Solomon’s portfolioSolomon's portfolio grew and made him wealthy for at two important reasons. First, he takes the risk of building a fleet of ships to send abroad with Israel's products, to trade for exotic products he can't buy in Israel: jewels, African animals and ivory, horses from what is not Turkey, and chariots from Egypt. The ships return every three years, loaded with gold, silver, and other goodies for the king. It was a risk, though. Another king built a fleet for the Red Sea and somehow lost them all at Ezion-geber, in or near the port of origin
"Jehoshaphat had a fleet built in the style of Tarshish  ships. He wanted to send them to Ophir  to bring back some gold. But the ships didn’t make it far. They wrecked in Ezion-geber" (1 Kings 22:48).Solomon also made a bundle off of caravans and locals traveling through his land, which was the only good land bridge between Egypt and other Africa nations in the south with nations in the north and the east, including what are now Turkey, and Greece, Iraq, and Iran.
Queen of Sheba on a shopping spreeSome scholars say the Queen of Sheba came for more than curiosity and a desire to test Solomon's wisdom, as the Bible reports.
"The queen gave Solomon two and a half tons (4,000 kg) of gold and jewels. And she gave him more spices than Solomon or any other king of Israel ever got or would ever get again in one huge shipment" (1 Kings 10:10).It probably wasn't just a gift. In those times, gifts were reciprocated.
"King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she said she wanted, with royal gifts on top of it. Then he sent her on her way back home" (1 Kings 10:13).
For feature articles about the BibleStephen M. Miller's blog and YouTube channel