1 Kings 10:4
And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4, 5) And when the queen of Sheba had seen.—There is something curiously inartificial and true to nature in the accumulation of different impressions as made upon the imagination of the queen. First of all comes the primary impression of Solomon’s wisdom, known by his answering all her questions, and “seen” in the various ordinances of his court and his government. Then the magnificence of the palace and all the arrangements of its service are referred to in detail, as especially likely to tell on one whose own splendour was probably of a simpler and more barbaric sort. Lastly, if our translation be correct, the record singles out the ascent or viaduct crossing the valley from the palace to Mount Moriah, and forming the royal entrance into the Temple (see 1Chronicles 26:16;2Kings 16:18), evidently a unique and remarkable structure. But it must be noticed that the LXX. and Vulgate and other versions render here, “the burnt offerings, which he offered in the house of the Lord,” and Josephus has the same interpretation. The magnificent scale of his sacrifices is illustrated in 1Kings 8:63, and it is certainly natural that this point should not be left unmentioned in the description of the wonders of his court. This rendering, therefore, which the Hebrew will well bear, has much probability to recommend it.

1 Kings 10:4-5. When the queen — had seen all Solomon’s wisdom — Had fully discovered the wonderful variety of knowledge wherewith he was endowed. And the house that he had built — Or, the houses, the temple and the king’s house, in both which there were evidences of singular wisdom. The sitting of his servants — The order and manner in which his courtiers, or other subjects, (who all were his servants in a general sense,) sat down at meals, at several tables in his court. The attendance of his ministers — Who waited on him at his table, in his chamber, and in his court; as also when he went abroad to the temple or other places. And their apparel — The costliness, and especially the agreeableness of it to their several places and offices. The ascent by which, &c. — The state, pomp, and solemnity with which he went up to the house of the Lord. But the ancients, and some others, translate the words thus: and the burnt-offerings which he offered up in the house of the Lord; under which, as the chief, all other sacrifices are understood. When she saw the manner of his offering sacrifices to the Lord, which doubtless she would not neglect to see, and in the ordering of which she might discern many characters of excellent wisdom, especially when she had so excellent an interpreter as Solomon was, to inform her of the reasons of all the circumstances of that service; there was no more spirit in her — She was perfectly astonished, and could scarcely determine whether she really saw these things, or whether it was only a pleasant dream. Or it may be rendered, There was no more pride, or high-mindedness in her; that is, she was humbled under a consciousness that the riches of her own dominions, and the magnificence in which she herself lived, were not comparable to those of Solomon.

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.See 1 Kings 10:10 note. 2. she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels—A long train of those beasts of burden forms the common way of travelling in Arabia; and the presents specified consist of the native produce of that country. Of course, a royal equipage would be larger and more imposing than an ordinary caravan. Or, the houses, the singular number being put for the plural, to wit, both the temple and the king’s house, in both which there were evidences of singular wisdom.

And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom,.... Which she perceived by his answers to things relative to all sorts of science, natural, civil, and divine:

and the house that he had built; the singular for the plural, "house for houses"; the house of the Lord, his own house, that for Pharaoh's daughter, and the house of the forest of Lebanon; in all which there appeared not only surprising grandeur and magnificence, but exquisite art and skill; there was a great display of his wisdom in the form and contrivance of them. Josephus (p) says, what exceedingly surprised her, and raised her admiration, was the house of the forest of Lebanon.

(p) Antiqu. l. 8. c. 6. sect. 5.

And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. the house that he had built] This refers to his own palace, as is evident from the domestic details which immediately follow.

Verse 4. - And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house he had built [ver. 5 compels us to understand this of the palace, not of the temple. Josephus says she was especially astonished at the house of the forest of Lebanon], 1 Kings 10:4She saw הבּית, i.e., Solomon's palace, not the temple, and "the food of his table," i.e., both the great variety of food that was placed upon the king's table (1 Kings 5:2-3), and also the costly furniture of the table (1 Kings 10:21), and "the seat of his retainers and the standing of his servants," i.e., the places in the palace assigned to the ministers and servants of the king, which were contrived with wisdom and arranged in a splendid manner. עבדים are the chief officers of the king, viz., ministers, counsellors, and aides de camp; משׁרתים, the court servants; מושׁב, the rooms of the courtiers in attendance; מעמד, the standing-place, i.e., the rooms of the inferior servants, "and their clothing," which they received from the king; and משׁקיו, not his cup-bearers (lxx, Vulg.), but as in Genesis 40:21, the drink, i.e., probably the whole of the drinking arrangements; ועלתו, and his ascent, by which he was accustomed to go into the house of Jehovah. עלה does not mean burnt-offering here, as the older translators have rendered it, but ascent, as in Ezekiel 40:26, and as the Chronicles have correctly explained it by עליּתו. For burnt-offering is not to be thought of in this connection, because the queen had nothing to see or to be astonished at in the presentation of such an offering. עלתו is most likely "the king's outer entrance" into the temple, mentioned in 2 Kings 16:18; and the passage before us would lead us to suppose that this was a work of art, or an artistic arrangement. וגו היה ולא, "and there was no more spirit in her:" she was beside herself with amazement, as in Joshua 5:1; Joshua 2:11.
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