As a Lily Among Thorns
As a Lily Among Thorns
This night, as I sit on my throne underneath the stars in the magnificent heavens, I will imagine she is again sitting next to me. I have been fortunate to enjoy a rare occurrence in life meeting and bonding with a woman of manifest eminence. To reminisce once more about Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba is to pleasure her essence and savor again all that happened between us.
I will never forget the day she arrived in Jerusalem, the most lavish and spectacular event ever seen in our land. Thousands of people lined up for miles along the road to view the spectacle that began with the one hundred horse drawn chariots I had sent to escort the caravan when it crossed the river into Israel.
The Queen sat upright in her gold-adorned cushioned palanquin with four high corner posts. Bright colored banners hung from the post tops that also supported a white silk roof sun shield. Open privacy draperies hung along the sides. Forty muscular ebony skinned servants effortlessly carried the two long palanquin support posts upon their shoulders. Four scantly clothed dark-skinned beautiful young women walked along side carrying huge colorful peacock cooling fans, which they moved about the Queen in unison with elaborate motions.
A tall strapping servant led a large albino camel and followed behind the palanquin bearing a throne chair. Embedded with sparkling precious stones and gold threaded decorations, the purple high-back chair had an elaborate carved goat head, arm supports decorated as paws, and large hooves footrests.
Surrounding the palanquin, thirty lovely maidens dressed in bright colorful silken robes danced in unison. Twelve pipe and horn blowers and twenty-four drummers sounded out a beat pace for a multitude of guards with decorated shields and long spears. Six tall muscular guards on each side of the palanquin carried large gold decorated shields with their spears pointed toward each other to allow spectators to see and prevent anyone from approaching the Queen. In front and behind the guards, servants carried four large burning pots of frankincense and myrrh supported by posts.
Six hundred well guarded supply mules and camels, with colorful coverings, followed the palanquin train. Behind the pack animals, another one hundred Israelite chariots accompanied the caravan. As the parade moved up the curved road leading to the golden gate of Jerusalem, the smoke from the pots became visible from a great distance. Frankincense smoke warded off evil spirits while the aroma of the healing fragrance intoxicated the onlookers. The magnificent array of colors displayed in the parade, many colors never before seen in our land, captivated the onlookers.
I stood watching and contemplating the caravan moving to our gates while standing on the Temple roof overlooking the city. The dancing servants dressed in various colorful outfits along with the smoke of the frankincense gave an illusion of a flower garden floating on a cloud in motion. The sun reflected upon the guard's gold decorated shields to create an added sparkling illusion of wonder in the distance.
Who is this coming up from the wilderness like palm-trees of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, from every powder of the merchant? (Song of Songs 3:6)
The parade plan was to enter Jerusalem and arrive at the palace mid-afternoon. When the caravan arrived at the front gate leading into the city, the chariots split into two columns to line up along the city walls and reversed to face the parade as they passed into the gates. The people standing along the parade route were waving palm leaves in a festive welcome as the Queen passed.
Indeed, the arrival of Bilqis was a well-planned festival. There were uncountable thousands of visitors in Jerusalem, a city normally of ten thousand dwellers. They were excited with the spectacle they witnessed that exceeded their expectations and they rejoice