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The Pull of Solomon on the Queen of Sheba

Interested readers may find the brief story of the Queen of Sheba’s visit to wise King Solomon in their editions of the Bible. It’s found in the Book of Kings, chapter 10, verses 1 to 13, as well as in the Book of Chronicles, chapter 9, verses 1 to 13. Curiously, the significance of the visit was that incalculable affecting many aspects of history and religion, such that it would even merit two entries in the Bible. There’s also this online page by Torrey Philemon (an alias) describing the story in more complete details: http://www.windweaver.com/sheba/Shebahome.htm#Index And there are many legends and stories that the interested reader may want to research on, if [s]he’s piqued increasingly about what actually happened during this biblically-sourced narrative on public relations and international diplomacy.

The attraction of King Solomon to Sheba’s Queen (whose real name is believed to be “Makeda,” meaning “Greatness”) boils down to the Queen’s deep desire and longing to see for herself the very source of wisdom of Solomon. And she did not fail on this when she sought out to seek the source. Sheba then was almost as prosperous as the kingdom of Solomon. The Queen must have been hearing a lot from her advisors on the then-world renown wisdom that King Solomon has shown to everyone in his kingdom, including foreigners. She then decided to venture and cross the wilderness, and leave her kingdom to check the veracity of the reports, and perhaps, gain more in return (which she did).

The Queen was known, in many accounts, to be a seeker and lover of wisdom herself. She was then the queen of a matrilineal society, such that it gives precedence on the ascendancy of the female line over that of the male, in households, most particularly those of its ruling elites. She ventured out with practically complete retinue of nobles and servants, and in full regalia, covering the distance from Sheba (which is believed to be somewhere in modern Yemen, and also covered what is considered now as Ethiopia) to Jerusalem in modern-day Palestine, that could have taken them at least 6 months.

She came bearing gifts of immense kind and quantities, astounding most everyone who heard about them, perhaps including King Solomon. It is believed that she brought, among other things, $10 million worth of gold, plus abundant quantities of spices that have never been brought again as gifts by other visitors in Solomon’s kingdom.

The Queen is also believed to have brought back with her an unborn child of King Solomon in her womb on her journey back to Sheba. She’s believed to have stayed at least 6 months in Jerusalem, which time she spent most productively asking questions to Solomon, for which she got wisdom-filled answers. She saw for herself how Solomon would share rich counsel. She would also be provided with rich gifts by Solomon on her journey back to Sheba. She also saw the very source of Solomon’s wisdom, which is his fear of God whom he worships. She’s believed to have also brought back to Sheba the practice of monotheism, such that she decreed that God be worshipped, too, in her kingdom.

Notably, after the Queen of Sheba’s departure, King Solomon was not known to have any other woman who was considered his equal. In the latter part of his reign, his kingdom eventually weakened.