The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon. Solomon’s forbidden wealth. Solomon dies.
VERSE 1. When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to test Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great caravan, including camels that bore spices, gold in abundance, and precious stones. When she had come to Solomon, she talked with him about all that was in her heart.
the queen of Sheba. Virtually all scholars agree that Sheba was the South Arabian kingdom of Saba, centered around the oasis of Marib, in present-day Yemen.
The present-day Republic of Yemen is an Arab country in Southwest Asia, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula.
The journey of the Queen of Sheba to visit Solomon was more than 1,200 miles.
she came to test Solomon with hard questions. People have always been fascinated with the Queen of Sheba and with her epic journey to meet King Solomon.
Artists all over the world have depicted her and her visit.
VERSE 2. Solomon answered all her questions. There wasn’t anything hidden from Solomon which he didn’t tell her.
VERSE 3. When the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built,
VERSE 4. the food of his table, the seating of his servants, the attendance of his ministers, their clothing, his cup bearers and their clothing, and his ascent by which he went up to the LORD’s house, there was no more spirit in her.
there was no more spirit in her. Or “she was breathless.”
VERSE 5. She said to the king, “It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts and of your wisdom.
a true report that I heard in my own land. The queen of Sheba had heard claims about Solomon. That perked her curiosity. She wanted to find out the truth of the matter. So she traveled to visit Solomon in person.
In our day, people hear claims about Jesus Christ. That perks their curiosity. They want to find out the truth. So they might come to YOU to find out the truth of the matter. Are you ready?
VERSE 6. However I didn’t believe their words until I came, and my eyes had seen it; and behold half of the greatness of your wisdom wasn’t told me. You exceed the fame that I heard!
VERSE 7. Happy are your men, and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom.
VERSE 8. Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you and set you on his throne to be king for the LORD your God, because your God loved Israel, to establish them forever. Therefore he made you king over them, to do justice and righteousness.”
to do justice and righteousness. Why are people given power? For the Queen of Sheba, the answer is clear. It is to do justice and righteousness.
However, in our day, the vision for leadership is quite different. Our leaders pervert justice. And we do nothing about it.
Are they righteous? No. Many of our leaders are corrupt. Even brazenly corrupt. And we do nothing about it.
VERSE 9. She gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, spices in great abundance, and precious stones. There was never before such spice as the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.
one hundred and twenty talents. A talent is about 30 kilograms or 66 pounds or 965 Troy ounces, so 120 talents is about 3.6 metric tons.
VERSE 10. The servants of Huram and the servants of Solomon, who brought gold from Ophir, also brought algum trees and precious stones.
algum trees. This is possibly Indian sandalwood, which has nice grain and a pleasant scent and is good for woodworking.
VERSE 11. The king used algum tree wood to make terraces for the LORD’s house and for the king’s house, and harps and stringed instruments for the singers. There were none like these seen before in the land of Judah.
VERSE 12. King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, more than that which she had brought to the king. So she turned and went to her own land, she and her servants.
VERSE 13. 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 30 kilograms or 66 pounds or 965 Troy ounces, so 666 talents is about 20 metric tons.
How many talents of gold? Notice the number. It is “666.”
In the Old Testament, “666” is used in reference to money. And in the Book of Revelation, “666” is the number of the beast:
1 Kings 10:14. Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred sixty-six talents of gold,
2 Chronicles 9:13. Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred sixty-six talents of gold,
Revelation 13:18. Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six.
VERSE 14. in addition to that which the traders and merchants brought. All the kings of Arabia and the governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon.
VERSE 15. King Solomon made two hundred large shields of beaten gold. Six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one large shield.
Six hundred shekels. A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.32 Troy ounces, so 600 shekels was about 6 kilograms or about 192 Troy ounces.
VERSE 16. He made three hundred shields of beaten gold. Three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield. The king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
Three hundred shekels. A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.32 Troy ounces, so 300 shekels was about 3 kilograms or about 96 Troy ounces.
In this verse and the verses that follow, the biblical author goes into depth describing Solomon’s ostentatious throne. And the ostentatious accouterments of his palace.
VERSE 18. There were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and armrests on either side by the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the armrests.
VERSE 19. Twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other on the six steps. There was nothing like it made in any other kingdom.
VERSE 20. 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. Silver was not considered valuable in the days of Solomon.
VERSE 21. For the king had ships that went to Tarshish with Huram’s servants. Once every three years, the ships of Tarshish came bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches. The LORD God FORBADE the kings from gathering great wealth:
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.
However, Solomon disobeyed this explicit command of the LORD God.
VERSE 23. All the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.
VERSE 24. They each brought tribute: vessels of silver, vessels of gold, clothing, armor, spices, horses, and mules every year.
They each brought tribute. That means David required them to pay him money so he won’t wage war against them.
It is like when the Mafia requires store owners to pay them money for “protection.”
VERSE 25. Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen that he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem.
VERSE 26. He ruled over all the kings from the River even to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt.
VERSE 27. The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars to be as abundant as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland.
VERSE 28. They brought horses for Solomon out of Egypt and out of all lands.
VERSE 29. Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, aren’t they written in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat?
VERSE 30. Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years.
VERSE 31. Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in his father David’s city; and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.
Solomon slept with his fathers. This means “Solomon died.”
Rehoboam his son reigned. Rehoboam was a terrible person. And a terrible king.
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.