New Defender's Study Bible Notes
9:1 And when the queen. This whole chapter has been copied from I Kings 10, with only minor modifications in wording. See footnotes on I Kings 10.
9:3 queen of Sheba. Sheba at this time was a wealthy kingdom in the southwestern corner of Arabia. Indications are that it also included a part of Ethiopia, across the Red Sea. The queen of Sheba probably hoped to arrange some kind of trade agreement with Solomon.
9:13 weight of gold. The annual income of gold to King Solomon is here said to be 666 talents (see also I Kings 10:14). This would be about 25 US tons of gold, every year! Solomon’s temple and palace, with their furnishings (his throne was made of ivory overlaid with gold—II Chronicles 9:17) were lavishly decorated and overlaid with gold. However, comparable abundances of gold are also mentioned in Egypt, Assyria and other ancient lands.
9:14 brought gold and silver. It is possible that these “gifts” were actually a form of tribute or taxation, to insure peace with Solomon’s empire. It is noted in II Chronicles 9:24 that the gifts were brought “year by year.”
9:16 shields made he of beaten gold. These three hundred shields of gold would not have been useful for fighting, so must have been simply for decorating Solomon’s palace. Although none of these have ever been found (they were later plundered by Pharoah Shishak—note II Chronicles 12:9—and perhaps melted down for other uses), the fact that other monarchs also made golden shields is confirmed on one of the Assyrian king Sargon’s cuneiform clay prisms, in which he gloats over the capture of several shields of gold from the city of Muoasir in Urartia.
9:22 all the kings. This is an amazing testimony, but there is no reason to doubt it. Some nations may have ruled larger geographical areas at this time, but Solomon was greater in wisdom and wealth than any. For this period of history, of course (about 1000 B.C.), very little extra-Biblical data are available from archaeology or any other sources.
9:25 stalls for horses. When his heart turned away from God, Solomon acquired many horses, thereby disobeying God’s warnings against returning to Egypt to get horses (Deuteronomy 17:16; I Kings 10:28). Ruins of these stalls have been found at Megiddo, which was one of the “cities for his chariots” (I Kings 9:15, 19).