1 Kings 10:5
And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
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.And the meat of his table - Compare 1 Kings 4:22-23. The scene here described receives very apt illustration from the Assyrian banquet scenes, where we have numerous guests sitting, dressed handsomely in fringed robes, with armlets upon their arms, and bracelets round their wrists, attendants standing behind them, and magnificent drinking-cups, evidently of a costly metal, in the hands of the guests, which are filled from a great wine-bowl at one end of the chamber.

And his ascent by which he went up - A rendering preferable to "the burnt-offering which he cffered in." The "ascent" was probably a private way by which the king passed from his palace on the western hill, across the ravine (Tyropoeum) and up the eastern hill, to the west side of the temple area (compare the marginal reference).

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. The sitting of his servants, i.e. 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, to wit, upon the king, both at his table, and elsewhere in his court; and when he went abroad to the temple or other places,

Their apparel; both the costliness of it:, and especially the conveniency of it to their several places and offices.

His ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord from his own palace. See 2 Kings 16:18. 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 really 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 astonished, and rapt up in a kind of ecstasy, and could scarce determine whether she did really see these things, or whether it was not only a pleasant dream.

And the meat of his table,.... The various sorts of it, the different dishes, and the multitude of them; see 1 Kings 4:22.

and the sitting of his servants; at table, either with him, or at tables by themselves, yet in his presence; for these were his nobles and courtiers, who were placed in order, according to their rank and degree, which showed wisdom:

and the attendance of his ministers; or the "standing" (q) of those that waited, both at the king's table, and the tables of the lords, who each had their proper place and business assigned; so that the utmost decorum was observed, and no confusion or disorder to be seen:

and their apparel: their several liveries, which were distinct according to the posts and offices in which they were, and which no doubt were rich and splendid, as well as various:

and his cup bearers; to serve him and his nobles with wine when called for; though the word signifies liquors (r), and may design the various sorts of wines, and other drinkables, used by him, of which there was great plenty:

and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord; the steps which he had made to go up from his palace to the temple; which were so curiously devised, and so artificially wrought, that it gave the queen, among other things, a sensible proof of his great wisdom, as well as of his religion and piety. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, and some others, render the words, "and the burnt offerings which he offered in the house of the Lord"; and so Josephus (s) understood them; she was shown the service of the house of the Lord, as much as could be admitted, and perhaps was told the meaning of it; all which she saw, both in his own house, and in the house of God, and greatly surprised her:

so that there was no more spirit in her; she was quite astonished; like one in an ecstasy, she had no power for a time to speak, what she saw and heard so affected her.

(q) "statum", Tigurine version, Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius; "stationem", Piscator. (r) "et potum ejus", Tig. vers. so Abarbinel (s) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 8. c. 6. sect. 5.)

And the {b} meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.

(b) That is, the whole order, and trade of his house.

5. the sitting of his servants] Here ‘servants’ signifies the officers and distinguished persons who were privileged to sit at the king’s table, and were ranged according to rank and in large numbers at the royal banquets.

the attendance of his ministers] This refers most probably to those persons who stood to serve the guests. The Hebrew word rendered ‘attendance’ is literally ‘standing.’ See A.V. marg.

and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord] This passage is rendered by the light of the parallel place in 2 Chronicles 9:4. There the word ועליתו does mean ‘and his ascent’, but here the text gives ועלתו, which should be rendered ‘and his burnt offering.’ So that the margin of the R.V. (which is also accepted by Luther, Coverdale and the Geneva Bible) is correct for this verse, ‘and his burnt offering which he offered in the house of the Lord.’ If she had been present at a great sacrifice in the Temple it would doubtless have impressed her much. But it is possible that the scribe in one of these verses made a small error, and that they ought both to be the same. In that case we must decide whether it is more probable that after a list such as has gone before, about meat, servants, attendants, cupbearers, &c., there would follow some mention of a part of the building, a covered way or staircase by which the Temple could be reached from the king’s palace, or a description of a solemn act of religious worship. Most people will be inclined to agree that the A.V. and R.V. have exercised a correct judgement in disregarding the text here, and interpreting by the light of the verse in 2 Chron. The R.V. has however added the rendering of the Massoretic text on the margin, which had not been done in A.V.

The LXX. here gives ‘the burnt offering,’ τὴν ὁλοκαύτωσιν, but its rendering in 2 Chronicles 9:4 is the same τὰ ὁλοκαυτώματα, where certainly the present Hebrew text should be translated ‘his ascent.’ Apparently the Greek translators regarded the verse before us as the true reading.

there was no more spirit in her] Apparently the queen had come with some hope that she might get the better of Solomon, either in her display of queenly splendour, or in the questions which she propounded. What she found was so far in excess of what she had expected, that all thought of comparison of herself with Solomon’s state was gone, and she was lost in admiration. For the expression cf. Joshua 5:1.

Verse 5. - And the meat of his table [1 Kings 4:22, 23], and the sitting ["The rooms of the courtiers in attendance" (Keil). But מוָשב may mean an assembly (Psalm 1:1), and possibly the queen saw them when gathered together for a meal] of his servants, and the attendance [Heb. standing. According to Keil, "the rooms of the inferior servants." But ver. 8 appears to be decisive against this view] of his ministers [i.e., those who ministered to him. The word "servants" is, perhaps, to be understood of state officers; the word "ministers" of personal attendants (as in Acts 13:5, etc.) That the latter were an inferior class, the "standing" shows], and their apparel [cf. Matthew 6:29. The rich and costly dress of Eastern courtiers and attendants is sometimes furnished by the king (Genesis 45:22; 1 Samuel 18:4; 2 Kings 5:5; Daniel 5:7; Esther 5:8; 1 Macc. 10:20. Cf. Chardin, "Voyage en Perse," 3:230], and his cupbearers [By this word Keil would understand "drinking arrangements." But see 2 Chronicles 9:4, "cupbearers (same word) and their apparel"], and his ascent [עֹלָתו. It is somewhat doubtful whether we are to interpret this word, ascent, or burnt offering. 2 Kings 16:18, 1 Chronicles 26:16, Ezekiel 40:26 make for the former, and the chronicler has עֲלִיָּתו. which undoubtedly means "ascent." But all the translations understand the word of burnt offerings - the LXX. has καὶ τὴν ὀλοκαύτωσιν ( and the word, "which occurs at least 300 times in the Bible," always (with one exception) signifies burnt offering. It is objected against this interpretation

(1) that we should require the plural, i.e., "burnt offerings;" but this is by no means certain, as the historian may refer to one particular holocaust (see 1 Kings 9:25) which the queen witnessed; and

(2) that the sight of burnt offerings could not have caused her any astonishment (Keil). But their prodigious number may surely have done so; and we are certainly to understand that Solomon was remarkable for the scale of his sacrifices. Considering, however, that the word undoubtedly means "ascent" in Ezekiel 40:26, and that it is so paraphrased by the chronicler, it is perhaps safer to retain this rendering here]; there was no more spirit in her [same expression Joshua 5:1, and cf. 2:11. For various legends as to this queen, see Stanley, "Jewish Ch." 2. pp. 234-236]. 1 Kings 10:5She 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.
1 Kings 10:5 Interlinear
1 Kings 10:5 Parallel Texts

1 Kings 10:5 NIV
1 Kings 10:5 NLT
1 Kings 10:5 ESV
1 Kings 10:5 NASB
1 Kings 10:5 KJV

1 Kings 10:5 Bible Apps
1 Kings 10:5 Parallel
1 Kings 10:5 Biblia Paralela
1 Kings 10:5 Chinese Bible
1 Kings 10:5 French Bible
1 Kings 10:5 German Bible

Bible Hub

1 Kings 10:4
Top of Page
Top of Page