1 Kings 10:1

1 Kings 10:1

And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon,
&c.] Josephus F21 calls her a queen of Egypt and Ethiopia; but Sheba was in the southern part of Arabia Felix; her name with the Ethiopians is Maqueda F23, and with the Arabic geographer F24 Belequis. Some F25 think that Sheba, or Saba, is not the name of a country, but of the queen herself; and that she is the same with Sabbe the sibyl mentioned by Pausanias F26; but no doubt Sheba or Saba, the metropolis of Arabia Felix, as Philostorgius F1 calls it, is here meant; which Benjamin of Tudela says F2 is called the country of Al Yeman, or the south; and the name of Queen Teiman, given to this queen by an Arabic writer F3, seems to be the same as the queen of the south, (See Gill on Matthew 12:42). The fame of Solomon's greatness and goodness, of his wealth and riches, and especially of his wisdom, had reached her ears; perhaps by means of the ambassadors of princes that had been at Solomon's court, and attended her's. According to an Ethiopic writer F4 it was by Tamerinus, a merchant of her's, she came to hear of him: particularly she heard of his fame

concerning the name of the Lord;
his knowledge of the true God, the favour he was in with him, the excellent wisdom he had received from him, and what he had done for his honour and glory:

she came to prove him with hard questions;
in things natural, civil, and divine; to try whether he had such a share of knowledge and wisdom it was said he had, she posed him with enigmas, riddles, dark and intricate sayings, to unravel and tell the meaning of. She might be an emblem of the Gentiles, seeking unto Christ, having heard of him, ( Isaiah 11:10 ) ( John 12:20 John 12:21 ) . In ( Matthew 12:42 ) she is said to come from the "uttermost parts of the earth"; wherefore some fetch her from Sumatra in the East Indies, where in an old map no other name is put but Sheba {e}.


F21 Antiqu. l. 8. c. 6. sect. 2, 5.
F23 Ludolf. Ethiop. Hist. l. 2. c. 3.
F24 Clim 1. par. 6.
F25 Vid. Coryli Disser. de Reg. Austral. c. l. sect. 1, 2.
F26 Phocica, sive, l. 10. p. 631.
F1 Hist. Eccl. l. 3. c. 4.
F2 Itinerar. p. 82.
F3 Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. Dyn. 3. p. 54.
F4 Tellezius apud Ludolf. Ethiop. Hist. l. 2. c. 3.
F5 Dampier's Voyages, vol. 2. p. 139.