I Kings

Chapter 10

"Riches and Wisdom to Solomon"

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

We saw in the prior chapter how the Kenites worked themselves into the priesthood, and they remain in that position even to this day, even in the highest of religious circles. It is interesting how these scribes always like to do our translating for us, think about it; Who did your translating for you? Did you check him or her out for accuracy? Even in the King James version of the bible, the translators wrote a fourteen page letter to you in the front of the 1611 version, warning you to be very careful as you read the your bible. The front page of that letter was given on page 78. Those translators knew the problems that went into taking the Words from God given to the prophets, how many changes were made as the Word was passed from the Hebrew and Greek into other languages, and into other forms of the Hebrew tongue.

The Word was translated into a Septuagint Version of the Hebrew Old Testament in a Greek form, and from there into the Latin or Vulgate version of the Bible by Jerome at the close of the fourth century A.D. This version was authorized by the Council of Trent, and by the Catholic church. There are many other version that have come into being since; the Authorized Version, the Arabic Version from the 900's, as well as the Syriac Version also from the fourth century A.D., by a group of Christians not of the Catholic Church. It is because of these many versions and changes, that the translators wrote the letter. That letter is hard to read today because it is written in the early English form from four centuries ago.

This is why you should study for yourself the letter that God has sent personally to you, and we call that letter the Bible. The Bible that I take this study from is the Companion Bible, which is not a Version, but the King James Bible Version, which includes the footnotes taken from the Massorah text. The "Massorah" is the grouping of all the oldest and best manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, where on each page, beside the Text are several columns so identifying and numbering the words and lines that not one letter or word can be changed added or removed without the error becoming obvious. A copy of a page of the Massorah will be given at the end of this chapter.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance is numbered to this Hebrew Massorah text and it allows the reader to see with understanding exactly what the original text reads. Satan's evil spirits would like to distract you from what the true text reads, but when you stay focused and disciplined in the Word, and seek the truth in more depth, God's Spirit will reveal those truths to you. The reason that it is important that we understand the Word of God, is so that in these latter days we do not become deceived by every wind of doctrine and tradition that comes along.

So with this having been said, lets continue in I Kings. We will see in this tenth chapter that God has kept his Promise to Solomon, and has given him vast riches and wisdom that this world had never seen before. God showered Solomon with such riches that Solomon was able to not only judge his people, but that he took very good care of them. Even though this entire chapter is talking about the Queen of Sheba, the point that should draw your attention is that God keeps His Word. God promised Solomon wealth and great wisdom, and in this chapter we will see that Sheba went to Jerusalem to see if the things said about Solomon were true.

The lesson for us today is that we also ask God for wisdom and understanding to help God's children, then obey those instructions that He gives us through His Word. God will bless you when you obey him and follow His instructions.

I Kings 10:1 "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."

We know from Genesis 10:7 that Sheba was the son of Cush, the brother to Nimrod, and the great grandson of Noah through Ham. The offspring Sheba settled in the land of Ethiopia, and later became known as the nations of Nubia and North Abyssinia, where female sovereigns [queens] were not unusual. This Queen's name is not mentioned, but is referred to only as the "Queen of Sheba". The Queen of the Sheba, her nation and her people had heard many reports from commerce traders and merchandisers of the fame, wealth and wisdom of Solomon. After hearing such reports she wanted to make the journey to see for herself if the things said about king Solomon were in fact true.

This Queen of Sheba had not known the things of our Heavenly Father because her people worshipped other gods. She had heard of this great wisdom that came from Solomon's God, and she sought to have the understanding that Solomon had, and see the riches of Solomon in Jerusalem.

The scholars of the Koran believes that her name was "Balkis".

I Kings 10:2 "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."

The Queen of Sheba was from a land we call Ethiopia today, and even though she was considered wealthy, she respected wisdom. Her people respected any one that was gifted with sayings, riddles and proverbs, and she was in having the wisdom tied up in these saying being interpreted for her.

I Kings 10:3 "And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not."

God revealed to Solomon all the answers that the Queen of Sheba sought. If you could do that, would that make you proud of yourself? Who would you give the credit to for being able to do so? Never forget that all true wisdom comes from God, and He not you, gets all the glory and honor for it. God gave that wisdom to Solomon because Solomon asked for wisdom to judge his people. That gift was on loan to Solomon.

I Kings 10:4 "And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built,"

This is not the Temple, but Solomon's living quarters.

I Kings 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."

When this Queen of Sheba had witnessed all the vast wealth of Solomon, and she had heard all the wisdom flowing from his mouth in answering all her questions, it took her breath away. Remember that spiral stair cases were not known at this time, and when this Queen saw the beautiful staircase ascending to the higher levels, it was like a miracle to her. Remember that she was from a nomadic area, and her people were nomadic people.

I Kings 10:6 "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."

I Kings 10:7 "Howbeit I believe not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold the half was not told me: thy wisdom and thy prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard."

Solomon was a humble man, and the wisdom that had come from Solomon had far exceeded what she had expected to hear from him. The sight of all of Solomon's wealth, the gold and vast riches that were everywhere in the city and in his home, simply took her breath away. All that she saw wasn't even half of the tales that were told of Solomon by the travelers back in her land.

I Kings 10:8 "Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom."

She noted that the men and women around Solomon paid attention to the wisdom that Solomon was speaking, as he was instructing those around them. When it was time to eat, she noted the serving pieces, the food served, and the attire of the people that stood before the king. The important thing that she noticed was that the riches and the wisdom was shared with all those around Solomon. Even to the lowest servants were well kept with a good and happy attitude and manner for their work. When you please God, this manner can happen in your own family and workplace. When God blesses, He goes all the way, and it is important to see this. God will bless you with the wisdom and riches that you are able to take care of yourself.

I Kings 10:9 "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."

This is the main point of the chapter. It is God that allowed all these things to happen to Solomon. God delighted to give Solomon wisdom, and riches, because Solomon gave God all the glory for what he had received. Even this woman that came up from Sheba could see that it was God that did the blessing, and it was God's wisdom that flowed through Solomon. She could see the perfect order of God even in the arrangement of the food, the clothing of the servants and the manner of those in the court of the king.

I Kings 10:10 "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."

There had never been another time in history that so many spices had been given as a gift by anyone. Spices were very valuable at that time.

I Kings 10:11 "And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones."

Remember from the prior chapter that Solomon and Hiram the king of Tyre went into business together. Ophir was the place where the highest grade ore in the world was found. These almug trees were a very strong wood.

I Kings 10:12 "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."

Instruments of music, and many other things such as the pillars, and stair cases were made out of these almug trees because of their great strength. The point made here is that all Jerusalem was bless with these trees that were around for just that period of time. God made that wood available for blessing Solomon, and serving His purpose.

I Kings 10:13 "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."

The queen of Sheba brought a load of fine spices, gold and other valuable items to give to Solomon, and because of her blessing to Solomon, Solomon blessed her and loaded the camel train she rode out of Jerusalem on with many more fine things. It didn't matter how much she took home with her, for God gave Solomon plenty of everything. God blessed Israel because Solomon was righteous in his acts, and the people follow Solomon's lead.

This is quite the opposite of what we are seeing today in our government today.

I Kings 10:14 "Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred three score and six talents of gold,"

Did you catch the amount of God that came to Solomon in one year? [6-6-6] talents of gold. Was this a error in the translation? No, it is representative to show that many people simply could not handle success, riches and praise by people. Solomon had all the riches and wisdom of the world, and he did not abuse that in his leading of God's children at this time.

I Kings 10:15 "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."

Solomon used these riches and blessing from God, in traffic with other nations, to bless them also. Even today much of the wealth of our nation is given freely to other nation for the sake of blessing the people's needs there with the blessings that God has given our people. This is as Solomon did, passing his blessings on to other kings and governors of other countries.

I Kings 10:16 "And king Solomon made two hundred target of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target."

A "target" was a shield with large points coming out of the shield. It was a weapon in itself. It would be like hitting a porcupine if an enemy hit the surface of the shield.

I Kings 10:17 "And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went into one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest in Lebanon."

Even the thought of making this size of these shield out of pure gold goes beyond the imagination. Solomon made three hundred of these shields made of three pounds of gold, for his guard at his home. It is hard to think in those terms in our generation.

I Kings 10:18 "Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold."

I Kings 10:19 "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."

I Kings 10:20 "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."

Again this is all stating an overkill of wealth accumulated in one place to where gold, ivory and precious stone have lost their real value, because there is so much of it. Here again the number six has come. God has kept his Word, and God will take care of those that tend to His business.

I Kings 10:21 "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 not the like made in any kingdom."

They were so wealthy and so rich that the thought of gold never entered their minds. It is like plastic or glass today, where there is so much of it, that its value doesn't exist. It is hard to understand all the blessings that God had given to Solomon.

We know today that the family silver is highly treasured, however here in Solomon's kingdom, all the vessels, the eating ware, even the tools, and dog bowls were made out of pure gold. It is truly hard to understand such wealth.

I Kings 10:22 "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."

Remember that Solomon and Hiram were in business together, and these ships went all over the world, and every three years these ships would bring their wealth back to Israel and to Jerusalem. Sure Solomon's taxes ran a certain amount every year, however, these ships went to points so far out that they came home only once every three years. Hiram and Solomon's ships knew the shipping lanes and trade routes all over the world, over two thousand years before Columbus stumbled on the islands of the West Indies in the Caribbean sea. They went to those exotic places and gathered the taxes and goods for Solomon's kingdom. These goods named are not common to the Middle east.

Sure I believe there were contacts between the worlds land masses long before Columbus set foot on any boat. We know from the early Indians of our land that gold was very plentiful in the Americas. Remember that Solomon had the wisdom of the universe, as well as the ability to read the stars for direction. Today these things are common knowledge to any seaman.

I Kings 10:23 "So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom."

He had it because God gave it to him. The lesson here is that if you pleases God, He blesses you.

I Kings 10:24 "And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart."

All gifts come from God, and if you have any gift, God should have the honor and glory for the use of that gift. God is only one that deserves our praise. That wisdom is written in God's Word, and as we read and study His Word, we also can obtain God's Wisdom.

I Kings 10:25 "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."

The people were pleased to bring their things of value to Solomon, and in return gain the wisdom that came from his mind. This flow into Jerusalem of great wealth was continual year by year, for there was no cycles in the giving. This allowed Solomon to also give assistance to anyone that asked. God the Father was the real winner in all this wealth.

I Kings 10:26 "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."

With all the gold around and other items of wealth, Solomon had plenty of protection around for the protection of not only Israel, but those that came to Jerusalem. Just as the servants were well taken care of, so also were the men in arms that protected the king and his kingdom.

I Kings 10:27 "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."

When you go out in look down at the stones on the road, think of it as being silver, that is how abundant silver was in Solomon's kingdom. Jerusalem was a very rich place at this time.

I Kings 10:28 "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price."

I Kings 10:29 "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."

So the underline message of this entire chapter is that when you obey our heavenly Father, He will keep his word to you. God promised Solomon great riches and wisdom, and we have witnessed through this chapter that God kept His word to Solomon. Even in our generation the name of Solomon is well know amongst even the heathen nations. The riches and wisdom of Solomon didn't happen by accident, but for the glory of God. Kings and queens from all over the world came to Jerusalem to hear the wisdom of God, and Solomon gave God all the glory for that wisdom.

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