|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:29-34 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 utterance, 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.
Verse 30. - And Solomon's wisdom excelled [or exceeded; same word as in ver. 29] the wisdom of all the children of the east country [By the Beni-Kedem we are hardly to understand (with Rawlinson) a distinct tribe on the banks of the Euphrates. It is true that the land of the Beni-Kedem is identified with Haran or Mesopotamia (Genesis 29:1), and the mountains of Kedem (Numbers 23:7) are evidently those of Aram. It is also true that "the children of the East" are apparently distinguished from the Amalekites and Midianites (Judges 6:8, 33; Judges 7:12; Judges 8:10). It is probable, nevertheless, that the name is here employed to designate all the Arabian tribes east and southeast of Palestine - Sabaeans, Idumeans, Temanites, Chaldeans. What their wisdom was like, we may see in the Book of Job. Cf. Jeremiah 49:7; Obadiah 1:8] and all the wisdom of Egypt. [The learning of Egypt was of great repute in the Old World. It differed very considerably from the wisdom of Kedem, being scientific rather than gnomic (Isaiah 19:11, 12; Isaiah 31:2, 8; Acts 7:22) and including geometry, astronomy, magic, and medicine. See Jos., Ant. 8:02.5; Herod. 2:109. 160. Wilkinson, "Ancient Egyptians" vol. 2. pp. 316-465.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east,.... The Arabians, and Persians, famous for wisdom, and who lay to the east of the land of Judea; whose wisdom lay in the knowledge of the stars, in divination by birds, and soothsaying (m):
and all the wisdom of Egypt; which it was eminent for in the times of Moses, and in which he was learned and well-skilled, Acts 7:22; and hence in later times the philosophers of the Gentiles travelled to get knowledge, as Pherecydes, Pythagoras, Anaxagoras, Plato, and others to Egypt, said to be the mother of arts and sciences (n).
(m) Midrash Kohelet. fol. 76. 3.((n) Macrob. in Som. Scip. c. 19. 21. & Saturnal l. 1. c. 15.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
30. Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country—that is, the Arabians, Chaldeans, and Persians (Ge 25:6).
all the wisdom of Egypt—Egypt was renowned as the seat of learning and sciences, and the existing monuments, which so clearly describe the ancient state of society and the arts, show the high culture of the Egyptian people.
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