Who is the Queen of Sheba?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

The Queen of Sheba is a biblical figure who is purported to have lived ten centuries before the birth of Christ. She is known for a pilgrimage that she made during her life. Having learned of the incredible wisdom of King Solomon, the queen journeyed to Israel to see him. She brought lavish gifts of precious metals and stones, spices, and beautiful pieces of wood.

The Qur'an mentions the Queen of Sheba.
The Qur'an mentions the Queen of Sheba.

According to the First Book of Kings in the Bible, the Queen of Sheba bestowed a total of 4.5 tons (4082.4 kg) of gold upon Solomon. She asked Solomon many questions, and was quite impressed with his answers. Upon completing her interview with Solomon, she gave him the following blessing:

According to the First Book of Kings in the Bible, the Queen of Sheba bestowed a total of 4.5 tons of gold upon Solomon.
According to the First Book of Kings in the Bible, the Queen of Sheba bestowed a total of 4.5 tons of gold upon Solomon.

“Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the LORD’S eternal love for Israel, he has made you king, to maintain justice and righteousness." (1 Kings 10:9, New International Version).

Although both King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba were quite rich already, they bestowed many gifts upon one another before the queen departed to return to her homeland. The story of their meeting is also written of in the Second Book of Chronicles. There are some hints in biblical texts that there may have been a love affair between the king and queen. There is some debate about specific lines in the Song of Solomon, which is also known as the Song of Songs. It has been questioned whether the voice of a woman within the song is intended to be Solomon’s wife or the Queen of Sheba herself.

In addition to her appearances in the Bible, the Queen of Sheba is referred to in the Qur’an and is an important figure in Ethiopian traditions and belief systems. As she appears in many different texts and tales, she also has many other names. In the Ethiopian tradition, she is referred to as Makeda. When she is referred to in Islamic texts, her name is Belqees. The specific accounts of her life and actions also vary between the different traditions.

In some modern studies regarding the Queen of Sheba, the romance and intrigue of her relationship with Solomon is dashed. Many people believe that their relationship was based on the development of and improvement of trade. This is corroborated by the passage that comes directly above the one quoted above in which the queen praises Solomon for his ruling practices. She tells him that his wisdom has lead to happy people and happy officials. Therefore, it seems quite possible that the pair were, in fact, discussing professional matters.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments


Jesus loved the Queen of Sheba because she listened to wisdom when not many did, when he himself had more wisdom than Solomon and no one listened.


There is a saying that black people quite like to say: Who do you think you are? The queen of Sheba.


jesus was jewish and a nazarite to be exact. if you read the scriptures that constantine didn't put in the bible (1st and 2nd Esdras) it described jesus' skin color to be 'burning brass' brass is a dark brown looking color so burning brass is black!

the real question is why did the europeans portray him as being white after selling the sacred scrolls' knowledge from africa? why did they enslave the blacks and didn't want them to even learn to read?

anthropology has proven that a jew is a black man! The bible even said samson had lox and samson was a nazarite and jesus came from the same lineage so there's the connection you're looking for.


why does it matter what color jesus was? I highly doubt jesus was black. I see him based on fact in the bible as jewish: tan or olive skin, big nose, short stature, black hair, but that's just what i see.


I would like to know the connection between queen sheba and the connection that people make everyday about jesus being black. the relationship of Solomon and Sheba could it have affected the pigment of jesus christ.

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