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The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

After the temple was finished, Solomon called all the elders and chief men that they might be there when the ark was brought into the temple. Then the priests took the ark and with great ceremony carried it into the temple, even unto the Most Holy Place, and set it under the wings of the cherubim. Inside the ark were still the two tablets of stone on which the ten commandments had been written. When the priests left the ark in the Most Holy Place a cloud filled the temple so that the priests could not go back into it for a while because the glory of the Lord filled all the place.

Solomon now gave thanks to the Lord for helping him build this wonderful temple. Before all the people he knelt down and prayed that the Lord would answer all the prayers of the children of Israel.

If the time should come when their enemies would be sent against them because of their sins, or if their fields should parch by not having rain, or if the seeds, and vines, and fruit they planted should not grow, or if any pestilence should come into the land and locusts and caterpillars eat the grain, or, indeed, if anything should happen to them because they had disobeyed the Lord, Solomon prayed that the Lord would forgive the people if they came to the temple and asked forgiveness.

When the king had finished dedicating the temple, fire came down from heaven and burnt up all the offerings which he had placed upon the altar and the people saw the glory of God and bowed their faces to the ground.

The queen of Sheba, which was a far off country, heard of the magnificent temple which Solomon had built, and of his wisdom and riches. She journeyed to Jerusalem with a great company of her people; with camels that bore spices and gold and precious stones. When she came to Solomon she talked to him about many things and asked him many questions. Solomon answered all her questions and explained to her everything she asked about his God and his people.

When the Queen of Sheba had seen the temple that Solomon had built and listened to his wise words and saw the number of his servants and the cup-bearers and the splendid way in which they were trained and the great quantities of food that were consumed at his table every day, she was astonished beyond measure.

"It was a true report that I heard in my land of your acts and of your wisdom," said she to Solomon. "I did not believe what I heard until I came and saw it with my own eyes. The half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceeds far more than I heard. Happy are the men and happy are the servants which stand continually before you and hear your wisdom." The queen gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold and a great store of spices and precious stones. Indeed, no one gave Solomon such an abundance of spices as the Queen of Sheba gave him.

King Solomon gave to the queen all that she asked and loaded her and her servants down with many presents. Then she returned to her own country.