I’ve just guest posted a political reflection on 1 Kings 3:5-12 and the story of Solomon’s dream over on Political Theology Today.
While the Law enables the priest to perform his duties faithfully, it is Wisdom that equips the king to acquit the responsibilities of his office justly. Wisdom is consistent with the Law, yet advances beyond the Law in foregrounding the prudence and discretion of wise persons, whose intimate acquaintance with the deep structure of the Law equips them to apply fitting principles of justice appropriately to new situations. While the Law emphasizes receptive obedience and observant adherence to clear commands, Wisdom emphasizes the perceptive discernment, prudence, and insight required to act righteously and effectively when matters aren’t clear.
In 1 Kings 3, the Wisdom tradition is closely tethered to the story of King Solomon, who, in addition to being presented as the most prominent author of its associated literature, exemplifies its virtues in his person and reign. This prominence of the theme of wisdom in our passage brings it into a broader intra-canonical conversation on the subject, not least in relation to the book of Proverbs.
Read the whole thing here.