Bible Birds – Solomon’s Wisdom About Birds I

Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) by Ian

Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) by Ian

Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. (1 Kings 4:33 NKJV)

In my daily reading from Scripture recently, I came across I Kings 4:33 again. The article Birds of the Bible – Solomon’s Birds, discusses how some of the lessons Solomon had learned were applied. Now let’s look at how Solomon might have attained those illustrations and how we can apply them.

More questions come to my mind, in no set order, like:

  • What kind of birds did he have to observe?
  • What did he learn about the birds?
  • Did he write any of his bird observations out?
  • The Lord gave him the wisdom, so how did he apply it?
  • What can we learn from Solomon about birds?

We know from the Bible that Solomon asked for wisdom to be able to know right and wrong and how to rule the people. God granted Solomon his request and gave him more besides. See I Kings 3.

Checking with my e-Sword commentaries and helps, here are some interesting thoughts. (Italics are mine)

Oriental Bay Owl (Phodilus badius) by Peter Ericisson

Oriental Bay Owl (Phodilus badius) by Peter Ericisson

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

Solomon’s wisdom was more his glory than his wealth. He had what is here called largeness of heart, for the heart is often put for the powers of the mind. He had the gift of talk, as well as wisdom. It is very desirable, that those who have large gifts of any kind, should have large hearts to use them for the good of others. What treasures of wisdom and knowledge are lost! But every sort of knowledge that is needful for salvation is to be found in the holy Scriptures. There came persons from all parts, who were more eager after knowledge than their neighbours, to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Solomon was herein a type of Christ, in whom are hid all treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and hid for us, for he is made of God to us, wisdom. Christ’s fame shall spread through all the earth, and men of all nations shall come to him, learn of him, and take upon them his easy yoke, and find rest for their souls.

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Gill

he spake also of beasts, and of fowls, and of creeping things, and of fishes; he understood the nature of all sorts of animals in the earth, air, and sea, and discoursed of their names, kinds, qualities, and use, with the greatest ease and perspicuity; the Jews fancy that Aristotle’s History of Animals is his, which that philosopher came upon, and published it in his own name. …

Sandhill Cranes - Adult and Juvenile in yard 8/27/10

Sandhill Cranes – Adult and Juvenile in yard 8/27/10

*

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus) ©TexasEagle

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus) ©TexasEagle

Barnes

Of beasts, and of fowls, and of creeping things, and of fishes – This is the usual Biblical division of the animal kingdom Gen_1:26; Gen_9:2; Psa_148:10.

Believer’s Bible Commentary

Verse 33 means that his wide knowledge of many sciences enabled him to use object lessons from nature in expounding his wisdom. People traveled from afar to hear him.

Blue-winged Mountain Tanager (Anisognathus somptuosus) by Ian

Blue-winged Mountain Tanager (Anisognathus somptuosus) by Ian

Bible Knowledge Commentary

1 Kings 4:32-34

Several hundred of Solomon’s 3,000 proverbs have been preserved in the Book of Proverbs as well as a few in Ecclesiastes. One of his 1,005 songs is the Song of Songs. Solomon’s literary output was extremely prolific (bountiful). He became an authority in botany and zoology too. … He was recognized as the wisest man of his day as God had promised he would be.

Under His Wings - (Dove - photographer unknown)

Under His Wings – (Dove – photographer unknown)

Biblical Illustrator

The study of Nature
It is said of Wordsworth that a stranger having on one occasion asked to see his study, the maid said, “This is master’s room, but he studies in the fields.” In doing so the poet followed a venerable example. We read that Isaac went out to meditate in the field at eventide, where in the margin “to pray” is put for “to meditate.” Nor could there be a better place either for prayer or for study than the fields. The Word of God is written very clearly for His seers in the green book of Nature. Wordsworth’s study is one that we can all use, however small our house may be. (Quiver.)

The world is worth seeing
Men must not live under a bushel. A gentleman once met a French priest on board an Atlantic liner. They entered into conversation, and the priest said that months ago he had a dream. He dreamt that he was dead, and that God asked him how much of the world he had seem His answer was that he had seen only a very little of it, for he had been so long in preparing for death, and in helping other people to die, that he had no time to see the world. He saw that God was displeased, and on awakening he resolved to see as much of this beautiful world as he could. It was a wise resolve. The earth is the Lord’s and not the devil’s, and we have no right to ignore it. Nature is a temple of God, and we must ever walk through it in a sacramental mood. (Sunday Circle.).

Green-billed Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus) ©WikiC

Green-billed Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus) ©WikiC

K & D

“And of beasts and birds, of creeping things and fishes;” the four principal classes into which the Hebrews divided the animal kingdom. Speaking of plants and animals presupposes observations and researches in natural science, or botanical and zoological studies.

Kingfisher Feeding Young by Phil Kwong

Kingfisher Feeding Young by Phil Kwong

McGee

We are told that Solomon spoke three thousand proverbs. We have only a few hundred recorded in the Bible. His songs were a thousand and five. Believe me, he was a song writer. We have only one of his songs, The Song of Solomon. Solomon was a dendrologist—”He spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall.” The hyssop is a humble little plant that grows on rocks. Solomon was also a zoologist—”he spake also of beasts”—and an ornithologist since he spoke of birds. He was an entomologist: he spoke of creeping things, or insects. He was an ichthyologist: he spoke of fishes. He spoke of these things because he had studied them and was an authority in these particular realms. This, apparently, is the beginning of the sciences. Solomon was interested in these things.

Some Answers

I have another Commentary to share thoughts from, but will save it for Part II. For now, let’s see if any of the first questions were answered.

The first two questions are unanswered for now. We will dig into that later. The next three seem to have some answers.

  • What kind of birds did he have to observe?
  • What did he learn about the birds?
  • Did he write any of his bird observations out?
  • The Lord gave him the wisdom, so how did he apply it?
  • What can we learn from Solomon about birds?

Solomon observed the birds and seems to have learned lessons and applications from them which are seen in Proverbs, Song of Solomon and some Psalms. So he recorded his findings. He gained his knowledge from the Lord, but he used his senses and observational skills to gain more knowledge. That is something we can do also with the Lord’s help. If we don’t apply ourselves to a topic, the knowledge is not going to just “pop” into our heads.

See:

*

Please leave a Comment. They are encouraging.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s