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over them, surrounded with every kind of possession, and having a magnificent Throne. I found her and her people worshipping the Sun apart from God. Satan hath made their deeds pleasant unto them, and hath turned them aside from the right way, and they are not rightly directed, - lest they should worship God who manifesteth that which is in heaven and earth, and knoweth what they conceal and what they discover. God! there is no God but he, the Lord of the great Throne! Solomon said: We shall see whether thou tellest the truth or art amongst the liars. Go with this my letter, and having delivered it to them turn aside, and see what answer they return. The Queen having received it, said: O ye Nobles! verily an honourable letter hath been delivered unto me. It is from Solomon. It is in the name of the Most Merciful God; -"Rise not up against me; but come ye submissive unto me." She said: O ye Nobles! advise me in the affair; I will not resolve upon it, until ye be witnesses thereof. They said: We are men of strength and of great prowess; but the matter belongeth unto thee; see therefore what thou wilt command. She said: Verily kings when they enter a city waste it, and abuse its most powerful inhabitants; and so will they do. But I will send gifts unto them, and wait to see what the messengers will return with. So when they went to Solomon, he said: Ah! do ye present me with wealth? Verily that which God hath given unto me is better than that which he hath given you, but ye do rejoice in your gifts. Return unto them; we will surely come unto them with an army which they cannot withstand, and we shall drive them thence humbled and contemptible. O ye Nobles (he continued), which of you will bring me her Throne, before they come submissive unto me? A giant of the Genii cried, I will bring it unto thee before thou gettest up from thy place, for I am strong in this, and to be trusted. And one who had knowledge of the Scriptures: I will bring it unto thee before the twinkling of thine eye. Now when (Solomon) saw it placed before him he said: This is a favour of my Lord, that he may try me whether I am grateful or ungrateful; he that is grateful is grateful for his own benefit; but he that is ungrateful, verily the, Lord is rich and beneficent. And (Solomon) said: Alter her throne, that we may see whether she be


rightly directed, or be amongst those who are not rightly directed. And when she came, it was said, Is this thy throne? She said, It is as if it were; and knowledge hath been bestowed upon us before this, and we are resigned (unto God). But that which she worshipped besides had turned her aside, for she was of an unbelieving people. It was said to her, Enter the Palace. And when she saw it, she imagined that it was a great surface of water, and she uncovered her legs, when (Solomon) said, Verily it is a palace floored with glass. And she said, Truly I have done injury to my own soul, and I resign myself, along with Solomon, unto God, the Lord of all creatures.1

Such is the account the Qur'an gives us of Queen of Saba. What it tells us of the Throne differs but little from the Targum, where it is said to have belonged to Solomon, and to have had no other like it in any land. There were six steps of gold to ascend, and on each twelve golden Lions, while twelve eagles of gold were perched around. Four-and-twenty other eagles cast their shadow from above upon the King, and when he wished to move anywhere, these powerful eagles descending would lift the Throne and carry it wherever he wished. Thus they performed, according to the Targum, the same duty the Qur'an tells us the Genii did. But otherwise in respect of Queen of Saba, her visit to Solomon, the letter sent by him to her, etc., there is a marvellous resemblance between the two, excepting this, indeed, that in place of the Lapwing of the Qur'an, the Targum speaks of a Red-cock, — not a very vital difference after all! The whole story is told in the Targum as follows:—

At another time, when the heart of Solomon was gladdened with wine, he gave orders for the beasts of the land, the birds

1 Surah xxvii. 20-45.

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