The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Paralipomena
And now Solomon was visited by the queen of Saba. His fame had reached her, and she came to make trial of his power with knotty questions. Great was the wealth she brought with her to Jerusalem; her camels were loaded with spices and abundant gold and precious stones. And when she met Solomon, she told him all the thoughts that exercised her mind;
every doubt he resolved, no question of hers but found an answer.
And when she saw how wise a man he was, saw, too, the house he had built,
the food that was on his table, the lodging of his servants, the order and splendour of his court, the fine attire of his cup-bearers, and what victims he offered in the Lord’s temple, she stood breathless in wonder.
And she said to the king, It was no false tale I heard in my own country, of the powers thou hast, of the wisdom which is thine.
I could not believe what they told me, without coming and seeing it for myself; now I find that half of it was lost in the telling, here are wonders surpassing all I heard.
Happy thy folk, happy these servants of thine who wait ever on thy presence, and listen to thy wise words.
Blessed be the Lord thy God, that would have a throne for himself, and thee, a king of his own, to sit on it! He loves Israel indeed, and means to preserve it evermore, that has appointed such a king to do justice and to make award for it.
A hundred and twenty talents’ weight of gold she gave to king Solomon, with many spices and precious stones; never were such spices as the queen of Saba gave to king Solomon.
(Though indeed Hiram’s fleet, when it brought back gold from Ophir, brought sandal-wood, as well as precious stones;
and of this sandal-wood king Solomon made pedestals for temple and palace, harp and zither for his musicians; never was such wood seen in Juda.)
Solomon, in his turn, gave the queen of Saba all she desired and asked for, more than ever she brought with her; and so she went back to her own country, with all her retinue.
The weight of gold that reached Solomon every year was six hundred and sixty-six talents,
not counting what was brought by the envoys of different countries, by his own merchantmen, and by the kings of Arabia, with the governors of their provinces; these, too, brought gold and silver to king Solomon.
Two hundred shields king Solomon made of the gold;✻ six hundred sicles of gold went to one shield;
besides three hundred golden bucklers, three hundred sicles of gold being used for the plating of each; and all these the king put away in the store-chamber of the building that was called the Forest of Lebanon.
He also made a great throne of ivory, and lined it with gold unalloyed;
six steps led up to it, and the footstool was all of gold. This throne had an arm at either side, and a lion standing by it;
twelve other lions stood on the steps, six on either side; no other kingdom had a throne to match it.
Of gold all the plate was when the king feasted, of pure gold all the ornaments in the house called the Forest of Lebanon; in those days, silver was little thought of.
Every three years the king’s fleet and Hiram’s would sail to Tharsis, whence they came back laden with gold and silver; with ivory, too, and apes and peacocks for their freight.
So, both in riches and in renown, Solomon outvied all the kings of the world;
and kings from every part of the world craved his audience, to make proof for themselves of the wisdom God had put in his heart.
And all these brought him gifts, so that gold and silver ware, presents of clothes and armour, spices, too, and horses and mules came in year by year.
Forty thousand horses king Solomon had in his stables, twelve thousand chariots, and horsemen with them; some he kept in his chariot cities, and others at his side in Jerusalem.
And he was overlord of all the kings from the river Euphrates to Philistia, and to the frontiers of Egypt.
Silver he made as common in Jerusalem as stone, and cedars as plentiful as the sycamores that grow in the valleys;
horses he had from Egypt and from all the world over.✻
What else Solomon did, first and last, is to be found in the book that was written by the prophet Nathan, in the prophecy of Ahias the Silonite, and in the vision of the seer Addo that pronounces doom against Jeroboam son of Nabat.
For forty years Solomon reigned at Jerusalem over all Israel;
then they laid him to rest with his fathers, with the Keep of David for his burying-place, and the throne passed to his son Roboam.
The Holy Bible