The Wisdom of King Solomon

The Wisdom of King Solomon

A Contemporary Exploration of Ecclesiastes and the Meaning of Life

Haim Shapira


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In the Book of Ecclesiastes the main character, already rich in material wealth, seeks wisdom and looks upon the lessons of his own life. Inspired by that search, bestselling philosopher Haim Shapira muses on the perennial questions most relevant to our lives.

Ecclesiastes is among the most poetic books of the Old Testament, full of famous and resonant verses: 'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity'; 'A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance'; 'I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind'. It is traditionally attributed to King Solomon (r. 970-930 BC), who advises us to avoid seeking happiness in worldly things and focus instead on the eternal truths.

The book poses many vital questions: Is life nonsense and suffering or bliss? Is there any meaning to our actions under the sun? What will happen at the end? Is there any advantage to wisdom? Why can't a just regime be established? What are the relationships between happiness and wealth? What is the source of emotions and what do we know about desires? Can knowledge of death serve as a guide to life? 

King Solomon does not instruct us to think like him, nor does he guide us towards a particular path. Ecclesiastes sends us on a journey into The Valley of Great Questions: Abel, man, world, labor, advantage, sun, goodness, time, light, evil spirit, wisdom, love, fear of God, death, and more...

Haim Shapira's rich and rigorously informed analysis allows King Solomon's voice to speak to us across the millennia, offering remarkably up-to-the-minute insights for people of all faiths and none. If you want advice about living a better life (and to learn about the meaning of life), would it not be wise to receive it from King Solomon – the wisest man of all time?


Haim Shapira:
Haim Shapira was born in Lithuania in 1962 and immigrated to Israel in 1977, where he earned a PhD in mathematical genetics for his dissertation on Games Theory and another PhD for his research about the mathematical and philosophical approaches to Infinity. He teaches mathematics, psychology, philosophy, and literature. Haim is an author of seven best-selling books. Shapira is not trying to make his readers agree with him, but simply encourages them to enjoy thinking.  He is one of Israel's most popular and in-demand speakers and gives lectures on creativity and strategic thinking, existential philosophy and philosophy in children's literature, happiness and optimism, nonsense and insanity, imagination and the meaning of meaning, as well as friendship and love. He is also an accomplished pianist and an avid collector of anything beautiful.