The Queen Of The South
"Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from You." But He answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here." (Matthew 12:38-42 RSV)
Sheba was The Bible name for an area of what is known today as either southern Saudi Arabia and Yemen, or Ethiopia, or both. Also known as Saba, its people were known as Sabeans. The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon is one of the most famous stories of Bible History - Jesus Christ referred to her as the Queen of the South. Although her actual name is not recorded in the Bible account, there is a Muslim tradition that she was called Balkis. An Ethiopian account also claims that she had at least one child with Solomon, although again the Bible makes no such mention.
The Queen Of Sheba Visits King Solomon
"Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of The Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels [see Ships Of The Desert] bearing spices, and very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind."
"And Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king which he could not explain to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings which he offered at the house of The Lord [see Temples and Layout Of Solomon's Temple], there was no more spirit in her."
"And she said to the king, "The report was true which I heard in my own land of your affairs and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it; and, behold, the half was not told me; your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report which I heard. Happy are your wives! Happy are these your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be The Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because The Lord loved Israel for ever, He has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness."
"Then she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold [that is, about 4 tons], and a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones; never again came such an abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon."
"Moreover the fleet of Hiram, which brought gold from Ophir, brought from Ophir a very great amount of almug wood and precious stones. And the king made of the almug wood supports for the house of The Lord, and for the king's house, lyres also and harps for the singers; no such almug wood has come or been seen, to this day."
"And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what was given her by the bounty of King Solomon. So she turned and went back to her own land, with her servants." (1 Kings 10:1-13 RSV)
Fact Finder: How far and wide did Solomon's kingdom extend in comparison of the land of Israel today?
See Solomon's Kingdom