THIS CHAPTER BEGINS SOMETIME AFTER THE HALFWAY POINT OF SOLOMON’S 40 YEAR REIGN. THE TEMPLE IS BUILT AND IN OPERATION, SOLOMON’S EXTRAVAGANT PALACE IS COMPLETED. KING SOLOMON’S MANY BUILDING PROJECTS THROUGHOUT HIS KINGDOM HAVE ELEVATED HIS PERSONAL FAME AND ISRAEL’S NATIONAL STATUS, AND MONARCHS RULING FAR-FLUNG KINGDOMS ARE CURIOUS AND ENVIOUS OF THIS AMAZINGLY WISE KING AND THE ASTOUNDING WEALTH THIS RELATIVELY SMALL COUNTRY HAS AMASSED ALMOST OVERNIGHT.
AND THE EVENTS OF THESE OPENING VERSES TODAY TAKE PLACE AT LEAST 13 YEARS AFTER THE TEMPLE DEDICATION CEREMONY OF LAST CHAPTER, BECAUSE WE’RE TOLD THAT IT TOOK SOLOMON 13 YEARS TO BUILD HIS PALACE, AND HE DIDN’T START COUNTING THAT TIME UNTIL THE TEMPLE WAS COMPLETED. AND IN LIKE MANNER (MEANING IN A DREAM) YAHUAH VISITED SOLOMON AS HE HAD, NEAR THE BEGINNING OF THE KING’S REIGN AT GIBEON.
QUEEN OF SHEBA (1 King 9-10)
1After Solomon finished building YAHUAH’S Temple, his own Royal Palace, and everything else that he wanted to achieve, 2YAHUAH appeared to Solomon again in a dream, just as he did at Gibeon when he'd first become King.
IN YAHUAH'S FIRST VISIT SOLOMON ASKED FOR WISDOM AND YAHUSHA ALSO GAVE HIM GREAT WEALTH. AND NOW WE’RE TOLD THAT AFTER ALL SOLOMON'S GRAND CONSTRUCTIONS (SOME FOR HIMSELF) THAT YAHUAH HAS COME IN RESPONSE TO HIS PRAYERFUL REQUEST AT THE TEMPLE DEDICATION CEREMONY ... BUT NOTICE IT WAS 13 YEARS SINCE THE TEMPLE WAS DEDICATED BEFORE YAHUAH CAME TO TELL SOLOMON THAT HE WOULD GRANT THOSE REQUESTS. ONE HAS TO WONDER IF THE KING EVEN REMEMBERED MUCH ABOUT WHAT HE HAD ASKED OF YAHUAH SO MANY YEARS EARLIER. THIS WAS AN AWFULLY LONG TIME OF WAITING TO FIND OUT.
3YAHUAH said, “I heard your prayer and what you asked Me to do. You built the Temple for Me to rest My Name, and I have made it a Divine Set-Apart Place. So I will be honoured there forever. I will watch over it and think of it always.
AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, MANY TRIALS HAD COME AND GONE FOR SOLOMON AND YAHUAH SAW THE NEED TO REAFFIRM HIS COMMITMENT TO THE TEMPLE AS A DIVINE MEETING PLACE OF PRAYER AND COMMUNICATION. AFTER ALL THESE YEARS OF PRIESTLY SLAUGHERING, RITUALS AND CEREMONIES, PERHAPS SOLOMON NEEDED TO BE GENTLY REMINDED THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY YAHUAH WHO ESTABLISHED THE TEMPLE, NOT SOLOMON AND NOT THE PRIESTS.
4You must serve Me with a pure, honest heart, just as your father David did. You must obey My laws and do everything that I commanded you. 5If you do, I will make sure that your family will always rule Israel, just as I promised your father David when I told him that Israel would always be ruled by one of his descendants.
THE IDEA IS THAT SOLOMON SHOULD NOT TAKE IT THAT JUST BECAUSE ISRAEL AND ITS KING HAVE BECOME THE ENVY OF THE WORLD, THAT SOMEHOW THIS PROVES THAT ALL IS RIGHT BETWEEN ISRAEL AND YAHUAH, FOR THE ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH AND FAME IS NOT AN EARTHLY SIGN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OR EVEN HARMONY WITH YAHUAH. RATHER IT IS THAT IF SOLOMON EXPECTS FOR ONE OF HIS SONS TO RULE ISRAEL AFTER HIM, AND IF ISRAEL IS TO CONTINUE LIVING UNDER YAHUAH’S BLESSING, THEN THERE ARE CONDITIONS THAT MUST BE MET. AND OBVIOUSLY SOLOMON MEETING THOSE CONDITIONS IS CURRENTLY IN DOUBT OR ELSE YAHUAH WOULDN’T HAVE OFFERED THIS WARNING.
A NATION’S FATE (FROM YAHUAH’S PERSPECTIVE) IS ALL WRAPPED UP IN ITS LEADERSHIP. THE IDEAL KING IS A SHEPHERD-KING. IT IS A LEADER WHO LEADS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PEOPLE AND NOT HIMSELF. IT IS A LEADER WHO SEES HIMSELF AS JOSEPH WAS IN RELATION TO PHARAOH, AS A KIND OF UNDER-KING, DOING THE WILL OF THE ALMIGHTY KING. IN YAHUAH’S ECONOMY, ISRAEL’S LEADER (AS THE IDEAL EXAMPLE FOR ALL LEADERS) WAS FIRST AND FOREMOST TO LEAD HIS PEOPLE DOWN RIGHTEOUS PATHS, USING YAHUAH’S TORAH AS THE MAP. LIKE A SHEPHERD IT WAS NOT A MATTER OF ASKING THE SHEEP WHERE THEY WANTED TO GO AND TAKING THEM THERE. NOR WAS IT A MATTER OF FORCEFULLY OR DECEPTIVELY TAKING THE SHEEP SOMEPLACE THAT THEY OUGHT NOT TO GO BECAUSE IT WAS DANGEROUS OR WICKED, BUT IT DID BENEFIT THE LEADER. SO THE LEADER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PEOPLE AS A GROUP, AND HE OR SHE ALSO REPRESENTS THE SPIRITUAL CONDITION OF THE PEOPLE ON A NATIONAL BASIS BEFORE YAHUAH. THIS IS AN IMMUTABLE YAHUAH-PRINCIPLE, AND NOT SOMETHING THAT ANY NATION CAN HOLD THEMSELVES UP AS BEING EXEMPT FROM. SO ISRAEL’S FATE IS SQUARELY ON SOLOMON’S ROYAL SHOULDERS BECAUSE YAHUAH HAS PUT IT THERE.
6-7“But if you or your children stop following Me, and don’t obey the Laws and Commands that I’ve given you, and if you serve and worship other fake deities, I will force Israel to leave the land that I’ve given to them. Israel will be an example to other nations of what My wrath looks like. Yes, the other nations will mock and jeer and crack jokes about Israel. Don't forget that I'm the one who made this Temple Divine. It is the place where people honour My Name. But don’t think I won’t tear it down, and faster than it went up.
8This Temple will be destroyed, and everyone who sees it will be amazed, and ask, ‘Why did YAHUAH do this terrible thing to this land and to this amazing Temple?’ 9And people will say, ‘This all happened because Israel left YAHUAH their Alahim. Even after He brought their ancestors out of Egypt, they decided to stab Him in the back and bow down to other fake Idols, worshipping them instead. And that is why YAHUAH brought all this evil upon them.’”
Solomon's Temple was completely destroyed !!
Israel was taken into captivity and forced to leave their promised land !
THE JEWS (AND ALL THE OTHER NATIONS THAT ISRAEL WAS SCATTERED INTO) - ARE ALL BEING JUDGED SEVERELY BY YAHUSHA!!
THE TEMPLE IS BASED ON THE WORTHINESS OF ISRAEL’S LEADERSHIP. AND IF YAHUAH ABANDONS THE TEMPLE THEN IT BECOMES AN EMPTY SHELL THAT LOSES ALL VALUE. SO YAHUAH EXPLAINS THAT WHAT WAS ONCE A MAGNIFICENT MONUMENT TO HIM THAT EPITOMISED HIS ESTEEMED POWER BEING WORKED OUT THROUGH ISRAEL, WILL OVERNIGHT TURN INTO SOMETHING THAT WILL SHOCK THOSE FROM OTHER LANDS WHO KNEW IT FROM PRIOR TIMES WHEN YAHUAH DWELLED THERE AND WAS BLESSING IT. SOME PEOPLE WILL LOOK AT THE TEMPLE BUILDING IN HORROR AND ANGUISH, OTHERS WILL VIEW IT, SMIRK, AND ENJOY ITS DEMISE. BUT ALL WILL ASK, “HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?” AND YAHUAH SAYS THAT, BECAUSE THE CURRENT KING OF ISRAEL DISOBEYED AND BECAUSE HE ELECTED TO FOLLOW OTHER IDOLS AND DID NOT FOLLOW HIS DIVINE CONDITIONS, SO YAHUAH VIEWS THESE ACTIONS AS AMOUNTING TO ABANDONMENT OF HIM BY THE NATION AS A WHOLE.
10It took 20 years for King Solomon to build YAHUAH’S Temple and the King’s Palace. 11Hiram supplied Solomon with all the cedar, pine and gold that he wanted, so Solomon gave him 20 cities in Galilee as a guarantee. 12But when Hiram traveled from Tyre to see these cities that Solomon had given him, he wasn't pleased, and said, 13“What are these towns that you have given me, my brother?”
So King Hiram named that land the Land of Cabul ('BINDING OR COLLATERAL'). And that area is still called Cabul today (AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING). 14Hiram had sent King Solomon about 9000 pounds of gold to use in building the Temple.
SOLOMON HAS MADE A BAD TURN, AND IS SUCCUMBING TO HIS GREAT WEALTH, POSITION, POWER, AND INTELLECT. KING HIRAM OF TYRE WAS A TRUE PARTNER IN BUILDING THE TEMPLE AND SOLOMON’S PALACE AND NOW IN RETURN KING SOLOMON SEEMS TO BE GIVING AWAY CITIES IN ISRAEL TO HIRAM IN GRATITUDE FOR HIS HELP. WHAT A SHAMEFUL THING TO DO, AND WHAT WE SEE HERE IS SOMETHING THAT WE NEED TO ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND: BE CAREFUL WHO YOU BECOME INDEBTED TO BECAUSE SOMEDAY YOU WILL HAVE TO REPAY.
ESPECIALLY IN THE NEXT CHAPTER (WITH THE QUEEN OF SHEBA) WE ARE GOING TO GET A GLIMPSE OF THE OTHER-WORLDLY WEALTH THAT HAD BECOME KING SOLOMON’S AND ISRAEL’S. BUT IN CASE IT HASN’T YET OCCURRED TO YOU, NONE OF IT IS COMING FROM THE LAND OF ISRAEL, BUT RATHER FROM FOREIGN PLACES. ISRAEL HAS NEVER HAD ANY VALUABLE NATURAL RESOURCES TO HARVEST; NO GOLD, NO SILVER, NO FORESTS, NO STRANGE ANIMALS DESIRED BY OTHER NATIONS. GOLD, SILVER, TIMBER, PRECIOUS GEMS, AND EXOTIC CREATURES ALL HAD TO BE IMPORTED FROM ABROAD. THEY HAD TO BE PROVIDED BY PAGAN GENTILES. KING SOLOMON COMPLETELY DEPENDED ON NON-YAHUAH WORSHIPPERS FOR EXPERTISE AND MATERIALS EVEN TO BUILD THE TEMPLE TO YAHUAH; THE CHIEF SOURCE BEING KING HIRAM. NOW IT WAS TIME TO PAY THE PIPER. AND OF COURSE, WHAT WOULD SOLOMON USE TO PAY HIM EXCEPT ALL THAT ISRAEL HAD TO OFFER: A PIECE OF THE PROMISED LAND AS COLLATERAL FOR THE HUGE DEBT HE HAD NOW AMASSED.
THE WALL OF JERUSALEM IS REFERRING TO DEFENSIVE WALLS THAT WENT BEYOND THOSE OF THE CITY OF DAVID. SOLOMON HAD BEEN EXTENDING THE CITY ON UP THE HILL TOWARDS THE TEMPLE MOUNT. THERE WAS AN UNDEVELOPED SPACE BETWEEN THE CITY OF DAVID AND THE TEMPLE MOUNT CALLED THE OPHEL AND THIS WAS WHERE JERUSALEM WAS FIRST EXPANDED. THIS WALL OF JERUSALEM MENTIONED HERE IS BOUND TO BE A WALL DESIGNED TO JOIN THE CITY OF DAVID TO THE TEMPLE MOUNT AND THUS ENCLOSE THE OPHEL AREA.
20There were some people left in the land who were not Israelites. There were Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 21The Israelites had not been able to destroy them, but Solomon forced them to work for him as slaves, which they still are today (WHEN THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN). 22Solomon did not force any Israelites to be his slaves. The Israelites were soldiers, government officials, officers, captains, and chariot commanders and drivers. 23There were 550 supervisors over Solomon’s projects. They supervised the men who did the work.
HIRAM WAS A FRIEND AND ALLY OF ISRAEL, BUT HE WASN’T NAÏVE OR SIMPLE; HE OF COURSE HELD HIS OWN NATIONAL INTERESTS ABOVE ISRAEL’S AND SO HE WOULD LOAN THE MODERN EQUIVALENT OF SCORES OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO KING SOLOMON, BUT NOT WITHOUT SOME CONCRETE ASSURANCES THAT HIS NATION WOULD BE REPAID. THUS THESE 20 CITIES OF NORTHERN ISRAEL WERE ESSENTIALLY THE COLLATERAL FOR THE LOAN THAT WOULD BECOME HIRAM’S BY DEFAULT IF ISRAEL FAILED TO REPAY THE DEBT. AND BY THE WAY: NOTICE THAT KING SOLOMON WHO IS A MEMBER OF THE SOUTHERN ISRAEL TRIBE OF JUDAH DIDN’T BLINK AT OFFERING HIRAM SOME NORTHERN TRIBAL TERRITORIES AS COLLATERAL FOR HIS PROJECTS, BUT OF COURSE NOTHING IN JUDAH WAS PUT IN JEOPARDY.
15King Solomon forced slaves to work for him to build the Temple and his Palace. Then he used these slaves to build many other things too. He built the Milo and the city wall around Jerusalem. Then he rebuilt the cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer.
THE MILLO IS A FORTIFIED WALL USED AS DEFENSIVE POSITION ON THE KIDRON VALLEY SIDE OF THE CITY OF DAVID, ORIGINALLY BUILT BY THE JEBUSITES, LATER FORTIFIED BY DAVID, AND NOW STRENGTHENED BY SOLOMON.
16In the past the Pharaoh of Egypt had fought against the city of Gezer and burned it. He killed the Canaanites who lived there. So when Solomon married the Pharaoh’s daughter, the Pharaoh gave him that city as a wedding present. 17So Solomon rebuilt Gezer and the city of Lower Beth Horon. 18He also built the cities of Baalath and Tamar in the Judean Desert. 19He also built cities where he could store grain, and he built places for his chariots and his horses. King Solomon also built whatever he wanted in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and all the places he ruled.
WE ALSO FIND A FLEETING MENTION OF SOLOMON BUILDING BUILDINGS IN LEBANON, SO WE CAN SEE HOW FAR NORTH HIS INFLUENCE EXTENDED. BUT STARTING IN VERSE 20 WE GET A LISTING OF THE VARIOUS ETHNIC GROUPS THAT STILL LIVED IN THE ISRAELITE TRIBAL TERRITORIES, IN PEACE WITH ISRAEL AND UNDER SOLOMON’S RULE. AND IT WAS FROM THESE VARIOUS GROUPS THAT SOLOMON CONSCRIPTED THE LABOR FOR HIS MANY PROJECTS.
SOLOMON DID NOT USE HEBREWS AS FORCED LABOURERS (A POLITICAL CONSIDERATION). INSTEAD, IN A KIND OF ROLE REVERSAL FOR HOW IT WAS FOR ISRAEL IN EGYPT, THE ISRAELITES WERE THE FOREMEN AND TASK MASTERS OVER THE FOREIGN LABOR POOL. AND NATIONAL ISRAELITES ALSO FORMED THE LOYAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATORS, MILITARY COMMANDERS, AND OTHER OFFICIALS WORKING FOR SOLOMON. LET ME ALSO BE CLEAR THAT WHILE THIS WAS FORCED LABOR, THE LABOURERS WERE NOT SLAVES.
24Pharaoh’s daughter moved from the City of David to the palace that Solomon had built for her. Then he built the Millo. 25Three times each year Solomon offered Ascending-Near and Intimate-Peace Offerings of on the Altar that he built for YAHUAH. King Solomon also burned incense before YAHUAH and supplied what was needed for the Temple.
THE MENTION OF SOLOMON OFFICIATING OVER SACRIFICES 3 TIMES PER YEAR IS REFERRING TO THE 3 APPOINTED TIME OF PASSOVER, PENTECOST AND TABERNACLES. WHAT MAKES THIS TROUBLING IS THAT WE HAVE SOLOMON OFFERING THE SACRIFICES AT THE ALTAR WHICH WERE, BY TORAH LAW, TASKS ONLY FOR THE PRIESTS TO PERFORM. THIS IS JUST ONE OF MANY INDULGENCES THAT SOLOMON TOOK UPON HIMSELF AND IT WAS SERIOUSLY WRONG AND SINFUL AND SHOWS SOLOMON’S RAPID DESCENT INTO SELF-IMPORTANCE AND A SENSE THAT HE WAS AUTHORISED TO MANIPULATE OR CHANGE YAHUAH’S LAWS AT HIS WHIM.
26King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber. This town is near Elath on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom. 27King Hiram had some skilled sailors who knew the sea well. He sent them to serve in Solomon’s navy and work with Solomon’s men. 28Solomon’s ships went to Ophir and brought back about 16 tons of gold for him.
HERE WE GET A MOST INTERESTING FEW WORDS ABOUT SOLOMON BUILDING A FLEET OF SHIPS. THIS TOOK PLACE ON THE FINGER OF THE RED SEA CALLED THE GULF OF AQABA. THE BUILDING OF SHIPS AND THEIR HOME PORT WAS NEAR THE CITY OF EILAT. ANCIENT EILAT IS ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE GULF OF AQABA IN WHAT IS MODERN DAY JORDAN. MODERN EILAT ON THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE GULF, BUT IT TOO IS A PORT CITY. AS ISRAEL WAS NOT A NATION OF SEAFARERS, SOLOMON WAS ABLE TO GET HIRAM TO SEND SOME EXPERIENCED SAILORS AND SHIP BUILDERS TO SUPERVISE AND TEACH. THIS FLEET SAILED THE RED SEA, STOPPING AT ARABIAN AND AFRICAN PORTS OF CALL, AND PROBABLY VENTURED AS FAR AS THE INDIAN OCEAN.
1When the Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon, and the great wisdom he had in YAHUAH’S Name, she came to test him with hard questions.
THE CITY OF SHEBA (SABA) WAS THE CAPITAL OF THE ANCIENT ARABIAN CULTURE OF THE SABEANS. THEY WERE TRADERS IN GOLD, INCENSE AND PRECIOUS STONES. THESE DESCENDANTS OF ISHMAEL WERE LOCATED ALONG THE ARABIAN COAST OF THE RED SEA AND WERE KNOWN TO TRADITIONALLY HAVE QUEENS INSTEAD OF KINGS.
SABA WERE MOON-GOD WORSHIPPERS AND (AS ONE MIGHT EXPECT) THERE IS A CLOSE TIE BETWEEN THE SABEANS AND THE EVENTUAL BIRTH OF ISLAM (SOME 5 CENTURIES AFTER YAHUSHA). IN FACT, THE ACCOUNT OF THE QUEEN OF THE SABEANS (SHEBA) AND HER VISIT WITH SOLOMON IS TOLD IN THE MUSLIM KORAN IN SURA 27.
WHY WOULD THE QUEEN VENTURE SO FAR TO TEST SOLOMON WITH RIDDLES? WHY NOT JUST SEND A SERVANT? IT WAS A QUESTION OF WHETHER IT WOULD BE PROFITABLE FOR HER TO MAKE AN ALLIANCE WITH ISRAEL, AND WOULD BE WISE FOR HER TO ACKNOWLEDGE SOLOMON’S ALAHIM YAHUAH, AND PRESENT THE ALAHIM OF ISRAEL WITH GIFTS IN ORDER TO SEEK HIS FAVOUR (A STANDARD MEANS OF DEALING WITH IDOLS IN THAT ERA).
6Then the Queen of Sheba said to King Solomon, “The stories I heard in my country about your great works and your wisdom are true. 7I did not believe it until I came and saw it with my own eyes. Now I see that it is even greater than what I heard. Your wealth and wisdom are much greater than people told me. 8Your men and officers are very fortunate, because they serve you and hear your wisdom every day. 9Praise YAHUAH your Alahim! He was pleased to make you King of Israel. Because of YAHUAH’s unending love for Israel, He’s made you King to rule with justice and fairness.”
14Every year King Solomon received almost 25 tons of gold (666 TALENTS).15In addition to the gold brought in by the traveling merchants and traders, all the Kings of Arabia and the governors of the land also brought gold and silver to Solomon.
IN THE HEBREW IT SAYS 666 TALENTS OF GOLD. THE NUMBER 6 IS SYMBOLIC OF THE PHYSICAL WORLD AND MANKIND. SO IT COULD BE SAID THAT 666 TALENTS OF GOLD REPRESENTS THE PEAK OF THE STRENGTH AND PERFECTION OF THE EARTH WORLD (IE THE WORLD HAS REACHED ITS ZENITH OR ITS ULTIMATE OF WHAT IT CAN EVER BE). EVERYTHING THAT COULD BE EXTRACTED FROM THE WORLD IN WEALTH AND POWER WAS EXTRACTED BY SOLOMON. AND OF COURSE THE SOURCE OF THIS GOLD WAS FROM EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD EXCEPT FROM YAHUAH’S KINGDOM. THIS BLESSING OF ABUNDANCE CAME FROM THE HANDS OF MEN, NOT THE HAND OF YAHUAH. FOR SOLOMON, AND FOR YAHUAH’S PEOPLE, IT'S THE WRONG KIND OF ABUNDANCE TO SEEK OR ACCUMULATE. AND SOLOMON DESIRED AND RECEIVED MORE OF IT THAN ANY MAN IN HISTORY UP TO HIS TIME.
21All of Solomon’s cups and glasses were made of gold, and all the dishes in the building called the Forest of Lebanon were made from pure gold. Nothing in the palace was made from silver. There was so much gold that in Solomon’s time people did not think silver was important.
EVEN WITH ALL THIS GOLD HE STILL WASN’T SATISFIED; SO HE TAXED THE SALES OF BUSINESSES AND MERCHANTS, HE TAXED GOODS THAT MERELY CROSSED THROUGH HIS TERRITORY BUT WERE DESTINED FOR SOMEWHERE ELSE, AND HE ASSESSED ALL THE PETTY KINGS AND GOVERNORS OF THE VARIOUS MIXED PEOPLE GROUPS THAT HE ALLOWED TO LIVE IN PEACE ON ISRAELI LAND. THE LUXURY OF SOLOMON’S KINGDOM TURNED TO OPULENCE, AND OPULENCE TO DECADENCE. HE MADE HUNDREDS OF GOLDEN SHIELDS (MILITARY LOOKING ARMAMENTS THAT WOULD CERTAINLY NEVER SEE A BATTLEFIELD BUT WERE ONLY FOR A DISPLAY OF WEALTH) AND PUT THEM IN HIS PALACE TO IMPRESS HIS VISITORS. HE MADE A THRONE FOR HIS ROYAL SELF THAT WAS INLAID WITH IVORY AND GOLD.
26Solomon had a great number of chariots and horses. He had 1400 chariots and 12,000 horse soldiers. He built special cities for these chariots. So the chariots were kept in these cities. King Solomon also kept some of the chariots with him in Jerusalem. 27The King made Israel very rich. In the city of Jerusalem, silver was as common as rocks and cedar wood was as common as the many fig trees growing on the hills. 28Solomon brought horses from Egypt and Kue. His traders bought them in Kue and brought them to Israel. 29A chariot from Egypt cost about 15 pounds (7kg) of silver, and a horse cost almost 4 pounds (2kg) of silver. Solomon sold horses and chariots to the Kings of the Hittites and the Arameans.
IN HEBREW, WHAT'S BEING SAID IS THE QUEEN, SHEMA (HEARD AND ACTED) ON THE SHAMA (REPORT OR DESCRIPTION) ABOUT SOLOMON BECAUSE OF THE SHEM (NAME/REPUTATION) OF HIS ALAHIM YAHUAH. AND THE IDEA IS THAT YAHUAH WAS GETTING CREDIT, AS SOLOMON’S ALAHIM, FOR ALL THE AMAZING WEALTH AND WISDOM OF SOLOMON AND HIS NATION OF ISRAEL.
2She traveled to Jerusalem with a very large group of servants. There were many camels carrying spices, jewels, and a lot of gold. She met Solomon and asked him all the questions that she could think of. 3And Solomon answered them all. None of her questions were too hard for him to explain. 4The Queen of Sheba saw that Solomon was very wise. She also saw the beautiful palace he’d built. 5She saw the food at the King’s table, his officials meeting together, the servants in the palace, the good clothes they all wore, his parties, the magnificent staircase between Solomon’s Palace and YAHUAH’S Temple, and she was so amazed, that she could hardly breathe!
10Then the Queen of Sheba gave King Solomon 4.5 tons of gold, a huge amount of spices, and precious stones. She gave him more spices than anyone has ever brought into Israel. 11Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir. They also brought jewels and a special kind of wood. 12Solomon used this special wood to build supports in the Temple and the palace as well as harps and lyres for the singers. That was the last time such a large shipment of that kind of wood was brought to Israel. There hasn’t been any seen around here since then. 13 King Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba everything she asked for. He gave her more than she brought to give him. Then the Queen of Sheba and her servants left and went back to their own country.
16King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold. He used about 15 pounds (7kg) of gold for each shield. 17He also made 300 smaller shields of hammered gold. He used almost 4 pounds (2kg) of gold for each shield. The King put them in the Forest-of-Lebanon House. 18King Solomon also built a large throne with ivory decorations. It was covered with pure gold. 19There were six steps leading up to the throne. The back of the throne was round at the top. There were armrests on both sides of the throne, and there were lions in the sides of the throne under the armrests. 20There were also two lions on each of the six steps, one at each end. There was nothing like it in any other Kingdom.
THE APPROACH TO THE THRONE HAD 6 STEPS AND EACH STEP HAD A PAIR A LIONS AT THE EDGES. HE DRANK FROM GOBLETS OF PURE GOLD, HIS PERSONAL EATING UTENSILS WERE MADE OF GOLD. IN FACT HE USED SO MUCH GOLD THAT SILVER WAS LOOKED DOWN UPON AND NO MORE VALUABLE THAN PAVING STONES FOR THE STREETS.
22The King also had many cargo ships that he sent out to trade things with other countries. These were Hiram’s ships. Every three years the ships would come back with a new load of gold, silver, ivory, and apes and baboons. 23King Solomon became greater in riches and wisdom than any other King on earth. 24People everywhere wanted to see King Solomon and listen to the great wisdom that YAHUAH the Alahim had given him. 25Every year people came to see the King and brought gifts made from gold and silver, clothes, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
AS SOLOMON’S FAME SPREAD, LEADERS OF NATIONS AND WEALTHY ARISTOCRATS NATURALLY WANTED TO BE SEEN WITH SOLOMON. SO THEY VENTURED FROM ALL OVER THE KNOWN WORLD JUST TO COME AND VIEW THE SPECTACULAR BUILDINGS AND VAST WEALTH AND SUCH A WELL ORDERED SOCIETY. THEY ALL WANTED TO BE JUST LIKE SOLOMON. BUT IF ONE WANTS TO SEE THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER MONARCH IN THE WORLD, ONE MUST BRING STUNNING GIFTS THAT PURCHASE AN AUDIENCE. THIS WAS YET ANOTHER SOURCE OF WEALTH. NATURALLY AS ISRAEL GAINED WEALTH, THEY HAD TO PROTECT IT. SO KING SOLOMON BUILT FORTRESSES AND MILITARY BASES AT STRATEGIC LOCATIONS. THE MOST FEARSOME WEAPON OF THE DAY WAS CHARIOTS AND SOLOMON AMASSED A HUGE ARSENAL OF THEM. EGYPT WAS THE PRIMARY SOURCE OF HORSES IN THAT REGION AND SO NATURALLY WITH HIS SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH PHARAOH SIAMUN, HIS FATHER IN LAW, SOLOMON OBTAINED THE BEST HORSES AT WHOLESALE PRICES. HE CORNERED THE MARKET. AND THUS WHEN OTHER KINGS AND POTENTATES AROUND THE MIDDLE EAST WANTED TO EMULATE KING SOLOMON, THEY HAD TO COME TO HIM TO BUY THEIR HORSES AND CHARIOTS. SOLOMON NOT ONLY BUILT UP A HUGE CHARIOT FORCE FOR ISRAEL, HE BECAME AN ARMS BROKER AND CONTROLLED THE SUPPLY OF CHARIOTS AND TRAINED CHARIOT HORSES THROUGHOUT THE REGION. SOLOMON WAS VERY POSSIBLY THE MOST POWERFUL LEADER IN THE KNOWN WORLD IN HIS ERA. AND AS WE’LL SOON SEE, IT WAS ONLY FOR A VERY SHORT TIME BEFORE IT ALL CAME TO RUIN.