1 Kings 10

The Queen of Sheba

1 1Now when the 2queen of 3Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came 4to test him with difficult questions.
2 So she came to Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels 5carrying spices and very much gold and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart.
3 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing * was hidden from the king which he did not explain to her.
4 When the queen of Sheba perceived all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built,
5 the food of his table, the seating of his servants, the attendance of his waiters and their attire, his cupbearers, and his stairway by which he went up to the house of the LORD, there was no more spirit in her.
6 Then she said to the king, "It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom.
7 "Nevertheless I did not believe the reports, until * I came and my eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the report which I heard.
8 "How 6blessed are your men, how blessed are these your servants who stand before you continually and hear your wisdom.
9 "7Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; 8because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, 9to do justice and righteousness."
10 10She gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and a very great amount of spices and precious stones. Never again did such abundance of spices come in as that which the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon.
11 11Also the ships of Hiram, which brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir a very great number of almug trees and precious stones.
12 12The king made of the almug trees supports for the house of the LORD and for the king's house, also lyres and harps for the singers; such almug trees have not come in again nor have they been seen to this day.
13 King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire which she requested, besides * what he gave her according to his royal bounty. Then she turned and went to her own land together with her servants.

Wealth, Splendor and Wisdom

14 13Now the weight of gold which came in to Solomon in one year was 666 * * talents of gold,
15 besides * that from the traders * and the wares of the merchants and all the kings of the 14Arabs and the governors of the country.
16 15King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold, using 600 * shekels of gold on each large shield.
17 He made 16 300 * shields of beaten gold, using three minas of gold on each shield, and 17 the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
18 Moreover, the king made a great throne of 18ivory and overlaid it with refined gold.
19 There were six steps to the throne and a round top to the throne at its rear, and arms on each side of the seat *, and two lions standing beside the arms.
20 Twelve * lions were standing there on the six steps on the one side and on the other; nothing like it was made for any other kingdom.
21 All King Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. None was of silver; it was not considered valuable in the days of Solomon.
22 For 19the king had at sea the ships of Tarshish with the ships of Hiram; once every three years the ships of Tarshish came bringing gold and silver, ivory and apes and peacocks.
23 20So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom.
24 All the earth was seeking the presence of Solomon, 21to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart.
25 22They brought every man his gift, articles of silver and gold, garments, weapons, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year.
26 23Now Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; and he had 1,400 * * chariots and 12,000 * * horsemen, and he stationed them in the 24chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.
27 25The king made silver as common as stones in Jerusalem, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamore trees that are in the lowland.
28 26Also Solomon's import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king's merchants procured them from Kue for a price.
29 A chariot was imported * from Egypt for 600 * shekels of silver, and a horse for 150 *; and by the same means * they exported them 27to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of the Arameans.

1 Kings 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

The queen of Sheba's visit to Solomon. (1-13) Solomon's wealth. (14-29)

Verses 1-13 The queen of Sheba came to Solomon to hear his wisdom, thereby to improve her own. Our Saviour mentions her inquiries after God, by Solomon, as showing the stupidity of those who inquire not after God, by our Lord Jesus Christ. By waiting and prayer, by diligently searching the Scriptures, by consulting wise and experienced Christians, and by practising what we have learned, we shall be delivered from difficulties. Solomon's wisdom made more impression upon the queen of Sheba than all his prosperity and grandeur. There is a spiritual excellence in heavenly things, and in consistent Christians, to which no reports can do justice. Here the truth exceeded; and all who, through grace, are brought to commune with God, will say the one half was not told them of the pleasures and the advantages of wisdom's ways. Glorified saints, much more, will say of heaven, ( 1 Corinthians. 2:9 ) pronounced them happy that constantly attended Solomon. With much more reason may we say of Christ's servants, Blessed are they that dwell in his house; they will be still praising him. She made a noble present to Solomon. What we present to Christ, he needs not, but will have us do so to express our gratitude. The believer who has been with Jesus, will return to his station, discharge his duties with readiness, and from better motives; looking forward to the day when, being absent from the body, he shall be present with the Lord.

Verses 14-29 Solomon increased his wealth. Silver was nothing accounted of. Such is the nature of worldly wealth, plenty of it makes it the less valuable; much more should the enjoyment of spiritual riches lessen our esteem of all earthly possessions. If gold in abundance makes silver to be despised, shall not wisdom, and grace, and the foretastes of heaven, which are far better than gold, make gold to be lightly esteemed? See in Solomon's greatness the performance of God's promise, and let it encourage us to seek first the righteousness of God's kingdom. This was he, who, having tasted all earthly enjoyments, wrote a book, to show the vanity of all worldly things, the vexation of spirit that attends them, and the folly of setting our hearts upon them: and to recommend serious godliness, as that which will do unspeakably more to make us happy, that all the wealth and power he was master of; and, through the grace of God, it is within our reach.

Cross References 27

  • 1. 2 Chronicles 9:1; Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31
  • 2. 2 Chronicles 9:1; Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31
  • 3. Genesis 10:7, 28; Psalms 72:10, 15
  • 4. Judges 14:12-14; Psalms 49:4
  • 5. 1 Kings 10:10
  • 6. Proverbs 8:34
  • 7. 1 Kings 5:7
  • 8. 1 Chronicles 17:22; 2 Chronicles 2:11
  • 9. 2 Samuel 8:15; 2 Samuel 23:3; Psalms 72:2
  • 10. 1 Kings 10:2
  • 11. 1 Kings 9:27, 28; Job 22:24
  • 12. 2 Chronicles 9:11
  • 13. 2 Chronicles 9:13-28
  • 14. 2 Chronicles 9:14
  • 15. 1 Kings 14:26-28; 2 Chronicles 12:9, 10
  • 16. 1 Kings 14:26
  • 17. 1 Kings 7:2
  • 18. 1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chronicles 9:17; Psalms 45:8
  • 19. 1 Kings 9:26-28; 1 Kings 22:48; 2 Chronicles 20:36
  • 20. 1 Kings 3:12, 13; 1 Kings 4:30
  • 21. 1 Kin 3:9, 12, 28
  • 22. Psalms 68:29
  • 23. 1 Kings 4:26; 2 Chronicles 1:14-17; 2 Chronicles 9:25
  • 24. 1 Kings 9:19
  • 25. Deuteronomy 17:17; 2 Chronicles 1:15
  • 26. Deuteronomy 17:16; 2 Chronicles 1:16; 2 Chronicles 9:28
  • 27. 2 Kings 7:6, 7

Footnotes 17

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains an account of the queen of Sheba's visit to King Solomon to her great satisfaction, 1Ki 10:1-13, of Solomon's merchandise and riches, and the magnificence of his court, 1Ki 10:14-23, of the rich presents sent to him, and of the purchase of chariots and horses, and other things, he made, 1Ki 10:24-29.

1 Kings 10 Commentaries

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