I Kings 10:1-14

Hebrew tradition and legend says that the queen of Sheba of this passage was named Makeda. Sheba is the place that she was from. She is the queen of Sheba whose name may have been Makeda. In the text she goes to see Solomon and Solomon is a scriptural model of the Kingdom of God. The queen of Sheba is a model of the world and how God is about to bring Makeda to the Kingdom.

The queen of Sheba represents a breed of people and a generation of people that looks different than what we see in the average Christian Church. We have placed a slant on the gospel message that has made it appealing to the poor and needy but rejected by the wealthy and well to do. Our pews are filled with people who are in need while those who have the resources to meet those needs have found greater solitude on golf courses and their weekend cottages. We have made the areas of the poor our mission fields as if to say that what we have to offer is not needed by the rich.

This is not to imply that the Church should neglect the poor but it is to say that God is not pleased with our rejection of the rich. We have equated wealth with righteousness and mad the erroneous assumption that people who are wealthy have all that they need. One of the problems is that the Christian Church has such an overwhelming spirit of poverty that we cause the well-to-do to feel guilty for having reached that point of success in their life. We don’t just make the well-to-do feel guilty but we even make those who are trying to do better feel guilty for trying.

The spirit of poverty is often exemplified in the all familiar crab in the bucket illustration. Crab fishermen know that there is no need to bother putting a lid on the bucket they use while catching crab. Once there are a few crabs in a bucket, the fisherman knows that any crab that tries to get out will be pulled back down by the other crabs. It’s not that the bucket is too small or the wall too slippery, the problem lies with the other crabs.

The wealthy are turned off from the Church because when they arrive they feel that crab claw grabbing at them trying to pull them back down. The ambitious are turned off from the Church because they are forced to feel like Joseph in the house with Judah, Issachar, Reuben, Dan, Asher, Napthali, Gad, Zebulon, Simeon, and Levi. Dreams of the ambitious often become the nightmares of the crabs.

The good news is Makeda is coming. Makeda is a representative of a different class of people. Makeda is not coming to get a food box and clothes and rent payments. Makeda is not coming to Church to see it as an extension to her welfare and food stamp program. Makeda is an asset to the ministry.

If Makeda is coming, what is it that draws her? What is it that should draw people to the Kingdom?

What Makeda Sought

Let’s observe what she sought.

Verse one says: “And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.”

The word “fame” used here does not mean that Solomon was a celebrity. The word in Hebrew is “shaymah” and it means “report.” The report that she heard about Solomon was concerning on connected to the name of the Lord. She heard what the Lord had done with Solomon and for Solomon. The Amplified Bible puts it this way: “When the queen of Sheba heard of the constant connection of the fame of Solomon with the name of the Lord.”

Solomon disconnected from the name of the Lord would not have interested the queen at all. One of the reasons that has caused the Church to loose its interest is that we have disconnected the name. The message of the contemporary church is a good message but it has no power without the name. We must go back to exalting the name of the Lord.

Psalm 124:8

“Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

Our help is not in Solomon. Our help is in the name of the Lord. Jesus made sure that we understood that. In Matthew 12:42, Jesus said “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.”

Proverbs 18:10 reminds us

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”

The generation that is coming to the Kingdom in this season are not coming for celebrity shows. Like Makeda, the name of the Lord must be the magnet that draws them to the Kingdom.

For 1400 miles, Makeda traveled. For 75 days, she traveled. For 2 ½ months, she traveled. 19 miles a day. She traveled across the desert sands of Arabia. She traveled along the coast of the Red Sea and up into Moab and then to Jerusalem. She has been magnetized by the name of the Lord.

The Bible says that she came to test him with difficult questions. It was common in that day for people to test a person’s wisdom by giving them a riddle, or a scenario and then see if the person had the answer. Jewish legend says that the queen would present some confused scenario and Solomon would respond.

The Bible does not record it but Jewish legend says that in one scenario the queen tested Solomon. She filled a room with thousands of flowers that had been hand crafted to look real and then perfumed to smell real. There was only one real flower in the whole bunch of thousands. “Solomon, tell me how to find the real flower”, she said. Solomon paced the floor to try to find the real flower. He sniffed them only to discover that they all smelled alike. He stared at them only to see that they all looked alike. Finally, Solomon walked over to the window and opened it. A bee flew into the window and circled the room. Finally the bee landed on one particular flower. Solomon goes over to the flower and chases the bee away and presents it to Makeda. She responded, “Solomon, your wisdom amazes me.”

She presented another scenario. She gave him a large emerald stone that had a curved hole in the middle. She said “Solomon, thread this emerald stone. Draw a thread through this curved hole.” Solomon looks at the stone with an eye of confused bewilderment. After several minutes of examination and contemplation, Solomon leaves the room and goes into the wooded area and he catches a silkworm. He brings the silkworm back into the temple and places the worm at the opening of the curved hole in the emerald stone. The silkworm proceeds to crawl through the hole leaving behind its silk thread. Solomon lifts the emerald before Makeda and says, “The emerald stoned has been threaded” and she responds, “Solomon, your wisdom amazes me.”

“Solomon, (the queen says), What is the most powerful organ of the body?” Solomon responds, “the tongue for it contains the power of both death and life.”

She gives him a riddle. “Solomon, what am I describing to you? Seven leave and nine enter. Two pour out and only one drinks. What is that Solomon?” Solomon says, “Makeda, the seven that leave are the seven days of a woman’s cycle. The seven cease when the nine enter and the nine are nine months of her pregnancy. The two that pour out are her two breasts and the one that drinks is the new born baby that sucks from the two that pour. Queen, you have presented a riddle of a pregnant and birthing woman.”

Makeda again responded “Solomon, your wisdom amazes me.”

Legend says that for six months, Makeda would test Solomon only to find that his wisdom was amazing. She came to test him with difficult questions. She came to see if he could figure out or give answers to confusion and chaos. The world wants to know if we have answers to this chaos and confusion. Can we answer these hard questions? Can we settle the riddles they face in their homes and work places? Can we answer the questions of crime, teen pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, and immorality.

Like Solomon, we must let the world present their riddles and scenarios and we give the answer. We only have one answer and that is Jesus. He is the answer to every question. For the suffering, he’s the healer. For the confused, he’s a mind regulator. For the fearful, he’s a protector. For the addicted, he’s a deliverer. For the demon possessed, he’s a demon chaser. He’s Jehovah Jireh. He refers to Himself as “I am” and gives the Kingdom the liberty to complete the rest.

What Makeda Brought

While what Makeda sought is interesting in the passage, it is also interesting and encouraging to observe What She Brought.

Verse 2 says: And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.

The New American Standard says she came to Jerusalem with a very large retinue. Another translation calls it a caravan. It simply means that she came with more than just herself. Retinue, caravan, great train, they all mean that she came with helpers, attendants, or workers. In most of our Churches there is a shortage of helpers. Makeda brought help with her. Churches that embrace the Kingdom and Kingdom principles are Churches with workers. Most Churches are filled with spectators and few participators. Makeda is coming to work.

Not only did she bring helpers, but there was a caravan of camels loaded with spices and very much gold and precious stones. Legend says that Makeda’s caravan had seven hundred and ninety seven camels. Each camel was loaded with spices, gold, and precious stones. She had heard that Solomon was trying to build a house for the Lord. “Let me take something to help him.” I got what he needs and he’s got what I need. I need his wisdom. I need his word. I need him to help me settle this confusion. What I need, he’s got it in his mouth. What he needs, I got it on these camels. I’ve got spices but he’s got the anointing. He needs gold and I need to be made whole. He needs onyx and emeralds. I need the rock in a weary land. If he gives me what’s in his mouth then I will give him the wealth on these camels.

Seven hundred and ninety seven camels loaded with provisions. Each camel could carry three hundred to six hundred pounds. Makeda and her caravan had almost a half million pounds of provision. One hundred and twenty talents of gold in English translation is almost five tons of gold. She sought wisdom and she brought wealth

What Makeda Caught

She sought wisdom.

She brought wealth.

Observe what she caught. She caught a glimpse of something

After Makeda got to Jerusalem and received the wisdom of Solomon, she got what she sought. But she did not yet release what she brought until she saw what she saw.

The text says:

“And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built, 5 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendanceb of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her”

She saw the house that he built. She saw that Solomon took pride in doing things right. She saw excellence. If Makeda is coming to the Kingdom, then the Kingdom must operate in excellence.

She saw the food on his table. The food was not junk food. In a spiritual sense, food represents the word of God. If Makeda is coming to the Kingdom, then the Kingdom must have good food on the table. Makeda can’t survive on candy and chips. Cake and ice cream will not impress Makeda. The Kingdom must have good food on the table. Good food balances doctrine with prosperity, works with faith, and morality with social responsibility. Makeda saw the food on his table.

She saw the seating of his servants and how they were dressed. Makeda observed order and decency. She saw people serving and not fighting for positions. She saw submission.

She saw his stairway that ascended to the high places of the temple. These high places were the places of worship. Makeda saw that the Kingdom had not excluded worship as its primary purpose.

After she saw what she saw, then she released what she had.

What you have read to this point would lead you to think that Makeda is someone that you have never met before. However, the truth of the matter is that Makeda is not just someone that we look for. She is someone we look at. We look at her by looking in the mirror. We look at her by looking at the people around us.


Mueller, Walt. Understanding Today’s Youth Culture. Tyndale House. Wheaton, Illinois. 1994.

Munroe, Myles. Rediscovering the Kingdom. Destiny Image. Shippensburg, PA. 2004.

Munroe, Myles. Understanding the Kingdom. Destiny Image. Shippensburg, PA. 2006.

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