them; then turn thou away from them: then see what (answer) they will return.’

"(The queen) said, ‘O nobles, verily to me hath a gracious epistle been cast down: verily it is from Solomon: verily it is "In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate! Rise not up against me, but come unto me submissively 1."’ She said, ‘O nobles, instruct ye me in my matter: I do not decide a matter until ye bear witness.’ They said, ‘We are men of strength and of mighty courage and command (belongeth) unto thee: therefore see thou what thou wilt command.’ She said, ‘Verily when kings enter a city, they destroy it and make humble the most honoured of its people, even so do they. And verily I do send unto them a gift and see with what (answer) the messengers return.’

"Accordingly when (the messenger) came to Solomon, (the king) said, ‘Do ye increase my goods? since what God hath brought me is better than what He hath brought you. Nay, ye boast of your gift. Return thou to them: for indeed we shall come to them with hosts which they cannot resist, and we shall expel them from it (the country) humbled, and they shall be small.’ He said, ‘O nobles, which of you will bring me her throne, before they come to me submissively ?’ An 'Ifrit of the jinns said, ‘I shall bring it to thee before thou risest up from thy place, and verily I am indeed able to do it (and am) faithful.’ He who had

1 Or "As Muslims."

knowledge from the Book said, ‘I shall bring it to thee before thy glance shall return 1 to thee.’ When, therefore, (Solomon) saw it placed beside him, he said, ‘This is from my Lord's favour, that he may prove me, whether I be grateful or ungrateful. And he who is grateful is grateful indeed for himself, and he who is ungrateful, verily my Lord is rich and gracious.’

"He said, ‘Alter her throne for her! we shall see whether she is rightly guided or is among those who are not guided aright.’ Accordingly, when she came, it was said, ‘Is this thy throne?’ She said, ‘It is as if it were.’ ‘And we were brought knowledge before she was, and became Muslims: And that which she used to worship instead of God hath led her astray: verily she is of an unbelieving people.’ It was said to her, ‘Enter the palace.’ When therefore she saw it, she accounted it an abyss, and she uncovered her legs. He said, ‘Verily it is a palace paved with glass.’ She said, ‘O my Lord, verily I have wronged my soul, and I resign 2 myself along with Solomon to God, the Lord of the worlds.’"

This narrative omits some details that are mentioned in the Targum and differs from the latter in a few points. The Targum states that the throne 3 a belonged to Solomon, and that twenty-

1 i.e. In the twinkling of an eye.
1 Or "Become a Muslim."
1 Vide I Kings x. 18 sqq., and 2 Chron. ix. 17 sqq.