The first thing that comes to mind when one hears the words “King Solomon”, is “Wisdom”. The Bible tells us that the wisdom God granted King Solomon was greater than any wisdom that anyone in the past or in the future, will ever achieve. 1

One of the Books attributed to King Solomon 2 is the Book of Kohelet commonly known as Ecclesiastes. American novelist Thomas Wolfe wrote that: “Ecclesiastes is the greatest single piece of writing I have ever known, and the wisdom expressed in it the most lasting and profound.” 3

There are many passages in the book of Kohelet that are rather mysterious, one of them reads as follows:

“Even in your thought, you shall not curse a king, nor in your bedrooms shall you curse a wealthy man, for the bird of the heaven shall carry the voice, and the winged creature will tell the matter.” 4

In an attempt to make sense of the first part of the verse: “Even in your thought, you shall not curse a king” many commentaries including Rashi translate the word “King” as meaning God, after all, how would a Mortal king know your thoughts? Rashi does mention that some translate the word “King” as meaning a regular mortal king. However simply reading this verse keeps it within context of the rest of the chapter, it becomes obvious that the word “King” is a reference to a regular mortal king, just like the word “Wealthy Man” is a reference to a wealthy mortal being.

The next part of the verse: “for the bird of the heaven shall carry the voice, and the winged creature will tell the matter”, Rashi translates it as a reference to the human soul and Heavenly Angels, but again explains that in its most basic translation means; “that it is possible that people hear what you say and tell others ”.

What makes the first part of the verse interesting, is the latter part. For King Solomon to write that one should not curse someone makes sense but the reasons given, “for the bird of the heaven shall carry the voice, and the winged creature will tell the matter”, require further explanation. How can these “Birds” or “Winged Creatures” reveal a mere thought to someone else?

This verse was the cause of confusion among some of the greatest biblical scholars. What follows is a quick overview of how some scholars either explained or made use of this verse.

The Midrash 5 makes a clear distinction between the words “for the bird of the heaven shall carry the voice” and “the winged creature will tell the matter”. It describes the words, “for the bird of the heaven” as meaning “The Raven bird and the wisdom of Tyarin”. And describes the words, “winged creature” as meaning “The road has ears and the wall has ears”. This means, regardless where you are this “winged creature” can reveal your thoughts.

The Midrash is not clear what “The Wisdom of Tyarin” means. The Ramban while discussing the prohibition of a Jew to seek out the future, 6 references the above verse and Midrash. The Ramban explains that “The Wisdom of Tyarin” is the ability to understand the language of birds including messages about the future. The Ramban writes that one should not question the ability of birds to chirp about the future as we see a story mentioned in the Talmud 7 that involves a person who has the ability to understand the language of the birds.

Rabbi Chaim Vital, the famous student of the Holy Arizal, writes that there are two kind of birds that can bring forth messages, one does so by chirping and one does so by the movement of its wings.The verse “for the bird of the heaven shall carry the voice” is a reference to the bird that chirps its messages, and “the winged creature will tell the matter” is a reference to the birds that use their wings to deliver the message but have no ability to speak. Rabbi Chaim Vital also mentions that birds with their chirp can reveal hidden secrets within the Bible, and that his Rabbi the Arizal had the ability to understand what the birds are saying. 8

While discussing the amazing works of God within nature, the Rambam 9 explains that when the prophets mentioned the words “winged creature (Baal Knufiam)” they were not talking about anything physical. Rabbi Joseph Karo explains 10 that the term “winged creature (Baal Knufiam)” simply represents the ability to go from place to place easily in a short amount of time. Interestingly enough, the Rambam mentions King Solomon within this chapter to make a point, that when discussing these hidden matters one should use secretive methods to conceal the real meaning.

We have 4 things going on in this verse:

  1. Cursing by mere thought
  2. Cursing Verbally
  3. Birds Carrying Voices
  4. Winged Creatures tell whatever is said

First let’s address the “birds carrying voices” aspect, as all commentaries are in agreement that King Solomon is talking about a physical bird.

The Bible tells us 11 that once every three years the ships of Tarshish would come bearing gold, silver, ivory, monkeys and peacocks for King Solomon.

Where Tarshish was located exactly continues to be debated. The first mention of Tarshish in the Bible 12 represents an emerald stone, something found in many parts of Africa. 13. On two separate occasions Rashi links Tarshish with Africa. 14In addition, when one considers what these ships were carrying, it is obvious they are all things that can be found (certainly 3000 years ago) in abundance, in Africa. The only thing that is rare in Africa are the Peacocks, the only Peacocks there, are the Congo Peacocks, and still they are  rare. 15

The word the bible uses to describe the peacocks is “Tikum”, in Modern Hebrew that does not mean Peacocks, it translates to Parrots.

Out of 335 species of Parrot, 2 are common in Israel. One of them is known as the Rose-ringed Parakeet. Some people hand-raise Rose-ringed Parakeet chicks as they have the ability to mimic human speech. The bird listens to its surroundings, and then it mimics the voice of the human . The Rose-ringed Parakeet is popular in Africa as well.

Parrots as a household pet date back over 2300 years 16. Some even suggest that the verse in Iyov / Job 40:29 is an indication that some kept birds as pets.

When King Solomon says that one should not “curse the wealthy man in the bedroom, because the Bird of the Sky will carry that voice”, he could be talking about the Parrot. There are many videos on YouTube that feature parrots that are repeating curse words, if the owners would pay more attention to the words of King Solomon, they would be more careful about cursing even in places were they assume no one is listening.

But what about those “Winged Creatures” that can reveal ones thoughts? Creatures that take on no physical form and are impossible to see with the naked eye?

Radio waves are all around us and travel at the speed of light. They were discovered approximately 150 years ago and since then, played a role in some of the biggest inventions and discoveries in the history of mankind.

The idea that a radio signal from planet earth will reach the moon in less than 1.3 seconds, sounds unbelievable even today, let alone 150 years ago. But we now have the tools and technology to utilize radio waves for all sorts of transmissions including voice and data. 17

The midrash when it translated “winged creature” as meaning that “The road has ears and the wall has ears, is referring to some sort of invisible power that can pick up thoughts. Although the science for reading someone’s mind commonly known as “reading the brainwaves”, is in its early stages, the discoveries so far are startling.

I am using radio waves as an example and it is important not to confuse brainwaves and radio waves. My point is; That to assume we know it all when it comes to brainwaves is as silly as someone claiming they know it all about radio waves in 1900, when we are still discovering new things about it today.

Here is a 10 minute clip of a brainwave reading demo of 4 years ago:

Gerald Schroeder, a highly respected physicist received his PhD in nuclear physics and earth and planetary sciences from MIT, made some amazing comments in a 2007 interview. He predicted that all of our thoughts exist out there within space, and with the right technology those thoughts can be potentially intercepted even after a person is no longer alive. He points out that although it sounds unbelievable, one must remember that all great discoveries sounded unbelievable right before we discovered them.

The entire clip is worth watching, (but if you just want to watch the conversation about tapping into ones brainwaves, forward the clip to the 12:20 mark.)

King Solomon was the smartest man to ever live, it’s possible he used the words “Baal Knufaim – Winged Creature” to mean “Radio Waves” because not only do waves look like a flying bird but also because the word “Baal Knufaim” has the same Gematria as radio waves 18

Prophet Malachi 19 in describing the end of days says the following: “But to you who fear my name (God’s name), the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in its wings”. The word the Prophet uses to describe the suns wings is “B’knufahu” “בכנפיה”, the root of both the words of Malachi and King Solomon is “Kanuf” “כנך” 20 translated as “wing(s)”. I think we can all agree that the wings of the sun are not literal wings but electromagnetic waves (IR-UV and obviously visible light). This further supports the idea that the “Baal Knufaim – Winged Creature” that King Solomon was making reference too was a hint to Waves rather than some kinda bird, especially given he already explicitly mentions birds in that verse.

Here are some other interesting videos related to this article:

Talking Parrots


Rose Ringed Parrots in Israel

A Talking Raven עורב


The following clip features the bird repeating curse words at 3:40


  1. I Kings / Melachim 3:12
  2. Kohelet Rabbah 1:1 Rmban Drushat H’Ramban Al Divrei Kohelet 1:1
  3. Christianson 2007, p. 70
  4. Kohelet Ecclesiastes 10:20.
  5. Vayikra Rabbah 32
  6. Ramban / Nachmanides on Deuteronomy – Devarim 18:9
  7. Gitin 45a
  8. Shaar Ruach HaKodesh, Drush 3
  9. Maimonides Mishneh Torah – Sefer Madda – Yesodei haTorah 2
  10. Kesef Mishneh on Mishneh Torah – Sefer Madda – Yesodei haTorah 2
  11. I Kings / Melachim 10:22
  12. Shemot / Exodus 28:20
  14. Tihilim / Psalms 48:8, I Kings / Melachim 10:22
  18. בעל כנפים = רדיו גלים  (when calculating בעל כנפים simply add one digit for the kolel) although many would write radio waves as Gali Radio, the exact hebrew translation of Radio is רדיו and waves = גלים
  19. Malachi 3:20
  20. Genesis – Beresheit 1:21