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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

1 Kings 10

Verses 1-29

  1. Intro: Royalty, Riches, & Reign
    1. Let me quote from Edith Deen in, All the Women in the Bible...The Queen of Sheba, who came to prove/verify, lives on now, nearly 30 centuries since her visit, as a woman who spirit of adventure and whose resourcefulness, courage, and curiosity have not been surpassed by any queen history. And certainly her sense of good public and international relations is unparalleled among women of a Bible.
  2. THE QUEEN OF SHEBA (1-13)
    1. (1) Our fame & God’s name must go together. Wiersbe
      1. If God magnifies your name, make sure He gets the glory for it. Ps.135:13
      2. Fame is a heavy burden to bear, and only God can help us do it wisely.
    2. Sheba - was in south western Arabia. Also called Seba (Sabeans). Today Sanaa (former capital Yemen).
      1. One of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world.
      2. One of the highest capital cities at 7,500’.
      3. And in the Jewish mind, was at the ends of the earth....Mt.12:42 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.
    3. Sheba, was a 3rd party for trading goods between India, East Africa, Mesopotamia, and the Mediterranean world.
      1. Map of the economically important Silk Road (red) & Spice Trade Routes (blue).
      2. It connected Asia East to West...from the Korean peninsula & Japan to the Med Sea.
    4. The Queen - traveled 1200-1500 miles to see & hear Solomon in Jerusalem.
      1. Her reasons were personal (worldly wisdom & culture) & political (trade agreements) intellectual (mind vs.3) soulish (heart vs.2b) maybe even spiritual
        1. ​​​​​​​Jewish writers believe that she was converted to the worship of the true God.
        2. She’s even mentioned in the Koran, Sura 27.
    5. Interesting that 9 centuries before Christ, Sabean women occupied as high a place as did the queen of Sheba. The Int. Standard Bible Ecyclopedia “in almost all respects women appeared to have been considered the equal of men and to have discharged the same civil, religious and even military functions.”
    6. Also interesting, that Sheba/Saba was especially known for their export in Frankincense & Myrrh (+ She brought 120 talents of Gold).
      1. Over 900 years after Solomon, several other mysterious figures journey across the desert to Jerusalem, bearing gold and precious spices for a Royal descendent
      2. of David.
        1. What this New King offered in return...was eternal life.
    7. Today, you and I come to a greater than Solomon.
      1. Our native country maybe far away from him, but he will receive us.
      2. He give us the right, to not just visit, but come & live forever in His palace, & listen to His words and behold His face.
      3. We get to bring him our gifts, our faith, our love, loyalty of heart.
      4. Let’s also lay before Him or complexities & questions...our quandaries & conundrums.
        1. ​​​​​​​He may not immediately reveal an answer, but He put His Spirit into our hearts, to which we are reminded in 1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie…
      5. The bible, as someone says, does not teach us philosophy, but makes us philosophers. (philo/to love - sophos/wisdom) Lovers of wisdom.
      6. So, Come to Jesus & ask. Come see His glory. Come hear His wisdom.
    8. (7a) His entryway - The’ve been excavating this for the last 5/6 years.
      1. At pool of Siloam there is an aqueduct & a road above it, between mount Zion & mount Moriah.
    9. (7b) The half was not told me - what will we say when we meet Jesus face to face...His wisdom & goodness far surpasses...! There will be no spirit left within us.
    10. (8) Do we take our blessings for granted? Did Solomon’s servants get accustomed to hearing his wise words & beholding his great wealth?
      1. Israel grew accustomed to the miracle of manna (Numb.11).
      2. The church in Ephesus grew accustomed to Christ’a love & even left it (Rev.2:4)
    11. (9) We see how far Solomon’s fame had spread, the prosperity of his kingdom, & the happiness of his subjects.
      1. But she clearly saw everything was due to the overruling of God.
    12. (13) In what ways is the Queen of Sheba an example to us? Consider the purpose of her visit, the difficulties of it, & her reward.
      1. Purpose? - seek the kings wisdom, trade, talk to the king, curiosity, see his glory,
      2. Difficulties? - difficulty in travel, time, costs, gifts,
      3. Reward? - well worth the effort in meeting him, hearing him, seeing all, blessings she brought back from their visit. [a triple measure of his generosity]
        1. Whatever she asked - when invited, we come to our King & ask.
          1. Often very act of asking forces us to be clear instead of vague, and makes the answers unmistakable when they come.
        2. All she desired - God not only hears what you are asking for but senses what else were are desiring.
          1. There is a spiritual desiring which is bigger than words. Sometimes our needs are deeper than we ourselves can understand.
        3. According to royal generosity - Then comes His lavish surplus, Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, Eph.3:20
          1. Or in the msg, God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!
          2. Look to Him for magnificent extras!
            1. A farmer sent his son to gather fruit, and made him promise not to eat any himself. When the boy returned with the fruit, the father asked him, Did you eat any? The son replied, no father. The father then said, very good; now you can take a handful for yourself. His son hesitated. He looked at his own small hands, then at the big hands of his father, and then said, Father, you give me a handful! :)
  3. SOLOMON’S COMMERCIAL VENTURES (14-29)
    1. ​​​​​​​Solomons Income Tax Return - about $20 million.
    2. How dazzling is this description of Solomon’s glory.
      1. And yet Jesus said, that it was excelled by 1 single lily growing wild in the field.
        1. Mt.6:28,29 So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
      2. What was Jesus saying? Solomon’s glory was put on from without; the real beauty is that which unfolds from within.
    3. (26) What wasn’t a king supposed to multiply from Deut 17? (horses, wives, gold/silver) [power/women/$]. What do we have mentioned in this chapter? (horses, gold, silver)
      1. This was another indication of decay. The germs of disease were already growing in Solomon’s heart.
      2. Oh it is with great difficulty that the rich enter the kingdom.
      3. Read Neh.13:23-26 (see problem 23,24prejudice w/a purpose; solution 25; example 26)
        1. Here Nehemiah says you can have position (best king), be preferred (loved by God), & be the most powerful...NEVERTHELESS even he fell.
    4. (29) Solomon was a key middleman in ancient Near Eastern trade. Import/Export.
    5. Solomon was outwardly at the height of his power, wealth, & fame...but what was going on within his heart? Read 11:1.
    6. End: Listen to Handel’s The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. By George Friderik Handel
      1. Duke Ellington: The Queen’s suite: Apes & Peacocks.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 1 Kings 10". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/1-kings-10.html. 2017.