|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 13. - And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba an her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. [Heb. according to the hand of king Solomon. The chronicler has, "beside that which she had brought unto the king." That is to say, in addition to the fitting presents which he made in return for her gifts, he freely gave her whatsoever she asked for. To ask for a coveted thing is no breach of Oriental propriety. The Ethiopian Christians find in these words (and considering the character of Solomon and the license of that age, perhaps not altogether without reason) a basis for their belief that she bore Solomon a son, Melimelek by name, from whom, indeed, the present sovereigns of Abyssinia claim to derive their descent.] So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants. Bishop Wordsworth has remarked (p. 44) that the record of this visit disappoints us. He says, "He (Solomon) answered her hard questions. He showed her his palace... but we do not hear that he invited her to go up with him into the house of the Lord," etc. Again: "The visit of the queen of Sheba seem to have been without any spiritual result." "In like manner," he adds, "we hear nothing of any attempt on Solomon's part to improve his friendship and commercial relations with Hiram into an occasion for communicating the better merchandise of Divine truth to the Sidonians." But surely this criticism overlooks the fact that Judaism was not a missionary religion, and that the chosen people had no sort of commission to convert the heathen, It is, no doubt, a mystery; but it is a fact, that for 2,000 years the light of God's truth was, by the counsel and purpose of God, restricted within the extremely narrow confines of Israel, and that the "fulness of the time," when the Gentiles should be "fellow heirs," was distant from Solomon's day by a whole millennium.,
CHAPTER 10:14-29. SOLOMON'S WEALTH, POMP, AND POWER. The visit of the Queen of Sheba, in itself a striking proof of the fame and greatness of Solomon, is followed by a description of his revenues, his throne, and various other particulars of his wealth and magnificence, some of which are related here because they were the products of the voyages of that same fleet which had been the means of acquainting the queen with Solomon and his glory.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And King Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire,
whatsoever she asked,.... Some curious things she saw, and was desirous of, she asked for, and had them:
besides that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty; of his own good will and pleasure, without asking:
so she turned and went to her own country: the country of Sheba in Arabia Felix:
she and her sergeants: the train or retinue she brought with her, which was large, 1 Kings 10:2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. King Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside—that is, Solomon not only gave his illustrious guest all the insight and information she wanted; but, according to the Oriental fashion, he gave her ample remuneration for the presents she had brought.
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