… Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard.. 1 Kings 10:7
The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
The Queen of Sheba: 1 Kings 10:1-13; 2 Chronicles 9:1-12. Sheba is a land at the southern tip of Arabia, known today as Yemen. The queen’s 1200-mile journey is not undertaken just from curiosity. She comes to Jerusalem to negotiate trade issues with Solomon and is successful (cf. 1 Kings 10:13).
13 Now King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired, whatever she asked, besides what Solomon had given her according to the royal generosity. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.
Solomon’s splendor: 1 Kings 10:14-29; 2 Chronicles 9:13-28. A summary is given of the wealth that flows into Israel from Solomon’s various ventures. However, Solomon “accumulates chariots and horses” (10:26), which is strictly forbidden to Israel’s kings (Deuteronomy. 17:14-20). This is the first indication that in his later years Solomon will drift away from his early commitment to God.
Solomon’s Trade in Horses and Chariots
26 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar trees as abundant as the sycamores which are in the lowland. 28 Also Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price. 29 Now a chariot that was imported from Egypt cost six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse one hundred and fifty; and thus, through their agents, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria. 1 Kings 10:26-29
Instructions concerning a King
14 “When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ 17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself. 18 “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel. Deuteronomy. 17:14-20
–> Lesson: Harness the words of God and do not let them slip away. Learn to fear the Lord our God and be careful to observe all His statutes. Then, wisdom and strength will follow and even the splendor. We will not lose them if we are faithful.