Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 10

The queen of Sheba tests the wisdom of Solomon

1 Kings 10:3-5

The main purpose of the queen of Sheba’s visit was not to see Solomon’s wealth or to trade with him. Rather, she came because of the reports of his wisdom (10:6). She wanted to hear his wisdom for herself (Matthew 12:42). Solomon’s wisdom would be evidence for her that the true God really was working powerfully in Israel.

So, she prepared a series of problems by which she would test Solomon’s wisdom. These were probably in the form of stories, perhaps like the one in 2 Samuel 14:1-20. In that particular example, the woman who told the story was not sincere; she only approved of David’s wisdom to persuade him to agree to her demands.

However, the queen of Sheba was sincere. Although her stories hid their true meanings, Solomon was able to discover the true meaning in each story. Even the hardest problems seemed easy for him. His answers astonished her. He seemed able to understand these problems more clearly than anyone could even imagine (compare Luke 2:46-47). That showed that his wisdom truly came from God (3:7-12). In other words, his wisdom was not merely human intelligence – it was the gift of God (Proverbs 2:6).

It was not only Solomon’s words that convinced the queen of his wisdom. She saw his great skill in organisation. That skill was clear both in his great buildings, and in the smallest details of his arrangements. That included the provision of food (4:7-28) and even the clothes that his servants wore. The queen could see that Solomon had thought carefully about all of these things.

Next part: A king who rules with God's wisdom (1 Kings 10:6-7)


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