The queen of the South (Lk 11:31-11:31)

“The queen of the South

Will rise

At the judgment

Against the people

Of this generation.

She will condemn them.

Because she came

From the ends of the earth

To listen to

The wisdom of Solomon.

See!

Someone greater

Than Solomon

Is here.”

 

βασίλισσα νότου ἐγερθήσεται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῶν ἀνδρῶν τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης καὶ κατακρινεῖ αὐτούς· ὅτι ἦλθεν ἐκ τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς ἀκοῦσαι τὴν σοφίαν Σολομῶνος, καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Σολομῶνος ὧδε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the queen of the South (βασίλισσα νότου) would rise (ἐγερθήσεται) at the judgment time (ἐν τῇ κρίσει) against the men or people of this generation.  She will condemn them (καὶ κατακρινεῖ αὐτούς), because she came from the ends of the earth (ὅτι ἦλθεν ἐκ τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς) to listen to the wisdom of Solomon (ἀκοῦσαι τὴν σοφίαν Σολομῶνος).  However, someone greater than Solomon is here (καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Σολομῶνος ὧδε).  This saying about the Queen of Sheba can also be found in Matthew, chapter 12:42, so that perhaps this is a Q source.  However, in Luke here, it preceded the comments about the men of Nineveh, while it was the reverse in Matthew.  Why was this unnamed Queen of Sheba able to give a judgment on this generation?  She was not even Jewish.  However, she visited King Solomon in 1 Kings, chapter 10:1-13, with the same story repeated in 2 Chronicles, chapter 9:1-12.  This mythical mysterious woman came from Sheba, but no one knows exactly where that was or her specific name.  She might have been from around the gold mines at Ophir, wherever that might be.  This might explain her wealth in spices, gold, and precious stones.  Anyway, King Solomon answered all her questions with great wisdom.  She observed all his wisdom, plus his house, his food, his clothing, and his servants.  She praised King Solomon, the son of King David, because his wisdom exceeded what she had anticipated and his prosperity exceeded her expectations.  Matthew and Luke both called her the Queen of the South (βασίλισσα νότου).  Matthew also said that she would rise up at the judgment time against this generation and condemn them.  She had come from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon.  Now, Matthew reminded them that someone greater than King Solomon was there among them, Jesus himself.  Do you recognize greatness when you see it?

The Queen of Sheba (Mt 12:42-12:42)

“The Queen of the South

Will rise up

At the judgment

With this generation.

She will condemn it.

Because she came

From the ends of the earth

To listen

To the wisdom of Solomon.

See!

Something greater

Than Solomon is here.”

 

βασίλισσα νότου ἐγερθήσεται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης καὶ κατακρινεῖ αὐτήν· ὅτι ἦλθεν ἐκ τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς ἀκοῦσαι τὴν σοφίαν Σολομῶνος, καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Σολομῶνος ὧδε.

 

This saying about the Queen of Sheba can also be found in Luke, chapter 11:31, so that perhaps this is a Q source.  However, in Luke, it preceded the comments about the men of Nineveh.  Why was this unnamed Queen of Sheba able to give a judgment on this generation?  She was not even Jewish.  However, she visited King Solomon in 1 Kings, chapter 10:1-13, with the same story repeated in 2 Chronicles, chapter 9:1-12.  This mythical mysterious woman came from Sheba, but no one knows exactly where that was or her specific name.  She might have been from around the gold mines at Ophir, wherever that might be.  This might explain her wealth in spices, gold, and precious stones.  Anyway, King Solomon answered all her questions with great wisdom.  She observed all his wisdom, plus his house, his food, his clothing, and his servants.  She praised King Solomon, the son of King David, because his wisdom exceeded what she had anticipated and his prosperity exceeded her expectations.  Here she is called the Queen of the South (βασίλισσα νότου).  She would rise up at the judgment time against this generation (ἐγερθήσεται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης).  Just like the men of Nineveh, she would condemn them (καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτήν).  She had come from the ends of the earth (ὅτι ἦλθεν ἐκ τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς) to hear the wisdom of Solomon (ἀκοῦσαι τὴν σοφίαν Σολομῶνος).  Now, Matthew reminded them that something or someone greater than King Solomon was there among them (καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Σολομῶνος ὧδε), Jesus himself.

The power of foreign gods (Dan 11:38-11:39)

“He shall honor

The god of fortresses,

Instead of these,

A god whom his ancestors

Did not know.

He shall honor

With gold,

With silver,

With precious stones,

With costly gifts.

He shall deal

With the strongest fortresses

By the help

Of a foreign god.

Those who acknowledge him,

He shall make more wealthy.

He shall appoint them

As rulers over many.

He shall divide

The land

For a price.”

Gabriel went on to tell Daniel about how King Antiochus IV worshiped foreign gods, probably the Greek gods of Jupiter at Olympus, not the Syrian gods of his ancestors. Apparently, King Antiochus IV had more respect for these Greek gods. Jupiter was a god of strength. His ancestors knew nothing about these Greek gods. However, he honored them with gold, silver, precious stones, and costly gifts. He relied on these foreign gods to maintain his stronghold positions. King Antiochus made people wealthy, if they agreed with him. In fact, he may have practiced a form of bribery, by dividing up the land for a price.

A comparison to the trees in the Garden of Eden (Ezek 31:8-31:9)

“The cedars

In the garden of God

Could not rival it.

The fir trees

Could not equal

Its boughs.

The plane trees were

As nothing

Compared

With its branches.

No tree

In the garden of God

Was like it

In beauty.

I made it beautiful

With its mass

Of its branches.

All the trees of Eden

Envied it.

All the trees envied it

That were

In the garden of God.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, compared this great cedar to the cedars in the Garden of Eden from Genesis, chapters 2-3. This is much like chapter 28 of this work with the comparison between the precious stones of Tyre and the Garden of Eden. Here the Garden of Eden is called the garden of God. The cedars from this garden of God could not rival this great cedar. The fir trees of the garden of God were not equal to this cedar either. All the branches of common trees were as nothing compared to this great cedar tree. In fact, no tree in the garden of God was like it in its beauty and branches. All the trees from the Garden of Eden, the garden of God, envied this great cedar. Yahweh had made this beautiful cedar tree.

Sheba (Ezek 27:22-27:22)

“The merchants

Of Sheba,

With Raamah,

Traded with you.

They exchanged

For your wares

The best

Of all kinds

Of spices,

Precious stones,

As well as gold.”

Sheba and Raamah, on the other hand, were in the southwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula. They traded with Tyre also since they things like very good spices, precious stones, and gold. How they had these things was not clear.

The glorious priest Simon (Sir 50:5-50:10)

“How glorious he was!

He was surrounded

By the people.

He came out

Of the inner sanctuary.

He came out

Of house of the curtain.

He was

Like the morning star

Among the clouds,

Like the full moon

At the festal season,

Like the sun shining

On the temple of the Most High,

Like the rainbow

Gleaming in splendid clouds,

Like roses

In the days of the first fruits,

Like lilies

By a spring of water,

Like a green shoot on Lebanon

On a summer day,

Like fire with incense

In the censer,

Like a vessel

Of hammered gold

Studded with all kinds

Of precious stones,

Like an olive tree

Laden with fruit,

Like a cypress

Towering in the clouds.”

Sirach has a description of how glorious the high priest Simon looked as he was surrounded by the Israelite people when he came out of the sanctuary. He was like the morning star in the clouds, like a full moon at the festivals, like the sun shining on the Lord’s Temple, like the rainbow in the clouds, like early roses, like lilies by a water stream, like green branches of Lebanon on a summer day, like fire and incense in a Temple censer, like hammered gold with precious stones, like a blossoming olive tree, and like a cypress tree reaching to the clouds. Sirach used a lot of metaphors to explain the good looks of this high priest.

The unique ornamented vestments of Aaron (Sir 45:10-45:13)

“The sacred vestments were

Gold,

Violet,

And purple.

They were the work of an embroiderer.

Aaron had the oracle of judgment,

The Urim and the Thummim.

They had twisted crimson,

The work of a craftsman.

There were precious stones

Engraved like signet seals.

There was a setting of gold,

The work of a jeweler.

This was a commemoration

In engraved letters,

Of each of the tribes of Israel.

He had a gold crown upon his turban.

This was inscribed

Like a signet seal with

‘Holiness.’

This was a distinction to be prized.

This was the work of an expert.

This was the delight for the eyes,

As this was richly adorned.

Before him,

Such beautiful things did not exist.

No outsider ever put them on.

Only his sons put this on.

Only his descendants perpetually put this on.”

The colorful vestments of Aaron were made of embroidered gold, violet, and purple. The artisans had made these crimson yarns. The Urim and Thummim were sacred oracles, in the pouch of the breastplate of judgment, according to Exodus, chapter 28. Aaron would carry the names of the Israelites and the judgment of the Israelites, when he went into the holy place. This unmentioned breastplate had precious stones engraved seals of the 12 tribes in settings of gold. He had a gold crown on his head that was on the top of his turban with gold flower designs. On the top of it was engraved “holiness” or as in Exodus, “Holy to Yahweh.” These highly artistic works were a delight to the eye since nothing like it existed anywhere before. Nobody, but Aaron and his sons could wear these vestments. Eventually, these became the sacred vestments of the Temple high priest.