemporary application of a story form to promote understanding of proverbs and ancient wise sayings in relation to modern times.
“You asked me to explain what I enjoy doing with my personal time?”
“Yes. I did. What do you do?” Bilqis asked as she smiled contently in recognition that my reason for asking was to change the subject.
“I write songs.” I replied.
“Really!” Bilqis exclaimed in a surprised tone.
“What do you write about?”
“Right now I am writing a love song for a marriage ceremony. The song is intended to be symbolic relationship of the love of two people in marriage as an analogy of the love of our God for Israelites He demonstrated with His gift of the land of Israel.”
“Your song sounds interesting. Would you care to recite to me a sample of some verses?” Bilqis asked intently in an interested tone.
“Have I ever denied anything you have requested?” I replied while looking intently into her eyes.
I then began explaining how the ceremony begins with the bride calling out her desires to the daughters of Jerusalem. The ceremony progresses to include the bride and groom expressing mutual love in anticipation of the reward of the consummation of their union.
“Bilqis, in the past few weeks, I have been inspired to write a segment where the groom describes the charms of his bride. Your moon tonight provides a perfect setting for my verses.”
I then began to recite my song while continuing to look directly in the beautiful eyes of Bilqis. As I spoke, the focus of my eyes boldly moved to the different areas of her body in correlation to the words of my verses.
Ah, your are beautiful, my beloved,
Ah, you are beautiful!
Your eyes are doves
Behind your veil.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
Streaming down the mountains of Galaad.
Your teeth are like a flock of ewes to be shorn,
Which come up from the washing,
All of them big with twins,
None of them thin and barren.
Your lips are like a scarlet strand;
Your mouth is lovely,
Your cheek is like a half-pomegranate
behind your veil.
Your neck is like David’s tower
girt with battlements;
A thousand bucklers hang upon it,
all the shields of valiant men,
Your breasts are like twin fawns.
The young of a gazelle
that browses among the lilies.
(Song of Songs 4:1-5)
When I finished, I paused as I gazed directly into her eyes and asked.
“May I ask what your thoughts are of my new verses?”
Bilqis’s eyes glistened slightly as she returned my gaze in silence for a long period. She appeared to be contemplating carefully before answering my question.
“You say you wrote this part in just the past few weeks.” Bilqis finally stated in a demur tone of voice recognizing that I had just described her in my poem.
“Yes”. I replied.
“Tell me how these words relate to Israel and to your God.”
“The items the groom uses to describe the beauty of his bride are symbolic of the gifts provided in the land of Israel by Yahweh. The song follows the same premise that a bride is a gift to the groom by Yahweh. The relationship of real love, or total surrender, between Israelites and our God is same as a perfect love and marriage between bride and groom.” I replied.
“Interesting, and you composed these words in the past few weeks. You are indeed a wise, talented, and obviously a very passionate man.” Bilqis commented.
“Take me back to the palace Solomon. I am feeling weak from this long day. Either that or the words of your song are causing me to swoon. You certainly are not the wise man with a long white beard I pictured you to be.” Bilqis smiling said as she took my arm to guide me to return her to the palace.
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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