Solomon: Israel’s Icon of Human Achievement
Solomon: Israel’s Icon of Human Achievement

Solomon: Israel’s Icon of Human Achievement

in Studies on Personalities of the Old Testament

by Walter Brueggemann

Pages 300
Publisher Fortress Press
Published 7/16/2024
ISBN-13 9781506491967
Figures of legend and lore disclose much about the societies celebrating them. In the ancient Israelite culture, Solomon, a man praised for his wealth, wisdom, and power, is depicted as an example of enormous human achievement. Looking beneath the surface of these claims, Walter Brueggemann reveals an irony that permeates the tradition.

In this study of Solomon and his place in the larger consciousness of Israel, Brueggemann considers what Old Testament narratives reveal about the ideals of the ancient Israelite people. The tradition of Solomon becomes an arena for interpretive contestation in Israel, and the text makes available not historical reportage but a conflicted, pluralistic attempt to sort out the reality of human power in the matrix of covenantal faith.

Beyond the primary narrative of 1 Kings 3-11, Brueggemann evaluates the derivative traditions of Solomon in Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, the Wisdom of Solomon, and some of the Psalms. He also considers references to Solomon in the New Testament and in extrascriptural traditions connected with and attributed to him.

Through close attention to nuances of the biblical text, Brueggemann exposes the competing interpretive voices that claim to offer a reliable rendering of Solomon and invites critique of accepted beliefs.


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