She came "to prove him with hard questions," which Solomon answered to her satisfaction. They exchanged gifts, after which she returned to her land. Sheba was quite well known in the classical world, and its country was called Arabia Felix. Makada or Makueda, the personal name of the queen in Ethiopian legend, might be interpreted as a popular rendering of the title of mqtwyt.
Regina austri , who "came from the uttermost parts of the earth ", i. The former was the favorite opinion of the mystical interpreters to the end of the 18th century; the latter has obtained since its introduction by Good There seems also some affinity between the word Saba and the name or title of the kings of the Aethiopians, Sabaco. Targum Sheni to Esther see: Colloquy of the Queen of Sheba.
A hoopoe informed Solomon that the kingdom of Sheba was the only kingdom on earth not subject to him and that its queen was a sun worshiper. He thereupon sent it to Kitor in the land of Sheba with a letter attached to its wing commanding its queen to come to him as a subject. She thereupon sent him all the ships of the sea loaded with precious gifts and 6, youths of equal size, all born at the same hour and clothed in purple garments.
They carried a letter declaring that she could arrive in Jerusalem within three years although the journey normally took seven years. When the queen arrived and came to Solomon's palace, thinking that the glass floor was a pool of water, she lifted the hem of her dress, uncovering her legs. Solomon informed her of her mistake and reprimanded her for her hairy legs. She asked him three Targ. Sheni to Esther 1: Schechter in "Folk-Lore", , pp.
The two that are genuine riddles are: According to others, the sin ascribed to Solomon in I Kings A Jewish and Arab myth maintains that the Queen was actually a jinn , half human and half demon. Ashkenazi incantations commonly depict the Queen of Sheba as a seductive dancer. Until recent generations she was popularly pictured as a snatcher of children and a demonic witch.
It is mentioned that the distance from the locality of Sulayman 's palace to the residence of Bilqis was seventy farsakh.
She recognized the throne, which had been disguised, and finally accepted the faith of Solomon. Muslim commentators such as al-Tabari , al-Zamakhshari , al-Baydawi supplement the story at various points. The queen, having been subdued by deceit, gives Solomon a pillar on which all earthly science is inscribed. Solomon sends one of his demons to fetch the pillar from Ethiopia, whence it instantly arrives.
In a Coptic poem, queen Yesaba of Cush asks riddles of Solomon. While the Abyssinian story offers much greater detail, it omits any mention of the Queen's hairy legs or any other element that might reflect on her unfavourably. In those times, King Solomon sought merchants from all over the world, in order to buy materials for the building of the Temple. Among them was Tamrin, great merchant of Queen Makeda of Ethiopia.
Having returned to Ethiopia, Tamrin told the queen of the wonderful things he had seen in Jerusalem, and of Solomon's wisdom and generosity, whereupon she decided to visit Solomon. She was warmly welcomed, given a palace for dwelling, and received great gifts every day. Solomon and Makeda spoke with great wisdom, and instructed by him, she converted to Judaism. Before she left, there was a great feast in the king's palace. Makeda stayed in the palace overnight, after Solomon had sworn that he would not do her any harm, while she swore in return that she would not steal from him.
As the meals had been spicy, Makeda awoke thirsty at night, and went to drink some water, when Solomon appeared, reminding her of her oath. Solomon gave Makeda a ring as a token of faith, and then she left. After the boy had grown up in Ethiopia, he went to Jerusalem carrying the ring, and was received with great honors.
The king and the people tried in vain to persuade him to stay. Solomon gathered his nobles and announced that he would send his first-born son to Ethiopia together with their first-borns.
He added that he was expecting a third son, who would marry the king of Rome's daughter and reign over Rome, so that the entire world would be ruled by David's descendants. The first-born nobles who followed him are named, and even today some Ethiopian families claim their ancestry from them.
Prior to leaving, the priests' sons had stolen the Ark of the Covenant , after their leader Azaryas had offered a sacrifice as commanded by one God's angel. With much wailing, the procession left Jerusalem on a wind cart lead and carried by the archangel Michael. Having arrived at the Red Sea , Azaryas revealed to the people that the Ark is with them. David prayed to the Ark and the people rejoiced, singing, dancing, blowing horns and flutes, and beating drums.
The Ark showed its miraculous powers during the crossing of the stormy Sea, and all arrived unscathed. When Solomon learned that the Ark had been stolen, he sent a horseman after the thieves, and even gave chase himself, but neither could catch them. Solomon returned to Jerusalem, and gave orders to the priests to remain silent about the theft and to place a copy of the Ark in the Temple, so that the foreign nations could not say that Israel had lost its fame.
The family's intended choice to rule Aksum was Makeda's brother, Prince Nourad, but his early death led to her succession to the throne. She apparently ruled the Ethiopian kingdom for more than 50 years. Edward Ullendorff holds that Makeda is a corruption of Candace , the name or title of several Ethiopian queens from Meroe or Seba. Candace was the name of that queen of the Ethiopians whose chamberlain was converted to Christianity under the preaching of Philip the Evangelist Acts 8: In the 14th century?
The link to King Solomon provided a strong foundation for Ethiopian national unity. Despite the fact that the dynasty officially ended in with Emperor Iyaos , Ethiopian rulers continued to trace their connection to it, right up to the last 20th-century emperor, Haile Selassie.
They also assert that a medieval system of walls and ditches, built sometime around the 10th century, was dedicated to her. After excavations in the archaeologist Patrick Darling was quoted as saying, "I don't want to overplay the Sheba theory, but it cannot be discounted The local people believe it and that's what is important The most cogent argument against it at the moment is the dating.
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