In the view of the Hebrew historian, Solomon was unsurpassed for sagacity and knowledge. On his accession to the crown, it is related that Jehovah appeared to him at Gibeon in a dream, and bade him choose a boon; and the young king, instead of asking for long life or riches or success in war, prayed to be endowed with an understanding heart that he might judge the people committed to him. His request was granted; and riches and honour were added thereto, with a promise of length of days if he kept Jehovah's commandments. In consequence of this endowment, he was reputed to be wiser than all men; people flocked from all quarters to hear his wisdom; and the queen of Sheba, in particular, came to prove him with hard questions. He was at once a philosopher and a poet. ... That he showed no ambition to undertake foreign conquests redounds to his credit. ... And if he spent the people's wealth lavishly, his commercial policy may have helped to produce that wealth, and perhaps even given to the Jewish people the impulse towards trade. ... Nor can the indirect effects of the commerce he fostered be overlooked, inasmuch as it brought the people into closer contact with the outside world and so enlarged their intellectual horizon.
—From "Old Testament History"