The Queen of Sheba
The Queen of Sheba was a woman of prominence and wealth in ancient history. Both Arabia and Ethiopia claim such a name and such a queen. However, recent archaeological researches in southern Arabia tend to identify the queen with this territory and her capital with Marib, in Yemen. The Arabian Sheba was a great spice country. And Sheba was mentioned as trading with Tyre in spices, precious stones, and gold.
The Queen of Sheba sought the wisdom of Solomon for her many questions. She had “heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the LORD, [and] came to test Solomon with hard questions” (1 Kings 10:1). And God granted Solomon the gift of wisdom (1 Kings 3:5–12), so that “nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her” (1 Kings 10:3).
Solomon gave helpful, intelligent answers, which directed the queen’s mind to the true source of all wisdom and prosperity. After the Queen of Sheba witnessed Solomon’s wisdom and works, she didn’t thank him merely for the hospitality that she has received but more importantly for the knowledge of God’s truth. And she said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness” (1 kings 10:9).
Her visit led to her conversion and salvation (Matthew 12:24). In gratitude to Solomon, the Queen of Sheba gave him material presents of gold, precious stones, and fragrant spices. Solomon also gave her all that her heart desired from his kingdom. And she returned to her own country blessed and grateful to the truths she had learned (1 Kings 10:13).
God desired that the world may see the wisdom of God’s people and be led to the source of all truth. This was the role that the nation of Israel was to play in the salvation of the other nations. Jesus referred favorably to this woman as the “queen of the south” in Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31. He commented that even though she was originally a pagan, she accepted the truth of God, unlike the religious leaders of Israel, who rejected it.
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In His service,