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Chapter X.

Men entrust their safety rather to a just than to a prudent man. But every one is wont to seek out the man who combines in himself the qualities of justice and prudence. Solomon gives us an example of this. (The words which the queen of Sheba spoke of him are explained.) Also Daniel and Joseph.

50. We entrust our case to the most prudent man we can find, and ask advice from him more readily than we do from others. However, the faithful counsel of a just456456    Cic. de Off. II. 9, § 34. man stands first and often has more weight than the great abilities of the wisest of men: “For better are the wounds of a friend than the kisses of others.”457457    Prov. xxvii. 6. And just because it is the judgment of a just man, it is also the conclusion of a wise one: in the one lies the result of the matter in dispute, in the other readiness of invention.

51. And if one connects the two, there will be great soundness in the advice given, which is regarded by all with admiration for the wisdom shown, and with love for its justice. And so all will desire to hear the wisdom of that man in whom those two virtues are found together, as all the kings of the earth desired to see the face of Solomon and to hear his wisdom. Nay, even the queen of Sheba came to him and tried him with questions. She came and spoke of all the things that were in her heart, and heard all the wisdom of Solomon, nor did any word escape her.458458    1 [3] Kings x. 2, 3.

52. Who she was whom nothing escaped, and that there was nothing which the truth-loving Solomon did not tell her, learn, O man, from this which thou hearest her saying: “It was a true report that I heard in 52mine own land of thy words and of thy prudence, yet I did not believe those that told it me until I came, and mine eyes had seen it; and behold the half was not told me. Thou hast added good things over and above all that I heard in mine own land. Blessed are thy women and blessed thy servants, which stand before thee, and that hear all thy prudence.”459459    1 [3] Kings x. 6–8. Recognize the feast of the true Solomon, and who are set down at that feast; recognize it wisely and think in what land all the nations shall hear the fame of true wisdom and justice, and with what eyes they shall see Him, beholding those things which are not seen. “For the things that are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”460460    2 Cor. iv. 18.

53. What women are blessed but those of whom it is said “that many hear the word of God and bring forth fruit”?461461    S. Luke xi. 28. And again: “Whosoever doeth the word of God is My father and sister and mother.”462462    S. Matt. xii. 50. And who are those blessed servants, who stand before Him, but Paul, who said: “Even to this day I stand witnessing both to great and small;”463463    Acts xxvi. 22. or Simeon, who was waiting in the temple to see the consolation of Israel?464464    S. Luke ii. 25. How could he have asked to be let depart, except that in standing before the Lord he had not the power of departing, but only according to the will of God? Solomon is put before us simply for the sake of example, of whom it was eagerly expected that his wisdom should be heard.

54. Joseph also when in prison was not free from being consulted about matters of uncertainty. His counsel465465    Gen. xli. 9 ff. was of advantage to the whole of Egypt, so that it felt not the seven years’ famine, and he was able even to relieve other peoples from their dreadful hunger.

55. Daniel, though one of the captives, was made the head of the royal counsellors. By his counsels he improved the present and foretold the future.466466    Dan. ii. Confidence was put in him in all things, because he had frequently interpreted things, and had shown that he had declared the truth.

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