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1 Kings 10:1-13

Context
Solomon Entertains a Queen

10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon, 1  she came to challenge 2  him with difficult questions. 3  10:2 She arrived in Jerusalem 4  with a great display of pomp, 5  bringing with her camels carrying spices, 6  a very large quantity of gold, and precious gems. She visited Solomon and discussed with him everything that was on her mind. 10:3 Solomon answered all her questions; there was no question too complex for the king. 7  10:4 When the queen of Sheba saw for herself Solomon’s extensive wisdom, 8  the palace 9  he had built, 10:5 the food in his banquet hall, 10  his servants and attendants, 11  their robes, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings which he presented in the Lord’s temple, she was amazed. 12  10:6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your wise sayings and insight 13  was true! 10:7 I did not believe these things until I came and saw them with my own eyes. Indeed, I didn’t hear even half the story! 14  Your wisdom and wealth 15  surpass what was reported to me. 10:8 Your attendants, who stand before you at all times and hear your wise sayings, are truly happy! 16  10:9 May the Lord your God be praised because he favored 17  you by placing you on the throne of Israel! Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he made you king so you could make just and right decisions.” 18  10:10 She gave the king 120 talents 19  of gold, a very large quantity of spices, and precious gems. The quantity of spices the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon has never been matched. 20  10:11 (Hiram’s fleet, which carried gold from Ophir, also brought from Ophir a very large quantity of fine timber and precious gems. 10:12 With the timber the king made supports 21  for the Lord’s temple and for the royal palace and stringed instruments 22  for the musicians. No one has seen so much of this fine timber to this very day. 23 ) 10:13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she requested, besides what he had freely offered her. 24  Then she left and returned 25  to her homeland with her attendants.

1 tn Heb “the report about Solomon.” The Hebrew text also has, “to the name of the Lord,” which fits very awkwardly in the sentence. If retained, perhaps it should be translated, “because of the reputation of the Lord.” The phrase, which is omitted in the parallel passage in 2 Chr 9:1, may be an addition based on the queen’s declaration of praise to the Lord in v. 9.

2 tn Or “test.”

3 tn Or “riddles.”

4 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

5 tn Heb “with very great strength.” The Hebrew term חַיִל (khayil, “strength”) may refer here to the size of her retinue (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV) or to the great wealth she brought with her.

6 tn Or “balsam oil.”

7 tn Heb “Solomon declared to her all her words; there was not a word hidden from the king which he did not declare to her.” If riddles are specifically in view (see v. 1), then one might translate, “Solomon explained to her all her riddles; there was no riddle too complex for the king.”

8 tn Heb “all the wisdom of Solomon.”

9 tn Heb “house.”

10 tn Heb “the food on his table.”

11 tn Heb “the seating of his servants and the standing of his attendants.”

12 tn Heb “there was no breath still in her.”

13 tn Heb “about your words [or perhaps, “deeds”] and your wisdom.”

14 tn Heb “the half was not told to me.”

15 tn Heb “good.”

16 tn Heb “How happy are your men! How happy are these servants of yours, who stand before you continually, who hear your wisdom!”

17 tn Or “delighted in.”

18 tn Heb “to do justice and righteousness.”

19 tn The Hebrew term כִּכָּר (kikkar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or to a standard unit of weight, generally regarded as a talent. Since the accepted weight for a talent of metal is about 75 pounds, this would have amounted to about 9,000 pounds of gold (cf. NCV, NLT); CEV “five tons”; TEV “4,000 kilogrammes.”

20 tn Heb “there has not come like those spices yet for quantity which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.”

21 tn This Hebrew architectural term occurs only here. The meaning is uncertain; some have suggested “banisters” or “parapets”; cf. TEV, NLT “railings.” The parallel passage in 2 Chr 9:11 has a different word, meaning “tracks,” or perhaps “steps.”

22 tn Two types of stringed instruments are specifically mentioned, the כִּנּוֹר (kinnor, “zither” [?]), and נֶבֶל (nevel, “harp”).

23 tn Heb “there has not come thus, the fine timber, and there has not been seen to this day.”

24 tn Heb “besides what he had given her according to the hand of King Solomon.”

25 tn Heb “turned and went.”



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