Right now I’m doing some research on the nature of wisdom in Solomon’s judgment over the case of the two women claiming the same baby. I came across this great quote from Richard Briggs:
Complaints against the supposition that this is a paradigm of wise judgment have come thick and fast from various quarters, including the rabbis, some feminist critics, and most memorably, Mark Twain. We shall take our cue from Mark Twain, if only because he is generally more fun than most scholars (83).
Richard Briggs, The Virtuous Reader, Baker Academic 2010.
…the question of what it means to read well requires more than just the deployment of exegetical methods, no matter how well attuned any such methods may be. The situation of the interpreter of the biblical text is also a key element, and this immediately raises the question of the purposes for which any reading of the Bible is carried out. In a key quotation at the beginning of his striking work “The Old Testament of the Old Testament, [Walter] Moberly suggests that ‘the crucial question, which is prior to the questions of method and sets the context for them, is that of purpose and goal. To put it simply, how we use the Bible depends on why we use the Bible. In practice, many of the disagreements about how are, in effect, disagreements about why, and failure to recognize this leads to endless confusion.’
-Richard Briggs and Joel Lohr in A Theological Introduction to the Pentateuch emphasis original.