Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba, was the first royalty to visit King Solomon. The Bible states “and Solomon did everything that she asked.” So what did she want?
Bilqis looked at me with a disappointed expression on her face.
“You appear disappointed on what I have just said.” I stated.
“I am disappointed.” Bilqis replied.
“Why?” I asked in a surprised tone.
“I thank you for preparing a copy of your writings for me. However, I did not travel here to learn wisdom from reviewing hundreds of wise sayings. I have studied wise sayings and know it to be a very time consuming task. Also, it is often difficult to understand the meanings if you have never experienced the situation pertaining to the saying. I plan to be here for only three months, a very short time period in life. The reason I traveled here is to learn how you gained so great a reputation to be a wise man and great ruler.”
Bilqis then stared at me with a determined challenging look on her face.
“Please expand on your thoughts of what you seek from me in order to teach you of my wisdom.” I replied curiously.
Bilqis looked at me in an appraising manner and appeared to be contemplating her reply. Then she began speaking out her thoughts in a straightforward tone.
“I want to see how the wise living King Solomon rules over his people. I want to know how you govern your household and your governors, along with your past and future plans.”
Bilqis eyes narrowed as she continued in a tone that became more passionate and emphatic.
“I want to know all your personal thoughts, deeds, and desires, past and present, without any reservations. I want to know what brings you joy or sorrow. I want to know what brings you to love or anger. I even want to know what a wise man, with over two hundred wives and concubines, loves or dislikes in a woman. Yes, Solomon, I want to know everything personal about you including what makes you perspire or grow cold.”
“In other words, I want you to tell me your story, to reveal all your secrets, your mysteries. Then I will relate your proverbs and teachings to your actual story and deeds to discern and test the truth of your wisdom.”
Bilqis smiled somewhat wryly and stared intently at me waiting for my reply.
Again, this woman surprised me. I became silent for a time as I considered her requests and my answer. What would be the benefits or detriments of sharing my personal thoughts? I would have to bond closer to her than any woman including my wives to appease her requests.
“And will you agree to reveal all your mysteries in return?” I asked.
“Yes.” Bilqis replied ardently without hesitation.
I continued considering her request and the possible ramifications that might occur by my obliging her.
“So Solomon, will you agree to do as I ask and share all your innermost thoughts? Will you relinquish all your mysteries?” Bilqis prodded me.
“Your request will require a mutual bonding of trust between us. Tell me why I should agree to do as you ask.” I commented warily.
“I will reward you Solomon. Your reward will be proportionate to the quality of your wisdom. You have already agreed to this in the terms of my visit. The more valuable I find your teachings and sources of wisdom, the greater will be your reward when I leave. As for personal information, I trust that as mutual and honorable rulers, neither of us would ever divulge our personal conversations. I also seem to remember you promised me anything I wished when I arrived, did you not?”
I pondered her request again. I could understand her statement about the time required to study wise sayings and not being able to relate the meanings if you never encountered the situation pertaining to the saying.
The more I thought about her request, the more intriguing the prospect became. I could not perceive any personal harm divulging my personal thoughts or my story. I might even benefit by having Bilqis question my proverbs as an objective listener. Yes, I had promised Bilqis anything she wished in my kingdom when she arrived, however my intent pertained to treasure in my kingdom. I finally decided that I would agree.
“Bilqis, I will do as you wish, not for your reward of treasure. I will do so because I believe that you have called out to the Goddess of Wisdom. She has heard you and I must now obey her. It is the duty of all wise man to instruct wisdom to those whom will listen.” I replied in a diplomatic and conciliatory manner.
As A Lily Among Thorns – A Story of King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Goddess of Wisdom by Rudy U Martinka
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