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The Gift of the Magi

by O. Henry

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Why does O. Henry mention the Queen of Sheba in "The Gift of the Magi"?

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The Queen of Sheba is identified in the Old Testament book of First Kings as being a visitor to King Solomon. Sheba's exact location is uncertain, but it possibly was in the area of present-day Yemen or Ethiopia. She reigned at the same time as King Solomon was on the throne in the united kingdom of Israel and she heard of his power, his military might, his wealth, and his great wisdom. She came from her homeland to see for herself and departed after confirming the truth of what she had heard.

In The Gift of the Magi, both the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon are mentioned as people who had great wealth and many treasures, but their possessions made them no happier than the great treasures possessed by Jim and Della - Jim's watch and Della's hair.

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