The Queen of Sheba was a legendary monarch of ancient Ethiopia who is referred to in just four sources: the history of the ancient Habeshan people of Ethiopia, the Hebrew
Bible (Old Testament of the Christian Bible), the New Testament of the Christian Bible, and the Holy Qur’an. Who is she, the famous yet mysterious Queen of Sheba of Ethiopia?
Today’s program will explore the story of an individual whose life is not known in full detail. What we do see clearly is that Makeda, as she is known in Ethiopia, was single-minded in her life.
That is, she was in single-minded pursuit of one goal: wisdom.
The following words are attributed to the Queen of Sheba, or Makeda, in the Kebra Nagast.
The Kebra Nagast is a historical account of the ancient rulers of Ethiopia and is also called
“The Book of the Glory of Kings.” Makeda, whose name means “Greatness,” is said to have explained to her subjects why she was departing the land in order to seek out the wise King Solomon of Jerusalem. She said, “I desire wisdom and my heart seeks to find understanding.
I am smitten with the love of wisdom.... for wisdom is far better than treasure of
gold and silver... It is a source of joy for the heart, and a bright and shining light
for the eyes, and a giver of speed to the feet, and a shield for the chest, and a helmet for the head... It makes the ears to hear and hearts to understand.”
“...And as for a kingdom, it cannot stand without wisdom, and riches cannot be preserved without wisdom....  He who heapeth up gold and silver doeth so to no profit without wisdom, but he who heapeth up wisdom – no man can steal it from his heart... I will follow the footprints of wisdom and she shall protect me forever. I will seek asylum with her, and she shall be unto me power and strength.” According to the Kebra Nagast, the queen’s loyal subjects understood and valued her pursuit of the intangible and answered her in this way: “O our Lady, as for wisdom, it is not lacking in thee, and it is because of thy wisdom that thou loved wisdom. And as for us, if thou goest we will go with thee, and if thou sittest down we will sit down with thee; our death shall be with thy death, and our life with thy life.” The Queen of Sheba is thought to have lived in the 10th century BC.