1 Kings 10:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the LORD, she came to test Solomon with hard questions.

New Living Translation
When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame, which brought honor to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.

English Standard Version
Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.

New American Standard Bible
Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with difficult questions.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The queen of Sheba heard about Solomon's fame connected with the name of Yahweh and came to test him with difficult questions.

International Standard Version
When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon's reputation with the LORD, she came to test him with difficult questions.

NET Bible
When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon, she came to challenge him with difficult questions.

New Heart English Bible
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.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The queen of Sheba heard about Solomon's reputation. (He owed his reputation to the name of the LORD.) So she came to test him with riddles.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon because of the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.

New American Standard 1977
Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with difficult questions.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with enigmas.

King James 2000 Bible
And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of Jehovah, she came to prove him with hard questions.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the queen of Saba, having; heard of the fame of Solomon in the name of the Lord, came to try him with hard questions.

Darby Bible Translation
And the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon in connection with the name of Jehovah, and came to prove him with enigmas.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of Yahweh, she came to prove him with hard questions.

Young's Literal Translation
And the queen of Sheba is hearing of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of Jehovah, and cometh to try him with enigmas,
Study Bible
The Queen of Sheba
1Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with difficult questions. 2So she came to Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels carrying spices and very much gold and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart.…
Cross References
Matthew 12:42
The queen of the south will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and now One greater than Solomon is here.

Luke 11:31
The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and now One greater than Solomon is here.

Genesis 10:7
The sons of Cush were Seba and Havilah and Sabtah and Raamah and Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.

Genesis 10:28
and Obal and Abimael and Sheba

Judges 14:12
Then Samson said to them, "Let me now propound a riddle to you; if you will indeed tell it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes.

1 Kings 4:34
Men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.

2 Chronicles 9:1
Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test Solomon with difficult questions. She had a very large retinue, with camels carrying spices and a large amount of gold and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was on her heart.

Psalm 49:4
I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will express my riddle on the harp.

Psalm 72:10
Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents; The kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts.

Psalm 72:15
So may he live, and may the gold of Sheba be given to him; And let them pray for him continually; Let them bless him all day long.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

A.M.

2 Chronicles 9:1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came …

Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, …

Luke 11:31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men …

Sheba

Genesis 10:7,28 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, …

Genesis 25:3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, …

Job 6:19 The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them.

Psalm 72:10,15 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the …

Isaiah 60:6 The multitude of camels shall cover you, the dromedaries of Midian …

Jeremiah 6:20 To what purpose comes there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet …

Ezekiel 27:22,23 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were your merchants: they …

Ezekiel 38:13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young …

heard

1 Kings 4:31,34 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, …

concerning

Job 28:28 And to man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; …

Proverbs 2:3-6 Yes, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding…

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true …

1 Corinthians 1:20,21 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of …

prove him

Judges 14:12-14 And Samson said to them, I will now put forth a riddle to you: if …

Psalm 49:4 I will incline my ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying on the harp.

Proverbs 1:5,6 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding …

Matthew 13:11,35 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know …

Mark 4:34 But without a parable spoke he not to them: and when they were alone, …

(1) The queen of Sheba.--The name "Sheba" must be distinguished from Seba, or Saba (which begins with a different Hebrew letter), (a) The name Seba denotes a Cushite race (Genesis 10:7), connected, in Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 45:14, with Egypt and Cush, and named with Sheba ("the kings of Sheba and Seba")in the Psalm of Solomon (Psalm 72:10). Seba is, indeed, with great probability identified (see Jos. Ant. ii. 10, 2) with the Ethiopian city and island of Mero. It is probably from confusion between Sheba and Saba that Josephus (Ant. viii. 6, 5) represents the queen of Sheba as a "queen of Egypt and Ethiopia." (b) The name "Sheba" is found in the ethnological lists of Genesis 10:7, among the descendants of Cush of the Hamite race, in Genesis 10:28, among the Semitic Joktanites, and in Genesis 25:3, among the Abrahamic children of Keturah. The kingdom of Sheba referred to in this passage must certainly be placed in Arabia Felix, the habitation of the Joktanite race (in which the Keturahites appear to have been merged), for the Cushite Sheba is probably to be found elsewhere on the Persian Gulf. The queen of Sheba would therefore be of Semitic race, not wholly an alien from the stock of Abraham.

The fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord.--If the reading of the text be correct, the phrase "concerning: the name of the Lord" (to which there is nothing to correspond in 2Chronicles 9:1) must refer to the constant connection of the fame of Solomon--especially in relation to his wisdom, which is here mainly referred to--with the name of Jehovah, as the God to whom, in the erection of the Temple, he devoted both his treasure and himself.

Hard questions--or, riddles. The Arabian legends preserved in the Koran enumerate a list of questions and puzzles, propounded by the queen and answered by Solomon, too puerile to be worth mention. The "hard questions" (in which Solomon is said by Josephus to have had a contest with Hiram also) must surely have been rather those enigmatic and metaphorical sayings, so familiar to Eastern philosophy, in which the results of speculation, metaphysical or religious, are tersely embodied. The writings representing the age of Solomon--Job, Proverbs, and (whatever be its actual date) Ecclesiastes--are all concerned with these great problems, moral and speculative, which belong to humanity as such, especially in its relation to God. In solving these problems, rather than the merely fantastic ingenuity of what we call riddles, the wisdom of Solomon would be worthily employed.

Ver 1. - And when the queen of Sheba [There is no good ground for doubting that by שְׁבָא we are to understand the kingdom of Southern Arabia (Yemen). It is true that while Genesis 25:3 (cf. 1 Chronicles 1:32) speaks of Sheba, the son of Joktan, one of the colonists of southern Arabia, Genesis 10:7 and 1 Chronicles 1:9 mention another Sheba, the son of Cush, and a doubt has arisen whether this was an Arabian or an Ethiopian princess, and it is alleged that she was the latter by Josephus, who calls her "queen of Egypt and Ethopia," and by some Rabbinical writers, and in the traditions of the Abyssinian church. But the kingdoms of Sheba (שְׁבָא) and Saba (סְבָא) are entirely distinct (Psalm 72:10), the latter being the name both of the capital and country of Meroe, a province of Ethopia (Joshua, Ant. 2:10. 2); while the former in like manner designates both the chief city and also the kingdom of the Sabeans (Job 1:15). This tribe would seem to have grown richer and stronger than all the other Arabian peoples by means of its commercial enterprise, and it was especially famed for its gold, gems, and spices (Ezekiel 27:22; Jeremiah 6:20; Isaiah 60:6; Joel 3:8; Job 6:19; Psalm 72:10). It is noticeable that in both kingdoms government by female sovereigns was not uncommon (cf. Acts 8:27); but it is very remarkable to find any country under the rule of a queen at this early date. (The idea that either of these lands was always governed by queens has no real basis.) The name of this princess, according to the Koran, was Balkis, according to Abyssinian belief, Maqueda. Whether she was a widow or virgin is unknown] heard [Heb. hearing. Doubtless through the Arab traders. The record of this visit, following immediately upon the mention of the voyages (1 Kings 9:26), is a grain of evidence in favour of locating Ophir in Arabia] of the fame (Heb. hearing; cf. ἀκοή, which also means the thing heard, report. Compare ἀποκάλυψις καύχησις, etc.] of Solomon concerning the name [Heb. לְשְׁם, i.e., "in relation to, in connexion with, the name," etc. No doubt it was the house he had built לְשֵׁם יְיָ (cf. 1 Kings 3:2; 1 Kings 5:17, 18; 1 Kings 8:17, 18, 19, 20, etc.) had made him famous. But the expression is somewhat unusual, and these words are omitted by the chronicler. Gesenius and Ewald, however, regard the ל as instrumental, "the fame given him by the name," etc., as Judges 7:18; Ezekiel 12:12, etc., and Wordsworth compares the use of ἐν in Greek. The LXX. and other versions read "the name of Solomon and the name of the Lord." But the text is on every ground to be retained. The alliteration in this verse (probably accidental) is to be noticed. There is also a slight paronomasia] of the Lord, she came to prove (LXX. πειράσαι, to test)] him with hard questions [Heb. in riddles; LXX. ἐν αἰνίγμασι. The Arabian mind has ever delighted in dark sayings, enigmas, etc., and extensive collections of these have been made by Burckhardt and others (see Keil in loc.) According to Dius (cited in Josephus, Contra Ap. 1:17. 18) Solomon also had dialectical encounters with Hiram and with Abdemon, or, according to Menander, a younger son of Abdemon, a man of Tyre.] And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon,.... Josephus (u) calls her a queen of Egypt and Ethiopia; but Sheba was in the southern part of Arabia Felix; her name with the Ethiopians is Maqueda (w), and with the Arabic geographer (x) Belequis. Some (y) think that Sheba, or Saba, is not the name of a country, but of the queen herself; and that she is the same with Sabbe the sibyl mentioned by Pausanias (z); but no doubt Sheba or Saba, the metropolis of Arabia Felix, as Philostorgius (a) calls it, is here meant; which Benjamin of Tudela says (b) is called the country of Al Yeman, or the south; and the name of Queen Teiman, given to this queen by an Arabic writer (c), seems to be the same as the queen of the south; see Gill on Matthew 12:42. The fame of Solomon's greatness and goodness, of his wealth and riches, and especially of his wisdom, had reached her ears; perhaps by means of the ambassadors of princes that had been at Solomon's court, and attended her's. According to an Ethiopic writer (d) it was by Tamerinus, a merchant of her's, she came to hear of him: particularly she heard of his fame

concerning the name of the Lord; his knowledge of the true God, the favour he was in with him, the excellent wisdom he had received from him, and what he had done for his honour and glory:

she came to prove him with hard questions; in things natural, civil, and divine; to try whether he had such a share of knowledge and wisdom it was said he had, she posed him with enigmas, riddles, dark and intricate sayings, to unravel and tell the meaning of. She might be an emblem of the Gentiles, seeking unto Christ, having heard of him, Isaiah 11:10. In Matthew 12:42 she is said to come from the "uttermost parts of the earth"; wherefore some fetch her from Sumatra in the East Indies, where in an old map no other name is put but Sheba (e).

(u) Antiqu. l. 8. c. 6. sect. 2, 5. (w) Ludolf. Ethiop. Hist. l. 2. c. 3.((x) Clim 1. par. 6. (y) Vid. Coryli Disser. de Reg. Austral. c. l. sect. 1, 2.((z) Phocica, sive, l. 10. p. 631. (a) Hist. Eccl. l. 3. c. 4. (b) Itinerar. p. 82. (c) Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. Dyn. 3. p. 54. (d) Tellezius apud Ludolf. Ethiop. Hist. l. 2. c. 3.((e) Dampier's Voyages, vol. 2. p. 139. CHAPTER 10

1Ki 10:1-13. The Queen of Sheba Admires the Wisdom of Solomon.

1. the queen of Sheba—Some think her country was the Sabean kingdom of Yemen, of which the capital was Saba, in Arabia-Felix; others, that it was in African Ethiopia, that is, Abyssinia, towards the south of the Red Sea. The opinions preponderate in favor of the former. This view harmonizes with the language of our Lord, as Yemen means "South"; and this country, extending to the shores of the Indian ocean, might in ancient times be considered "the uttermost parts of the earth."

heard of the fame of Solomon—doubtless by the Ophir fleet.

concerning the name of the Lord—meaning either his great knowledge of God, or the extraordinary things which God had done for him.

hard questions—enigmas or riddles. The Orientals delight in this species of intellectual exercise and test wisdom by the power and readiness to solve them.10:1-13 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.
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