by E.A. Wallis Budge, 
King Solomon sent to his son the commander of his army
SOLOMON the King sent the commander of his army, on whose hand he was wont to lean, with gifts and meat and drink to entertain that traveler. And the commander set out with a great number of wagons, and he came to BAYNA LEḤKEM, and embraced him, and gave him everything that SOLOMON the King had sent unto him. And he said unto him, “Make haste and come with me, for the heart of the King is burnt up as with fire with the love of thee. Peradventure he will find out for himself whether thou art his own son or his brother; for in thine appearance and in thy conversation (or, manner) thou art in no way different from him. And now, rise up quickly, for my lord the King said unto me, ‘Haste and bring him hither to me in honor, and comfort, and with suitable service, and in joy and gladness.'” And the young man answered and said unto him, “I thank God, the Lord of Israel, that I have found grace with my lord the King without having seen his face; his word hath rejoiced me. And now I will put my trust in the Lord of Israel that He will show me the King, and will bring me back safely to my mother the Queen, and to my country ETHIOPIA.”
JOAS (?), the son of YÔDÂḤÊ, the commander of the army of King Solomon, answered and said unto BAYNA LEḤKEM, “My lord, this is a very small matter, and thou wilt find far greater joy and pleasure with my lord the King. And as concerning what thou sayest, ‘my mother’ and ‘my country’, SOLOMON the King is better than thy mother, and this our country is better than thy country. And as for thy country, we have heard that it is a land of cold and cloud, and a country of glare and burning heat, and a region of snow and ice. And when the sons of NOAH, SHEM, and HAM, and JAPHET, divided the world among them, they looked on thy country with wisdom and saw that, although it was spacious and broad, it was a land of whirlwind and burning heat, and [therefore] gave it to CANAAN, the son of HAM, as a portion for himself and his seed forever. But the land that is ours is the land of inheritance (i.e., the promised land), which God hath given unto us according to the oath that He swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey, where sustenance is [ours] without anxiety, a land that yieldeth fruit of every kind in its season without exhausting labor, a land which God keepeth watch over continually from one year to the beginning of the revolution of the next. All this is thine, and we are thine, and we will be thine heirs, and thou shalt dwell in our country, for thou art the seed of DAVID, the lord of my lord, and unto thee belongeth this throne of Israel.”
The headmen of the merchant TÂMRÎN answered and said unto BENAIAH, “Our country is the better. The air (i.e., climate) of our country is good, for it is without burning heat and fire, and the water of our country is good and sweet, and floweth in rivers, moreover the tops of our mountains run with water. And we do not do as ye do in your country, that is to say, dig very deep wells [in search of] water, and we do not die through the heat of the sun; but even at noonday we hunt wild animals, namely, the wild buffaloes, and gazelles, and birds, and small animals. And in the winter God taketh heed unto us from [one] year to the beginning of the course of the next. And in the springtime, the people eat what they have trodden with the foot as [in] the land of Egypt, and as for our trees they produce good crops of fruit, and the wheat, and the barley, and all our fruits, and cattle are good and wonderful. But there is one thing that ye have wherein ye are better than we are, namely wisdom, and because of if we are journeying to you.”
JOAS (read BENAIAH), the commander of the army of King Solomon, answered [saying], “What is better than wisdom? For wisdom hath founded the earth, and made strong the heavens, and fettered the waves of the sea so that it might not cover the earth. However, rise up and let us go to my lord, for his heart is greatly moved by love for thee, and he hath sent me to bring thee [to him] with all the speed possible.”
The son of the Queen rose up and arrayed JOAS (BENAIAH), the son of YÔDÂḤÊ, and the fifty men who were in his retinue, in gorgeous raiment, and they rose up to go to JERUSALEM to SOLOMON the King. And when they came nigh unto the place where the horses were exercised and trained, JOAS (BENAIAH), the son of YÔDÂḤÊ, went on in front, and came to the place where SOLOMON was, and he told him that [the son of the Queen] was well-favored in his appearance, and that his voice was pleasant, and that he resembled him in form, and that his whole bearing was exceedingly noble. And the King said unto him, “Where is he? Did I not send thee forth to bring him as quickly as possible?” And JOAS (BENAIAH) said unto him, “He is here, I will bring him quickly.” And JOAS (BENAIAH) went and said unto the young man, “Rise up, O my master, and come”; and making BAYNA LEḤKEM go quickly he brought him to the King’s Gate. And when all the soldiers saw him they made obeisance unto him, and they said, “Behold, King SOLOMON hath gone forth from his abode.” And when the men who inside came forth, they marveled, and they went back to their places, and again they saw the King upon his throne, and wondering they went forth again and looked at the young man, and they were incapable of speaking and of saying anything. And when JOAS (BENAIAH), the son of YÔDÂḤÊ, came in again to announce to the King the arrival of the young man, there was none standing before the King, but all ISRAEL had thronged outside to see him.
King Solomon held intercourse with his son
JOAS (BENAIAH), the son of YÔDÂḤÊ, went out and brought BAYNA LEḤKEM inside. And when King SOLOMON saw him he rose up and moved forward to welcome him, and he loosed the band of his apparel from his shoulder, and he embraced him, with his hands [resting] on his breast, and he kissed his mouth, and forehead, and eyes, and he said unto him, “Behold, my father David hath renewed his youth and hath risen from the dead.” And SOLOMON the King turned round to those who had announced the arrival of the young man, and he said unto them, “Ye said unto me, ‘He resembleth thee,’ but this is not my stature, but the stature of David my father in the days of his early manhood, and he is more handsome than I am.” And SOLOMON the King rose up straightway, and he went into his chamber, and he arrayed the young man in apparel made of cloth embroidered with gold, and a belt of gold, and he set a crown upon his head and a ring upon his finger. And having arrayed him in glorious apparel which bewitched the eyes, he seated him upon his throne, that he might be equal in rank to himself. And he said unto the nobles and officers of Israel, “O ye who treat me with contumely among yourselves and say that I have no son, look ye, this is my son, the fruit that hath gone forth from my body, whom God, the Lord of Israel, hath given me, when I expected it not.”
His nobles answered and said unto him, “Blessed be the mother who hath brought forth this young man, and blessed be the day wherein thou hadst union with the mother of this young man. For there hath risen upon us from the root of JESSE a shining man who shall be king of the posterity of our posterity of his seed. Concerning his father, none shall ask questions, and none shall say, ‘Whence is his coming?’ Verily he is an Israelite of the seed of DAVID, fashioned perfectly in the likeness of his father’s form and appearance; we are his servants, and he shall be our king.” And they brought unto him gifts, each according to his greatness. And the young man took that ring which his mother had given him when they were alone together, and he said unto his father, “Take this ring, and remember the word which thou didst speak unto the Queen, and give unto us a portion of the fringe of the covering of the Tabernacle of the Law of God, so that we may worship it all our days, and all those who are subject unto us, and those who are in the kingdom of the Queen.” And the King answered and said unto him, “Why givest thou me the ring as a sign? Without thy giving me a sign I discovered the likeness of thy form to myself, for thou art indeed my son.”
The merchant TÂMRÎN spake again unto King Solomon, saying, “Hearken, O King, unto the message which thy handmaiden, the Queen my mistress, sent by me: ‘Take this young man, anoint him, consecrate him, and bless him, and make him king over our country, and give him the command that a woman shall never again reign [in this country], and send him back in peace. And peace be with the might of thy kingdom, and with thy brilliant wisdom. As for me, I never wished that he should come where thou art, but he urged me exceedingly that he should be allowed to come to thee. And besides, I was afraid for him lest he should fall sick on the journey, either through thirst for water, or the heat of the sun, and I should bring my grey hairs down to the grave with sorrow. Then I put my trust in the holy, heavenly Zion, the Tabernacle of the Law of God, that thou wilt does not withhold it in thy wisdom. For thy nobles cannot return to their houses and look upon their children, by reason of the abundance of wisdom and food which thou givest them, according to their desire, and they say, The table of SOLOMON is better for us than enjoying and gratifying ourselves in our own houses. And because of this I, through my fear, sought protection so that thou mightest not establish him with thee, but mightest send him [back] to me in peace, without sickness and suffering, in love and in peace, that my heart might rejoice at having encountered thee.'”
The King answered and said unto him, “Besides travailing with him and suckled him, what else hath a woman to do with a son? A daughter belongeth to the mother, and a boy to the father. God cursed EVE, saying, ‘Bring forth children in anguish and with sorrow of heart, and [after] thy bringing forth shall take place thy return to thy husband’; with an oath, He said, ‘Bring forth,’ and having sworn, thy return to thy husband [shall follow]. As for this my son, I will not give him to the Queen, but I will make him king over Israel. For this is my firstborn, the first of my race whom God hath given me.”
Then SOLOMON sent unto the young man evening and morning dainty meats, and apparel of honor, and gold and silver. And he said unto him, “It is better for thee to dwell here in our country with us, where the House of God is, and where the Tabernacle of the Law of God is, and where God dwelleth.” And the young man his son sent a message unto him, saying, “Gold, and silver, and [rich] apparel are not wanting in our country. But I came hither in order to hear thy wisdom, and to see thy face, and to salute thee, and to pay homage to thy kingdom, and to make obeisance to thee, and then [I intended thee] to send me away to my mother and to my own country. For no man hateth the place where he was born, and every one loveth the things of his native country. And though thou givest me dainty meats I do not love them, and they are not suitable for my body, but the means whereby I grow and become strong are those that are gratifying to me.
Although [thy] country pleaseth me even as both a garden, yet is not my heart gratified therewith; the mountains of the land of my mother where I was born are far better in my sight. And as for the Tabernacle of the God of Israel, if I adore it where I am, it will give me glory, and I shall look upon the House of God which thou hast built, and I will make the offering and make supplication to it there. And as for ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God, give me [a portion of] the fringe of the covering thereof, and I will worship it with my mother and with all those who are subject to my sovereignty. For my Lady, the Queen hath already rooted out all those who served idols, and those who worshipped strange objects, and stones and trees, and she hath rooted them out and hath brought them to ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God. For she had heard from thee and had learned, and she did according to thy word, and we worship God.” And the King was not able to make his son consent to remain [in JERUSALEM] with all [his persuadings].
SOLOMON asked His Son Questions
Again SOLOMON held converse with his son when he was alone, and he said unto him, “Why dost thou wish to depart from me? What dost do thou lack here that thou wouldst go to the country of the heathen? And what is it that driveth thee to forsake the kingdom of Israel?” And his son answered and said unto him, “It is impossible for me to live here. Nay, I must go to my mother, thou favoring me with thy blessing. For thou hast a son who is better than I am, namely ÎYÔRBE‛ÂM (REHOBOAM) who was born of thy wife lawfully, whilst my mother is not thy wife according to the law.”
The King answered and said unto him, “Since thou speakest in this wise, according to the law I myself am not the son of my father DAVID, for he took the wife of another man whom he caused to be slain in battle, and he begot me by her; but God is compassionate and He hath forgiven him. Who is wickeder and more foolish than men? and who is as compassionate and as wise as God? God hath made me of my father, and thee hath He made of me, according to His Will. And as for thee, O my son, thou fearer of our Lord God, do not violence to the face of thy father, so that in times to come thou mayest not meet with violence from him that shall go forth from thy loins, and that thy seed may prosper upon the earth. My son REHOBOAM is a boy six years old, and thou art my firstborn son, and thou hast come to reign, and to lift up the spear of him that begot thee. Behold, I have been reigning for nine and twenty years, and thy mother came to me in the seventh year of my kingdom, and please God, He shall make me attain to the span of the days of my father.
When I shall be gathered to my fathers, thou shalt sit upon my throne, and thou shalt reign in my stead and the elders of Israel shall love thee exceedingly; and I will make a marriage for thee, and I will give thee as many queens and concubines as thou desirest. And thou shalt be blessed in this land of inheritance with the blessing that God gave unto our fathers, even as He covenanted with NOAH His servant, and with ABRAHAM His friend, and the righteous men their descendants after them down to DAVID my father. Thou seest me, a weak man, upon the throne of my fathers, and thou shalt be like myself after me, and thou shalt judge nations without number, and families that cannot be counted. And the Tabernacle of the God of Israel shall belong to thee and to thy seed, whereto thou shalt make offerings and make prayers to ascend. And God shall dwell within it forever and shall hear thy prayers therein, and thou shalt do the good pleasure of God therein, and thy remembrance shall be in it from generation to generation.”
His son answered and said unto him, “O my lord, it is impossible for me to leave my country and my mother, for my mother made me swear by her breasts that I would not remain here but would return to her quickly, and also that I would not marry a wife here. And the Tabernacle of the God of Israel shall bless me wheresoever I shall be, and thy prayer shall accompany me whithersoever I go. I desired to see thy face, and to hear thy voice, and to receive thy blessing, and now I desire to depart to my mother in safety.”
The King planned to send away his son with the children of the nobles
Then SOLOMON the King went back into his house, and he caused to be gathered together his councilors, and his officers, and the elders of his kingdom, and he said unto them, “I am not able to make this young man consent [to dwell here]. And now, hearken ye unto me and to what I shall say unto you. Come, let us make him king of the country of Ethiopia, together with your children; ye sit on my right hand and on my left hand, and in like manner the eldest of your children shall sit on his right hand and on his left hand. Come, O ye councilors and officers, let us give [him] your firstborn children, and we shall have two kingdoms; I will rule here with you, and our children shall reign there. And I put my trust in God that a third time He will give me seed, and that a third king will be to me.
Now BALṬÂSÔR, the King of RÔM, wisheth that I would give my son to his daughter, and to make him with his daughter king over the whole country of RÔM. For besides her he hath no other child, and he hath sworn that he will only make the king a man who is of the seed of David my father. And if we rule there we shall be three kings. And REHOBOAM shall reign here over ISRAEL. For thus saith the prophecy of David my father: ‘The seed of SOLOMON shall become three heads of kingdoms upon the earth.’ And we will send unto them priests, and we will ordain laws for them, and they shall worship and serve the God of Israel under the three royal heads. And God shall be praised by the race of His people Israel, and be exalted in all the earth, even as my father wrote in his Book, saying, ‘Tell the nations that God is king’; and again he said, ‘Announce to the peoples His work, praise Him and sing ye unto Him’; and again he saith, ‘Praise God with a new song.
His praise is in the congregation of the righteous, ISRAEL shall rejoice in his Creator.’ Unto us belongeth the glory of sovereignty and we will praise our Creator. And the nations who serve idols shall look upon us, and they shall fear us, and make us kings over them, and they shall praise God and fear Him. And now, come ye, let us make this young man king, and let us send him away with your children, ye who possess wealth and position. According to the position and wealth that ye have here shall your children [rule] there. And they shall see the ordering of royalty, and we will establish them according to our law, and we will direct them and give them commands and send them away to reign there.”
The priests, and the officers, and the councilors answered and said unto him, “Do thou send thy firstborn, and we will send our children also according to thy wish. Who can resist the commandment of God and the king? They are the servants of thee and of thy seed as thou hast proclaimed. If thou wishest, thou canst sell them and their mothers to be slaves; it is not for us to transgress thy command and the command of the Lord thy God.” And then they made ready to do for them (i.e., their children) what it was right to do, and to send them into the country of Ethiopia so that they might reign there and dwell there forever, they and their seed from generation to generation.
They made the Son of SOLOMON King
They made ready the ointment of the oil of kingship, and the sounds of the large horn, and the small horn, and the flute and the pipes, and the harp and the drum filled the air, and the city resounded with cries of joy and gladness. And they brought the young man into the Holy of Holies, and he laid hold upon the horns of the altar, and sovereignty was given unto him by the mouth of ZADOK the priest, and by the mouth of JOAS (BENAIAH) the priest, the commander of the army of King Solomon, and he anointed him with the holy oil of the ointment of kingship. And he went out from the house of the Lord, and they called his name DAVID, for the name of a king came to him by the law. And they made him ride upon the mule of King SOLOMON, and they led him round about the city, and said, “We have appointed thee from this moment”; and then they cried out to him, “Bâḥ [Long] live the royal father!” And there were some who said, “It is meet and right that thy dominion of ETHIOPIA shall be from the River of Egypt to the west of the sun (i.e., to the setting sun); blessed be thy seed upon the earth!—and from SHOA to the east of India, for thou wilt please [the people of these lands].
The Lord God of Israel shall be unto thee a guide, and the Tabernacle of the Law of God shall be with all that thou lookest upon. And all thine enemies and foes shall be overthrown before thee, and completion and finish shall be unto thee and unto thy seed after thee; thou shalt judge many nations and none shall judge thee.” And again his father blessed him and said unto him, “The blessing of heaven and earth shall be thy blessing,” and all the congregation of Israel said, “Amen.” And his father also said unto ZADOK the priest, “Make him know and tell him concerning the judgment and decree of God which he shall observe there” [in ETHIOPIA].
‘The Contents of the Kebra NagastT Described [ch1-59]’
‘The Contents of the Kebra Nagast Described [ch 60-117]’
‘THE GLORY OF KINGS’- [ch1-10]
‘The Glory of Zion’-[ch11-20]’
The queen came to Solomon the king’-[ch-21-25]
‘Solomon gave Commandments to the Queen’-[ch 26-29]
‘The King of Ethiopia traveled’-[ch 30-34]
‘They made the Son of King Solomon’- [ch 35-39]
‘ The Ten Commandments’-[ch 40-44]
‘They carried away Zion’-[ch 45-49]
‘The Wagon was given to Ethiopia’-[ch 50-55]
‘The Fall of Zadok the Priest’- [ch 56-60]
‘The sin King Solomon’-[ch 61-65]
‘The Question of Solomon'[ch 66-69]
‘Mary the daughter of David’-[ch 70-75]
‘The King of Persia’-[ch 76-80]
‘Abraham traveled to Egypt’-[ch 81-87]
‘This is what ye shall eat: the clean and the unclean’-[ch 88-91]
‘The first war of the Ethiopian King’-[ch 92-95]
‘Prophecy about Christ’-[ch 96-99]
The Ark of the covenant-[ch100-104]
‘The Coming of Christ”-[ch 105-109]
‘The return of Zion’