And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)All her desire.—The terms here employed indicate a position of inferiority, although well graced and honoured, in the queen of Sheba. Her present is of the nature of tribute. Solomon gives her of “his bounty,” both what she asked for (probably by praising it) and what else he would.1 Kings 10:13. Solomon gave unto the queen all her desire — By their mutual presents they testified their friendship to each other; wishing by these things to be remembered. Whatsoever she asked, besides what Solomon gave her of his royal bounty — He desired to know what things would be acceptable to her among all the rarities she had seen, and those he bestowed upon her: besides which he added other things of value, which, it is likely, she had not in her own country. Thus they who apply to our Lord Jesus will find him not only greater and wiser than Solomon, but more kind. Whatsoever we ask, it shall be done for us; nay, he will, out of his divine bounty, which infinitely excels royal bounty, even that of Solomon, do for us more than we are able to ask or think. Reader, hast thou no wants? no desires? Wilt thou not apply to him? Ask, and it shall be given thee.
Harps - The Jewish harp כנור kı̂nnôr was of a triangular shape, and had ordinarily ten strings. It probably resembled the more ancient harp of the Assyrians, which was played with a plectrum, as was (ordinarily) the "kinnor."
Psalteries - The psaltery, or viol. Hebrew: נבל nebel; Greek: νάβλα nabla, was a stringed instrument played with the hand; perhaps a lyre, like those on Hebrew coins, the sounding-board of which is shaped like a jug; or, perhaps, a sort of guitar, with a hollow jug-shaped body at the lower end.
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.And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. besides that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty] The Hebrew is literally ‘beside that which he gave to her according to the hand of king Solomon.’ For the phrase ‘according to the hand’ signifying ‘after the liberality’ compare Esther 1:7; Esther 2:18, where the same Hebrew is translated ‘according to the state of the king,’ i.e. ‘according to his bounty’ where the narrative relates to a magnificent feast, and presents given to the guests. In the parallel passage (2 Chronicles 9:12) we have ‘beside that which she had brought unto the king,’ which is very difficult to make any sense of.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. Matthew 12:42, that this queen had been converted to the true God, and conversed with Solomon on religious matters. But, as we have already observed at 1 Kings 5:7, an acknowledgment of Jehovah as the God of Israel was reconcilable with polytheism. And the fact that nothing is said about her offering sacrifice in the temple, shows that the conversion of the queen is not to be thought of here.
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