And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. – 1 Kings 10:24
The story of the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon appear in religious texts sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Described in the Bible as simply a Queen of the East, modern theologians think that she came from the Kingdom of Axum in Ethiopia, the Kingdom of Saba in Yemen, or both. Their main reason for believing such, is that she brought bales of incense with her as a gift; frankincense only grew in those two areas.
From 1 Kings 10:1–29, it is clear that the Queen of Sheba is inquisitive, intelligent, and wealthy. Her attitude goes from one who doubts the rumors she has heard about King Solomon, to an unwavering believer, after he answers all her questions. In verses 6-9, the Queen of Sheba expresses this epiphany. She exclaims that all the reports that she has heard about King Solomon’s wisdom were true.
While tradition has viewed the story of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon through a kaleidoscope and extracted many different views. The most pervasive interpretive issue for me is the interaction between two gracious, intelligent, and wealthy people who respected each other, where at the center of this interaction is royal generosity. And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants (1 Kings 10:13).
The royal bounty was something that was “thrown in” not because the Queen of Sheba need it, but as an expression of Solomon’s unmeasured generosity. Now only was Solomon wise beyond measure, but he was generous as well.
God Bless… I am Wiley’s Granddaughter…