I have Health Science BS from Christian college. I've been Christian since teenager, studying bible every day. I enjoy history & research.
1. Many Countries have a Story about the Queen of Sheba
2. Who is the Queen of Sheba
3. Groups of Jews settled in Sheba
4. The Queen of Sheba Gave Birth to Solomon's Son
5. God's House a House of Prayer for All Nations
6. Video on the Queen of Sheba
7. Did the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon fall in Love
1. Many Countries have a Story about the Queen of Sheba
The Bible story of the Queen of Sheba was retold in many countries for 3,000 years. It is told in the Jewish Bible, in the Muslim Quran, and in the Ethiopian Kebra Nagast. Present-day movies have been made about her. The Jews, the Arabs and the Ethiopians all want to claim her. The Bible, in 1 Kings 10:1-13, tells the story of the Queen of Sheba and Solomon. But there is more to the story than what the Bible tells. As Paul Harvey would say, let's hear the rest of the story.
2. Who is the Queen of Sheba?
The ancient Jewish historian Flavius Josephus says that Jewish tradition places the Queen of Sheba in a country that covered Ethiopia and Egypt at the time. Sheba was a very rich country. She was a powerful and beautiful queen. She was very intelligent and enjoyed studying many things, including philosophy. Around 970 BC when this queen heard about the virtue and prudence of Solomon, she grew a great desire to visit him and see if this all was true. She planned to ask questions of him that would test his wisdom.
The trip took many months for the queen to travel to visit Solomon. She traveled by a train of camels and servants from what is now Ethiopia to Israel. She went with great splendor, for she was a very wealthy and powerful queen in her time, as Solomon was a very wealthy and powerful king. At this time Solomon was a young man, yet mature. She sent word ahead that she wished to see him.
When the queen arrived, Solomon was very pleased to see her. They sat together for a royal dinner. After being seated, the queen asks Solomon, "Are you the Solomon about whose wisdom and kingdom I have heard?" He answered that he was. She continued, "You do seem to be truly wise. I will now ask you questions and test your wisdom." Solomon quoted the Bible: For the Lord grants wisdom; knowledge and discernment are by His decree. Proverbs 2:6
The first question the Queen asked was "What are the seven that issue and nine that enter, the two that offer drink and the one that drinks?" Solomon answered, "The seven that issue are the seven days of menstrual impurity. The nine that enter are the nine months of pregnancy. The two that offer drink are the breasts, and the child is the one who drinks." (Midrash Proverbs [Buber ed.] 1)
The Queen was impressed with his wise answer and how quickly the answer came. Solomon thanked her and said, "For the Lord grants wisdom." Her next question to him was "How can a woman say to her son: 'Your father is my father; your grandfather, my husband; you are my son, and I am your sister?' " Solomon quickly answered, "The two daughters of Lot." (Midrash Proverbs [Buber ed.]1) (Lot and his two daughters had fled Sodom when God had destroyed it with fire because of its great wickedness. The family had run to the mountains and were living there by themselves. In their depression, the daughters were thinking that they were the only people left on earth. They got their father Lot drunk and got pregnant by him.)
The Queen asked Solomon several other questions. He answered each wisely and quickly. The Queen was impressed and told him so: "I didn't believe it until I saw it myself. In fact, those who told me didn't tell half of it. Your wisdom and wealth are much greater than what they said. How fortunate your people are to have a king like you! How privileged your officials and servants must feel to serve you and to hear what you have to say! Praise be to the Lord your God who must have been pleased with you to place you on the throne of Israel. He must have an everlasting love for Israel to give you such wisdom and help you administer justice and maintain law and order." 1Kings 10:7-9 Clear Word translation
The queen stayed in Israel for six months, seeing all the glories of Solomon's reign and learning of the Jewish God. She was amazed at how well organized the kingdom was run and how lavish his daily table was. She was awed by the temple system and revelations of their loving God.
During the Queen's six months in Israel, the two lavished rich gifts on each other. Solomon desired to please her and gave her whatever she desired. The queen gave him expensive spices, precious stones, and gold she had brought by camel from Sheba.
At the end of six months, the queen prepared to return to Sheba. She had converted to Judaism and desired to teach her people about the wonderful God she had learned about. So Solomon sent many Jews and Levites (Jewish priests) with her to teach her people about her new God and religion. Ethiopia today still traces its history, religion, and royalty back to King Solomon.
3. Colonies of Jews in Sheba, or Ethiopia
There are indications of a few different migrations of Danites, one of the Jewish tribes, from Israel to Ethiopia, or Sheba. The area was known as the land of Cush at the earliest times. Psalms 87:4 by King David says: I will record Rahab and Babylon, among those who acknowledge Me—Philistia too, and Tyre along with Cush—and will say, this one was born in Zion. The first one of these migrations by the Danites happened soon after Moses. Another one happened after Babylon conquered Israel. After Herod tried to kill the Baby Jesus by killing the babies in Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Egypt for a few years until they heard that Herod had died. Matthew 2:15 says Joseph and Mary "remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, 'Out of Egypt I called My Son.'" ESV Hosea 11:1 Joseph and Mary lived with one of these Jewish colonies.
So there were colonies of Jews in the area which the Queen of Sheba had contact with. She could of learned something about the Jewish religion from rumors about these colonies. But the Danites, or Beta Israel, are very reclusive, like the Amish. They do not associate with outside people. They would not have helped the Queen learn of the Jewish God. When she heard of Solomon, she decided to go to him.
4. Menelik, Son of Solomon by the Queen of Sheba
During the six months the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon, the two fell in love with each other and had an affair. When the Queen left to return to Sheba, she was pregnant with his son. The queen gave birth to Solomon's son during the long trip back home. She named him Menelik, which means "son of a wise man." He was raised as royalty in the land of Sheba, now known as Ethiopia.
When Menelik turned 22, he decided to visit his famous father, whom his mother respects so much. He made the long trip to Israel, sending a message ahead that he was coming. Upon getting to know him, Solomon is delighted with his firstborn son. He tried very hard to convince him to stay in Israel and follow him as king. But Menelik refused the great offer and returned to Sheba where he later followed his queen mother as king.
Biblicly, Solomon offering his throne to Menelik does make sense. Solomon's son Rehoboam becomes the next king in 1 Kings 12. Rehoboam makes a terrible king. Solomon was a very perceptive man, and undoubtedly saw Rehoboam's immaturity. Solomon saw in Menelik a much better future king. But Menelik probably did not wish to contend with Rehoboam and other sons for Solomon's throne, especially since he had a throne waiting for him in Sheba, an equally rich country.
Some claim that Menelik left for Sheba in the middle of the night, after sneaking into the temple with some of his servants and stealing the Ark of the Covenant. To this day most Ethiopians claim that the Ark of the Covenant rests within the Chapel of the Tablet next to the Church of Maryam Tision in Ethiopia. They take it out and parade it around the city about once a year. But in the Apocrypha of the Bible, Jeremiah says that God commanded him to hide the Ark of the covenant and other temple furniture in caves before Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed by Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzer. 2 Maccabees 2:4-6 This happened several centuries later. There is a reference in Isaiah 37 to the Ark of the Covenant still being in the temple in King Hezekiah's day. This was in 701 BC. Other sources say that Solomon made a duplicate of the Ark of the Covenant and gave it to Menelik to take back to Sheba.
For close to 3000 years, the Ethiopian kings have traced their lineage back to King Solomon. They claimed to be part of the Davidic Dynasty until 1974 when Haile Selassie was deposed.
This version of the story of the Queen of Sheba visiting Solomon is drawn from different portions of the traditions of the Jews, Arabs and Ethiopians. If you would like to read the original of each country's version of the story, refer to the "Links and Resources" below.
5. God's House a House of Prayer for All Nations
There is a lot of truth to this legend. I have seen evidence of it. At a church camp meeting many years ago, two Ethiopians spoke about the Queen of Sheba and Solomon at one of the meetings. The two looked distinctly different, even though they were natives of the same country. One was a tall black man with a broad face, broad nose, and wide lips. The second had a narrow Jewish nose, narrow lips, and other Jewish features, although he was black. Remember, when the Queen of Sheba left Israel to return to her country, Solomon sent many Jews with her to teach her people about her newfound faith. No doubt many of these Jewish teachers married into the native believing population. The features of their Jewish ancestry are readily seen in the population today.
If Israel had remained as faithful to God as young Solomon was, and had not repeatedly fallen into apostasy, God would have continued to bless Israel as He had during Solomon's time. More countries' rulers would have visited and converted to Judaism like the Queen of Sheba had. Jesus declared in Mark 11:17: Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it a den of robbers. Jesus had in mind Isaiah 56:6.7 when He said this: And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord, and to worship Him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and hold fast to my covenant—these I will bring to My holy mountain and give them joy in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." NIV
6. The Queen of Sheba
7. Did the Queen of Sheba and Solomon have a Love Affair?
Doug Bachelor has a lot of good things to say, but I disagree with him on the question of a love affair between the Queen of Sheba and Solomon. The Queen and Solomon could have had a love affair based on a deep respect for each other, rather than a flaky infatuation as portrayed in the movies. In 1 Kings 10, the Queen reveals she already has a deep respect for Solomon. The Queen herself was a very intelligent, highly educated, powerful woman that ruled a wealthy country. She was not like Solomon's 100 concubines and wives. She was Solomon's equal. Solomon's relationship with her would have been different from his 100. If the Queen had spent six months in Israel, Solomon could have developed a deep respect for her also, which turned into love. But no matter their feelings for each other, the Queen could not stay with Solomon. She had great responsibilities waiting for her in her home country of Sheba, and she had to return.
Links and Resources
Who is the Queen of Sheba in the Bible Biblical archaeology
Doneta Wrate (author) from Michigan on August 15, 2019:
I have started my article on nicodemus now. I have done my research. Have a basic outline and title in mind. But I am having a hard time finding pics for the topic I am happy with. Especially the most important first one I am having a hard time with.
Doneta Wrate (author) from Michigan on August 13, 2019:
I am glad you enjoyed my hub. I will get to Nicodemus as soon as I can.
Kenneth Avery on August 12, 2019:
Doneta: I loved your story as well. And your idea of doing a hub about Nicodemus would be a fine piece of writing.
Write me anytime.
Doneta Wrate (author) from Michigan on August 12, 2019:
I am glad you enjoyed my hub
Ann Carr from SW England on August 12, 2019:
Informative and interesting.
Doneta Wrate (author) from Michigan on August 09, 2019:
I am glad you appreciated my article so much. I had fund writing it. I am seriously considering doing something similar with Nicodemus. I have done some research to see if enough info is available.