2 Chronicles 9:1
And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.
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(a) THE VISIT OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA (2Chronicles 9:1-12).

Comp. 1Kings 10:1-13.

The Hebrew text coincides with Kings, allowing for a few characteristic alterations, the chief of which will be noticed.

(1) And when the queen of Sheba heard.Now the queen of Sheba had heard. Kings, was hearing.

The fame of Solomon.—Kings, adds a difficult phrase (“as to the name of Jehovah”) which the chronicler omits.

Hard questions.Riddles, enigmas. LXX., αἰνίγμασιν (Judges 14:12).

At Jerusalem.—An abridgment but not an improvement of Kings. The Syr. agrees with the latter.

Gold in abundance.—The chronicler has substituted a favourite expression for the “very much gold” of Kings.

2 Chronicles 9:1. There is little in this chapter but what is related in 1 Kings 10.; in the notes on which the reader will find it explained at large.

9:1-12 This history has been considered, 1Ki 10; yet because our Saviour has proposed it as an example in seeking after him, Mt 12:42, we must not pass it over without observing, that those who know the worth of true wisdom will grudge no pains or cost to obtain it. The queen of Sheba put herself to a great deal of trouble and expense to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and yet, learning from him to serve God, and do her duty, she thought herself well paid for her pains. Heavenly wisdom is that pearl of great price, for which, if we part with all, we make a good bargain.The narrative here is parallel with that in marginal reference, from which it varies but little, and to which it adds nothing.CHAPTER 9

2Ch 9:1-12. The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon; She Admires His Wisdom and Magnificence.

1-4. when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon—(See on [428]1Ki 10:1-13). It is said that among the things in Jerusalem which drew forth the admiration of Solomon's royal visitor was "his ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord." This was the arched viaduct that crossed the valley from Mount Zion to the opposite hill. In the commentary on the passage quoted above, allusion was made to the recent discovery of its remains. Here we give a full account of what, for boldness of conceptions for structure and magnificence, was one of the greatest wonders in Jerusalem. "During our first visit to the southwest corner of the area of the mosque, we observed several of the large stones jutting out from the western wall, which at first seemed to be the effect of a bursting of the wall from some mighty shock or earthquake. We paid little regard to this at the moment; but on mentioning the fact not long after to a circle of our friends, the remark was incidentally dropped that the stones had the appearance of having once belonged to a large arch. At this remark, a train of thought flashed across my mind, which I hardly dared to follow out until I had again repaired to the spot, in order to satisfy myself with my own eyes as to the truth or falsehood of the suggestion. I found it even so. The courses of these immense stones occupy their original position; their external surface is hewn to a regular curve; and, being fitted one upon another, they form the commencement or foot of an immense arch which once sprung out from this western wall in a direction towards Mount Zion, across the Tyropœon valley. This arch could only have belonged to the bridge, which, according to Josephus, led from this part of the temple to the Xystus (covered colonnade) on Zion; and it proves incontestably the antiquity of that portion from which it springs" [Robinson]. The distance from this point to the steep rock of Zion Robinson calculates to be about three hundred and fifty feet, the probable length of this ancient viaduct. Another writer adds, that "the arch of this bridge, if its curve be calculated with an approximation to the truth, would measure sixty feet, and must have been one of five sustaining the viaduct (allowing for the abutments on either side), and that the piers supporting the center arch of this bridge must have been of great altitude—not less, perhaps, than one hundred and thirty feet. The whole structure, when seen from the southern extremity of the Tyropœon, must have had an aspect of grandeur, especially as connected with the lofty and sumptuous edifices of the temple, and of Zion to the right and to the left" [Isaac Taylor's Edition of Traill's Josephus].The queen of Sheba visiteth Solomon, and admireth his wisdom; giveth and receiveth presents, 2 Chronicles 9:1-12. Solomon’s gold; his targets, and shields, 2 Chronicles 9:13-16. The throne of ivory, 2 Chronicles 9:17-19. His vessels; his presents, 2 Chronicles 9:20-21. His chariots and horses; his tributes; his reign and death, 2 Chronicles 9:25-31.

Almost all this chapter is contained in 1 Kings 10, where it is explained.

See Chapter Introduction And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to {a} prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.

(a) To know whether his wisdom was as great as the report was.

Ch. 2 Chronicles 9:1-12 (= 1 Kings 10:1-13). The Visit of the Queen of Sheba

1. Sheba] An important district in Arabia Felix, the seat of a kingdom. Psalm 72:10.

hard questions] Heb. ḥidoth, “dark sayings” (Proverbs 1:6); the sing. is translated “riddle” (Jdg 14:12-18).

a very great company] R.V. a very great train (as 1 Kin.).

Verse 1. - The parallel shows very little variation on this narrative. In its first verse it adds the words (Authorized Version), "concerning the Name of the Lord" (i.e. "to the glory of God"), after the words, the fame of Solomon. Sheba. This was the name of a descendant of Cush, a Hamite (Genesis 10:7; 1 Chronicles 1:9); also of a son of Joktan, a Shemite (Genesis 10:28; 1 Chronicles 1:22); also of a son of Jokshan, Abraham's son by Keturah (Genesis 25:3; 1 Chronicles 1:32). It is quite uncertain who of these constituted, or preponderated in, the country of Sheba here referred to. This is probably Saba, the capital of Yemen, an important province of Arabia, west of the Red Sea, north of the Indian Ocean, and extending upward nearly to Idumaea. The city was reputed splendid, the country wealthy, and long as the most southerly inhabited part of the world. If it were, as is believed, first occupied by Cushites it was afterwards peopled also by Joktanites and Jokahanites, as above. In addition- to the two celebrated allusions to it, ever memorable, see as other references, Job 6:19; Psalm 72:10, 15; Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20; Ezekiel 27:22, 23; Ezekiel 38:18; Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31 (see also Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' 3:1232). The hard questions consisted in riddles (Judges 14:2) and enigmas and primitive casuistry, in which the Arabians found some considerable portion of their mental gymnastics These, no doubt, bore some mild cousinly relationship to the proverbs and songs of Solomon, and his treasures of botanical and natural history facts (1 Kings 4:29-32). Spices; Hebrew, בְּשָׂמִים, here as also in the parallel. This word is used twenty-one times, and in a slightly varied form (as in the ninth verse of this same chapter) nine more times. It is almost always translated (Authorized Version) by this same word "spice" or "spices" (except Exodus 30:23; 2 Chronicles 16:14; Esther 2:12; Isaiah 3:24). There are other Hebrew words for "spices," such as נְכות (Genesis 37:25; Genesis 43:11), סַמִים (Exodus 30:7), רֶקַח (Song of Solomon 8:2; Ezekiel 24:10); but the "spice" or "spices" designated by our present word, and the exact name or nature of which cannot be certainly pronounced upon, was in great request for domestic, ecclesiastical, funeral (2 Chronicles 16:14), and other purposes, and was a chief export from Arabia, Syria, and Persia. Gold in abundance. Of course, it is not necessary to suppose that the gold that came either now from Sheba, or even from Ophir, was obtained from the immediate region; as seen before, there may have been a special market or emporium for them there. Precious stones. These were used for sacred purposes, and for domestic and dress ornaments, and were graven upon in early times by the Hebrews The chief of those mentioned in the Old Testament are the carbuncle, sardius, topaz (Exodus 39:10; Ezekiel 28:13), diamond, emerald, sapphire (Exodus 39:11); Ezekiel 28:13), agate, amethyst, ligure (Exodus 39:12), beryl, jasper, onyx (Genesis 2:12; Exodus 39:6, 13; Ezekiel 28:13), ruby (Job 28:18; Proverbs 3:15), chrysolite, chrysoprasus (Ezekiel 28:13). The precious stones which the queen brought are likely enough, however, to have comprised other varieties (including the pearl from the Persian Gulf), such as Pliny describes; and see in particular 1 Chronicles 29:2; Ezekiel 27:16; and the art. "Stones, Precious," in Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' 3:1382. All that was in her heart. The expression simply means all that she had so desired to get information upon, since she had heard of the fame of Solomon. 2 Chronicles 9:1The visit of the queen of Sheba. Cf. 1 Kings 10:1-13. - This event is narrated as a practical proof of Solomon's extraordinary wisdom. The narrative agrees so exactly in both texts, with the exception of some few quite unimportant differences, that we must regard them as literal extracts from an original document which they have used in common. For the commentary on this section, see on 1 Kings 10:1-13.
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