The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
1When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Arriving with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind. 2Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. 3When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built, 4the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, the cupbearers in their robes and the burnt offerings he made at9:4 Or and the ascent by which he went up to the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.
5She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 6But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard. 7How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 8Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the Lord your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness.”
9Then she gave the king 120 talents9:9 That is, about 4 1/2 tons or about 4 metric tons of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. There had never been such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
10(The servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon brought gold from Ophir; they also brought algumwood9:10 Probably a variant of almugwood and precious stones. 11The king used the algumwood to make steps for the temple of the Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nothing like them had ever been seen in Judah.)
12King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for; he gave her more than she had brought to him. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.
13The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents,9:13 That is, about 25 tons or about 23 metric tons 14not including the revenues brought in by merchants and traders. Also all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the territories brought gold and silver to Solomon.
15King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekels9:15 That is, about 15 pounds or about 6.9 kilograms of hammered gold went into each shield. 16He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold, with three hundred shekels9:16 That is, about 7 1/2 pounds or about 3.5 kilograms of gold in each shield. The king put them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
17Then the king made a great throne covered with ivory and overlaid with pure gold. 18The throne had six steps, and a footstool of gold was attached to it. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. 19Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom. 20All King Solomon’s goblets were gold, and all the household articles in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Nothing was made of silver, because silver was considered of little value in Solomon’s day. 21The king had a fleet of trading ships9:21 Hebrew of ships that could go to Tarshish manned by Hiram’s9:21 Hebrew Huram, a variant of Hiram servants. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.
22King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. 23All the kings of the earth sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 24Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, and robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.
25Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horses,9:25 Or charioteers which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. 26He ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. 27The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. 28Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from all other countries.
29As for the other events of Solomon’s reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Nathan the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat? 30Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 31Then he rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.