Visit of the Queen of Sheba
1When 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.2She 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.3Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her.4When the queen of Sheba had observed all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built,5the 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.6So she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your accomplishments and of your wisdom,7but 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.8Happy are your wives! Happy are these your servants, who continually attend you and hear your wisdom!9Blessed 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.”10Then 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.11Moreover, the fleet of Hiram, which carried gold from Ophir, brought from Ophir a great quantity of almug wood and precious stones.12From 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.13Meanwhile 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.14The weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred sixty-six talents of gold,15besides 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.16King Solomon made two hundred large shields of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of gold went into each large shield.17He 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.18The king also made a great ivory throne, and overlaid it with the finest gold.19The 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,20while twelve lions were standing, one on each end of a step on the six steps. Nothing like it was ever made in any kingdom.21All 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.22For 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.23Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom.24The whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind.25Every one of them brought a present, objects of silver and gold, garments, weaponry, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year.26Solomon 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.27The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as numerous as the sycamores of the Shephelah.28Solomon's import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king's traders received them from Kue at a price.29A 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.