The children of the east country - That is the Chaldeans, Persians, and Arabians, who, with the Egyptians, were famed for wisdom and knowledge through all the world.
Children of the east country - Rather, “of the East” - the Beni Kedem - a distinct tribe, who occupied both sides of the Euphrates along its middle course (marginal reference). They were mostly nomads, who dwelt in tents Jeremiah 49:28-29. Job belonged to them Job 1:3, as did probably his three friends; and, perhaps, Balsam Numbers 23:7. They must have been either Arabs or Aramaeans. We may see in the Book of Job the character of their “wisdom.” Like Solomon‘s, it was chiefly gnomic but included some knowledge of natural history. The “wisdom of Egypt” was of a different kind. It included magic Genesis 41:8; Exodus 7:11, geometry, medicine, astronomy, architecture, and a dreamy mystic philosophy, of which metempsychosis was the main principle. It is not probable that Solomon was, like Moses (marginal reference), deeply versed in Egyptian science. The writer only means to say that his wisdom was truer and more real than all the much-praised wisdom of Egypt.
That God should thus be manifest in the flesh is indeed a mystery; and without the help of the Holy Spirit we cannot hope to comprehend this subject. The most humbling lesson that man has to learn is the nothingness of human wisdom, and the folly of trying, by his own unaided efforts, to find out God. He may exert his intellectual powers to the utmost, he may have what the world calls a superior education, yet he may still be ignorant in God's eyes. The ancient philosophers boasted of their wisdom; but how did it weigh in the scale with God? Solomon had great learning; but his wisdom was foolishness; for he did not know how to stand in moral independence, free from sin, in the strength of a character molded after the divine similitude. Solomon has told us the result of his research, his painstaking efforts, his persevering inquiry. He pronounces his wisdom altogether vanity. 1SM 249.1
By wisdom the world knew not God. Their estimation of the divine character, their imperfect knowledge of His attributes, did not enlarge and expand their mental conception. Their minds were not ennobled in conformity to the divine will, but they plunged into the grossest idolatry. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:22, 23). This is the worth of all requirements and knowledge apart from Christ. 1SM 249.2Read in context »
Yours can yet be a happy family. Your wife needs your help. She is like a clinging vine; she wants to lean upon your strength. You can help her and lead her along. You should never censure her. Never reprove her if her efforts are not what you think they should be. Rather encourage her by words of tenderness and love. You can help your wife to preserve her dignity and self-respect. Never praise the work or acts of others before her to make her feel her deficiencies. You have been harsh and unfeeling in this respect. You have shown greater courtesy to your hired help than to her and have placed them ahead of her in the house. 2T 305.1
God loves your wife. She has suffered, but He has noticed all, marked all, and will not hold you guiltless for the wounds you have caused. It is neither wealth nor intellect that gives happiness. It is moral worth. True goodness is accounted of Heaven as true greatness. The condition of the moral affections determines the worth of the man. A person may have property and intellect, and yet be valueless, because the glowing fire of goodness has never burned upon the altar of his heart, because his conscience has been seared, blackened, and crisped with selfishness and sin. When the lust of the flesh controls the man, and the evil passions of the carnal nature are permitted to rule, skepticism in regard to the realities of the Christian religion is encouraged, and doubts are expressed as though it were a special virtue to doubt. 2T 305.2
The life of Solomon might have been remarkable until its close if virtue had been preserved. But he surrendered this special grace to lustful passion. In his youth he looked to God for guidance and trusted in Him, and God chose for him and gave him wisdom that astonished the world. His power and wisdom were extolled throughout the land. But his love of women was his sin. This passion he did not control in his manhood, and it proved a snare to him. His wives led him into idolatry, and when he began to descend the declivity of life, the wisdom that God had given him was removed; he lost his firmness of character and became more like the giddy youth, wavering between right and wrong. Yielding his principles, he placed himself in the current of evil, and thus separated himself from God, the foundation and source of his strength. He had moved from principle. Wisdom had been more precious to him than the gold of Ophir. But, alas! lustful passions gained the victory. He was deceived and ruined by women. What a lesson for watchfulness! What a testimony to the need of strength from God to the very last! 2T 305.3Read in context »
“And all Israel ... feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.” 1 Kings 3:28. The hearts of the people were turned toward Solomon, as they had been toward David, and they obeyed him in all things. “Solomon ... was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.” 2 Chronicles 1:1. PK 32.1
For many years Solomon's life was marked with devotion to God, with uprightness and firm principle, and with strict obedience to God's commands. He directed in every important enterprise and managed wisely the business matters connected with the kingdom. His wealth and wisdom, the magnificent buildings and public works that he constructed during the early years of his reign, the energy, piety, justice, and magnanimity that he revealed in word and deed, won the loyalty of his subjects and the admiration and homage of the rulers of many lands. PK 32.2
The name of Jehovah was greatly honored during the first part of Solomon's reign. The wisdom and righteousness revealed by the king bore witness to all nations of the excellency of the attributes of the God whom he served. For a time Israel was as the light of the world, showing forth the greatness of Jehovah. Not in the surpassing wisdom, the fabulous riches, the far-reaching power and fame that were his, lay the real glory of Solomon's early reign; but in the honor that he brought to the name of the God of Israel through a wise use of the gifts of Heaven. PK 32.3Read in context »
Two days before the Passover, when Christ had for the last time departed from the temple, after denouncing the hypocrisy of the Jewish rulers, He again went out with His disciples to the Mount of Olives and seated Himself with them upon the grassy slope overlooking the city. Once more He gazed upon its walls, its towers, and its palaces. Once more He beheld the temple in its dazzling splendor, a diadem of beauty crowning the sacred mount. GC 23.1
A thousand years before, the psalmist had magnified God's favor to Israel in making her holy house His dwelling place: “In Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion.” He “chose the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion which He loved. And He built His sanctuary like high palaces.” Psalm 76:2; 78:68, 69. The first temple had been erected during the most prosperous period of Israel's history. Vast stores of treasure for this purpose had been collected by King David, and the plans for its construction were made by divine inspiration. 1 Chronicles 28:12, 19. Solomon, the wisest of Israel's monarchs, had completed the work. This temple was the most magnificent building which the world ever saw. Yet the Lord had declared by the prophet Haggai, concerning the second temple: “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former.” “I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:9, 7. GC 23.2
After the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar it was rebuilt about five hundred years before the birth of Christ by a people who from a lifelong captivity had returned to a wasted and almost deserted country. There were then among them aged men who had seen the glory of Solomon's temple, and who wept at the foundation of the new building, that it must be so inferior to the former. The feeling that prevailed is forcibly described by the prophet: “Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?” Haggai 2:3; Ezra 3:12. Then was given the promise that the glory of this latter house should be greater than that of the former. GC 23.3Read in context »