1 Kings 10:21
All King Solomon's drinking cups were gold, and all the utensils of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. There was no silver, because it was accounted as nothing in the days of Solomon.
The Queen of ShebaA. Rowland

This incident is remarkable as the only one in the reign of Solomon to which reference is made in the New Testament. Solomon is twice spoken of by our Lord in His recorded discourses. In one case his royal magnificence is declared inferior to the beauty with which God has clothed the "lilies of the field." "Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these" (Matthew 6:29). Art can never vie with nature. What loveliness of form or hue that human skill can produce is comparable with that of the petals of a flower? What is all the glory with which man may robe himself to that which is the product of the creative finger of God? In the other case, it is the wisdom of Solomon that our Lord refers to, as having its widespread fame illustrated by the visit of the Queen of Sheba, and as being surpassed by the higher revelation of truth in Himself. "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment," etc. (Matthew 12:42). The interest and importance of this incident is greatly heightened by its thus finding a place in the discourses of Christ. In itself there is no very deep meaning in it. It supplies few materials for high moral or spiritual teaching. The interchange of civilities between two Oriental monarchs is related by the historian with innocent pride, as setting forth the surpassing grandeur of the king whose reign was to him the golden age of his own nation's life. There is something of a romantic charm in it, too, that naturally gave rise to fanciful traditions being added to the biblical story. But beyond this it is an event of no great moment. This use of it, however, by our Lord lifts it out of the region of the commonplace, gives it other than a mere secular meaning, makes it an important channel of Divine instruction. Every name is honoured by association with His. Every incident becomes clothed with sacred interest when made to illustrate the relation of human souls to Him. Let us look at these two persons, then, in the light of the New Testament reference to their interview.

I. SOLOMON, IN HIS WISDOM, A TYPE OF THE "GREATER" CHRIST. The distinctive personal characteristic of Solomon was his "wisdom." The fame of it is regarded by some as marking the uprising of a new and hitherto unknown power in Israel. Whence came this new phenomenon? We trace it to a Divine source. "The Lord gave unto David this wise son" (1 Kings 5:7). "God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much" (1 Kings 4:29). No doubt the extended intercourse with surrounding nations that he established was the beginning of a new life to Israel, bringing in a flood of new ideas and interests. This supplied materials for his wisdom but did not create it. It was not learnt from Egypt, or the "children of the East." It was a Divine gift, that came in response to his own prayer (1 Kings 3:9).

1. One broad feature that strikes us in Solomon's wisdom is its remarkable versatility, the variety of its phases, the way in which its light played freely on all sorts of subjects. It dealt with the objects and processes of nature. It was a kind of natural science. He has been called "the founder of Hebrew science," the "first of the world's great naturalists." "He spake of trees, from the cedar tree," etc. (1 Kings 4:33). One would like to know what the range and quality of his science really was; but the Bible, existing as it does for far other than scientific purposes, does not satisfy our curiosity in this respect. It dealt with moral facts and problems - a true practical philosophy of life; its proper ends and aims, its governing principles, the meaning of its experiences, its besetting dangers and possible rewards. It dealt with the administration of national affairs. This is seen in his assertion of the principle of eternal righteousness as the law by which the ruler of men must himself be ruled. His wisdom lay in the gift of "an understanding heart to judge the people and discern between good and evil," and the people "feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to do judgment" (1 Kings 4:29). We are thus reminded of the unity of nature and of human life. Truth is one, whether in thought, feeling, or conduct, in things private or public, secular or spiritual. Wisdom is the power that discerns and utilizes the innermost truth of all things, finds out and practically applies whatever is essentially Divine.

2. Solomon's wisdom assumed various forms of expression: the Proverbial form, as in the "Book of Proverbs;" the Poetic form, as in his "Songs" and "Psalms;" the Socratic form, by question and answer, riddles - "dark sayings" - and the interpretation thereof. It is in this latter form that his wisdom here appears. Tradition says that Hiram engaged with him in this "cross questioning," and was worsted in the encounter; so here the queen of Sheba came "to prove him with hard questions," and "communing with him of all that was in her heart she found that he could tell her all her questions," etc. By all this we are led to think of "One greater than Solomon."

(1) "Greater," inasmuch as He leads men to wisdom of a higher order. Solomon is the most secular of the inspired writers of the Old Testament. Divine things are approached by him, as it were, on the lower, earthly side. A prudential tone is given to the counsels of religion, and vice is set forth not so much as wickedness but as "folly." Think of the marked difference between the utterances of Solomon's wisdom and the sublime spiritual elevation of David's psalms. And when we come to Christ's teaching, what immeasurably loftier heights and deeper depths of Divine truth are here! Redemption, holiness, immortality, are His themes - the deeper "mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; .... in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:8).

(2) "Greater," inasmuch as the Divine fount of wisdom must needs be infinitely superior to any mere human channel through which it flows. Solomon was after all but a learner, not a master. His were but guesses at truth. Christ's were the authoritative utterances of the incarnate "Word." Solomon spoke according to the limited measure of the spirit of truth in him. Christ spoke out of His own infinite fulness. "God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him" (John 3:34). Whence, indeed, did Solomon's wisdom come but from Him, the true fontal "Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world"? The words that the wise in every age have spoken were but dim, dawning rays of the light that broke in a glorious day upon the world when He, the Sun of Righteousness, arose.

II. THE QUEEN OF SHEBA, IN HER SEARCH AFTER WISDOM, AS AN EXAMPLE FOR OURSELVES. All the motives that actuated herin this long pilgrimage from the far off corner of Arabia we know not. Mere curiosity, commercial interest, personal vanity may have had something to do with it. But the words of the narrative suggest that it was mainly an honest thirst for knowledge, and specially for clearer light on highest matters of human interest. Learn

(1) The nobility of a simple, earnest, restless search after truth.

(2) The grateful respect which a teachable spirit will feel towards one who can unveil the truth to it.

(3) The joyous satisfaction of soul that springs from the discovery of the highest truth. How much does such an example as this in the realms of heathen darkness rebuke the spiritual dulness and indifference of those who with the Light of Life shining gloriously upon them in the person of Christ refuse to welcome it, and walk in it! "Many shall come from the east and the west," etc. (Matthew 8:11, 12). - W.

She came to Jerusalem with...camels that bare spices.
1. All theologians agree in making Solomon a type of Christ, and in making the Queen of Sheba a type of every truth-seeker; and I will take the responsibility of saying that all the spikenard, and cassia, and frankincense which the Queen of Sheba brought to King Solomon is mightily suggestive of the sweet spices of our holy religion. Christianity is not a collection of sharp technicalities, and angular facts, and chronological tables, and .dry statistics. Our religion is compared to frankincense and to cassia, but never to nightshade. It is a bundle of myrrh. It is a dash of holy light. It is a sparkle of cool fountains. It is an opening of opaline gates. It is a collection of spices. Would God that we were as wise in taking spices to our Divine King as Queen Balkis was wise in taking the spices to the earthly Solomon.

2. We need to put more spice and enlivenment in our religious teaching; whether it be in the prayer-meeting, or in the Sunday school, or in the church. We ministers need more fresh air and sunshine in our lungs, and our heart, and our head. Do you wonder that the world is so far from being converted when you find so little vivacity in the pulpit .and in the pew? We want, like the Lord, to plant in our sermons and exhortations more lilies of the field. In other words, we want more cinnamon and less gristle. Let this be so in all the different departments of work to which the Lord tails us. Let us be plain. Let us be earnest. When we talk to the people in a vernacular they can understand, they will be very glad to come and receive the truth we present. Would to God that Queen Balkis would drive her spice-laden dromedaries into all our sermons and prayer-meeting exhortations.

3. More than that, we want more life and spice in our Christian work. The poor do not want so much to be groaned over as sung to. With the bread and medicines and garments you give them, let there be an accompaniment of smiles and brisk encouragement.

4. Religion is sweetness and perfume, and spikenard, and saffron, and cinnamon, and cassia, and frankincense, and all sweet spices together. Just put it on the stand beside the pillow of sickness. It catches in the curtains and perfumes the stifling air. It sweetens the cup of bitter medicine, and throws a glow on the gloom of the turned lattice. It is a balm for the aching side, and soft bandage for the temple stung with pain. It lifted Samuel Rutherford into a revelry of spiritual delight, while he was in physical agonies. It helped Richard Baxter until, in the midst of such a complication of diseases as perhaps no other man ever suffered, he wrote The Saint's Everlasting Rest. And it poured light upon John Bunyan's dungeon, — the light of the shining gate of the shining city. And it is good for rheumatism, and for neuralgia, and for low spirits, and for consumption; it is the catholicon for all disorders. Yes, it will heal all your sorrows. Some one could not understand why an old German Christian scholar used to be always so calm, and happy, and hopeful, when he had so many trials, and sicknesses, and ailments. A man secreted himself in the house. He said, "I mean to watch this old scholar and Christian"; and he saw the old Christian man go to his room and sit down on the chair beside the stand, and open the Bible and begin to read. He read on and on, chapter after chapter, hour after hour, until his face was all aglow with the tidings from Heaven, and when the clock struck twelve, he arose, and Shut his Bible, and said, "Blessed Lord, we are on the same old terms yet. Good-night. Good-night."

(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

She communed with him of all that was in her heart.

1. Tell Jesus all that is in your heart, for neglect of intercourse with Christ, of the most intimate kind, is ungenerous towards him.

2. And we must tell him all that is in our heart, because to conceal anything from so true a friend betrays the sad fact that there is something wrong to be concealed.

3. If we cannot tell Jesus all that is in our heart, it shows a want of confidence in His love, or His sympathy, or His wisdom, or His power.

4. I am quite certain that if you will carry out the plan I am commending to you, it will bring you great ease of mind; whereas, if you do not, you will continue to have much uneasiness.

5. If you do not come to Jesus and commune with Him of all that is in your heart, you will lose His counsel and help, and the comfort that comes from them.

6. Sometimes our habit of reticence towards Jesus is aggravated by our eagerness to tell our troubles to others. In the time of trial we often imitate King Asa, who, when he was sick, "sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians."


1. There are, first, your sorrows.

2. Then, also, tell him your joys, for He can have aa much true fellowship with the joyous as with the sad.

3. You may also go to Jesus and tell Him all about your service.

4. Then, next, go and tell Jesus all your plans

5. When you have any successes, go and tell Him. The seventy disciples returned to Jesus with joy, saying, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name."

6. And when you have any failures, — when your hopes are disappointed, — go and tell it all to Jesus.

7. Tell Him all your desires. If thou desirest anything that thou oughtest to desire, and mayest desire, let Him know it. Tell Him also all your fears. Tell Him that you are afraid of falling.

8. Tell Him all your loves.


1. For, first, it is most ennobling to have fellowship with the Son of God; "and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."

2. It is also highly beneficial to commune with Christ.

3. How consoling it is to do this! You forget your griefs while you commune with Him. How sanctifying it is! A man cannot take delight in sin while he walks with Christ. How delightful it is, too, to commune with Jesus! There is no other joy that is at all comparable with it, and it prepares us for the higher joys above.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Arabians, Aram, Hiram, Hittites, Ophir, Solomon, Tarshish, Tharshish
Egypt, House of the Forest of Lebanon, Jerusalem, Kue, Ophir, Sheba, Shephelah, Syria, Tarshish
Account, Accounted, Anything, Articles, Best, Considered, Drinking, Drinking-vessels, Forest, Goblets, Gold, Household, Least, Lebanon, None, Nothing, Palace, Precious, Pure, Reckoned, Refined, Silver, Solomon, Solomon's, Valuable, Value, Vessels, Woods
1. The queen of Sheba admires the wisdom of Solomon
14. Solomon's gold
16. His targets
18. The throne of ivory
21. His vessels
24. His presents
26. his chariots and horse
28. his tribute

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 10:21

     4448   forests
     5283   cup

1 Kings 10:14-21

     5211   art

1 Kings 10:14-22

     4303   metals

1 Kings 10:16-21

     5437   palaces

1 Kings 10:18-21

     5399   luxury

1 Kings 10:21-22

     4363   silver
     5407   merchants

Coming to the King.
"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."--1 Kings x. 13. The beautiful history recorded in the chapter from which the above words are quoted is deeply instructive to those who have learned to recognise CHRIST in the Scriptures. The reference to this narrative by our LORD Himself was surely designed to draw our attention to it, and gives it an added interest. The blessings, too, received by the Queen
J. Hudson Taylor—A Ribband of Blue

A Royal Seeker after Wisdom
'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. 2. 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. 3. And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not. 4. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Gift
"There came no more such abundance of spices as those which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon."--1 Kings x. 10. Mechthild of Hellfde, 1277. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 "What dost thou bring me, O my Queen? Love maketh thy steps to fly." Lord, to Thee my jewel I bring, Greater than mountains high; Broader than all the earth's broad lands, Heavier than the ocean sands, And higher it is than the sky: Deeper it is than the depths of the sea, And fairer than the sun, Unreckoned, as if the stars
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)

Of the Weight of Government; and that all Manner of Adversity is to be Despised, and Prosperity Feared.
So much, then, have we briefly said, to shew how great is the weight of government, lest whosoever is unequal to sacred offices of government should dare to profane them, and through lust of pre-eminence undertake a leadership of perdition. For hence it is that James affectionately deters us, saying, Be not made many masters, my brethren (James iii. 1). Hence the Mediator between God and man Himself--He who, transcending the knowledge and understanding even of supernal spirits, reigns in heaven
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Meditations of the Blessed State of the Regenerate Man after Death.
This estate has three degrees:--1st, From the day of death to the resurrection; 2d, From the resurrection to the pronouncing of the sentence; 3d, After the sentence, which lasts eternally. As soon as ever the regenerate man hath yielded up his soul to Christ, the holy angels take her into their custody, and immediately carry her into heaven (Luke xvi. 22), and there present her before Christ, where she is crowned with a crown of righteousness and glory; not which she hath deserved by her good works,
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

There is a Blessedness in Reversion
Blessed are the poor in spirit. Matthew 5:3 Having done with the occasion, I come now to the sermon itself. Blessed are the poor in spirit'. Christ does not begin his Sermon on the Mount as the Law was delivered on the mount, with commands and threatenings, the trumpet sounding, the fire flaming, the earth quaking, and the hearts of the Israelites too for fear; but our Saviour (whose lips dropped as the honeycomb') begins with promises and blessings. So sweet and ravishing was the doctrine of this
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

The remarkable change which we have noticed in the views of Jewish authorities, from contempt to almost affectation of manual labour, could certainly not have been arbitrary. But as we fail to discover here any religious motive, we can only account for it on the score of altered political and social circumstances. So long as the people were, at least nominally, independent, and in possession of their own land, constant engagement in a trade would probably mark an inferior social stage, and imply
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

The Fact of the Redeemer's Return was Typified in the Lives of Joseph and Solomon.
In the Old Testament there are numerous references to the Second Coming of Christ, references both direct and typical, but in every instance it was His return to the earth which was in view. The secret coming of Christ into the air, to catch up the saints to Himself, was an event quite unknown to the Old Testament prophets, an event kept secret until revealed by God to the apostle Paul who, when writing to the Corinthians upon this particular aspect of our subject, said, "Behold, I show you a mystery
Arthur W. Pink—The Redeemer's Return

"Let any Man Come. "
[7] "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."--John 7:37-38. THE text which heads this paper contains one of those mighty sayings of Christ which deserve to be printed in letters of gold. All the stars in heaven are bright and beautiful; yet even a child can see that "one star differeth from another in glory"
John Charles Ryle—The Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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