When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fabled wisdom, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. A very great retinue of aides and servants accompanied her, including camel loads of spices, gold, and jewels. And Solomon answered all her problems. Nothing was hidden from him; he could explain everything to her. When she discovered how wise he really was, and how breathtaking the beauty of his palace, and how wonderful the food at his tables, and how many servants and aides he had, and when she saw their spectacular uniforms and his stewards in full regalia, and saw the size of the men in his bodyguard, she could scarcely believe it!

Finally she exclaimed to the king, “Everything I heard about you in my own country is true! I didn’t believe it until I got here and saw it with my own eyes. Your wisdom is far greater than I could ever have imagined. What a privilege for these men of yours to stand here and listen to you talk! Blessed be the Lord your God! How he must love Israel to give them a just king like you! He wants them to be a great, strong nation forever.”

She gave the king a gift of over a million dollars in gold, and great quantities of spices of incomparable quality, and many, many jewels.

10 King Hiram’s and King Solomon’s crews brought gold from Ophir, also sandalwood and jewels. 11 The king used the sandalwood to make terraced steps for the Temple and the palace and to construct harps and lyres for the choir. Never before had there been such beautiful instruments in all the land of Judah.

12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba gifts of the same value as she had brought to him, plus everything else she asked for! Then she and her retinue returned to their own land.

13-14 Solomon received a quarter of a billion dollars worth of gold each year from the kings of Arabia and many other lands that paid annual tribute to him. In addition, there was a trade balance from the exports of his merchants. 15 He used some of the gold to make 200 large shields, each worth $100,000, 16 and 300 smaller shields, each worth $50,000. The king placed these in the Forest of Lebanon Room in his palace. 17 He also made a huge ivory throne overlaid with pure gold. 18 It had six gold steps and a footstool of gold; also gold armrests, each flanked by a gold lion. 19 Gold lions also stood at each side of each step. No other throne in all the world could be compared with it! 20 All of King Solomon’s cups were solid gold, as were all the furnishings in the Forest of Lebanon Room. Silver was too cheap to count for much in those days!

21 Every three years the king sent his ships to Tarshish, using sailors supplied by King Hiram, to bring back gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.

22 So King Solomon was richer and wiser than any other king in all the earth. 23 Kings from every nation came to visit him and to hear the wisdom God had put into his heart. 24 Each brought him annual tribute of silver and gold bowls, clothing, armor, spices, horses, and mules.

25 In addition, Solomon had 4,000 stalls of horses and chariots, and 12,000 cavalrymen stationed in the chariot cities as well as in Jerusalem to protect the king. 26 He ruled over all kings and kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines and as far away as the border of Egypt. 27 He made silver become as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones in the road! And cedar was used as though it were common sycamore. 28 Horses were brought to him from Egypt and other countries.

29 The rest of Solomon’s biography is written in the history of Nathan the prophet and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and also in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

30 So Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all of Israel for forty years. 31 Then he died and was buried in Jerusalem, and his son Rehoboam became the new king.

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon(A)

When the queen of Sheba(B) 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. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon,(C) as well as the palace he had built, the 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 at[a] the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.

She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe what they said until I came(D) 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. How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne(E) 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(F) over them, to maintain justice and righteousness.”

Then she gave the king 120 talents[b] of gold,(G) 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;(H) they also brought algumwood[c] and precious stones. 11 The 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.)

12 King 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.

Solomon’s Splendor(I)

13 The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents,[d] 14 not including the revenues brought in by merchants and traders. Also all the kings of Arabia(J) and the governors of the territories brought gold and silver to Solomon.

15 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekels[e] of hammered gold went into each shield. 16 He also made three hundred small shields(K) of hammered gold, with three hundred shekels[f] of gold in each shield. The king put them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.(L)

17 Then the king made a great throne covered with ivory(M) and overlaid with pure gold. 18 The 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. 19 Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom. 20 All 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. 21 The king had a fleet of trading ships[g] manned by Hiram’s[h] servants. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.

22 King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.(N) 23 All the kings(O) of the earth sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 24 Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift(P)—articles of silver and gold, and robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.

25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots,(Q) and twelve thousand horses,[i] which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. 26 He ruled(R) over all the kings from the Euphrates River(S) to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt.(T) 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. 28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from all other countries.

Solomon’s Death(U)

29 As for the other events of Solomon’s reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Nathan(V) the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah(W) the Shilonite and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam(X) son of Nebat? 30 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 31 Then he rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David(Y) his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 9:4 Or and the ascent by which he went up to
  2. 2 Chronicles 9:9 That is, about 4 1/2 tons or about 4 metric tons
  3. 2 Chronicles 9:10 Probably a variant of almugwood
  4. 2 Chronicles 9:13 That is, about 25 tons or about 23 metric tons
  5. 2 Chronicles 9:15 That is, about 15 pounds or about 6.9 kilograms
  6. 2 Chronicles 9:16 That is, about 7 1/2 pounds or about 3.5 kilograms
  7. 2 Chronicles 9:21 Hebrew of ships that could go to Tarshish
  8. 2 Chronicles 9:21 Hebrew Huram, a variant of Hiram
  9. 2 Chronicles 9:25 Or charioteers
New International Version (NIV)

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