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2 Tawarikh 9:1-12

Solomon Entertains a Queen

9:1 When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon, 1  she came to challenge 2  him 3  with difficult questions. 4  She arrived in Jerusalem 5  with a great display of pomp, 6  bringing with her camels carrying spices, 7  a very large quantity of gold, and precious gems. She visited Solomon and discussed with him everything that was on her mind. 9:2 Solomon answered all her questions; there was no question too complex for the king. 8  9:3 When the queen of Sheba saw for herself Solomon’s extensive wisdom, 9  the palace 10  he had built, 9:4 the food in his banquet hall, 11  his servants and attendants 12  in their robes, his cupbearers in their robes, and his burnt sacrifices which he presented in the Lord’s temple, 13  she was amazed. 14  9:5 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your wise sayings and insight 15  was true! 9:6 I did not believe these things until I came and saw them with my own eyes. Indeed, I didn’t hear even half the story! 16  Your wisdom surpasses what was reported to me. 9:7 Your attendants, who stand before you at all times and hear your wise sayings, are truly happy! 17  9:8 May the Lord your God be praised because he favored 18  you by placing you on his throne as the one ruling on his behalf! 19  Because of your God’s love for Israel and his lasting commitment to them, 20  he made you king over them so you could make just and right decisions.” 21  9:9 She gave the king 120 talents 22  of gold and a very large quantity of spices and precious gems. The quantity of spices the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon has never been matched. 23  9:10 (Huram’s 24  servants, aided by Solomon’s servants, brought gold from Ophir, as well as 25  fine 26  timber and precious gems. 9:11 With the timber the king made steps 27  for the Lord’s temple and royal palace as well as stringed instruments 28  for the musicians. No one had seen anything like them in the land of Judah prior to that. 29 ) 9:12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she requested, more than what she had brought him. 30  Then she left and returned 31  to her homeland with her attendants.

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[9:1]  1 tn Heb “the report about Solomon.”

[9:1]  2 tn Or “test.”

[9:1]  3 tn Heb “Solomon.” The recurrence of the proper name here is redundant in terms of contemporary English style, so the pronoun has been used in the translation instead.

[9:1]  4 tn Or “riddles.”

[9:1]  5 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

[9:1]  6 tn Heb “with very great strength.” The Hebrew word חַיִל (khayil, “strength”) may refer here to the size of her retinue or to the great wealth she brought with her.

[9:1]  7 tn Or “balsam oil.”

[9:2]  8 tn Heb “Solomon declared to her all her words; there was not a word hidden from the king which he did not declare to her.” If riddles are specifically in view (see v. 1), then one might translate, “Solomon explained to her all her riddles; there was no riddle too complex for the king.”

[9:3]  9 tn Heb “all the wisdom of Solomon.”

[9:3]  10 tn Heb “house.”

[9:4]  11 tn Heb “the food on his table.”

[9:4]  12 tn Heb “the seating of his servants and the standing of his attendants.”

[9:4]  13 tc The Hebrew text has here, “and his upper room [by] which he was going up to the house of the Lord.” But עֲלִיָּתוֹ (’aliyyato, “his upper room”) should be emended to עֹלָתוֹ, (’olato, “his burnt sacrifice[s]”). See the parallel account in 1 Kgs 10:5.

[9:4]  14 tn Or “it took her breath away”; Heb “there was no breath still in her.”

[9:5]  15 tn Heb “about your words [or perhaps, “deeds”] and your wisdom.”

[9:6]  16 tn Heb “the half was not told to me.”

[9:7]  17 tn Heb “How happy are your men! How happy are these servants of yours, who stand before you continually, who hear your wisdom!”

[9:8]  18 tn Or “delighted in.”

[9:8]  19 tn Heb “as king for the Lord your God.”

[9:8]  20 tn Heb “to make him stand permanently.”

[9:8]  21 tn Heb “to do justice and righteousness.”

[9:9]  22 tn The Hebrew word כִּכַּר (kikar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or, by extension, to a standard unit of weight. According to the older (Babylonian) standard the “talent” weighed 130 lbs. (58.9 kg), but later this was lowered to 108.3 lbs. (49.1 kg). More recent research suggests the “light” standard talent was 67.3 lbs. (30.6 kg). Using this as the standard for calculation, the weight of the gold was 8,076 lbs. (3,672 kg).

[9:9]  23 tn Heb “there has not been like those spices which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.”

[9:10]  24 tn Heb “Huram’s” (also in v. 21). Some medieval Hebrew mss, along with the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate spell the name “Hiram,” agreeing with 1 Chr 14:1. “Huram” is a variant spelling referring to the same individual.

[9:10]  25 tn Heb “who brought gold from Ophir, brought.”

[9:10]  26 tn Heb “algum.”

[9:11]  27 tn Heb “tracks.” The parallel text in 1 Kgs 10:12 has a different term whose meaning is uncertain: “supports,” perhaps “banisters” or “parapets.”

[9:11]  28 tn Two types of stringed instruments are specifically mentioned in the Hebrew text, the כִּנּוֹר (kinnor, “zither”) and נֶבֶל (nevel, “harp”).

[9:11]  29 tn Heb “there was not seen like these formerly in the land of Judah.”

[9:12]  30 tn Heb “besides what she brought to the king.”

[9:12]  31 tn Heb “turned and went.”

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