Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom

Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom

by Steven Weitzman


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Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom by Steven Weitzman

Tradition has it that King Solomon knew everything there was to know—the mysteries of nature, of love, of God himself—but what do we know of him? Esteemed biblical scholar Steven Weitzman reintroduces readers to Solomon's story and its surprising influence in shaping Western culture, and he also examines what Solomon's life, wisdom, and writings have come to mean for Jews, Christians, and Muslims over the past two thousand years.

Weitzman's Solomon is populated by a colorful cast of ambitious characters—Byzantine emperors, explorers, rabbis, saints, scientists, poets, archaeologists, trial judges, reggae singers, and moviemakers among them—whose common goal is to unearth the truth about Solomon's life and wisdom. Filled with the Solomonic texts of the Bible, along with lesser–known magical texts and other writings, this book challenges both religious and secular assumptions. Even as it seeks to tell the story of ancient Israel's greatest ruler, this insightful book is also a meditation on the Solomonic desire to know all of life's secrets, and on the role of this desire in world history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300137187
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 03/29/2011
Series: Jewish Lives Series
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,028,640
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Steven Weitzman is the Daniel E. Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion at Stanford University. He was awarded the Gustave O. Arlt Prize for Outstanding Scholarship in the Humanities for his first book, Song and Story in Biblical Narrative, and has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Yad-Hadiv Foundation. His other books include Surviving Sacrilege and The Jews: A History.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xxvii

1 A Life in Letters 1

2 A Lust for Knowledge 16

3 Succession Struggles 33

4 Solomonic Judgments 51

5 Sacred Books, Satanic Verses 69

6 The King of Kings 83

7 Building Heaven on Earth 98

8 Mining for Solomon's Gold 113

9 Difficult Questions from a Dubious Queen 133

10 A Thousand and One Sex Scandals 149

11 Afterthoughts 168

For Those Seeking to Know More 183

Index 193

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