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Majālis we find the following: — When the Queen was about to enter the Palace, she fancied the glass floor to be a sheet of water, and so She uncovered her legs, that is, to pass over to Solomon; and lo her legs and feet were covered with hair; which when Solomon saw, he turned his sight from her, and called out, The floor is plain glass.

Here we would ask whether there is any reality whatever in all this story. There is indeed so much as we find in the First Book of Kings, x. 1-11,1 which is as follows:—

And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions. And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord; there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he

1 See also 2 Chronicles ix. 1-9


thee king, to do judgment and justice. And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.

Now these are the facts of the Queen's visit, and all beyond mere fiction. The Jews themselves admit it to be so, — excepting, indeed, Solomon's magnificent Throne, though not its being carried aloft. The Qur'an account of Solomon ruling over Demons, Genii, etc., is in entire accord with what we have cited from the Targum; and it is curious to find, as learned Jews tell us, that the origin of the notion lay in the similarity of two Hebrew words,1 with two kindred words signifying demons and genii, and the ignorant Commentator confounding them together led to the strange error.

In concluding our notice of the fanciful tale which we have given from the Jewish Targum, we might say that it reminds one of such stories as we find in the "Arabian Nights." But strange that the Prophet could not have seen it so. Having heard it from his Jewish friends, he evidently fancied that it had been read by them in their inspired Scriptures, and as such introduced it, as we find, into the Qur'an.

Fourth. Hārūt and Mārūt. — There are many other stories in the Qur'an taken from the fanciful details of Jewish writers; but we shall content ourselves with this one other before entering on more general questions. We shall first recite the tale of those two Spirits as given in the Qur'an and Tradition, and then compare it

1 (Meaning "a lady and ladies," in Ecclesiastes ii. 8.)

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