Daily Zohar # 4396 – Chayei Sarah – The river of wisdom
Daily Zohar 4396
146. שֶׁאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי, הַמַּיִם שֶׁבָּהֶם טִפּוֹת יוֹשְׁבִים [נ”א יְתֵרִים] מִכָּל אוֹתָם אַרְבַּעַת הַנְּהָרוֹת הָרִאשׁוֹנִים, הוּא שֶׁכָּתוּב (בראשית ב) שֵׁם הָאֶחָד פִּישׁוֹן. מַה זֶּה שֵׁם הָאֶחָד פִּישׁוֹן? הַמְיֻחָד מִכֻּלָּם פִּישׁוֹן, וְהוּא הַנּוֹפֵל בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, וּלְפִיכָךְ הָיְתָה חָכְמַת [לְיִשְׂרָאֵל] מִצְרַיִם יוֹתֵר מִכָּל הָעוֹלָם.
Zohar Chayei Sarah
Continued from previous DZ
Rabbi Ba said in the name of Rav Kahana, “And whence did the prophets have their wisdom from those drops? We have learned that with every single drop that comes out of Eden, a spirit of wisdom (Chokmah) goes forth with it, and therefore, it is proclaimed in the Mishnah: There are waters which raise up the wise, and there are waters which raise up the foolish. And those waters which raise up the wise, they were from the drops of Eden.
Rabbi Yosei said, “The waters in which there are excess drops from all those four original rivers, it is of which it is written, ‘The name of the first is Pishon.’
“שֵׁם הָאֶחָד פִּישׁוֹן הוּא הַסֹּבֵב אֵת כָּל אֶרֶץ הַחֲוִילָה אֲשֶׁר שָׁם הַזָּהָב.”
“The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.”
What is ‘the name of the first is Pishon’? It is the one distinct from all, Pishon, and it is the one that falls in the land of Egypt, and therefore, the wisdom of Egypt was greater than that of all the world.
It was said about King Solomon;
1 Kings 5:10
“וַתֵּרֶב חָכְמַת שְׁלֹמֹה מֵחָכְמַת כָּל בְּנֵי קֶדֶם וּמִכֹּל חָכְמַת מִצְרָיִם.”
“Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt.” (1 Kings 4:30)
The Bible uses the wisdom of Egypt at that time as a reference to tell how great was King Solomon’s wisdom.
From a Midrash on this verse found on Sefaria (https://www.sefaria.org/I_Kings.5.10?lang=bi&with=Midrash&lang2=en);
What was the wisdom of Egypt? You find that when Solomon wanted to build the Temple, he sent to Pharaoh Necho and said to him, “Send me craftsmen [to work] for a wage, for I want to build the Temple.” What did Pharaoh do? He gathered all his astrologers and said to them, “Foresee which people are going to die this year and send them to him.” When they came to Solomon, he foresaw through the holy spirit that they would die during that year. He [therefore] gave them shrouds and sent them [back] to [Pharaoh]. He sent to him, saying, “Do you not have shrouds to bury your dead? Here they are for you with their shrouds.”