Who is the Queen of Sheba?

The Queen of Sheba was a biblical monarch who went to visit King Solomon to discuss important matters. While she had heard of his goodness, she was overwhelmed with the lavishness of his palace.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Queen of Sheba is a biblical character referred to in 1 Kings, chapter ten and then again in 2 Chronicles. She is also referenced in a range of other religious and non-religious texts, including the Quran, the Aramaic Targum Sheni, and an Ethiopian epic account called Kebra Nagast.

According to the story of the Queen of Sheba, she traveled from her home—experts are uncertain as to whether this home was Arabia or Ethiopia—to Jerusalem to visit King Solomon. According to the biblical version, she had heard about the king's wisdom and the close relationship he shared with God. She arrived with a lavish array of gifts for King Solomon, including spices, precious stones, and gold.

The reason for her visit, according to the Bible, was to get answers to some tough questions. While the scripture does not specify what she asked him, the reader is assured that the Queen of Sheba left with all the answers she had been looking for.

To have made a trip like this, the Queen of Sheba had clearly heard good things about King Solomon. She had not been prepared for the majestic, lavish lifestyle that he lived, and confessed to him that she was overwhelmed and that the Israelites had been blessed by God to have such a wise king.

According to the Islamic version of the story, the Queen of Sheba's name was Bilqis, and her visit to King Solomon was in response to receiving a letter from him asking her to worship God rather than the sun.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team