The queen of Sheba heard how famous Solomon was, so she came to Jerusalem to test him with tough questions. She brought with her a very large entourage, with camels loaded with spices, large amounts of gold, and precious gemstones. She came to Solomon and asked him about everything she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing he couldn't explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw Solomon's wisdom, and the palace he had built, the food on the table, how his officials lived, how his servants operated and how they were dressed, the clothes of the waiters, and the burnt offerings he presented at the Lord's Temple, she was so astonished* she could hardly breathe.
She told the king, “It's true what I heard in my own country about your proverbs and your wisdom! But I didn't believe what they told me until I came and saw with my own eyes. In fact, I wasn't told the half of itthe extent of your wisdom far exceeds what I heard! How happy your people must be! How happy those who work for you, who stand here every day listening to your wisdom! Praise the Lord your God who is so pleased with you, who placed you on his throne as king to rule on his behalf. Because of the love of your God for Israel he has made them secure forever, and he has made you king over them to do what is fair and right.”
10 She presented the king with one hundred and twenty talents of gold, huge amounts of spices and precious stones. Never before had there been spices like those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 (Hiram's fleet of ships brought gold from Ophir, and also carried algum wood and precious stones. 12 The king used the algum wood to make steps for the Temple and for the royal palace, and into lyres and harps for the musicians. Nothing like them had ever been seen before in the land of Judah.)
13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she wanted, whatever she asked for. This was in addition to the usual gifts he had generously given her. Then she and her attendants returned home to her own country.
14 The weight of gold that Solomon received each year was 666 talents, 15 not including that received from traders and merchants, and all the kings of Arabia and governors of the land.
16 King Solomon made two hundred shields of hammered gold. Each shield required six hundred shekels of hammered gold. 17 He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold. Each of these shields required three gold minas.§ The king placed them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.
18 The king also made a great throne of ivory, and covered it with pure gold. 19 The throne had six steps, with a rounded top* at the back. There were armrests on both sides of the seat, with lions standing beside the armrests. 20 Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one on opposite ends of each step. Nothing like this had ever been made for any kingdom.
21 All of King Solomon's drinking cups were gold, and all the utensils of the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. No silver was used, because it was not valued in the days of Solomon.
22 The king had a fleet of ships from Tarshish crewed by Hiram's sailors. Once every three years the ships of Tarshish would arrive with a cargo of gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
23 King Solomon was greater than any other king on earth in wealth and wisdom. 24 The whole world wanted to meet Solomon to hear the wisdom that God had placed in his mind. 25 Year after year, every visitor would bring giftsarticles of silver and gold, clothes, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
26 Solomon accumulated 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen. He kept them in the chariot towns, and also with him in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar wood as plentiful as sycamore-figs in the foothills. 28 Solomon's horses were imported from Egypt and Kue—the royal merchants purchased them in Kue. 29 A chariot imported from Egypt cost six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse a hundred and fifty. They also exported them to all the Hittite kings, and to the Aramean kings.
* 10:5 “She was so astonished”: implied by the phrase (literally) “there was no longer breath in her.” 10:6 “Proverbs”: literally, “words.” 10:12 “Steps”: or “railings.” § 10:17 A mina was worth around 50 shekels. * 10:19 “Rounded top”: the Septuagint has “calves,” in other words a carving depicting calves. 10:28 “Egypt”: or Musri (Cappadocia).