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Queen of Sheba

solomon solomon’s legend wisdom

The Queen of Sheba’s visit to King *Solomon in Jerusalem is described in 1 Kings 10:1-13. The text explains that she had learned of Solomon’s fame and came to “test him with hard questions.” She arrived with an elaborate retinue, was extremely impressed with Solomon’s prosperity and *wisdom, engaged in extensive conversation with him, and departed after praising him and giving him many lavish gifts. She is mentioned again as the “queen of the south” by Jesus, who cites her effort and perceptiveness in seeking to learn wisdom and states that she will rise up on judgment day to condemn the willfully ignorant . She features in medieval art primarily in connection with Solomon; they are, for example, paired as jamb figures in Gothic portal sculpture (both elaborately garbed, Sheba may stand on a small figure of a black man who is holding a money bag, bespeaking her wealth and speculated African origin), or she may be shown kneeling before the enthroned Solomon. Her paying homage to Solomon is sometimes typologically linked to the *Adoration of the Magi, or they are seen as types of *Christ (Solomon) and the *Church/ Ecclesia (Sheba). ) The Queen of Sheba also features in the legend of the *True Cross, recognizing the sacred nature of the wood (which had been used for a bridge) and, according to the * Golden Legend , alerting Solomon of her vision of the *death of the savior of the world, which event would put an end to the kingdom of the *Jews.
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