The Bible applies this term:
(1) To the wife of a king ("queen consort") (malkah). In the Book of Esther it is the title given to Vashti (1:9) and Esther (2:22); compare Song of Solomon 6:8 f. Another Hebrew word for queen consort is gebhirah, literally "mistress" (compare 1 Kings 11:19, the wife of Pharaoh; 2 Kings 10:13, "the children of the king and the children of the queen"). In Nehemiah 2:6 and Psalms 45:9 we find the expression sheghal, which some trace back to shaghal, "to ravish," a rather doubtful derivation. Still another term is sarah, literally, "princess" (Isaiah 49:23). The Septuagint sometimes uses the word basilissa; compare Psalms 45:9.
(2) To a female ruler or sovereign ("queen regnant"). The only instances are those of the queen (malkah) of Sheba (1 Kings 10:1-13; compare 2 Chronicles 9:1-12) and of Candace, the queen (basilissa) of the Ethiopians (Acts 8:27). In Matthew 12:42 (compare Luke 11:31) Christ refers to the queen of the south (basilissa notou), meaning, of course, the queen of Sheba.
See QUEEN OF HEAVEN.
(4) Metaphorically, to the city of Babylon (Rome) (Revelation 18:7):
an expression denoting sovereign contempt and imaginary dignity and power.
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