Thursday, September 27, 2007

Queen of Sheba


Ethiopian Christians tell this story about Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Their history holds that the Queen of Sheba was an Ethiopian sovereign named Makeda (Magda) and that she returned from her celebrated journey to the court of Solomon in Jerusalem bearing the king's son, David, who became the first king of Ethioipia, ruling as Menelik I. Makeda's tale is told in an ancient Ethiopian book, the Kebra Negast, or Glory of Kings, from which this is taken.
Ethiopian accounts indicate she was born in 1020 B.C. in Ophir, and educated in Ethiopia. Her mother was Queen Ismenie; her father, chief minister to Za Sebado, succeeded him as King. One story describes that as a child Sheba (called Makeda) was to be sacrificed to a serpent god, but was rescued by the stranger 'Angaboo. Later, her pet jackal bit her badly on one foot and leg, leaving lasting scars and deformity. When her father died in 1005 B.C.
Sheba became Queen at the age of fifteen. Contradictory sources refer to her as ruling for forty years, and reigning as a virgin queen for six years. In most accounts, she never married.
Sheba was known to be beautiful (despite her ankle and leg), intelligent, understanding, resourceful, and adventurous. A gracious queen, she had a melodious voice and was an eloquent speaker. Excelling in public relations and international diplomacy, she was a also competent ruler. The historian Josephus said of her, "she was inquisitive into philosophy and on that and on other accounts also was to be admired."

Power and riches could not satisfy Sheba's soul, for she possessed an ardent hunger for truth and wisdom. Before her visit to Solomon, she says to her people:

"I desire wisdom and my heart seeketh to find understanding. I am smitten with the love of wisdom.... for wisdom is far better than treasure of gold and silver... It is sweeter than honey, and it maketh one to rejoice more than wine, and it illumineth more than the sun.... It is a source of joy for the heart, and a bright and shining light for the eyes, and a giver of speed to the feet, and a shield for the breast, and a helmet for the head... It makes the ears to hear and hearts to understand."

"...And as for a kingdom, it cannot stand without wisdom, and riches cannot be preserved without wisdom.... He who heapeth up gold and silver doeth so to no profit without wisdom, but he who heapeth up wisdom - no man can filch it from his heart... I will follow the footprints of wisdom and she shall protect me forever. I will seek asylum with her, and she shall be unto me power and strength."

"Let us seek her, and we shall find her; let us love her, and she will not withdraw herself from us, let us pursue her, and we shall overtake her; let us ask, and we shall receive; and let us turn our hearts to her so that we may never forget her.

2 comments:

The footnoteMaven said...

Karen:

I followed the link here from your cousin Craig's blog and I am very glad I did.

All your articles, that I have read thus far, are excellent and very interesting!

I look forward to more.

footnoteMaven

Karen Burney said...

I'm glad you enjoyed my site and hope you continue to stop in and visit as often as you can and hopefully share some of your family research finds too!

Stay blessed!

Karen Burney