When the queen of Sheba experienced for herself Solomon's wisdom and saw with her own eyes the palace he had built,
the meals that were served, the impressive array of court officials, the sharply dressed waiters, the cupbearers, and then the elaborate worship extravagant with Whole-Burnt-Offerings at The Temple of God, it all took her breath away.
She said to the king, "It's all true! Your reputation for accomplishment and wisdom that reached all the way to my country is confirmed.
I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself; they didn't exaggerate! Such wisdom and elegance - far more than I could ever have imagined.
Lucky the men and women who work for you, getting to be around you every day and hear your wise words firsthand!
And blessed be your God who has taken such a liking to you, making you king. Clearly, God's love for Israel is behind this, making you king to keep a just order and nurture a God-pleasing people."
She then gave the king four and a half tons of gold and sack after sack of spices and precious stones. There hasn't been a cargo of spices like the shipload the queen of Sheba brought to King Solomon.
The ships of Hiram also imported gold from Ophir along with fragrant sandalwood and expensive gems.
The king used the sandalwood for fine cabinetry in The Temple of God and the royal palace, and for making harps and dulcimers for the musicians. Nothing like that shipment of sandalwood has been seen since.
King Solomon, for his part, gave the queen of Sheba all her heart's desire - everything she asked for. She took away more than she brought. Satisfied, she returned home with her train of servants.
Solomon received twenty-five tons of gold annually.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)