The queen of Sheba. Solomon’s wealth.
VERSE 1. When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the LORD’s name, she came to test him with hard questions.
Sheba. This is modern-day Yemen. It is located about 1,200 miles from Jerusalem.
she came to test him. The queen of Sheba travels about 1,200 miles to see if Solomon was as wise and wealthy as she had heard.
VERSE 2. She came to Jerusalem with a very great caravan, with camels that bore spices, very much gold, and precious stones; and when she had come to Solomon, she talked with him about all that was in her heart.
a very great caravan. This reflects her own prestige.
It also carries her many gifts for Solomon.
VERSE 3. Solomon answered all her questions. There wasn’t anything hidden from the king which he didn’t tell her.
VERSE 4. When the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built,
VERSE 5. the food of his table, the sitting of his servants, the attendance of his officials, their clothing, his cup bearers, and his ascent by which he went up to the LORD’s house, there was no more spirit in her.
VERSE 6. She said to the king, “It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts and of your wisdom.
VERSE 7. However, I didn’t believe the words until I came and my eyes had seen it. Behold, not even half was told me! Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame which I heard.
VERSE 8. Happy are your men, happy are these your servants who stand continually before you, who hear your wisdom.
VERSE 9. Blessed is the LORD your God, who delighted in you, to set you on the throne of Israel. Because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore he made you king, to do justice and righteousness.”
Blessed is the LORD your God. The queen of Sheba is not an Israelite. However, she is favorably impressed with the LORD God.
The Old Testament foresee Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
VERSE 10. She gave the king one hundred twenty talents of gold, and a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never again was there such an abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.
twenty talents of gold. That is approximately four tons of gold.
VERSE 11. The fleet of Hiram that brought gold from Ophir also brought in from Ophir great quantities of almug trees and precious stones.
almug trees. This was possibly a sandalwood from India. If so, it would have a nice grain and a pleasant scent. It would be good for woodworking.
VERSE 12. The king made of the almug trees pillars for the LORD’s house and for the king’s house, harps also and stringed instruments for the singers; no such almug trees came or were seen to this day.
VERSE 13. King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, in addition to that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own land, she and her servants.
VERSE 14. Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred sixty-six talents of gold,
six hundred sixty-six talents. A talent is about or 66 pounds. So 666 talents is about 20 metric tons.
We wonder how all this wealth was flowing to Solomon. Was it due to taxation?
VERSE 15. in addition to that which the traders brought, and the traffic of the merchants, and of all the kings of the mixed people, and of the governors of the country.
VERSE 16. King Solomon made two hundred bucklers of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of gold went to one buckler.
six hundred shekels of gold. A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.32 Troy ounces. So 600 shekels is about 13.2 pounds.
VERSE 17. He made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three minas of gold went to one shield; and the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
three minas. A mina is about 600 grams or 1.3 U. S. pounds.
a great throne. This is for Solomon to sit on.
VERSE 19. There were six steps to the throne, and the top of the throne was round behind; and there were armrests on either side by the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the armrests.
six steps to the throne. When people stood in the throne room, they had to look up to see Solomon.
Solomon has situated himself in the position of superiority. And put his people in the position of inferiority.
VERSE 20. Twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other on the six steps. Nothing like it was made in any kingdom.
VERSE 21. All king Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. None were of silver, because it was considered of little value in the days of Solomon.
VERSE 22. For the king had a fleet of ships of Tarshish at sea with Hiram’s fleet. Once every three years the fleet of Tarshish came bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
The LORD God forbade the kings from gathering great wealth. However, Solomon disobeyed God’s command.
Deuteronomy 17:17. He shall not multiply wives to himself, that his heart not turn away. He shall not greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
VERSE 24. All the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart.
VERSE 25. Year after year, every man brought his tribute, vessels of silver, vessels of gold, clothing, armor, spices, horses, and mules.
Solomon’s wealth continues to increase, as people bring him gold and other artifacts.
VERSE 26. Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen. He had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen. He kept them in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem.
chariots and horsemen. The chariot was the most effective and dreaded military machine of the day.
VERSE 27. The king made silver as common as stones in Jerusalem, and cedars as common as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland.
VERSE 28. The horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt. The king’s merchants received them in droves, each drove at a price.
VERSE 29. A chariot was imported from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred fifty shekels; and so they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Syria.
shekels. A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.35 ounces.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.