This chapter is about Solomon's wisdom and majesty. Or is it? The queen of Sheba heard about how much God had blessed him, and the news was so spectacular that she had to see for herself. She brought hard questions. She toured his architectural exhibitions. She ate at his table and watched his court assemble. When she had evaluated everything she could... and that with a critical eye, she was amazed! She was convinced that not only had Solomon's God blessed him (as had been reported to her) the blessings exceeded what she had heard. Above all, she praised God (I Kings 10:9).
After all of this, the hometown king and the foreign queen exchanged gifts, and she went her way. Solomon clearly did not NEED gifts from her, nor did the gifts that he gave cut significantly into his stash. Solomon was a constant recipient of a flow of imported gold, spices, silver, ivory, apes, peacocks, garments, armor, horses, mules, cedar lumber and linen yarn... at least, those are the things that are mentioned in this chapter. His wealth was unsurpassed. Read carefully the description of his uniquely extravagant gold plaited ivory throne and the ascent to it with all the lions and such (I Kings 10:18-20). It was an appropriate scene for a man of his stature and influence. After all, the whole known world at that time was pursuing him and his wisdom. It must have been surreal.