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<< 1 Kings 10: Visit of the Queen of Sheba >>

Sh828 SOLOMON had built the temple of the Lord, and a palace for himself in Jerusalem. "The house of the forest of Lebanon" was a part of the palace, with a forest of cedar pillars, and was perhaps used as an armory. The king also built and strengthened cities in other parts of his kingdom.

With Hiram's help a fleet of ships was built at Ezion-geber, at the head of the eastern arm of the Red Sea. They sailed to Arabian ports, and perhaps to the coasts of Africa and India. Ophir was probably in Arabia. From these countries the ships brought a great deal of gold, and almug trees, which were some choice wood, perhaps sandal wood, and precious stones.   There were also other '' ships of Tarshish,'' which means large ships, such as the Tyrians used in their long voyages to Tarshish in spain. These ships brought once in three years from the southern seas, gold and silver, ivory and apes and peacocks.

One day there came a visitor to Jerusalem, who brought Solomon rich presents of gold and precious stones and of spices very great store, more than the ships had brought. It was the "queen of the south." (Matt. xii. 42.) Her countrry, Sheba, was a part of Arabia famous for its gold. She came with her servants and a caravan of camels. We see them following along in line with bright colored trappings. She had heard in her own land of the temple which Solomon had built for the Lord, and of the wisdom which Ihe Lord had given him, and she came to prove him with hard questions. These were no doubt in part riddles, such as Eastern people enjoy. Remember Samson's riddle. Solomon told her all her questions, she saw all the richness of his house and of the ascent by which he went up to the house of the Lord, and she went to her own country with rich gifts from the king.

After telling of this visit, the story tells more about the riches which Solomon had, and where he got so much gold arid treasure. The gold said to come to Solomon in one year amounted to some twenty million dollars, besides the taxes which came from merchants of different kinds, and from rulers and governors who held office under him. The "presents" which came year by year were tribute from nations over which he ruled.

Among the presents brought were horses, and Solomon gathered together great numbers of chariots and horsemen whom he placed in the cities for chariots, and in   Jerusalem. The horses were brought out of  Egypt. They  came   in  droves   to  the king's merchants  at  a wholesale   price,   and   the   merchants   supplied   the  kings   of   the hittites to the far north,  and   the   kings  of Syria   to   the northeast.

In all these ways great riches were brought together to Solomon. We learn that he made two hundred targets or large shields of beaten gold, and three hundred smaller shields, and hung them in "the house of the forest of Lebanon." And the king made a great throne of ivory and gold; in parts the white ivory showed, and in parts the gold. It was a beautiful seat with arms, and a back that probably was high and arched over the head.

I have told enough so that we can enjoy this beautiful story.

And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions. And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built, 10:5 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice. And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones. And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the LORD, and for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day. And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.

Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold, Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country. And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target. And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold. The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom. And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem.  And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycomore trees that are in the vale, for abundance. And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price. And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.---1 Kings X.

Author: William L. Worcester 1904

Spiritual Correspondences

      Solomon >> Heavenly Wisdom

      Gold >> Precious Love for the Lord [Golden Age, Rule]

      Queen of Sheba (of the south) >> Natural Faculty, natural affection for Truth

      Camels >> Natural understanding

      Gifts to Solomon  >> Contributions of Natural Mind to Heavenly Wisdom

      Hard questions >> Questions that cannot be answered by natural understanding but are evident to Heavenly Wisdom

      Wonder of the queen of Sheba at the Glory and Wisdom of Solomon >> The wonder of the natural mind as it opens to the glory and wisdom of spiritual life

      Throne >> Rule

      Yellow Gold >> Love in perfect rule

      White ivory >> Truth and Justice

      Tusks >> Principles of right used to expose evil

      Lions on sides and steps of throne >> The Lord's Divine power

Spiritual Meaning

1 KINGS X

1And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.
 
 1. And when also the ultimate affection, in the natural man, for the knowledges of things celestial and spiritual is moved by the influx of celestial love from the Lord, concerning the Divine Human, and thence concermng every manifestation of the Lord by Divine Truth, there is an earnest aspiration for interior knowledges,
 
  2And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.
 
 2. And thence an elevation to the things of the church as to the natural man and its subordInate powers, together with an acknowledgment that such powers are vessels recipient of spiritual and celestial things or of truth and goodness as well as ultimate truths translucent from interior light, and that these are from the Lord and consequently there is closer communion with inmost celestial love, from sincere natural affection.
 
  3And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.
 
 3. And therefore it is perceived even by ultimate natural affection, that from celestial love is all intelligence, and also that every state of the natural man, although apparently hidden, is really known to the Lord.
 
  4And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built,
 
 4. Ultimate natural good affection also, and the Gentiles who are in such affection are enlightened from Divine Wisdom, and have perception from Divine Good,
 
  5And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
 
 5. Being instructed in the knowledges  of good from the Lord; in the quality of regenerated natural affections; in the application to use of the rational powers and the truths with which they are adorned; in the science of natural things with its affection; and in the degrees by which there is an ascent from exterior to interior states; and thus being brought into a state of deep humility, wherein they acknowledge that they have no life in themselves, and that they receive all life from the Lord.

  6And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.
 
 6. Whence it is perceived that in their state of remoteness from Divine things they had received influx and instruction, under Divine Providence, as to truth and as to good, according to their stale and its requirements.
 
  7Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.
 
 7. Yet their truth was not, in that state, fully conjoined with good, but when it is so they are further enlightened and enter into a state of wisdom and goodness far exceeding previous anticipations.
 
  8Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.
 
 8. Which goodness is attended with intense delight both as to internals and as to externals, since there is now a state of full reception of celestial good, and of obedience to Divine Truth:

  9Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.
 
 9. And also a state of full conjunction with the Divine, even as to the Gentile church, resulting from the full Glorification of the Lord's Human Nature as to celestial things, and as to spiritual thIngs; for the Divine Love for mankind is perpetual, and from that love the Lord made His Human Nature Divine both as to truth and goodness,
  10And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.
 
 10. Acquiring to Himself in the ultimate plane of being, which is the DIVINE NATURAL, affections, and truths with their receptacles infinitely; for no finite being can be regenerated as to the natural degree of his life so as to be life itself in that degree, as the Lord is. And hence it is that they who are without the church, as well as they who are within it, can fully acknowledge and worship. the Lord.
 
  11And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.
 
11. For the love of knowledge through which spiritual good is procured, is also instrumental In the procuring of natural good and natural truths in abundance;
 
  12And the king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of the LORD, and for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this day.
 
 12. And it is according to Divine Order that natural good should be a basis and support to celestial and spiritual good, and also to the truths of faith interior, exterior, and external, involving perfect harmony between the internal and external man. And such natural good, indeed, appertains only to the Divine Natural in the Lord, which is good itself, and to the regenerated man, who receives such good perpetually.

  13And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants.
 
 13. For the Divine Life flows down freely even to the natural man, and is appropriated according to the state of the will and of the understanding conjointly; and moreover the Divine Providence is operative in man's behalf independently; while at the same time the Divine Natural, in the Lord, or the regenerated Natural in man, both as to its governing life, and its subordinate powers, and thus the ultimate heaven, enjoys its own life distinctly.
 
  14Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold,
 
 14. But still the regenerated man perpetually ascribes unto the Lord all the good he freely enjoys, which good has been acquired by conflicts and victories, and is of three degrees,
 
  15Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country.
 
 15. And includes all the good acquired by means of truths of various degrees --namely, external, exterior, interior and internal- under every state in the progress of regeneration.
 
  16And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target.
 
 16. And the Lord also, from celestial good, provides the perfect man with natural good  conjoined with truths which is a defence, such good, indeed, having been acquired by conflict against evil;
 
  17And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
 
 17 And at the same time with natural truth which is a defence;, in all completeness, such truth being grounded in good, and. appertaining to the rational mind of the external man.
 
  18Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.
 

 18. Moreover, from celestial love, or from the Lord, proceeds Divine Truth, which is the governing principle in the rational mind of the natural man, and this truth, therefore, is grounded in celestial good.
 
  19The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays.
 
 19 Also the power of self-government from the Lord, is acquired by truths, appropriated during regeneration by conflict and victory over evil, while its inmost principle is love, which is unchangeable in the Lord and in the perfect man, besides which the will and the understanding exercise this power conjointly, receiving it continually from the Lord.
 
  20And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom.
 
 20. And, indeed, the whole power of resisting evil in the course of regeneration, from the will and the understanding, is from the Lord, because the natural man himself has no such power from any selfish or worldly affection or motive.
 
  21And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.
 
 21. And, in addition, all the faculties of the perfect celestial, or celestial- spiritual man, by  which he imbibes knowledge and truth, are grounded in good, and this too as to the will and as to the intellect, now clear and pure; for truth, in this state, is never alone, nor is it valued apart from good.
 
 22For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
 

 22. But yet the regenerated natural man is delighted in acquiring knowledge, exercising therein both will and intellect; and this faculty is perfect and perpetual, the mind thus being enriched and elevated with good and truth interior, with rational insight, and goods and truths exterior, all which are from the Lord, and are ascribed to Him.
 
   23So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.
 
 23. Thus the celestial man has the faculty of acquiring truths, external and internal, more than any merely natural affection of knowing.
 
  24And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.
 
 24. And all external regenerated powers and persons acknowledge the supremacy and omnipresence of celestial love, being delighted with the performance of uses, the love of which is
derived from the Lord, operating by His Divine Truth.
 
  25And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
 
 25. So that such powers and such persons gladly ascribe unto the Lord every faculty of acquiring truth, every affection of good, every truth which is the covering and forrn of good, every external truth which is a defence, all grateful perceptions in life and worship, all intellectual truths, and all rational truths which they enjoy in every particular state of the perfect life.
 
  26And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem.
 
 26. Also there appertain to the celestial man doctrines and the power of understanding truths -namely doctrines in all fulness, the result of victories in temptattion, and intellectual power in all completeness, arranged in an orderly form in the memory, and in subordination to Divine Truth from Good in the spiritual mind,
 
  27And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycomore trees that are in the vale, for abundance.
 
 27 For interior truths are, to him, as exterior truths to the spiritual man, and he enjoys perceptions of spiritual things exceeding the common perception or the external man in natural things.
 
  28And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price.
 
 28. Morcover the intelligence of the celestial man is acquired by the exercise of the natural affection for truth, and those who are in the love of acquiring and  communicatlng knowledge procure Intelligence by the appropriation of truth through conflict and victory.
 
  29And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.
 
 29 For doctrine must be elevated from the natural to the spiritual and celestial by man, as of himself, in the course of regeneration, and must be ascribed to the Lord; and moreover, intelligence, in the perfect man is full and complete, and this is true, although, at first, truth is from a source not genuine, and human good is merely natural. For man must act, in regeneration, from his own proper power as a responsible agent.

Author: Rev. HENRY MACLAGAN (1905)

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