The wisest man that ever lived could not conquer his desires. His predecessors; his father David was anointed king while Saul (the first king) was still in office. It takes little bible literacy to know that Solomon is said to be the wisest man who ever lived. He also had incredible wealth; which he was very open to showing anyone of similar power. He was skilled with pen and parchment being the writer of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. These writings certainly make a case for Solomon’s wisdom. However, these were not his first actions as king.
Solomon Asks For Wisdom
We might think it a real stretch to say that he was kind and compassionate based on his orders to kill two of his father’s enemies; his father’s general and Solomon’s own brother. I would argue that these actions were very appropriate given the cultural context. In these times, a king was wise to remove any threat to the kingdom especially given Solomon was God’s choice for king. After all, God told Nathan to tell Solomon’s parents to name the boy, Jedidiah, which means, “beloved of the Lord.” One of the stories that demonstrates Solomon’s wisdom was one in which two women made a claim that a child belonged to both of them. Solomon then ordered the child to be split in two. The false mother quickly agreed while the real mother begged Solomon to withdraw the order. He knew the woman who loved the child would not allow such a thing and awarded the child to her.
Solomon was a great builder and conqueror but never raised a sword
Solomon was also known for the enormity of his harem. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. This is how alliances were formed. Just before Solomon asked God to grant him wisdom, he made an alliance with the king of Egypt and Solomon married one of his daughters. The Israelites were instructed not to marry women of foreign lands but Solomon did not listen. Any married man today knows having more than one wife would be his undoing. He even built shrines for his harem to worship their gods.
Lastly, Solomon taxed his people to the point of rebellion. His son Rehoboam would follow suit and the kingdom would be divided forever. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put David’s kingdom back together again!
So, how about Solomon’s emotional intelligence (EQ)? As stated in previous posts the following are fifteen elements of EQ along with my opinion of how he might be rated on three scales: low, median and high:
Solomon’s Emotional Intelligence
Self-regard / Mid-range
Self-actualization / High
Emotional self-awareness / Mid-range
Emotional expression / High
Assertiveness / Mid-range
Independence / Low
Social responsibility / High
Empathy / Low
Interpersonal / Mid-range
Impulse control / Low
Reality testing / Low
Problem solving / High
Flexibility / High but to a fault
Stress tolerance / Mid-range
Optimism / High
In summary, Solomon certainly had strengths and weaknesses. Yet, by human standards was as successful as any man before or after him. He was a builder, an author, a great leader, a builder of wealth, a ladies man and much more. But in the end he left it all to a son who would see it crumble before his very eyes. It seems that it is difficult for any man to be successful by both worldly and Godly standards. Which will you choose? How will you determine the approach to take?
On my website is a free workbook that addresses how you might overcome some past issues that will enable you to achieve greater levels of success. Follow this link for more on emotional intelligence and get the free workbook.