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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE HALF HAS NOT BEEN TOLD

I Kings 10:4-7 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all of Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built ...there was no more spirit left in her. And she said to the king, it was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit, I believed not the words, until I came, and mine own eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.

At this particular time in history, the fame of Solomon had spread throughout the known world. Even to Sheba. The location of this country is not specifically stated in the context of this scripture. However, it is believed to have been located somewhere near the eastern coast of Africa, in or near the area known once as Cush and currently known as Ethiopia. However, bible scholars differ on its exact location, and some say it is located in the area known as Arabia. From references in Isaiah and Ezekiel we learn that it was a commercial country that had significant wealth that mainly resulted from its international trade.

At this time, the country of Sheba was governed by a queen. There are many speculations as to her name, but in the few scriptures about her, she is known only as the Queen of Sheba. Jesus makes mention of her in Matthew 12:42 and refers to her as the queen of the south that came to Jerusalem to hear the wisdom of Solomon. No doubt the stories of Solomon's wealth, his wisdom, the armies that he commanded and the magnificent temple and castles he constructed, had reached Sheba and was told to its queen.

These stories created the desire for the Queen of Sheba to go to Jerusalem to see, for herself, Solomon and his kingdom and to prove him with hard questions (Vs 1). She seemed to have made a grand entrance accompanied by many attendants and bearing valuable gifts for Solomon. At their meeting it is said that Solomon told her all her questions (Vs 3). After observing Solomon's wisdom, seeing the buildings he constructed, and attending, what seemed to be,a lavish banquet in her honor, it is said that there was no more spirit in her (Vs 5). The Queen of Sheba appears to have been overcome; totally astonished, by Solomon and his domain in Jerusalem. Although told of Solomon and all his glory, the response of the Queen of Sheba, after seeing with her own eyes, was behold, the half has not told.

We can only imagine the grandness of Jerusalem at this time in biblical history, with its buildings constructed by Solomon; the temple, his palace, the house of Pharaoh's daughter, the hall of pillars, the house of the Forest of Lebanon as well as their courts. The temple, itself, was constructed of marble having an interior of cedar and cypress woodwork, and completely overlaid with gold. Gold, silver and other precious metals and jewels were used lavishly throughout its construction. I'm sure if we were given the grand tour of Jerusalem, with its temple, and the entire kingdom of Solomon, we would also say, the half (was) not told. How beautiful Jerusalem must have been.

John tells us about a New Jerusalem in Revelations 21. This is as close as we will come, while here on earth, to observing Heaven as seen through the eyes of John. In Heaven there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain (Vs 4). In John's vision of Heaven, her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal (Vs 11). The heaven, that John observed, had twelve gates having the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, and twelve foundations having the names of the twelve apostles (Vs 12-14). The New Jerusalem was foursquare, with its length, breadth and height equal (Vs 16). Its walls were of jasper and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass(Vs 18). It was adorned with precious stones; sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolyte, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth and amethyst (Vss 19-20). Its gates were of pearl and the street of the city was pure gold (Vs 21). In its midst was God and his Son Jesus Christ. Their glory was its light (Vs 23). Its gates are never shut because there is no night there (Vs 25). Nothing may enter that may defile it. Its habitation is reserved for they which are written in the Lamb's book of life (Vs 27).

Study God's word. Find out how to have your name written in the Lamb's book of life. Upon entering the pearly gates of heaven and walking its street of gold, I'm sure you'll say the half has not been told.