1 Kings 10

1 When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon (fame due to the name of the Lord), she came to test him with hard questions.
2 She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices, and very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind.
3 Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her.
4 When the queen of Sheba had observed all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built,
5 the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his valets, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her.
6 So she said to the king, "The report was true that I heard in my own land of your accomplishments and of your wisdom,
7 but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. Not even half had been told me; your wisdom and prosperity far surpass the report that I had heard.
8 Happy are your wives! Happy are these your servants, who continually attend you and hear your wisdom!
9 Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king to execute justice and righteousness."
10 Then she gave the king one hundred twenty talents of gold, a great quantity of spices, and precious stones; never again did spices come in such quantity as that which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 Moreover, the fleet of Hiram, which carried gold from Ophir, brought from Ophir a great quantity of almug wood and precious stones.
12 From the almug wood the king made supports for the house of the Lord, and for the king's house, lyres also and harps for the singers; no such almug wood has come or been seen to this day.
13 Meanwhile King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba every desire that she expressed, as well as what he gave her out of Solomon's royal bounty. Then she returned to her own land, with her servants.
14 The weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred sixty-six talents of gold,
15 besides that which came from the traders and from the business of the merchants, and from all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land.
16 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of gold went into each large shield.
17 He made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three minas of gold went into each shield; and the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
18 The king also made a great ivory throne, and overlaid it with the finest gold.
19 The throne had six steps. The top of the throne was rounded in the back, and on each side of the seat were arm rests and two lions standing beside the arm rests,
20 while twelve lions were standing, one on each end of a step on the six steps. Nothing like it was ever made in any 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 were of silver—it was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon.
22 For the king had a fleet of ships of Tarshish at sea with the fleet of Hiram. Once every three years the fleet of ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
23 Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom.
24 The whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind.
25 Every one of them brought a present, objects of silver and gold, garments, weaponry, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year.
26 Solomon gathered together chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.
27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as numerous as the sycamores of the Shephelah.
28 Solomon's import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king's traders received them from Kue at a price.
29 A chariot could be imported from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred fifty; so through the king's traders they were exported to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.

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.

Footnotes 3

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 KINGS 10

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