Queen Sheba Research Paper
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Queen of Sheba
Makeda, also known as the Queen of Sheba was a monarch in the ancient kingdom of Sheba; she is refered to in the Habeshan history, the New Testament, the Hebrew Bible and also the Qur'an. Other than these four sources, there are no evidences of her existence. The current location of her kingdom now is assumed to be in Yemen (Korotayev).
She is known to the Ethiopian people now as Makeda or Maqueda; throughout different sources, her name varies and she is called different things by different people during different times. Most of Black history has been suppressed throughout time, it has also been widely distorted or ignored by the modern world (Korotayev). However, there are some African traditions are so persistent that all of the power and deception of the Western academic establishment have failed to stamp them out. One of these is the story which is that of Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, and King Solomon of Israel (Comay and Brownrigg 351).
African women of antiquity were legendary for their beauty, power and lover affairs. This was recorded of the Queen of Sheba in the Hebrew account, found in the Book of Kings, where she and Solomon shared a sexual attraction for each other (Korotayev). The narrative given in the Kebra Negast - which has no parallel in the Hebrew Biblical story - is that King Solomon invited the Queen of Sheba to a banquet, serving spicy food to induce her thirst, and inviting her to stay in his palace overnight (Comay and Brownrigg 351). The Queen asked him to swear that he would not take her by force. He accepted upon the condition that she, in turn, would not take anything from his house by force. The Queen assured that she would not, slightly offended by the implication that she, a rich and powerful monarch, would engage in stealing (Hansberry and Johnson 136). However, as she woke up in the middle of the night, she was very thirsty. Just as she reached for a jar of water placed close to her bed, King Solomon appeared, warning her that she was breaking her oath, water being the most valuable of all material possessions. Thus, while quenching her thirst, she set the king free from his promise and they spent the night together.
Ethiopia was also known as Nubia, Kush, Aksum, Abyssinia and Sheba during the time (Jones). This was one thousand years before Christ; Ethiopia was ruled by a line of virgin queens. The Queen of Sheba's remarkable tradition can be found in the Kebra Nagast, which is also known as the Book of the Glory of the Kings (of Ethiopia); this has been held in the highest esteem and honor throughout the length and breadth of Abyssinia for a thousand years at least, and even to-day it is believed by every educated man in that country to contain the true history of the origin of the Solomon line of kings in Ethiopia, and is regarded as the final authority on the history of the conversion of the Ethiopians from the worship of the sun, moon, and stars to that of the Lord God of Israel.
It is said in the Hebrew Bible that during his reign, King Solomon of Israel decided to build a magnificent temple (Comay and Brownrigg 351). To announce this feat which he had accomplished; Solomon then sent forth messengers to various foreign countries in order to invite merchants from abroad to visit Jerusalem with their caravans and engage in various trades with his kingdom.
According to Ethiopian tradition, Makeda (930 BC), the Queen of Sheba, had one son, who was named Menilek I, he was also the son of king Solomon of Jerusalem, thus establishing the "Solomonic" dynasty of Ethiopia that ruled. Her story of the national epic of Ethiopia, as related in the Kebra Nagast,
or also known as The Glory of Kings which is a historic-holy book that amalgamates Arabic and Jewish legends with indigenous themes (Comay and Brownrigg 351). Her name and the location of her kingdom are vague to historians, but in Ethiopic her name means "not thus," as when she announced, "not thus is it good to worship the sun, but it is right to worship God" (Comay and Brownrigg 351). Her city was Dabra Makeda, built at her order as the capital of Ethiopia. It is said in the New Testament that Jesus had commended her for her great faith in God (Hansberry and Johnson 136).
In the sixth year of her reign she learned from her head trader of the existence of a wonderfully-governed kingdom, Israel, and determined to visit its king and observe his methods (Korotayev). Her caravan took about 10 months to get through the Ethiopian mountains to the coast, cross the Red Sea and sands of Arabia. King Solomon received her cordially, and after six months' study she concluded that his rule was successful because of the affection and respect he inspired, his organization of government, and his fairness and humility. He convinced her that Ethiopia should relinquish worship of the sun, and adopt worship of God, creator of the Universe.
As she prepared to depart it occurred to Solomon that he could beget a child from this beautiful woman (Jones). He implied that he had yet another art of government to teach her, provided a great banquet, and had her food liberally peppered, and her drinks mingled with vinegar - then suggested she should spend the night. "Promise you will not take me by force," said Makeda. Solomon swore by God that he would not, if in turn she would swear not to take anything that belonged to him. When Makeda became thirsty in the night, she drank water from a goblet placed at her bedside. Solomon, from his hidden vigil, saw her drink, and immediately claimed her - she had taken his water.
En route home, nine months and five days after leaving Jerusalem, she gave birth to a boy, whom she named Bayna Lehkem which meant "son of the wise man" (Hansberry and Johnson 136). Despite the obvious loss of her virginity -- it was a rule that a woman could be queen as long as she remained a virgin - Makeda continued to rule Ethiopia. When her son was 22 years of age, he insisted on meeting his father. Before he left for Jerusalem, Makeda reminded him that though the law in Ethiopia said a woman must rule, she had promised his father, Solomon, that "henceforth a man who is of thy seed shall reign," and she would abdicate on her son's return (Jones).
Despite every effort of Solomon to keep Makeda's son with him, the young man honored his pledge to his mother to return to her side, and not to marry any woman in Jerusalem. He returned to rule Ethiopia, having taken the name "Menilek I," accompanied by the eldest sons of the nobles of Israel. One of them delivered an oration praising the favorable climate and agricultural richness that they had found in Ethiopia, and then paid handsome tribute to its female monarch: "Thy wisdom is good and it surpasseth the wisdom of men ... none can be compared with thee in intelligence ... The understanding of thy heart is deeper than that of men, and thy wisdom exceeds Solomon in that thou hast been able to draw hither the mighty men of Israel" (Jones).
The Ethiopians believe that these elder sons who accompanied their prince brought from Jerusalem the original Ark of the Covenant, and this treasure is symbolized by a square oblong box kept in every Ethiopian Orthodox church (Korotayev).
Scholars and historians are fascinated with the variations of the legend throughout the Middle East and Africa, with its psychological implications…
Sources Used in Documents:
Comay, Joan and Ronald Brownrigg. Who's Who in the Bible:The Old Testament and the Apocrypha, The New Testament. (New York: Wing Books, 1993). pp. 351.
Jones, David E., Women Warriors: A History, Brasseys, Inc. (2000).
Hansberry, W.L. And Johnson, E.H. "Part V: Africa's Golden Past: Queen of Sheba's true identity confounds historical research," Ebony (magazine). 1965 p. 136.
Andrey Korotayev. Ancient Yemen. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).
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