1 Kings 10
Sermon Bible
And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.

1 Kings 10:1-8

The world and the Church together are foreshown by this queen; all to whom ever the word, sight, name of Christ come within ken are warned by her example; while the king whose wisdom awoke such a rapturous feeling is the pale shadow of the wisdom which Christ among us is ever uttering.

I. The principle which makes this Oriental visit of barbaric splendour worth a Christian study is this, that the queen recognised the existence of a higher wisdom than filled as yet her daily life, and that she was laborious. With her, wealth given and received was but a background, only a means of obtaining higher things. She owned and she sought out wisdom, knowledge, learning, thought, as something of a different order, and infinitely more precious, plants, proverbs, music, songs, simple names, indeed, yet standing at the beginning of lines of knowledge which are dignified by greater names, and opening out before the eyes which were first lifted to them dreams and possibilities which were yet in the far distance.

II. We do not always understand what a distinction there is between the progressive and thoughtful and the careless, whose days, from sunrise to sunset, add nothing of wisdom to their hearts or of knowledge to their minds. Christ draws the greatest distinction between the one class and the other, between the inattentive listener to His words and the attentive one with infinitely less advantages.

III. Christians in the world, and thoughtful Christians among nominal ones, are like those very men whom the queen so envied. We stand about the throne of Christ. Happy are we if we know and realise our privileges.

Archbishop Benson, Boy Life: Sundays in Wellington College, p. 96.

References: 1 Kings 10:1-9.—Parker, vol. vii., p. 324. 1 Kings 10:1-25.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. v., p. 16. 1 Kings 10:7.—Christian World Pulpit, vol. xii., p. 283. 1 Kings 10:22.—Woodhouse, Good Words, 1877, p. 349.

1 Kings 10:23(with Matthew 6:29)

The life of Solomon is a mournful story. We can hardly wonder that though his real greatness made oblivion impossible, though his name will live as long as the human race endures, yet an evil shadow as of high hopes baffled, of a great cause lost, rests upon his memory. Great in himself, great in what was given him to achieve, the impression that he made overflowed the bounds of his own kingdom, and he appears again and again as the lord of spirits and the master of the powers of nature in the multitudinous and fantastic legends of later and of other races, though his own people did not greatly cherish his memory.

I. To Solomon, even more than to his father, we owe the ideal of the peaceful and perfect King that was so deeply planted in the minds of the Jewish people, the fruitful hope of the Deliverer that was to be, which sustained the nation through all the long vicissitudes of captivity and enslavement, exile and oppression.

II. The temple of Solomon, the wisdom of Solomon, the empire of Solomon, have each in turn given way to something different, something higher. If the temple of Solomon and the temple worship have given place to something different from each, as Christian churches and Christian worship, these too may remind us that they in their turn are means, not ends; that our best altar is in our own hearts, our truest sacrifice that not only of praise and thanksgiving, but that of our souls and bodies.

III. It is never wise to underrate the effects of human genius, even when partly or wholly divorced from goodness. Great men, it has been wisely said, are, even in spite of their wickedness, lights from God. Yet there is a sense in which the humblest may aspire to that in which the greatest has come short, and he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater even than Solomon.

G. G. Bradley, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxiv., p. 65.

References: 1 Kings 11:1-13.—Parker, vol. vii., p. 333. 1 Kings 11:4.—J. Van Oosterzee, The Year of Salvation, vol. ii., p. 473. 1 Kings 11:4-6.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. iii., p. 235. 1 Kings 11:6.—American Pulpit of To-Day, vol. i., p. 131. 1 Kings 11:9.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xvi., p. 341. 1 Kings 11:11.—H. P. Liddon, Penny Pulpit, No. 745; Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 84. 1 Kings 11:12.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. ix., p. 20.

And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.
And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.
And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built,
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.
And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.
Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.
Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.
Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.
And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.
And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.
And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the LORD, and for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day.
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.
Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold,
Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country.
And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target.
And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.
The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays.
And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom.
And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.
For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.
And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.
And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem.
And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycomore trees that are in the vale, for abundance.
And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price.
And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.
William Robertson Nicoll's Sermon Bible

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