1The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame and came to test him with difficult questions. 2She arrived in Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels laden with spices and an immensequantity of gold and precious stones. Having reached Solomon, she discussed with him everything that she hadin mind, 3and Solomon had an answer for al her questions; not one of them was too obscure for the king toanswer for her. 4When the queen of Sheba saw how very wise Solomon was, the palace which he had built, 5the food at his table, the accommodation for his officials, the organisation of his staff and the way theywere dressed, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings which he presented in the Temple of Yahweh, it left herbreathless, 6and she said to the king, 'The report I heard in my own country about your wisdom in handling youraffairs was true then! 7Until I came and saw for myself, I did not believe the reports, but clearly I was told less than half: forwisdom and prosperity, you surpass what was reported to me. 8How fortunate your wives are! How fortunate these courtiers of yours, continual y in attendance on youand listening to your wisdom! 9Blessed be Yahweh your God who has shown you his favour by setting you on the throne of Israel!Because of Yahweh's everlasting love for Israel, he has made you king to administer law and justice.' 10And she presented the king with a hundred and twenty talents of gold and great quantities of spicesand precious stones; no such wealth of spices ever came again as those which the queen of Sheba gave to KingSolomon. 11Similarly, Hiram's fleet, which brought the gold from Ophir, also brought back great cargoes of almugtimber and precious stones. 12Of the almug timber the king made supports for the Temple of Yahweh and for the royal palace, andharps and lyres for the musicians; no more of this almug timber has since come or been seen to this day. 13And King Solomon, in his turn, presented the queen of Sheba with everything that she expressed awish for, besides those presents which he gave her with a munificence worthy of King Solomon. After which, shewent home to her own country, she and her servants. 14The weight of gold received annually by Solomon amounted to six hundred and sixty-six talents ofgold, 15besides what tol s and foreign trade, as well as everything the Arab kings and the provincial governorsbrought in. 16King Solomon made two hundred great shields of beaten gold, six hundred shekels of gold going intoone shield; 17also three hundred small shields of beaten gold, three mina of gold going into one shield; and the kingput these into the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 18The king also made a great ivory throne which he overlaid with refined gold. 19The throne had six steps, a back with a rounded top, and arms on each side of the seat; two lionsstood beside the arms, 20and twelve lions stood on each side of the six steps. Nothing like it has ever been made in any otherkingdom. 21Al King Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and al the plate in the House of the Forest ofLebanon was of pure gold; silver was little thought of in Solomon's days, 22since the king had a fleet of Tarshish at sea with Hiram's fleet, and once every three years the fleet ofTarshish would come back laden with gold and silver, ivory, apes and baboons. 23For riches and for wisdom, King Solomon surpassed al kings on earth, 24and the whole world consulted Solomon to hear the wisdom which God had implanted in his heart; 25and everyone would bring a present with him: things made of silver, things made of gold, robes,armour, spices, horses and mules; and this went on year after year. 26Solomon then built up a force of chariots and cavalry; he had one thousand four hundred chariots andtwelve thousand horses, these he stationed in the chariot towns and near the king in Jerusalem. 27In Jerusalem the king made silver as common as stones, and cedar wood as plentiful as sycamore inthe lowlands. 28Solomon's horses were imported from Muzur and Cilicia. The king's dealers acquired them fromCilicia at the prevailing price. 29A chariot was imported from Egypt for six hundred silver shekels and a horse from Cilicia for ahundred and fifty. They also supplied the Hittite and Aramaean kings, who al used them as middlemen.
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