How did wise men choose a wife in ancient times?

Emotional issues aside, how does wisdom apply how a man goes about to choose a wife? Today, most cultures leave the choice of a wife to the prospective groom. However, the  wisdom of his choosing remains the same today as it did 3000 years ago.

In a novel, I  surmised how King Solomon, based on his Proverbs, may have answered the Queen of Sheba’s questions about this subject. Whether the prospective wife makes a wise choice by agreeing to the man’s proposal is a subject that the Queen of Sheba will later reveal to Solomon in another Chapter. 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.


The next morning, Bilquis immediately addressed me with her first question after a brief cordial greeting. The tone of her voice signaled an eagerness to discover.

“Solomon, you had two wives at the time of your story. Now you have over two hundred wives. Are all your marriages the result of an arrangement or agreement?”

“It is as you say. Why do you ask?”

“Is there a law or custom that forbids Israelite men from choosing who they may marry?”

“No. However, we believe all marriages first have consent of the father or guardian. A wise father will choose a good wife for his son. A wife of quality is a crown for a man by helping him to attain the fullness of his stature, dignity, and long life. A bad wife, a trollop or a shrew, will drag him down into the ground by being a topic of gossip and humor in the eyes of his peers.” A woman of quality is her husband’s crown, but a hussy is like decay in his bones. (Proverb 12:4)

“What do you consider to be the qualities of a good wife? “

“I have a poem given to me by a mother, which describes in detail the qualities of an ideal wife. I will have my scribe deliver the poem to you. The sayings begin by stating that the price of a good woman is higher than pearls. It ends with the instruction to her husband to give her credit for her achievements.” (Proverbs 31, 10-31)

Source: Chapter Eleven 

As A Lily Among Thorns – A Story of King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Goddess of Wisdom by Rudy U Martinka

Now available as an eBook at all sellers.   View at link below.