2 Chronicles 9
The Queen of Sheba Visits(A)
9 When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to ·test [challenge] him with ·hard questions [difficult riddles]. She ·had a large group of servants with her [L came with very great strength; C possibly referring to her large retinue or great wealth] and camels carrying spices, ·jewels [precious stones], and much gold. When she came to Solomon, she talked with him about all she had ·in mind [L on her heart/mind], 2 and Solomon answered all her questions. Nothing was ·too hard for him to [hidden from him that he could not] explain to her. 3 The queen of Sheba ·saw [realized; observed] that Solomon was very wise. She saw the ·palace [L house] he had built, 4 the food on his table, ·his many officers [the organization/attendance of his officials], the palace servants and their ·good [fine; splendid] clothes, the ·servants who served Solomon his wine [cupbearers] and their ·good [fine; splendid] clothes. She saw the whole burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–17] he made in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. All these things ·amazed her [overwhelmed her; took her breath away].
5 So she said to King Solomon, “What I heard in my own country about your ·achievements [wise sayings; L words] and wisdom is true. 6 I did not believe it then, but now I have come and seen it with my own eyes. I was not told even half of your great wisdom! You ·are much greater than [surpass/exceed what] I had heard. 7 Your people and officials are very ·lucky [happy; fortunate; blessed], because in ·always serving [continually standing before] you, they are able to hear your wisdom. 8 ·Praise [Blessed be] the Lord your God who ·was pleased to make you king [delights in you]. He has put you on his throne to ·rule [reign] for the Lord your God, because your God loves the people of Israel and ·supports [upholds; secures; establishes] them forever. He has made you king over them to ·keep justice and to rule fairly [rule/act with justice and righteousness].”
9 Then she gave the king ·about nine thousand pounds [L 120 talents] of gold and many spices and ·jewels [precious stones]. No one had ever given such spices as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
10 ·Hiram’s [or Huram’s; 2:3] men and Solomon’s men brought gold from Ophir [C perhaps a region in southern Arabia], ·juniper wood [sandalwood; algum], and ·jewels [precious stones]. 11 King Solomon used the ·juniper wood [sandalwood; algum] to build steps for the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord and the ·palace [L house] and to make lyres and harps for the ·musicians [singers]. No one in Judah had ever seen ·such beautiful things as these [anything like them].
12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she ·wanted [desired] and asked for, even more than she had brought to him. Then she and her servants returned to her own country.
13 Every year King Solomon received ·about fifty thousand pounds [L 666 talents] of gold. 14 Besides that, he also received gold from traders and merchants. All the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land also brought gold and silver to Solomon.
15 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold, each of which contained ·about seven and one-half pounds [L six hundred shekels] of hammered gold. 16 He also made three hundred smaller shields of hammered gold, each of which contained ·about four pounds [L three hundred shekels] of gold. The king put them in the ·Palace [L house] of the Forest of Lebanon [1 Kin. 7:2; 10:17, 21].
17 The king built a large throne of ivory and ·covered [overlaid] it with pure gold. 18 The throne had six steps on it and an attached gold footstool. There were armrests on both sides of the ·chair [seat], and each armrest had a lion beside it. 19 Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one lion at each end of each step. Nothing like this had ever been made for any other kingdom. 20 All of Solomon’s drinking cups, as well as the ·dishes [vessels; utensils] in the ·Palace [L house] of the Forest of Lebanon, were made of pure gold. In Solomon’s time ·people did not think silver was valuable [silver was considered worthless].
21 King Solomon had many ships that ·he sent out to trade [L went to Tarshish; C in present-day Spain, hence a large, seagoing trading ship], with ·Hiram’s [or Huram’s; 2:3] men as the crews. Every three years the ships returned, bringing back gold, silver, ivory, apes, and ·baboons [or peacocks].
22 King Solomon had more riches and wisdom than all the other kings on earth. 23 All the kings of the earth ·wanted to see [sought audience with; came to consult] Solomon and listen to the wisdom God had given him. 24 Year after year everyone who came brought gifts of silver and gold, ·clothes [robes], weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and he had twelve thousand ·horses [or horsemen; cavalry]. He kept some in ·special cities for the chariots [chariot cities], and others he kept with him in Jerusalem. 26 Solomon ·ruled [reigned] over all the ·kingdoms [L kings] from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt [1 Kin. 4:20–21]. 27 In Jerusalem the king made silver as common as stones and cedar trees as plentiful as the ·fig [sycamore-fig] trees ·on the western hills [L in the Shephelah]. 28 Solomon imported horses from Egypt and all other countries.
29 ·Everything else Solomon did [The rest of the events/acts/history of Solomon’s reign], from ·the beginning to the end [first to last], ·is [are they not…?] written in the ·records [history; annals] of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the ·seer [prophet], who wrote about Jeroboam, Nebat’s son [C some consider these titles of writings]. 30 Solomon ·ruled [reigned] in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 31 Then Solomon ·died [L lay down/T slept with his fathers/ancestors] and was buried in the city of David [C Jerusalem], his father. And Solomon’s son Rehoboam became king in his place.