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The queen of Sheba’s visit to Solomon. (1-13) The queen of Sheba came to Solomon to hear his wisdom, thereby to improve her own. Our Saviour mentions her inquiries after God, by Solomon, as showing the stupidity of those who inquire not after God, by our Lord Jesus Christ.
V. 1…Sheba…. Land of Sheba is said to be a mountainous country about 1.200 miles from Jerusalem. This Sheba would have been the land of Sabeans mentioned in Job 1:15. Amidst differences scholars conclude between modern day Yemen or Ethiopia. Most of them lean towards Yemen, land located south of Saudi Arabia.
Jesus mentioned about her in Matthew 12:42 when Pharisees asked for a sign. If a queen could travel 1,200 miles long journey from the END OF THE EARTH to know the God-given wisdom to Solomon personally, how come these people ask for a sing rather that find out by themselves.
Vs. 3:…nothing so difficult for the king…. The wisdom was given by God, and was unprecedented in the whole world which amazed the queen from far away land.
Vs. 4&5:…no more spirit in her…. She was breathless with amazement at Solomon’s wealth, wisdom, and the great administration.
Vs. 6&7:…indeed the half was not told me…. In fact what she heard motivated to take such a long journey, but what she saw was much more greater. Just like the Samaritan woman in John 4 where the villagers were motivated to come out and see Jesus and hear him. But after hearing Jesus, in verse they said in verse 42… Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
V. 8…happy are your men…who…hear you …. The queen of Sheba, however, refers much more specifically to the blessing that Solomon must be to his court officials. While Solomon’s wisdom and wealth are still remarkable, and are still evidence of God’s abundant blessing, it seems that his great wisdom, wealth, and power have begun to distort his moral judgment in the proper use of these blessings.
V. 9…blessed is the LORD your God…. Queen of Sheba was likely a pagan, still realized that the Lord was the source of all of the Solomon’s wealth and wisdom.
V. 10…one hundred and twenty talents of gold Which is 9,000 pounds or 4,080 Kilograms which is 4 tons.
Solomon’s wealth. (14-29)
Solomon increased his wealth. Silver was nothing accounted of. Such is the nature of worldly wealth, plenty of it makes it the less valuable; much more should the enjoyment of spiritual riches lessen our esteem of all earthly possessions. If gold in abundance makes silver to be despised, shall not wisdom, and grace, and the foretastes of heaven, which are far better than gold, make gold to be lightly esteemed? See in Solomon’s greatness the performance of God’s promise, and let it encourage us to seek first the righteousness of God’s kingdom. This was he, who, having tasted all earthly enjoyments, wrote a book, to show the vanity of all worldly things, the vexation of spirit that attends them, and the folly of setting our hearts upon them: and to recommend serious godliness, as that which will do unspeakably more to make us happy, that all the wealth and power he was master of; and, through the grace of God, it is within our reach. – Mathew Henry Concise Commentary
Vs. 26,28 & 29: Lord’s instruction not to multiply horses in Deut 17:16 & 17.
1 Kings 11
Solomon’s heart turns away from the LORD. (1-8) If our sinful passions are not crucified and mortified by the grace of God, they never will die of themselves, but will last even when opportunities to gratify them are taken away. Let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall. We see how weak we are of ourselves, without the grace of God; let us therefore live in constant dependence on that grace. Let us watch and be sober: ours is a dangerous warfare, and in an enemy’s country, while our worst foes are the traitors in our own hearts. – Mathew Henry Commentary.
The greatest Kingdom of the world started to crumble, not by external forces, but from internal weakness. God’s righteousness will not kick until our actions warrant God to start judging us. The judgment of God will not kick start when we cross certain spiritual boundaries, because those lines are warnings and we will have the enough opportunity to return. Taking God’s longsuffering (patience) for granted will lead us into more and more trespasses. This is one way of deception. His choice of daughter of Pharaoh, and accumulation of horses. In His response to Solomon’s prayer in chapter 9, God gave a warning and an opportunity set right things which he did not heed.
Vs. 1& 2…loved many foreign women…Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites…. Exodus 34:16, Deut. 7:3&4, and Duet 17:17, it was forbidden to marry many wives. The reason for this restriction was that pagan wives would lead God’s people into idolatry. Nehemiah mentioned Solomon in Chapter 13:223-26. We have to be ever watchful over those things for which our hearts long.
V. 3: his wives turned away his heart: It happened exactly as God warned.
Vs. 5-7: Ashtoreth….Milcom (molech)…Chemosh : Astoreth was the Canaanite goddess of fertility whose worship involved sexual rites and Astrology. Milcom or Molech, which is the god of underworld includes human sacrifices, especially of Children. Chemosh was cruel and involved astrology. Did evil in the sight of the LORD (v.6)… kings are characteristically assessed in 1–2 Kings in terms of whether on the whole they “did what was right” or what was evil in the eyes of the Lord,; Judean kings are additionally said to be “like David” or “not like David.”
God’s anger. (9-13) Though we have reason to hope that he repented, and found mercy, yet the Holy Ghost did not expressly record it, but left it doubtful, as a warning to others not to sin. The guilt may be taken away, but not the reproach; that will remain. Thus it must remain uncertain to us till the day of judgment, whether or not Solomon was left to suffer the everlasting displeasure of an offended God. – Mathew Henry Concise Commentary.
Solomon as well as readers get the clues in 2:4; 8:25; and 9:4–5 what God would do. He said it and He did it.
At the same time in the midst of judgment, God showed mercy by promising not to take the Kingdom from Solomon in his lifetime (V. 12) and by assuring him that his son will reign over one tribe (v.13).