Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 10
The people in Sheba were relatives of the people in Ophir and Havilah (Genesis 10:28-29). All of these places were famous for their gold (Genesis 2:11; Psalm 45:9; Psalm 72:15)
So, when Solomon sent traders to Ophir (9:26-28), reports reached the queen of Sheba. She heard about Solomon’s wisdom (4:29-34) and about the great things that he had achieved (10:6). She heard that God had chosen to do these great things by means of Solomon for his (God’s) own honour.
The queen of Sheba wanted to know whether these extraordinary reports were true. We do not know how much she understood about the true God. However, she clearly wanted to see whether God truly was at work in the life of Solomon.
That caused her to go on an extraordinary journey. Unlike Solomon’s traders, she did not go by boat. Instead, she came through the desert, with vast numbers of her servants and officials. They travelled on camels, strong animals that are very suitable for journeys through the desert.
For such an important royal visit, the queen considered that splendid gifts were essential. She brought vast quantities of the most precious things that Sheba produced. So, her camels carried a great weight of gold and many precious stones. She also brought the best agricultural products of Sheba: spices, that is, substances with a beautiful smell (10:10).
Next part: The queen of Sheba tests the wisdom of Solomon (1 Kings 10:3-5)
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© 2023, Keith Simons.