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of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the at: tendance of his ministers and their apparel, and his capbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD: there was no more spirit in her.

And she said to the king, It was a true report that: I heard in mine own land, of thy, acts, and of thy wisdom.

Howbeit, I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes

had seen it: and behold, the half was not told me ; thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard

Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy: wisdom.

Blessed be the LORD thy God, which deliglyteth in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel; because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king. to do judgment and justice..

And she gave the king an handred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices, as those, which the queen of. Sheba gave. to king Solo

mon.

And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all: kar desire, whatsoever she asked, besides that which Solo.. non gave her of bis royal bounty :. so she turned and went to her own country she and her servants.

And all the kings of Arabia, and governors of the country, brought gold and silver.

And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart.

And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and starioca, and twelve thousand horsemen ; whom he beam

bestowed

stowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jeru: salem.

And he reigned over all the kings, from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt.

And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear the wise dom which God had put in his heart.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. The surrounding nations preferred worldly pomp and grandeur to every spiritual blessing : and being pos. sessed of a large share of the treasures of the earth, they were enabled to appear

with great outward splendour; op which account they would have despised the LORD's chosen people, if they had been inferior to themselves. in this particular. It pleased God, therefore, to raise the kingdom of Israel in a most wonderful manner, by degrees, from a state of abject slavery, to the highest pitch of magnificence ;, and to occasion all other nations to pay tribute and homage to the king of his appointment; by which means the Divine Being proved himself to be, beyond dispute, King of kings, and LORD of lords.

The queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon, is supposed to have been sovereign of some part of Arabia, and originally descended from Keturah, Abraham's second wife, so that it is very likely, the knowledge of the true God had been transmitted to her by her pious ancestors ; though his holy worship was in her kingdom, as in other countries, mixed and corrupted by the introduction of idolatry.

It appears, by the queen of Sheba’s taking such a long journey to hear the wisdom of Solomon, that she was. desirous of being thoroughly acquainted with the DIVINE Will; for she did not go to Jerusalem merely to see the: glory of. Solomon, and vie with him in splendor ; but

to prove, whether he were in reality possessed of such : extraordinary endowments as fame reported ; and whether it was certainly true, that God had manifested himself in Israel. The inhabitants of the east country were remarka le for their wit and ingenuity ; but Solomon was reputed to excel them all. It was customary for the learned to amuse themselves with difficult questions which required a knowledge of profound sciences to propose and to explain ; in compliance with this custom, the queen

of Sheba had furnished herself with problems of this kind from wise men in her kingdom, that she might, by the answers she carried back, confirm the truth of the extraordinary reports they had heard of Solomon's superior understanding. We find that she received ample satisfaction in every particular, and returned to her own country full of admiration of Solomon's glory, and of reverence for that ALMIGHTY Being, who alone could exalt the human mind so near to perfection, and bestow with unbounded liberality those treasures which mankind in general strive to accumulate with incessant toil, and enjoy not without the interruption of many apxious cares. We learn from the New Testamient, that the desire which the queen of Sheba had to know the true God procured her the Divine favour, and obtained her a preference to many lukewarm Christians".

SECTION XLV.

SOLOMON'S A POSTASY-HIS DEATH.

Fro:n 1 Kings, Chap. xi.

But king Solomon loved many strange women, (to-' gether with the daughter of Pharaoh) women of the

* Mat. xii. 42.

Moabites,

Moabites, Ammonites, Edonites, Zidonians, and Hit tites: of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they coine in unto you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods : Solomon clave unto these in love.

And it came to pass when Solomon was old his wive s turned away

his heart. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem ; and for Molech, the aboinination of the children of Ammon.

And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense, and sacrificed unto their gods.

And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods : but he kept not that which the Lord commanded.

Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant ind my statutes which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to tły servant.

Noivatlsstanding in thy days I will not do it, for David thy father's sake : but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.

Howbeit, I will not rend away all the kingdom : but I will give one tribe to thy son, for David my servant's sake : and for Jerusal m's sake which I have chosen.

And the LORD sirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Elomite: be was of the king's seed in Edom.

And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon, the son of Eliauah, which fled from his lord Hadadezar, king of Zobah.

And

And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Sou lomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did, and he abe horred Israel, and reigned over Syria.

And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's. servant, (whose mother's name was. Zeruah, a widow woman) even he lift up bis hand against the king.

And this was the cause that he lift up his hand against the king : Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches: of the city of David his father.

And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour : and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrieous, made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.

And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way . and he had clad himself with a. bew garment; and they two were alone in the field.

And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces.

And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces : for thus saith the LORD the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solonion, and will give ten tribes to thee :

(But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel)

Because that they have forsaken me, and have wore shipped Ashtorech the goddess of the Zidonians, Chem mosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes, and my judgments, as did David his: father.

Howbeitet

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