The First Book of the Kings

Chapter 10

The queen of Sheba admires the wisdom of Solomon, 1-13. Solomon's gold, 14, 15. His bucklers, 16, 17. The throne of ivory, 18-20. His vessels, 21-23. His presents, 24, 25. His chariots and horse, 26, 27. His tribute, 28, 29.

1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions. 2 And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bore spices, very much gold, and precious stones. And when she had come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. 3 And Solomon answered all her questions. There was not anything hid from the king which he did not tell her. 4 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, the house that he had built, 5 The provisions of his table, the sitting of his servants, the attendance of his ministers and their apparel, his cup-bearers, and his ascent by which he went up to the house of the LORD, there was no more spirit in her. 6 And she said to the king, "It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts and of your wisdom. 7 Although, I did not believe the words until I came and my eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told to me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame which I heard. 8 Happy are your men. Happy are these your servants who stand continually before you and who hear your wisdom. 9 Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel. Because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore he made you king to do judgment and justice." 10 And she gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never again did there come such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.

11 And also the navy of Hiram, which brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir a great plenty of almug trees and precious stones. 12 And the king made from the almug trees pillars for the house of the LORD and for the king's house, also harps and psalteries for singers. There have not come such almug trees, nor have they been seen to this day.

13 And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, besides that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country—she and her servants.

14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, 15 Besides what he had of the merchants, of the traffic of the spice-merchants, of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country. 16 And king Solomon made two hundred bucklers of beaten gold. Six hundred shekels of gold went to one buckler. 17 And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold. Three minas of gold went to one shield. And the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 18 Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with the best gold. 19 The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round and behind it. And there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. 20 And twelve lions stood there on one side and on the other upon the six steps. There was nothing like it made in any kingdom. 21 And 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, for it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. 22 For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram. Once in three years the navy of Tarshish came, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.

23 So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. 24 And all the earth sought for Solomon to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart. 25 And every man brought his present: vessels of silver, vessels of gold, garments, armor, spices, horses, and mules—a rate year by year.

26 And Solomon collected chariots and horsemen. And he had one thousand and four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots and with the king at Jerusalem. 27 And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars he made to be as the sycamore trees that are in the valley, for abundance. 28 And Solomon had horses brought from Egypt and from Keveh. The king's merchants received from Keveh at a price. 29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred and fifty. And in this manner they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Syria.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Kings, Chapter 10[➚]


[v.4] - "Solomon's wisdom" - Reference, 1st Kings 3:12, 28.

[v.21] - See the note for Deuteronomy 17:16-20.

[v.28] - "from Keveh" - See the Note for 2nd Chronicles 1:16.