2 Chronicles 9:1-12
And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem…
Nothing so strikingly illustrated the glory of Solomon as the visit of the Queen of Sheba, coming from "the uttermost parts of the earth to hear his wisdom," conferring great gifts upon him and receiving valuable presents in return (see Matthew 12:42). We have, among many things -
I. ISRAEL FULFILLING ITS FUNCTION, viz. magnifying the Name of the Lord. One great end, the great end of its existence as a nation, was to bear witness to the Name and character of Jehovah. By the wisdom and the energy combined with the piety of Solomon, this was being accomplished. The works of the Lord were known and celebrated even in remotest lands.
II. GOD FULFILLING HIS WORD TO HIS SERVANT SOLOMON. He promised him wealth and honor, inasmuch as he had asked for something better than these (see 2 Chronicles 1:11, 12). In this most gratifying episode Solomon must have felt that the promise made him at Gibeon was graciously redeemed. So shall we find also. To those that seek first the kingdom of God he ensures all needful earthly good, and they may count confidently that he will make good his word (see Matthew 6:33).
III. THE TRUE BLESSEDNESS OF POSSESSION - TO COMMUNICATE. Solomon had great knowledge, large faculty, much penetration, as well as extensive worldly wealth. He probably had some enjoyment in the consciousness of their possession. But he found a better and wiser use of them in communicating to others. When he enlightened the mind (ver. 2) and enriched the hands (ver. 12) of the queen, he was then and thus experiencing the true excellency of possession. It is not as we are able to retain, but as we succeed in employing and in imparting our wealth, whether of truth or treasures, that we are really and truly rich (Acts 20:35).
IV. THE WORTH OF WISDOM. The queen was no doubt partly prompted by curiosity to see the magnificence of Solomon; but what largely induced her to take that long, tedious, expensive journey was her desire to learn what "the wise man" could teach her. She desired "to commune with him of all that was in her heart" (ver. 1), and she did so; and she gathered from him a great store of knowledge and of truth. She doubtless learned for the first time the fundamental truths of religion - perhaps also the elements of pure morality. It is probable that she went back to her own country mentally and even spiritually enriched far beyond her highest expectations. As she crossed the desert a second time she would feel that she had been repaid a thousand times for all her toil and outlay. Wisdom is always worth our purchase, whatever we may expend upon it. "Buy the truth," even though it cost much in travel, in money, in patient laborious study, even in fellowship and friendship. It is well worth while to "sell all that we have" in order to become possessed of "the pearl of great price," heavenly wisdom, the knowledge which is eternal life (Matthew 13:46; John 17:3). Many earnest pilgrims have traversed land and sea, many anxious students have searched books and inquired of sacred teachers, many hungering and thirsting souls have wrought and wrestled in thought and prayer for many years, that they might find rest in truth, that they might find a home for themselves in the knowledge of the living God. And when they have found what they sought (see Matthew 7:7, 8), they have gladly and gratefully acknowledged that the blessedness of acquiring heavenly wisdom is a most ample recompense for all they have expended in its pursuit. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; it is the absolutely incomparable good (Proverbs 3:15). - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: 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 train, and camels that bore spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she talked with him of all that was in her heart.