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2 Chronicles 9 International Standard Version (ISV)

The Queen of Sheba Visits Jerusalem

When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s reputation, she traveled to Jerusalem and tested 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. Because nothing was hidden from Solomon, he hid nothing from her. When the queen of Sheba had seen Solomon’s wisdom for herself, the palace that he had built, the food set at his table, his servants who waited on 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 continually and get to listen to your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who is delighted with you! He set you in place on his throne to be king for the Lord your God. He made you king over them so you could carry out justice and implement righteousness, because your God loves Israel and intends to establish them[e] forever.”

Then she gave the king 120 talents[f] of gold, a vast quantity of spices, and precious stones. There were no spices comparable to those that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. 10 Hiram’s servants and Solomon’s servants, who brought gold from Ophir,[g] also presented algum wood[h] and other precious stones. 11 The king used the algum wood[i] to have steps 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] had been seen before in the territory of Judah. 12 In return, King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she wanted and requested in addition to what she had brought for the king. Afterward, she returned to her own land, accompanied by her servants.

Solomon’s Wealth

13 Solomon received in any given year about 666 talents[l] of gold, 14 not including revenue from traders and merchants. In addition, all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the nation brought gold and silver to Solomon. 15 King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold, overlaying each shield with the gold from 600 gold pieces,[m] 16 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. 17 The king also made a great ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold. 18 Six steps led up to the throne. A golden footstool was attached to the throne, which had armrests on each side of the seat and two lions standing on either side of each armrest. 19 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] kingdom. 20 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. Silver was never considered to be valuable during the lifetime of Solomon, 21 because the king had ships that sailed to Tarshish accompanied by Hiram’s servants. Once every three years ships from Tarshish returned, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.

22 As a result, King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in regards to wealth and wisdom. 23 All the kings of the earth continued to seek audiences with Solomon so they could hear the wise things that God had put in his heart. 24 Everyone kept on bringing gifts on an annual basis, including items made of silver and gold, garments, myrrh, spices, horses, and mules. 25 Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, along with 12,000 cavalry soldiers. He stationed them in various chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 26 King Solomon[s] ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates[t] River west[u] to the land of the Philistines and as far south as the boundary with Egypt.

27 The king made silver as common as[v] stones in Jerusalem, and made cedar trees as abundant as sycamore trees in the Shephelah.[w] 28 They also kept bringing horses to Solomon from Egypt and from all of the surrounding[x] countries.

The Death of Solomon

29 Now the rest of Solomon’s accomplishments, from first to last, are written in the records of Nathan the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer pertaining to Nebat’s son Jeroboam, are they not? 30 Solomon reigned for 40 years in Jerusalem over all of Israel. 31 Then Solomon died, as had[y] his ancestors, and his son Rehoboam reigned in his place.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 9:1 Lit. Solomon
  2. 2 Chronicles 9:1 Lit. heart
  3. 2 Chronicles 9:4 Lit. his cupbearers
  4. 2 Chronicles 9:7 Lit. servants
  5. 2 Chronicles 9:8 Lit. him; i.e. the nation personified as an individual
  6. 2 Chronicles 9:9 I.e. about 9,000 pounds; a talent weighed about 75 pounds
  7. 2 Chronicles 9:10 Or from a source of fine gold; cf. 1Chr 29:4
  8. 2 Chronicles 9:10 Or presented Juniper trees
  9. 2 Chronicles 9:11 Or the Juniper trees
  10. 2 Chronicles 9:11 Lit. singers
  11. 2 Chronicles 9:11 The Heb. lacks wood
  12. 2 Chronicles 9:13 I.e. about 49,950 pounds; a talent weighed about 75 pounds
  13. 2 Chronicles 9:15 MT does not identify the individual unit of measure
  14. 2 Chronicles 9:16 MT does not identify the individual unit of measure
  15. 2 Chronicles 9:19 The Heb. lacks leading to the throne
  16. 2 Chronicles 9:19 The Heb. lacks other
  17. 2 Chronicles 9:20 The Heb. lacks made of
  18. 2 Chronicles 9:20 The Heb. lacks made of
  19. 2 Chronicles 9:26 Lit. He
  20. 2 Chronicles 9:26 The Heb. lacks Euphrates
  21. 2 Chronicles 9:26 The Heb. lacks west
  22. 2 Chronicles 9:27 The Heb. lacks as common as
  23. 2 Chronicles 9:27 I.e. the verdant central lowlands of Israel; cf. Josh 10:40
  24. 2 Chronicles 9:28 The Heb. lacks surrounding
  25. 2 Chronicles 9:31 Lit. Solomon slept with; and so throughout the book
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

2 Chronicles 9 New International Version (NIV)

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Arriving 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 she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, the cupbearers in their robes 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 what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; 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 his throne as king to rule for the Lord your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness.”

Then she gave the king 120 talents[b] of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. There had never been such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

10 (The servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon brought gold from Ophir; they also brought algumwood[c] and precious stones. 11 The king used the algumwood to make steps for the temple of the Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nothing like them had ever been seen in Judah.)

12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for; he gave her more than she had brought to him. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.

Solomon’s Splendor

13 The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents,[d] 14 not including the revenues brought in by merchants and traders. Also all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the territories brought gold and silver to Solomon.

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

17 Then the king made a great throne covered with ivory and overlaid with pure gold. 18 The throne had six steps, and a footstool of gold was attached to it. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. 19 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. 20 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 day. 21 The king had a fleet of trading ships[g] manned by Hiram’s[h] servants. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.

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

25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horses,[i] which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. 26 He ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. 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 all other countries.

Solomon’s Death

29 As for the other events of Solomon’s reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Nathan the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat? 30 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 31 Then he rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 9:4 Or and the ascent by which he went up to
  2. 2 Chronicles 9:9 That is, about 4 1/2 tons or about 4 metric tons
  3. 2 Chronicles 9:10 Probably a variant of almugwood
  4. 2 Chronicles 9:13 That is, about 25 tons or about 23 metric tons
  5. 2 Chronicles 9:15 That is, about 15 pounds or about 6.9 kilograms
  6. 2 Chronicles 9:16 That is, about 7 1/2 pounds or about 3.5 kilograms
  7. 2 Chronicles 9:21 Hebrew of ships that could go to Tarshish
  8. 2 Chronicles 9:21 Hebrew Huram, a variant of Hiram
  9. 2 Chronicles 9:25 Or charioteers
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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