- Special Sections
- Public Notices
“Who was the ‘Queen of Sheba’? What do we learn from her story?”—Sharon
She is found not only in the Bible, but also in the Qur’an, in Ethiopian and other African traditions, and in the Romano-Jewish historian Josephus. The stories differ in claims for her origin, ancestry and lineage though all of them identify her as royalty to be admired. The biblical account is brief, practically a footnote in the Hebrew Bible’s Solomon narrative.
What we glean from I Kings 10:1-13 is that she was wealthy, influential and intelligent. She was also inquisitive and determined.
She had heard of the great wisdom of Solomon (set in the context of his religious faith, 10:1). She journeyed to see him, taking rich gifts in order to gain access to his presence, intending to discover for herself whether he was as wise as reported. She came with “hard questions” to test him (10:1).
The queen was awed by all she saw — his wisdom and wealth were more than she could have imagined (she was left “breathless,” 10:5). She returned to her home, enriched not only by gifts he gave her, but also with enhanced spiritual and moral wisdom.
At least two points of this story are instructive for us:
The queen exhibited an admirable quality: she was an active wisdom seeker. Not settling for the status quo, she desired a deeper understanding of true knowledge and was not afraid to go after it. She was willing to ask the hard questions. She was willing to pay the cost her quest required.
Her search for wisdom was also a faith journey. It was not only Solomon’s wealth that intrigued her — his worship did, as well (10:5). Perhaps she came seeking a more full knowledge of his God. In the end, she blessed “the Lord God,” recognizing Him as a personal, intentional Sovereign characterized by “love . . . justice and righteousness” (10:9).