2 Chronicles 9

The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon

1 People told the Queen of Sheba about Solomon and about everything that he had done. So she came to Jerusalem to ask him many difficult things. She arrived with many people and animals. Her camels carried things to make food good when people tasted it. They also brought a lot of gold and many valuable stones. She came to Solomon. And she talked with him about everything that she was thinking about. 2 Solomon answered all her questions. Nothing was too difficult for Solomon to explain to her. 3 The Queen of Sheba saw that Solomon knew many things. And she saw the house that he had built. 4 She saw all the food on his table. And she saw how his officers sat. And she saw how his servants stood. And she saw the clothes that they wore. She also saw the men who gave him wine. And she saw their clothes. She saw the sacrifices by fire that he gave in the Lord's house. Then she felt very weak. It was too much for her.

9:1Sheba was a country near Israel. It was on both sides of the Red Sea where it joins the Gulf of Arabia. It was in the countries that today are called Yemen, Djibouti and east Ethiopia.

What the Queen of Sheba said to Solomon

5 Then she said to the king, ‘People told me about you in my country. And they told me about your wisdom. Everything that they told me was true. 6 But I did not believe it. Now I believe it because I have come here. And I have seen all those things. But people had told me only half of the things that they might have told me. You are much wiser than they said. Everything about you is better than people said. 7 Your men are very happy. And your servants who always stand in front of you are very happy. They can always hear your wise words. 8 I praise the Lord your God. You have given a lot of pleasure to him and so he has put you on his throne. So you are king on behalf of the Lord your God. He loves Israel and he wants to make them strong for all time. That is why he has caused you to be their king. He wants you to rule over them in a fair way. And he wants you to cause them to do right things.’

9 Then she gave to the king 4,000 kilos (9,000 pounds) of gold, a lot of spices and many valuable stones. There had never been spices in Israel like those that the Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

10 Huram's servants and Solomon's servants brought gold from Ophir. They also brought algum trees and valuable stones. 11 The king used this algum wood to make steps for the Lord's house and for the king's house. And with it he made lyres and harps for the people who made music. Nobody had ever seen things like those in Judah.

12 King Solomon gave to the Queen of Sheba everything that she wanted. And he gave to her everything that she asked for. He gave more things to her than she had brought to him. Then she left with all her servants and she returned to her own country.

Solomon's gold and how he used it

13 Every year 23,000 kilos (50,000 pounds weight) of gold came to Solomon. 14 Men who were buyers and sellers brought more things. And the rulers of the country and all the kings of Arabia brought gold and silver to Solomon.

15 King Solomon's men made 200 large shields out of gold that they hit flat with hammers. They used about 3.5 kilos of gold (7.5 pounds) to make each shield. 16 Then they made 300 small shields, each with about 1.7 kilos of gold (3.5 pounds). And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.

17 Then the king made a large king's seat out of ivory and he covered it with pure gold. 18 This seat had 6 steps and on top of them the throne had a gold box for the king's feet. On each side of the throne were places for his arms to rest. Also two models of lions were standing next to his hands. 19 Two lions stood on each step. There was one lion at each side of every step. No other kingdom had anything like it. 20 All King Solomon's cups were gold. Everything that anyone used in the house of the forest of Lebanon was the best gold. People did not think that silver had any value in Solomon's time. 21 The king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram. And ships from Tarshish came every three years with gold, silver, ivory, monkeys and beautiful birds called peacocks.

Solomon's valuable things

22 King Solomon was more wise and he had more valuable things than any other king on the earth. 23 All the kings on the earth wanted to meet Solomon. They wanted to hear the wisdom that God had put into his mind. 24 Each king brought a gift to him. They brought things of silver, things of gold, clothes and weapons to fight with. They also brought spices, horses and mules. And they brought the same amount every year.

25 Solomon had 4,000 places for horses and chariots and 12,000 men to ride the horses. And he kept them in the special chariot cities or with him in Jerusalem. 26 He ruled over all the kings from the River Euphrates, past the Philistines' country to the border of Egypt. 27 The king made Jerusalem rich. Silver was like common stones, and cedar wood was like common trees from the low hills in the west. That was because there were so many things like that. 28 And people brought to Solomon horses from Egypt and from all the other countries.

Solomon dies

29 Nathan the prophet wrote about everything else that Solomon did. He wrote all those things from the beginning to the end. Ahijah from Shiloh wrote everything down. And they wrote what Iddo saw in his visions about Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 30 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem for 40 years over all Israel. 31 Then Solomon died and the people buried him in his father David's city. And Rehoboam his son ruled instead.