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1 Kings 10:1-13 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 10

Solomon’s Listening Heart: The Queen of Sheba.[a] The queen of Sheba,[b] having heard a report of Solomon’s fame, came to test him with subtle questions. She arrived in Jerusalem with a very numerous retinue, and with camels bearing spices, a large amount of gold, and precious stones. She came to Solomon and spoke to him about everything that she had on her mind. King Solomon explained everything she asked about, and there was nothing so obscure that the king could not explain it to her. When the queen of Sheba witnessed Solomon’s great wisdom, the house he had built, the food at his table, the seating of his ministers, the attendance and dress of his waiters, his servers, and the burnt offerings he offered in the house of the Lord, it took her breath away. “The report I heard in my country about your deeds and your wisdom is true,” she told the king. “I did not believe the report until I came and saw with my own eyes that not even the half had been told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report I heard. Happy are your servants, happy these ministers of yours, who stand before you always and listen to your wisdom. Blessed be the Lord, your God, who has been pleased to place you on the throne of Israel. In his enduring love for Israel, the Lord has made you king to carry out judgment and justice.” 10 Then she gave the king one hundred and twenty gold talents, a very large quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never again did anyone bring such an abundance of spices as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

11 Hiram’s fleet, which used to bring gold from Ophir, also brought from there a very large quantity of almug[c] wood and precious stones. 12 With this wood the king made supports for the house of the Lord and for the house of the king, and harps and lyres for the singers. Never again was any such almug wood brought or seen to the present day.

13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she desired and asked for, besides what King Solomon gave her from Solomon’s royal bounty. Then she returned with her servants to her own country.

Solomon’s Riches: Domestic Affairs.[d]


  1. 10:1–13 The sub-unit on Solomon’s wisdom contrasts with 3:16–28. There Solomon’s gifts led him to listen to the humblest of his subjects; he accomplished justice and was revered by all his people. Here the emphasis is on his clever speech to a foreign monarch. She is duly impressed by the glory of his court, but it is she, not Solomon, who recalls the monarch’s duty of establishing justice (v. 9). The unit is interrupted briefly by a remark about Solomon’s maritime commerce (10:11–12).
  2. 10:1 Queen of Sheba: women rulers among the Arabs are recorded in eighth-century B.C. Assyrian inscriptions. Sheba was for centuries the leading principality in what is now Yemen.
  3. 10:11–12 Almug: the identification of this wood is unknown.
  4. 10:14–29 The material on Solomon’s riches, like that in 4:1–5:8, is organized around domestic affairs, international affairs, and chariots and horses (see note on 4:1–5:8), but contrasts with that earlier passage. There, Solomon’s domestic administration produced prosperity for all Judah and Israel (4:20); here the focus is on the wealth and luxury of Solomon’s own palace (10:14–21). There his international hegemony assured peace for all Judah and Israel (5:5); here his maritime ventures simply bring him more and more wealth (9:26–28; 10:11–12, 22). There even his livestock benefited from his prudent administration; here chariotry and horses are just another commodity to be traded (10:26–29).
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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