The queen of Sheba heard of King Solomon's fame, and she travelled to Jerusalem to test him with difficult questions. She brought with her a large group of attendants, as well as camels loaded with spices, jewels, and a large amount of gold. When she and Solomon met, she asked him all the questions that she could think of. 2He answered them all; there was nothing too difficult for him to explain. 3The queen of Sheba heard Solomon's wisdom and saw the palace he had built. 4She saw the food that was served at his table, the living quarters for his officials, the organization of his palace staff and the uniforms they wore, the clothing of the servants who waited on him at feasts, and the sacrifices he offered9.4 Probable text (see 1 Kgs 10.5) sacrifices he offered; Hebrew his upper rooms. in the Temple. It left her breathless and amazed.
5She said to the king, “What I heard in my own country about you9.5 you; or your deeds. and your wisdom is true! 6I did not believe what they told me until I came and saw for myself. I had not heard of even half your wisdom. You are even wiser than people say. 7How fortunate are those who serve you, who are always in your presence and are privileged to hear your wise sayings! 8Praise the LORD your God! He has shown how pleased he is with you by making you king, to rule in his name. Because he loves his people Israel and wants to preserve them for ever, he has made you their king so that you can maintain law and justice.”
9She presented to King Solomon the gifts she had brought: more than four tonnes of gold and a very large amount of spices and jewels. There have never been any other spices as fine as those that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
10(The men of King Hiram and of King Solomon who brought gold from Ophir also brought juniper wood and jewels. 11Solomon used the wood to make stairs for the Temple and for his palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nothing like that had ever been seen before in the land of Judah.)
12King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she asked for. This was in addition to what he gave her in exchange for the gifts9.12 Probable text he gave her in exchange for the gifts; Hebrew unclear. she brought to him. Then she and her attendants returned to the land of Sheba.
13Every year King Solomon received almost 23 tonnes of gold, 14in addition to the taxes paid by the traders and merchants. The kings of Arabia and the governors of the Israelite districts also brought him silver and gold. 15Solomon made 200 large shields, each of which was covered with about seven kilogrammes of beaten gold, 16and 300 smaller shields, each covered with about three kilogrammes of beaten gold. He had them all placed in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon.9.16 Hall of the Forest of Lebanon: A large ceremonial hall in the palace, probably so called because it was panelled in cedar.
17The king also had a large throne made. Part of it was covered with ivory and the rest of it was covered with pure gold. 18Six steps led up to the throne, and there was a footstool attached to it, covered with gold. There were arms on each side of the throne, and the figure of a lion stood at each side. 19Twelve figures of lions were on the steps, one at either end of each step. No throne like this had ever existed in any other kingdom.
20All King Solomon's cups were made of gold, and all the utensils in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. Silver was not considered valuable in Solomon's day. 21He had a fleet of ocean-going ships sailing with King Hiram's fleet. Every three years his fleet would return, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.
22King Solomon was richer and wiser than any other king in the world. 23They all consulted him, to hear the wisdom that God had given him. 24Each of them brought Solomon gifts — articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons, spices, horses, and mules. This continued year after year.
King Solomon also had 4,000 stalls for his chariots and horses, and had 12,000 cavalry horses. Some of them he kept in Jerusalem and the rest he stationed in various other cities. 26
He was supreme ruler of all the kings in the territory from the River Euphrates to Philistia and the Egyptian border. 27During his reign silver was as common in Jerusalem as stone, and cedar was as plentiful as ordinary sycomore in the foothills of Judah. 28
Solomon imported horses from Musri9.28 Probable text (see 1.16) Musri; Hebrew Egypt. and from every other country.
29The rest of the history of Solomon from beginning to end is recorded in The History of Nathan the Prophet, in The Prophecy of Ahijah of Shiloh, and in The Visions of Iddo the Prophet, which also deal with the reign of King Jeroboam of Israel. 30Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 31He died and was buried in David's City, and his son Rehoboam succeeded him as king.