1 Kings 10:28
Solomon's horses were imported from Egypt and Kue; the royal merchants purchased them from Kue.
The Lessons of ProsperityW. L. Watkinson.

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.

The king had at sea a navy of Tharshish.
The period of Solomon's reign was the period of the greatest commercial, political, and intellectual splendour that Israel knew.

I. THE ADVANTAGES OF A STATE OF PROSPERITY. Christians are sometimes disposed to look with suspicion on wealth and greatness. Lord Bacon said that prosperity was the blessing of the Old Testament, and adversity the blessing of the New Testament. But this aphorism may very easily be misunderstood. Prosperity is the blessing of the New Testament as much as it is of the Old. In its proper nature, in its legitimate influence, in its Divine design, prosperity must be regarded as a blessing. One of Emerson's ancestors was in the habit of praying that none of his posterity might be rich. It is easy to imagine a man offering a prayer like that for his posterity, although it would be rather a shabby thing to do, but you will hardly find a sane man offering such a prayer for himself. Terrestrial prosperity is still one of God's benedictions.

1. Prosperity is a blessing, as it widens the range of our physical enjoyments.

2. Prosperity is a blessing, as it gives freer play to man's intellectual powers, and renders possible a fuller intellectual life. Elihu Burritt laments that the English peasant is a blind painter, creating on the hillside glorious pictures in green and gold, but strangely insensible to the splendour he creates. Ruskin complains that few people ever look at the sky. Emerson writes ruefully that whilst he was strolling on the beach in raptures with the azure and spiritual seat the tanned fishermen had nothing to say to one another except, "How's fish?" And most of our intellectual masters lash us for our neglect of the sights and sounds of a glorious creation.

3. Prosperity is a blessing, as it gives opportunity for the expression of highest character. Prosperity properly used, truly sanctified, brings character to its very highest and brightest manifestations. Humility is never more lovely than when it is clothed in scarlet; moderation is never more impressive than when it sits at banquets; simplicity is never more delightful than when it dwells amid magnificence; purity is never more divine than when its white robes are seen in palaces; gentleness and kindness are never more touching than when displayed by the great and powerful.

4. Prosperity is a blessing, as it enables us to act out more frilly our noblest aspirations. It is quite true that many who promise large things when their ship of gold comes in, nevertheless on the arrival of that gallant bark forthwith put the whole cargo into bonded stores, but noble souls rejoice exceedingly to find their power increased to glorify God in the service of humanity.

II. THE PERILS OF A STATE OF PROSPERITY. It has its perils to a nation. The ships of Solomon brought ruin; so did the ships of Carthage, of Greece, of Rome; so did the rich argosies of Spain. The other day in Whitby they showed me the ruins of the grand old Abbey. On the south aspect the wall is much more dilapidated than on the north, showing, it would seem, that the light of the sun had been more destructive than all the wild storms of the North Sea. So the sun of prosperity has often proved more fatal to empire than the bitterest tempests of danger and want and conflict. There is plenty of morbid matter everywhere, and the sun of prosperity soon develops it disastrousy enough. Prosperity has its perils to the individual. It is said that birds of paradise are often captured through their becoming intoxicated with the spice forests on which they alight, and we have all seen fine men and women, with the light of heaven in their eye and the beauty of holiness in their life, fall miserable victims to prosperity. Some rich men degenerate fearfully, so do some popular' men. On the American prairies travellers are sometimes brought to a standstill through the wheels of their chariots becoming locked by the flowers which grow there so profusely; and many a noble pilgrim to heaven has been hindered, brought to a fatal halt, by the golden and purple flowers of fortune which Heaven, in its goodness, had made to spring in his path. The lower good may destroy the higher good; as a man becomes richer in gold he may become poorer in faith, in virtue, in charity, in hope. Christianity gives us a social ideal of prime interest and efficacy. The curse of the old civilisations was selfishness. "I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards," etc. (Ecclesiastes 2:4-9). The I's stand up like a regiment of Grenadiers. Here was the curse of the old nations, in the flush of their power and prosperity. Here is the curse of much of the prosperity of to-day. Selfishness is the rock on which rich argosies suffer shipwreck, the rock on which the grandeur of nations and the happiness of men go to pieces. Christ changes the I into we, the my into our. Christianity brings us the larger measure of moral power.

(W. L. Watkinson.).

Arabians, Aram, Hiram, Hittites, Ophir, Solomon, Tarshish, Tharshish
Egypt, House of the Forest of Lebanon, Jerusalem, Kue, Ophir, Sheba, Shephelah, Syria, Tarshish
Buying, Caravan, Drove, Droves, Egypt, Exportation, Fetched, Got, Horses, Import, Imported, Keveh, King's, Kue, Ku'e, Linen, Merchants, Outgoing, Price, Procured, Purchased, Received, Royal, Solomon, Solomon's, Traders, Yarn
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 10:28

     5120   Solomon, character

1 Kings 10:23-29

     8701   affluence

1 Kings 10:26-29

     5407   merchants

1 Kings 10:27-29

     7236   Israel, united kingdom

1 Kings 10:28-29

     5433   occupations
     5587   trade

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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