Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, painting by Giovanni Demin (1789-1859)

The Legendary Queen of Sheba and Her Iconic Visit with King Solomon

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Originating in the Bible, the Queen of Sheba is a figure featured in the stories of many cultures and religious groups. Although her exact homeland has not been agreed upon, she is known as a queen from the Red Sea region, and plays a role in legendary tales that have been retold numerous times through literature, film, television, and music. Most tales revolve around her meeting with the biblical King of Israel, Solomon, with variations on what occurred during that visit. In some tales she is tricked into sleeping with him, ultimately leading her to bear him a son. In other versions, she is tricked into revealing her hairy legs, which repulses Solomon. In other variations, she simply delivers spices to Solomon, uses riddles to test his wisdom, and then returns home.

The Queen of Sheba is well-known as a Biblical figure. Relatively little is written within the Bible about her origins. Her story focuses on her travels to Jerusalem. She is said to have arrived in Jerusalem with a camel bearing spices to give to Solomon. She arrived "with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices, and very much gold, and precious stones" (I Kings 10:2). "Never again came such an abundance of spices" (10:10; II Chron. 9:1–9). She presented several riddles to Solomon, which he answered to her satisfaction. In the tale, Solomon taught Sheba about his god, Yahweh, and then they exchanged gifts. After that, the Queen returned to her home land. Some Ethiopians believe that this is how Christianity was originally brought to their area.

There is agreement among scholars that Sheba refers to the South Arabian kingdom of Saba, which is located in present-day Yemen. The Queen’s visit to Jerusalem may have been a trade visit, as it was common to trade spices by camel around the 9 th and 10 th centuries B.C.

In Jewish legend, the Queen of Sheba was the Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia. She was credited with bringing the first balsam tree to Israel. In one Jewish account, King Solomon was informed that Sheba was the only Kingdom that was not subject to him. This did not make him happy. He sent a letter to Sheba commanding that the Queen of Sheba come to him as one of his subjects. The Queen of Sheba agreed to visit Jerusalem, and sent many ships filled with gifts prior to her arrival. She also agreed to arrive within three years, although the trip typically took seven years. When she did arrive, she mistook Solomon’s glass floor for water, and lifted her dress, revealing her hairy legs, for which King Solomon reprimanded her. She asked him three questions to test his wisdom, and returned home.

The Queen of Sheba meeting with Solomon

The Queen of Sheba meeting with Solomon (note: this is unlikely to be an accurate depiction of how she really looked, from a racial perspective). Public Domain

Muslims do not refer to the Queen of Sheba, but to the “queen of the south.” The story in the Quran is essentially the same as that followed by Christians and Jews, with some supplementations derived from the Jewish Midrash. The queen is named Bilkis. The tale says the demons of Solomon’s court were worried that Solomon might marry Bilkis. To prevent this, they started a rumor that Bilkis had hairy legs, leading Solomon to construct the glass floor for the sole purpose of tricking her into revealing her legs. However, in this version the Queen and Solomon did not have relations, as they did in the other versions.

The Queen of Sheba, also known as Bilkis.

The Queen of Sheba, also known as Bilkis. Public Domain

In the Ethiopian Kebra Nagast (Glory of the Kings), the Queen is referred to as Makeda. While this version of her story included the trip to visit Solomon, and the son who they conceived together and she raised, it omitted the stories of the glass floor and her hairy legs. In this version of the legend, the Queen warned Solomon that he was not to touch her, because she was an unmarried woman. He agreed, so long as she agreed not to take anything of his while she stayed as his guest. She agreed. However, Solomon tricked her by ordering an extremely spicy meal to be served for dinner, and that a glass of water be placed near her bed as she slept. In the middle of the night she took the glass of water, and Solomon declared that she had broken her end of the agreement, and as such, he could break his end as well. They slept together, and after returning to her homeland, the Queen discovered she was pregnant. She gave birth to Solomon’s son, and named him Menelik. As he aged, Menelik expressed that he wished to see his father. He traveled to Israel to visit King Solomon, supposedly returning with the Ark of the Covenant, and the sacred container that contained the Ten Commandments.

Comments

Hello. And Bye.

rbflooringinstall's picture

The hairy legs element seems consistant enough. Maybe Solomon was all sorts of kinky and was turned on by the Queen of Sheba's hairy legs, leading to the relations and the son that followed.

Peace and Love,

Ricky.

A woman being natural and not shaving her legs is kinky to you?

riparianfrstlvr's picture

Saiko, have you seen the nono ads. having body hair if any kind is deemed digusting by our society today. both men and women now are removing all body hair, achieving what is nothing more than the pre-pubescant look. the fact that some men like hair, pubic, pit, arm or leg hair is not kinky at all. it is about accepting a person the way that they are. liking this new pre-pubescant look is kinky if you ask me.

riparianfrstlvr

In all stories the abundance of spices is mentioned.

S it seems logical Sheba came from a place where spices grow. As fat as I know Yemen is not a spice growing country nowadays. Was it in Sheba s'  time?

Sunny Young

Southern Arabia was well known to have traded in spices into Roman times.

I see the Song of Solomon in this. I recall reading that the feet were those of an owl....like in some of the images of Inanna. I see the story of Vima as Solomon. He had control over the demons and thy built magnificent buildings for him, but he became proud and wanted to be worshiped as the ultimate creator. The demons raised him up in the air. The people turned away from Vima and he fell from grace and power. He was split length way in half by the evil being that took his throne and had two snakes on his shoulders that demanded to be feed two human brains everyday. Vima was in my opinion split into male and female and that is represented in the story of Solomon and Sheba.
(referencing The Shah Nemeh). The female in the Song of Solomon as fingers of spices. There is a lot symbolism in all of these stories as the truth is hidden and altered through the ages, it is hard to connect the dots.
Vima, in the Zoroastrian literature, is the being who ruled the earth. He was given power to increase the size of the world by a third two times in order to accommodate the progressive over population, until the gods told him he had to build shelter and save what he wanted from an ice age. Like Lucifer, his/her pride caused the fall that resulted in the splitting in half.

Not sure how much I believe the hairy leg bit, since shaving legs has only been common since the 19th century when razor companies expanded their demographics and hems became shorter, but the article is very informative overall.
It is interesting to see how certain cultures represent this woman in their art. It seems that she is always depicted lower than Solomon, even though she is the Queen. I'm not sure any ruler would willingly allow their lands to be ruled by another just because it was requested. The story of this Queen seems to be right in line with the Patriarchal Kool-Aid.

Before razors, other methods were used to remove hair by women. Wax, honey, emory boards and such. However, removing hair is an easy way to look younger, especially pre-pubescent. That is itself is an odd taste, unless you want to emulate Muhammed.

Your link didn't work.

Your link works now. Thanks.

Although documented as the son of a fervent Zionist, Velikovsky does reveal a bit of truth in his intentional distortions of our past history. He distorts it to hide the real past and keep the "Israel/Hebrew" fable afloat.

What am I talking about? I am pointing to his very telling comment that "Sheba was NOT A PLACE." It was a PERSON. In actual fact, he is almost correct: it was a statue of a goddess. "Shauska", the Mittani/Medes/Assyrian name for Istar. It is documented in an Armana tablet that "Tushratta", king of Mittani, sent a statue to "his brother king": Amenhotep III, to "cure what ails him." Istar was the "Queen of heaven" and married to the Mittani/Medes/Assyrian Storm God: Tae ("king) Sub. Wikipedia USED to have an alternative spelling of this name (it is pronounced "Shub/Shuba") of SHEBA. Until I pointed out the REAL, DOCUMENTED Armana tablet revealing the TRUTH of the ORIGIN of this myth.

Full circle: it is DOCUMENTED that Amenhotep III (his cartouche was found in Urusalim/"Jerusalem" in the ONLY temple EVER found there, the "Queen of Heaven, Ashtoreth) used to SIT ON HIS URUSALIM THRONE and accept "Shalmani gifts" from his SUBJECTS, as he portrayed himself as "god of the city": Shalmanu. This name exists down to this day as the "Jewish" name : Shulman.

The REAL "Solomon" and also the reason that "God became angry at Solomon for worshiping foreign gods"....you see..."God" was Yuya, initials YHW...that Amenhotep III had carved in stone in a temple he built to Yuya, 1400 BC. The OLDEST EXISTING EVIDENCE of "YHW" anywhere.

Yuya was "YHW of the Shasu" the wandering, military nomads of the Levant.

Istar Devi, the REAL "Queen of Sub/Sheba".....SHIVA. She played a Harp. A DEVI. Her symbol? Venus, in the shape of a "Star of David".....the REAL (i)Star of Devi(d).

You are very welcome.

La alusion a la pilosidad no es casual. Tambien se decia que la reina tenia una deformidad en el pie y lo cubria para no ser visto. En el Sur de Francia hay un paralelismo cataro: la reina Pedauque, que tenia un pie palmeado, como los patos...Todas las representaciones de la muje ``sabia´´, ``iniciada´´ en el Saber, era representada con una sola pierna descubierta.

She(Queen Of Sheba) came from the uttermost parts of the earth: The Queen of Sheba Neither came from Ethiopia nor from any part of Africa. Refer what Jesus Christ has said about Queen of Sheba: "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.(Mathew 12:42).......... Next step : refer what Jesus Christ has instructed His disciples to preach the Gospel. "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."(Acts 1:8)........ Now check in both the Bible verses quoted above "the uttermost part of the earth" have come common........... Now how to find out "the uttermost part of the earth"?...... Now find out the disciple of Jesus who has gone far the most from Jerusalem. .... St. Thomas is the disciple who has traveled the most ("the uttermost part of the earth") to preach the Gospel. Do you know where he came to preach the Gospel....... INDIA.....KERALA -Muziris. (now known as "God's Own Country")......... Do you know where the Three Oceans/Seas join together: Arabian Sea-Indian Ocean-Bay of Bengal. That place is the "the uttermost part of the earth".. ..... St. Thomas came to Kerala, to preach Gospel to the Lost Tribes of Israel who have settled in Kerala from 950 B.C, migration started mainly from the time of King Solomon, with the merchants from Israel/middle east who had trade in spices,sandals,gold etc with Kerala through sea..... :Please note that coins from the time of Solomon have been found during the recent excavation made in Kerala). King Solomon started trade with Kerala during his reign......."One of the earliest references to maritime trade with India is from the Bible:-(I Kings 9:28) which states that King Solomon collaborated with King Hiram of Tyre/Sidon, and built a fleet at Elath and Eziongeher (or Ezion-geber). Manned by Phoenician sailors, it sailed to Ophir. In 950 BC Jewish people arrive in India in King Solomon’s merchant fleet. Later Jewish colonies find India a tolerant home"...... It is through the Israeli traders that Queen heard about the wisdom of King Solomon. So she decided to travel to Jerusalem to meet Solomon(1 Kings 10:1), with plenty of Gold and spices(1 Kings 10:10) , with the Israeli merchants on their return journey . She must have bought the Frankincense from some port/market places (eg: can be present day Djibouti, nearby Ethiopia) where they landed on her way to Jerusalem {From Kerala (Muziris - they crossed Arabian Sea - Gulf of Aden - Red Sea - Gulf of Aqaba- Jerusalem}.

its amazing how in you tube comments white americans and others are always talking about african americans want to steal other peoples history when every one is white in history lf you let whites tell the story. these greco roman pictures and pictures of east european jews (as solomon) are completely false- europeans converted centuries latter via the khazars see book the 13th tribe by arthur koestler who obviously is not black.) original jes afro-asians) the above link has a good article which is much more accurate. smh

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