For our lesson of The Queen of Sheba 1 Kings 10:1-13; Matthew 12:42, here are some important points. The points do not directly answer the questions on pages 114-118/ of the text, but may help you in our discussion of the Saturday Bible Study 09/27/2014.
“Visit of the Queen of Sheba”
” This story is told to illustrate the surpassing wisdom of Solomon, so great that it spread throughout Arabia among those very tribes which were famous for their wisdom from ancient times. Both Solomon and the Queen of Sheba are prominent in Eastern legends. The Arabs called her Bilkis, but in Ethiopian legends her name is Makeda. Sheba was the great trading community of southwestern Arabia, and at this period controlled the overland trade routes.” (1, pg. 96)
1. Sheba – In southwestern Arabia (roughly the area of Yemen). A later queen of Sheba made a memorable visit to King Solomon in the tenth century B.C. (1 Kings 10:1-3) (Genesis 10:28)
2. Sheba – It profited from the sea trade of India and East Africa by transporting luxury commodities north to Damascus and Gaza on caravan routes through the Arabian Desert. It is possible that Solomon’s fleet of ships threatened Sheba’s continued dominance of this trade business. (1 Kings 10:1 and Footnote)
3. Her character: Though a pagan queen like Jezebel, she prized wisdom above power. She appears to have been intellectually gifted, with a good head for business and diplomacy. (4 pg. 206)
4. When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. (1 Kings 10:1)
5. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, the cupbearers in their robes and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed. (2 Chronicles 9:2-4)
6. The visit of the queen of Sheba portrays the fulfillment of God’s promise to give Solomon wisdom and wealth. (2 Chronicles 1:10-12)
7. Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king, to maintain justice and righteousness. (I Kings 10:9 and Footnote)
8. Though Jerusalem lay fifteen hundred miles to the north, the Queen was determined to see for herself whether Solomon measured up to even half the tales told of him. Hoping to establish a trade agreement with Israel, she assembled a caravan of camels and loaded them with precious spices, gems, and four and a half tons of gold. Her entrance into Jerusalem would have created an unforgettable spectacle, adding to Solomon’s growing fame. (4, pg. 207)
9. Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. There had never been such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. (1 Kings 10:10)
10. … Jesus himself referred to the Queen of Sheba when he replied to the Pharisees who had demaded from him a miraclous sign: “The Queen of the South will rise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here”. (Matthew 12:42)
1. The Interpreter’s Bible, Volume Three, In Twelve Volumes, Abingdon Press, New York 1954.
2. The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995.
3. Women of the Bible, One Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture, Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda, Zondervan, 2007.
4. Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Jean E Syswerda, Zondervan, 1999.