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1 Kings 10:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of Jehovah, she came to prove him with hard questions.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with difficult questions.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon in connection with the name of Jehovah, and came to prove him with enigmas.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And, when, the queen of Sheba, heard the report of Solomon, as pertaining to the Name of Yahweh, she came to prove him, with abstruse questions.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And the queen of Sheba is hearing of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of Jehovah, and cometh to try him with enigmas,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And the queen of Saba having heard of the fame of Solomon in the name of the Lord, came to try him with hard questions.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And when the Queene of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, concerning the Name of the LORD; shee came to prooue him with hard questions.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the queen of Sheba{gr.Saba} heard of the name of Solomon, and the name of the Lord, and she came to try him with riddles.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And when the queen of Sheva heard of the fame of Shelomoh concerning the name of Yahweh, she came to prove him with hard questions.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And when the queen 4436
{4436} Prime
מַלְכָּה
malkah
{mal-kaw'}
Feminine of H4428; a queen.
of v שְׁבָא 7614
{7614} Prime
שְׁבָא
Sh@ba'
{sheb-aw'}
Of foreign origin; Sheba, the name of three early progenitors of tribes and of an Ethiopian district.
heard 8085
{8085} Prime
שָׁמַע
shama`
{shaw-mah'}
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
of x853
(0853) Complement
אֵת
'eth
{ayth}
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
the fame 8088
{8088} Prime
שֵׁמַע
shema`
{shay'-mah}
From H8085; something heard, that is, a sound, rumor, announcement; abstractly audience.
of lm שְׁלֹמֹה 8010
{8010} Prime
שְׁלֹמֹה
Sh@lomoh
{shel-o-mo'}
From H7965; peaceful; Shelomoh, David's successor.
concerning the name 8034
{8034} Prime
שֵׁם
shem
{shame}
A primitive word (perhaps rather from H7760 through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare H8064); an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character.
of Yhw יָהוֶה, 3068
{3068} Prime
יְהֹוָה
Y@hovah
{yeh-ho-vaw'}
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
she came 935
{0935} Prime
בּוֹא
bow'
{bo}
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
to prove 5254
{5254} Prime
נָסַה
nacah
{naw-saw'}
A primitive root; to test; by implication to attempt.
z8763
<8763> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 790
him with hard questions. 2420
{2420} Prime
חִידָה
chiydah
{khee-daw'}
From H2330; a puzzle; hence a trick, conundrum, sententious maxim.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Kings 10:1

_ _ 1 Kings 10:1-13. The Queen of Sheba admires the wisdom of Solomon.

_ _ the queen of Sheba — Some think her country was the Sabean kingdom of Yemen, of which the capital was Saba, in Arabia-Felix; others, that it was in African Ethiopia, that is, Abyssinia, towards the south of the Red Sea. The opinions preponderate in favor of the former. This view harmonizes with the language of our Lord, as Yemen means “South”; and this country, extending to the shores of the Indian ocean, might in ancient times be considered “the uttermost parts of the earth.”

_ _ heard of the fame of Solomon — doubtless by the Ophir fleet.

_ _ concerning the name of the Lord — meaning either his great knowledge of God, or the extraordinary things which God had done for him.

_ _ hard questions — enigmas or riddles. The Orientals delight in this species of intellectual exercise and test wisdom by the power and readiness to solve them.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Kings 10:1-13

_ _ We have here an account of the visit which the queen of Sheba made to Solomon, no doubt when he was in the height of his piety and prosperity. Our Saviour calls her the queen of the south, for Sheba lay south of Canaan. The common opinion is that it was in Africa; and the Christians in Ethiopia, to this day, are confident that she came from their country, and that Candace was her successor, who is mentioned Acts 8:27. But it is more probable that she came from the south part of Arabia the happy. It should seem she was a queen regent, sovereign of her country. Many a kingdom would have been deprived of its greatest blessings if a Salique law had been admitted into its constitution. Observe,

_ _ I. On what errand the queen of Sheba came — not to treat of trade or commerce, to adjust the limits of their dominions, to court his alliance for their mutual strength or his assistance against some common enemy, which are the common occasions of the congress of crowned heads and their interviews, but she came, 1. To satisfy her curiosity; for she had heard of his fame, especially for wisdom, and she came to prove him, whether he was so great a man as he was reported to be, 1 Kings 10:1. Solomon's fleet sailed near the coast of her country, and probably might put in there for fresh water; perhaps it was thus that she heard of the fame of Solomon, that he excelled in wisdom all the children of the east, and nothing would serve her but she would go herself and know the truth of the report. 2. To receive instruction from him. She came to hear his wisdom, and thereby to improve her own (Matthew 12:42), that she might be the better able to govern her own kingdom by his maxims of policy. Those whom God has called to any public employment, particularly in the magistracy and ministry, should, by all means possible, be still improving themselves in that knowledge which will more and more qualify them for it, and enable them to discharge their trust well. But, it should seem, that which she chiefly aimed at was to be instructed in the things of God. She was religiously inclined, and had heard not only of the fame of Solomon, but concerning the name of the Lord (1 Kings 10:1), the great name of that God whom Solomon worshipped and from whom he received his wisdom, and with this God she desired to be better acquainted. Therefore does our Saviour mention her enquiries after God, by Solomon, as an aggravation of the stupidity of those who enquire not after God by our Lord Jesus Christ, though he, having lain in his bosom, was much better able to instruct them.

_ _ II. With what equipage she came, with a very great retinue, agreeable to her rank, intending to try Solomon's wealth and generosity, as well as his wisdom, what entertainment he could and would give to a royal visitant, 1 Kings 10:2. Yet she came not as one begging, but brought enough to bear her charges, and abundantly to recompense Solomon for his attention to her, nothing mean or common, but gold, and precious stones, and spices, because she came to trade for wisdom, which she would purchase at any rate.

_ _ III. What entertainment Solomon gave her. He despised not the weakness of her sex, blamed her not for leaving her own business at home to come so long a journey, and put herself and him to so much trouble and expense merely to satisfy her curiosity; but he made her welcome and all her train, gave her liberty to put all her questions, though some perhaps were frivolous, some captious, and some over-curious; he allowed her to commune with him of all that was in her heart (1 Kings 10:2) and gave her a satisfactory answer to all her questions (1 Kings 10:3), whether natural, moral, political, or divine. Were they designed to try him? he gave them such turns as abundantly satisfied her of his uncommon knowledge. Were they designed for her own instruction? (as we suppose most of them were), she received abundant instruction from him, and he made things surprisingly easy which she apprehended insuperably difficult, and satisfied her that there was a divine sentence in the lips of this king. But he informed her no doubt, with particular care, concerning God, and his law and instituted worship. He had taken it for granted (1 Kings 8:42) that strangers would hear of his great name, and would come thither to enquire after him; and now that so great a stranger came we may be sure he was not wanting to assist and encourage her enquiries, and give her a description of the temple, and the officers and services of it, that she might be persuaded to serve the Lord whom she now sought.

_ _ IV. How she was affected with what she saw and heard in Solomon's court. Divers things are here mentioned which she admired, the buildings and furniture of his palace, the provision that was made very day for his table (when she saw that perhaps she wondered where there were mouths for all that meat, but when she saw the multitude of his attendants and guests she was as ready to wonder where was the meat for all those mouths), the orderly sitting of his servants, every one in his place, and the ready attendance of his ministers, without any confusion, their rich liveries, and the propriety with which his cup-bearers waited at his table. These things she admired, as adding much to his magnificence. But, above all these, the first thing mentioned (which contained all) is his wisdom (1 Kings 10:4), of the transcendency of which she now had incontestable proofs: and the last thing mentioned, which crowned all, is his piety, the ascent by which he went up to the house of the Lord, with what gravity and seriousness, and an air of devotion in his countenance, he appeared, when he went to the temple to worship God, with as much humility then as majesty at other times. Many of the ancient versions read it, The burnt-offerings which he offered in the house of the Lord; she observed with what a generous bounty he brought his sacrifices, and with what a pious fervour he attended the offering of them; never did she see so much goodness with so much greatness. Every thing was so surprising that there was no more spirit in her, but she stood amazed; she had never seen the like.

_ _ V. How she expressed herself upon this occasion. 1. She owned her expectation far out-done, though it was highly raised by the report she heard, 1 Kings 10:6, 1 Kings 10:7. She is far from repenting her journey or calling herself a fool for undertaking it, but acknowledges it was well worth her while to come so far for the sight of that which she could not believe the report of. Usually things are represented to us, both by common fame and by our own imagination, much greater than we find them when we come to examine them; but here the truth exceeded both fame and fancy. Those who, through grace, are brought to experience the delights of communion with God will say that the one-half was not told them of the pleasures of Wisdom's ways and the advantages of her gates. Glorified saints, much more, will say that it was a true report which they heard of the happiness of heaven, but that the thousandth part was not told them, 1 Corinthians 2:9. 2. She pronounced those happy that constantly attended him, and waited on him at table: “Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants (1 Kings 10:8); they may improve their own wisdom by hearing thine.” She was tempted to envy them and to which herself one of them. Note, It is a great advantage to be in good families, and to have opportunity of frequent converse with those that are wise, and good, and communicative. Many have this happiness who know not how to value it. With much more reason may we say this of Christ's servants, Blessed are those that dwell in his house, they will be still praising him. 3. She blessed God, the giver of Solomon's wisdom and wealth, and the author of his advancement, who had made him king, (1.) In kindness to him, that he might have the larger opportunity of doing good with his wisdom: He delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel, 1 Kings 10:9. Solomon's preferment began in the prophet's calling him Jedidiah, because the Lord loved him, 2 Samuel 12:25. It more than doubles our comforts if we have reason to hope they come from God's delight in us. It was his pleasure concerning thee (so it may be read) to set thee on the throne, not for thy merit's sake, but because it so seemed good unto him. (2.) In kindness to the people, because the Lord loved Israel for ever, designed them a lasting bliss, long to survive him that laid the foundations of it. “He has made thee king, not that thou mayest live in pomp and pleasure, and do what thou wilt, but to do judgment and justice.” This she kindly reminded Solomon of, and no doubt he took it kindly. Both magistrates and ministers must be more solicitous to do the duty of their places than to secure the honours and profits of them. To this she attributes his prosperity, not to his wisdom, for bread is not always to the wise (Ecclesiastes 9:11), but whoso doeth judgment and justice, it shall be well with him, Jeremiah 22:15. Thus giving of thanks must be made for kings, for good kings, for such kings; they are what God makes them to be.

_ _ VI. How they parted. 1. She made a noble present to Solomon of gold and spices, 1 Kings 10:10. David had foretold concerning Solomon that to him should be given of the gold of Sheba, Psalms 72:15. The present of gold and spices which the wise men of the east brought to Christ was signified by this, Matthew 2:11. Thus she paid for the wisdom she had learned and did not think she bought it dearly. Let those that are taught of God give him their hearts, and the present will be more acceptable than this of gold and spices. Mention is made of the great abundance Solomon had of his own, notwithstanding she presented and he accepted this gold. What we present to Christ he needs not, but will have us so to express our gratitude. The almug-trees are here spoken of (1 Kings 10:11, 1 Kings 10:12) as extraordinary, because perhaps much admired by the queen of Sheba. 2. Solomon was not behind-hand with her: He gave her whatsoever, she asked, patterns, we may suppose, of those things that were curious, by which she might make the like; or perhaps he gave her his precepts of wisdom and piety in writing, besides that which he gave her of his royal bounty, 1 Kings 10:13. Thus those who apply to our Lord Jesus will find him not only greater than Solomon, and wiser, but more kind; whatsoever we ask, it shall be done for us; nay, he will, out of his divine bounty, which infinitely exceeds royal bounty, even Solomon's, do for us more than we are able to ask or think.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Kings 10:1

Sheba — Of that part of Arabia, called Shabaea, which was at great distance from Jerusalem, bordering upon the Southern Sea; for there, much more than in Ethiopia, were the commodities which she brought, 1 Kings 10:2, 1 Kings 10:10. Name of the Lord — That is, concerning God; the name of God being often put for God; concerning his deep knowledge in the things of God. For it is very probable she had, as had divers other Heathens, some knowledge of the true God, and an earnest desire to know more concerning him. Questions — Concerning natural, and civil, and especially, Divine things.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Kings 10:1

And when the queen of (a) Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.

(a) Josephus says that she was Queen of Ethiopia, and that Sheba was the name of the chief city of Meroe, which is an island of the Nile.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
am 3014, bc 990

And when:

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, 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. ... And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside [that] which she had brought unto the king. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants.
Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon [is] here.
Luke 11:31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon [is] here.

Sheba:

Genesis 10:7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
Genesis 10:28 And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,
Genesis 25:3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.
Job 6:19 The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them.
Psalms 72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
Psalms 72:15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; [and] daily shall he be praised.
Isaiah 60:6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.
Jeremiah 6:20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings [are] not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.
Ezekiel 27:22-23 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they [were] thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold. ... Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, [and] Chilmad, [were] thy merchants.
Ezekiel 38:13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

heard:

1 Kings 4:31 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.
1 Kings 4:34 And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.

concerning:

Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.
Proverbs 2:3-6 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, [and] liftest up thy voice for understanding; ... For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
1 Corinthians 1:20-21 Where [is] the wise? where [is] the scribe? where [is] the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? ... For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

prove him:

Judges 14:12-14 And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find [it] out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments: ... And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.
Psalms 49:4 I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.
Proverbs 1:5-6 A wise [man] will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: ... To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
Matthew 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Matthew 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Mark 4:34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Gn 10:7, 28; 25:3. Jg 14:12. 1K 4:31, 34. 2Ch 9:1. Jb 6:19; 28:28. Ps 49:4; 72:10, 15. Pv 1:5; 2:3. Is 60:6. Jr 6:20. Ezk 27:22; 38:13. Mt 12:42; 13:11, 35. Mk 4:34. Lk 11:31. Jn 17:3. 1Co 1:20.

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