Queen of Sheba
1When the queen of Sheba heard reports about Solomon, due to the Lord’s name,#Heb uncertain she came to test him with riddles. 2Accompanying her to Jerusalem was a huge entourage with camels carrying spices, a large amount of gold, and precious stones. After she arrived, she told Solomon everything that was on her mind. 3Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too difficult for him to answer. 4When the queen of Sheba saw how wise Solomon was, the palace he had built, 5the food on his table, the servants’ quarters, the function and dress of his attendants, his cupbearers, and the entirely burned offerings that he offered at the Lord’s temple, it took her breath away.
6"The report I heard about your deeds and wisdom when I was still at home is true," she said to the king. 7"I didn’t believe it until I came and saw it with my own eyes. In fact, the half of it wasn’t even told to me! You have far more wisdom and wealth than I was told. 8Your people and these servants who continually serve you and get to listen to your wisdom are truly happy! 9Bless the Lord your God because he was pleased to place you on Israel’s throne. Because the Lord loved Israel with an eternal love, the Lord made you king to uphold justice and righteousness."
10The queen gave the king one hundred twenty kikkars of gold, a great quantity of spice, and precious stones. Never again has so much spice come to Israel as when the queen of Sheba gave this gift to King Solomon. 11Hiram’s fleet went to Ophir and brought back gold, much almug wood, and precious stones. 12The king used the almug wood to make parapets for the Lord’s temple and for the royal palace as well as lyres and harps for the musicians. To this day, that much almug wood hasn’t come into or been seen in Israel. 13King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she wanted and all that she had asked for, in addition to what he had already given her from his own personal funds. Then she and her servants returned to her homeland.
14Solomon received an annual income of six hundred sixty-six kikkars of gold, 15not including income from the traders, the merchants and their profits, all the Arabian kings, and the officials of the land. 16King Solomon made two hundred body-sized shields of hammered gold, using fifteen pounds#Or six hundred (shekels) of gold in each shield, 17and three hundred small shields of hammered gold, using sixty ounces#three manehs of gold in each shield. The king placed these in the Forest of Lebanon Palace.
18The king also made a large ivory throne and covered it with pure gold. 19Six steps led up to the throne, and the back of the throne was rounded at the top. Two lions stood beside the armrests on both sides of the throne. 20Another twelve lions stood on both sides of the six steps. No other kingdom had anything like this. 21All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were made of gold, and all the items in the Forest of Lebanon Palace were made of pure gold, not silver, since even silver wasn’t considered good enough in Solomon’s time! 22The royal fleet of Tarshish-style ships was at sea with Hiram’s fleet, returning once every three years with gold, silver, ivory, monkeys, and peacocks.#Heb uncertain
23King Solomon far exceeded all the earth’s kings in wealth and wisdom, 24and so the whole earth wanted an audience with Solomon in order to hear his God-given wisdom. 25Year after year they came with tribute: objects of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
26Solomon acquired more and more chariots and horses until he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses that he kept in chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 27In Jerusalem, the king made silver as common as stones and cedar as plentiful as sycamore trees that grow in the foothills. 28Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and Kue, purchased from Kue by the king’s agents at the going price. 29They would import a chariot from Egypt for six hundred pieces of silver and a horse for one hundred fifty, and then export them to all the Hittite and Aramean kings.