Sheba is accepted by most archaeologists to be the ancient civilization of Saba in Yemen. Generally thought to have been a trading nation, it has been speculated that the Queen’s motives were more commercial than a genuine interest in Solomon’s wisdom. That is not what the scripture tells us, however. Verse 4 says that after she had seen and heard all of his wisdom, his house, officials, and all of the burnt offerings he made to the Lord “there was no more breath in her.”
In fact, she said that the reports she had received really understated the greatness of his wisdom. She gave the king 120 talents of gold (estimated to be about 75 pounds) and a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones. Verse 9 says that there were no spices like she had given to him. In return, verse 12 says, Solomon gave her whatever she desired.
The chronicler went on to tell of the 666 talents of gold that came to him in one year (“besides that which the explorers and merchants brought“), 500 shields of gold that were made, an ivory throne overlaid with gold, and other items demonstrating his great wealth. So great was his wealth and wisdom that it exceeded all other kings of every nation, and “all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind.” In fact, the chronicler says that they all brought him expensive gifts year after year, increasing his wealth.
The chapter ends with Solomon’s death after 40 years as king. His son, Rehoboam reigned in his place.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.