II Chronicles 9
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1  The queen of Sheba heard of Shlomo‘s fame, and came to Yerushalayim to test Shlomo with hard questions, accompanied by a very large retinue, including camels bearing spices, a great quantity of gold, and precious stones. When she came to Shlomo, she spoke to him of all that she had on her mind.

u-mal-kat sh’-VA sha-m’-AH et SHAY-ma sh’-lo-MOH va-ta-VO l’-na-SOT et sh’-lo-MOH v’-khee-DOT bee-ru-sha-LA-im b’-KHA-yil ka-VAYD m’-OD ug-ma-LEEM no-s’-EEM b’-sa-MEEM v’-za-HAV la-ROV v’-E-ven y’-ka-RAH va-ta-VO el sh’-lo-MOH va-t’-da-BAYR i-MO AYT kol a-SHER ha-YAH im l’-va-VAH

א  וּמַלְכַּת־שְׁבָא שָׁמְעָה אֶת־שֵׁמַע שְׁלֹמֹה וַתָּבוֹא לְנַסּוֹת אֶת־שְׁלֹמֹה בְחִידוֹת בִּירוּשָׁלַ ִם בְּחַיִל כָּבֵד מְאֹד וּגְמַלִּים נֹשְׂאִים בְּשָׂמִים וְזָהָב לָרֹב וְאֶבֶן יְקָרָה וַתָּבוֹא אֶל־שְׁלֹמֹה וַתְּדַבֵּר עִמּוֹ אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר הָיָה עִם־לְבָבָהּ׃

9:1   The queen of Sheba heard of Shlomo’s fame

King Shlomo’s reign can be described as the glory days of the Kingdom of Israel. Shlomo creates a kingdom that is characterized by peace and security, wealth and prosperity, wisdom and knowledge, justice and righteousness, spiritual devotion and international recognition. One of Shlomo’s goals in building the Beit Hamikdash is for the gentile nations of the world to also come to recognize the greatness and oneness of God, as he says “Thus all the peoples of the earth will know Your name and revere You, as does Your people Yisrael” (6:33). Perhaps this is why Shlomo made a point of making his kingdom so grand and establishing political connections and alliances. Indeed, in addition to his renowned reputation and vast impact, he succeeds in his mission to spread recognition of God, as demonstrated by the queen of Sheba’s visit. She is so impressed with Shlomo and his kingdom, yet her reaction to her visit is, “Blessed is Hashem your God, who favored you and set you on His throne as a king before Hashem” (verse 8). The Nation of Israel continues to be charged with the same mission of spreading God’s great name and His Oneness throughout the entire world.2 comments

2  Shlomo had answers for all her questions; there was nothing that Shlomo did not know, nothing to which he could not give her an answer.

ב  וַיַּגֶּד־לָהּ שְׁלֹמֹה אֶת־כָּל־דְּבָרֶיהָ וְלֹא־נֶעְלַם דָּבָר מִשְּׁלֹמֹה אֲשֶׁר לֹא הִגִּיד לָהּ׃

3  When the queen of Sheba saw how wise Shlomo was and the palace he had built,

ג  וַתֵּרֶא מַלְכַּת־שְׁבָא אֵת חָכְמַת שְׁלֹמֹה וְהַבַּיִת אֲשֶׁר בָּנָה׃

4  the fare of his table, the seating of his courtiers, the service and attire of his attendants, his butlers and their attire, and the procession with which he went up to the House of Hashem, it took her breath away.

ד  וּמַאֲכַל שֻׁלְחָנוֹ וּמוֹשַׁב עֲבָדָיו וּמַעֲמַד מְשָׁרְתָיו וּמַלְבּוּשֵׁיהֶם וּמַשְׁקָיו וּמַלְבּוּשֵׁיהֶם וַעֲלִיָּתוֹ אֲשֶׁר יַעֲלֶה בֵּית יְהֹוָה וְלֹא־הָיָה עוֹד בָּהּ רוּחַ׃

5  She said to the king, “What I heard in my own land about you and your wisdom was true.

ה  וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֱמֶת הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְתִּי בְּאַרְצִי עַל־דְּבָרֶיךָ וְעַל־חָכְמָתֶךָ׃

6  I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes that not even the half of your great wisdom had been described to me; you surpass the report that I heard.

ו  וְלֹא־הֶאֱמַנְתִּי לְדִבְרֵיהֶם עַד אֲשֶׁר־בָּאתִי וַתִּרְאֶינָה עֵינַי וְהִנֵּה לֹא הֻגַּד־לִי חֲצִי מַרְבִּית חָכְמָתֶךָ יָסַפְתָּ עַל־הַשְּׁמוּעָה אֲשֶׁר שָׁמָעְתִּי׃

7  How fortunate are your men and how fortunate are these courtiers of yours who are always in attendance on you and can hear your wisdom!

ז  אַשְׁרֵי אֲנָשֶׁיךָ וְאַשְׁרֵי עֲבָדֶיךָ אֵלֶּה הָעֹמְדִים לְפָנֶיךָ תָּמִיד וְשֹׁמְעִים אֶת־חָכְמָתֶךָ׃

8  Blessed is Hashem your God, who favored you and set you on His throne as a king before Hashem. It is because of your God’s love for Yisrael and in order to establish them forever that He made you king over them to execute righteous justice.”

ח  יְהִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּרוּךְ אֲשֶׁר חָפֵץ בְּךָ לְתִתְּךָ עַל־כִּסְאוֹ לְמֶלֶךְ לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּאַהֲבַת אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהַעֲמִידוֹ לְעוֹלָם וַיִּתֶּנְךָ עֲלֵיהֶם לְמֶלֶךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה׃

9  She presented the king with 120 kikarim of gold, and a vast quantity of spices and precious stones. There were no such spices as those which the queen of Sheba gave to King Shlomo

ט  וַתִּתֵּן לַמֶּלֶךְ מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים כִּכַּר זָהָב וּבְשָׂמִים לָרֹב מְאֹד וְאֶבֶן יְקָרָה וְלֹא הָיָה כַּבֹּשֶׂם הַהוּא אֲשֶׁר־נָתְנָה מַלְכַּת־שְׁבָא לַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה׃

10  also, the servants of Huram and Shlomo who brought gold from Ophir brought algum-wood and precious stones.

י  וְגַם־עַבְדֵי חירם [חוּרָם] וְעַבְדֵי שְׁלֹמֹה אֲשֶׁר־הֵבִיאוּ זָהָב מֵאוֹפִיר הֵבִיאוּ עֲצֵי אַלְגּוּמִּים וְאֶבֶן יְקָרָה׃

11  The king made of the algum-wood ramps for the House of Hashem and for the royal palace, and lyres and harps for the musicians, whose like had never before been seen in the land of Yehuda

יא  וַיַּעַשׂ הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־עֲצֵי הָאַלְגּוּמִּים מְסִלּוֹת לְבֵית־יְהֹוָה וּלְבֵית הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכִנֹּרוֹת וּנְבָלִים לַשָּׁרִים וְלֹא־נִרְאוּ כָהֵם לְפָנִים בְּאֶרֶץ יְהוּדָה׃

12  King Shlomo, in turn, gave the queen of Sheba everything she expressed a desire for, exceeding a return for what she had brought to the king. Then she and her courtiers left and returned to her own land.

יב  וְהַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה נָתַן לְמַלְכַּת־שְׁבָא אֶת־כָּל־חֶפְצָהּ אֲשֶׁר שָׁאָלָה מִלְּבַד אֲשֶׁר־הֵבִיאָה אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַתַּהֲפֹךְ וַתֵּלֶךְ לְאַרְצָהּ הִיא וַעֲבָדֶיהָ׃

13  The gold that Shlomo received every year weighed 666 gold kikarim,

יג  וַיְהִי מִשְׁקַל הַזָּהָב אֲשֶׁר־בָּא לִשְׁלֹמֹה בְּשָׁנָה אֶחָת שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת וְשִׁשִּׁים וָשֵׁשׁ כִּכְּרֵי זָהָב׃

14  besides what traders and merchants brought, and the gold and silver that all the kings of Arabia and governors of the regions brought to Shlomo.

יד  לְבַד מֵאַנְשֵׁי הַתָּרִים וְהַסֹּחֲרִים מְבִיאִים וְכָל־מַלְכֵי עֲרַב וּפַחוֹת הָאָרֶץ מְבִיאִים זָהָב וָכֶסֶף לִשְׁלֹמֹה׃

15  King Shlomo made 200 shields of beaten gold—600 shekalim of beaten gold for each shield,

טו  וַיַּעַשׂ הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה מָאתַיִם צִנָּה זָהָב שָׁחוּט שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת זָהָב שָׁחוּט יַעֲלֶה עַל־הַצִּנָּה הָאֶחָת׃

16  and 300 bucklers of beaten gold—300 [shekalim] of gold for each buckler. The king placed them in the Lebanon Forest House.

טז  וּשְׁלֹשׁ־מֵאוֹת מָגִנִּים זָהָב שָׁחוּט שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת זָהָב יַעֲלֶה עַל־הַמָּגֵן הָאֶחָת וַיִּתְּנֵם הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּבֵית יַעַר הַלְּבָנוֹן׃

17  The king also made a large throne of ivory, overlaid with pure gold.

יז  וַיַּעַשׂ הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּסֵּא־שֵׁן גָּדוֹל וַיְצַפֵּהוּ זָהָב טָהוֹר׃

18  Six steps led up to the throne; and the throne had a golden footstool attached to it, and arms on either side of the seat. Two lions stood beside the arms,

יח  וְשֵׁשׁ מַעֲלוֹת לַכִּסֵּא וְכֶבֶשׁ בַּזָּהָב לַכִּסֵּא מָאֳחָזִים וְיָדוֹת מִזֶּה וּמִזֶּה עַל־מְקוֹם הַשָּׁבֶת וּשְׁנַיִם אֲרָיוֹת עֹמְדִים אֵצֶל הַיָּדוֹת׃

19  and twelve lions stood on the six steps, six on either side. None such was ever made for any other kingdom.

יט  וּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר אֲרָיוֹת עֹמְדִים שָׁם עַל־שֵׁשׁ הַמַּעֲלוֹת מִזֶּה וּמִזֶּה לֹא־נַעֲשָׂה כֵן לְכָל־מַמְלָכָה׃

20  All of King Shlomo‘s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the utensils of the Lebanon Forest House were of pure gold; silver counted for nothing in Shlomo‘s days.

כ  וְכֹל כְּלֵי מַשְׁקֵה הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה זָהָב וְכֹל כְּלֵי בֵּית־יַעַר הַלְּבָנוֹן זָהָב סָגוּר אֵין כֶּסֶף נֶחְשָׁב בִּימֵי שְׁלֹמֹה לִמְאוּמָה׃

21  The king’s fleet traveled to Tarshish with Huram’s servants. Once every three years, the Tarshish fleet came in, bearing gold and silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.

כא  כִּי־אֳנִיּוֹת לַמֶּלֶךְ הֹלְכוֹת תַּרְשִׁישׁ עִם עַבְדֵי חוּרָם אַחַת לְשָׁלוֹשׁ שָׁנִים תָּבוֹאנָה אֳנִיּוֹת תַּרְשִׁישׁ נֹשְׂאוֹת זָהָב וָכֶסֶף שֶׁנְהַבִּים וְקוֹפִים וְתוּכִּיִּים׃

22  King Shlomo surpassed all the kings of the earth in wealth and wisdom.

כב  וַיִּגְדַּל הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה מִכֹּל מַלְכֵי הָאָרֶץ לְעֹשֶׁר וְחָכְמָה׃

23  All the kings of the earth came to pay homage to Shlomo and to listen to the wisdom with which Hashem had endowed him.

כג  וְכֹל מַלְכֵי הָאָרֶץ מְבַקְשִׁים אֶת־פְּנֵי שְׁלֹמֹה לִשְׁמֹעַ אֶת־חָכְמָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן הָאֱלֹהִים בְּלִבּוֹ׃

24  Each brought his tribute—silver and gold objects, robes, weapons, and spices, horses and mules—in the amount due each year.

כד  וְהֵם מְבִיאִים אִישׁ מִנְחָתוֹ כְּלֵי כֶסֶף וּכְלֵי זָהָב וּשְׂלָמוֹת נֵשֶׁק וּבְשָׂמִים סוּסִים וּפְרָדִים דְּבַר־שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה׃

25  Shlomo had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen, which he stationed in the chariot towns and with the king in Yerushalayim.

כה  וַיְהִי לִשְׁלֹמֹה אַרְבַּעַת אֲלָפִים אֻרְיוֹת סוּסִים וּמַרְכָּבוֹת וּשְׁנֵים־עָשָׂר אֶלֶף פָּרָשִׁים וַיַּנִּיחֵם בְּעָרֵי הָרֶכֶב וְעִם־הַמֶּלֶךְ בִּירוּשָׁלָ ִם׃

26  He ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt.

כו  וַיְהִי מוֹשֵׁל בְּכָל־הַמְּלָכִים מִן־הַנָּהָר וְעַד־אֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים וְעַד גְּבוּל מִצְרָיִם׃

27  The king made silver as plentiful in Yerushalayim as stones, and cedars as plentiful as sycamores in the Shephelah.

כז  וַיִּתֵּן הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־הַכֶּסֶף בִּירוּשָׁלַ ִם כָּאֲבָנִים וְאֵת הָאֲרָזִים נָתַן כַּשִּׁקְמִים אֲשֶׁר־בַּשְּׁפֵלָה לָרֹב׃

28  Horses were brought for Shlomo from Egypt and all the lands.

כח  וּמוֹצִיאִים סוּסִים מִמִּצְרַיִם לִשְׁלֹמֹה וּמִכָּל־הָאֲרָצוֹת׃

29  The other events of Shlomo‘s reign, early and late, are recorded in the chronicle of the Navi Natan and in the prophecies of Achiya the Shilonite and in the visions of Jedo the seer concerning Yerovam son of Nebat.

כט  וּשְׁאָר דִּבְרֵי שְׁלֹמֹה הָרִאשֹׁנִים וְהָאֲחֲרוֹנִים הֲלֹא־הֵם כְּתוּבִים עַל־דִּבְרֵי נָתָן הַנָּבִיא וְעַל־נְבוּאַת אֲחִיָּה הַשִּׁילוֹנִי וּבַחֲזוֹת יעדי [יֶעְדּוֹ] הַחֹזֶה עַל־יָרָבְעָם בֶּן־נְבָט׃

30  Shlomo reigned forty years over all Yisrael in Yerushalayim.

ל  וַיִּמְלֹךְ שְׁלֹמֹה בִירוּשָׁלַ ִם עַל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה׃

31  Shlomo slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David; his son Rechovam succeeded him as king.

לא  וַיִּשְׁכַּב שְׁלֹמֹה עִם־אֲבֹתָיו וַיִּקְבְּרֻהוּ בְּעִיר דָּוִיד אָבִיו וַיִּמְלֹךְ רְחַבְעָם בְּנוֹ תַּחְתָּיו׃

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  • Verse 7: (The Queen of Sheba speaks) How fortunate are your men and how fortunate are these courtiers of yours who are always in attendance on you and can hear your wisdom!

    Better yet: How fortunate (blessed, happy) are those who are always in attendance on the Word of HaShem to hear His wisdom! Compare with Psalms 1:2-3: “…rather, the teaching of Hashem is his delight, and he studies that teaching day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, whose foliage never fades, and whatever it produces thrives.”

II Chronicles 9

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