The Chronicler has omitted most of 1 Kings 11, which deals with Solomon's apostasy, in order to focus upon Solomon's wisdom and wealth as rewards for his construction of the temple. The primary vehicle for the Chronicler's presentation of Solomon's wisdom is the visit of the Queen of Sheba (modern Yemen), drawn from 1 Kings 10:1-13 (2 Chronicles 9:1-12). Both texts employ a series of negatives to exalt the king:
In addition, there are some very subtle changes, undetectable in the somewhat periphrastic NRSV, which may be attributed to the Chronicler's special interest in glorifying Solomon:
Solomon's esteem and wealth are further displayed in verses 13-28 where a collection of passages portrays "all the kings of the earth" bringing Solomon tribute, swelling the royal coffers annually with over twenty-five tons of gold (666 talents, v. 13). His death notice rounds off the Chronicler's portrayal of Solomon (vv. 29-31).
17 Then Solomon went to Ezion-geber and Eloth on the shore of the sea, in the land of Edom. 18Huram sent him, in the care of his servants, ships and servants familiar with the sea. They went to Ophir, together with the servants of Solomon, and imported from there four hundred and fifty talents of gold and brought it to King Solomon.
9When the queen of Sheba 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 discussed with him all that was on her mind. 2Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from Solomon that he could not explain to her. 3When the queen of Sheba had observed the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 4the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, and their clothing, his valets and their clothing, and his burnt-offerings* that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit left in her.
5 So she said to the king, The report was true that I heard in my own land of your accomplishments and of your wisdom, 6but I did not believe the* reports until I came and my own eyes saw it. Not even half of the greatness of your wisdom had been told to me; you far surpass the report that I had heard. 7Happy are your people! Happy are these your servants, who continually attend you and hear your wisdom! 8Blessed 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 wished to establish them for ever, he has made you king over them, so that you may execute justice and righteousness. 9Then she gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones: there were no spices such as those that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
10 Moreover, the servants of Huram and the servants of Solomon who brought gold from Ophir brought algum wood and precious stones. 11From the algum wood, the king made steps* for the house of the Lord and for the kings house, lyres also and harps for the singers; there never was seen the like of them before in the land of Judah.
12 Meanwhile, King Solomon granted the queen of Sheba every desire that she expressed, well beyond what she had brought to the king. Then she returned to her own land, with her servants.
13 The weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, 14besides that which the traders and merchants brought; and all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land brought gold and silver to Solomon. 15King Solomon made two hundred large shields of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of beaten gold went into each large shield. 16He made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three hundred shekels of gold went into each shield; and the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 17The king also made a great ivory throne, and overlaid it with pure gold. 18The throne had six steps and a footstool of gold, which were attached to the throne, and on each side of the seat were arm rests and two lions standing beside the arm rests, 19while twelve lions were standing, one on each end of a step on the six steps. The like of it was never made in any kingdom. 20All King Solomons drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; silver was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon. 21For the kings ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years the ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.*
22 Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. 23All the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. 24Every one of them brought a present, objects of silver and gold, garments, weaponry, spices, horses, and mules, so much year after year. 25Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horses, which he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 26He ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. 27The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone, and cedar as plentiful as the sycomore of the Shephelah. 28Horses were imported for Solomon from Egypt and from all lands.
29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, from first to last, are they not written in the history of the prophet Nathan, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of the seer Iddo concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat? 30Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 31Solomon slept with his ancestors and was buried in the city of his father David; and his son Rehoboam succeeded him.
New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org
10 February 2011