Saturday, July 31, 2010

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

"Now when the queen of Sheba had heard of the fame of Solomon she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions, having a very great retinue and camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. And Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from Solomon which he could not explain to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, and their clothing, his cupbearers, and their clothing, and his burnt offerings which he offered at the house of the LORD, there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, "The report was true which I heard in my own land of your affairs and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it; and behold, half the greatness of your wisdom was not told me; you surpass the report which I heard. Happy are your wives! Happy are these your servants, who continually stand before you and your wisdom! Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the LORD your God! Because your God loved Israel and would establish them for ever, he has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness." Then she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones: there were no spices such as those which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. ... And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what she had brought to the king. So she turned and went back to her own land, with her servants." (2 Chronicles 9)


"(the supposed queen of Sheba:)Oh, that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth! For your love is better than wine, your anointing oils are fragrant, your name is oil poured out; therefore the maidens love you. Draw me after you, let us make haste. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you. I am very dark, but comely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not gaze at me because I am swarthy, because the sun has scorched me. My mother's sons were angry with me, they made me keeper of the vineyards; but, my own vineyard I have not kept! Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you pasture your flock, where you make it lie down at noon; for why should I be like one who wanders beside the flocks of your companions?

"(the supposed Solomon:)If you do not know, O fairest among women, follow in the tracks of the flock, and pasture your kids beside the shepherds' tents. I compare you, my love, to a mare of Pharaoh's chariots. Your cheeks are comely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels. We will make you ornaments of gold, studded with silver.

"(the supposed Queen of Sheba): While the king was on his couch, my nard gave forth its fragrance. My beloved is to me a bag of myrrh, that lies between my breasts. My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Enge'di"

"(the supposed Solomon): Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves. Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly lovely. Our couch is green, the beams of our house are cedar, our rafters are pine." (Song of Solomon 1)

Today I'll still continue with the same theme I wrote last time about: love. Yes, the deepest and most important message of Christianity is love. And I've said the Bible is full of great examples of love, especially the New Testament, but to my mind the most wonderful example from the Old Testament is the story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Everybody knows the story. So why do I want to share it in my diary once again? Because it's especially touching me on this day and I believe it can also teach our modern hearts. This story is also one of my favourites from the Bible. The Bible doesn't tell clearly that Solomon and Queen of Sheba had been married or even lovers, but I bet Song of Solomon 1 proves they really were. Today we're living in multicultural Europe immigration and refugees being the key words. We can't avoid contact between different races and cultures and I absolutely recommend it for forgetting the prejudice and opening our hearts for tolerance. There are more and more mixed couples in Europe and this has been usual in the USA already for decades: one child may have various genes from different backgrounds; Latin, African, American, Irish, Scottish etc. Even Solomon and Queen of Sheba were a multicultural couple one being Ethiopian and another being Arabic. They probably had a child together, named David after Solomon's father. Because of the pressure of Solomon's government and counsellors the Queen had to return to Ethiopia with their baby and Solomon's best priests, soldiers, gold and everything she desired. The government couldn't accept the Queen's religion but after they were made to divorce she brought Judaism with her to Ethiopia and was believed to be converted herself as well. The way they divorced proves their huge amount of love and the unfortunate fact that has become more like a rule than exception in modern Europe: however much the parties of different races and cultures may love each other, they're probably separated by religion or by pressure of their families; in modern Europe this happens to Christians and Muslims. Solomon had 100 wives with at least 100 religions and the government and Solomon's priests couldn't accept any of them. Solomon loved the Queen more than any of these wives and he was willing to make her the Queen of Israel. Their love was amazingly wonderful and beautiful, because they loved so passionately and truly and they were 100 % equal even though they were of different colour: the Queen had as much wealth and authority as Solomon had and the Queen wanted to have something from Solomon's culture: their equality and tolerance were the things that my readers could learn from on this day. Jesus loves the immigrants too, I'm absolutely convinced about that. I find a lot of anti-racism message in the teachings of Jesus and in Paul's interpretation of them.

4 comments:

  1. I am sorry to tell, but you are not allowed to use this painting online. Please delete it!

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  2. Nice. I love the way your heart and mind give out positive vibrations.!
    Stay inspired and follow your heart.

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  3. The song/s Solomon wrote were not to Queen Sheba but rather to a Shulammite maiden who was, to Solomon's despair, in love with a shepherd boy. The persons with speaking parts were Solomon, the shepherd boy, the Shulammite's brothers and the court ladies (daughters of Jerusalem/Zion) - Song of Sol. 1:5-7; 3:5, 11

    At chpt 5:10 she describes the shepherd as 'dazzling and ruddy' (depending on translation). Solomon would not be ruddy, but refined.

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  4. Jeez Ce.. Way to burst her bubble!!! Lol

    ReplyDelete