The Queen of Sheba Visits
1When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. She had a large group of servants with her and camels carrying spices, jewels, and much gold. When she came to Solomon, she talked with him about all she had in mind, 2and Solomon answered all her questions. Nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. 3The queen of Sheba saw that Solomon was very wise. She saw the palace he had built, 4the food on his table, his many officers, the palace servants and their good clothes, the servants who served Solomon his wine and their good clothes. She saw the whole burnt offerings he made in the Temple of the Lord. All these things amazed her.
5So she said to King Solomon, “What I heard in my own country about your achievements and wisdom is true. 6I did not believe it then, but now I have come and seen it with my own eyes. I was not told even half of your great wisdom! You are much greater than I had heard. 7Your people and officials are very lucky, because in always serving you, they are able to hear your wisdom. 8Praise the Lord your God who was pleased to make you king. He has put you on his throne to rule for the Lord your God, because your God loves the people of Israel and supports them forever. He has made you king over them to keep justice and to rule fairly.”
9Then she gave the king about nine thousand pounds of gold and many spices and jewels. No one had ever given such spices as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
10Hiram’s men and Solomon’s men brought gold from Ophir, juniper wood, and jewels. 11King Solomon used the juniper wood to build steps for the Temple of the Lord and the palace and to make lyres and harps for the musicians. No one in Judah had ever seen such beautiful things as these.
12King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she wanted and asked for, even more than she had brought to him. Then she and her servants returned to her own country.
13Every year King Solomon received about fifty thousand pounds of gold. 14Besides that, he also received gold from traders and merchants. All the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land also brought gold and silver.
15King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold, each of which contained about seven and one-half pounds of hammered gold. 16He also made three hundred smaller shields of hammered gold, each of which contained about four pounds of gold. The king put them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
17The king built a large throne of ivory and covered it with pure gold. 18The throne had six steps on it and a gold footstool. There were armrests on both sides of the chair, and each armrest had a lion beside it. 19Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one lion at each end of each step. Nothing like this had ever been made for any other kingdom. 20All of Solomon’s drinking cups, as well as the dishes in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon, were made of pure gold. In Solomon’s time people did not think silver was valuable.
21King Solomon had many ships that he sent out to trade, with Hiram’s men as the crews. Every three years the ships returned, bringing back gold, silver, ivory, apes, and baboons.
22King Solomon had more riches and wisdom than all the other kings on earth. 23All the kings of the earth wanted to see Solomon and listen to the wisdom God had given him. 24Year after year everyone who came brought gifts of silver and gold, clothes, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
25Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and he had twelve thousand horses. He kept some in special cities for the chariots, and others he kept with him in Jerusalem. 26Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. 27In Jerusalem the king made silver as common as stones and cedar trees as plentiful as the fig trees on the western hills. 28Solomon imported horses from Egypt and all other countries.
29Everything else Solomon did, from the beginning to the end, is written in the records of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer, who wrote about Jeroboam, Nebat’s son. 30Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 31Then Solomon died and was buried in Jerusalem, the city of David, his father. And Solomon’s son Rehoboam became king in his place.