The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame, a and she traveled to Jerusalem to test him with difficult questions. 12
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.
He answered them all; there was nothing too difficult for him to explain.
The queen of Sheba heard Solomon's wisdom and saw the palace he had built.
She 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 servants who waited on him at feasts, and the sacrifices he offered in the Temple. It left her breathless and amazed.
She said to King Solomon, "What I heard in my own country about you b and your wisdom is true!
But I couldn't believe it until I had come and seen it all for myself. But I didn't hear even half of it; your wisdom and wealth are much greater than what I was told.
How fortunate are your wives! c And how fortunate your servants, who are always in your presence and are privileged to hear your wise sayings!
Praise the Lord your God! He has shown how pleased he is with you by making you king of Israel. Because his love for Israel is eternal, he has made you their king so that you can maintain law and justice."
She presented to King Solomon the gifts she had brought: almost five tons of gold and a very large amount of spices and jewels. The amount of spices she gave him was by far the greatest that he ever received at any time.
(Hiram's fleet, which had brought gold from Ophir, also brought from there a large amount of juniper wood and jewels.
Solomon used the wood to build railings in the Temple and the palace, and also to make harps and lyres for the musicians. It was the finest juniper wood ever imported into Israel; none like it has ever been seen again.)
King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she asked for, besides all the other customary gifts that he had generously given her. Then she and her attendants returned to the land of Sheba.
Every year King Solomon received over twenty-five tons of gold,
in addition to the taxes d paid by merchants, the profits from trade, and tribute paid by the Arabian kings and the governors of the Israelite districts.
Solomon made two hundred large shields and had each one overlaid with almost fifteen pounds of gold.
He also made three hundred smaller shields, overlaying each one of them with nearly four pounds of gold. He had all these shields placed in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon. e