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21 March 2011

King Solomon's Lost Ring (Part 1)

by Kathleen A. Staley

Kingdom of Kush- Nubia

1000 BC

The Old Testament of the Bible and other resources, describe a variety of events, involving wealthy rulers named Sheba and Solomon. Tales of angel visitations and transformations also were mentioned in association with Queen Sheba and King Solomon.

Descendant of the first female Pharoah, Hatshepsut, Sheba was also called Makeda and other names. She was the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba and ruled Lower Egypt and Nubia, modern day Ethiopia and Sudan.

King Solomon of Israel was a wise ruler, with a kingdom of devoted subjects, loyal to one God. Under Solomon’s rule, religion became a vital part of his kingdom.

At the beginning of Solomon’s reign, he defied God and refused to obey anyone’s law, but his own. He had multiple wives, which was forbidden by Jewish Law and many children were born as a result of his sin.  Solomon had a visitation from an angel and an enlightening miracle happened. He then devoted himself to God and built the first Temple in Jerusalem. Solomon and his followers refrained from worshipping Ra and the other Egyptian Gods and repented for their sins.

There were many reported miracles related to Moses, Pharaoh Ramses II and other Egyptians. Sheba desired to learn about true faith.  After hearing about Solomon’s Wisdom and faith in God, the Queen desired to learn from Solomon’s teachings, in order to be a more powerful ruler. Her kingdom was in a constant state of Chaos and engaged in land disputes. The gold laden mountains of Kush brought many prospectors and criminals to Nubia.

From the top of the highest peak, Kush served as an astronomical observatory and housed the royal gold. Kush was referred to as “City of Gold”. The people worshipped the Egyptian Gods. Invasion of the wealthy kingdom was eminent and the rugged conditions made it difficult to defend the fortress. Thousands of Nubians died, protecting the steep slopes from their enemies. The Queen desperately needed help defending Kush, from falling to the Arabians.

Queen Sheba traveled with her entourage, with two hundred guards, carrying four and a half tons of Gold. She planned to offer the Gold to Solomon, in exchange for protection against invasion. Along with the enormous fortune in Gold, Sheba brought Spices, precious stones and items made from Amber, and fossilized, carved wood. She was willing to give up her entire fortune, to have an opportunity to possess Solomon’s Power and Wisdom.

The journey was long, arduous and dangerous across the mountains of Kush to the Blue Nile. They made their way along, through Egypt, past the Great Pyramids. Sheba’s ships loaded the treasure and headed north to the Land of Canaan. The heavy gold slowed their progress. It took several months to reach Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.

The Queen heard of a magic signet ring, in the possession of Solomon that would give her the ability to speak to and control Warriors, Demons, Jinns, Animals and Birds.  The ring was allegedly given to Solomon, by the Archangel Michael and helped to vanquish the evil demons in the kingdom.

Sheba expected to be able to trade the gold, for the ring, in order to vanquish her enemies. She was disappointed when King Solomon refused to bargain. He claimed that the ring was a gift from God and nothing on Earth was as valuable to him. The ring symbolized the power of God, Faith and Eternal Life.

The King was enamored with Sheba’s beauty and grace. He offered her everything she desired, but the ambitious Queen remained determined to change Solomon’s mind. Several other rings were offered to Sheba, but she refused to accept anything, but the signet ring, made in Egypt, during the reign of Ramses II.

The magic ring was forged by an Israelite, after Moses led the slaves to the Promised Land. The Fire and Water symbols, on the ring, formed a hexagram, a six pointed star, three triangles overlapped, within a circle. The “Star of David” became the symbol of the God of Israel.

 According to the King, the Archangel Michael appeared in a vision. Michael entrusted Solomon with the task of guarding the ring from falling into the hands of enemies. Power in the ring could only be used for benevolent, justified and righteous actions, in the name of God. The golden ring was King Solomon’s most prized possession and no one else was allowed to touch it or look at it. The wisdom of Heaven was infinitely more valuable to Solomon than Gold and Earthly riches. He, alone, knew how to activate the power in the ring.  

Sheba did everything in her power, to entice and seduce King Solomon. He refused to let her have a glimpse of the sacred ring. She begged Solomon to demonstrate the power of the fabled item and asked if she could at least verify the ring’s existence. She taunted and insulted the King in an attempt to shame him into revealing the Magic Ring. He remained steadfast and refused to indulge Sheba’s whim. Resentful and full of anger, Sheba prepared to return to Kush. She refused to leave without the prize.

The Queen’s royal aid, Anupu, carried Sheba’s personal belongings. The Queen had a replica of the signet ring made from illustrations. The plan was to exchange the replica for the authentic one, but she was unable locate the hiding place.

Anupu protected the Queen with his life and took it upon himself to search for the real ring. While Sheba was sleeping, he took the replica and went to Solomon’s private chamber. He watched carefully, waiting for the chance to enter the King’s room. He quietly observed, as the King admired the ring, placed it in a small stone box and concealed it in an urn.

 Anupu waited until the King was asleep. He replaced the ring, with the duplicate and absconded with the real one. He returned to Sheba’s tent and was well paid for the prize. The caravan left Jerusalem quietly, in the middle of the night.

Sheba was pleased and was certain the ring would give her the Power and Wisdom of Solomon. Anupu carried the ring and guarded it fiercely. They were unaware that the ring they carried was also a duplicate. Solomon was the only one who knew where the real one was hidden.

When the caravan returned to Kush, the Queen placed the ring on her finger. An army of Arabian warriors attacked the palace. Sheba tried to release the power in the ring, but nothing happened. Her soldiers defended the palace, but all were slain. Sheba retreated into an underground chamber.

Sheba was furious and cursed the name of Solomon. Still determined to possess the magic ring, she sent a messenger hawk, with a note to the King, proclaiming her undying love and devotion.

When Solomon received the message, he was overjoyed and planned to wed Sheba. Convoys of messengers went back and forth from Kush to Jerusalem. Solomon showered the Queen with elaborate gifts and she sent them all back. The only way she would agree to marry, would be if Solomon gave her the magic ring for a wedding gift. The situation caused tension and unrest between the kingdoms.

Jerusalem was invaded from the north, by Turkey and Solomon retreated to his private domain, inside Mt. Sinai, a giant mountain, surrounded on all sides by treacherous waters and inaccessible steep cliffs. He always felt safe in the place he had his visitation from Archangel Michael.

Solomon sent a messenger hawk to give a message to Sheba, with the location of his sanctuary. The Queen returned the message and agreed to come to Sinai. She sent several scouts ahead, with instructions to find the sanctuary and the location of the ring. Sheba, with her loyal aid Anupu, arrived a month later.

She would stop at nothing to attain her prize, even the murder of Solomon, if necessary. Before greeting the King, she prepared an elixir of a sedative and concealed it in her robe. The handmaiden anointed her with fragrant oils and prepared a seductive aphrodisiac.

When Sheba entered the chamber, her oiled skin shimmered in the candlelight. Solomon was stunned, mesmerizing and completely enchanted by her presence and awestruck with her beauty. She tantalized him with a seductive dance. In the middle of the exotic and provocative dance, Sheba dropped her clothing from her nude body. Solomon was possessed by lust and at that moment, forgot about his royal responsibilities. He studied and watched Sheba’s every move.

Sheba was told by her spies that Solomon always wore the ring on his right hand. The king was spellbound by Sheba’s loveliness. Solomon was overtaken by feelings of love and lust. A servant brought a tray of fruit and wine. While Solomon’s back was turned, Sheba dropped the elixir in the king’s goblet and waited for him to drink.

The King’s flesh felt as though it was on fire. He eagerly gulped the wine and demanded more. His head was swimming in the ocean of Sheba’s loveliness and charm. The elixir caused hallucinations and for a moment, he thought he was in the presence of an angelic enchantress. Solomon could not resist the temptation and lunged forward to take Sheba into his arms. She begged him to demonstrate the power of the ring or he could not have her.

Under the Queen’s spell, he proceeded to show her the ring and pointed to the symbol of the hexagram. He explained that to use the ring, one must be a true believer of God and must be pure of heart. He touched the smooth gold and caressed his prized possession. He turned himself into a gigantic bird, to prove the ring was authentic. He spread his wings and spoke in the secret language of the Birds. Sheba was awestruck at the sight. More determined than ever, to possess the ring, she continued the seduction.

When Solomon returned to human form, he was pleased when Sheba finally agreed to become his lover and consort. Although it was forbidden, by law, to consort with non-believers, Solomon claimed he was above the law of Man and God. After making passionate love, Sheba’s elixir caused Solomon to fall into a deep unconsciousness.

Sheba removed the ring and placed it on one of her fingers. She spoke an Egyptian incantation and mocked Solomon and his God. She transformed herself into a large messenger hawk and flew away from Sinai, with the ring clasped in her talons. Anupu and the others returned to Kush without the Queen. They were told Sheba and Solomon, were going to be married in Nubia.

When Solomon woke up, he was livid and declared war on Sheba and the Kingdom of Kush. Thousands of soldiers were sent to destroy Sheba’s fortress. King Solomon went with them to retrieve his sacred ring.

Sheba’s forces met them in battle, in the Sudan, near Khartoum. Hundred on both sides were needlessly slaughtered. Sheba wore the ring and was guarded by ten thousand warriors. When Solomon’s army approached, Sheba raised her arm and attempted to place a curse, with the ring. Nothing happened. She tried to transform into a bird again but was unsuccessful. The ring had lost its’ power, due to her faithless soul and selfish nature. Ironically, the curse was placed on Sheba, for mocking the power of God. Anupu guarded the ring during the battle.  

Sheba and Solomon both were killed, fighting over the ring. Neither of them was pure of heart. Their dark, selfish souls, kept them from finding the true value of the ring. Anupu disappeared that bloody day and was never found. Somewhere near Khartoum, the magic ring was buried under the shifting desert sands.


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