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42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
Upon returning home, she gave birth to a son, whom she named Ibn al-Hakim, "son of the wise man." Some Jewish, Islamic and Persian sources state that this child was Nebuchadnezzar (44); Ethiopians believe him to be David II (the name given him by Solomon), who later called himself Menelek, and who was the first king of the Ethiopian dynasty.
The Kebra Negast, written to establish the Solomonic kings as the basis of the Ethiopian dynasty, and Islam as the national religion, emphasizes her decree that "there shall be no more queens in Ethiopia, but only a man." Here she is portrayed telling Solomon, "Henceforward a man who is of thy seed shall reign, and a woman shall nevermore reign; only seed of thine shall reign and his seed after him." (45)
Here too, she is described writing Solomon a letter, requesting that he send her a fringe from the holy Arc of the Covenant, so that the Sabaeans might reverence it. When Solomon demanded that his counselors send their eldest sons to Sheba to spread the religion of the Israelites, his counselors rebelled and arranged for the theft of the Arc, which was then secretly transported to Sheba.
Menelik stayed with his father in Jerusalem and learnt the Law of Moses for 3 years. Menelik looked very like his father, which confused the Israelites as they had difficulty in telling the difference between Solomon and Menelik. Because of this confusion they complained to King Solomon and asked him to send Menelik home. King Solomon said if they wanted him to send his son back home the high priests would have to send their oldest son and 1000 people from each tribe of Israel with Menelik. The high priests agreed to send their oldest son and 1000 people from each tribe with Menelik.
Menelik then returned to Aksum, amongst those accompanying him was Azariah the son of the high priest (Zadok) of the temple of Jerusalem. Before the journey Azariah had a dream that told him to take the Ark of the Covenant with him to Ethiopia. Azariah did what the dream told him to do and he stole the Ark from the Temple, putting in its place a copy. Azariah told Menelik what he had done and Menelik was angry with him but Azariah convinced Menelik to take the Ark with them. Zadok, the high priest of the Temple, discovered the Ark's disappearance and informed King Solomon. King Solomon and his army followed Menelik but could not catch him. Whilst this was taking place Solomon dreamt that his son should have the Ark and he returned to Jerusalem and ordered his high Priests to keep its disappearance a secret.