1 Kings 10
The Queen of Sheba
1 The Queen of Sheba heard that Solomon was very famous. Also, she heard that he was a servant of the Lord. So she came to ask Solomon difficult questions. 2 She arrived at Jerusalem with many servants. She had animals called camels. They carried spices. They also carried a lot of gold and valuable stones. She came to Solomon. She talked to him about everything that was in her mind. 3 Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing that was too difficult for the king to explain to her. 4 The Queen of Sheba saw how wise Solomon was. She saw the palace that he had built. 5 She saw all the food that was on his table. She saw all the important men in his government when they met together. She saw all his servants in their beautiful clothes. She saw all the people that tasted wine at his table. She saw all the sacrifices that he burned at the temple of the Lord. And it surprised her very much. So she did not know what to say! 6 She said to the king, ‘I heard in my country about what you had done. Also, I heard about how wise you were. Everything that I heard was true! 7 But I did not believe those things until I came here. Then I saw with my own eyes that it was true! Really, they told me less than half of what was true! You are very much wiser and a lot richer than the report that I heard about you. 8 I think that your men should be very happy! The people in your government, who are always with you, should be very happy too. They are always hearing how wise you are. 9 So, we must praise the Lord your God! He is so happy with you and he has put you on the throne of Israel. He has made you king because he will always love Israel. You will always decide fairly and you will always obey God's laws.’ 10 And she gave to the king 120 talents of gold, a lot of spices and many valuable stones. Nobody ever brought so many spices to Jerusalem as the Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
10:1Sheba may be in Africa. Bible students are not sure where it was.
10:2Camels were animals that carried people and luggage.
10:4A wise man knows a lot. He uses what he knows well.
11 Hiram's ships brought gold from Ophir. They also brought from there large amounts of a special kind of wood called almug wood and valuable stones. 12 The king used the almug wood to make things for the temple of the Lord and for the king's palace. He also used it to make harps and lyres for people to make music on. There was more almug wood than anyone has brought here since that time. Nobody has even seen so much of it since that time.
10:11Bible students think that almug wood was a very hard wood.
10:12People liked to make music with harps and lyres in Bible times.
13 So King Solomon gave to the Queen of Sheba everything that she wanted. He gave her everything that she asked for. He also gave her valuable gifts. Then she left Solomon and she returned to her own country with her servants.
The valuable things that belonged to Solomon
14 The weight of gold that Solomon received each year was 666 talents.
15 This did not include money from these people:
people who bought and sold things to get money
all the kings of Arabia
the government in Solomon's own country.
16 King Solomon made 200 large shields. They made the gold for the shields flat with hammers. They used 600 shekels (about 7 kilos) of gold in each shield. 17 Solomon also made 300 small shields. They also made the gold for these shields flat with hammers. They used 3 minas (about 1.5 kilos) of gold in each small shield. Solomon put these shields in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 18 Then the king made a large throne. He used ivory to make the inside of the throne and he covered it with gold. 19 There were 6 steps up to the throne. The back of the throne was round at the top. There were places to put his arms on both sides of the seat. There was a lion on each side of the throne. 20 There were 12 more lions on the 6 steps. There was one at each end of each step. No other country had made anything like it. 21 They made all King Solomon's wine cups with gold. They made everything in the House of the Forest of Lebanon with gold. They had not mixed the gold with any other metal. They did not make anything with silver. They did not think that silver was valuable in Solomon's time. 22 The king had a number of ships that could sail as far as Tarshish. They sailed with Hiram's ships. Every 3 years they returned to Solomon. They carried gold, silver and ivory. They also brought apes and baboons (which were animals like large monkeys).
10:171 Kings 7:2-5 tells us about the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
10:19The lion was not really an animal. Perhaps it was a lion that they made from wood or stone.
10:22Tarshish was hundreds of miles away from Jerusalem. There was no sea at Jerusalem, so Solomon kept his ships with Hiram. Hiram lived in Tyre, by the Mediterranean Sea.
23 King Solomon was richer than all the other kings in the world. Also, he had more wisdom than the other kings. 24 All the people in the whole world wanted to talk to Solomon. They wanted to hear the wisdom that God had put into Solomon's mind. 25 Every year, everyone who came to Solomon brought him a gift. They brought silver and gold things, beautiful clothes, weapons, spices, horses and mules.
10:24Perhaps ‘all the people in the whole world’ means ‘all the world's leaders’.
26 Solomon brought together many chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He kept some of them in special cities for chariots. And he kept some of them with him in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones were common! There were as many cedar trees as there were fig trees in the hills round Jerusalem. 28 Solomon's horses came from Egypt and from Kue. He sent people to Kue to buy the horses for him. 29 They brought a chariot from Egypt for 600 shekels of silver. A horse cost 150 shekels. Also, they sold chariots and horses to all the kings of the people called Hittites and Arameans.
10:28Some Bible students think that Kue was in the mountains east of Jerusalem.
10:29One hundred shekels weighed about 1.1 kilos.