There is no lack of humor and entertainment in the world. I do not need to go to a professional comedian or a movie producer to find them.
I can get it from the Bible, which is full of humor, or from the New York Times, which frequently carries comical stories.
I can even elicit humor from inside my own skin by doing something that may not look funny but is; like, for example, when I make faces in the mirror — one eye looking at me and one eye looking away. I do that all the time (when I am alone) and sometimes I feel like laughing.
This is what I have been doing when writing this blog named “King Solomon of Israel and the Queen of Sheba.” This blog has become my virtual mirror. In fact, it could be called “solomonthequeenofsheba” because it is written in French with English subtitles, which means that you can read it without understanding French!
The main idea here is to write a blog as if we were sitting together at a table as if we were drinking coffee at a cafe or beer at a bar, enjoying each other’s company. That is an activity that anyone can engage in — not only writers or artists.
The story of Soloman and the queen of Sheba is one of those Biblical stories that gets referenced in popular culture a lot. It’s a great story, and it has always been one of my favorites.
The Internet being what it is, I was not surprised to find a series of blogs discussing the story in some detail. The blog linked above contains a series of entries describing the story and its implications. There is also much interesting discussion on the blog itself in response to the entries.
The Queen of Sheba, who is mentioned in the Bible only briefly, became a queen that was praised for her wisdom and extravagance throughout the Middle Ages. Today, she is even celebrated as the woman who gave birth to King Solomons wise judgement and wealth.
The story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba is also referred to in many other books, such as poetry and even songs. This fairy-tale-like love story is considered to be one of the most popular biblical stories of all time.
In Islamic tradition, the Queen of Sheba is said to be buried in Yemen. A mosque was built on top of her grave, over which an entire village grew. The village is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it has preserved many features from this time period.
The Queen of Sheba (also known as Makeda or Bilqis) is a central figure in the Tanakh, Talmud and Quran. She is most known for her visit to King Solomon of Israel, recorded in the Old Testament, as well as being referred to in Islam. The Qur’an mentions that she was “possessed of every kind of treasure; and she had a mighty throne.”
This blog takes its name from the Queen’s nickname given to her by Solomon: Bath-Sheba (Hebrew בת-שבע).
The people around him wanted him to be a great king, but it is hard to be a king. He needed to build his kingdom and make it strong, but he also had to make sure that the people around him were happy. He had to protect them from their enemies and keep them safe, but he also had to punish them when they did wrong. He needed to make sure that they loved him and that they did what he said; but he also was in charge of the laws of the land.
Trying to be a good king means making many decisions each day. Some of these decisions are small; others are more important. Most of the time Solomon was able to make the right decision, even when it was difficult. But once in a while he made a mistake, and sometimes those mistakes were very serious.
Trying to be a great king is not easy!
The other day I was reading the story in Kings about how Solomon became so famous for his wisdom. He asked God for wisdom, and God said to him:
“Because you have asked for this–and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice–I will do what you have asked.”
Then I read a comment by someone who said that this story sounded like an excuse for why Solomon was such a wise man; that it was just a rationalization. And I wondered whether this person had ever read the actual story of how Solomon got his wisdom.
What is so impressive about it is that it seems to be saying something like this: If what you really want is to be a wise judge and administrator, ask God for that kind of wisdom. If what you really want is long life and wealth and power, ask God for that. But don’t ask God just to give you whatever you happen to think your values should be; ask him instead to give you the values themselves as well as the skills needed to pursue them.*
It isn’t an excuse at all; it’s advice on how to get what you really want out of life. It’s like an addict saying that