What follows is an early introduction into a personal idea of mine. It comes up over and over, as I study deeper into the less popular, more strange and even mystical works of Plato and into the hidden depths of Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible). There are a lot of differences, but at the same time certain specific spiritual concepts in Plato strike me eerily familiar to that of the Sod level of Jewish scripture and tradition.
My working theory is that there was likely a transfer/sharing of knowledge between scholars in archaic Greece (c. 800-400 BCE) and those of the Davidic Kingdom and Solomon’s era (The first temple stood between c. 833-400 BCE). Further, Israel was then taken to Babylon, where wise men of Israel were taken to work for the Babylonian ruler. This means we have high-ranking Israelites in one of the greatest intellectual centres of the ancient world.
It’s amazing how the Greek philosophers reached their prime specifically between the time of Ezra (c. 400 BCE) and the conquering of Judea by Alexander the Great (332 BCE). Coincidence? Or perhaps the rule: “when Jacob is up, Esau is down” (Esau referring to “the west.” Although usually more specifically Edom/Rome, it also extends to the other nations in general. Maybe Greece falls under the header of Edom) and vice versa. I’ve always found the timing fascinating, and if Solomon did create hundreds of alliances with nations. The Hellenistic Greeks even knew and wrote of the nearby hanging gardens of Babylon as one of the 7 wonders of the world. I have no reason to think Athens and the Achaeans, connected by the Mediterranean, would have been excluded from the royal political outreach of King Solomon. I spoke to my professor about this once, and he thought it a reasonable place of research, and even recommended me a book.