1 Kings 10

1 When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the LORD’s name, she came to test him with hard questions. 2 She came to Jerusalem with a very great caravan, with camels that bore spices, very much gold, and precious stones; and when she had come to Solomon, she talked with him about all that was in her heart. 3 Solomon answered all her questions. There was not anything hidden from the king which he didn’t tell her. 4 When the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 5 the food of his table, the sitting of his servants, the attendance of his officials, their clothing, his cup bearers, and his ascent by which he went up to the LORD’s house; there was no more spirit in her. 6 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 However I didn’t believe the words until I came and my eyes had seen it. Behold, not even half was told 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, who hear your wisdom. 9 Blessed is 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 justice and righteousness.” 10 She gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, and a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never again was there such an abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. 11 The fleet of Hiram that brought gold from Ophir, also brought in from Ophir great quantities of almug trees and precious stones. 12 The king made of the almug trees pillars for the LORD’s house, and for the king’s house, harps also and stringed instruments for the singers; no such almug trees came or were seen, to this day. 13 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 land, 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 that which the traders brought, and the traffic of the merchants, and of all the kings of the mixed people, and of the governors of the country. 16 King Solomon made two hundred bucklers of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of gold went to one buckler. 17 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 finest gold. 19 There were six steps to the throne, and the top of the throne was round behind; and there were armrests on either side by the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the armrests. 20 Twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other on the six steps. Nothing like it was made in any kingdom. 21 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, because it was considered of little value in the days of Solomon. 22 For the king had a fleet of Tarshish at sea with Hiram’s fleet. Once every three years the fleet of Tarshish came, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. 23 So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. 24 All the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 25 Year after year, every man brought his tribute, vessels of silver, vessels of gold, clothing, armor, spices, horses, and mules. 26 Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen. He had one thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he kept in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as common as stones in Jerusalem, and cedars as common as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland. 28 The horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt. The king’s merchants received them in droves, each drove at a price. 29 A chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred and fifty shekels; and so they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites, and to the kings of Syria.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–13

The queen of Sheba came to Solomon to hear his wisdom, thereby to improve her own. Our Saviour mentions her inquiries after God, by Solomon, as showing the stupidity of those who inquire not after God, by our Lord Jesus Christ. By waiting and prayer, by diligently searching the Scriptures, by consulting wise and experienced Christians, and by practising what we have learned, we shall be delivered from difficulties. Solomon’s wisdom made more impression upon the queen of Sheba than all his prosperity and grandeur. There is a spiritual excellence in heavenly things, and in consistent Christians, to which no reports can do justice. Here the truth exceeded; and all who, through grace, are brought to commune with God, will say the one half was not told them of the pleasures and the advantages of wisdom’s ways. Glorified saints, much more, will say of heaven, that the thousandth part was not told them, 1Co 2:9. She pronounced them happy that constantly attended Solomon. With much more reason may we say of Christ’s servants, Blessed are they that dwell in his house; they will be still praising him. She made a noble present to Solomon. What we present to Christ, he needs not, but will have us do so to express our gratitude. The believer who has been with Jesus, will return to his station, discharge his duties with readiness, and from better motives; looking forward to the day when, being absent from the body, he shall be present with the Lord.

Verses 14–29

Solomon increased his wealth. Silver was nothing accounted of. Such is the nature of worldly wealth, plenty of it makes it the less valuable; much more should the enjoyment of spiritual riches lessen our esteem of all earthly possessions. If gold in abundance makes silver to be despised, shall not wisdom, and grace, and the foretastes of heaven, which are far better than gold, make gold to be lightly esteemed? See in Solomon’s greatness the performance of God’s promise, and let it encourage us to seek first the righteousness of God’s kingdom. This was he, who, having tasted all earthly enjoyments, wrote a book, to show the vanity of all worldly things, the vexation of spirit that attends them, and the folly of setting our hearts upon them: and to recommend serious godliness, as that which will do unspeakably more to make us happy, that all the wealth and power he was master of; and, through the grace of God, it is within our reach.

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