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1 Kings 10 International Standard Version (ISV)

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

10 When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s reputation with the Lord, she came to test him[a] with difficult questions. She brought along a large retinue, camels laden with spices, and lots of gold and precious stones. Upon her arrival, she spoke with Solomon about everything that was on her mind.[b] Solomon answered all of her questions. Nothing was hidden from Solomon that he did not explain to her. When the queen of Sheba had seen all of Solomon’s wisdom for herself, the palace that he had built, the food set at his table, his servants who sat with him, his ministers in attendance and how they were dressed, his personal staff[c] and how they were dressed, and even his personal stairway by which he went up to the Lord’s Temple, she was breathless!

“Everything I heard about your wisdom and what you have to say is true!” she gasped, “but I didn’t believe it at first! But then I came here and I’ve seen it for myself! It’s amazing! I wasn’t told half of what’s really great about your wisdom. You’re far better in person than what the reports have said about you! How blessed are your staff! And how blessed are your employees,[d] who serve you continuously and get to listen to your wisdom! And blessed be the Lord your God, who is delighted with you! He set you in place on the throne of Israel because the Lord loved Israel forever. That’s why he made you to be king, so you could carry out justice and implement righteousness.”

10 Then she gave the king 120 talents[e] of gold, a vast quantity of spices, and precious stones. No spices ever came again that were comparable to those that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. 11 Hiram’s ships that brought gold from Ophir,[f] also brought from Ophir[g] lots of algum wood[h] and precious stones. 12 The king used the algum wood[i] to have supports made for the Lord’s Temple and for the royal palace, as well as lyres and harps for the choir,[j] and nothing like that wood[k] has ever come again or even been seen since right to this day. 13 In return, King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she wanted and had requested in addition to what he had given her consistent with his generosity. Afterward, she returned to her own land with her servants.

Solomon’s Wealth

14 Solomon’s annual revenue was 666 talents[l] of gold, 15 not including revenue from traders, merchants, and from all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land. 16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold, overlaying each large shield with the gold from 600 gold pieces,[m] 17 and 300 shields from beaten gold, overlaying each shield with the gold from 300 gold pieces.[n] The king put them in his palace in the Lebanon forest. 18 The king also made a great ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold. 19 Six steps led up to the throne, which had a round canopy fastened to the rear of the throne and armrests on each side of the seat and two lions standing on either side of each armrest. 20 Twelve lions were placed on both sides of the six steps leading to the throne,[o] and nothing comparable was made for any other[p] kingdoms. 21 All of King Solomon’s drinking vessels were made of[q] gold, and all the vessels in his palace in the Lebanon forest were made of[r] pure gold. None were of silver, because silver was never considered to be valuable during Solomon’s lifetime, 22 because the king had ships that sailed to Tarshish accompanied by Hiram’s ships. Once every three years ships from Tarshish returned, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. 23 As a result, King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in regards to wealth and wisdom. 24 All the earth continued to seek audiences with Solomon so they could hear the wise things that God had put in his heart. 25 Everyone kept on bringing gifts on an annual basis, including items made of silver and gold, garments, myrrh, spices, horses, and mules. 26 Solomon accumulated chariots and cavalry. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 cavalry soldiers. He stationed them in various chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as common as[s] stones in Jerusalem, and made cedar trees as abundant as sycamore[t] trees in the Shephelah.[u] 28 Solomon imported horses from Egypt and Kue, and the king’s buyers procured them at market price from Kue. 29 A chariot from Egypt cost 600 pieces[v] of silver, and a horse 150 pieces of silver,[w] but then they were exported to all the Hittite kings and to the Aramean kings.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 10:1 Lit. Solomon
  2. 1 Kings 10:2 Lit. was with her heart
  3. 1 Kings 10:5 Lit. his cupbearers
  4. 1 Kings 10:8 Lit. servants
  5. 1 Kings 10:10 I.e. about 9,000 pounds; a talent weighed about 75 pounds
  6. 1 Kings 10:11 Or from a source of fine gold; cf. 1Chr 29:4
  7. 1 Kings 10:11 Or from a source of fine gold; cf. 1Chr 29:4
  8. 1 Kings 10:11 Or presented Juniper trees
  9. 1 Kings 10:12 Or the Juniper trees
  10. 1 Kings 10:12 Lit. singers
  11. 1 Kings 10:12 The Heb. lacks wood
  12. 1 Kings 10:14 I.e. about 49,950 pounds; a talent weighed about 75 pounds
  13. 1 Kings 10:16 MT does not identify the individual unit of measure
  14. 1 Kings 10:17 MT does not identify the individual unit of measure
  15. 1 Kings 10:20 The Heb. lacks leading to the throne
  16. 1 Kings 10:20 The Heb. lacks other
  17. 1 Kings 10:21 The Heb. lacks made of
  18. 1 Kings 10:21 The Heb. lacks made of
  19. 1 Kings 10:27 The Heb. lacks as common as
  20. 1 Kings 10:27 The sycamore fruit tree native to Israel bears figs
  21. 1 Kings 10:27 I.e. the verdant central lowlands of Israel; cf. Josh 10:40
  22. 1 Kings 10:29 The denomination of silver coin is not specified.
  23. 1 Kings 10:29 The Heb. lacks pieces of silver
International Standard Version (ISV)

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1 Kings 10 New International Version (NIV)

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

10 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at[a] the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.

She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.”

10 And she gave the king 120 talents[b] of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

11 (Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwood[c] and precious stones. 12 The king used the almugwood to make supports[d] for the temple of the Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. So much almugwood has never been imported or seen since that day.)

13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.

Solomon’s Splendor

14 The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents,[e] 15 not including the revenues from merchants and traders and from all the Arabian kings and the governors of the territories.

16 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekels[f] of gold went into each shield. 17 He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold, with three minas[g] of gold in each shield. The king put them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.

18 Then the king made a great throne covered with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. 19 The throne had six steps, and its back had a rounded top. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. 20 Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom. 21 All King Solomon’s goblets were gold, and all the household articles in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Nothing was made of silver, because silver was considered of little value in Solomon’s days. 22 The king had a fleet of trading ships[h] at sea along with the ships of Hiram. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.

23 King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. 24 The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 25 Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.

26 Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses,[i] which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. 28 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue[j]—the royal merchants purchased them from Kue at the current price. 29 They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty.[k] They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 10:5 Or the ascent by which he went up to
  2. 1 Kings 10:10 That is, about 4 1/2 tons or about 4 metric tons
  3. 1 Kings 10:11 Probably a variant of algumwood; also in verse 12
  4. 1 Kings 10:12 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  5. 1 Kings 10:14 That is, about 25 tons or about 23 metric tons
  6. 1 Kings 10:16 That is, about 15 pounds or about 6.9 kilograms; also in verse 29
  7. 1 Kings 10:17 That is, about 3 3/4 pounds or about 1.7 kilograms; or perhaps reference is to double minas, that is, about 7 1/2 pounds or about 3.5 kilograms.
  8. 1 Kings 10:22 Hebrew of ships of Tarshish
  9. 1 Kings 10:26 Or charioteers
  10. 1 Kings 10:28 Probably Cilicia
  11. 1 Kings 10:29 That is, about 3 3/4 pounds or about 1.7 kilograms
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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