The Legend of Queen Makeda of Sheba, Ethiopia

by Joseph Omoniyi
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Firstly, Sheba is one of the countries that provided King Solomon with his gifts. So she was rich and had precious commodities. It has been considered that since her country is situated to the south of Judah, it must have been situated in South Arabia. Another cause that made scholars of the Bible believe the origin of the Queen of Sheba could have been from South Arabia was the fact that the land of Sheba was mentioned with rich and gallant places, including Dedan, the trade center of those areas.

However, the Ethiopian Solomonic period historians think that Sheba is not in South Arabia but in northern Ethiopia. They state that it is not necessary to think of the connection between the Ophir of the Bible and the African Sofala to explain the skills of the navigators of the Red Sea. They add that it is only right to understand Ophir as Iraq and can be explained by the common knowledge of the sea trade on the Red Sea by the writers of the Old Testament. They also add that it is not at any rate clear why the Queen of Sheba must be found in South Arabia. She was rich, and her country was a well-organized state with a long-established culture.

The story of Queen Makeda of Sheba is very important to the Ethiopian people. It was foretold by King Solomon for the union between the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. Her visit to King Solomon is described in the Bible quite explicitly. When the Israelites had a king, it became their custom to visit the tabernacle at the time of their great feast. This is what Queen Makeda did, and she was traveling with all of her royal family. Solomon fell deeply in love with the Queen, and he courted her with much pageantry and display (1st Kings 10:9). However, the Bible does not give explicit information about the Queen who visited Solomon in Jerusalem. It gives just a few clues.

It is to historians and people knowing the Amharic language that we are generally due our information about this famous queen of Sheba as the events concerning her belong to the ancient world. To add, Queen Makeda is always regarded by the Ethiopians as of royal blood, and the people venerated her for so long, and she played a great role in the history of Ethiopia. The Queen Makeda’s story is particularly important and interesting for a number of reasons.

The visit of Makeda to King Solomon of Jerusalem and the consequent visit of her son Menelik to the king, her becoming a follower of the Jewish religion, did give rise to the two nations, Ethiopians and Israelis, having a large number of commonalities between us. We were thus surprised by the influences. Small wonder that the role of Queen Makeda in the history of Ethiopia has continued to be known as a well-translated story in many languages along with the history of Israelites as reported in the Bible.

The story of Queen Makeda of Sheba is generally known the world over from the Bible and through the Arab and Ethiopian religious traditions and legends. She is referred to as “Queen of the South.” She was beautiful, wise, wealthy, and well-educated and governed her empire very efficiently. She was a follower of the Jewish religion. Queen Makeda is generally known to Ethiopians and most of the countries of the world.

Most of the Ethiopian Kingdoms consider her as a queen of their history. It is with Western people that Queen Makeda of Sheba is less known. Queen Makeda’s visit to King Solomon of Jerusalem was both economically and politically motivated activity, and she got pregnant from the visit and gave birth to a son, Menelik, whose offspring, the Solomonic dynasty, ruled Ethiopia for 3,000 years.

The tale of Queen Makeda has been passed down through generations, evolving into a rich tapestry of myth and history. Stories of her intelligence, wealth, and journey to meet King Solomon have captivated imaginations for centuries. Before embarking on her legendary journey to Jerusalem, Queen Makeda ruled over a prosperous kingdom in Sheba, known for its wealth in gold, spices, and exotic goods. Her court was renowned for its splendor and sophistication.

Driven by a desire to test King Solomon’s renowned wisdom, Queen Makeda set out on a fateful journey to Jerusalem, carrying gifts fit for a queen. Her decision would pave the way for a meeting that would change both their lives forever. When Queen Makeda finally met King Solomon, their meeting was marked by mutual admiration and intellectual exchange. Their conversations revealed the depth of their wisdom and the respect they held for each other’s kingdoms.

Through their interactions, Queen Makeda and King Solomon forged a bond that transcended borders, sharing knowledge, traditions, and resources. Their meeting laid the foundation for a lasting legacy of diplomatic relations between Sheba and Israel.

Queen Makeda of Sheba, also known as the Queen of Ethiopia, was renowned for her kingdom’s immense wealth and thriving trade networks. Sheba’s riches were well-known throughout the region, attracting merchants and travelers from far and wide. The kingdom’s strategic location played a key role in its economic success, allowing Queen Makeda to establish prosperous trade routes that brought exotic goods and treasures to her land.

Queen Makeda’s wise governance and shrewd decision-making further solidified Sheba’s position as a powerhouse in the ancient world. Her keen intellect and diplomatic skills enabled her to maintain peaceful relations with neighboring kingdoms while expanding her own influence. Under her rule, Sheba flourished both economically and culturally, earning Queen Makeda a reputation as a wise and just ruler.

The legacy of Queen Makeda extended beyond her own reign, leaving a lasting impact on the generations that followed. Her descendants were revered for their connection to the legendary queen, with her lineage becoming a source of pride and honor for the royal family of Ethiopia. The bloodline of Queen Makeda was believed to carry with it a sense of divine right and legitimacy, further cementing her place in history as a revered matriarch.

The heritage of Queen Makeda served as a reminder of the kingdom’s rich history and illustrious past, inspiring future rulers to uphold the traditions and values set forth by their legendary ancestor. Her presence looms large in Ethiopian culture and history, with her story becoming woven into the fabric of the nation’s identity.

In Ethiopian society, Queen Makeda is celebrated as a symbol of female empowerment and leadership, breaking barriers in a male-dominated world to become a legendary queen. Her influence extends beyond the borders of Ethiopia, with her story captivating audiences around the globe and solidifying her place as a revered figure in world history.

Read also: Add Power and Courage to an Average Woman and You’ll Have Queen Kandake of Ethiopia

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