Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 10

Precious gifts, and a precious wood

1 Kings 10:10-13

The gifts that the queen of Sheba gave to Solomon, were impressive and beautiful. They were the best products that her country produced. The gold from Sheba was famous for its excellent quality (Psalm 45:9).

The queen gave generously. She did not owe anything to Solomon; this was not the payment of taxes. Rather, she gave these gifts because she recognised Solomon to be God’s king. As Abraham had done in Genesis 14:18-20, this was her way to give to God.

Solomon did not take unfair advantage of her generous act. He gave to the queen even more generous gifts than she had given to him (2 Chronicles 9:12).

In the middle of the account of these gifts, there is a second mention of Solomon’s trade with Ophir (compare 1 Kings 9:26-28). Perhaps that is to show that this gold (from Sheba) was in addition to what Solomon obtained by trade. However, perhaps there is another reason to mention the trade with Ophir here.

Solomon’s traders did not just bring back gold from Ophir. They also found there a good supply of a precious wood, which they called almug or algum. It was such a good quality that Solomon’s workmen made musical instruments from it.

They used some of that beautiful wood to make supports for the temple, God’s house. These were probably to assist people as they went up the steps to the temple. The temple was at the top of a hill. So, these wooden supports made the stairs up to the temple even more beautiful. Also, they made it easier for older and weaker people to go to the temple. Solomon, with his great wisdom, cared about all the people that he ruled over.

Next part: Solomon's great income from taxes (1 Kings 10:14-15)


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