William Kelly Major Works Commentary
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.2 Chronicles Chapter 9
But further (2 Chronicles 9), it was impossible that the fame of Solomon, the type of Christ, could be within such narrow bounds. The queen of Sheba herself comes, not merely to share in royal pomp - not merely to enter into what, alas! we know to be frivolous and most transient - but to hear the wisdom of Solomon. The Lord Jesus Himself singles her out. It was a queenly errand on which she came - most worthy - and indeed her rank gave the greater lustre to it. But the object put additional lustre on herself. She came to hear king Solomon, and she was in no way disappointed.
"When the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon" (that is the attractive object), "and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cup-bearers also, and their apparel" (for even the least and lowest things bore the stamp of his royal grandeur) - "and his ascent by which he went up into the house of Jehovah" - (for this was the grandest of all) - "there was no more spirit in her. 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. Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen; and behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: thou exceedest the fame that I heard. Happy [are] thy men, and happy [are] these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom." vv. 1-7.
That made a great impression upon her. "Blessed be Jehovah thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on His throne [to be] king for Jehovah thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made He thee king over them, to do judgment and justice."
This may seem somewhat strong; but we can, I think, appreciate the delight of God in tracing such a remarkable witness to the future glory of His own Son. No doubt it was true - most true - and what is divine will bear inspection. What is human fades the more we look into it. But the glory which God puts forth is the more seen to be perfect the more it is approached and understood. But still, for all that, whatever might be true of Solomon was only a shadow of Christ - of what Christ will be on the earth. Remember, I am not speaking of what is still higher. I admit that there is a deeper glory in the heavens; and we must carefully remember that the same millennial day will see the Church glorified in heaven, and the Jew blessed upon the earth, and the nations also. All will be under Christ. Consequently, it is not a question of their asserting heavenly glory exclusively, or earthly glory exclusively, but both, each in their own and for their object. That is the truth. And you will always find if you look at mistakes or at heresy (which is the same thing), that there is always a part of the truth, and that part is set against another part; but the full truth of God is never possessed about anything until it puts everything else in its place.
I am persuaded that what I have now said on the kingdom is the only right thought of it - that the kingdom, in short, according to our Lord's own intimation to Nicodemus, consists of heavenly things as well as earthly things. Nicodemus thought
only of the earthly things, and the Lord assured him that there must be new birth to possess even the earthly things. If I have told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?" It was useless. But there are heavenly things as well as earthly, and they are not confounded or changed into one another. The earthly does not become heavenly, nor does the heavenly become earthly. They are both separate parts; and that is the meaning of a very important scripture in Ephesians 1 - "That in the dispensation of the fulness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; even in Him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance." vv. 10, 11. There is the double order of the future inheritance. There are the heavenly things which we shall have, as risen from the dead and glorified with Christ; and there will be the earthly things, the head of which will be the Jews as the people of the Lord Jesus Christ; but the Church, which is His body, will share the heavenly things.
Then the rest of the chapter follows it up, for while the queen of Sheba gives the king a royal present suitable to her station and her means, the king, I need not say, was not to be behind her in nobleness of generosity; and the greatness of his throne is described, and the vastness of his shipping as well, and the abundance that was the result for all the people, even as it is said, he "made silver and gold in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycamore trees that are in the vale for abundance. And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt" and "he reigned over all the kings from the river unto the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt." You know that when Joshua has the word given at the beginning, the Euphrates is the extreme boundary. The Jordan was the proper one. Some of the tribes coveted what was on the other side, and so much the worse for them. They did not gain by it, but lost. But the Euphrates is the extreme limit, and that awaits the Lord Jesus.
And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not.
And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built,
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.
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:
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.
Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom.
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.
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.
And the servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, which brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones.
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.
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.
Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold;
Beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon.
And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one target.
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.
Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.
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:
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.
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.
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.
And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.
And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart.
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.
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.
And he reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt.
And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the low plains in abundance.
And they brought unto Solomon horses out of Egypt, and out of all lands.
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?
And Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years.
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.