Queen of Sheba
The Queen of Sheba ( Hebrew מַלְכַּת שְׁבָא Malkat Shebah ) is a biblical figure who is said to have made a trip to the court of King Solomon in Jerusalem in the 10th century BC . Except in the Old Testament , the earliest written mention, it also appears in the Koran and in Ethiopian legends, but not in sources from ancient Saba in today's Yemen . Whether her empire actually lay there or in the region around Aksum in Ethiopia is therefore just as unclear as the question of whether the legendary queen had a historical person as a model.
In the Old Testament history books there are references in the 1st Book of Kings (approx. 6th century BC) and in the 2nd book of the Chronicles (approx. 5th century BC). The queen learns of King Solomon's wisdom and goes to his court in Jerusalem to check what she has heard. Overwhelmed by what she sees, she gives him "a hundred and twenty quintals of gold and a great deal of spices and precious stones".
In the New Testament , the Queen of Sheba is referred to as "Queen of the South". In the end times she is to appear again to bear testimony about the people in judgment (Mt 12:42; Lk 11:31).
In Josephus it is called Queen of the South, Queen of Ethiopia which the seeds of the incense tree according Palestine brought ( Antiquitates Judaicae 2 249 .., 94 AD).
In Targum Sheni (probably 8th century AD), based on the Talmud , the biblical story is supplemented by older oral traditions. Here Solomon appears as the lord of the animals, to whom a hoopoe conveys the news of a fabulously rich Queen of Sheba.
Further information about the Queen of Sheba, who is highly valued in Islam because of her wisdom, can be found in the Koran ( sura 27 , verses 22-44) and from the authors al-Tabari , al-Tha'alabi and al-Kisa'i . In the Islamic culture it bears the name Arabic بلقيس, DMG Bilqīs (other common transcription Bilkis or Balkis , also Aziz ). (The extinct Yemen gazelle ( Gazella bilkis ) is named after her.)
The legend of the queen is of particular importance in Ethiopian history. It is recorded in the 14th century in Aksum in the work The Glory of the Kings ( Kebra Nagast ). The queen is called Mâkedâ and is said to have visited Solomon in Jerusalem. She is said to have fathered Menelik , the progenitor of the Ethiopian kings, with him . It is also said that Menelik later traveled to Jerusalem himself and from there abducted the ark with the two tablets of the Ten Commandments to Ethiopia. The Solomonids dynasty , which ruled Ethiopia from 1270 to 1975, was based on this connection between Makeda and Solomon. The last Abyssinian Emperor , Haile Selassie , described himself as the 225th successor to the son of the Queen of Sheba.
Historicity of the Queen of Sheba
It remains to be seen whether the Queen of Sheba really existed, as no mention of the queen has been found in Sabaean inscriptions from this period. As a biblical narrative , the origins can also go back to older traditions of Canaanite , Chaldean or Sumerian mythology. There is evidence that there were Arab queens, e.g. B. Zabibê, Queen of Aribi from 744 to 727 BC The written biblical text probably came into being between the 7th and 6th centuries BC. It is conceivable that King Solomon had connections to an Arab queen, but that the name Saba was added to emphasize the importance of Solomon through the connection with the then flourishing Sabaean empire . According to another theory, the story of the Queen of Sheba is based on a holy wedding . That would explain in particular why the Christian Ethiopians infer the origin of their ruling house from an illegitimate relationship between Makeda and Solomon, from which the legendary King Menelik I emerged .
The asteroid Bilkis was named after the figure.
In the oratorio in three parts Solomon (German: Salomo or Salomon ; HWV 67) by Georg Friedrich Handel , the entry of the Queen of Sheba is the introduction to the 3rd act.
The libretto is essentially based on the 1st Book of Kings ( 1 Kings 1-11 ) and the Chronicles ( 2 Chr 1-9 ). The Antiquitates Judaicae by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus , which describes the visit of the “Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia” to Jerusalem, was used for the section on the “Queen of Sheba” .
Karl Goldmark's opera, entitled The Queen of Sheba , premiered in 1875. The libretto is also based on the 1st Book of Kings.
Ottorino Respighi : Belkis, regina di Saba (Eng. Belkis, Queen of Saba; 1931). Ballet in 7 pictures. Libretto: Claudio Guastalla. Premiere 1932 Milan (Teatro alla Scala)
Cheb Khaled describes his beloved Aïcha in the song of the same name Aïcha as "Reine de Saba" (Queen of Sheba)
Christian visual art
The depiction of the Queen paying homage to Solomon has been incorporated into Christian iconography because it was typologically related to the Three Wise Men worshiping the Infant Jesus (example: Klosterneuburg Altar). Medieval legends also assign it a place in the prehistory of the discovery of the cross : on the way to Solomon, she recognizes a beam placed over a stream as the future wood of the cross.
In the American television series American Gods , which is based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman , the Queen of Sheba appears in the form of the goddess of love Bilquis, played by the Nigerian actress Yetide Badaki .
In the American monumental film Salomon and the Queen of Sheba (1959) directed by King Vidor , the Queen was played by Gina Lollobrigida .
- Rolf Beyer: The Queen of Sheba, angel and demon. A woman's myth. Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1988, ISBN 3-7857-0449-6 .
- Carl Bezold : Kebra Negast: The glory of kings. Munich 1909.
- Barbara Black Koltuv: Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Verlag JR Ruther, 1995, ISBN 3-929588-07-2 .
- EA Budge-Wallis: The Queen of Sheba and her only son Menelik. London 1932.
- Nicholas Clapp: The Queen of Sheba. Rütten and Loening, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-352-00639-3 .
- Werner Daum (Ed.): The Queen of Saba: Art, Legend and Archeology. Belser, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-7630-1748-8 .
- Daniel Friedmann: Les enfants de la reine de Saba - les juifs d'Éthiopie (Falachas): histoire, exode et intégration. Ed. Métailié, Paris 1994, ISBN 2-86424-185-4 .
- Oleg V. Volkoff: D'où vint la reine de Saba? Institut Français d'Archèologie Orientale, Le Caire 1971.
- Annelies Glander: The Queen of Sheba's Round Table, a Study of the Most Favored Daughters of Eve. Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-631-52939-2 .
- Alice Jankowski (Ed.): The Queen of Sheba and Solomon. Buske, Hamburg 1987, ISBN 3-87118-792-5 .
- Ulfrid Kleinert: The riddle of the Queen of Sheba, history and myth . Philipp-von-Zabern and Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2015, ISBN 978-3-8053-4713-6
- Dierk Lange: Ethiopia in the context of the Semitic world. The Queen of Sheba as the Canaanite goddess of love. (PDF; 310 kB) In: HP Hahn, G. Spittler: Africa and globalization. Münster 1999, pp. 269-277.
- Jacob Lassner: Demonizing the Queen of Sheba. Boundaries of Gender & Culture in Postbiblical Judaism & Medieval Islam. University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1993, ISBN 0-226-46915-8 .
- Harry St. John Philby : The Queen of Sheba. Quartet Books, London 1981.
- James B. Pritchard (Eds.): Solomon and Sheba. Phaidon, London 1977, ISBN 0-7148-1613-2 .
- Peter Stein: Saba. In: Michaela Bauks, Klaus Koenen, Stefan Alkier (Eds.): The Scientific Biblical Lexicon on the Internet (WiBiLex), Stuttgart 2006 ff.
- Roswitha G. Stiegner: The Queen of Sheba in her name. dbv, Graz 1977 (dissertation from the University of Graz 1977).
- Article on the palace find. Mirror online
- La rein de Saba à Jérusalem (French)
- Solomon : Sheet Music and Audio Files in the International Music Score Library Project
- - Georg Friedrich Handel:Entry of the Queen of Sheba
- ↑ 1 Kings 10.1-13 EU
- ↑ 2 Chr 9,1-12 EU
- ↑ http://www.koran-auf-deutsch.de/27-die-ameisen-naml
- ↑ Daum: Queen of Sheba . Pp. 82-96.
- ↑ Lange: Queen of Sheba as the Canaanite goddess of love. (PDF; 310 kB) In: Hahn, Spittler: Afrika , pp. 274–277.
- ↑ Ant. VIII. 6, 5-6.
- ↑ Pictures: Queen of Sheba before Solomon and the Three Wise Men
|SURNAME||Sheba, Queen of|
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||מַלְכַּת שְׁבָא; Shebah, Malkat|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||biblical figure|
|DATE OF BIRTH||10th century BC Chr.|
|DATE OF DEATH||10th century BC Chr.|