1 Chronicles 1:11 And God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life–but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king-–
God has given Solomon a choice of anything that he desired. He chose wisdom. In our society, especially with a weak economy, riches and wealth would be nice. But, I think that there is a clue here. God did give Solomon riches and wealth along with honor and the life of his enemies, but it took wisdom to control them.
To fully understand riches and wealth in the ancient Hebrew text lets take a look at how both words are spelt and what the root words reveal.
Riches is pronounced “osher” and is spelt “Ayin” which was drawn as an eye, “Shin” which looks like teethe and represent eat or destroy, and “Resh” which is the head of a person. Riches are those things that are attractive to the eye and consume your head.
Wealth is pronounced “Chayil” and is spelt with a “Tav” which looked like a cross and meant mark or covenant, “Yod” which looked like an arm and meant work, and “Lamed” which looked like a staff and meant control. Wealth is the mark or evidence of your work which you control.
So, in a very difficult economy, which of these two should you and I invest in; riches or wealth? Neither are bad but both can be destructive. But, they take wisdom to handle.
Do a word study and see what scripture has to say about each.