The Queen Of Sheba Visits Solomon, And Yes—She's Impressed
Solomon's fame spreads until the Queen of Sheba hears about him. She's so intrigued that she comes to Israel to test his wisdom with some tough questions.
She shows up in Jerusalem with a huge entourage and camels bearing gold and spices and jewels to give to Solomon.
They sit down for a nice long chat, and she asks him everything that's on her mind. He answers all of her questions, and "there was nothing […] that he could not explain to her" (10:3).
Needless to say, her mind is blown, and not just because he's so wise. She's also pretty impressed with his house, his food, his clothes, his servants, his officials, and his religious observance.
She's so impressed, in fact, that "there was no more spirit in her" (10:5).
Whoa, he kills her?
No, no, no. Sit down. She's fine. She's totally overcome, is all, and says, "I didn't believe what they told me about your accomplishments and wisdom, but they didn't even tell the half of it" (10:6-7).
"Your wives are so lucky! And your servants, too. And all because of your God. Bless his name" (10:8-9).
Then she gives him a ton of gold and jewels, and more spices than anyone had ever given before or ever would give again.
Oh, and by the way, Hiram's fleet is still bringing gold, precious stones, and super-rare almug wood this whole time, too.
Anyway, Solomon is a great host to Sheba. He gives her everything she asks for from his abundant riches before she returns to her own land with her peeps.
But let's get back to how stinkin' rich Solomon is. In one year, he received 666 (Whaaa?) talents of gold, not including taxes and stuff from traders, merchants, the kings of Arabia, and the governors of the land.
(We calculate that 666 talents of gold is worth about $1,114,524,360 in 2013. That's 1.1 billion dollars. Not bad, Solomon.)
With all that gold, he made 500 shields and put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
He also made a great gold-overlaid ivory throne with two lions standing on each side of the armrests and one lion on each side of the 6 steps leading up to the throne. This thing was off the hook.
Since he's basically surrounded by opulence, it comes as no surprise that all of his drinking vessels are pure gold, too. Silver? No way. That's for chumps. Any bum can afford silver during the Solomon administration.
Every three years Solomon's fleets (along with Hiram's ships) come back from Tharshish full of gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
Solomon is king of the world, the top dog in both riches and wisdom. Everyone is dying to hear his thoughts all the time, and he is constantly sent gifts of gold, silver, clothes, weapons, spices, horses, mules, and much, much more.
Solomon amasses 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses, which he stations strategically throughout Israel.
Solomon's traders do a ton of business with Egypt, trading horses and chariots for silver and turning around to sell them to the Hittites and the kings of Aram (or Syria in the KJV).