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Two Chronicles Nine

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

2 Chronicles 9:1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.

And when the queen. This whole chapter has been copied from 1 Kings 10, with only minor modifications in wording. See footnotes on 1 Kings 10.

2 Chronicles 9:2 And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not.

2 Chronicles 9:3 And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built,

queen of Sheba. Sheba at this time was a wealthy kingdom in the southwestern corner of Arabia. Indications are that it also included a part of Ethiopia, across the Red Sea. The queen of Sheba probably hoped to arrange some kind of trade agreement with Solomon.

2 Chronicles 9:4 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.

2 Chronicles 9:5 And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom:

2 Chronicles 9:6 Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard.

2 Chronicles 9:7 Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom.

2 Chronicles 9:8 Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice.

2 Chronicles 9:9 And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave king Solomon.

2 Chronicles 9:10 And the servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, which brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones.

2 Chronicles 9:11 And the king made of the algum trees terraces to the house of the LORD, and to the king's palace, and harps and psalteries for singers: and there were none such seen before in the land of Judah.

2 Chronicles 9:12 And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which she had brought unto the king. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants.

2 Chronicles 9:13 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold;

weight of gold. The annual income of gold to King Solomon is here said to be 666 talents (see also 1 Kings 10:14). This would be about 25 US tons of gold, every year! Solomon's temple and palace, with their furnishings (his throne was made of ivory overlaid with gold—2 Chronicles 9:17) were lavishly decorated and overlaid with gold. However, comparable abundances of gold are also mentioned in Egypt, Assyria and other ancient lands.

2 Chronicles 9:14 Beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon.

brought gold and silver. It is possible that these “gifts” were actually a form of tribute or taxation, to insure peace with Solomon's empire. It is noted in 2 Chronicles 9:24 that the gifts were brought “year by year.”

2 Chronicles 9:15 And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one target.

2 Chronicles 9:16 And three hundred shields made he of beaten gold: three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.

shields made he of beaten gold. These three hundred shields of gold would not have been useful for fighting, so must have been simply for decorating Solomon's palace. Although none of these have ever been found (they were later plundered by Pharoah Shishak—note 2 Chronicles 12:9—and perhaps melted down for other uses), the fact that other monarchs also made golden shields is confirmed on one of the Assyrian king Sargon's cuneiform clay prisms, in which he gloats over the capture of several shields of gold from the city of Muoasir in Urartia.

2 Chronicles 9:17 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.

2 Chronicles 9:18 And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on each side of the sitting place, and two lions standing by the stays:

2 Chronicles 9:19 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.

2 Chronicles 9:20 And all the drinking vessels of king Solomon 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 any thing accounted of in the days of Solomon.

2 Chronicles 9:21 For the king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.

2 Chronicles 9:22 And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.

all the kings. This is an amazing testimony, but there is no reason to doubt it. Some nations may have ruled larger geographical areas at this time, but Solomon was greater in wisdom and wealth than any. For this period of history, of course (about 1000 b.c.), very little extra-Biblical data are available from archaeology or any other sources.

2 Chronicles 9:23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart.

2 Chronicles 9:24 And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.

2 Chronicles 9:25 And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.

stalls for horses. When his heart turned away from God, Solomon acquired many horses, thereby disobeying God's warnings against returning to Egypt to get horses (Deuteronomy 17:16; 1 Kings 10:28). Ruins of these stalls have been found at Megiddo, which was one of the “cities for his chariots” (1 Kings 9:15, 19).

2 Chronicles 9:26 And he reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt.

2 Chronicles 9:27 And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycamore trees that are in the low plains in abundance.

2 Chronicles 9:28 And they brought unto Solomon horses out of Egypt, and out of all lands.

2 Chronicles 9:29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat?

2 Chronicles 9:30 And Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years.

2 Chronicles 9:31 And Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.