When the Queen of Sheba made her celebrated visit to king Solomon, the Bible records that among other gifts, she brought “very much gold, and precious stones” (1 Kings 10:2). Indeed, the record goes on to say that she gave Solomon “an hundred and twenty talents of gold” (1 Kings 10:10). It now appears that a British archaeologist has located the source of the Queen’s incredible wealth.

Louise Schofield, an archaeologist and former British Museum curator, believes that she has discovered the Queen’s gold mine on the Gheralta plateau in northern Ethiopia, which scholars believe formed part of the territory of the ancient kingdom of Sheba. Further exploration is needed, but it appears that the mine is extensive, with large underground passages.

At the site of the mine, Schofield discovered carvings of a sun and crescent moon, the gods of the land of Sheba, and also an inscription in Sabaean, the language of the kingdom. Discovered nearby were remains of columns and other finely carved stones possibly belonging to a buried temple, as well as the site of an ancient battlefield.

Israel under Solomon was a vital link in the trade routes from Arabia and the east (1 King 10:15), and the merchants of Sheba traded with Tyre to Israel’s north (Ezek 27:22). It is very likely that the purpose of the visit of the Queen of Sheba included the negotiation of favourable terms of trade with Israel. The precious goods that she gave to Solomon as well as the vast amount of gold were probably intended to gain his favour.[1]

Solomon’s reign was but typical of that of the Lord Jesus Christ, “the greater than Solomon” (Matt 12:42), and in the Kingdom age the gold of Sheba shall again flow into Israel (Psa 72:15; Isa 60:6), for great will be the blessings of Christ’s reign upon all nations in that day.

[1] The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Inter-Varsity Press, 1980. pt.3, p.1431).