Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 10
In the Hebrew language, the word for ‘happy’ in verse 8 is the same word that many Bibles elsewhere translate as ‘blessed’ (see Psalm 1:1, Psalm 32:1 and Psalm 119:1-2). It is not describing a person’s emotions, but rather the true inner state of that person, in his mind or spirit.
So, the queen of Sheba was saying that Solomon’s servants were truly content. They found pleasure in their work and their lives brought them satisfaction (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20).
They were pleased to work for a wise king who ruled his people in a right and proper manner. Solomon had organised their work well, so that their work did not cause them too much strain. They truly benefitted from Solomon’s great wisdom.
The queen understood the true reason for this happiness, and for Israel’s success during Solomon’s rule. The people were content because of Israel’s relationship with God. A nation can only be truly happy when its people have a right relationship with the real God (Psalm 144:15).
That caused the queen of Sheba to give honour to Israel’s God. She learned about God’s special relationship with Israel, and his promises to Israel that last for all time (Jeremiah 31:35-37). She declared that God had appointed Solomon to rule Israel. She saw that Solomon had achieved all these great things only because of God’s great kindness to him and to Israel. That was why she, a foreign queen, chose to praise Israel’s God.
Next part: Precious gifts, and a precious wood (1 Kings 10:10-13)
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