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The Queen of Sheba (Hebrew: מלכת שבא‎, Malkat Shva; Ge'ez: ንግሥተ ሳባ, Nigist Saba; Arabic: ملكة سبأ‎, Malikat Sabaʾ) was the woman who ruled the ancient kingdom of Sheba and is referred to in Habeshan history, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur'an.

The location of the historical kingdom may have included part or all of modern day Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Yemen.

Contents

Diverse references

Known to the Ethiopian people as Makeda or Maqueda (ማክዳ mākidā),[citation needed] this queen has been called a variety of names by different peoples in different times. To King Solomon of Israel she was the Queen of Sheba. In Islamic tradition she was called Balqis or Balkis by the Arabians, who say she came from the city of Sheba, also called Mareb, in Yemen or Arabia Felix. The Roman historian Josephus calls her Nicaule. She is thought to have been born on January 5, sometime in the 10th century BC.

In the Hebrew Bible, a tradition of the history of nations is preserved in Beresh't 10 (Genesis 10). In Beresh't 10:7 there is a reference to Sheba, the son of Raamah, the son of Cush, the son of Ham, son of Noah. In Beresh't 10:26-29 there is a reference to another person named Sheba, listed along with Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab as the descendants of Joktan, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Arphaxad, the descendant of Shem, another son of Noah.

Aharoni, Avi-Yonah, Rainey, and Safrai placed the Semitic Sheba in Southern Arabia in geographic proximity to the location of the tribes descended from their ancestor, Joktan. In addition to Sheba, Hazarmaveth and Ophir were identified. Semitic Havilah was located in Eastern Africa, modern day Ethiopia. Semitic Havilah (Beresh't 10:29) is to be distinguished from Cushite Havilah (Beresh't 10:7), the descendant of Cush, descendant of Ham; both locations for Havilah are thought by these scholars to have been located in present day Ethiopia.[1]

Hebrew biblical account

Claude Lorrain, The Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba

According to the Hebrew Bible, the unnamed queen of the land of Sheba heard of the great wisdom of King Solomon of Israel and journeyed there with gifts of spices, gold, precious stones, and beautiful wood and to test him with questions, as recorded in First Kings 10:1-13 (largely copied in 2 Chronicles 9:1–12).

It is related further that the queen was awed by Solomon's great wisdom and wealth, and pronounced a blessing on Solomon's God. Solomon reciprocated with gifts and "everything she desired," whereupon the queen returned to her country. The queen apparently was quite rich, however, as she brought four and a half tons of gold with her to give to Solomon (1 Kings 10:10).

In the biblical passages which refer explicitly to the Queen of Sheba there is no hint of love or sexual attraction between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The two are depicted merely as fellow monarchs engaged in the affairs of state.

The biblical text, Song of Solomon (Song of Songs), contains some references, which at various times, have been interpreted as referring to love between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The young woman of the Song of Songs, however, continues to deny the romantic advances of her suitor, whom many commentators identify as King Solomon. In any case, there is little to identify this speaker in the text with the rich and powerful foreign queen depicted in the Book of Kings. The woman of the text of the song clearly does regard "The Daughters of Jerusalem" as her peer group.[citation needed]

Qur'anic Account

The Queen of Sheba, Bilqis, shown reclining in a garden - tinted drawing on paper c. 1595

The Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam, never mentions the Queen of Sheba by name, although Arab sources name her Balqis or Bilqis. The Qur'anic narrative has Solomon getting reports from the Hoopoe bird about the kingdom of Saba (Sheba), ruled by a queen whose people worship the sun instead of Allah. Solomon sends a letter inviting her to visit him and submit fully to Allah, the one God and Lord of the Worlds according to the Islamic text. The Queen of Sheba is unsure whether to accept his invitation and does not wish to behave as a king would: 'entering a country, despoiling it and making the most honorable of its people its lowest'. So she decides to send Solomon gifts and await his response. Solomon is unimpressed by the Queen's gifts, stating that the gifts he has received from God are far greater in value. He orders the Queen's messengers to return with a warning that he will send great hosts to expel her and her people in disgrace and humility. Solomon, knowing that the Queen and her people will accept his invitation and submit fully to Allah, challenges anyone of his men to bring him her throne before she arrives. A jinn under the control of Solomon proposes that he will bring it before Solomon rises from his seat, using strength and ability. Then one who has some knowledge from the kitāb proposes to bring him the throne of Bilqis 'in the twinkling of an eye' and accomplishes that (27:40). Solomon accepts this as a bounty from God. He then asks that the throne be disguised to test the Queen when she arrives, in order to see if she accepts the throne as her own or rejects it. When the Queen arrives at his court and is shown her throne, she recognizes and accepts it as her own. However, the Queen continues to worship other Gods, so Solomon attempts to divert her from this and invites her to enter his palace. The palace is paved with smooth slabs of glass which the queen mistakes for a pool of water, and she lifts her skirts, revealing her legs. When Solomon corrects her mistake she feels humbled and realizes her wrongs and that her knowledge was lacking. She then declares her submission with Solomon to the one God of Islam (Allah).

Ethiopian account

The imperial family of Ethiopia claims its origin directly from the offspring of the Queen of Sheba by King Solomon.[2] The Queen of Sheba (ንግሥተ ሣብአ nigiśta Śab'a), is named Makeda (ማክዳ) in the Ethiopian account (which from the Ethiopic languages translates literally to English as "pillow").

The etymology of her name is uncertain, but there are two principals opinions about its Ethiopian source. One group, which includes the British scholar Edward Ullendorff, holds that it is a corruption of "Candace", the Ethiopian queen mentioned in the New Testament Acts; the other group connects the name with Macedonia, and relates this story to the later Ethiopian legends about Alexander the Great and the era of 330 B.C.E.

The Italian scholar Carlo Conti Rossini, however, was unconvinced by either of these theories and, in 1954 stated that he believed the matter unresolved.[3]

An ancient compilation of Ethiopian legends, Kebra Negast ('the Glory of Kings'), is dated to seven hundred years ago and relates a history of Makeda and her descendants. In this account King Solomon is said to have seduced the Queen of Sheba and sired her son, Menelik I, who would become the first Emperor of Ethiopia.

The narrative given in the Kebra Negast - which has no parallel in the Hebrew Biblical story - is that King Solomon invited the Queen of Sheba to a banquet, serving spicy food to induce her thirst, and inviting her to stay in his palace overnight. The Queen asked him to swear that he would not take her by force. He accepted upon the condition that she, in turn, would not take anything from his house by force. The Queen assured that she would not, slightly offended by the implication that she, a rich and powerful monarch, would engage in stealing. However, as she woke up in the middle of the night, she was very thirsty. Just as she reached for a jar of water placed close to her bed, King Solomon appeared, warning her that she was breaking her oath, water being the most valuable of all material possessions. Thus, while quenching her thirst, she set the king free from his promise and they spent the night together.

Other Ethiopian accounts make her the daughter of a king named Agabo or Agabos, in some legends said to have become king after slaying the mythological serpent Arwe; in others, to have been the 28th ruler of the Agazyan tribe. In either event, he is said to have extended his Empire to both sides of the Red Sea.[citation needed]

The tradition that the Biblical Queen of Sheba was a ruler of Ethiopia who visited King Solomon in Jerusalem, in ancient Israel, is supported by the first century C.E. Roman (of Jewish origin) historian Flavius Josephus, who identified Solomon’s visitor as a "Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia".[4]

While there are no known traditions of matriarchal rule in Yemen during the early first millennium BC, the earliest inscriptions of the rulers of Dʿmt in northern Ethiopia and Eritrea mention queens of very high status, possibly equal to their kings.[5]

Possible Egyptian derivation

Josephus says in his Antiquity of the Jews, book 8 chapter 6, that it was the "queen of Egypt and Ethiopia" who visited King Solomon. Also, Jesus refers to her as the "queen of the south" in Matthew 12:42. Daniel 11:5 and 8 identify the South as Egypt. There also have been claims by some scholars that the ancient Egyptian name Hatshepsut translates as "Queen of Sheba".[6] Hatshepsut was a pharaoh of Egypt, born c. 1508 and died 1458 B.C., who revived active trade with neighboring kingdoms and created a flourishing and prosperous economy for her eighteenth dynasty kingdom. Solar deities are most closely associated with her dynasty, the one founded by her grandfather and credited to the patron deity of Thebes, Amun. She is recorded as going on a famous journey to the land of Punt, though no one knows for sure where Punt is. Some scholars believe that Hatshepsut's journey to Punt and the Queen of Sheba's journey to Israel may be the same.

Sheba may be derived from the ancient Egyptian word for star. The Kingdom of Kush was also located in southern Egypt. According to the eleventh century geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi, the star-worshippers of Harran in Turkey and those from Yemen, went on special pilgrimages to the pyramids of Giza. The "Queen of Sheba" may have referred to the title of the Kandake when acting as the chief astronomer or high priestess of a star-venerating religion that was centered in Africa, with satellite centers in Arabia, Asia, and Europe.

The "star-worshippers" also studied or venerated the sun and moon. The roots of star veneration or star study date back to well before 5000 B.C. Evidence for a level of sophistication and knowledge of astronomy has been found at several archaeological sites in Africa, including the complex at Nabta Playa in southern Egypt. The structure at Nabta is almost 7,000 years old, and is the oldest astronomical complex in the world. (see Kandake)

Other astronomical sites in Africa include: Namoratunga II, near Lake Turkana, in Kenya, which was in use around 300 B.C.; the Senegambian stone circles; and the Bouar megaliths in what is now the Central African Republic.[citation needed]

Nubia - another possible location

The tradition of the Candaces is well documented in Nubia, where the rule of its many queens recedes into prehistoric times and there the title Kentakes is a term used to describe the long tradition of leadership in Nubia by warrior queens.[citation needed] Nubia was south of Ancient Egypt, also divided by the Nile River and bordered by the Red Sea and, it is another candidate for the location of Sheba and the famous queen. The history of Nubia provides examples of a tradition and a wealthy kingdom that could be the original kingdom of the Queen of Sheba. The economics of the culture was based upon trade. David Jones, in Women Warriors: a History, relates that in 332 BC Alexander the Great attempted to lead his army into Nubia. At its border, he was confronted by the brilliant military formations devised by their warrior queen, Candace of Meroë. She led her army on the opposite side of the border from atop an elephant. Alexander withdrew and redirected his forces to enter Egypt instead.[7] It should be noted that this story is thought by scholars to be legendary, and Alexander appears never to have attacked Nubia.[8][9] That was the beginning of the Greek rule of Egypt that would last for three hundred years until the Roman occupation in 30 B.C.

Strabo also describes a similar clash with the Romans, in which the Roman army was defeated by Nubian archers under the leadership of another queen of Nubia. This queen was described as "one-eyed", being blind in one eye or represented only in profile.[10] The strategic formations used by this second queen are well documented in Strabo's description of her victory.

Old Kingdom Egyptian accounts of trade missions first mentioned Nubia in 2300 BC. Egyptians imported gold, incense, ebony, ivory, and exotic animals from tropical Africa through Nubia. Aswan, right above the First Cataract, marked the southern limit of Egyptian control. As trade between Egypt and Nubia increased, so did wealth and stability.[citation needed]

By the sixth dynasty of Egypt, Nubia was divided into a series of small kingdoms. Scholars debate whether these peoples, who flourished from c. 2240 BC to c. 2150 BC, were the result of another internal evolution, wars, or invaders. The Sahara Desert was becoming too arid to support human beings. During the Egyptian Middle Kingdom (c. 2040–1640 BC), Egypt began expanding into Nubia to gain more control over the trade routes in Northern Nubia and direct access to trade with southern Nubia. They erected a chain of forts down the Nile below the Second Cataract in the river. These garrisons seemed to have had peaceful relations with the local Nubian people, but little interaction during the period.[citation needed]

A contemporaneous, but distinct, culture was the Pan Grave culture, so called because of their shallow graves. Shallow graves produced mummies naturally. The Pan Graves are associated with the eastern bank of the Nile, but the Pan Graves and western groups definitely interacted. The Kingdom of Kerma arose as the first kingdom to unify much of the region. It was named for its presumed capital at Kerma, one of the earliest urban centers in tropical Africa. By 1750 BC, the rulers of Kerma were powerful enough to organize the labor for monumental walls and structures of mud brick. They created rich tombs with possessions for the afterlife and large human sacrifices. The craftsmen were skilled in metalworking and the quality of their pottery surpassed that of Egypt. Excavated sites at Kerma yielded large tombs and a palace-like structure ('Deffufa'), alluding to the early stability in the region.[citation needed]

The early tradition of astronomical observations in Nubia is reflected by the presence of megaliths discovered at Nabta Playa that are examples of what may be the world's first Archaeoastronomy devices, predating Stonehenge by at least 1000 years.[11] According to one authority, the complexity observed at Nabta Playa, likely formed the basis for the structure of both the Neolithic society at Nabta and the Old Kingdom of Egypt.[12] Hence the long tradition of studying the stars and the sun such as the references in the Old Testament, and the knowledge of new phenomena provoking the travel of the Magi.

Christian interpretations

The Queen of Sheba is mentioned as the Queen of the South in Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31 in the New Testament, where Jesus indicates that she and the Ninevites will judge the generation of Jesus' contemporaries who rejected him.

Christian interpretations of the scriptures mentioning the Queen of Sheba in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, typically have emphasized both the historical and metaphorical values in the story. The account of the Queen of Sheba is thereby interpreted by Christians as being both a metaphor and an analogy: the Queen's visit to Solomon has been compared to the metaphorical marriage of the Church to Christ where Solomon is the anointed one or the messiah and Sheba represents a Gentile population submitting to the messiah; the Queen of Sheba's chastity has also been depicted as a foreshadowing of the Virgin Mary; and the three gifts that she brought (gold, spices, and stones) have been seen as analogous to the gifts of the Magi (gold, frankincense, and myrrh). The latter is emphasized as being consistent with a passage from Isaiah 60:6; And they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring forth gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord.[13] This last connection is interpreted as relating to the Magi, the learned astronomers of Sheba who saw a new star and set off on a journey to find a new ruler connected to the new star, that led them to Bethlehem.

Medieval depictions

Art in the Middle Ages depicting the visit of the Queen of Sheba includes the Portal of the Mother of God at the 13th century Amiens Cathedral, which is included as an analogy as part of a larger depiction of the gifts of the Magi.[14] The 12th century cathedrals at Strasbourg, Chartres, Rochester and Canterbury include artistic renditions in such elements as stained glass windows and door jamb decorations.[13]

Renaissance depictions

Renaissance relief of the Queen of Sheba meeting Solomon - gate of Florence Baptistry

Boccaccio's On Famous Women (Latin: De Mulieribus Claris) follows Josephus in calling the Queen of Sheba, Nicaula. Boccaccio goes on to explain that not only was she the Queen of Ethiopia and Egypt, but also the queen of Arabia. She also is related to have had a grand palace on "a very large island" called Meroe, located someplace near the Nile river, "practically on the other side of the world." From there Nicaula crossed the deserts of Arabia, through Ethiopia and Egypt, and up the coast of the Red Sea, to come to Jerusalem to see "the great King Solomon".[15]

Christine de Pizan's The Book of the City of Ladies continues the convention of calling the Queen of Sheba, Nicaula. Piero della Francesca's frescoes in Arezzo (ca 1466) on the Legend of the True Cross, contain two panels on the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon. The legend links the beams of Solomon's palace (adored by Queen of Sheba) to the wood of the crucifixion. The Renaissance continuation of the metaphorical view of the Queen of Sheba as an analogy to the gifts of the Magi also is clearly evident in the Triptych of the Adoration of the Magi (c. 1510), by Hieronymus Bosch. Bosch chooses to depict a scene of the Queen of Sheba and Solomon in an ornately decorated collar worn by one of the Magi.[16]

Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus refers to the Queen of Sheba as Saba, when Mephistopheles is trying to persuade Faustus of the wisdom of the women with whom he supposedly shall be presented every morning.[17]

Modern Arab academic view

Some modern Arab academics have placed the Queen of Sheba as a ruler of a trading colony in Northwest Arabia, established by South Arabian kingdoms[citation needed]. Modern archaeological finds do confirm the fact that such colonies existed with South Arabian script and artifacts, although nothing specific to Balqis or Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba, has been uncovered.

Recent archaeological discoveries

The Bar'an temple in Ma'rib - built in the eighth century BC and functioning for nearly 1000 years

Recent archaeological discoveries in Mareb, Yemen support the view that the Queen of Sheba ruled over southern Arabia, with evidence suggesting that the area was the capital of the Kingdom of Sheba.

A team of researchers funded by the American Foundation for the Study of Man (AFSM) and led by University of Calgary archaeology professor, Dr. Bill Glanzman, has been working to "unlock the secrets of a 3,000-year-old temple in Yemen." "We have an enormous job ahead of us," said Glanzman in 2007. "Our first task is to wrest the sanctuary from the desert sands, documenting our findings as we go. We're trying to determine how the temple was associated with the Queen of Sheba, how the sanctuary was used throughout history, and how it came to play such an important role in Arab folklore."[18]

Popular culture

In Britain, Canada, and the United States, there is a common colloquial remark "...and I'm the Queen of Sheba", "If (that is so), then I'm the Queen of Sheba" or "The Queen of Sheba wore falsies" , as a retort to something that is obviously false or meaning "I do not believe that statement."[citation needed]

Another common colloquial usage in the UK and North America is to poke fun at another person who has dressed up fancily, or has perhaps displayed superior behavioral traits, resulting in someone remarking, "Who does (s)he think (s)he is, The Queen of Sheba?".[19]

The Reine de Saba (Queen of Sheba, in French) is a cake made famous in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

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Songs

  • Bad Brains refers to the Queen of Sheba in "Sheba".
  • Balqis (Queen of Sheba) refers to the Queen of Sheba as the generous, powerful, beautiful and rich ruler of Sheba. It was sung by Siti Nurhaliza, in her album Sahmura Malaysian singer.
  • Bonnie Raitt in "Thing Called Love" sings "Baby, you know I ain't no Queen of Sheba." The song was written by John Hiatt.
  • Brother Ali in "Prince Charming" sings "you got the posture and demeanor of the Queen of Sheba, and I'm Prince Charming, girl, pleased to meet ya.
  • Dolly Dots in the song "Leila Queen of Sheba" sings "this day about a story talk by Leila Queen of Sheba".
  • Cassandra Wilson refers to the Queen of Sheba as Makeda in the second verse of the song "Solomon Sang".
  • Nas refers to her in the song "Big Girl" from his Nastradamus CD.
  • Les Nubians refer to the Queen of Sheba in the song "Makeda".
  • Jandek refers to the Queen of Sheba in the song "Sheba Doesn't Have". ("The Queen of Sheba/Doesn’t have nothing on you/You dance on my necktie/Like it was your tattoo").
  • The Poor Righteous Teachers include the Queen of Sheba in a list of important black women in history in the video "Shakiyla".
  • The Raii musician Cheb Khaled describes Aicha's glamor as like the Queen of Sheba, "Elle est passée a cote de moi. Sans un regard, Reine de Saba."
  • World Wide Message Tribe has a song "Return of the Queen of Sheba" on the 1997 album Revived.
  • The Queen of Sheba is referred to in U2's newly released song "Wave of Sorrow", which was written during the 1980s as a reflection of Bono's experiences volunteering with the Ethiopian famine.
  • In his song "Window On The World", John Hiatt sings "The Queen of Sheba meets the Duke of Earl".
  • Patti Smith recorded song "Come Back Little Sheba" in 1996. It was released as a b-side to "Summer Cannibals". It contains the lyric "Robes of saffron/Robes of standing/A road of crimson/Spread at your feet".
  • Pusha T references her in the Clipse song "Momma I'm So Sorry" off of the Hell Hath No Fury album.
  • Steel Pulse song "Throne of Gold", states that there's "never been a love like this, since Sheba and Solomon."
  • The English shoegaze band Slowdive refers to her in their song Machine Gun, "Son of Sheba, I saw him down"
  • Trout Fishing in America (band) sing, "... and said the Queen of Sheba, "I'd rather have any old teabag."" in 'What I Want is a Proper Cup of Coffee'.
  • Miguel Bosé is his song "Que no hay" mentions her as "mi reina de Saba".
  • Cheb Khaled in his song "Aicha" mentions her as "Reine de Saba" french for Queen of Sheba
  • The Ritchie Family reffers to the Queen of Sheeba in their album "African Queens"

Music

Television

  • The made-for-tv movie, The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines starring Noah Wyle, uses the legend of "King Solomon's Mines" and the Queen of Sheba as a main plot point. Gabrielle Anwar, Bob Newhart, Jane Curtin and Olympia Dukakis co-star.
  • The Queen of Sheba, is also referenced in the "Royle Family" a popular British comedy.
  • Comedian Bob Franklin once referenced her in an appearance on the Australian comedy series Jimeoin, saying that he had a mate who thought he was the Queen of Sheba. He then went on to remark that if you ever asked him "Who do you think you are? The Queen of Sheba?", he'd simply reply "Yeah".[citation needed]

Ballets

Films

Books

  • Solomon's Angels: A Novel (2008), by Doreen Virtue.
  • Wisdom's Daughter: A Novel of Solomon and Sheba (2005), written by India Edghill.
  • Small explicitly sexual role in American Gods (2002), as Bilquis, written by Neil Gaiman.
  • "Sheba: Through the Desert in Search of the Legendary Queen" (2001), written by Nicholas Clapp
  • Brief appearance in The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1874), by Flaubert
  • "Sandstorm", a novel written by James Rollins. The Queen of Sheba is featured prominently.
  • "Queen Sheba's Ring" (1910), by H. Rider Haggard.
  • The Butterfly that Stamped: one of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, featuring the queen "wise Balkis of Sheba" who is said to be married to the polygamist King Solomon son of David. She is the only one of 1000 wives who does not quarrel with Solomon, out of her adoration for him, and so is herself sad when the incessant quarrels of the other 999 wives saddens their husband. She eventually tricks Solomon into making all the other queens frightened of his power, so that they will not argue again.
  • "Menachem's seed", a novel published by Carl Djerassi in 1996 features the Queen of Sheba, when Menachem—the main male character of the novel—uses his interpretation of Solomon's relationship to the Queen as a vehicle to impress Melanie—the main female character.
  • "Save Queen of Sheba" (1994), by Louise Moeri, is the fictional account of two orphans named King David and Queen of Sheba as they travel along the Oregon Trail.
  • Made mention to briefly in The English Patient (1993) by Michael Ondaatje
  • The Navigator: A Numa File Book by Clive Cussler (2007)
  • Was referenced in "The Blind Assassin" by Margaret Atwood (2000). (pg 181 and 198)
  • Also referenced in "Pygmalion" by Bernard Shaw.
  • Was referenced in "Queen Sheba's Ring" by H. Rider Haggard (The third volume of Haggard's African adventures-containing Allan Quatermain)

Video Games

  • In the game Grand Theft Auto III Don Salvatore refers to his wife Maria as the queen of sheba when she first appeares in the game.
  • In the game Bayonetta Bayonetta's final demon summon against Jubileus is named the queen of sheba.

Poems

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Yohanan Aharoni, Michael Avi-Yonah, Anson F. Rainey, and Ze'ev Safrai, The Macmillan Bible Atlas, (New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1993) 21.
  2. ^ Comay, Joan; Ronald Brownrigg (1993) (in English). Who's Who in the Bible:The Old Testament and the Apocrypha, The New Testament. New York: Wing Books. pp. Old Testament, 351. ISBN 0-517-32170-X. 
  3. ^ David Allen Hubbard, "The Literary Sources of the Kebra Nagast", doctoral thesis (St. Andrews, 1954), pp. 303f.
  4. ^ Flavius Josephus, Paul L. Maier Josephus, the Essential Works: A Condensation of "Jewish Antiquities", and "the Jewish War" Kregel Publications,U.S. (31 Mar 1995)ISBN 978-0825432606 p.140 "Queen+of+egypt"+Solomon&source=bl&ots=AV2FTguocp&sig=7s67BPymx7pq_IlaSNtBwXMjetY&hl=en&ei=A6O7SsHmNZDbjQemu7HDCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6#v=onepage&q=&f=false
  5. ^ Rodolfo Fattovich, "The 'Pre-Aksumite' State in Northern Ethiopia and Eritrea Reconsidered" in Paul Lunde and Alexandra Porter ed., Trade and Travel in the Red Sea Region, in D. Kennet & St J. Simpson ed., Society for Arabian Studies Monographs No. 2. BAR International Series 1269. Archaeopress, Oxford: 2004, p. 73.
  6. ^ Hatshepsut, the Queen of Sheba, and Immanuel Velikovsky
  7. ^ Jones, David E., Women Warriors: A History, Brasseys, Inc.; (2000)
  8. ^ Gutenberg, David M. (2003). The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Princeton University Press. pp. 64. 
  9. ^ Morgan, J.R. and Stoneman, Richard (1994). Greek Fiction: The Greek Novel in Context. Routledge. pp. 117–118. ISBN 0415085071. 
  10. ^ Nubian Queens in the Nile Valley and Afro-Asiatic Cultural History - Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Professor of Anthropology, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston U.S.A, August 20-26, 1998
  11. ^ PlanetQuest: The History of Astronomy - Retrieved on 2007-08-29
  12. ^ Late Neolithic megalithic structures at Nabta Playa - by Fred Wendorf (1998)
  13. ^ a b Byrd, Vickie, editor; Queen of Sheba: Legend and Reality, (Santa Ana, California: The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2004), p. 17.
  14. ^ Murray, Stephen, The Portals: Access to Redemption, http://www.mcah.columbia.edu/Mcahweb/facade/body.html, webpage, accessed August 6, 2006.
  15. ^ Giovanni Boccaccio, Famous Women translated by Virginia Brown 2001, p. 90; Cambridge and London, Harvard University Press; ISBN 0-674-01130-9;
  16. ^ Web Gallery of Art, http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/b/bosch/91adorat/01tripty.html, website accessed August 2, 2006
  17. ^ Marlowe, Christopher; Doctor Faustus and other plays: Oxford World Classics, p. 155.
  18. ^ University of Calgary, http://www.ucalgary.ca/UofC/events/unicomm/NewsReleases/queen.htm, website accessed November 18, 2007
  19. ^ Nicholas Clapp, Sheba, 75

Primary sources

  • Joseph, Antiquitates iudaicae viii.6.2
  • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis historis vi.32.154

Secondary sources

Bibliography

  • Alessandro de Maigret. Arabia Felix, translated Rebecca Thompson. London: Stacey International, 2002. ISBN 1-900988-07-0
  • Andrey Korotayev. Ancient Yemen. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-19-922237-1.


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Etymology

From the Biblical and other traditional accounts of the Queen of Sheba.

Noun

Singular
Queen of Sheba

Plural
Queens of Sheba

Queen of Sheba (plural Queens of Sheba)

  1. (figuratively) A pampered female with an aristocratic demeanor.
    • 1850, William Makepeace Thackeray, The History of Pendennis, ch. 5:
      "It is very fine weather," Miss Fotheringay said, in an Irish accent, and with a deep rich melancholy voice. . . . "And very warm," continued this empress and Queen of Sheba.
    • 1922, Mary Roberts Rinehart, The Breaking Point, ch. 17:
      At three o'clock that afternoon the Sayre limousine stopped in front of Nina's house, and Mrs. Sayre, in brilliant pink and a purple hat, got out. Leslie, lounging in a window, made the announcement. "Here's the Queen of Sheba," he said.
    • 2004, Diana Abu-Jaber, Crescent, ISBN 9780393325546, p. 90:
      "Where is she?" Um-Nadia cries out. "Where is that Queen of Sheba?" Sirine is yawning. It was quite late when she finally walked out of Han's big dark car and into her house.

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

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In the Bible, Josephus, and the Talmud.

Monarch of a south-Arabian tribe, and contemporary with Solomon, whom she visited. The Queen of Sheba, hearing of the wisdom and wealth of Solomon, visited him at Jerusalem, accompanied by a brilliant retinue. There she found that his fame, great as it was, fell far short of the truth, and after exchanging costly presents with him, she returned to her own land, marveling at what she had seen and heard (1 Kg 10:1-13). According to Josephus, she was the queen of Egypt and Ethiopia, and brought to Palestine the first specimens of the balsam, which grew in the Holy Land in the historian's time ("Ant." viii. 6, §§ 5-6). The country over which she ruled is usually supposed to have been the district of Saba in southern Arabia, but despite thorough explorations by recent travelers and scholars, no reference to any Queen of Sheba has been found in the numerous Sabean inscriptions. R. Jonathan (c. 250 C.E.) asserts that the phrase (missing hebrew text) does not refer to a queen, but to a kingdom, and hence to a king, whose contemporary is said to have been Job (B. B. 15b).

Abyssinian Legends.

These are all the known historical references to the mysterious Oriental princess, and neither of the two Talmuds contains any other allusions. The legends connected with her name seem, therefore, to have originated in Abyssinia, and especially in Arabia, both of which countries were rivals for her renown, and from them the traditions concerning her entered Jewish circles. The kings of Abyssinia trace their descent back to a certain Menelik, the reputed son of the Queen of Sheba and Solomon (Ewald and Winer). The African traveler Hugues le Roux claims to have discovered in an Abyssinian manuscript in the Geez dialect the earliest version of the story of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, which had been known previously only through popular tradition ("Deutsche Literaturzeitung," 1904, col. 1826). The present (1905) ruler of Abyssinia, at the time of his victory over the forces of Italy, actually declared himself to be a descendant of the Judean lion. A study on the legend in question as it exists in the tradition of Axum, a place of pilgrimage to the west of Adua, was published by Littmann in 1904.

Arabia.

The Temanites, the inhabitants of Arabia Felix, have better grounds for claiming the Queen of Sheba, whom they have adorned with the rich imagery of Oriental imagination. Solomon has become very popular among the Arabs through the tradition which associates his name with hers, and this legend serves to introduce the story of Mohammed and the califs. Solomon commanded the Queen of Sheba to come to him as a subject, whereupon she appeared before him (Koran, sura xxvii. 30-31, 45). His throne, which was renowned in early Arabian legend, originally belonged to this queen, who is called Bilḳis in the commentaries on the Koran. She recognized the throne, which had been disguised, and finally accepted the faith of Solomon. Imagination runs riot in this story, in which spirits, animals, and other creatures appear as the servants of the Jewish king (ib. xxvii. 34; comp. also the other Arabic sources quoted by Grünbaum, "Neue Beiträge zur Semitischen Sagenkunde," pp. 211-221).

Jewish Legends.

Jewish tradition has many points in common with the Arabian legend. The story of the Queen of Sheba is found in detail in the Second Targum to Esther (literal translation of the greater portion by Grünbaum, l.c. pp. 211 et seq.). There, as in the Koran, it is the hoopoe that directed Solomon's attention to the country of Sheba and to its queen. The dust of that land was more precious than gold, and silver was like dirt in the streets; the trees dated from the Creation and the waters came from paradise, whence came also the garlands which the people wore. The hoopoe carried Solomon's letter under its wing to the queen, who resided at Kitor. In the letter Solomon commanded her to appear before him, otherwise his hosts of beasts, birds, spirits, devils, and demons of the night would take the field against her. In terror she consulted with her elders and princes, who, however, knew nothing of Solomon. Notwithstanding their ignorance, she loaded her ships with costly woods, precious stones, and pearls, and sent to Solomon 6,000 boys and girls, all born in the same hour, all of the same height and appearance, and all clothed in purple. In the letter to Solomon which they bore with them, she declared that although the journey from Kitor to Jerusalem usually took seven years to accomplish, she wouldcomply with his mandate and visit him within three years. He in his turn sent a youth "like the dawn" to meet her, and on her arrival he received her in a glass house. Thinking that Solomon was sitting in the water, she lifted up her skirt, whereupon he noticed hair on her feet, and said: "Thy beauty is a woman's beauty, but thy hair a man's hair; hair adorneth man, but disfigureth woman."

The Queen of Sheba propounded to Solomon the following three riddles to test his wisdom: "What is a well of wood, a pail of iron which draws up stones and pours out water?" Solomon answered, "A tube of cosmetic." "What is that which comes from the earth as dust, the food of which is dust, which is poured out like water, and which looketh toward the house?" Solomon answered, "Naphtha." "What is that which precedeth all, like a general; which crieth loudly and bitterly; the head of which is like a reed; which is the glory of the rich and the shame of the poor, the glory of the dead and the shame of the living; the joy of the birds and the sorrow of the fishes?" Solomon answered, "Flax." Other riddles are quoted in the Midrash (Prov 2:6; Yalḳ. ii., § 1085): "Seven depart, nine enter; two pour, one drinks." Solomon answered, "Seven days of woman's uncleanness, nine months of pregnancy; two breasts of the mother at which the child is nourished." "A woman saith unto her son, 'Thy father is my father, thy grandfather my husband; thou art my son; I am thy sister.'" Solomon answered, "This mother is one of the daughters of Lot, who were with child by their father" (comp. Gen. xix.). Arabic tradition also tells of Solomon solving riddles and of other proofs of his wisdom, and contains in general most of the stories found in Jewish tradition (Grünbaum, l.c.).

The Middle Ages.

The story of the Queen of Sheba was current likewise in Europe. Although legends regarding her are frequent in Jewish circles, the Jews have derived their views of the famous queen from the Christians, adding nothing of their own. The story of the queen has been dramatized in Goldmark's well-known opera "The Queen of Sheba."

Bibliography: Winer, B. R. 3d ed., ii. 405; Ewald, Gesch. 2d ed., iii. 362-364, Göttingen, 1853; Grünbaum, Neue Beiträge zur Semitischen Sagenkunde, pp. 199, 211-221, Leyden, 1893; Littmann, The Legend of the Queen of Sheba in the Tradition of Axum, Princeton, 1904; Grunwald, Mittheilungen der Gesellschaft für Jüdische Volkskunde, v. 10 (on the Jewish Middle Ages).

This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.

Simple English

File:Dandini, Pietro - Solomon and the Queen of
the Queen of Sheba meets King Solomon

Queen of Sheba, or, Queen Sheba is a queen who ruled over the ancient kingdom of Sheba, and comes out in the Bible and the Qur'an.[1]

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Queen of Sheba in the Bible

The Queen of Sheba appears in the Bible to King Solomon, because of the fame of his riches and wealth and wisdom. She comes, "with a very great caravan - with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones - she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind" (1 Kings 10:2).

Solomon answered all the questions she asked; returned her quizzes and riddles with wit and correct wisdom; and was kind to her. Awed and astonished by all these things, she rewarded his achievements with "120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon" (1 Kings 10:10), ad Solomon returned it by giving "all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty" (1 Kings 10:13).[2]

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References

  1. English Wikipedia, Qeen of Sheba
  2. Maranatha NIV worship Bible, 1 Kings chapter 10 p. 438

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