'The Land of Sheba - in French, Saba - is actually the land Sheba, the country of the Sabeans. The Sabeans of Persia were famous as magician-astrologers. The name was important enough to be adopted by the mediaeval magicians as a word of power, and it is often found inscribed in magical sigils and spells. This "magical power" idea is continued into the mythology of the mediaeval times, for in The Golden Legends, the Queen of Sheba, through the power of her magical prevision, recognizes that a piece of wood which was used as a bridge across a river was the Cross of Christ. Be that as it may, the Sabeans were famous magicians, and the French word Saba which is used to denote them is very close to sabot, or clogs. 'What is more important, Saba is very close to sabbat, used to denote the meetings of the witches. Even today, the French expression faire un sabbat means "to cause an uproar or tumult". With such expressions, we are getting very close to the exuberant spirit behind the Feast of Fools.

Mark Hedsel: "The Zelator"


According to the Hebrew Bible, the unnamed queen of the land of Sheba heard of the great wisdom of King Solomon of Israel and journeyed there with gifts of spices, gold, precious stones, and beautiful wood and to test him with questions, as recorded in First Kings 10:1-13.

It is related further that the queen was awed by Solomon's great wisdom and wealth, and pronounced a blessing on Solomon's deity. Solomon reciprocated with gifts and "everything she desired," whereupon the queen returned to her country. The queen was apparently quite rich, however, as she brought 4.5 tons of gold with her to give to Solomon (1 Kings 10:10). In the biblical passages which refer explicitly to the Queen of Sheba there is no hint of love or sexual attraction between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The two are depicted merely as fellow monarchs engaged in the affairs of state.

Later Ethiopian tradition firmly asserts that King Solomon did seduce and impregnate his guest, and provides a detailed story of how he went about it.

An ancient compilation of Ethiopian legends, Kebra Negast ('the Glory of Kings'), is dated to seven hundred years ago and relates a history of Makeda (Queen of Sheba) and her descendants. In this account King Solomon is said to have seduced the Queen of Sheba and sired her son, Menelik I, who would become the first Emperor of Ethiopia. The narrative given in the Kebra Negast - which has no parallel in the Hebrew Biblical story - is that King Solomon invited the Queen of Sheba to a banquet, serving spicy food to induce her thirst, and inviting her to stay in his palace overnight. The Queen asked him to swear that he would not take her by force. He accepted upon the condition that she, in turn, would not take anything from his house by force. The Queen assured that she would not, slightly offended by this intimation that she, a rich and powerful monarch, would engage in stealing. However, as she woke up in the middle of the night, she was very thirsty. Just as she reached for a jar of water placed close to her bed, King Solomon appeared, warning her that she was breaking her oath, water being the most valuable of all material possessions. Thus, while quenching her thirst, she set the king free from his promise and they spent the night together.