1 Kings 10)
1 And when the queen of Sheba (cp. 2 Chron. 9:1. Sheba = seven, or an oath. A grandson of Cush, settled in Ethiopia [Gen. 10:70]: i.e. Nubia and North Abyssinia, where female sovereigns were not unusual. Cp. Acts 8:27) kept hearing of the report of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord (by the commercial intercourse of 9:26-28. Cp. 2 Chron. 8:17; 9:1. Note her 7 steps [#7 = spiritual perfection, completeness]: heard [here in v.1]; came [v.2]; communed [v.2]; saw [v.4]; said [v.6]; gave [v.10]; returned [v.13]), she came to prove him with abstruse (or difficult) questions.
2 And she came to Jerusalem (note the use of this made by the Lord Jesus in Matt. 12:42. Luke 11:31) with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to king Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart (better translated "mind").
3 And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not [any] thing hid from the king, which he told her not. 4 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built,
5 And the meat of his table, and the seated assembly of his servants, and the standing of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cup-bearers, and his ascent (the covered stairway connecting Mount Zion [Jebus] with Mount Moriah. Cp. 2 Kings 16:18. Ascent is the word for burnt or "ascending offering", by the merits of which we ascend now) by which he went up to the house of the Lord (i.e. the Temple); there was no more spirit in her.
6 And she said to the king, “It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom.
7 However I believed not the words, until I came, and my eyes had seen [it]: and, behold, the half was not told me: your wisdom and prosperity exceeds the fame which I heard.
8 Happy [are] your men, happy [are] these your servants, which stand continually before you, [and] that hear your wisdom.
9 Blessed be the Lord your God, Which delights in you (see Num. 14:8. 2 Sam. 15:26), to set you on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made He you king, to do judgment and righteousness.”
10 And she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold (approx. 24,000 lbs), and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.
11 And the navy also of Hiram (joined with Solomon [v.22;9:27,28), that brought gold from Ophir (see 2 Chron. 8:18), brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees (not sandalwood, because found, too, in Lebanon [2 Chron. 2:8]. Cuneiform, giz-ku = precious wood; and Accadian, giz-dan = strong wood), and precious stones.
12 And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the Lord, and for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen to this day.
13 And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside [that] which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty (Heb. according to the hand of king Solomon). So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.
G² m p 14. Gold. Material. q 15. Means. Merchandise. n r 16-21. Manufactures. Armour, &c. s 22. Means. Navy. o 23,24. Pre-eminence. n s 25. Means. Presents. r 26. Manufactures. Chariots, &c. m p 27,28-. Silver, cedars, &c. q -28,29. Mean. Merchandise.
14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon (probably in tariffs) in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold (= 666. Symbolical of the height or essence of man's desire, but all vanity. Cp. Ecc. 2:8,11. 1 Tim. 6:10. *Approx. 133,200 lbs. By today's standards approx. 40 million dollars(in 2000)),
15 Beside [that he had] of the merchantmen, and of the traffic of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country.
16 And king Solomon made two hundred targets [of] beaten gold: six hundred [shekels] of gold (120,000 lbs) went to one target.
17 And [he made] three hundred shields [of] beaten gold (taken by Shishak in the reign of Rehoboam [14:26]); three pound of gold (= 300 shekels = *600 lbs) went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.
19 The throne had six steps, and the canopy of the throne [was] round behind: and [there were] stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the supports (lit. hands).
20 And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom.
21 And 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: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.
22 For the king had at sea Tharshish ships with the navy of Hiram (a name for large ocean-going ships [like English "East-Indian-men"]. When mentioned as a place it is identified by Oppert with Tartessis = the Andalusia of today, noted for silver [not gold], iron, tin, and lead [Jer. 10:9. Ezek. 27:12]. They sailed from Tyre to the West Mediterranean, and from Ezion-geber to Ophir [Arabia, India, and East Africa], 9:26-28 and 10:11): once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory (= elephant's tusks), and apes, and peacocks (the Hebrew for these are Indian words [Tamil]).
23 So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.
24 And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his mind.
25 And they kept bringing every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armor, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
26 And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem.
27 And the king made silver [to be] in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he [to be] as the sycamore trees that [are] in the vale (not English, but Eastern; a kind of fig, or mulberry), for abundance.
28 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt (cp. Isa. 31:1; 36:9. Also Ezek. 17:15.), and linen yarn (probably = by strings, or droves [i.e. the horses]): the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price.
29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred [shekels] of silver (#600 = warfare. *Approx. 300 0z.), and an horse for a hundred and fifty (*75 oz.): and so for all the kings of the Hittites (cp. 1 Sam. 26:6. Kings 7:6. These passages alleged to be unhistorical! but they are confirmed by the discoveries made in 1874 throughout Asia Minor and North Syria, which identify them with the "sons of Heth" [Gen.23:3,57; 25:10; 27:46; 49:32], the Khatta of the Accadian and the Kheta of the Egyptian records. They contended on equal terms with Assyria and Egypt. Crushed by Sargon II, 717 B.C. Chief centers, Carchemish on the Euphrates and Kadesh on the Upper Orontes), and for the kings of Syria, did they bring [them] out by their means (Heb. by their hand. Hand put by Fig., for what is done by it: - by means of Solomon's merchants).