The Book of Proverbs has guided mankind for over three thousand years, and Proverbs 1:1 declares Solomon as the book’s author when it says “The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel.”
In many ways Solomon had it all and did it all. He is probably the most successful man in all of human history.
How successful was Solomon? These references from 1 Kings 1-11 tell us the following:
God appeared to Solomon two times (3:5, 9:2).
“So God said to him … I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” (3:11-13)
“King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.” (10:23)
He wrote 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs (4:32); was a botanist and biologist (4:33), and owned 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses (10:26).
He received 666 talents of gold yearly (10:14). That’s about 730,000 ounces of gold per year.
Solomon built the magnificent Lord’s temple in Jerusalem which housed the Ark of the Covenant (5:5, 8:1).
He wrote three books of the Bible – Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes
No contemporary author can match Solomon’s scope of achievement, wisdom, or intellect.
Begin today to apply his timeless, God-centric proverbs to your work-life:
Companions – “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20
Correction – “He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.” Proverbs 13:18
Counsel – “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22
Deceit – “A man of perverse heart does not prosper; he whose tongue is deceitful falls into trouble.” Proverbs 17:20
Diligence – “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.” Proverbs 12:24
Dishonesty – “The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.” Proverbs 11:1
Dissension – “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16-19
Firstfruits – “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10
Envy – “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30
Fear – “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25
Generosity – “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25
Greed – “A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live.” Proverbs 15:27
Honesty – “Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth.” Proverbs 16:13
Humility – “Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.” Proverbs 22:4
Integrity – “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” Proverbs 10:9
Knowledge – “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4
Learning – “Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.” Proverbs 9:9
Quarrels – “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” Proverbs 17:14
Patience – “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32
Planning – “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3
Pride – “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
Poverty – “He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.” Proverbs 28:19
Profit – “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23
Prosperity – “With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.” Proverbs 8:18
Riches – “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” Proverbs 23:5
Righteousness – “The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.” Proverbs 10:3
Sluggards – “A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.” Proverbs 20:4
Sobriety – “For drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” Proverbs 23:21
Understanding – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10
Wisdom – “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7
Words – “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
Late in Solomon’s career and after he had written the Book of Proverbs, Solomon wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes in which he declares what he ultimately learned about the challenges of life.
In Ecclesiastes’ last chapter, Solomon summarizes his message to those who will follow him – that’s us. His words of wisdom are recorded in Ecclesiastes 12:13 which says:
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
So, the wisest and most successful man in history tells us that “the whole duty of man” is to “Fear God and keep his commandments.” A contemporary paraphrase of Solomon’s advice is: Respect God and do all things His way.